Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Maverick Report - "The Deadly Image"


Hi! Here's a publicity still from "The Deadly Image". Now, if the girl pictured with Jack Kelly looks familiar, it's because, yes, she's Dawn Wells, who later came to fame as "Mary Ann" in Gilligan's Island.

And, if JK looks like he's out of his usual Bart Maverick uniform, that's because he's actually dressed up as the bad guy.

"The Deadly Image" takes the old "outlaw who looks like the hero" plot and pits Bart against a dastardly doppelganger named "Rod Claxton". Of course, everyone thinks Bart is Claxton, including the Army and even Claxton's girlfriend Caprice (played by Ms. Wells). Caprice does wonder, though, when she busses Bart and notices that his kiss is gentler than what she's used to!

The only person who isn't fooled is Caprice's elderly grandfather. He is blind and isn't misled by appearances. He discerns Bart's true character without seeing him.

Bart also encounters a former member of Claxton's gang, a wounded desperado (
Gerald Mohr) with his own connection to Caprice.

The big "reveal" where Bart finally comes face-to-face with his lawless lookalike comes near the end of the episode, and it's a doozy.

Claxton looks at Bart and is astonished by their resemblance.

"My own father wouldn't know the difference!" he exclaims.

"Mine would," Bart answers coldly.

Thankfully, the writers didn't go overboard with "evil twin" cliches. Claxton is dressed in black. However, Jack Kelly plays him with smoldering menace rather than with over-the-top villainy.

The rest of the cast is great, too, especially frequent Maverick guest-star Mohr and
Abraham Sofaer, the character actor who portrays Caprice's grandfather. I first saw Sofaer in an episode of Four Star Playhouse that showed up on our local PBS station some years ago. He played a Native American chief in a story called "The Collar" which starred David Niven as an imprisoned priest. It was literally one of the best things I've ever seen on television.

And, speaking of character actors, "The Deadly Image" was co-written by Leo Gordon, who guest-starred on five Maverick episodes as "Big Mike McComb".

Monday, September 7, 2009

Horsin' Around With Bart Maverick!


I found this great pic of Jack Kelly with "Goldie", the horse with the distinctive blaze that he often rode in Maverick. Bart Maverick, in desperate need of transportation, purchased Goldie from a passer-by in the Betrayal episode. Just a few episodes later, however, he gave Goldie to a young admirer in The Lass With the Poisonous Air.

However, Bart is seen riding the mare a few times after that, and she shows up again being currycombed by Edd "Kookie" Byrnes in Hadley's Hunters. I guess this is one pony that got around! (And, from what other viewers have noticed, "she" was actually a "he"...)

I also found this picture of Will Hutchins riding a horse with a similar blaze in Sugarfoot.

Sugarfoot was produced by Warner Brothers during the same era as Maverick, so I wondered if maybe this horse was "Goldie". It turns out that Hutchins rode the horse above (named "Sickle", presumably for its crooked blaze) for a while in Sugarfoot. Alas, according to Hutchins, Sickle wasn't the most cooperative cayuse at the studio. Here's the story. Sickle was replaced as Sugarfoot's mount by a horse named "Penny", so perhaps Sickle went on to play Goldie?
Could be! Anyway, here's a screen capture of Jack Kelly on Goldie/Sickle (center) from the Maverick episode "Duel at Sundown".

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV - Alias Chauncey Beauregard!

Hey, another YouTube find - JK in Alias Smith and Jones! Although his character's name--Dr. Chauncey Beauregard--may have a Maverick-like ring to it, the doc is actually the kind of guillible mark who usually got fleeced by Bart and Bret. And, if Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes seem like a couple of Mavericks, well, Alias Smith and Jones was produced by Roy Huggins, creator of Maverick, and this episode was written by one "John Thomas James"--a.k.a. Roy Huggins.