Bill spots a young boy alone on the trail. He passes out but they later learn he can't talk but that he saw his dad killed by strangers for no apparent reason. Later, they run into Dr. Denker taking musical instruments to California.



(story) (as W. Douglas Lansford), (teleplay)


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Episode cast overview:
Christopher Hale (credit only)
Dr. Denker
Billy Latham
Ed Beauford
Kathleen O'Malley ...
Emma Beaufort
George Blair (as James Lydon)
Frank Morgan
Eric Barnes ...


The wagon train comes upon a terrified young boy wandering on the trail who has just seen his father murdered by a bandit gang. Bill and Flint take him under their wing and try to help him recover. The boy in shock is unable to talk but through other means they find his father and bury him but given what was left behind it is unclear why the father was killed. Embittered Confederate Civil War vet Ed Beaufort tells the boy that taking vengeance on the men who killed his father is the best way to recover which does not help the situation. Later, a traveling musician, Dr. Denker, joins the wagon train. He says he is carrying a load of precious instruments for San Francisco. He and the kids on the train including Billy hit it off as he teaches them to play various instruments. However, it soon becomes evident that Billy's situation is connected to the doctor wishing to join the wagon train which causes Billy to run away from the doctor and the wagon train. Written by

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Release Date:

31 January 1962 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The Talents Of Theodore Bikel
4 November 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Before Michael Burns became a regular on Wagon Train he was a part of this episode, an integral part in The Dr. Denker Story where the guest star was Theodore Bikel. This episode made use of Bikel's musical talents as well as acting ability.

Robert Horton and Terry Wilson find a young Burns on the trail beside a burned out wagon and a dead father. He's been frightened into silence and they take him on the train. Later on they come upon a wagon in need of repair and a slightly soused Theodore Bikel in the title role of this episode.

Bikel it turns out is a man of many parts, he makes and plays musical instruments and soon gets Burns into talking. But Bikel is a man of many parts, he's also the Denker of Denker's Arms Manufacturers and he's carrying crates of rifles and that new product that Alfred Nobel just invented over in Sweden, dynamite. That cargo made travel with wagon trains impossible and word of it was known. Three really scurvy individuals were preying on isolated wagons looking for that cargo and it was they who had bushwhacked the Burns wagon and killed his father.

The best scenes in the episode were with Bikel and the children. He taught them to play a musical piece, rather badly to be sure, they sounded like a product of The Music Man's Harold Hill and his 'think system'. But fans of Wagon Train might have recognized the tune, it was a song that Ann Blyth sang in a guest starring episode she did in Wagon Train's first season, To Settle In The West.

This was a nicely done episode displaying the many talents of Theodore Bikel.

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