The Rifleman: Season 2, Episode 8

Ordeal (17 Nov. 1959)

TV Episode  -   -  Family | Western
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Lucas and Mark find themselves in deep trouble when their wagon breaks down while they're crossing the desert.



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Title: Ordeal (17 Nov 1959)

Ordeal (17 Nov 1959) on IMDb 8/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Hank Stohl ...


Lucas McCain and his son Mark are 60 miles into the desert gathering a new supply of salt when a rattlesnake spooks their horses. They manage to retrieve them but not before their wagon is destroyed. The also have to put down one of the horses with a broken leg. They know they will have a long journey in front of them but when the remaining horse runs off and Lucas is badly injured, it falls to Mark to go on alone and get help. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wagon | desert | thirst | rifle


Family | Western




Release Date:

17 November 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Lucas and Mark find themselves stuck in the arid desert
2 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is properly titled 'Ordeal' because a little trip for Lucas and Mark goes everything but right.

Starts out while Lucas and Mark have traveled to the desert to dig for salt for storing meat for the winter. A rattlesnake spooks the horse with the wagon and as Lucas tries to stop the runaway wagon he gets thrown off against a rock hurting his ribs. One of the horses breaks his leg and they are left with one horse and no wagon. With Lucas's ribs hurt, he does not let on to Mark just how injured he is and the start for home in they arid desert.

Next during a windstorm their only horse breaks away and runs off leaving Mark and Lucas stranded without an animal with only their water canteen. Then while climbing a rocky hill, a boulder comes loose hitting Lucas square in the foot. Just nothing is going right.

Lucas makes the decision to sent Mark for help. He loads Mark up with the rest of the water and tells him which way to walk. --But that is not all. There is even more ordeals in this unlucky show that come to Mark and Lucas in the unforgiving desert.

Not that it was a bad watch but I will say that the production company saved money with this episode. With all the scenes in one small area and only two other people appearing in the show for a total of one minute, this could have been filmed in one day. With that said, it was still a typical 'Rifleman' episode which is nearly always worth watching.

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