The Big Valley (1965–1969)
3 user
A mother seems to have abandoned her children. The oldest, a teenage boy, resists the Barkley's help- who decides to search for his mother.


Paul Henreid


A.I. Bezzerides, A.I. Bezzerides (creator) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Long ... Jarrod Barkley
Peter Breck ... Nick Barkley
Lee Majors ... Heath
Linda Evans ... Audra Barkley
Barbara Stanwyck ... Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
Diane Ladd ... Muriel Akely
J. Pat O'Malley ... Wiley
Darby Hinton ... Chucky
Margot Jane Margot Jane ... Cecilia
Bryan O'Byrne ... George Osborne
John Harmon ... Carl Morgan
James Gavin James Gavin ... Sheriff
Charlotte Knight Charlotte Knight ... Mrs. Goody (as Charlott Knight)
John Gilbert John Gilbert ... Card Player
Larry J. Blake ... Man


A mother seems to have abandoned her children. The oldest, a teenage boy, resists the Barkley's help- who decides to search for his mother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

16 January 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Diane Ladd receives a 'Guest Star' credit. See more »

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User Reviews

Simple plot that plays out well
4 August 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This show turned out to be a surprisingly good episode as we see a teenager Lud Akley (Richard Dreyfuss) being left in charge of his much younger brother and sister as the single mother goes to Nevada to work at a saloon. The mother has left Lud in charge as she tries to bring money into the household so that they will not lose the home.

Lud gets caught for shoplifting but Heath agrees to pay for the items and will take him back to his mother. Upon arriving at the house he finds the small children alone and hungry. He takes the two children, along with a upset Lud, back to the Barkley Ranch so they can be fed. But Lud wants no help and makes mischief around the ranch as he tries to get the small children back to their house inside Stockton.

Lud had not been told what his mother was doing in Nevada other than where she was staying in case of an emergency. So Lud steals from the Barkley house and sells a music box to a prospector for the exact amount of money to get him to Nevada.

When he arrives he is ashamed to find that his mother is a lady of the night. His life goes further down when the prospector -he sold the music box to - is found dead and evidence points to Lud as the killer.

Jarrod agrees to defend him in court but Lud will not offer any explanation about meeting the prospector. And this becomes the plot of the show as Lud could be hanged if found guilty of the crime.

A surprisingly good episode for a simple plot. The story was interesting and by the end of the show the viewer feels better for watching.

Good show.

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