Wagon Train: Season 5, Episode 18

The Dr. Denker Story (31 Jan. 1962)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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The wagon train comes upon a terrified young boy 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, but embittered... See full summary »



(story) (as W. Douglas Lansford) , (teleplay)
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Title: The Dr. Denker Story (31 Jan 1962)

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Episode cast overview:
Dr. Denker
Terry Wilson ...
Frank McGrath ...
Michael Burns ...
Billy Latham
George Keymas ...
Ed Beauford
Kathleen O'Malley ...
Emma Beaufort
Jimmy Lydon ...
George Blair (as James Lydon)
Peter Mamakos ...
Frank Morgan
William Tannen ...


The wagon train comes upon a terrified young boy 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, but embittered Civil War vet Ed Beaufort tells the boy that taking vengeance on the men who killed his father is the best way to recover. Soon a traveling musician, Dr. Denker, joins the wagon train and he and Billy hit it off, but it soon becomes evident that Billy and the doctor had a connection prior to their joining the wagon train. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

31 January 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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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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