|Please note that I have seen every episode of Lassie as listed in this guide. Therefore, although the titles and dates of these episodes have been gleaned from other sources (as cited on the contents page to this episode guide), any description and comments are mine.
George Miller "Gramps": George Cleveland
Ellen Miller: Jan Clayton
Jeff Miller: Tommy Rettig
Sylvester "Porky" Brockway: Donald Keeler
Jenny the operator: Florence Lake
- "Bee Hive" (09/09/56):
- After a bee stings Pokey on the nose, Jeff gets the idea that he and Porky
should raise bees for the 4H Livestock Show. Ellen helps them catch wild bees
and transfer them to a home-made hivewhich is promptly raided by some wild
animal. Jim Teal: Ray Teal.
- "Friendship" (09/16/56):
- When cranky old Daniel Mueller fences in a pasture that's used as a shortcut for
kids coming and going to school, the boys want revenge, but Lassie is privy to his
gentler side. Then one night the collie discovers Mueller seriously ill. Daniel Mueller:
Otto Waldis. Doc Stevens: Grandon Rhodes. Diane: Gay Goodwin. With Tiger Fafara.
- "Quarantine" (09/23/56):
- Pokey is quarantined at the Miller farm after a hoof-and-mouth scare hits, but the
persistent hound runs away from the Millersand a frightened neighbor threatens to
shoot him if he sees him. Matt Brockway: Paul Maxey. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Lem
Boots: Strother Martin.
- "Bone" (09/30/56):
- While the boys are digging for diamonds, Lassie unearths a mammoth bone of
particular interest to an archaologist. But when she tries to hide the object from
him, Pokey ends up stealing it away. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Professor Scott:
Trivia: The Miller cow is Daisy.
- "The Watch" (10/07/56):
- Jeff is so constantly tardy that Ellen buys him a watch and promises him he may
wear his father's wristwatch if he becomes consciencious about time. Her scheme
works too well: Jeff starts timing everything and making schedules for the entire
family as well as Porky.
- "The Frog" (10/10/56; see note below):
- Jeff's jumping frog Henry turns out to be a "Henrietta," and the boys hope
she lays her eggs before the big race. Clay Horton: Richard Garland.
Note: There is an absolutely hilarious piece of
dialogue about determining the sex of frogs between Ellen, Clay, and Jeff that
is a classic, plus Ellen's reaction when Clay tells her Henry is a female, which
is all the more amusing in this age of sexual precocity."
Note: The following is noted in Larry James
Gianakos' Television Drama Series Programming"'The Frog', copyright 10/10/56;
filmed for showing this season, but not provided network telecast." So, unless
someone can come up with a TV Guide or other programming guide cite, no one
knows quite when this was broadcast, if at all. Correspondent Alan Kaufman notes
that it does have the second season credits, rather than the first, indicating that
it was filmed for the 1955-1956 season. Additionally, the relationship between
Clay and Ellen seems to be on its second season footing rather than its third.
- "Hoax" (10/14/56):
- When Jeff and Porky send Lassie for help just to see if she can fetch help
like the famous St. Bernards, Gramps is upset at their "crying wolf."
But when Jeff is really injured and threatened by a wildcat, no one wants to believe
him. Jim Teal: Ray Teal.
- "The Fish Story" (10/21/56):
- After Porky breaks Jeff's rod, the boys try to catch the biggest fish to
win the Small Fry Fishing Derby, prize a new rod and reel from Jorgenson Hardware,
so Jeff can have the rod and Porky the reel. By the time Gramps gives them a hint
to a fishing spot, it's almost too lateand then something very unexpected
happens. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Freddy: Brad Morrow. (The rest of the cast is
- "Transfusion" (10/28/56):
- While playing the "foxes" to Diane's and Woody's "hounds," the boys and Lassie
safely cross the narrow route over an old dambut Pokey falls and is badly injured.
After Jeff sends Lassie away from Doc Weaver's, the vet announces Pokey needs a
transfusion from her. Woody: Lee Erickson. Diane: Gaye Goodwin. Doc Weaver: Arthur
Space. Clay: Richard Garland. Jenny: Florence Lake.
Note: This is one episode where you see Clay working
in the garage.
- "Local Elections" (11/04/56):
- Jeff can't understand why Ellen is upset about Gramps going fishing with Jim Teal
on the day local elections are to take placeuntil he discovers that Jud Perkins,
a known dog hater who wants all dogs leashed and muzzled, is running for the post of
animal regulator against Jim. Mr. Fowler: George Chandler. Diane: Gay Goodwin.
Woody: Lee Erickson. Jim Teal: Ray Teal. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Jud Perkins: Jason
Johnson. (Ethel Sturdevant, the woman helping Ellen at the polling place, is uncredited.)
Trivia: Perkins has a daughter. Jeff's friend has a
German shepherd named Seigfried.
Note: George Chandler, of course, later went on to play
the role of Petrie Martin two years later. This was telecast the Sunday before the 1956
Presidential elections, perhaps in an effort to encourage people to vote.
- "Gossip" (11/11/56):
- When Jeff meets Jim Teal's nephew Pete on the way to his uncle's house, the
man's flippant remark about being from Chatsburg, home of the state prison
("they just let me out"), leads Jeff to believe the man's an ex-convict. When he
repeats the "news" to Porky, it spreads all over the neighborhood and grows as
it spreads, leaving the neighbors suspicious and afraid. Matt Brockway: Paul
Maxey. Jenny: Florence Lake. Jim Teal: Ray Teal. Pete Teal: Ray Montgomery.
Trivia: Pete is the son of Jim's brother, the last
surviving member of Jim's family. He was really in Chatsburg attending the veterinary
- "Fish Conservation" (11/18/56):
- When the Miller lake is the only one in the area that can support fish during
a drought, the state agrees to stock it if Gramps will open it to the public. The
boys love making money selling baitbut two restauranteurs become greedy when
they realize the lake can supply all the fish dinners they need for free.
Older Fisherman: Wally Brown. Younger Fisherman: Robert Knapp. Phil Potter:
- "Challenge" (11/25/56):
- After Ellen catches Jeff taking a foolish dare, she makes him promise to think
about what he is doing next time he is daredbut when Woody teases him, then steals
his straight A report card report card and leaves it up a telephone pole, Jeff's
resolve weakens. Woody: Lee Erickson.
Trivia: Jeff's father John was killed while saving twenty
men in his squadron.
Note: Sheesh. Woody's as bad as Higgy. Maybe Clay
is moonlighting in the garage? When Gramps calls him about the broken bridge, it
sounds as if he's complaining to him in his capacity as constable...
- "Tractor" (12/02/56):
- Ellen and Jeff are ecstatic when Gramps wins a tractor in a contest, but the
stubborn man refuses to learn how to use itespecially after a "test drive"
goes badly. Then Jeff and Lassie are trapped in the pickup at the edge of a ravine.
Joe Franklin: Alan Hale Jr. (Mr. Green, who helps Gramps and Jeff cut wood, is
Note: Hale later appears in "The Odyssey."
- "Goats" (12/09/56):
- To earn money for a motor for his bike, Jeff agrees to take care of Jim Teal's
goats while he's fencing in their new pasture. But the rambunctious animals run
Jeffand Lassie, Porky, and the familyragged. Jim Teal: Ray Teal.
Note: This is the episode where we learn Woody's last
name is Tompkins.
- "A Place for Everything" (12/16/56):
- Both Ellen and Gramps are fed up by Jeff's habit of leaving things lying around,
so Ellen enlists Lassie's help to teach Jeff to be tidybut soon she's putting
everyone's things away. Purdy Timmons: Douglas Fowley. Jack: Ron Hagerthy. Mary:
Note: Hagerthy guest stars much later in the series
in the ranger episodes.
- "Party Line" (12/23/56):
- With the gossipy Calverton party line always busy, people ask Jenny to deliver
messages. But one day she is out of sorts and people become annoyed, until Jeff
discovers she's unhappy because no one remembers it's her birthday. Jenny:
Florence Lake. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Jim Teal: Ray Teal. Matt Brockway: Paul
Maxey. (Charley at the garage, Jed the postman, and the blond woman Ellen speaks to
Trivia: Jenny has a brother, Bert, who lives in Montana.
Note: Florence Lake, who played Jenny, lasted the
entire run of the farm sequence. Clay is working at the garage again, although he is
not seen in this episode. Indeed, he seems written out of most subsequent episodes, with
House Peters Jr. as Sheriff Billings (Benson in one episode), taking his place, except
for the episode "Boys' Day."
- Porky is upset when a black cat crosses Lassie's path and then she walks under a
ladder, but Jeff and Ellen tell him superstitions are sillybut Jeff may be
converted when unfortunate things keep happening. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space.
Note: You see Domino very briefly.
- "Good-bye Forever" (01/06/57):
- Porky appears after bedtime telling Jeff he's running away after being
punished for something he didn't do, but Jeff persuades him to stick around for
a day, hoping he can talk him out of leavingbut he has to avoid everyone else's
efforts to find him. Sheriff Billings: House Peters Jr.
Note: Jeff mentions the incident that happened in
- "Lassie's Vanity" (01/13/57):
- When Ellen answers a radio quiz correctly, the family wins a free portrait.
After Lassie is dirtied when they go into Capitol City to claim the prize, they
have her bathed at a pet salon and all the praise of her good looks goes to her
head. Painter: Syd Saylor. Milton Mason: Barry Bernard. Receptionist: Rita Lynn.
Note: Cute in-jokethe trivia question that Ellen
is asked is "Who was the 24th President of the United States?" The answer, of
course, is Cleveland (as in Grover but also as in George).
- "Champion" (01/20/57):
- Jeff persuades Gramps to enter a turkey shoot, even though Gramps doesn't
think his eyesight is good enough. But a marauding wolf tests Gramps' aim more than
he thought. Woody: Lee Erickson. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Matt Brockway: Paul
Maxey. With George Chandler. (The boys Pete and Ken are uncredited. Someone named
Chet Bower wins the match, but I am not sure if that is George Chandler's character's
name or someone else.)
Note: Gramps says he hadn't seen his .22 for ten years, "since
we got the news about your father." That would mean John Miller was killed in 1947,
two years after World War II ended. But Ellen comments in "Challenge" that he was
killed saving the lives of twenty men. Perhaps "ten years" is only approximate.
- "Vigil" (01/27/57):
- When Jimmy Travis leaves his terrier Snuff with Jeff when his father's company
transfers him back to Chicago, the heartbroken dog keeps up a vigil at the last
place he saw Jimmy: the Calverton Junction train depot. Jimmy: Michael Winkleman.
Sheriff Benson: House Peters Jr. Mrs. Travis: Eve Miller. Dan Cook (stationmaster):
Note: Leary appears in later Timmy episodes as Judge
Baxter, and once as the minister of the Martin church.
- "Chimp" (02/03/57):
- A chimpanzee is mistakenly delivered to the Miller farm instead of the hamsters
that the boys ordered, and they hide him up in the loft. But keeping "Happy" hidden
becomes a problem after he escapes his cage. Dan Cook (stationmaster): Nolan Leary.
Joe Pinkham: Pete Wexler. Eddie: Slim Pickens.
Note: Part of this plot is very similar
to the later "The Crow," as Gramps dislikes Happy at first, as Uncle Petrie does
Inky; in both stories, the animal saves his detractor from a dangerous situation. Catch
the very funny opening scene where Ellen is slicing onions and eventually everyone is
- "Lassie's Day" (02/10/57):
- Left alone while the Millers and Brockways are at a wedding, Lassie and Pokey
set out on a series of adventures, during which the dogs are separated and Lassie
continues on her own. Al: Jon Shepodd. Deliveryman for Martha's Bakery: Joe Conley.
Betsy: Cheryl Callaway. Betsy's Father: James Parnell. (The restaurant owner and
Harry and his wife [trailer tourists] are uncredited.)
Note: Jon Shepodd, who would play Paul Martin the
following season, guests in this episode. The story is almost a pocket version of
Lassie Come Home and is very reminiscent of later episodes where Lassie
interacts with many strangers.
- "Rock" (02/17/57):
- Porky's new Big League baseball is forgottenexcept by Porkywhen he and Jeff
discover a geode while taking a baseball break from collecting rocks for a school
science exhibit. Lassie finally finds the ball, but by then a rift has developed
between the boys. Miss Vernon: Aline Towne.
Note: Very funny opening scene where Jeff is trying
on his much too small last-year's suit!
- "The Artist" (02/24/57):
- Ellen tells the boys Miss Chapin, the cranky city artist renting the cottage
near the lake's best fishing, might be lonesome for a companion her own age, so Jeff
decides to try to match her up with Grampsby sending her a "gift" in Gramps' name:
his jumping frog Herman! Miss Chapin: Madge Blake.
Note: Miss Chapin's little dog Rembrandt
is played by the same dog who later played Boomer's dog "Mike." This dog also played
"Cinders" on the television series Casey Jones, which starred a Lassie
guest star, Alan Hale Jr, later "the Skipper" (Jonas Grumby) on Gilligan's
Island. Note Miss Chapin's home, which will turn up later in the season.
- "Survival" (03/03/57):
- The boys camp out in the woods without food with the object of surviving on
their own as in the survival book they are reading, but are endangered in the dry woods
by a camper careless with fire. Camper: Lloyd Nelson. Ranger: Rayford Barnes.
Note: Lloyd Nelson, Lassie's dialogue coach,
appears in several other episodes, most prominently in the episodes "The House
Guest" and "The Musher," but you can also hear his distinctive voice as an announcer
in several episodes as well. He sends the radio Christmas message to an injured Lassie
and the Martin family in 1958's "Christmas Story," he's the radio newsman that tells the
news story about Lassie being locked in the truck in "Lassie's Odyssey," and he's the
voice on the radio in many a Corey Stuart episode. Later Nelson was promoted to script
- "Bird Watchers" (03/10/57):
- While Jeff and Porky are out identifying 50 birds for a school project, Lassie
chases off a predator stalking a nesting mallard. But the duck flies away and is later
killed by a ferret, so Lassie is elected to keep the eggs warm until they find a hen.
Note: Miss Vernon is still the boys' teacher. Porky and
Jeff talk about incidents that happened in "The Hawk." Plus a very funny scene where
Gramps and Ellen laugh at listening to Jeff on the telephone with Porky adding commentary,
and with Lassie and the ducklings.
- "The Dog House" (03/17/57):
- Despite the dog house Jeff builds her when Gramps insists Lassie must sleep outside
after a fox depredates the Miller hens, Lassie feels she is being punished. But
once the fox is destroyed, Jeff has a hard time convincing her she can come inside again.
Voice of Matt Brockway: Paul Maxey.
- "The Search" (03/24/57):
- Gramps, having "one of those days," finally drives off in a huff saying he
doesn't know when he's coming back (he's actually gone fishing, but tells no one),
right before a bad storm comes up. Sheriff Jim Billings: House Peters Jr.
Watchmaker: Hal K. Dawson. Bob: Tom London.
- "Boy's Day" (03/31/57):
- Gramps, bank president Ralph Peterson, and cafe keeper Ed Case hatch a plan to
make some excitement for Constable Jeff and Deputy Porky on Calverton Boy's Day by
staging a fake robbery. Jenny: Florence Lake. Ed Case: Malcolm Atterbury. Robber:
Lane Bradford. Ralph Peterson: Herb Butterfield.
Note: I guess Clay Horton is still constable; he must
work the garage as a sideline since the job is so tame. Ed Case runs the "Case Cafe."
Very funny scene where Gramps talks about a local citizen going on a "wing-ding" to
Ellen's embarrassment. There's violence in the episode that wouldn't be tolerated in
kids' programs todayJeff even beans the robber with the butt of a revolver!
- "The Snob" (04/07/57):
- After visiting to Timothy Powell's summer home, Jeff is envious of the wonderful
things he saw at the wealthy Powells and turns up his nose at the farm and Porky.
So when the Powells go away for the weekend, Ellen has Timmy stay with the
Millerswhere Jeff finds out the boy thinks he's the lucky one. Then
Timmy's sprained ankle reveals a more serious problem. Timmy Powell:
Lonnie Thomas. Harry Powell: Carlyle Mitchell. Mrs. Powell: Virginia Gregg.
Dr. Stevens: Grandon Rhodes.
Note: Where'd that puppy come from? Is it later in the
- "Haunted House" (04/14/57):
- When Jeff and Porky sneak into the "haunted" Tilsbury house to fulfill a dare,
they actually see a spectral figure dressed in an ancient soldier's costume walking
the halls of the house. But the "ghost" inadvertantly traps them in the basement.
Phil Davies: Jim Bannon. Soldier: Phil Chambers.
Note: Jim Bannon was one of the stars
of perhaps one of the most remembered of radio adventure programs, I Love a
Mystery. He was the father of Jack Bannon, best known for his role as Art
Donovan on Lou Grant. Incidentally, the "old Tilsbury place" looks a lot like
Homer Carey's house in the pilot, and is very obviously a redress of the house by
the lake in "The Artist."
- "The Nest" (04/21/57):
- Gramps needs to use his mower on the alfalfa crop before bad weather sets in, but
a rare bandtail pigeon has laid her eggs on the machine and Jeff and Porky are
determined to protect them, down to guarding the pigeons at night. Doc Weaver: Arthur
Space. Jim Teal: Ray Teal. Lem Boots: Strother Martin. The boy who plays "Butch" is uncredited.
- "Father Ellen" (04/28/57):
- When Jeff mopes and stays away when the 4-H has father/son meetings, Ellen is
afraid he's lonesome and tries to join him in playing baseball, fishing, and other
boyish activitiesbut this only convinces Jeff she is lonely and he should keep
Note: Ellen looks so very funny in her baseball "uniform"!
- "Poverty" (05/05/57):
- The news that the farm is in danger of being foreclosed on, really a lie told
by Gramps to get rid of a persuasive peddler, prompts Jeff to renounce his
allowance, sell his things, and give Lassie to Porky until he can properly care for
her. Peddler: Henry Slate.
- "The Apple Tree" (05/12/57):
- The Miller apple orchard is half-ruined by rabbits who have girdled the trees,
prompting Gramps to think about selling the farm, so Jeff tries to persuade Gramps
to graft the trees after Lassie finds an early-bearing apple tree in the woods.
Matt Brockway: Paul Maxey.
Note: Gramps says the tree Lassie found was planted by Johnny
Appleseed; wonder if this is the same tree Boomer and Timmy later adopt? However, the tree
is identified as a Gravenstein; Johnny Appleseed only planted Rambo apples. (It's possible
this fact wasn't know in 1957 when the episode was filmed.) And look, here's Ellen wearing
- "The Harvesters" (05/19/57):
- A migrant boy and his father squat on the deserted Johnson farm, to the anger of
crabby Jud Perkins ("Local Elections"), and Jeff discovers the boy, Valentine, breaking
into the school to find books since he wants more schooling. So Jeff agrees to tutor
Val while Perkins makes trouble for the pair. Valentine Zolenko: Ray Giarusso. Michael
Zolenko: Nestor Paiva. Jud Perkins: Jason Johnson. Sheriff Billings: House Peters Jr.
Continuity Glitch?: I could swear Gramps calls Sheriff
Billings "Ed" in this episode, but in "The Search" Ellen calls him "Jim."
- "The Moustache" (05/25/57):
- Ellen is upset at Gramps' flippancy after Jeff says he is growing "a
moustache," so Gramps gives him a fake shave. When the event goes to his head, Gramps
starts giving him adult chores so he can really feel like a man.
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