Season 2 Episode 16


Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Jan 11, 1959 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Bret runs afoul of a small town marshal as he searches for something or other has a choice. Leave town or face off against the town marshal.

    I write this as less a review than a pleasant memory.
    The original Maverick (as opposed to The New Maverick) hit the airwaves September 22, 1957 on ABC (then the network rated in third place out of three). It was a time when the westerns genre dominated Prime Time. The premier series of television was Gunsmoke on CBS.

    Maverick was another product from Warner Bothers Television. And oh yes! It was filmed in Black and White. The star was a relative unknown actor, James Garner. Jack Kelly was still half a season away.

    Maverick was different than the stereotype western hero, He as a gambler, not a sheriff, He went out of his way to avoid a fight rather than relishing the battle. He avoided gun play, seldom even carrying a handgun. He lived with his wits as he traveled the west with a thousand dollar bill pinned to and inside of his coat (for emergencies) and the advice from his "old pappy".

    I was a freshman in high school and we never missed Sunday night, which to my family was "Maverick Night".

    In January of 1959, the middle of season two, the previews of the next weeks show foreshadowed tragedy. Cowardly Maverick was facing off against a Marshall Dillon (of Gunsmoke) type town marshal. The marshal draws and fires three shots. There ended the preview.

    In a time where there were no TV critics to provide spoilers this preview was the talk my age group at school. How were they going to get Maverick out of this fix?

    The night on January 11 my family was watching the show began with the same scene. In a classic face-off Maverick faces the marshal who draws and fires three times.

    After a few seconds Maverick call out: "should I stand a little closer marshal?"

    I have never seen this episode in reruns and it is not available in DVD (being black and white) but in my memory the realization that Maverick was presenting a satire of the staid and stuffy Gunsmoke entertained and delighted me. (As well as my family and all the kids at school). I don't actually remember what else was in the plot except that in the end Maverick allows himself to be "run out of town" so that Marshal Mort could regain his confidence.

    Oh yes! The script was written by Marion Hargrove, which would not mean much to younger members but in 1959 he was well remembered for an irreverent treatment of life in the army during World War II titled "See Here Private Hargrove". My father and mother's generation remembered him kindly.
  • Hilarious Gunsmoke parody.

    One of the things which made Maverick such a great show was that it never took itself too seriously and wasn't afraid to parody the genre of which it was a member. Yet it always did these parodies in a respectful manner as witness the ending of this episode. In Gun Shy, fellow classic Western Gunsmoke gets the parody treatment in this hilarious send-up which finds Bret Maverick and various others looking for hidden loot in a town resembling Dodge City and having to deal with a Town Marshal who resembles Matt Dillon.