Lassie Junior
Episode Guide:
Season 3


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.

Regular Cast:
George Miller "Gramps": George Cleveland
Ellen Miller: Jan Clayton
Jeff Miller: Tommy Rettig
Semi-Regular Cast:
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 hive—which 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 Millers—and 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: Howard McNear.
   • 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 late—and then something very unexpected happens. Doc Weaver: Arthur Space. Freddy: Brad Morrow. (The rest of the cast is uncredited.)
"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 dam—but 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 place—until 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 school there.
"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 bait—but 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: Michael Whalen.
"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 dared—but 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 it—especially 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 uncredited.)
   • 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 Jeff—and Lassie, Porky, and the family—ragged. 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 tidy—but soon she's putting everyone's things away. Purdy Timmons: Douglas Fowley. Jack: Ron Hagerthy. Mary: Pat Hardy.
   • 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 are uncredited.)
   • 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 silly—but 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 leaving—but he has to avoid everyone else's efforts to find him. Sheriff Billings: House Peters Jr.
   • Note: Jeff mentions the incident that happened in "The Runaway."
"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-joke—the 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): Nolan Leary.
   • 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 crying!
"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 forgotten—except by Porky—when 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 Gramps—by 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 supervisor.
"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 today—Jeff 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 Millers—where 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 summer?
"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 activities—but this only convinces Jeff she is lonely and he should keep her company.
   • 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 pants!
"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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