The Virginian: Season 9, Episode 5

The Mysterious Mr. Tate (14 Oct. 1970)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 6 users  
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Colonel MacKenzie is traveling on a train with Lark Walters, the young and sheltered daughter of a wealthy friend of his. At a stop in a town, he sees a young man shoot another man in ... See full summary »



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Title: The Mysterious Mr. Tate (14 Oct 1970)

The Mysterious Mr. Tate (14 Oct 1970) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Trampas (credit only)
The Virginian (credit only)
Jackson Reed
Barton Ellis
Lark Walters
John McLiam ...
Ken Renard ...
Walter Sande ...
Sheriff Martin (as Neil Russell)
Shirley O'Hara ...
Mrs. Drew
John Rayner ...
Rex Phillips
Tod Stark ...


Colonel MacKenzie is traveling on a train with Lark Walters, the young and sheltered daughter of a wealthy friend of his. At a stop in a town, he sees a young man shoot another man in self-defense. Later, MacKenzie saves the same young man from being lynched, and brings him onto the train, where the overly romantic Lark falls for the young stranger. MacKenzie tries to keep them apart, but Lark won't give up. Meanwhile, other men on the train hatch up a scheme to kidnap Lark and hold her for ransom, and try to get the young man, Tate, to join with them. This episode introduces Tate as a series regular. Written by rbecker28

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Release Date:

14 October 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Routine Introduction of Lee Major's Character to the "Shiloh" Series
3 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Big Valley" stalwart Lee Majors made his debut on the revamped western television series "The Men from Shiloh" as a parolee who gets into trouble no sooner than he is released from prison when he kills another hombre in a saloon brawl. Colonel Alan MacKenzie (Stewart Granger of "North to Alaska") and the daughter of a close, wealthy friend, Lark Walters (Annette O'Toole of "48 Hrs"), are window shopping in the little town of Grand Island, Nebraska, during a stopover from their train ride. Roy Evans (Lee Majors) guns down the jasper that started the fight after he brandished a revolver himself. As soon as he shoots his assailant, Roy scrambles aboard a horse and skedaddles out of town. Lark and MacKenzie resume their train trip to Cheyenne after Roy hightails it out of town. MacKenzie is in the locomotive cab with the engineer, Graham (Walter Sande of "Bad Day at Black Rock"), when they trundle past a tree where several locals are stringing poor Roy up for the shooting. They have his hands tied and an noose around his neck and the future doesn't seem any too bright for him. MacKenzie halts the train despite the protests of the engineer and wields his Winchester in a successful effort to thwart the vigilantes. Reluctantly, Roy gives up his $25 dollar horse and joins MacKenzie on the train. Lark is watching all of this and gets the mistaken notion that Roy is coming to save her from boredom. MacKenzie and his manservant Parker (John McLiam) struggle to keep these two apart, but that is easier imagined than done.

Meanwhile, a quartet of elegantly dressed dudes is riding on the same train that MacKenzie and Lark are on, except that our hero and heroine ride in the luxury of a private coach. Jackson Reed (Robert Webber of "The Dirty Dozen") and Barton Ellis (Dane Clark of "Pride of the Marines") and two others are scheming to abduct Lark. Reed recognizes Roy, and Barton reminds Roy that they once shared the same prison cell. Barton offers Roy a part in the kidnapping, with the promise of as much as $10-thousand dollars. Roy ponders the question long enough for the train to pause at a water tower. While Graham is replenishing the locomotive, Ellis uncouples the private car and the train rolls off without it. The kidnappers start a blaze under the coach, and Roy informs MacKenzie, Lark, and Parker about what is going to happen. A brief gun battle ensues with our heroes successfully repulsing their opponents. During the fracas, Roy catches a slug in his shoulder and topples off the top of the coach. When they arrive in Cheyenne, MacKenzie assures Sheriff Martin (Bing Russell of "The Magnificent Seven") that the man who almost got hanged is nowhere to be found. By this time, Lark and Roy have bade each other a fond farewell, and MacKenzie offers Roy a job at Shiloh.

"The Mysterious Mr. Tate" is entertaining enough as Lee Major's introduction to the western television series formerly known as "The Virginian." The performances by all are solid enough, but there are few surprises in Jean Holloway's teleplay and "Running Wild" director Abner Biberman doesn't add anything to distinguish this tame oater. Most of the action transpires on the train with an occasional stopover.

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