CTVA - The Virginian 8.02 [203] "A Flash of Darkness" 24-Sept-1969

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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8.02 [203]
"A Flash Of Darkness"

Original NBC Broadcast - 24 September 1969

Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by Paul Freeman
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Joseph Pevney

(shown on the ride-in)
John McIntire as Clay Grainger
Doug McClure as Trampas
Tim Matheson as Jim Horn
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger (not in this episode)
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Star
James Whitmore [Carl Kabe]
Introducing Pamela McMyler as Ginny Kabe

Full ending credits:
Berkeley Harris as George Kabe
Richard Evans as Tom Kabe
Harper Flaherty as Harper
Associate Producers Robert Van Scoyk
                                John Choy
Music Score Leonard Rosenman
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Enzo A. Martinelli
(some nice use of long shots to convey aloneness)
Art Director  . . .  William J. Kenney
Set Decorations  . . .  John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Unit Manager  . . .  Henry Kline
Assistant Director  . . .   George Bisk
Film Editor  . . .  Richard M. Sprague
Music Supervision  . . .  Stanley Wilson
Sound  . . .   Earl N. Crain, Jr.
Color Coordinator  . . .  Robert Brower
Titles and Optical Effects Universal Title
Editorial Supervision  . . .  Richard Belding
Costumes by  . . .  Helen Colvig
Makeup  . . .  Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist  . . .  Larry Germain
The Title "THE VIRGINIAN" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
  The Virginian, Trampas, Jim, Harper,
with brief appearances by Clay Grainger, Cecil, and Dick

Carl Kabe (Whitmore) had signed on a Shiloh horse drive with his two sons,
but his lazy attitude and refusal to follow orders
irritates the Virginian.  Kabe decides to quit and wants his wages, but the
foreman reminds him of the conditions of the drive--stay on til the end and
get paid. The angry Kabe says things have a
way of getting even, and he and his sons ride out.  Now shorthanded the
Virginain informs the rest of the men they'll herd the horses down the river
bank. His Appaloosa had "pulled up lame," so the ramrod takes a bay from the
remuda and leaves to scout ahead and look for strays.  While chasing some
horses through the river bottom the bay falls, and the Virginian hits his
head on a rock.  When he regains consciousness he is unable to see.   Lost
and alone, the foreman stumbles
through the rocks and water until he finally hears a dog barking in the
distance.  Following the sound he arrives at a cabin where tom boy Ginny
(McMyler) shoots at him and warns him to leave. However, soon convinced that
the Virginian really is blind Ginny takes him into the house
and tends to his head wound.  Trampas
begins to be concerned when the foreman doesn't return and won't settle
for the explanations that he's ahead of the herd or has gone to look for new
hands.  Even though they're in a hurry to get the horses back to Shiloh
Trampas tells Harper to hold the men there until they find
the Virginian then takes Jim with him to search for his missing friend.
Soon Ginny's family returns home--it's Kabe and his sons bringing with
them several stolen Shiloh horses.
Ginny helps protect the Virginian from her brothers who want to kill him,
standing up to her father reminding him of the importance of
respectibility.  The Virginian is grateful for her assistance and she in
turn for his-- for reasons only a "woman understands."

Comment on the Virginian:  Unlike many of the stories which give the
impression the Virginian is the strong silent type who "doesn't need
anybody" (4.10 "Beyond the Border) and "a man who
values his privacy and independence" (7.26 "The Stranger") this episode
shows us another side to this character in an excellent performance
by James Drury.  After being blinded in the fall the Virginian does try
to make it on his own along the river bank.  But having no
success he fires his gun and yells for Trampas,
hoping his friend will be close enough to hear him.
When he comes to Kabe's house he is noticeably frightened and
asks Ginny not to shoot him because he can't see.  Later, safe in the cabin,
he tells Ginny he is glad she helped him because he was
"beginning to feel awful lonely out there."  When Trampas and Jim do locate
the foreman (after Kabe, at Ginny's insistance, had saved him from
being trampled by the horses in the corral) and Trampas asks, "Are you all
right," the Virginian, in an unusual show of emotion,
embrases Trampas in relief.

Horse trivia: The Virginian called his Appaloosa "Jody" in this episode.
In others he refers to the horse as "Joe" (7.20 The Land Dreamer"). (bj)

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