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Rawhide: Incident of the 13th Man (1959)
Season 2, Episode 6
8/10
Wishbone gets to star in this 1959 episode
23 August 2019
From the opening on, one sees that this 1959 episode belongs to Wishbone. The bad guy is Matson (played by Anderson) who runs the town of Blanton Texas. He is accused of murder. Matson's game plan is to get an acquittal in a quick jury trial so double jeopardy attaches. Rowdy and Wishbone come to town to fix Wishbone's tooth (which is done by Matson) and end up as jurors on Matson's trial. Matson has an inside informant on the jury so that Matson is the 13th man of the title. Many of Wishbone's traits are exposed in the jury room, with Rowdy stating the obvious. Clark (played by Platt, later the Chief in Get Smart) and Williams (played by Fix) have the meatier roles in the ensemble cast. There is a surprise ending. Two flaws. A hung jury does not prevent retrial. The elevation of Blanton (once a real town, and even if meant to be fictional) would be higher than stated if on the Sedalia Trail. This tv episode could be viewed as an interesting twist on Twelve Angry Men.
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Rawhide: Incident of the Chubasco (1959)
Season 1, Episode 12
9/10
Gil Favor gets some good lines
1 August 2019
Favor gets good lines in confrontation with Arkansas and finally with husband. Whether the response is believable may be questioned.
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Bat Masterson: Two Graves for Swan Valley (1958)
Season 1, Episode 2
3/10
Bat Masterson: professional gambler
1 August 2019
The tv shows "HIGHWAY PATROL" and "Bat Masterson" were both done by ZIV, which may explain the presence of Broderick Crawford in this episode. Not much depth here, with Crawford being the town bully and Barry merely staying because he said a mean thing to me. Barry gets around a vagrancy charge by taking a license as a professional gambler.
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Mackenzie's Raiders: The Lucinda Cabot Affair (1959)
Season 1, Episode 34
4/10
Historical issues?
27 July 2019
In the storyline, Colonel Mackenzie is meeting with supporters of Porfirio Diaz, who are supposedly fighting for democracy. In reality Diaz opposed Juarez and later Lerdo, who led governments recognized by the US. Diaz would later lead a very undemocratic regime, finally toppled by Madero. The US interests included collecting debts from Mexico. The plotline of this story does not make sense, including the romantic angle.
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Rawhide: Incident at Alabaster Plain (1959)
Season 1, Episode 2
9/10
Great final shootout
18 July 2019
The opening of this second epusode gives a thumbnail bio of the characters. Early on one sees how cantankerous Wishbone is. Then, background that Rowdy had been a Confederate soldier imprisoned in Yuma, with Buzz Travis, played by Troy Donohue (later to be in Surfside Six). The ending, following a long gun battle, is abrupt.
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Have Gun - Will Travel: The Lady on the Wall (1960)
Season 3, Episode 23
7/10
A poke at NBC's Bonanza?
18 July 2019
One wonders if this town of Bonanza, with a played out silver mine, is a play on NBC's western Bonanza, which started in 1959. The males of this Bonanza are old men, including actors Moody and Patterson. The painting in question is finally valued at $50,000, a lot of money in the 1870s.
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Have Gun - Will Travel: The Misguided Father (1960)
Season 3, Episode 24
8/10
Legal themes
18 July 2019
Charlie owned a redwood stand but no way out. Paladin gave some legal advice but Charlie tried something else, ending up dead, at the hands of Keith Loring, a psychopathic killer, protected by his timber baron father. Paladin recognizes Keith is ill and talks about legally commiting him. Paladin and father Loring have quite a fist fight.
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Batman: Batman's Waterloo (1967)
Season 2, Episode 54
9/10
Victor Buono enjoyed overacting as King Tut
7 July 2019
The real King Tut died at about age 19 and never met Cleopatra, but this is tv's Batman, and Buono is really into the spirit of the show. Oddly, there really is an Egyptology program at Yale, afflicted by scandal involving a senior professor in 2013-2014. The show has sexual tension between Batman/Wayne and the daughter of Gotham's second richest man, John E. Carson. Carson agrees to pay a ransom to Tut to reclaim his daughter, with information relayed through the radio talk show of obnoxious Jolly Jackson. Batman does the talking but Jackson requires Batman to answer a trivia question (ANSWER is David Balfour. The quote has some relevance to later Batman). Curiously, Mayor Linseed (play on John Lindsay) was missing, said to be off at the Asian front (Vietnam?). The show aired in March 1967 when the real Lindsay was up to his eyeballs in city problems. Buono would play the Captain in Who's Minding the Mint later in 1967. Buono played some good villains in Wild Wild West and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, but his Tut is classic. This Batman episode has a few Star Trek alums.
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Martial Law: Final Conflict: Part 2 (2000)
Season 2, Episode 22
8/10
Airplanes crashing into NYC in May 2000?
6 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Sammo foils Scorpio's plot to crash commercial airliners into New York City.

Sammo and son head back to China in this final episode.
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Have Gun - Will Travel: Death of a Gunfighter (1959)
Season 2, Episode 26
2/10
Bad screenplay; bad acting
24 June 2019
The high point of the episode is Boone dancing with Pleshette. Small appearance by veteran actor Jolley. Paladin is set to walk away from the job until Morita shoots a man while he is down in a rather brutal scene. Then it's personal. Later, Paladin believes Morita is hanging up his gun and the past is overlooked. An amnesty is declared by (fictional) Major General Thomas Hardy. Acting by Pleshette is wooden; by Boone sub-par.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: The Partners (1960)
Season 2, Episode 22
6/10
Jason and Josh: change for Wanted?
24 June 2019
Are the producers testing the waters for a different Wanted? Jason wants the bounty on Billy Joe and disables Josh. Josh points out the difficulties in going after Billy Joe and his two brothers. The show has interesting parallels/contrasts. Josh and Panama both argue against needless killing. Jason and Billy Joe are for shooting it out. Billy Joe baits Jason by calling him Peach Fuzz.
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Have Gun - Will Travel: The Taffeta Mayor (1959)
Season 2, Episode 17
7/10
Women suffrage
18 June 2019
The episode revolves around Wyoming Territory's grant in 1869 to women of the right to vote/hold office. Edward Platt (the chief in Get Smart) plays the heavy.
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7/10
The derringer gets a workout and no help from the Colt
11 June 2019
Paladin is in bad shape at the beginning: drugged, Coltless, horseless and moneyless. A young woman helps him, finds his business card and remarks I like the sound of that. Paladin locates the bad guys, who are family, and is threatened by the one who took his Colt. Paladin mentions Bull Run to give the woman a hint to save him from the bad guys. Then it's escape to Wittenburg, but on the road a lot of things get reversed, as a knight moves on the chess board. Both derringer bullets are used to great effect. Not so with the multishot rifle.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: The Matchmaker (1959)
Season 2, Episode 3
6/10
Off beat episode. Josh on marriage.
11 June 2019
Josh hires Amy Williams to be nice to Charlie (Royal Dano) with Amy saying: if there is one thing I can give a man it's confidence.

Note the humor/prescience in the Folgers woman (Harriet) offering Josh coffee (and then cherry pie). But Charlie hates cherry pie.

Charlie to Josh: you've got a reputation for succeeding at your work.

Josh to Charlie: I never go to weddings; they make me cry.

Later, Charlie to Josh: to you marriage is a crime.

And, at the end, Harriet to Josh: I've got a pot of coffee on.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: The Conquerors (1959)
Season 1, Episode 35
6/10
Josh helps Arnold escape from fake liberator Mandeville
7 June 2019
Josh tries but fails to get Arnold from the clutches of pretend liberator Mandeville (played by John Dehner). But the "liberated" Mexicans have plans, revealed to Josh, who is captured, otherwise is to be taken to Mexicali for trial (while the others head toward Ensenada)

Josh loses his gun to the Mexicans, gets it back, but then loses it to Mandeville's people. At episode end, Josh is gunless, with no good prospect of getting it back.

There is a scene where a shadow of Josh's gun on a tent wall tips off Mandeville. But Josh is outside the tent and the light is inside.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: The Kovack Affair (1959)
Season 1, Episode 30
6/10
A feel good buddy episode
5 June 2019
James Coburn plays an old friend of Josh. Coburn's problem is a bad man with lots of henchmen who is trying to take over the Outrider, owned by Coburn's girlfriend. Seeing they are outnumbered, Josh plans to get help from many other Coburn "FRIENDS" including Johnny Ringo ans John Wesley Hardin. But there is not enough time. Josh somehow isolates on the bad guy and forces him to sign papers. But bad guy disables Josh in an unbelievable move and Coburn gets to display some fancy shooting. McQueen and Coburn get together four years later in 1963's Great Escape, along with James Garner/Maverick.
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JAG: Shadow (1995)
Season 1, Episode 3
5/10
The villain is a techno-nerd
30 May 2019
The show opens with Harm jogging in DC. So is President Clinton, who actually appears in the opening. A helicopter drops down, but it is for Harm, not Clinton. The problem is that a nerd (Dirk) has taken control of a sub (Tigershark) by threatening to use a torpedo, under his control through technical wizardry, to blow up something (later determined to be a British cruise ship with 600 passengers). It seems Dirk was a government employee who invented an English/Japanese translator but got nothing in return but his paycheck. There is a lot of antilawyer banter between Dirk and the JAG folks. Dirk's real threat seems to be not sinking the ship but rather all the resulting law suits "feeding frenzy of PI lawyers". Yes, there is a line about the (non-existent) Princeton law school. This is not one of the better written JAG scripts. Clinton was wise to jog away
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JAG: War Cries (1995)
Season 1, Episode 7
7/10
President Clinton does cameo
29 May 2019
In an eerie foreboding to a later foreign embassy incident, President Clinton is shown arm-twisting the US ambassador to Peru to attend a dedication, over Harm's objections. One of the more violent JAGs with Harm wielding a Mac10 or the like. The gunnery sergeant has the right view of things and observes in his business there are no appeals.
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JAG: Déjà Vu (1995)
Season 1, Episode 5
7/10
Bill Clinton on sax furnishes entertainment
29 May 2019
Clinton with sax appears at a party of the French ambassador.

Rabb's superior is portrayed as a bozo.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: Sheriff of Red Rock (1958)
Season 1, Episode 13
7/10
Parable for the 21st Century?
23 May 2019
The title is "Sheriff of Red Rock" and yes there is a Red Rock, New Mexico near Gallup in Native American country. The sheriff, played by Frank Silvera, has worked the town for 17 years but is now supplementing his income with the "bounty game." So the set-up is low paid well respected civil servant gone bad. The 1958 depiction of an 1870s western town shows the judge does not want to believe outsider Josh and is biased toward believing the locals and the sheriff. In the morality of a 1958 tv western, bad guy Stoner (played by James West) quickly comes clean, leading to a final confrontation among the sheriff, the judge and Josh. One wonders in the real life of the 21st century, whether this scene plays out differently with local judge backing the sheriff's play? Perhaps the value of this episode is in comparing 1958 to the early 21st century.
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Rawhide: Piney (1964)
Season 7, Episode 3
7/10
Episode filled with well known actors
21 May 2019
In addition to Ed Begley as the titled "Piney," one has Somerville, New Jersey's Lee Van Cleef, Elisha Cook (Maltese Falcon, Icepick in Magnum) and J.D. Cannon.
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Have Gun - Will Travel: Ella West (1958)
Season 1, Episode 17
7/10
"Women" as creatures to be tamed
21 May 2019
Hodgins (a Fawcett look alike) plays Tomahawk Carter, who runs a Bill Cody like wild west show. A character West is an unrefined Annie Oakley and Paladin is hired by Tomahawk to refine her. Paladin quotes Keats to West, who plays a character more complex than that of My Fair Lady. In the end, Paladin does Tomahawk a big favor.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: The Fourth Headstone (1958)
Season 1, Episode 9
8/10
Josh not fooled by evil woman played by Mona Freeman
21 May 2019
Note early appearance by Hodgins who bears resemblance to character actor William Fawcett (Ph.D. Michigan State).

In the story, Josh does a favor for an old friend Sam Gladstone, who needs a prisoner escorted and who gives him a warning about the prisoner via a trip to Boot Hill (hence the show title; don't be the fourth headstone. The prisoner is a woman played by Mona Freeman)

The time stamp on the show is around 1877 and Josh reveals his family was once in Dallas.

Although told he was a fool by the Freeman character, Josh did heed the warnings. There is an appearance of Josh's second gun, which will be featured in some later episodes. Josh says to the Freeman character: you took the wrong gun.

There is an allusion to a town called Black Wells from where an escape can be made.
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Wanted: Dead or Alive: Miracle at Pot Hole (1958)
Season 1, Episode 8
7/10
Josh gives a law lecture to Chute Wilson (J.C. Flippen)
21 May 2019
Chute is running the town of Pothole. The suspect here gets a rough trial with a foreseeable jury verdict. Josh and the Padre cause the townspeople to reflect. A slight twist at the end.
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Rawhide: The Race (1964)
Season 7, Episode 1
7/10
Favor vs Yates
17 May 2019
A new opening sequence witb sculptures of Favor, Yates and Wishbone.

Favor and Yates racing against one another with different heards. Weed (Warren Oates) as ramrod for Yates and Wishbone with Yates. Quince with Favor.

A line of Wishbone: some friend you turned out to be Mr. Yates.

A line of Weed to Yates: quit this race.

Yates telegraphs from Diablo.

A rainstorm from Harrison to Saragossa saves Yates, or did it?
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