Friday, August 27, 2010


Every so often, we find an actor who plays similarly-themed characters in Toobworld and we can't resist the temptation to combine them and claim that they're all the same man (or woman, as was the recent blog post with the many roles played in TV Westerns by Adele Mara.)

Today's challenge involves the characters played by Benny Baker; and since we're still in a TV Western frame of mind as the month of August winds down, we're focusing only on those to be found out West. He was first seen in the "true" pilot for 'Maverick': "Point Blank", as the bartender/owner of the Golden Chance Saloon in Bent Forks. (The town only exists in Toobworld, it appears.) He was identified as Mike Brill, but I think his full name was Peter Michael Brill, as will be splained later.

Mike Brill took a liking to Bret Maverick when they first met. So when the tall dark stranger was arrested after a scuffle with a guy named Moose, Mike put up the bail and offered Maverick a chance to pay it off by working as a spotter at the games played in his saloon. Not long after Bret Maverick finally left town, Mike Brill decided it was time to pull up stakes in Bent Forks and find his fortune elsewhere on the frontier. With the money he gained from selling the Golden Chance Saloon, Mr. Brill set himself up as a storekeeper in another town.

It was there that he met Tom Brewster, a frontier lawyer known by the nickname of 'Sugarfoot'. I'm not familiar with the particulars of the situation, but he may have been involved in the illegal purchase of "Guns For Big Bear", a local Pawnee chief. According to most descriptions of the episode I've found, Tom thought he was driving a wagonload of supplies to the Pawnee village, without knowing it was really illegal contraband. Benny Baker is listed as playing either a salesman or a storekeeper, and in either capacity he could have been involved with the shipment. Again, I'm not familiar with the details of that story yet, but as Bret Maverick would say, "I'm working on it....."

If Peter M. Brill did survive that situation, he may have felt that it would be a good idea to hightail it out while he could. But he may have found the temptation for ill-gotten gains to irresistable, and as such he was eventually drawn to Fort Courage, Kansas. There he found it safer to work for Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke at the saloon in town as the bartender, rather than to be the boss himself. And this time, he figured it would be a good idea to hide in plain sight by going by his first name of "Pete"...... I'm not suggesting Peter Michael Brill for candidacy to be a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame just yet. First I have to watch that episode of 'Sugarfoot' to see if he qualifies. But at any rate, I thought this made a nice character profile from the "Tele-Folks Directory" to run during August....

'F Troop'


No comments: