Despite appearing in over 150 different titles during his 34-year-long career, Dick Wilson, who played Fred, the fella on Doc's table getting buckshot picked out of his rear end, will always be more known for his portrayal of Mr. Whipple. For 25 years, in a series of commercials, he was the friendly, neighborhood grocer warning folks not to squeeze the Charmin.
The end credits misspell Doc Burrage as Dac Burrage.
During this episode, "The Ballad of Jake Pardee" is sung between and during some scenes. One line in the song is "One day in Peckinpah's saloon, he had too much to drink". Sam Peckinpah was the writer of several early Rifleman episodes, including the pilot.
For the most part, 19th century photography is portrayed accurately in this episode. The photographer would certainly have removed the lens cover and counted before covering the lens again, and the subject did have to hold still for several seconds - 3 to 30 depending on light conditions and how "modern" the equipment was. By Lucas' time, although photographic equipment had made considerable advances in the 20+ years since the Civil War, there still would've been many photographers who were using older equipment.
However, because of dust and motion blur, it is unlikely that a "portrait" would be taken on the street. Also, a "wet plate" (which appears to have been used here) had to be prepared just before the shot and then developed immediately, before it dried. Developing such a picture at a later date was an unlikely option. (thanks to Margie at rifleman-connors)
Lucas states that the size of his ranch is 4,100 acres.
Hope Summers makes her first of 16 appearances as Hattie Denton, owner of North Fork's General Store.
Johnny Gibb, talking about his sister and Lucas's dead wife, mentions her name was Margaret.
This is the first of 39 episodes in which Bill Quinn appears as Sweeney the Bartender - the genial owner/operator of The North Fork Saloon.
Marshal Micah Torrance calls McCain "Lucas Boy" throughout the series. That affectionate practice begins with the aging marshal's very first appearance - in this episode.
Discontinuity: When Lucas is greasing his wagon's axle and talking to Will Fulton (Michael Landon), the stitching that forms the letter W - the logo for Wrangler Jeans - is clearly visible on his back pockets. However, according to network publicists (and the wooden plaque which would soon sit next to the home stating that it was rebuilt by Lucas and his son in August, 1881), the series was set in the 1880s - and Wrangler didn't begin making blue jeans until 1947, when it introduced the Wrangler 11MWZ to the world, with innovations incorporated especially for working cowboys.
This is an edited version of the pilot which aired on Zane Grey Theater (March 7, 1958) - arguably the most successful offshoot of five Zane Grey episodes which went on to become series.
In this episode, the North Fork hotel is called The California House and is owned by Judge Hanavan. Later in the series, the town hotel would be called The Hotel Madera and would be owned and operated by Eddie Halstead (John Harmon).
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