Monday, August 13, 2007


Usually while I'm at The Lake for vacation, I wallow in classic TV Westerns on the Western Channel, which I don't have here in the City. Now that I've got the boxed set for the first season of 'Alias Smith And Jones', I didn't need to go looking for that offering (although I don't think it was available this time around). Instead I latched onto a few episodes of 'Bat Masterson' with Gene Barry as the historical figure - based more on the legend.

I didn't get to see many - the show aired at 5 pm for two episodes and the price paid for having a 2½ year old nephew just getting out of daycare each day around that time was missing the chance to see the show. But there were two episodes that gave me some fodder for Toobworld. (I'm sure there are plenty more.)

"The Court Martial of Major Mars" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Bat Masterson, and the eighty-ninth episode overall. (Information from the TVIV wiki.)

John Anderson guest-starred as Major Liam Mars. Looking at the names of the other characters in the episode, there is no indication that he was married and had a family. But Anderson was of an age at that point in his character that it was pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he had already fathered children.
If he had any sons, that Mars scion could have gone on to sire a family tree that would ultimately lead to Keith Mars and his daughter 'Veronica Mars' of Neptune, California, as well as to Federal Marshal Edward Mars, who perished after the plane crash in 'Lost'. It's strictly hypothetical, but nothing really cries out for it to be disqualified as a theory.

The other episode was "The Price Of Paradise", in which Bat Masterson visited the town of Paradise in order to collect on a debt. A highlight of the episode was seeing two actors at either end of the spectrum when it came to their careers - Richard Arlen, who starred in the first Oscar-winning movie, "Wings", played Sheriff Rainey, and a very young and beautiful Dyan Cannon appeared as Jean.

As a fictional location out West, Paradise serves very nicely as a junction in which several TV shows meet. When Paradise was little more than a mining camp just beginning to solidify itself as a town, it was ruled by a ruthless but highly superstitious sheriff by the name of Scratch Madden. (His story can be found in the 'Maverick' episode of "The Cats Of Paradise".)

After he was "removed" from office, Sheriff Rainey must have been brought in to serve as the town began to grow. And it would be after he retired that former gunslinger Ethan Cord moved to 'Paradise' to raise his late sister's three children. (The show later became known as 'Guns Of Paradise'.)

Although "The Cats Of Paradise" was an episode that featured Bret Maverick, Bat Masterson later met brother Bart Maverick in San Francisco for a high-stakes poker game in 1906, just before the Great Quake struck (as seen in "The Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw"). Soon after that, Masterson teamed up with the equally legendary Wyatt Earp (as played by Hugh O'Brian, who was also in that "Gambler" tv movie) to help out Ethan Cord in the town of Paradise. Mostly due to these two appearances, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp (as portrayed by Gene Barry and Hugh O'Brian) were inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for August of 2002, part of our salute to duos as the historical pair.

But now it seems that if ever we get around to a salute to locations, Paradise may be eligible as well.....

Toby OB

"Who knows?
If I behave myself and lead the good life,
I might just end up in Paradise
'Bat Masterson'

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