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Route 66: First-Class Mouliak (1961)
Synopsis and Spoilers - First Class Mouliak
One of the things that was so incredible about Route 66 was the number of actors who got their first credits of their careers on this show. One person was Robert Redford.
This episode is set in a polish neighborhood. Mike and Jack are the best of friends. Not only do they work together, their families are close. When the daughter comes up missing after a party, everybody, including Todd and Buzz go searching for her. She is found dead. The question now turns to who did the dead. When it is found that perhaps the son of the friend could be guilty, Mike and Jack must deal with the possibility of the end of their friendship.
Redford also had a very early TV credit on an episode of the Twilight Zone, where he played an angel.
Route 66: The Mud Nest (1961)
Synopsis and Spoilers-- The Mud Nest
Each and every episode of Route 66 was unique, but none more than this one. What makes it special is the fact that many of George Maharis' six sisters and brothers are in the episode.
As Buzz and Todd travel about they suddenly come to this particular town. Every person they encounter looks at Buzz as if they are seeing a ghost. When Buzz and Todd decide to find out why, they come across a family...where all the people in the family look just like Buzz. Buzz, having been raised an orphan, starts to look into the possibility that one woman, played by Betty Field, is his mother.
Not only is it a story about him trying to find his mother, it looks into his feelings about his childhood and what he has become.
Route 66: Goodnight Sweet Blues (1961)
Synopsis and Spoilers- Goodnight, Sweet Blues
Each episode of Route 66 was such a gem. This one was no exception. Buzz and Todd are driving down the road when a car almost cuts them off. Angered, they follow the car and go to confront the driver when the car suddenly stops. Ready to be angered with the driver, they are surprised to find that the driver is an elderly African-American woman, who seems to be either having a heart attack or is very ill. They help her to her home and get aid. They find that she doesn't have long to live. Her one final wish is that the band that she used to be a singer for should somehow be brought back together for 'one more gig'... just for her. Buzz and Todd travel about, knowing that they don't have much time, doing whatever they can to bring the band together.
One of the nicest parts of this episode is that Ethel Waters actually sings the song Goodnight Sweet Blues.
Route 66: Even Stones Have Eyes (1962)
Synopopsis with Spoilers- Even Stones Have Eyes
I was completely addicted to this series and this episode was and still is my favorite. Buzz and Todd were working construction and Buzz is accidentally hit by a steel beam, causing blindness. At first he's just feeling sorry for himself but then decides to go to a school for the blind to get help. His instructor is Celia, who is played by the wonderful Barbara Barrie. She falls in love with him, but he doesn't return her feelings. When this is confronted, they both begin to run...and Buzz falls into the water and somehow regains his sight. Now that he can see, he no longer needs the school of course, so he says goodbye to everyone and he and Todd go off to their next adventure.
I have been a fan of Barbara Barrie's ever since.