Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Colter Craven Story 

Dr. Craven feels he can't perform surgery any longer. When he joins the wagon train and his services are desperately needed, he realizes he may be wrong after Major Adams gives him a history lesson.





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Episode cast overview:
Flint McCullough (credit only)
Dr. Colter Craven
Mrs. Allyris Craven
Kyle Cleatus
Creel Weatherby
Chuck Hayward ...
Quentin Cleatus
Dennis Rush ...
Beula Blaze ...
Jamie's Mother
Mr. Grant
Park Cleatus
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (as Michael Morris)


The wagon train passes through a drought stricken area on the way to Fort Mescalero where they plan to restock the water supply. They spot the drunk Dr. Colter Craven and his wife stranded with a broken axle and wheel. The doctor was asked to leave Fort Mescalero but the couple is forced to go there with the wagon train. Adams soon discovers the doctor is an alcoholic but still has some medical skills. At Fort Mescalero the owner Park Cleatus wants to gouge the train for water asking $25 per barrel. Adams decides to only water the stock continuing on to the river. Cleatus is hoping the train will abandon property on the way which he can collect. Hawks finds a steep but passable shortcut to the river saving the train. Creel Weatherby has a pregnant wife about to give birth but she needs a C-section to save her and the baby. Dr. Craven says he is unable to operate due to mental stress he suffered in the Civil War at Shiloh. Adams tells him a story about a friend who had a drinking ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

23 November 1960 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marked the first time that John Wayne played General William Tecumseh Sherman. He would play him again in the Civil War sequence of How the West Was Won (1962). See more »


Edited from Wagon Master (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

A tormented doctor joins the wagon train
22 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ward Bond as Wagon Train master Seth Adams finds a wagon on the prairie, with a broken wheel and axle. He accepts the two occupants into the wagon train, an alcoholic doctor and his wife. The doctor (Carleton Young) is tormented by memories of his inability to save lives during the slaughter of the Civil War. Consequently, he finds himself unable to perform surgeon duties and turns to the bottle. His long suffering wife (Anna Lee) stays by his side hoping for him to come back to his former self. During the trip, the doctor does a wonderful job setting the broken leg of a little boy on the wagon train. Crossing desert conditions, the wagon train stops by an outpost to get water. It is run by John Carradine and his two sons, one being Ken Curtis (acting curiously like his later part in Gunsmoke). Carradine in his wonderfully characteristic bad guy ability, wants the wagon train to pay very high amounts for barrels of water, but Ward Bond refuses and they make for the distant river without it. Carradine and sons hope to see them discard heavy items they can pick up to make them richer. The test comes for the doctor when a pregnant woman needs a cesarean operation. He is the only one that can do it but his hands just won't work due to his preoccupation with his Civil War failures. This is where it gets interesting as Seth Adams tells him the story of U.S. Grant (Paul Birch) and his drinking during the war and how he pulled himself together. There is a long flashback scene where many of the John Ford company appear. In fact, this episode was directed by John Ford. John Wayne appears in darkened background as General Sherman but you could tell it was him with that walk and voice. His name credit was Michael Morris a form of his real name. Also seen were Hank Worden (old Mose in The Searchers) and Jack Pennick (Sgt. Major in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon), and Willis Bouchey (Col Secord in The Horse Soldiers). That's the general idea, but I won't spoil the ending. Let's just say it was a wonderfully done episode of Wagon Train with many familiar faces.

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