Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Sam Spicer Story 

After witnessing a bank holdup, Barnaby is taken hostage by outlaws Sam Spicer and Reno Sutton. Sam takes a liking to the boy as he reminds him of himself when Reno first made him a partner but Reno doesn't trust Barnaby.





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Episode cast overview:
Christopher Hale
Cooper Smith
Duke Shannon (as Scott Miller)
Charlie Wooster
Bill Hawks
Reno Sutton
Sam Spicer
Barnaby West
Hiram - Shopkeeper
Jean Inness ...
Ma Adams
Dennis McCarthy ...
Cam Davis


The Hale wagon train is in a desert when Barnaby West notices Mr. Harmon's water barrel has come loose spilling two thirds of its contents. When Barnaby chews him out for the carelessness, Harmon is resentful that a young fourteen year old is telling him what to do. Chris Hale riding up tells Barnaby to apologize as he should treat his elders better. Chris mentions he has noticed a pattern of this that needs to change. Although Barnaby grudgingly apologizes, his general attitude takes a hit as he feels he is due more respect. This continues on payday when Chris refuses to let Barnaby join him in going to a nearby town telling Barnaby he needs to study his algebra. Despite the order, Barnaby goes to town to buy a gun and belt with his savings but he is caught by Chris and Charlie who stops him. Barnaby roams the store while Chris and Charlie go to the bank. Two men holdup the bank and Barnaby sees them back of the general store. Spotting Barnaby, the younger outlaw Sam Spicer takes him... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

28 October 1963 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Breaking Barnaby
23 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That little scamp Barnaby is feeling too big for his britches in this episode: he's sassing his elders and buying a six shooter (from Sam Drucker no less)in defiance of Chris Hale.

Alas, Barnaby gets in way over his head when he witnesses a back robbery and is taken hostage by notorious outlaws Sam Spicer and Reno Sutton. Chris and Charlie Wooster hit the trail to get the boy back; what they don't know is that young Barnaby has taken a liking to the life of a bank robber with its freedom from authority, while Sam sees in Barnaby a younger version of himself and a replacement for the aging Reno. Will Barnaby realize he is not a cold blooded killer and not cut out for a life of crime in time? Will Chris and Charlie save Barnaby before that hateful old Reno Sutton puts him six feet under? This is episodic television from October of 1963, so you know how this shakes out.

But I bet audiences, and especially teenagers, back in the day, sat there and thought it would have been a hell of a lot better story if Barnaby had decided he liked the feel of a gun in his hand, blown old Reno away and rode off with Sam for a life filled with bags of stolen money and nights spent in the best bordellos west of the Mississippi. Too bad.

The guest stars in this show are Clu Gulager and Ed Begley. Gulager was a regular on almost every TV western of the era and has kept working steadily in the decades since, most recently he had a cameo in PIRANHA 3DD. Begley was one of the true great character stars of all time and had just won a Supporting Actor Oscar for SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH. With his deep voice and bushy eyebrows, Begley was perfectly cast as police captains, pompous politicians, and stern judges. He was also quite at home on the range, whether on TV or on the big screen-catch HANG 'EM HIGH. Michael Burns, who played Barnaby, eventually left acting and became a published historian; he seems to have turned out better than many of his contemporary child actors.

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