Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
7.4/10
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Quaker Girl 

When a dying deputy swears in Thad to capture killer Fred Bateman, Thad ends up in a Quaker town, in which the people cannot tell which one is the wanted man.

Writer:

Preston Wood
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Roger Ewing ... Thad
William Shatner ... Fred Bateman
William Bryant ... Kester
Glenn Strange ... Sam Noonan
Joseph Breen Joseph Breen ... George
Anna Karen Anna Karen ... 1st Woman
Nancy Marshall Nancy Marshall ... 2nd Woman
Patricia Quinn ... Cora Ellis (as Ariane Quinn)
Liam Sullivan ... Benjamin Ellis
Warren Vanders Warren Vanders ... John Thenly
Ben Johnson ... Vern Morland
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Storyline

When a dying deputy swears in Thad to capture killer Fred Bateman, Thad ends up in a Quaker town, in which the people cannot tell which one is the wanted man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 December 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quaker Girl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Shatner and Liam Sullivan would both appear in the 1968 Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren." See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Premise with Too Many Plot Elements
22 July 2019 | by wdavidreynoldsSee all my reviews

Roger Ewing's Clayton Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood is the central regular character in this episode. Thad is on his way back to Dodge City after delivering some horses when he happens upon a Deputy Sheriff named Kester. Kester has been shot and is dying. He tells Thad he was shot with his own gun by an outlaw he was transporting to Elkader named Fred Bateman. Kester deputizes Thad with his dying breath.

Thad quickly finds Bateman, played by William Shatner. Unfortunately, Bateman proves to be more than the inexperienced Thad can handle. The two scuffle repeatedly. At one point Thad is badly injured. For some reason, Bateman chooses to help Thad rather than take the opportunity to get away. (One would think an outlaw that shot a Deputy Sheriff and left him to die would be unlikely to help another person. This is just one of the puzzling aspects of the story.)

Once Thad has recovered somewhat, he and Bateman struggle again. This time, a group of Quakers come upon the fighting pair. Both men claim the other to be the outlaw. The Quakers decide to take them both back to their settlement until they can decide what to do.

Meanwhile, we suddenly learn there are three mysterious fellows pursuing Bateman. Bateman knows where a large amount of money has been hidden, and these three guys want to know where it is. But, like the Quakers, these three do not know Fred Bateman, either.

As if all of this wasn't enough for a one-hour plot, Thad and one of the Quaker women fall in love. The Quakers tend to think Thad is Bateman, because the real Bateman is a smooth talking son-of-a-gun, and the Quakers are rather gullible.

Back in Dodge City, the man for which Thad was delivering the horses wants his money, and Matt is worried. Matt and Festus head out to see what happened to the long overdue Thad.

All of these plot elements surprisingly converge into a fairly unsurprising ending.

Roger Ewing's acting career was relatively short, as was his two seasons on Gunsmoke. This episode gives us a pretty good clue why. Ewing simply lacks the charisma or acting ability to carry an episode.

Otherwise, the cast here is solid, as was true of most Gunsmoke episodes. Shatner is good, especially considering his tendency to overact at times. The great character actor Ben Johnson and the Gunsmoke veteran Tom Reese both play heavies here.

The Gunsmoke writers had a tendency to introduce too many plot elements at times, and this is the case with this episode. Who were the mystery men? Where did they come from? They obviously want to know where Bateman hid the money, but they cannot even identify Bateman. They also seem to know a lot about Bateman, other than his appearance. What is the purpose of introducing the romantic element between Thad and the Quaker girl? Did they just need to pad the episode? Why did Bateman choose to help Thad rather than using the opportunity to get away?

Between Ewing's uninspired acting and the introduction of too many different plot elements, this episode is not up to par with the best of the series.


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