Thursday, August 11, 2011


You may not remember - Hell! You may not even be reading this now! - but I confessed that I could only hold out for so long before I invoked 'Quantum Leap' technology as a splainin for why some particular actor kept appearing on 'The Rifleman' again and again and again.

Well, it will happen, but I'm hoping to use it for only one actor, not for all of those who were, shall we say, repeat offenders. For those others, I hope I can provide other splainins.

For example:

Jack Elam - Hooked on demonics!

Glenn Strange - Despite being addressed by different names on several occasions, all of his stagecoach drivers were the same guy.

Dabbs Greer - Dabbs was one of my all-time favorite character actors and so I decided that if anybody was going to get the 'Quantum Leap' treatment, it should be him.

Peter Whitney - Here was a great character actor who - through make-up and talent - made it unlikely any of his characters could be related, let alone the same man by another name.

Lawrence Dobkin - Here's another example in which the use of make-up makes his characters distinct from each other.

John Anderson - I've got a spiffy theory of relateeveety which will connect just about all of characters believably.

John Milford - An alien race from 'Doctor Who' is responsible for all of his characters being the same man - even those who got killed off. (And that was pretty much all of them.)

Richard Devon - This one has me stumped. I can combine a few of them into one person, but beyond that, I don't think I could make the case that they were even related to each other. Despite his very distinct features, this may be a case where the Richard Devon characters were distinct individuals with no connection to each other.

Richard Anderson - This is another problematic one. I can't claim they were all the same person, because some of them were good guys while others were not. Some got killed in their episodes. But the biggest Zonk is - Lucas McCain knew several of them in the past..... How come he never noticed the resemblance between them?

Joe E. Benson - This would be a challenge! Mr. Benson appeared in the most episodes of 'The Rifleman' - at least 21! Some of them might be the same townsperson, while others were definitely unconnected individuals, like the "angel" of "Baranca". But the others? Maybe they were all the same guardian angel, always being present for Mark McCain. (As all of the Mike Lally characters on 'Columbo' were the Lieutenant's guardian angel.)

Hopefully all of these will work out. Let's see - I'll definitely be writing up reports on the characters played by Greer, Strange, Elam, Milford, and Anderson. Stay tuned.....



PDXWiz said...

Ooo! Ooo! Two possibilities for some of Richard Anderson's characters, but it depends on the character's fate, of course.

1) It was Oscar Goldman involved in a time travel experiment for the OSI, before he became head of the agency, when he was still a field agent (useful if he was a good guy and lived).

2) It was his character from The Night Strangler, the second Kolchak pilot film, who was active in this era. If you haven't seen this, I'd have to explain further.

Gordon Long

PDXWiz said...

And I can't wait to see all of your reports on these characters! :)


Toby O'B said...

I forgot about the Night Strangler; and there is a good character to fit him, in the episode "Flowers By The Door".....

Thanks, Gordon!