Ever since he was young, Tom Tuckett has been sent to good schools and looked after by an unknown benefactor. When he joins the wagon train he feels he's about to find out who that is but it isn't who he imagined.
As a young orphan boy Tom Tuckett encounters a convict in the marshes. The man has the boy bring him a file which he uses to remove his chains. Later, a mysterious benefactor pays for Tom to attend some of the best schools including law school, become a gentleman, and join the wagon train to San Francisco where a job awaits him. He finds two friends are on the train - Miss Stevenson and the girl she raised, Elizabeth. Miss Stevenson was left at the alter leaving her with a lonely and cruel attitude toward life and love which she has passed to Elizabeth. Tom met Elizabeth when she was fourteen and has loved her ever since although she thought him to be "common". Nat Burikett surprises Adams at night. He is the cause of the many Indian drums they have heard. Tom believes Miss Stevenson is his benefactor but it is Nat, the convict wanted for treason for warning the Indians about an Army attack when he was a Lieutenant. Tom learns Elizabeth is going to San Francisco to marry as he leaves ... Written by
"The Tom Tuckett Story" is a retelling of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations", except that the names have been changed along with the locale. Pip becomes Tuck, Estella is called Elizabeth, and Miss Havisham is now Miss Stevenson. The Convict has become wealthy through fur-trading in Canada (rather than farming in Australia) and is also an acknowledged Friend of All Tribes of Indians. See more »
This episode is very close to the Charles Dickens classic "Great Expectations". Orphan boy helps a runaway convict. Someone helps orphan boy to become a rich gentleman. Orphan boy loves an unattainable beauty from afar. Unattainable beauty works for bitter old woman who was jilted by a former lover. Bitter old woman teaches unattainable beauty to hurt men who love her. Etc. You get the idea. Other than that the story is a pretty standard Wagon Train story. All of the regulars appear and give a good account of themselves. One of my favorite character actors, Ralph Moody is severely miscast as an Ottowa Indian Chief.
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