Bret Maverick wins the right to join a ring of shipwreck salvagers, but he is soon in debt up to his neck when he engages in a spirited bidding contest, spending $21,000 for a ship whose ... See full summary »
Bret Maverick wins the right to join a ring of shipwreck salvagers, but he is soon in debt up to his neck when he engages in a spirited bidding contest, spending $21,000 for a ship whose cargo is apparently only worth half that. Brother Bart soon finds out why their unknown rival was willing to bid so high - in addition to a bales of silk and rice, the wreck's hold is full of illegal opium. Written by
[The Maverick Brothers consider whether to bid on the salvage rights on a shipwreck]
What do you think, Bart?
Fifty-five hundred dollars is a lot of money for rice and silk even if you are a hungry dressmaker.
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This is an episode where we start off with Bret Maverick in the first ten minutes and he suddenly disappears until the last scene. It is kind of annoying. Most probably the script was originally written just for James Garner. Only when Jack Kelly came on-board a few episodes before did they rewrite the episode to give it to him. The splitting of the protagonist in the story in two doesn't make any sense in terms of the story. Both brothers bid at an auction to buy a shipwrecked ship and its cargo. It really doesn't make sense to only have Bart face danger and actually go sailing to the ship.
Another problem was the use of stock footage.If they didn't have the budget to do a real voyage at sea, they should have not done the script. Having the actors play foreground scenes against ocean images on a back-projection screen, we get no real sense of being at sea.
The plot finds Bret trying to solve the mystery of why someone would bid $20,000 on a wreck that only had two or three thousand in cargo on it.
The solution is rather nifty, but the show takes so long getting to it that we don't care much when it comes.
There is one anachronism. Bart Maverick objects when he finds opium aboard the ship and demands it be thrown overboard. In fact opium was perfectly legal in the 1870's when this show takes place. Bart would have been crazy to throw out a fortune in opium he had just found.
There is a nice switch where the sinister ship's mate turns out not to be so bad, and the good ship's captain turns out to be not so wonderful.It is a nice surprise. However, besides this, it is a rather ordinary television Western episode and certainly not a good example of the uniqueness of the series.
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