In the TV.com forums occasionally someone will post the topic Best/Favorite TV villain. And, like clockwork, the Buffy and Angel fans will emerge from their dank caves to overrun the thread with their favorite villain from those two schlock series. But don't you believe them. I tell you it's a lie and I can prove it. All you have to do is watch The Sound of Fear, an episode from the first season of the frontier drama Daniel Boone. Watch the performance of veteran film noir actor Dan Duryea as Simon Perigore. Duryea is a real villain not some cartoon freak from Buffy or Angel.
The storyline of The Sound of Fear begins with Daniel Boone and his Native American sidekick, Mingo, entering a Cherokee village where every inhabitant except one old lady has been slaughtered for their scalps. This butchery is the work of one Simon Perigore and his band of cutthroats. Daniel and Mingo apprehend Perigore and send him back to Virginia for trial and an almost certain hanging. Put when Perigore's goons intercept the militia party taking him to the hangman, the fun really begins.
Dan Duryea's character is shrewd, intelligent, articulate, and a doting father. He's also one of the nastiest mothers to ever grace a television screen and gets my vote for the nastiest villain in Daniel Boone history. All you young thespians out there should also take notice of Duryea's performance. That's how you play a villain.
Besides Duryea, you there's also the trio of Robert Wilke, Jack Elam, and Jacques Aubuchon, three character actors from that era who lend fine support. So does Peter Duryea, Dan's real life son, who plays the son of Simon Perigore. The son who's unknowing of what a monster his father is and also serves as his Achilles heel. For it's also the ending of The Sound of Fear that is classic. Simon Perigore, a man worthy of Satan himself, suffers a retribution that is to him perhaps a fate worse than death.
Be sure and catch this one when the series comes out on DVD in September.