Anybody Recall the Grizzly?

James Garner as Bret MaverickJames Garner as Bret Maverick

James Garner as Bret Maverick

I just added the first season of the TV series Maverick to my Plex library. Maverick, you may recall, was a western series that starred James Garner as poker-playing Bret Maverick for three seasons, as well as some other lesser actors playing his relatives. One hour shows required more than a week to film in those days, so to ease the burden, two episodes were shot simultaneously using different leads, but in our household, only James Garner was the real Maverick.

In those days the Warner Bros. studio had a bunch of one hour western TV series, some of them shown on alternating weeks. Another one of my favorites was Cheyenne starring Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie.

Clint Walker as Cheyenne BodieClint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie

Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie

And here’s my problem and my question. While the Maverick episode that I watched last evening was a lot of fun, I don’t think I want to purchase all three seasons of the series (the final two without Garner might as well be a different show, AFAIC). And I expect I’ll feel the same way about the Cheyenne series. So if I purchase just one season of Cheyenne, which should it be?

Now I seem to recall an episode that I’m pretty sure was part of the Cheyenne series that involved a nighttime scene where a bunch of people were huddled around the camp fire trying to protect themselves from a grizzly bear. I recall that episode scared the bejesus out of me at the time. I’m also pretty sure that I saw that episode while we still lived on the farm, meaning it must have been shown in early 1957 or earlier. That would mean it was part of the first two seasons of Cheyenne, if in fact I’m correct about it being an episode of Cheyenne.

But from the capsule descriptions of the episodes that I’ve found, I can’t figure out which episode it might have been. So can anybody reading this help me out?

To muddy the waters a bit, in 1966 Clint Walker starred in a movie entitled The Night of the Grizzly—I saw that movie a while back and it’s definitely not what I’m thinking of.

Update: And via Facebook I have my answer! It’s Big Ghost Basin, the 14th episode of season two of Cheyenne, which aired on March 12, 1957. So my memory seems to be correct. It was an episode of Cheyenne, and I did see it when we still lived on the farm. And judging from the user reviews at imdb, it had the same effect on other impressionable young viewers that it had on me!

Leave a Reply