The Big Valley (1965–1969)

The Buffalo Man (25 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode   |  TV-PG   |    |  Western

The Buffalo Man (1967) Poster

Convict labor is used at the ranch during harvest time. The men are treated sadistically by their guard, especially an ex-slave who served in a special unit during the Civil War.


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25 October 2012 | kfo9494
| A nice watch made better by the above par acting
In this episode we are again reminded that the Barkleys are progressive in the prison reform laws as another tale of mistreated convicts is the lead plot. I would not be surprised to learn that someone in the production company or writer has someone in prison that they feel is being mistreated and led to write stories concerning near innocent convicts and brutal and savage prison guards. But I digress and will get back to review of this fairly nice story.

A disease is going around with the usual harvest pickers that the Barkleys employ so they have the pull to call the State Prison and are sent three convicts to help with the harvest of oranges. Within the first two minutes of the show we know that the convicts are mild meek men while the one prison guard , played really well by Albert Salmi, is a brute that has nothing better to do than beat the prisoners every chance he gets.

The plot centers around the black convict named Damien (Yaphet Kotto)who use to be assigned to the Buffalo Unit during the war. After being beaten by the guard he is befriended by Audra after her small colt becomes sick.

When the guard is shot by one of the other convicts after the guard poisoned Audra's colt, the prisoners now have a chance to escape. With Victoria and Audra looking on, Damien has to choose either to run or face a possible parole hearing made possible by Jarrod.

The acting in this episode was above par. From the prison guard to Yaphet Kotto as the convict, the actors brought the character to life. The subject matter that nearly all convicts are angels and guards evil devils was troubling=== but the episode, on it own merit, was a good watch.

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