This was meant to be a pilot for a series but it went unsold. This aired in 1968, when interest in Westerns was waning. A few years earlier and this might have made it. This is a kind of "alternate timeline" Rifleman with the Lucas character as a sheriff instead of a farmer. It might have worked about five years earlier.
When Jarrod goes to secure a family investment merger in a mine, he gets more than he bargained for when problems arise with another mine owner. Prejudice and legal loopholes prove a deadly mix when shady locals exert pressure on a Chinese couple who own a mine shaft that is key not only to the Barkley's mine, but to the future of the entire town.
Not one of my favorite story lines. This plot tended to plod along in parts, and then the building melodrama that ended in two shootings dissipated in a few seconds after a kid made a touching speech. The town sheriff, who in this instance is a no-nonsense man's man, gets shot point blank and just lies there while his son emits a grand public speech. As soon as the plea for justice by the young kid is over, the sheriff rises to his feet and continues doing his job. Comical, really.
Jarrod's easy on the eyes, but he can be a bit dull. Fortunately, the lovely Van Williams makes an appearance to add some meat to this episode.
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