BIG VALLEY, THE: SHADOW OF A GIANT (TV)

Summary

One in this series of western dramas about the Barkleys, a wealthy California ranching family. In this episode, the Stryder brothers break their sibling Floyd out of prison, seriously injuring the sheriff and the deputy in the process. When the Barkleys arrive to help, they are surprised to learn that the famous Seth Campbell will be leading their posse, and he arrives several hours later with his son Seth Jr. in tow. He recognizes the Barkleys and says that he knows Victoria of old, and then briskly swears them all in as deputies. He concludes that the Stryders will steal a new horse to replace their injured one, and they set off into the night after the criminals. Heath mentions that he rode with Campbell on a previous job, and Campbell notes that Heath seems to have "no faith" in him. Elsewhere, the Stryders stop for a rest, arguing about the difficulty of breaking Floyd out and escaping the law. Campbell and the others stop for the night and tell war stories, and Campbell challenges a few of the men to arm-wrestling competition. Heath is reluctant to participate, but Campbell insists, and Heath gives in and defeats him, which another member notes "takes him down a notch." Later that night, the others hear Campbell pacing around with his gun, acting jumpy, and Seth Jr. explains that he had "a touch of pneumonia" recently and is still recovering. Campbell insists that he wants to teach his son the ropes before his retirement. Nick talks with Heath mentions that he narrowly escaped an unwanted date by coming on the mission, and Heath ends up confessing that three men died needlessly on the job he worked with Campbell, saying that Campbell seemed "out of his mind" at the time.

In the morning, however, Campbell seems ready for work. The Stryders spot the posse pursuing them as they switch horses, and they hurry into a ghost town. Campbell and the others follow their trail and explore the town in some trepidation, at which point the Stryders open fire with a Gatling gun. The gang dives for cover and Campbell demands that they "rush them," but the Barkleys object, saying it is too dangerous. When Campbell insists, they overpower him and state that he is no longer in charge, and Seth Jr. runs for help. The shootout continues with both sides taking hits, and Campbell finally kills Floyd. When the dust settles, however, they find that Seth Jr. is also dead. When they return to town, Campbell informs the sheriff that all of the Stryders are dead, but blames the Barkleys for his son's death because they defied his orders, and demands that they be arrested for murder. Victoria visits Campbell and expresses her condolences, and they share a kind moment before she asks him to drop the charges, suggesting that he was not a "proper authority" at the time. She warns him that her other son Jarrod will defend his brothers by any means necessary, but is disturbed to learn that Jess, another man in the posse and a witness, has died of his injuries.

Jarrod and the prosecutor argue about the case, with the lawyer unconvinced that Campbell could've made an irresponsible decision in the moment. During the trial, which is held outdoors, Campbell and Heath tell their versions of the events and defend their actions. At the lawyers' requests, they reenact their positions during the shooting and debate the validity of Campbell's order to rush the Stryders, and as Campbell angrily describes his own actions, he is horrified to realize that he is the one who shot Seth Jr. in the chaos of the scene. Later, Victoria sadly reports that Campbell has left town. She informs the boys that they have been invited to a party and Nick declines, but reconsiders when he learns that his would-be date from the other evening is comelier than he was led to believe, much to the amusement of his brothers. Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: January 29, 1968 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:55:13
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:06461
  • GENRE: Drama, western
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, western
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 1965-1969
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Dial soap^TV - Commercials - Magic Sizing laundry spray^TV - Commercials - Gillette Spoiler razor^TV - Commercials - Gillette Foamy shaving cream^TV - Commercials - Anacin pain reliever^TV - Commercials - Dristan nasal spray^TV - Commercials - The President's Committee on Mental Retardation^TV - Promos - 1968 Summer Olympics coverage

CREDITS

    • Jules Levy … Executive Producer
    • Arthur Gardner … Executive Producer
    • Arnold Laven … Executive Producer
    • Lou Morheim … Producer
    • A.I. Bezzerides … Created by
    • Louis F. Edelman … Created by
    • Sasha Gilien … Writer
    • Mel Goldberg … Writer
    • Norman S. Powell … Director
    • Elmer Bernstein … Music by
    • George Duning … Theme Music by
    • Richard Long … Cast, Jarrod Barkley
    • Peter Breck … Cast, Nick Barkley
    • Lee Majors … Cast, Heath
    • Linda Evans … Cast, Audra Barkley
    • Barbara Stanwyck … Cast, Victoria Barkley
    • James Whitmore … Cast, Marshal Seth Campbell
    • Richard Evans … Cast, Seth Jr.
    • Walter Brooke … Cast, Steigler
    • Ed Bakey … Cast, Floyd Stryder
    • Rayford Barnes … Cast, Jeet Stryder
    • John McMurtry … Cast, Luke Stryder
    • Fletcher Fist … Cast, Owens
    • Stuart Randall … Cast, Curry
    • Lee Krieger … Cast, Haynes
    • Troy Melton … Cast, Wilson
    • Douglas Kennedy … Cast, Sheriff Madden