Free Western Classic: Bonanza - Episode 138 - Twilight Town - Little Joe is attacked by outlaws, but finds that his biggest challenge is fighting his way through the secrets of a town shrouded in mystery.
Twilight Town Director: John Florea Writer: Cy Chermak Stars: Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker Genre: Western Country: USA Language: English Release Date: 13 October 1963 USA Filming Locations: Lake Los Angeles, California, USA
Storyline: "Little Joe is knocked unconscious and his horse is stolen by an outlaw. He wanders through the desert until he comes to a ghost town. He collapses in the street. When he comes to, finds himself being nursed back to health by a beautiful girl in Martinville, a quiet place full of friendly if mysterious townsfolk. After his recovery, Joe is surprised to be offered the position of Sheriff by the town's leaders. They tell him they need him to save them from a band of marauding outlaws. A woman attired in black warns Joe of the town's previous shameful betrayal of her husband, the town's previous sheriff. Still, Joe organizes resistance against the outlaws. In the end, Joe is forced to face the outlaws as the townsfolk grow increasingly diffident; and he is forced to come face to face with the final dark mystery of Martinville." Written by Charles Delacroix on IMDb.com
Reviews: "During my era, the sixties, The Twilight Zone and Bonanza were household titles, and Rod Serling was a household name, as were the names of the four main characters of Bonanza. Having seen this Bonanza episode more than once, I find it to be one of my favorites. And though Cy Chermack wrote it, with all due respects to Serling he could not have outdone Chermack, at least not in this case. (Of course, Rod Serling did have a few Old West episodes.) The start is not an anomaly: on a very hot summer day Little Joe is riding through the desert, sees a man lying on the ground, attempts to help the man, only for that latter man to rise, pull a gun on him and steal his horse which had a set of saddlebags on its back which, in turn, contained two thousand dollars. After the outlaw rides away Little Joe goes to the nearby town where, naturally, he is extremely fatigued; a very attractive teen-age girl, performed very well by Davey Davidson in this one of her earliest roles, nurses Joe back to health. He learns from some of the people there in the town of Martinsville that they are scared of an outlaw band that had once marauded the town which is filled with scared people. At the same time the late sheriff's wife is cold, non-smiling, and bitter because her husband had been killed previously, thanks to, again, the cowardly denizens. (The tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed Doris Dowling would have been attractive if she had not portrayed the type of character she did.) Because they had helped them and, thus, he wants to do them a favor, Little Joe is made sheriff, and one of the main duties he feels needs to be done is for him to instill bravery in the wincing people there. Toward the end the outlaws return, some of the men go against those outlaws who are settled in the nearby cliffs, and Little Joe kills the outlaw leader, only to discover that he actually killed the man who had robbed him. After Joe's brothers and father finally find him, he briefly shares with them about Martinsville. Of course, the sometimes-hard-headed Joe does not believe the brief account Ben, in turn, shares with him when he tells Joe that Martinsville has been a ghost town for many years, and it had been cursed. Because of the supernatural/surreal aspect of this episode, it has definitely been unforgettable to me. Again, The Twilight Zone has nothing to surpass this." Written by daviddaphnered on IMDb.com
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