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Gunsmoke: Twelfth Night
Episode 16, Season 3

compared to radio version...
This episode ran on radio on December 25, 1955, so also a Christmas story. Almost exactly the same plot and characters. Dialogue was also mostly identical. John Dehner and Vic Perrin played the 2 feuding hillbillies. Helen Kleeb was Mrs. Monger. Music director Rex Coury played some snatches of Christmas music at the end of the episode, which I didn't hear on the "Marshal Dillon" version, but maybe it got trimmed out when it was repackaged. I prefer the radio version, but it's nice to hear and see another reading, and my goodness, since John Dehner was in virtually every episode on radio, it's really good NOT to see him in an episode or two on TV.

You can hear it at: http://www.archive.org/details/GUNSMOKE03

Bat Masterson: Incident in Leadville
Episode 22, Season 1

Bat's brush with reality
"Incident in Leadville" is among the better scripts in Bat Masterson's first season, a fairly thoughtful exploration of violence, particularly notable for Bat's (Gene Barry) appeal to the pretty lady publisher (Kathleen Crowley) and the explanation of his "code:"

Jo Hart: "Are your gun and stick just there for show? Or do you really use them?"

Bat: "Oh I use them all right... But I make sure before I use my gun, I use this first, (holding up his cane) just in case I've made a mistake. One is temporary, the other, final."

Just to prove the point that he is a principled and reluctant killer, Bat sticks up for kids and women, beats up bullies and kills a famous gunfighter (after warning him to stay out of his way.)

As is occasionally the case in the first season, there are allusions to the real-life Bat Masterson. For instance, Bat explains to Jo Hart that the man she accuses him of killing in cold blood, was the murderer of Ed Masterson, who was in fact, his brother, Buffalo hunting partner and later marshal with him in Dodge City. Then, at the end of the episode, Jo Hart gives him his first byline as a reporter, after which he remarks he now has "printer's ink in his blood," but he is not yet ready to give up his adventuring in the West to settle down. Of course, the real Bat Masterson became a newspaper writer in the West and later a sports columnist in New York.

The Rifleman: Death Trap
Episode 33, Season 3

Spin off?
This episode smells like a possible spin off, but I have not seen any reference to the character of Dr. Simon Battle anywhere else. Too bad: a series about Dr. Battle and his daughter could have been interesting, like Dr Quinn Medicine Woman was later on. Seems to me there was a radio show about a gunfighter/doctor but I can't remember the title. Levy-Gardner-Laven would have to be satisfied with yet another single parent in the Old West: Victoria Barkley and her brood in The Big Valley. Anyway, Philip Carey cuts quite a figure as the former gunfighter turned healer and Gigi Perreau as the daughter is cute in an early juvenile role. Mark McCain's attraction to her is a little odd, given she is obviously a couple years older than him, which he subsequently discovers to his dismay.

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