One thing you'll have to grant this show. It doesn't promise very much, and it certainly doesn't deliver a whole lot, but it's got a terrific premise. In fact it's got the longest premise of the season. This is that there are two bad guys who have now become good guys. Through a friend, who has become sheriff, they've got a promise of amnesty from the governor--if, and here is the nub, they can stay out of more trouble. During this probationary period, the premise continues, they are constantly bounded by three things: (a) bounty hunters who want to turn them in, (b) bounders who are quick to blame them for any crime in the vicinity and (c) the evil that still lurks unwittingly--even occasionally witting--their good-little-bad-guy hearts.
Another thing you'll have to grant is that the two principals are fine actors who deserve not only better treatment but also better finished scripts. These are Jed "Kid" Curry, alias Thaddeus Jones, alias Ben Murphy; and Hannibal Heyes, alias Joshua Smith, alias Pete Duel. Mr. Duel, whom you'll remember from Love on a Rooftop, has a particularly engaging smile. Alias Smith and Jones also has a plethora of guest stars--first show, for example, giving us Burl Ives, Cesar Romero and Edward Andrews, and the second Pernell Roberts, Susan Strasberg and Slim Pickens. But that is about all we can say. The basic trouble seems to be that the only real suspense you have is whether or not you're going to believe anything and, if so, for how long. We realize you're not meant to believe it; still, we want to believe, honest we do.
Our favorite episode so far was one in
which our heroes, posing as "Grant" and "Gaines,"
two private agents hired to thwart a train robbery, catch a train
to Brimstone which is not only loaded with (a) gold and (b) hired
guns, but also with (c) Sara Blaine (Beth Brickell), a Southern
belle who is supposed to be on board because she is the only one
who can put the finger on Grant as Heyes alias Smith alias Duel,
and on Gaines as Curry alias Jones alias Murphy as leaders of
the Devil's Hole Gang. but is actually working to get the gold
for herself. At the crucial moment, Grant and Gaines not only
ward off that old gang of theirs but also manage to convince the
Southern belle's side-kick (William Windom) that they are not
Heyes and Curry or Smith and Jones or even Grant and Gaines, but
that they are so secret that they are a secret even to the actual
chief of the private eyes (J.D. Cannon). Alas and alack, it was
one too many aliases for us. But just the same, we did try not
to believe that we had to believe.
Back to Articles List