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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Maverick's main horse on the series was named "El Loaner."