The Big Valley

Season 1 Episode 26

By Force and Violence

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 30, 1966 on ABC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When Victoria and Heath head up to the lodge to prepare things for the whole family, their pleasant ride turns into a nightmare. After becoming stuck in a muddy section of road, Heath gets out to help push, only to have the axle break and the heavily loaded wagon fall on him. Unable to free him herself, Victoria sets out to find help. She soon finds that the only person able to help is an escaped convict with bounty hunters on his tail, and no intentions of stopping to help anyone.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A good episode, overcomes the pitfalls of the loud and over-earnest Barbara Stanwyck.

    7.3
    Victoria Barkley must convince a fleeing criminal to help her trapped and dying step son.



    Probably one of the better character studies in "The Big Valley" series, even though its a good idea to look beyond the usual Barbara Stanwyck hysterics and blatent over-acting. Here, Victoria must summon the help of an escaped convict in shackles to help free Heath from an enormous wagon that has fallen on him. The story is quite remarkable for the mud, its everywhere, both on Stanwyck and on Lee Majors as he sinks farther into the soil and becomes more and more delirious as the weight of the wagon takes its toll. And a scene where the wagon falls back on Heath after a hoisting rope breaks is pretty visceral.



    Of all "The Big Valley" episodes that feature Bruce Dern, this is the best (much better than the improbable but memorable episode where he plays a prison guard who throws Victoria into a paddy wagon as a "replacement" for a woman prisoner who has died). He is a character worth redemption and undeserving of the fate that persuing bounty hunters want to inflict on him. Maybe he doesn't deserve Miss Stanwyck's righteous and unrelenting lecturing. A good overall entry for the series as a whole.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Lee Majors is wearing his wedding ring. Even through all the mud, it is visible when Heath is trapped under the wagon.

    • Goofs:

      In the last scene of the teaser, Heath is driving the wagon with Victoria riding with him but it can be clearly seen that neither of the stars is actually on the wagon. Apparently, the stunt doubles of the pair were used for this scene.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The episode resembles a woman-in-distress picture that Barbara Stanwyck made in 1953 called 'Jeopardy.' In that instance, a woman desperately seeks help to prevent her trapped husband from drowning.

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