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Original NBC Broadcast - 1 March 1967
Executive Producer Frank Price
Produced By Winston Miller
Written By True Boardman
Directed By Don McDougall
(Shown on the ride-in)
Charles Bickford as John Grainger (not in this episode)
Doug McClure as Trampas (not in this episode)
Clu Gulager as Emmett Ryker (not in this episode)
Don Quine as Stacey Grainger
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger (not in this episode)
James Drury as The Virginian
Jill Donahue as Doctor Patricia O'Neill
Mari Blanchard as Marie Coulter
Full ending credits:
John Bryant as Doctor Spalding
Donald Barry as Charles Coulter
Jean Inness as Mrs. Anderson
Walter Coy as Mr. Bates
Jacqueline Mayo as Nora Spalding
Bobby Buntrock as Tim Bates
Ed Prentiss as Jensen
Michael St. Angel as Roy Parker
Kathleen O'Malley as Katy Anderson
Dennis McCarthy as Hal Collins
Director of Photography
Enzo A. Martinelli
Art Director . . . George Patrick
Film Editor . . . John Elias
Unit Manager . . . Abby Singer
Assistant Director . . . George Bisk
Set Decorators . . . John McCarthy and Hal Overall
Sound . . . Melvin M. Metcalf, SR.
Color Coordinator . . . Robert Brower
Editorial Supervision . . . Richard Belding
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Costume Supervision . . . Vincent Dee
Makeup . . . Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist . . . Larry Germain
The Title "The Virginian"
by Permission of EMKA, LTD.
Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
"Before she testifies there's something I'd like to say. I don't know what
you may have heard here today, what you have already in your minds, but I
can tell you this. I was there when, Dr. O'Neill made the decision to
operate on Mrs. Anderson. She knew the risk she was taking, and she took
it. The easy way would have been to let her patient die in agony. And now
I want to ask you a question. Would this hearing, ever had been held, if
Pat O'Neill weren't a woman? Doc Spalding has lost patients, every doctor
has. So, just lets all of us, be sure exactly what it is that's on trial
here today. Is it the facts, or our prejudices?" ~~The Virginian~~
A new doctor arrives in Medicine Bow to assist Doc Spalding, leaving the
entire town battling with their prejudices and deep-rooted fears, including
Doc Spalding, because they won't allow Doctor Pat, who happens to be a
woman, to do her job by practicing her profession.
When the people of Medicine Bow finally allow Doctor Pat to see them for their
medical needs, Doc Spalding and his wife, Nora, feel comfortable enough to take a
long overdue vacation to Cheyenne. One night as the Virginian and Pat are leaving her
office to go to supper, Mrs. Anderson walks into her office with her
daughter-in-law who is having terrible stomach pain. After her examination,
Doctor Pat tells Mrs. Anderson her daughter-in-law, Katy Anderson, needs surgery and
right away. Her appendix is infected and may burst. Hesitating briefly,Mrs. Anderson gives her
consent. Doctor Pat tells the Virginian she needs his help administering the
anesthetic, chloroform through a mask, which is still very new. Although the surgery
is successful, the woman dies an hour later due to the unknown fact that her
appendix had already burst before surgery. A coroner's inquest is called and
Deputy Ryker wires Doc Spalding who returns to Medicine Bow with Nora on the next train.
After waiting an hour, the inquest is called to order but without the person
who's reputation is on trial~Doctor Pat!
The Virginian and Deputy Ryker begin to search for her by stopping at the
boarding house where she is living. They find out from the woman who runs
the boarding house that she heard some noises during the night and that
Doctor Pat is not in her room.
Doctor Pat is tricked into going to an old abandoned shack late at night by
Marie Coulter, the woman she met on the train to Medicine Bow, by telling
her Charles, her
husband, has been shot. When she walks into the shack,
Charles greets her and answers her surprised look by telling her his
half-brother Roy has a bullet that needs to be removed. Before she does,
she hears a kicking sound and they open a door and show her Mr. Jensen, the
banker, who is bound and gagged.
The next morning Roy, the man who Doctor Pat removed the bullet from,
instructs Charles to tie Pat up. The three bank robbers, Roy, Charles, and
Marie, leave the cabin. Faking he needs help mounting his horse, Charles
gets down from the buggy and starts to help Roy mount when Roy pulls
Charles' gun out of his holster and aims it at Charles, insisting they leave
no one who can identify them.
Charles and Marie don't like that idea at all and try to talk him out of it
saying they aren't murderers but Roy doesn't listen. He aims his gun at them and
slowly backs his way to the cabin door when he is stopped suddenly by a
bullet that comes so close to hitting him it sends chips flying from the
cabin doorway. Roy fires back and is killed by the Virginian who has quietly
ridden up. Marie quickly assures him Doctor Pat is fine.
Back in town, Doctor Pat enters the inquest and gives her testimony telling
the Judge and the jury if she had to do it over again she would do the exact same thing.
At the train station Doctor Pat is preparing to board the eastbound train to
return to work side by side with the great Dr. Keller who has asked her to be his assistant.
Now Doc Spalding is sad to loose his top associate but tells her he would do
the same thing. Studying under Dr. Keller is quite an honor.
The Virginian is also sad to see Pat leaving but confesses he would do the
same thing if he were in her position but reminds her that, "The door is always open." [ARL]
After helping Doctor Pat with the Bates boy's shoulder, the Virginian, proud
full of himself, calls to Stacey as he sashays up to the wagon saying,
"Hey, do you know
who that was? Doctor Patricia O'Neill." Stacey thinking to himself begins,
"Where have I heard...now you don't mean..." Smiling, the Virginian
repeats Doc Spalding's words, "top man of the class", to which Stacey
chuckles, "what do you know."
The Virginian walks into the restaurant the same night of Pat's arrival and
upon seeing her, asks if he can sit with her. Pat tells the Virginian she
was reading papers of Doc Spalding's patients hoping they would become her
patients in the future. The Virginian surmises, "You've seen Doc Spalding?"
"Yes," replies Pat. After a brief pause she lightly accuses him saying,
"You knew didn't you?" With a fake look of surprise on his face he succumbs to
her and confesses that he knew. She chides him slightly telling him he
could have told her Doc Spalding was expecting a man. Still amused and with
a boyish smile on his face, he tells her he didn't want to spoil the
pleasure of the surprise, quickly adding, "for him." Caught in his own
words Pat, well aware of his meaning, says, "You, I must say, are a
gentlemanly liar." The Virginian laughs that short laugh that is unique to
him. When asked by Pat what he would say, he stumbles over his words
saying, "you acted very much like a doctor who knew his business, ur, I mean her business.
The letter from Dr. Keller to Doc Spalding: 'You asked if I have one
outstanding student to meet your needs out there. Certainly Pat O'Neill
fills the bill. Number one in this year's class, thoroughly trained, and
completely devoted to medicine. That describes Pat to a T. My
recommendation is unqualified as ever. James M. Keller, M.D.'
We learn about some of the drugs available during this time. Doc Spalding
recites what he learned from Dr. Keller~ "Nostrums that come and go,
remember the indispensable six: Laudanum, calomel, quinine, ipecac,
antimony, and camphor." Doc Spalding was from the old school having
graduated 15 years before, and wasn't open to
learning about the new discoveries on digitalis. Used in small quantities it was proven safe.
Also, a new mask for the use of chloroform to keep the patient asleep during surgery.
Several drops every few minutes kept the patient asleep. This was the
Virginian's task during Katy Anderson's operation.
The use of several commas in the Virginian's opening words of the synopsis,
denotes the pauses he uses in expressing his thoughts and are not errors on the writers part.
Notes of inconsistency:
In this episode we see the sign on the doctor's office door reads Carl
Spalding. Compare with episode 3.28 "Old Cowboy" where the sign reads R.M.
Spaulding and 6.23 "Stacey" where it reads R.J. Spaulding.
You can see Jean Inness (Mrs. Anderson), in the episode 7.25 "Fox, Hound, and the Widow McCloud". [ARL]
Jill Donahue may also be seen in 6.07 "Ah Sing, Vs. Wyoming" and 6.18 "With Help From Ulysses"
Look for veteran actor Donald "Red" Barry in 1.24 "The Golden Door," 4.04 "The Claim," and 7.02 "Silver Image"
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