THE VIRGINIAN: THE CHALLENGE (1966, USA) ***
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don McDougall; w. Joy Dexter, Harry Kronman (based on a story by Joy Dexter); exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Joel Rogosin; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Michael R. McAdam; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 19 October 1966; r/t. 75m.
cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Dan Duryea (Ben Crayton), Don Galloway (Jim Tyson), Michael Burns (Bobby Crayton), Barbara Anderson (Sarah Crayton), Ed Peck (Sheriff Milt Hayle), Bing Russell (Sam Fuller), Hal Bokar (Hank Logan), Grant Woods (Walt Sturgess), Clay Tanner (Station Agent), Byron Keith (Dr. Manning), Clyde Howdy (Marshal Coons), Lew Brown (Deputy Hart Ellis).
(s. 5 ep. 6) After a stagecoach holdup and accident, Trampas (McClure) stumbles into a farm with a concussion and amnesia. The farmer (Duryea) and his two kids (Anderson and Burns) tend to Trampas but the white-handled gun he is carrying puts him into danger from the law and the outlaws. Loss of memory and implication in some crime is a well-worn plot device, so there are not many surprises in this familiar tale. The story is tight and well-acted by a strong cast, with McClure getting to explore his range a bit more. It is competently made and the story retains interest throughout. Galloway and Anderson (here making her TV debut) would go on to work together on the popular crime drama Ironside (1967-75).