Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gregory Walcott on Bonanza



Watched Plan 9 From Outer Space's Gregory Walcott in a 1960 episode of Bonanza. This was the first season of Bonanza. I'm a little surprised they had color TV back then. The episode is public domain and something possessed me to watch it on Roku.

Walcott plays an obnoxious cackling psychopath named Farmer Perkins. I didn't realize "Farmer" was a first name. He murders a bartender, is tried and sentenced to death and they'll execute him right there in town. He's convinced his gang will free him. The criminals kidnap Lorne Greene and, if Gregory Walcott hangs, so will he! After the sheriff is killed, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe are in charge for some reason and are intent on carrying out the execution. Pretty sick really.

They avoided certain controversies over the death penalty by showing Walcott commit the murder and cheerfully confess to it and all the others he committed. He once murdered a preacher for preachin' at him.

It might have been more interesting if Farmer Perkins had been an actual farmer, if he had killed the bartender for political reasons, if Gregory Walcott had been a member of a persecuted religious minority and if his co-religionists had kidnapped Lorne Greene, if Gregory Walcott had been horribly traumatized in the war and had post traumatic stress disorder, if Adam tried to get information on where they might be holding Lorne Greene by questioning the town's sex workers. Also, if they had a novel form of execution. And if the executioner was either a sadistic psychopath or a horribly traumatized emotional wreck, desperately needing the job to care for his invalid wife and children but horrified at what he has to do.

As it was, the episode was pretty dull, with the three of them sitting around the sheriff's office gabbing.

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