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Joe Bean was a frontiersman who knew Pasquinel.
Clint Walker barely had five minutes of screen time in 'Centennial', even though he was one of the biggest (literally!) TV Western stars in the past. I think he was brought in for the star power he lent to the production early in its schedule, when all the series had going for it at the time was Robert Conrad, Richard Chamberlain, and Raymond Burr. None of them were slouches, but far from enough for an audience to invest the time in the story at that early stage.