A television movie based on the western series of the same name about Dr. Michaela Quinn, a young doctor practicing medicine in 19th-Century Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In Colorado Springs in 1877, a corporate prospector, Mr. Garrick, speaks at a town meeting hoping to secure approval for a copper mining facility and smelter; he wishes to take advantage of the latest advances in electrical equipment such as the incandescent light bulb to meet the inevitable widespread demand for copper wiring. Most of the townspeople approve of the idea, but Sully is reluctant to agree, worried that the mining could release harmful runoff into the drinking water for surrounding towns. He refuses to vote until the company comes forward with a plan to prevent the contamination. Meanwhile, Michaela continues her work, accompanied by the now four year-old Katie. Mr. Garrick takes Sully aside to try to convince him to change his stance, implying that the magnate he works for could compensate him personally for his support. Sully remains firm, and Mr. Garrick departs with a cryptic warning. Colleen and Matthew are unable to return from Great Britain for Michaela’s birthday, although Sully gives her a necklace as a present.

Mr. Garrick reports back to his boss, Mr. Carraway, who asks him to meet him in town that night. They both arrive at the local saloon before heading out. Sully and Brian plan a small surprise party for Michaela. She and Sully sit down for an evening together, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Horace, who reports that Robert E. is suffering from pains; Michaela suspects that his appendix may be acting up and they head out to help him. However, this turns out to be simply a pretense for luring out Michaela for the surprise party, with many of her friends in attendance. Back at the house, Horace babysits Katie, but is knocked unconscious by an unknown intruder. He awakens soon and rushes to the party, where he reports that Katie has been kidnapped. Michaela, Sully, and several others return to try to track her down. The search parties discover several horse tracks leading off, and the search continues into the next morning as Sully has his posse split up to cover more ground. Brian heads out as well with a shotgun, much to Michaela’s disapproval.

Sully comes to believe that Mr. Garrick is responsible for kidnapping Katie as a means of getting him to change his vote about the copper mining company. He rides ahead to cut off his stagecoach and removes Garrick, physically attacking him and demanding Katie’s release. Garrick claims that he had nothing to do with Katie’s disappearance and was departing town after getting paid by Mr. Carraway the night before; he notes that he was hired over the mail and does not know the true identity of his employers. After a tense standoff, Sully releases Garrick, promising to change his vote if Katie is returned, although Garrick only leaves him with a vague description of his mystery employer. The next day, Sully has a chance meeting with Cloud Dancing, who assists him in tracking down the kidnappers. In the woods they discover an overturned wagon, as well as what appears to be Katie’s dead body.

A funeral is held for Katie, and Michaela is beside herself with grief. Michaela finds herself unable to move on with her life after a month’s time, and blames Sully for it, as she feels he ignored the cryptic warning Garrick posed to him. They argue before Sully leaves, both of them in tears. In the wilderness, Cloud Dancing is attacked by a party of Apache; he overpowers one of them and spares his life in exchange for helping him locate Katie’s kidnappers. Sully rushes Cloud Dancing to the clinic to treat his wounds from the fight. Sully relays what Cloud Dancing discovered: that there was another girl on that wagon who looked similar to Katie, and thus Katie may still be alive. Michaela performs an autopsy on the corpse and confirms that it is not Katie’s body. Sully calls for the search to resume, and he and Michaela reconcile from their earlier dispute.

The next day, Michaela, Sully, Brian, Cloud Dancing, Robert E., Jake, and Horace set off for Mexico on the trail of the kidnappers. They cross the Rio Grande and soon encounter a party of Federales. The leader, Captain Ruiz, tells them that he has not seen Katie or the woman who supposedly accompanied her, and one of his men confiscates Horace’s cigars. The road ahead is infested with bandits, but this does not deter Sully and his party. They arrive in a nearby town and split up to question the townsfolk for information on Katie’s whereabouts. Michaela and Sully enter the local cantina and talk to the proprietor, who has not seen Katie or Mr. Carraway, although he indicates he may have heard rumors of the kidnappers passing through town. Michaela does not trust the man, although he tells them that the man they seek will be in the nearby town of Novales the following day.

Meanwhile, Katie is being kept by Mr. Carraway and his Mexican wife Mrs. Carraway, and they seem to treat her well; Mrs. Carraway seems to have genuine affection for her. Bandits attack Sully’s encampment that night, and they are forced to defend themselves in a gun battle. Brian sustains a gunshot wound and Michaela tends to him. The innkeeper is among the dead bandits, much to Sully’s disappointment. The next morning they bury the dead and resume their search. Michaela insists that Cloud Dancing take Brian back to Texas, as she feels it’s too dangerous for him. After further questioning, Robert E. determines that Katie is in town, at Carraway’s hacienda. Sully advises that they all exercise caution, and plans to ride out and inspect the place with Robert E. Meanwhile, Michaela spots a boy in town with a cut on his foot and cannot help but inspect it, attracting some attention from the townsfolk. Jake and Horace advise her not to attract so much attention and she relocates. A man named Valdez comes to see her, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. She agrees to remove the bullet despite her lack of anesthetics.

Sully infiltrates the Carraway hacienda in the middle of a party. He manages to spot Katie in the arms of Mrs. Carraway, but Mrs. Carraway is alerted to Sully’s presence when Katie spots him and starts calling for him. Captain Ruiz and his Federales ride into town and confront Michaela. They are searching for Valdez, and Captain Ruiz is enraged with her for treating his injury. He captures Jake and Horace, explaining that he determined that they killed the men at their campsite. They claim that it was only self-defense, and the Federales force Jake and Horace into submission. Sully and Robert E. see Michaela, Jake, and Horace being led off, and he is informed that they are being taken to “the Rathole,” a Mexican prison. Michaela is roughed up by the other women in her cell; before she passes out she notices that one is heavily pregnant. That night, Sully sneaks into the hacienda and finds Katie in her room. He tries to carry her out, but runs into Mrs. Carraway, who alerts the house staff to his intrusion. Sully is captured by armed guards and Katie taken back by Mrs. Carraway.

Mr. Carraway explains to the captive Sully that an Apache attack cost them the life of their own daughter, who was buried in Colorado Springs. Sully begs him to let him go with Katie, but Mr. Carraway has changed his mind about using Katie to blackmail Sully into changing his vote, instead keeping her to help ease his grief over his loss. He also explains that he hoped to use the copper mine to finance his investments in Mexican land in order to make his fortune, and eventually plans to move to Europe after having Sully and his party killed by revolutionaries. Later, Michaela awakens and attempts to help the pregnant woman give birth. The baby is delivered successfully. Mrs. Carraway frees Sully to let him see Katie after noting how desperate she is to reunite with her mother and father. She leads Sully and Katie to freedom, allowing them to escape on horseback.

Before they can leave, Sully plans to rescue Michaela. Jake and Horace are buried up to their necks to allow the Federales’s horses to trample them to death. Captain Ruiz enters Michaela’s cell, announcing that she is to be executed via a firing squad for treating Valdez. She is brought out and about to be executed when Sully arrives and sets off dynamite charges to scatter the Federales forces, giving him and Robert E. time to rescue Michaela, Jake, and Horace. They manage to escape in the confusion, and Michaela is reunited with Katie. More Federales comes after them, and they rush to evade them. Just as they are about to be cornered, Valdez appears and leads his bandits, accompanied by Brian and Cloud Dancing, in a counterattack, driving back the Federales and killing Ruiz.

Katie is safely returned to Colorado Springs, where the townsfolk celebrate her return. Michaela goes off on her own to the church, and Sully goes after her. He finds her standing over the grave of the Carraway girl; they plan to send the body back to her parents. Michaela and Sully share a final reconciliation before they return to the party, which doubles as a belated birthday celebration for Michaela. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: May 22, 1999 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:30:25
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:84967
  • GENRE: Drama, western
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, historical
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1999


  • Jane Seymour … Executive Producer
  • James Keach … Executive Producer, Director
  • Beth Sullivan … Executive Producer, Based on characters created by
  • John Liberti … Producer
  • Julie M. Thompson … Associate Producer
  • Josef Anderson … Writer
  • Mike Post … Music by
  • Edward Rogers … Music by
  • Ben Decter … Music by
  • Jane Seymour … Cast, Dr. Michaela Quinn
  • Joe Lando … Cast, Byron Sully
  • Eduardo Yanez … Cast, Valdez
  • Shawn Toovey … Cast, Brian Cooper
  • Barbara Babcock … Cast, Dorothy Jennings
  • Jim Knobeloch … Cast, Jake Slicker
  • Jonelle Allen … Cast, Grace
  • Henry G. Sanders … Cast, Robert E.
  • Geoffrey Lower … Cast, Rev. Timothy Johnson
  • Frank Collison … Cast, Horace Bing
  • Larry Sellers … Cast, Cloud Dancing
  • Orson Bean … Cast, Loren Bray
  • Rudy Ramos … Cast, Captain Ruiz
  • Jacqueline Torres … Cast, Mrs. Carraway
  • Stephen Meadows … Cast, Mr. Carraway
  • Mark Collie … Cast, Mr. Garrick
  • Kaile Zaretsky … Cast, Katie
  • William Marquez … Cast, Hector
  • Chad Carr … Cast, Evan Slopes
  • P.B. Hutton … Cast, Darlene Slopes
  • Les Lannom … Cast, Ed Gordon
  • Bruce Dickinson … Cast, Ted Harp
  • Mimi Lesseos … Cast, Xia
  • Ana Ortiz … Cast, Pregnant Woman
  • Nico Matinata … Cast, Young Mexican Boy
  • Rudy Ugland … Cast, Stagecoach Driver
  • Mackenzie Vega … Cast, Maria
  • Luis Contreras … Cast, Mario
  • Rebeca Silvia … Cast, Mexican Woman
  • Leonardo Guerra … Cast, Miguel