User Score: 335
Maverick's main horse on the series was named "El Loaner."
A camel is seen in this episode. The U.S. Cavalry actually did experiment with using camels in the desert regions of the old west during the 19th century.
The opening credits show the title as Hostage but the end credits show the title to be Hostage!. That closing exclamation point causes this episode to be erroneously listed many places with the exclamation point added.
Unlike many western stars of the day, such as, Clint Walker in Cheyenne and Robert Conrad in The Wild, Wild West, James Garner tended to keep his shirt on in Maverick. But here, he's put on rare "bare" display as, stripped to the waist, he enters the squared circle against the mighty "Battling Krueger".
This episode, which takes place in 1876, functions mostly as Jack Kelly's first solo appearance although James Garner appears briefly in the opening and closing scenes. It is the only episode where Garner makes a cameo appearance in a Jack Kelly episode, although Kelly would make several cameos in James Garner episodes.
This episode's theme is based upon Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Wrecker.
The cargo ship Bart and Bret purchased in this episode is named the "Flying Scud" based on a real ship by the same name, only that vessel was a fast clipper ship, first launched from Maine in 1853.
Bret: Lady Macbeth was an ingénue compared to this one.
Bret is referencing the noblewoman who compelled her husband to commit regicide in Shakespeare's Macbeth.
James Garner does appear in this episode, but only in a vignette at the beginning of the show to introduce the story. His voice is heard providing the narration over the opening and closing scenes.
This episode takes place in Virginia City, Nevada, the same setting as the NBC western Bonanza.
James Garner makes an uncredited appearance in a vignette at the beginning of the episode to introduce the story, though he is not seen in the episode.
James Garner is seen only at the beginning of this episode, performing a brief card trick and explaining that this week's story is factually based on "the great diamond swindle that shook the financial world of San Francisco in the 1870's." Apparently, the purpose of Garner's little introductions was to ease the public into accepting the idea that Jack Kelly would be appearing alone every other week as Bart Maverick.
Bret: He's got enough horses in his remuda to mount a regiment - forty or fifty men who treat him like king of the mountain.
A remuda is the herd of saddle horses which ranch hands choose their mounts for the day from.
James Garner again appears in a vignette at the beginning of the episode to introduce the story.
It is revealed in this episode that both Maverick brothers were taken prisoner by Union forces while serving in the Confederate Army. Southern captives, in order to get out of prison camp, sometimes became Galvanized Yankees (their surface, or uniform, changed - but underneath, the steel of their loyalty remained true). Because such soldiers were distrusted, they were often assigned to garrison forts far from Civil War battlefields. The Maverick boys served their Union time fighting against the Plains Indians.
Discontinuity : In this episode we learn that the Maverick brothers hail from the town of Little Ben, Texas - which appears to be located somewhere in the central or western part of the state. Yet in future episodes, both brothers mention that they hailed from the eastern part of Texas. It's also stated that they cannot return to the Lone Star state because of a pending murder charge, yet in subsequent seasons they make several forays into Texas.
Furthermore, in a later episode it's revealed that Bret Maverick was born in 1847, which would make both brothers seem rather young to have served in the Civil War. One final oddity : while part of this episode takes place in their hometown, the boys oft-quoted Pappy is never even mentioned in the dialogue.
Ruta Lee sings "Virtue is its Own Reward".
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