|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.
Corey Stuart: Robert Bray
The fourteenth season stories were interconnected by having characters overlap from episode to episode, or having two or three stories have an interconnecting theme (wind shears studies, balloon logging, atomic snow probes, etc.).
The new closing credits now feature "Mire."
- "Perils of the Prairie" (09/10/67):
- While Corey surveys a prairie area to examine damage done by an earthquake, Lassie becomes absorbed first in a little sparrow named "Dinky" rebuilding her nest and then in the day to day life in a prairie dog village. Then an aftershock sends a flood of water from a cracked water tower toward the prairie dogs. Pete Baxter:
- "Inferno" (09/17/67):
- Corey and Pete race to the site of an oil well fire precipitated by the earthquake, where Lassie befriends Driller, the terrier belonging to one of the men who will put out the oil fire. On their first attempt the necessary water hoses burst, making the explosive that will put out the fire go off prematurely, so that flying shrapnel injures the little Yorkie. It turns out Driller will need a blood transfusion from Lassie to survive. Dr. Wayne Hillman: Roy Engel. Pete Baxter: Hank Brandt. Johnny Merlin: John Milford. Pat Rockford: Judson Pratt. Grant Hayes: Lane Bradford.
Trivia: Johnny Merlin is called "the Magician" for his excellent record for putting out oil well fires. Driller is treated at the Valley Animal Hospital.
- "Cry of the Wild" (09/24/67):
- Corey and his partner Bert enlist a sailplane pilot in a Forest Service project to learn about wind-shears; meanwhile, Lassie aids a pregnant cougar who was mistakenly shot as the predator who savaged a ranch's chickensthe culprit is really a feral dog. Carol Dawson: Merry Anders. Len Briggs: Stuart Randall. Rick Dawson: Les Brown Jr. Bert: Burt Douglas.
Note: Randall previously played series semi-regular Al Livermore.
- "The Guardian" (10/01/67):
- While Corey accompanies Carol on flights to learn more about sailplaning, Lassie becomes protector for the cougar and her newborn cubs, stealing meat from the ranch to feed them. Carol Dawson: Merry Anders. Len Briggs: Stuart Randall. Rick Dawson: Les Brown Jr. Bert: Burt Douglas.
- "Starfire" (10/08/67):
- When the feral dog raids the ranch chicken coop, Carol's unbroken mare Starfire flees her corral in fear, then later is attacked by the animal. A disappointed Carol takes off next morning to perform one last, high-altitudeand potentially dangeroussurvey. Carol Dawson: Merry Anders. Len Briggs: Stuart Randall. Rick Dawson: Les Brown Jr. Bert: Burt Douglas.
- "Brink of Oblivion" (10/15/67):
- The community of Fawn Lake is growing, to the detriment of the quality of the lake and environs. Particularly offensive is Fowler's Landing, a slovenly boat-rental and beach area, where Lassie becomes friendly with an affable mutt named Skipper ("Spike" in an obligatory guest star role). Emmett Fowler is reluctant to clean up his untidy businessuntil Skipper badly cuts his paw on tin cans scattered on the property and then is threatened by a fire that broke out in a shed full of oily cloth and trash. Kirby Norman: John Archer. Emmett Fowler: Tol Avery.
Note: At the end of "Inferno," Corey says he is on his way to Washington, DC, to participate in talks about pollution; he mentions at the beginning of this episode that he has just gotten back from that trip. Should the previous three episodes have aired after the Fawn Lake trilogy ended?
- "The Homeless" (10/22/67):
- While Corey tries to enlist the jaded local newspaper editor in the fight against pollution at Fawn Lake, Lassie befriends a ring-tailed cat named Ringo and his mate,
displaced and separated by excavation for a motel. Once Lassie rescues Ringo's mate, cowering in a rotted log the animals have chosen for a nest, from being buried by a bulldozer, she has to find Ringo, who's being stalked by a bobcat and a hawk. Kirby Norman: John Archer. Anson Booth: Karl Swenson.
Note: Lassie's fight with the bobcat is culled from several earlier episodes, including "Barney." A ring-tail or ring-tail cat is in the same family as the raccoon and is native to North America, mostly to the United States. It is sometimes called a cacomistle, but that is a different, closely-related animal that lives in Mexico and Central America only. A ring-tail is not the same animal as a coati-mundi; the latter have longer muzzles and no ring tail.
- "A Time for Decision" (10/29/67):
- Anson Booth's young assistant at the Fawn Lake Mountain News tries to enlist him in the war against pollution, but Booth is too tired to take a stand. Kirby Norman: John Archer. Anson Booth: Karl Swenson. Chuck Rawls: Kevin Coughlin.
- "Rim of Disaster" part 1 (11/05/67):
- Corey, Lassie, and their pilot are trapped when their small plane makes a forced landing on a glacier. Not only is the plane damaged, but Jack has broken ribs and a
storm is approaching. Jack: Dewey Martin.
Note: The atomic snow probe is mentioned again in "White Wilderness." Perhaps that episode should have aired before or after "Rim of Disaster"?
- "Rim of Disaster" part 2 (11/12/67):
- Corey and Jack fix the plane before the storm breaks, but every pound aboard is precious; Jack says the aircraft will not be able to take off with Lassie's added
weight. Determined not to leave Lassie behind, Corey rigs a sling device for Lassie and a hook counterpart on the aircraft so she can be picked up after the plane is airborne. Jack: Dewey Martin.
- "Ride the Mountain" (11/19/67):
- When Corey is assigned to a balloon logging detail, his first stop is the Broughton Lumber Company at the Columbia Gorge, where Lassie is injured by falling lumber while playing with the foreman's cat, Dandelion. The quickest way down the mountain is on the log chute that sends the cut trees down the mountain, but it is a dangerous ride on a narrow boat; the speed of descent could send Corey and Lassie flying from the craft. Doc Simms: Don Brodie. Andy Burke: Chick Chandler. Merle Dixon: Richard Devon. "Dandelion" trained by Moe De Sesso.
Note: Lassie is brought down the mountain on the Columbia Gorge log flume, an exciting sequence that was profiled in many magazines, including TV Guide, and is the subject of the Lassie View-Master set, "Lassie Rides the Log Flume." The log flume is now derelict, although some parts of the structure still exist. The balloon logging project was a Forest Service project from 1964 through 1986 and was largely unsuccessful.
- "Fury at Wind River" (11/26/67):
- Corey and Lassie visit a small logging operation owned by the inexperienced son of the original owner and his father's former partner Walt; Lassie is aboard Walt's tugboat when the elderly man starts having head pains and loses control of the boat. He manages to recover and save a log raft from disaster, but while taking the tug back to port suffers a stroke and runs the tug around. Lassie must jump ashore and run from help, tracking Corey through a power plant and over a spillway. Steve Powers: Alan Reed Jr. Walt Johnson: Ray Teal. Roy: Dale Johnson. Wes McCann: Lloyd Nelson.
Trivia: Corey's license plate number is A113393. Walt is a friend of Andy Burke from "Ride the Mountain."
Note: Filmed at the Bonneville Dam and Locks at Lake Bonneville.
- "Dangerous Journey" (12/03/67):
- Corey and Merle visit the Wind River Nursery, where they discover deer are eating the expensive seedling trees that will be used for reforestation. Ranger Tom Anderson has been reluctantly shooting the animals, so with Corey's help they plan to tranquilize them and move them across the river to a nature preserve. But Lassie gets to the deer family first; she leads the buck and doe safely across a bridge, but their straggling fawn tries to cross the river instead. Tom Anderson: Kenneth Tobey. Merle Dixon: Richard Devon.
Note: Filmed at the Wind River Nursery, which closed down in 1997.
- "Showdown" (12/17/67):
- A bullying, angry man who professes to be protecting the forest from being destroyed tries to sabotage the Forest Service's new balloon logging program. After shooting at Corey's truck, severing a telephone line, and sabotaging a bulldozer so that it rolls over a cliff (luckily without its operator), he's ready to do even more damage: assaulting the sheriff and shooting the newly-launched balloon. Bob Stokes: Leo Gordon. Merle Dixon: Richard Devon. Freddie: Albe Fernandez. Deputy: Glen Stensel.
Note: Filmed at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (which is an actual National Forest, as opposed to the fictional ones usually portrayed). Corey gets some action in this episode in the form of a fistfight.
- "Miracle of the Dove" (12/24/67):
- Corey and Lassie rescue a dove entangled in the branches of a holly bush before delivering a Christmas tree to Corey's friends, a young couple with a daughter who has been just been given a Yorkshire terrier as an early Christmas gift. After ranger and collie leave, little Whiskers chooses an unsupervised moment to run after Lassie, but gets lost in the woods. Corey leaves Lassie with Terri to keep her company on Christmas Eve; in the morning, the dove, who has found Whiskers, leads Lassie to them. In the closing scene, Lassie brings Terri's greatest wish to church on Christmas morning. Terri: Eve Plumb (later Jan of The Brady Bunch). John: Patrick Waltz.
Elaine: Anne Bellamy.
Note: The family's last name is never given. This is the same church as shown in part four of "Lassie the Voyager."
- "Have You Any Wool?" 12/31/67):
- One of the innovations of the Corey Stuart years was something called "the all-animal episodes," involving Lassie's interaction with various wild creatures. IMHO, Lassie always worked best with humans to play off and I found most of the all-animal episodes pretty dull. The exception is this wonderfully humorous episode about Lassie's effort to find a home for a lost black lamb. Lassie's reaction at the end to yet another stray is a classic.
Caution: Spoilers!: Lassie is out feeding her forest friends, including a squirrel, a fawn, a fox, and a bear cub when she comes upon a black lamb. The little creature was caught in a snare and being stalked by a coyote. Lassie chases away the coyote and chews the snare rope free. She is about to leave when the pathetically bleating lamb makes her realize it has no home. First she finds a flock of white sheep and the lamb runs up and eagerly nurses on a ewe. But the ewe doesn't recognize the black lamb as hers and savagely drives it away. Next they find a cow, and the lamb tries to nurse on her. But she kicks it away. By now the little fellow is so weak from hunger that Lassie wants to leave it while she reconnoiters, but a hawk appears, so first she must hide the lamb in some brush. To her relief, ahead she finds a flock of black sheep, but returns to find the hawk attacking the lamb, who has broken cover, and must fight the bird off.
To Lassie's relief, the black sheep accept the black lamb. But a white lamb is loose in the flock of black ones, being rejected as well, and Lassie takes on its charge. She's on firmer ground now, recalling where she saw a flock of white sheep, and sure enough, the white lamb is accepted there.
Having had a busy day and now hungry herself, Lassie heads off in relief. Then she hears a lamb's bleat. She stares. Here is another stray lamb trotting toward herthis one white with black spots! She gives a howl of despair and tries to run off, but a pathetic bleat makes her pause in her tracks. She stops as the spotted lamb catches up with her, licks it in resignation, and the two of them trot off together as the episode ends.
- "The Bracelet" (01/07/68):
- Corey escorts Miss Ridgeway, a nature painter of some renown, to a secluded area where she can work, leaving Lassie with her for company. When her insulin supply is destroyed after a lightning strike that sets her cabin afire while she is away painting, Lassie must guide her back to the ranger station over a treacherous bridge before she goes into a diabetic coma. Mike: Jed Allan. Miss Ridgeway: Jacqueline Scott.
Trivia: We are back in the Franklin National Forest.
Note: Of course Jed Allan went on to play Scott Turner in season 15 and 16. I wonder why they just didn't call him Mike, since it would explain how the Jed Allan character knew Lassie in "The Holocaust." Odd: my husband is diabetic, yet Miss Ridgeway (we never learn her first name) never checks her blood sugar before she takes her insulin (although probably because back then it involved urine and litmus-like paper), nor does she refrigerate it. Insulin that does not need to be refrigerated was not existant in 1968.
- "The Foundling" (01/14/68):
- Corey, investigating a potential campsite near the Emerald Valley Campground, finds that Bill, the resident ranger, is a bit jaded by the carelessness and ignorance of some of the tourists that visit the Cascade National Forest. Bill's worst fears are proven when a well-meaning couple bring the rangers a fawn they "rescued" from abandonment in the forest; believing the fawn's mother will not take it back after its human contact, Corey and Bill plan to send it to a game ranch. But Lassie has other ideasif she can get the doe to trust her. Perhaps fending a wolf off will do. Wife: Diana Christian. Tom: Ron Hagerthy. Bill: Mark Tapscott.
Trivia: Bill's headquarters is the Boulder Ranger Station.
Note: There was originally a Cascade National Forest in Oregon, but in the 1930s it was combined with another national forest to make the Willamette National Forest.
- "Rescue Ridge" (01/21/68):
- Corey is helping a forest service crew battle a fire in acres of trees and scrubland. In the meantime, Lassie, having stayed behind when Corey goes back to work after taking a break, finds herself tracking down a tiny coatimundi kit who has wandered from his nest with his three siblings, directly into the path of the fire. Once she gets the wandering baby on its way, she must help a lost lamb as well. Dave: Richard Webb. Hal (Helicopter Pilot): Robert Patten.
Note: The names Corey and Dave mention for the areaBoulder Creek, Hawk Ridge, Golden Ridge, Dade Mountain, Carson Meadow, Pine Creek, Snake Canyonsound vaguely as if they would be in Colorado or Wyoming or even Idaho. However, coatimundis only live in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.
- "White Wilderness" (01/28/68):
- While Corey and his fellow rangers test a new atomic probe that helps them analyze the snowpack, Lassie saves a snowshoe rabbit from a hungry foxand offers him a sandwich from the men's pack instead. So next day while she is waiting out in the Sno-Cat while the rangers are blasting avelanche cornices, the fox turns up to cadge more food, inadvertently wandering into the avelanche zone. But the rabbit returns to do a good turn. Cal: Cal Bartlett. Dave Madden: Jack Catron. (And two uncredited and evidently authentic forest rangers shooting off the snow cannon.)
- "The Lonely One" (02/04/68):
- Corey is assigned to Cape Kennedy to survey what wood-based products are used in the space program as well as participating in a parachute-testing project (NASA will be using some parachutes being developed at the Forest Service's Missoula research installation) and is teamed with his old smoke-jumping buddy Chuck Conway, now an
astronaut. While Corey takes a try at "kite flying" (like wind-sailing, used for astronaut survival training), Lassie encounters Atlas, a guard dog gone wild after the death of his handler. While Chuck gives Corey a tour of the VAB, Lassie runs out to the wildlife preserve, where Atlas has become trapped in quicksand. Chuck Conway: Peter Haskell. Dan (Gate Guard): Med Flory. Austin Redmond: Parley Baer. Dr. Paul Lowry: Richard Crane. Forest Service Supervisor (Ed Palmer): Ross Elliott.
Note: This entire three-episode sequence shows some fabulous shots of the Kennedy Space Center during the beginning of the Apollo moon missions: the bus tour, the VAB (the largest building in area in the world; clouds actually form at the top of the building if the air conditioning malfunctions), the crawler that transported the huge Saturn 5 rockets to the launch pad, etc.). Historical note: The U.S. spaceport was originally named "Cape Canaveral," the name of the piece of land the launch area was built on. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who had wholeheartedly supported the space program, the entire area was renamed "Cape Kennedy." In 1973, the area reverted to its old name, but the space complex remained the Kennedy Spaceflight Center.
- "The Searchers" (02/11/68):
- While on his way to the airport to pick up the experimental parachute, Corey and Lassie befriend young Donnie Baker, whose puppy Duke was struck by a car and killed while chasing a rabbit, and takes him home to bury his dog. A few days later Donnie runs into Corey, Chuck, and Lassie while on the Cape Kennedy bus tour, and Lassie leads him immediately to Atlas. Donnie tries to give the German Shepherd Duke's future collar, which he originally offered to Lassie, but Atlas is too cowed to come near him. However, the moment Donnie has gotten on the bus to complete his tour and Corey and Chuck continue their work, Lassie looses Atlas and leads him directly to Donnie's house. Chuck Conway: Peter Haskell. Dan (Gate Guard): Med Flory. Jack (Tourguide): Jed Allan. Donnie Baker: Bobby Riha. Mrs. Baker: Sally Fraser.
Note: Allan went on to play one of Lassie's "godfathers," Scott Turner, beginning with "The Holocaust." Check out the exterior of the Baker house: it's a complete redress of the home Terri shares with her parents in "Miracle of the Dove."
- "Countdown" (02/18/68):
- The first parachute test is successful, but the descending capsule strikes a bald eagle's nest and topples it from its tree, breaking one of the bird's legs. Corey rushes it to headquarters, where biologist Paul Lowry treats yet another animal patient. Lassie stays by the bird's side as it heals, and the eagle finally makes a successful "launch" just before the test of the Saturn V rocket. Chuck Conway: Peter Haskell. Austin Redmond: Parley Baer. Parachute Testing Supervisor: Jack DeMave. Dr. Paul Lowry: Richard Crane. Television Newscaster: George "Bob" Beban.
Note: DeMave went on to play one of Lassie's "godfathers," Bob Erickson, beginning with "The Holocaust." Having grown up with the Space Program, the tour and the launch of the rocket brought back many great memories. The marshes and ground around the launch area comprise the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. The rocket launches, the scientists discovered, didn't bother the birds nesting there. They apparently treated it as a very sudden thunderstorm.
- "Escape to Danger" (02/25/68):
- Animal trainer Tom Whitney, having received permission to give performances at the Franklin National Forest campgrounds after auditioning for Corey, is in a wreck after his brakes fail, and his four trained animals, including a precocious raccoon named Zelda, escape. It takes the lazy dog Tom dubbed "NoCount" to save himbut it's Lassie who rescues his pets, including saving an inquisitive Zelda from a bobcat. Tom: Jay Novello.
Trivia: Tom renames the dog "Count."
Note: The other trained animals are a small pig, a goose, and a rabbit, and were provided by Moe Di Sesso. Notice the truck Tom is driving: it's Paul Martin's truck from the later episodes with Timmy.
- "The Ledge" (03/03/68):
- Corey's checking on equipment at a snow survey cabin when he meets Bill, a senior Boy Scout, with four junior scouts (Matt, Jimmy, Chuck and red-headed Hank, who has a new instant camera). While Corey completes his work for the day, the scouts go off seeking nature specimens and Hank attempts to take wildlife photos, but, wanting to get a good shot of a golden eagle, climbs up onto a crumbling ledge that Lassie tries to pull him away from. Part of the ledge collapses, leaving Hank trapped. The scouts are searching for Hank and think Lassie only wants to play when she comes for them. When Lassie returns to Hank, he takes a photo of himself, then the rocks below, and tosses the snapshots, wrapped in his bandanna, to Lassie. She finds Corey just as the scouts have found Hank, and he helps them get the boy from the ledge. Hank: Craig Hundley. (I couldn't find credits for the other boys; the rerun I saw had "Hanford's Point" credits grafted on it.)
Note: Craig Hundley will appear in the final season of Star Trek co-starring with future Lassie regular Pamelyn Ferdin. Under the name Craig Huxley, he is now an "Emmy-winning film producer and Grammy nominee musician and soundtrack producer."
- "Hanford's Point" part 1 (03/10/68):
- Making Pine Lake into a recreation area will help a small town, but the plans depend on buying land from two friendly but independent young men who inherited the land from their father and whom the townspeople view as "kooks." Lassie immediately befriends their mutt "Big Dog" and is helped by them and Luci Wade, daughter of one of the landowners who wish to sell their property for the new development, when she falls into an old mine shaft after being harassed by the boys' pet crow D.R.. Barnaby Cornell: Karl Swenson. Dan Peterson: Ray Hemphill. Chris Hanford: Jan-Michael Vincent (credited as "Michael Vincent"). Drew Hanford: Tony Dow (yet another Leave It to Beaver alumni). Luci Wade: Barbara Hunter. Clyde (Barber): James McCallion.
Trivia: Barnaby Cornell, printer and small newspaper publisher (the Mountain News) is the boys' legal guardian, but he only signs legal documents with them; otherwise they are considered emancipated. The Hanford boys' father was named "Darwin."
Note: This episode marked the unofficial beginning of Lassie's "relevant" period: very Sixties "Flower Power" type decor on the car and in the cabin, Sixties slang as part of the dialog, even "groovy" theme music for the Hanford boys and the sign "Hanfords Point. Where it's happening." The town where this story is filmed in closely resembles the town of Fawn Lake in an earlier trilogy of episodes. Karl Swenson even plays the newspaper editor, although in this story he's Barnaby Cornell rather than Anson Booth!
- "Hanford's Point" part 2 (03/17/68):
- The Hanford boys refuse Corey's offer, but he asks them to think about it; having to fly back to San Francisco for a brief time, he leaves Lassie at Hanford's Point. Later he speaks with Luci's father Tom, who considers the boys "oddballs." and later Tom has a testy conversation with Luci about them before leaving her alone overnight. When Luci's date has to bow out, she takes the Wades' motorboat to the village by herself, but the engine fails in the middle of the lake near Hanford's Point; when she tries to swim to shore she must be rescued by the Hanfords and stay overnight due to a bad storm. Tom Wade: Robert Rockwell. Luci Wade: Barbara Hunter. Chris Hanford: Jan-Michael Vincent (credited as "Michael Vincent"). Drew Hanford: Tony Dow.
Trivia: D.R.'s name stands for "distinguished representative." Drew and Chris got it from watching U.N. debates"a lot of noise, nobody says anything." (If Tom Wade thinks the boys are "typical young people" he needs to talk to them; they both listen to U.N. debates and appreciate black-and-white classic films, evidenced by "the Walls of Jericho" from It Happened One Night Chris erects in the house for Luci to feel comfortable.)
Note: Corey warns them about building the new room to their house around D.R.'s tree; you would think Drew would have considered the tree would grow and he'd have to leave more room around it.
- "Hanford's Point" part 3 (03/24/68):
- Luci awakens at the Hanford cabin feverish and unable to breathe, but is rushed to the hospital in time. In the meantime, the boys are still determined not to sell and continue building an addition on their cabin, which prompts potential problems. Luci Wade: Barbara Hunter. Chris Hanford: Jan-Michael Vincent (credited as "Michael Vincent"). Drew Hanford: Tony Dow. Tom Wade: Robert Rockwell. Mrs. Wade: Bonita Granville Wrather. Dan Peterson: Ray Hemphill. Ed: John Archer.
Note: Oddly, Bonita Granville Wrather is not credited.
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