Wagon Train (1957–1965)
7.9/10
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The Widow O'Rourke Story 

When Duke and Charlie do not return from a scouting assignment, Chris sends Cooper who has a pretty good idea what lays ahead. The Chinese widow of an Irish Ship Captain wants Coop to carry on her husband's empire.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Cooper Smith
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Christopher Hale
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Charlie Wooster
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Duke Shannon (as Scott Miller)
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Bill Hawks (credit only)
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Princes Mei Ling, The Widow O'Rourke
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Liu Yang
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Ming Lu
Tanigoshi ...
Choon Fong (as Lynell Tanigoshi)
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Auctioneer
Charles Iwamoto ...
Kiang (as Mr. Moto)
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Storyline

Duke and Charlie are taken prisoner by servants of Princess Mei Ling, matriarch of a hidden Chinese empire, and forced to work as slaves. Coop, who has some familiarity with the legend of the princess, manages to get himself into her quarters. The princess Ling takes a liking to Coop, as he bears an uncanny resemblance to her late husband, an Irish sea Captain. She makes him an offer, to take her niece as his wife and inherit all of her riches. Coop has to figure out a way to free Duke, Charlie, and the other slaves even though he is coming to admire the princess. Written by rbecker28

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Genres:

Western

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Release Date:

7 October 1963 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Princess prerogatives
3 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

One of the stranger episodes of Wagon Train's one 90 minute season has Frank McGrath and Denny Miller kidnapped and forced to work as slaves by a Chinese dowager princess with the married name of O'Rourke. Carol Lawrence made to age and be Oriental plays the widow.

John McIntire sends Robert Fuller to search for his missing cast members and Fuller has some familiarity with the legend of a mini-Chinese empire in the west. He locates it and fight his way in.

His life is spared because Fuller looks like the Irish sea captain who rescued her decades ago from a slave market where bandits had captured her and were selling her. That Captain O'Rourke married her and took her to the American west where he built a ranch like the Ponderosa in a secluded valley.

Once he died she however reverted to being a Manchu princess with all the prerogatives that entails. Like slavery. Something America just fought a war to abolish.

Of course the Wagon Train crew's arrival is responsible for the downfall of Lawrence's world. How that happens is for you to see.

Fuller's a man with a mission who admires Lawrence as a survivor. But his duty is clear.

As for Lawrence, a remarkable makeup job is done, no trace of her Occidental origins is there. She's made up like Flora Robson in 55 Days At Peking where she played China's Dowager Empress.

One of the stranger Wagon Train episodes I could not really buy it, but I did like the flashback sequence where Robert Fuller plays her lusty Irish sea captain.


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