CTVA - The Virginian 2.11 [041] "The Fatal Journey" 4-Dec-1963

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
<Previous                     The Virginian                        Next>
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

2.11 [041]
"The Fatal Journey"

Original NBC Broadcast - 4 December 1963

Revue Productions
Executive Producer Frank Price
Produced by Winston Miller
Written by John Hawkins
Directed by Bernard McEveety

(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas (not in this episode)
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Star (credited during ride-in)
Robert Lansing [George Calhoun]

Ending credits: (complete)
David McLean as Troy
Sandy Kenyon as Professor
John Milford as Jasper Horn
Ross Elliott as Sheriff Abbott
Berkeley Harris as Denver
Charles Briggs  . . .  as Hank Stram
Steve Ihnat  . . .  as Stub O'Dell
William Bakewell  . . .  as Sam Branch
Mickey Simpson  . . .  as Moose
Ollie O'Toole  . . .  as Jackson
Roy Engel  . . .  as Jacob Brent
(Roy Engel had a recurring role in the series as Barney Wingate)
Vic Perrin  . . .  as Ben Dixon
Robert Kline  . . .  as Wentworth
Frank Sully  . . .  as The Bartender [Danny]
(Harper Flaherty doubled for Robert Lansing in the shoot out scene--no

Virginian Theme Percy Faith
(no score credit was given, but some of Lennie Hayton's music from 2.01
"Ride a Dark Trail" was noticeable throughout the show)

Director of Photography . . . George Patrick
Film Editor . . . Carl Pingitore
Editorial Dept. Head . . . David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators . . . John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Color Coordinator . . . Robert Brower
Color by Pathé
Assistant Director . . . John Clarke Bowman
Sound . . . Earl Crain, JR.
Costume Supervisor . . . Vincent Dee
Makeup . . . Leo Lotto, JR.
Hair Stylist . . . Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by Permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
  The Virginian, Steve, Judge Garth, Sheriff Abbott, Danny the bartender

This episode resolves Molly Wood's absence from the series (as of 1.14 "The
Man From the Sea").  Pippa Scott did NOT appear in this show.

The territory is being terrorized by a band of outlaws whose camp is well
hidden in the badlands.  Molly Wood has written an editorial for "The
Banner" in which she states she has contacted the President to send troops
to stop the marauding.  As a sign of defiance four of the desperados ride
into Medicine Bow
and shoot through the windows of
the "Banner" office.  Unbeknown to the men Molly happens to be inside and is
killed by the gunfire.  The Virginian, who had planned to marry the
newspaperwoman, is understandably distraught, and as he packs to join the
posse Judge Garth encourages him that he'd "sleep better" if he let the
sheriff bring them in and not try to seek revenge on the outlaws himself.
With their water supply running low and having looked in the badlands for 3
1/2 days with no sign of human life the posse decides to turn back.  The
Virginian goes on alone, but after he locates the hideout he can't bring
himself to shoot in cold blood.  When one of the outlaws sees him and takes
him into camp the Virginian lies that he is one of the bandits who had
recently escaped from prison in Montana.  A U.S. Marshal shows up claiming
to be one of the other escaped prisoners and, having heard of the cowboy who
wouldn't give up the search, goes along with confirming the Virginian's
false identity.  Calhoun (Lansing), the leader of the gang who had shot
Molly, plans to steal a gold shipment as his
last big job and assigns the undercover marshal to dynamite the railroad
However, the lawman is shot and killed when the person with information
about the train the gold is on arrives and recognizes him.  Now the outlaws,
realizing he's
not a fellow criminal, go after the Virginian.  The foreman kills two of the
bandits in self defense but wants to take Calhoun, who says he didn't know
Molly had been in the office at the time they shot through the windows, back
to the sheriff to stand trial.  But when the "Colonel" brags about the way
he is going to slowly kill the Virginian the foreman is forced to shoot him
also.  Arriving back at the ranch the Virginian meets the Judge with, "The
men who killed Molly are dead, and I told the sheriff where to round up the
rest of the outlaws.  Any questions?"  Instead of asking the Virginian if
he'd hunted the men down in revenge the Judge simply replies, "No, I'm just
glad you're back."

Character notes:  Friendship is evident in the Judge's and Steve's genuine
concern for the Virginian.  Steve was the one who found Molly's body.  He
wanted to be with the Virginian after he was given the news about her death,
but the Judge told him to let the foreman have some time alone.  When the
posse decided to turn back Steve wanted to accompany the Virginian but knew
he would become a burden because he hadn't saved enough water to continue
the search in the badlands.  Judge Garth, who was going to order the
material to build a house for what he hoped would be a soon-to-be married
foreman, felt badly about Molly's
death and understood the Virginian's insistence on finding her killers.
Although he encouraged that justice be done instead of vengeance he did not
inquire how the outlaws met their death.  He was only relieved and
glad to have the Virginian home safely.  In the Virginian we see a sense of
justice and self control as well as the ability of quick thinking.  During
the time he was in the outlaw camp he could have discretely executed
the four men who killed Molly but chose to try to take them
back for trial instead.
One comment about the episode itself:  There was a lack of continuity in
many television series of the 1960's, and this episode was no exception.
The character of Molly Wood (Pippa Scott) had not been seen since the middle of
the first season (1.14 "The Man From the Sea").  It seemed she just disappeared without
 explanation when the Executive Producer changed from Charles Marquis Warren to Roy
Huggins.  Yet in this episode (with another change in Executive Producers to
Frank Price) the Judge says it has been a long time since the Virginian had
missed a Saturday night dance with Molly, implying she'd never been gone.
Killing off this character was a way to deal with her absence from the
series in future episodes, but perhaps it would have been more reasonable to
have started this story with mention of Molly returning from some long
newspaper assignment trip (which could explain why she hadn't been in
previous episodes) instead of having us wonder why there hadn't been more
shows involving a romantic relationship with the Virginian if she'd been in
Medicine Bow all along.

Look for Robert Lansing in these other VIRGINIAN episodes:  4.01 "The
Brothers" and 6.13 "Execution at Triste."

Horse trivia:  The buckskin horse ridden by Robert Lansing in this episode
was the same mount used by Doug McClure in his role as Trampas during the
first three seasons of  THE VIRGINIAN. (bj)

Return to The Classic TV Archive "The Virginian" Home Page

Return to The Classic TV Archive Western  Page
Return to The Classic TV Archive Home Page

Feedback  -  "The Virginian" Guestbook