Writer: Calvin J. Clements
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Original Air Date 12/11/1961
Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain
Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance
Whit Bissell, born Whitner Nutting Bissell, was a prolific American television and film actor who made his acting debut on Broadway. He appeared in nearly 300 television shows and movies in a career spanning more than 40 years. Although he appeared in several cult horror films of the 1950s, including the classic sci-fi thriller, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), he is probably best-known for portraying the mad scientist who turned Michael Landon into a beast in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957). Bissell appeared in numerous TV shows of every genre popular in the 1950s through the early 80s, including "Peyton Place" (1965), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1970–1973), "The Incredible Hulk" (1979–1980), and many western series, including "The Lone Ranger" (1947–1959), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), "Wagon Train" (1958–1964), "Bonanza" (1959–1973) and "The Virginian" (1963–1964). Bissell also had recurring roles as Bert Loomis in the comedy series, "Bachelor Father" (1957–1962), and Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk in the sci-fi series, "The Time Tunnel" (1966–1967).
Bissell made four appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Sam Barrows in "The Patsy" (episode 41), Gabe Fenway in "The Flourflusher" (episode 72), Volney Adams in "The Hangman" (episode 76) and Henry Waller in "The Long Gun from Tucson" (episode 121). In 1994, Bissell received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. He also served on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild and represented the actors branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors.
John Harmon was an American actor who appeared in over 250 roles in film and television from the 1930's through the 1970's. His early roles were mostly uncredited, but he was cast in a wide variety of genres and played many different kinds of characters. Harmon appeared in 15 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN as Eddie Halstead Hotel Clerk at the Hotel Madera. The character of Halstead was first introduced in episode 7, "Duel of Honor."
Joe Higgins was an American actor working primarily in television and commercials from the 1960's through the 1980's. His acting career began at age nine and while attending the University of Dayton in Ohio, he worked in radio. He became a prolific character actor who often portrayed a sheriff in commercials, public service announcements and in print ads. He won the CLIO award on two occasions for his acting in commercials. His portrayal as a sheriff, "You in a heap o' trouble, boy!," in a series of memorable Dodge car commercials in the 1970's became his iconic signature role.
Higgins appeared in four episodes of THE RIFLEMAN playing different characters, and he played the semi-regular character, Nils Swenson, the Blacksmith, in 16 episodes. He played recurring roles on other television series in addition to THE RIFLEMAN, including "Arrest and Trial" and later, he co-starred again with Chuck Connors in "Flipper" and "Geronimo."
William "Billy" Hughes, born William Eugene Hughes, was an American actor who worked primarily in television. Both his father Bill, Sr. and his uncle Whitey were stuntmen. He appeared in 25 movies and television shows during a two-decade career, which began when he was barely ten playing an uncredited role in the Mickey Rooney crime comedy "The Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed" (1958). He played the leading role as a runaway in the western "Ole Rex" (1961) and portrayed the oldest sibling Joe in a family of orphans in the Debbie Reynolds comedy "My Six Loves (1963). Toward the end of his career, he had an uncredited stunt role in the Sam Peckinpah film "The Wild Bunch" (1969), and in his final film role, he appeared in the obscure western drama "Smoke in the Wind" (1975).
Hughes guest-starred in several popular television shows, including the family comedy "Leave It to Beaver" (1957–1963), the medical drama "Dr. Kildare" (1961–1966), Rod Serling's iconic anthology series "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), the crime drama "Arrest and Trial" (1963–1964), the private detective series "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964) and the family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974).
As a young teenager, Hughes made three appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Aaron in "Day of Reckoning" (episode 71), Jeffrey Waller in "The Long Gun from Tuscon" (episode 121) and Gridley Maule in "The Sidewinder" (episode 158). Reportedly, the part he played in "The Sidewinder" was one of his favorite roles. He guest-starred in several other westerns, sometimes making multiple appearances, including "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness; "Laramie" (1959–1963), starring John Smith and Robert Fuller; and "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), starring John McIntyre and Ward Bond.
Brian Hutton was an American film and television actor, as well as director. He appeared in more than 30 movies and television shows and directed nine films during a two-decade career. He made his directorial debut with "The Wild Seed" (1965), starring Michael Parkins and Celia Kaye. His most notable films include the World War II thriller "Where the Eagles Dare" (1968), starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood; the war comedy "Kelly's Heroes" (1970), starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Carroll O'Connor; the psychological drama about a romantic triangle "X, Y, and Zee" (1972) starring Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine and Susannah York; and the romantic adventure "High Road to China" (1983), starring Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong.
Hutton also had acting roles in a few films, including the western "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1957), starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, and the western "Last Train to Gun Hill" (1959), starring Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn and Carolyn Jones. In addition to film, Hutton guest-starred in a few popular television shows, including the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966) and the suspense anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962). Hutton made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Deecie in "Long Gun from Tuscon" (episode 121) and Billy Benson in "Obituary" (episode 44). He guest-starred in several other westerns, including "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness; "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone; "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood; "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), starring John McIntyre and Ward Bond; and "Laramie" (1959–1963), starring John Smith and Robert Fuller. He also had an uncredited part in "Geronimo" (1962), starring THE RIFLEMAN's Chuck Connors in the title role.
Peter Whitney was an American television and film actor whose large frame and heavy-set, swarthy appearance brought him many roles playing villainous characters in his early career. Later, as a character actor, he made frequent appearances in television series, particularly the western genre. Among his film credits, he appeared in "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), "The Great Bank Robbery" (1969), and "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" (1970). Whitney made nine appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Tracey Blanch in "Eddie's Daughter" (episode 46), John Jupiter in "Mail Order Groom" (episode 56), Andrew Bechtel in "Heller" (episode 62), Otto Drosheck in "Strange Town" (episode 81), Vince Fergus in "The Queue" (episode 110), John Holliver in "Long Gun from Tucson" (episode 121), Neb Jackman in 'Lou Mallory" (episode 145) and "Which Way Did They Go?" (episode 167), and Vantine in "Gun Shy" (episode 153).
The terrified townspeople of North Fork appoint Lucas temporary acting Marshal, who alone must face a killer and his three cohorts when the killer returns after a long absence seeking vengeance on North Fork for having ridden him out of town on a rail many years before.