The Virginian

Season 5 Episode 24

Nightmare at Fort Killman

0
Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Mar 08, 1967 on NBC
7.5
out of 10
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5 votes
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EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Nightmare at Fort Killman
AIRED:
Watched by two men, Stacey Grainger buys a train ticket to San Francisco where he is to meet the Virginian.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nightmare with black-and-white connotations

    9.0
    I think Nightmare at Fort Killman gives us clues about the production model that Universal had in place when making The Virginian. In the previous installment, Doctor Pat, we have James Drury (The Virginian) and Clu Gulager (Ryker) appear in a starring capacity with a cameo by Don Quine (Stacy). In this one, the rest of the cast is used: Charles Bickford (John Grainger) and Doug McClure (Trampas) with Don Quine's Stacy featured as the central character. My guess is that after Don Quine did those quick scenes in Doctor Pat, he and the rest of the cast began working on the Fort Killman episode at the same time Doctor Pat was being filmed. Except for the train depot, entirely different sets are used and different directors are at the helm: Don McDougall for Doctor Pat and Abner Biberman for Fort Killman. Sara Lane (Elizabeth) does not appear in either of these two episodes.



    Aside from the production model, this episode is worth discussing because of how it carries forward themes of justice as related to Stacy Grainger. This time, the Virginian is off in San Francisco, and Stacy is supposedly traveling to meet him, but he is shanghaied along the way. He is forced to endure harsh conditions at a military outpost. Both he and his grandfather will get caught up in the political cover-up that is occurring at the fort.



    While I found some of the dialogue to be a bit over-dramatic (after all, we are supposed to see that Stacy is the victim of ruthless men), I did find the machinations of the guest characters rather interesting. At each turn, it seems as if Stacy will not beat 'the system' and escape, even with his grandfather's help. There is a great scene where Stacy does get away, but they come to get him at the Shiloh Ranch and he must go back and face murder charges (of course we know Stacy did not really kill anyone).



    Eventually, good does triumph over evil and Stacy is released as a free man. But there are some setbacks along the way. A particularly poignant moment involves the death of a fellow black soldier that had befriended Stacy. While the previous episode, Doctor Pat, seems to advance the feminist cause, this one is likely inspired by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. In both cases, the production enables us to see more positive portrayals of women and blacks on television.moreless
Doug McClure

Doug McClure

Trampas

James Drury

James Drury

The Virginian

Clu Gulager

Clu Gulager

Deputy Sheriff Emmett Ryker

Charles Bickford

Charles Bickford

John Grainger

Don Quine

Don Quine

Stacy Grainger

Sara Lane

Sara Lane

Elizabeth Grainger

Don Mitchell

Don Mitchell

Private Martin

Guest Star

James Daly

James Daly

Sergeant Joe Trapp

Guest Star

Les Crane

Les Crane

Captain James MacDowell

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode was the culmination of a very bad year (Season #5) for Stacey Grainger. Here he was shanghaied, placed in the army, physically abused, jailed, and eventually charged with murder. In previous episodes he: was jailed over a gambling dispute and then later for break and enter (Season 5, episode #1); was shot in a stage coach robbery (#14); had been forced to kill a man in self-defence, take the body to and face his family and then be pursued by the dead man's brother out for revenge (#15); had lost all his money at cards, was charged with murder, sentenced to death and left waiting in jail to be hanged (#18); was pistol whipped (#19); and had been dragged on a rope across country by a man on horseback (#21).

    • Of the regulars, only Stacey Grainger, Trampas and John Grainger appear in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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