The Big Valley (1965–1969)
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The Iron Box 

Nick and Heath, on their way home with a prize bull, are accused of stealing the animal and are sentenced to a brutal work camp - without a trial.


Bernard McEveety


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Episode cast overview:
Richard Long ... Jarrod Barkley
Peter Breck ... Nick Barkley
Lee Majors ... Heath
Linda Evans ... Audra Barkley
Barbara Stanwyck ... Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck) (credit only)
David Sheiner ... Capt. Jonathan Rizely
Frank Marth ... Sheriff Barnes
Paul Picerni ... Peterson
Walter Woolf King ... Judge
Yaphet Kotto ... Lobo Brown
Michael Fox ... MacGowan
Joe Ferrante Joe Ferrante ... Rodrigo
Walter Burke ... Young Billy


Nick and Heath, on their way home with a prize bull, are accused of stealing the animal and are sentenced to a brutal work camp - without a trial.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 November 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This features the second whipping Lee Majors suffers in "The Big Valley (1965)." The first occurred in The Big Valley: Legend of a General: Part 1 (1966), and the third will occur in The Big Valley: Journey Into Violence (1967). See more »


When the sheriff tells the captain the crime, he says Nick & Heath rustled a steer. A steer is a bull that has been castrated. Nick & Heath bought a bull for breeding purposes. Nick says so a couple moments later. See more »


Jarrod Barkley: How did it happen?
Nick Barkley: [referring to Heath Barkley] For one thing, a burned leg. No doctor to attend it. They won't give him any good food so he can get his strength back. And they whipped him.
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User Reviews

Entertaining but a bit too sanitized
11 July 2011 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

Having its hero falsely arrested and sentenced to do hard-labor constituted one of the TV western's reliable story lines. (One of the earliest and also one of the best of such episodes, "The Trap," aired on ABC's "Cheyenne" on Dec. 18, 1956.) In "The Iron Box," we have two such heroes suffering this fate -- Peter Breck and Lee Majors. As well as the usual "forced-labor" angle, this episode also throws in a heavy dose of sadomasochism, all of it involving the Lee Majors character. His leg is burned when he's pushed into a campfire, he's tied up and flogged, and he's locked into a metal sweat-box where he's tormented by heat and thirst. However, there's a restrained, almost polite air about this episode which keeps it from being memorable. The prison-camp looks too much like a back-lot set, the prisoners never seem to get very dirty, and the punishments lack the necessary blood and sweat. What's more, the episode misses the obvious opportunities for "beefcake." Surprisingly, Lee Majors' shirt isn't even removed for his flogging, even though he willingly showed off his attractive torso in his two other "Big Valley" floggings. Nor is he bare-chested in his sweat-box scenes. Such modesty makes the hard-labor prison look almost like a summer church-camp.

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