Season 1 Episode 16

Tampico Raid

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Jan 03, 1960 on NBC
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Episode Summary

Tampico Raid

A group of volunteer teachers who have gone to the island of Diablo Corozan off the coast of Tampico are imprisoned when Spain conquers the island. The corrupt Spanish officials allow Joan Marchand, one of the teachers, to return to the United States to raise a ransom for the rest. She makes her way to New Orleans and tries to convince Grey to help her raise the money.


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  • The show finally comes together at this point, and Cmdr Riker syndrome

    After a somewhat mediocre run of episodes starting off, the series pulls together at this point by basically establishing that the crew is a family. Chip and Joshua are brought in with the previous episode, and even though Chip is shuffled off for this episode, his presence is still felt. You also get Pickalong, the new recurring cast member. You finally get the impression that there's an actual crew rather than a bunch of faceless guys toting bales in the background.

    And this episode couldn't have worked without a stronger portrayal of the crew, since they go behind Grey's back to smuggle Joan onboard.

    The weak spot in the cast at this point is really... well, Burt Reynolds. You get the impression he left the show not because of arguments with Darren McGavin, but just because they didn't give him anything to do. He's basically the first season Commander Riker on Star Trek. Yeah, he's supposed to be the young stud guy who gets all the women, just like Riker was supposed to be the dynamic guy and Picard sit in the captain's chair and manage things. But on Riverboat, Darren McGavin pretty much blows Burt out of the water, so to speak. He gets the women, he gets the action scenes (including the sword fight at the end of this episode). You can see why Burt Reynolds eventually left the show: he didn't have much to do. In this episode, Ben's got a romance of sorts early on with Joan, but he gets shoved into the background when Grey takes over.

    The idea of a riverboat crossing open water is kind of interesting, even if the special effects look like the Hollywood Tour at Disney/MGM. (The one where they simulate a naval There's a few nods to continuity with a mention of other women that have messed Grey up. Although they can't keep their years straight. But overall, a good episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • During the sword fight between Grey and the commandant, a few shots show that the stuntman filling in for Darren McGavin has a much narrower face and pointed chin.

    • Per the opening narration, this episode occurs in 1843. Ben notes that Grey was recently fooled by several female passengers. Later, Grey mentions Ellie Jenkins and Laurie Sutton, who appeared in episodes 4 and 7, respectively. However, Episode 11, "The Boy From Pittsburgh," takes place in July 1841 per the opening title card. If episodes 4 and 7 occurred before episode 11, then they can't have happened recently as Ben claims.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Ben: Well, how do you expect me to get there? I've never navigated across open water like that before.
      Grey: You'll learn. I'll buy you a book in New Orleans.
      Ben: Well, what's going to hold the boat together?
      Grey: Chicken wire and light twine!

  • NOTES (0)