Sunday, August 4, 2013


With the announcement of the death of Michael Ansara, I decided to check out his TV series 'Law Of The Plainsman' in which he played Sam Buckhart, an Apache serving as a U.S. Marshal who had a Harvard degree.

At least five episodes sparked my interest in televisiology.  Throughout the month I'll be showcasing each of them on the weekends.  

Today we'll be watching "The Matriarch".  There's nothing outwardly special about this episode, except for the always welcome presence of Denver Pyle in the cast.

But here in the video's description, and at the Classic TV Archives (Link at the left for the CTVA), it's claimed that British actor Patrick Troughton is in the cast.

From the CTVA:
[21] Law of The Plainsman: THE MATRIARCH
18Feb60 NBC Thur
  Written by: Teddi Sherman
Directed by: Arthur D. Hilton
Starring: Michael Ansara
Guest Cast:
Lynn Bari ..................... Constance Valeri
Denver Pyle ................... Burke
Alan Reed ..................... Dey Valeri
Michael Hinn .................. Hodie Carver
Patrick Troughton
Constance Valeri claims that she shot a ranch hand, but Sam Buckhart is suspicious of her confession.

Here's a more complete cast listing from YouTube:

Michael Ansara as Sam Buckhart
Lynn Bari as Constance Vateri
Michael Hinn as Hodie Carver
Robert F. Hoy as September Smith
Patricia Huston as Greta Lane
Michael T. Miller as Link Carver
Denver Pyle as Burke Carew
Alan Reed Jr. as Dev Valeri
Patrick Troughton

Oh, my giddy aunt!  When I read that, my hearts each skipped a beat!


In case you don't want to watch it yourself, I checked - Troughton is nowhere to be seen in the episode.  

But this being the wistful, fanciful world of the Toobworld Dynamic, I'd like to dabble in a bit o' Wish-Craft.  Not only would I like to think Troughton is in the episode, but that he was there as the Second Incarnation of the Doctor.  (Of course!)

Why would he be in Valeriville?  Probably on some adventure totally unrelated to the events seen here in the episode and his path never crossed with that of Sam Buckhart.  Perhaps he was trying to bring Victoria back to her own time period in Victorian London, but as usual the TARDIS brought them someplace else.

But if Patrick Troughton was in the episode at all, then he had to be in this scene near the end - when many of the townsfolk are gathered on the main street:

At this point in time in the real world, Troughton's career was too well established in British television.  There would have been no reason for him to travel all the way to America simply to be one of the atmosphere people in a single Western episode.

But dealing in reality is no fun.  Let's go back to imagining that the Doctor really was there!

In fact, I think we might even claim that the man in black in the background towards the left, in front of that flight of stairs with the woman in white, could be the 2nd Doctor.  And the woman in white?  Perhaps it's Victoria Waterfield.  (I suppose Jamie MacCrimmon was back at the TARDIS.)

Anyway, today's edition of the Classic Television Theater is the first in a month-long series celebrating Michael Ansara's role as Sam Buckhart.  I hope you'll enjoy "The Matriarch", even if Patrick Troughton isn't in it.


1 comment:

sunspots said...

Whatever happened to "Broken Arrow"?