The Big Valley (1965–1969)
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A powerful earthquake strikes the Valley, leaving Victoria trapped underground with a disgruntled ex-Barkley ranch hand and a young pregnant Native American girl.


Paul Henreid


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


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Episode cast overview:
Richard Long ... Jarrod Barkley
Peter Breck ... Nick Barkley
Lee Majors ... Heath
Linda Evans ... Audra Barkley
Barbara Stanwyck ... Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
Charles Bronson ... Tate
Aliza Gur ... Naomi (as Alizia Gur)
Audrey Dalton ... Ann
Robert B. Williams ... Joel
William Fawcett ... Jeb
Robert Karnes ... Padre
Mort Mills ... Sheriff
John Craven ... Doctor
Wesley Lau ... Ralph Snyder


Victoria, a surly ex-Barkley ranch hand, and a pregnant Native American girl fight to survive when an earthquake traps them in a church cellar. When it is discovered that the cellar may connect to tunnels from a closed-up Barkley gold mine, not all the searchers really want the rescue to succeed. Written by Anonymous

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Charles Bronson and Aliza Gur (as Alizia Gur) receive 'Guest Stars' credits. See more »


The traditional land of the Modoc Indians was on the border of Oregon and California, over 300 miles from Stockton, California. In 1873, they were removed from Oregon, and were settled in Indian Territory (the eastern region of Oklahoma Territory) in 1874; they were not permitted to return to Oregon until 1909. "The Big Valley" is set in Stockton during 1876-1878, so it it impossible for the store owner to ride out to the Modoc reservation in the evening. See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Westerns (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Barbara Stanwyck's earthquake
24 November 2011 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This episode is the first one of the series that features Barbara Stanwyck nearly exclusively. This proves to some of the viewers that Ms Stanwyck was not going to be this women that sits at the house and waits for her boys to come home- instead she is seen as a person wanting to make this show work for all the actors involved. She is not going to sit on her movie career but is putting all she has in the show. This episode proves that she is a professional no matter if it is on the large screen or the small screen.

The show starts as Victoria enters a small church to leave a donation with the padre. Inside the church is a very pregnant Indian girl named Naomi (Aliza Gur) who happens to be praying. Before Victoria can leave the church she encounters Tate (Charles Bronson) who has just been fired from the Barkley Ranch for drinking. He wants Victoria to try to get his job back but she wants nothing to do with him.

As the conversation turns ugly an earthquake hits the town of Stockton and the church comes tumbling down.

From what I could gather, our three characters fall into the basement and cannot get out due to the debris blocking their path. But hold on- Victoria remembers that there use to be an old Barkley mine shaft that ran under the church and through the shaft they will try to escape without harming each other.

The director's of this episode do a good job in creating a believable earthquake. Most of the time all we see is the camera shaking and people stumbling and that is the extent of the special effects. In this show they do have a lot of debris but the camera takes us back to the Barkley's house to see shaking and falling ceiling plaster. And they even went as far as to have the trees shaking more like a real earthquake than the usual camera shake. (I guess I look for that stuff). They only thing I found normal during the quake was that Nick barely missed being hit by falling boards off the barn- but with Nick I expected some kind of drama.

I thought Barbara Stanwyck did a good job of acting in this episode. She was hard as nail at times and was soft when needed. She did get dirty in the mine shaft but always seemed to have her make-up and eye-lid paint as nice as when the show started.

Anyway a good hour of TV.

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Release Date:

10 November 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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