TV Review – GUNSMOKE: WHICH DR. (1966)

GUNSMOKE: WHICH DR. (1966, USA) ***
Western
net. CBS Television Network; pr co. CBS Television Network; d. Peter Graves; w. Les Crutchfield; pr. Philip Leacock; ph. Harry Stradling Jr. (B&W. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m sup. Morton Stevens; th. Rex Koury, Glenn Spencer (both uncredited); ed. Albrecht Joseph; set d. Herman N. Schoenbrun; cos. Alexander Velcoff; m/up. Glen Alden, Pat Whiffing; sd. Vernon W. Kramer (Mono); tr. 19 March 1966; r/t. 50m.

cast: James Arness (Matt Dillon), Milburn Stone (Doc), Amanda Blake (Kitty), Ken Curtis (Festus), Roger Ewing (Thad), R.G. Armstrong (Argonaut Moonercan), Gregg Palmer (Herk), Glenn Strange (Sam), Shelley Morrison (Addie Moonercan), George Lindsey (Skeeter), Elisabeth Fraser (Daisy Lou), Claire Wilcox (Piney), Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), Chick Hannan (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), Pete Kellett (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), Cherokee Landrum (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), Jerry Schumacher (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), George Sowards (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)), Lucian Tiger (Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)).

(s. 11 ep. 26) While on a fishing trip with Festus, Doc is abducted and forced to operate on a sick child, then ordered to be a bridegroom in a true shotgun wedding. This light-hearted episode is notable for being directed by Arness’ brother, Graves. There is some neat interplay between Stone and Curtis but Arness is mainly confined to the sidelines. The story of a buffalo hunting community living in the wilderness but needing Doc’s surgical skills to the extent where he is kidnapped in order to help is a little predictable and certainly lacking any real dramatic tension. It is played largely for laughs and is entertaining enough thanks to the performances of the regulars – except for Ewing’s wooden acting.