Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 6

Gambini The Great

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 09, 1981 on NBC
3.8
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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In the wake of a frightening near-death experience, ruthless daredevil "Gambini the Great" agrees with his wife's advice to retire, but when his oldest son refuses to carry on the family business, Gambini disowns him, then chooses to maintain the position until his younger son is old enough to take over. The next stop for Gambini's act is Walnut Grove, and as they practice in town, Willie and Albert are both influenced by the shocking stunts that they witness. Albert's thoughtless disregard for his own safety prompts Charles to take action, but nothing can stop Gambini from making his own decisions for his family, and as the night of the big show draws near, everyone is about to learn a painful lesson.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Roll out the Walnut Grove "circus music"...again...and then throw in a sprinkle of Italian accents, a pinch of star-eyed townsfolk, and an overdose of bad acting, and you have a recipe for a particularly bad LHOP episode!moreless

    2.3
    I can not believe that this episode was allowed to air. It's embarassing, gimmicky, and cliched. The circus is in town...AGAIN...and it's run by an aging, overzealous has-been who has disowned his own child for not following in his footsteps but glimpses potential in Albert (Pete Ellerbee in Season Seven's "Fight Team Fight!" anyone?) Albert manages to get himself nearly killed and meanwhile sasses Pa a couple times before deliberately defying him, Harriet Oleson is starstruck over the performers, and an out-of-shape geriatric ignores common sense and breaks a promise to his wife (remember Season Six's "The King is Dead"?) to relive his glory days in this loose copycat of Houdini.moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

James Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Robert Torti

Robert Torti

Stefano Gambini

Guest Star

Sean McGaughey

Sean McGaughey

2nd Townsman

Guest Star

Martha Nix

Martha Nix

Amy

Guest Star

Carl Pitti

Carl Pitti

1st Townsman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Gambini escapes from being tied up in the creek and is under water for over a minute, he finally breaks the surface and walks up to the praise of the on-lookers. Note that he isn't breathing hard, nor does he appear overexerted in any way.

    • Actress Martha Nix plays a sweet, quiet new student named Amy in this episode. Amy is never seen again, but Nix also appeared three years ago, in Season 5's The Sound of Children, as a girl named Holly. Ironically, in that Season 5 episode, Nix's character was a little girl who had a huge crush on the older Albert, but he wasn't interested. Now, in this episode, it's Albert who really likes her, and although she's nice to him, she's not all that lovestruck.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Stephen Manley, who portrays Marco here, went on to play a teenaged Mr. Spock in the movieStar Trek III: The Search for Spock.

    • Jeri Taylor is better known for shaping the Star Trek Universe with her work on The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. She even wrote the "bible" on Captain Janeway with her "Offical" Star Trek novel-Pathways & Mosaic.

    • This episode makes a strong statement about hero worship -- worshipping entertainers (such as Gambini) vs. following the paths of true heroes (i.e., Dr. Baker).

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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