The Big Valley

If you like the westerns we’re currently discussing, you may have liked other western TV shows. So why don’t we discuss them here! Post about western conventions (non Bonanza), the shows, the actors and anything you want to discuss.

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by littlejoenice » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:20 am

PJudith wrote:The Cartwrights and Barkleys gave as good as they got a number of times. I just started watching my DVDs of The Big Valley again. i started with the first episode. I'm on the fourth episode and so far, Heath has punched someone in the face in every one. Of course the guy had it coming to him. But funny how Heath never has bruised knuckles or a swollen hand!
I know, right? At least when one of the Cartwrights got beaten up, they had the decency to show off a couple of bruises at least. :grin
Wait a minute, wait a minute. What you're saying is that at your age, you don't know the difference between a girl and a horse?

Ben to Little Joe in "Day of the Dragon."

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by daisy60 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:30 am

There were many times when The Big Valley stole ideas from Bonanza. In the episode [sorry-forgot the title] when Heath first goes to the ranch he races a train and jumps the tracks exactly like Joe did on The Stallion! I loved both shows but many shows copied each other. :modeller

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by PJudith » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:44 pm

daisy60 wrote:There were many times when The Big Valley stole ideas from Bonanza. In the episode [sorry-forgot the title] when Heath first goes to the ranch he races a train and jumps the tracks exactly like Joe did on The Stallion! I loved both shows but many shows copied each other. :modeller
You got that right. There were lots of similarities. I don't know if it's a matter of "stealing". I suppose with so many westerns on TV at the time that there were only so many ideas to go around. I imagine the script writers watched other shows to "get" or "steal" ideas. :grin

There IS one Big Valley episode that does seem like a steal. I was just watching it the other day. When I saw it a few years ago, I had this feeling of deja vu. WHERE did I see this episode before? Oh, on Bonanza.

It was called "Devil's Masquerade" and played many of the same beats as "Knight Errant.

Remember in "Knight Errant", Hoss agrees to go pick up a family friend's mail order bride Lotty. Lotty falls in love with Hoss and Mr. Prescott, her intended, is furious at Hoss and blames him when the woman doesn't want to marry him.

In the Big Valley episode, Heath agrees to pick up his friend Jim North's mail order bride Nancy. However she too changes her mind and wants to back out of the wedding. The man blames Heath who finds himself on the business end of a fist. There is a twist in the episode which makes it different than the BZ one. In this case, Nancy is an imposter. The real mail order bride is killed and this woman takes her place hoping to snag a wealthy husband. But she gets an attack of conscience and doesn't want to take advantage of Mr. North.

The interesting thing is that the same actor, John Doucette plays the jilted groom in both episodes.
I bet he was wondering, "Haven't I already DONE this episode before?"

To be fair, a lot of the westerns had the main characters experience similar tragedies like the disappearing or dead fiance. I was watching Gunsmoke a while ago. It was an episode I didn't remember. In it, Newley, Matt Dillon's deputy, fell in love and actually got married. I didn't recall Newley being married. That's because the bride was looking kinda pale and weak throughout the episode. Not a good omen. :no

She was a goner by the end of the show. I think she had the same thing as Laura White, Joe's intended in "The Storm". You know that "TV disease"? The woman looks so prettily pale and gets weaker and weaker. She coughs, swoons and succumbs to her illness.
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Re: The Big Valley

Post by october » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:49 am

I enjoy watching The Big Valley. Michael Landon once commented that the same scripts were banded about. Interesting that the same character actors were often cast in similar roles.

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by Tracy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:14 pm

I seem to recall reading once - and I don't know where - that writers often used their scripts for different shows, changing the characters' names, of course, and maybe adding a thing or two to do with the varying locations of the shows (Laramie, Virginia City, Dodge . . .).

Michael Landon reused a few of his from Bonanza on LHOTP.
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Re: The Big Valley

Post by PJudith » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:18 pm

And sometimes I think they even copied episode titles. I just watched a first season Big valley episode entitled "My Son, My Son". The title always reminds me of the BZ episode when Ben is going to marry Katherine and her outlaw son Eden comes back to town. His criminal past ruins Ben and Katherine's engagement.

In the Big Valley episode, Evan, the son of Victoria Barkely's friends returns home and causes major trouble. He and Audra had a mutual childhood crush. But in this instance, when Audra attempts a little flirtation, Evan gets way too rough. And if Heath hadn't stepped in (throwing those punches again!), you get the feeling that Evan would've almost raped her.

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by littlejoenice » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:20 pm

PJudith wrote:And sometimes I think they even copied episode titles. I just watched a first season Big valley episode entitled "My Son, My Son". The title always reminds me of the BZ episode when Ben is going to marry Katherine and her outlaw son Eden comes back to town. His criminal past ruins Ben and Katherine's engagement.

In the Big Valley episode, Evan, the son of Victoria Barkely's friends returns home and causes major trouble. He and Audra had a mutual childhood crush. But in this instance, when Audra attempts a little flirtation, Evan gets way too rough. And if Heath hadn't stepped in (throwing those punches again!), you get the feeling that Evan would've almost raped her.
Was that the episode with Robert Walker, Jr? I watched that one and hated it! But speaking of Bonanza references, wait until you get to the one called The Iron Box. It's an almost total copy of Bonanza's Kingdom of Fear.
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Re: The Big Valley

Post by PJudith » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:53 am

Yes that was the episode with Robert Walker, Jr. Why did you hate it? It's not my favorite, but it's okay. I just watched The Iron Box a few days ago. Those Barkleys sure get themselves in some dangerous situations. Just like the Cartwrights.

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by Tracy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:05 am

littlejoenice wrote:But speaking of Bonanza references, wait until you get to the one called The Iron Box. It's an almost total copy of Bonanza's Kingdom of Fear.
LONG before Bonanza's "Kingdom of Fear", the plot of someone chaining the star(s) up and making them work was done on The Rifleman, "The High Country."

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Re: The Big Valley

Post by daisy60 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:12 am

Tracy wrote:
littlejoenice wrote:But speaking of Bonanza references, wait until you get to the one called The Iron Box. It's an almost total copy of Bonanza's Kingdom of Fear.
LONG before Bonanza's "Kingdom of Fear", the plot of someone chaining the star(s) up and making them work was done on The Rifleman, "The High Country."


Yes, I remember that on The Rifleman. Many shows use the ideas of other shows when writing. They tend to run out of ideas. :grin

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