|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.
Bob Erickson: Jack DeMave
Scott Turner: Jed Allan
Neeka: Mark Miranda
When Robert Bray left the series after four seasons, the public was told Bray had
"tired" of the series. Unfortunately, Bray really left due to an alcohol problem.
Replacing Bray were two rangers who would alternate as the human leadsthey
designated themselves as "Lassie's godfathers," taking care of her while Corey
recovered from burns received in a forest fire. Jed Allan (later to go on to
daytime drama) made a pretty stalwart ranger, but Jack DeMave's character seemed
The series also attempted to enter a new youngster into the series for an occasional
appearance; Mark Miranda played Neeka, a 13-year-old Tlingit Indian boy adopted by
Scott's old mentor. Neeka appears in seven episodes in season 15 and four in
season 16. Mark Miranda then returns as Andy Lopez, one of the boys fostered
at the Holden Ranch.
Trivia Note: Ranger Bob Erickson was named for Lassie's most prolific
writers, Robert Schaefer and Eric Freiwald.
- "Lassie's Race for Life" (09/29/68):
- Corey is working with Linda Monroe, a geologist consulting with the Forest Service on landslide prevention, when Lassie finds a goose that has metal poisoning. The dying bird's only hope is that an antiserum can be administered before noon, so Corey and Lassie race to ranger headquarters to get the serum while the goose's mate waits
faithfully by. Then a fresh landslide blocks the road. Bill: John Cliff. Clay Adams: Morgan Jones. Linda Monroe: Patricia Owens.
Note: While we would find it patronizing today that Linda is referred to as a "girl" and reassured about her ability to treat the goose, this is one of the first shows I remember where a woman had a "man's job" like a geologist, and her expertise in taking soil samples is not questioned or made a joke of.
- "Burst of Freedom" (10/06/68):
- Lassie races for help after an earthquake traps Corey under a tree in the path of an incipient rockslide, but the motorist who picks her up nets and drugs her, selling her to a vet conducting animal experiments. Lassie escapes her pen and frees the other dogs, but when the professor won't listen, can she get his secretary Ann back to Corey in time? Professor Jonathan Leod: Vaughn Taylor. Cliff: Berkeley Harris. Ann: Merry Anders.
Note: Part of this episode was filmed at Vasquez Rocks.
- "Holocaust" part 1 (10/13/68):
- While going out with the smoke jumpers, Corey and his partner Lane are trapped in the path of an advancing firestorm. Badly burned and rushed to the hospital, they've been tracked by Lassie, who is headed off by ranger Bob Erickson, who takes her in. Dave: Ron Hayes. Air Control: Lloyd Nelson. Bob Erickson: Jack DeMave. Dr. Baker: Gregory Morton. Ed: Darwin Joston. Lane Becker: Robert Brubaker. With Robert Patten.
Note: Robert Bray doesn't actually appear in this episode; instead clips from "A Time for Courage" are inserted showing Corey surveying the fire, then going off with the smoke jumpers, parachuting in, and being trapped. The shot of Lassie jumping up to look around while surrounded by smoke appears to come from "Temper the Wind."
- "Holocaust" part 2 (10/20/68):
- The director of the Forest Service sends Scott Turner to help decide Lassie's fate after they realize Corey's recovery will take months. But while Scott and Bob survey the fire site, Lassie escapes Bob's trailer to brave the freeway and reach the hospital just as Corey is being transferred to another. She's assisted on her journey by a friendly policeman who delivers her to the hospitalbut now she must find her master. Dave: Ron Hayes. Director: Donald Woods. Policeman: William Bramley. Doctor: Tyler McVey.
Trivia: Bob grew up on a farm and owned two big hounds; one, named Duke, slept at the foot of his bed each night. Scott grew up in the city, but owned a painted turtle for three weeks. Corey was hospitalized at Santa Clarita Hospital and transferred to Mercy Hospital.
Note: Lane dies from his burns in this outing.
- "Last Frontier" (10/27/68):
- Lassie and Scott, flying to Juneau, Alaska, and their pilot Johnny Chalmers, son of Scott's old mentor Dean Chalmers, land near a glacier to help a hunter and his partner, who was mauled by a bear and who is now wandering, feverish and wounded, in the forest with a rifle. They track him into the woods, where, delusional, he keeps shooting at them. Johnny Chalmers: Jeff Pomerantz. Wayne: Philip Pine. Dave: Douglas Henderson.
- "Eagle's Dynasty" (11/03/68):
- After Scott and Lassie are introduced to Johnny's adopted brother Neeka, Dean and Scott survey an island, where they rescue a female eagle that has become sodden from a fall in the lake while Lassie protects her eaglet from a lynx. Neeka: Mark Miranda. Dean Chalmers: Robert Rockwell. Johnny Chalmers: Jeff Pomerantz.
Trivia: According to the script, the boat that Chalmers lives on is called a "wannigan." (However, I have heard from a correspondent who says this is not the proper term for the home.) His deceased wife was named Martha. Scott trained under Dean Chalmers at the Chutes in Oregon ten years earlier.
- "Day of the Wolf" (11/10/68):
- While Dean and Scott continue their survey of the waterfront, Neeka and Lassie go fishing, but the boy must take charge when Lassie breaks her leg in a trapand a wolf is stalking the injured dog. Neeka: Mark Miranda. Dean Chalmers: Robert Rockwell.
- "Glacier Canyon" (11/17/68):
- Dean is knocked unconscious repairing a gas leak on their cabin cruiser and a recovering Lassie braves icy waters to find Neeka and Scott, who are finishing up the last in a series of glacier studies. Then they must wait while the Coast Guard effects a rescue. Neeka: Mark Miranda. Dean Chalmers: Robert Rockwell. Dispatcher's Voice: Lloyd Nelson. Johnny Chalmers: Jeff Pomerantz.
Trivia: The cabin cruiser they are using is named the "Tongass Ranger," radio frequency WZ3325. The Coast Guard boat sent to the rescue is the "Cape Florida."
- "Track of the Jaguar" part 1 (11/24/68):
- Scott and Lassie are visiting the Denning quarter horse/cattle ranch so that Scott can take soil samples to determine if badly-burned land can be once again used for grazing, When a maurading jaguar so frightens Lady, an in-foal mare, that she dies after giving birth, Scott helps the rancher track down the animal. Billy Cameron: Paul Petersen. Paul Denning: Garry Walberg. Doc Barnes: Ed Prentiss.
Trivia: The horse Billy is exercising is "Sundance." Billy's dad used to be Denning's horse trainer; Billy took over three years earlier after his father's death.
Note: Name that setting! Yes, we're at Vasquez Rocks again.
- "Track of the Jaguar" part 2 (12/01/68):
- After the jaguar attacks Billy's beloved bloodhound Jason, the young man joins Scott and Lassie in hunting the killer feline. But inquisitive Shooting Star, Lady's orphaned foal, follows Billy into the hills where he becomes the prey. Billy Cameron: Paul Petersen. Paul Denning: Garry Walberg.
Note: For some inexplicable reason, a cougar helps Lassie keep the jaguar away from Jason. We never learn why. Perhaps a territorial dispute between the two cats? But this doesn't explain why the cougar then lies down and guards Jason for Lassie until the humans show up! There is no other episode this season that might explain why this happened, such as Lassie helping a cougar in the same area.
- "New Horizon" (12/08/68):
- When Scott and Lassie rejoin Bob in California, where he and graduate student Diane Stafford are working on ideas for underwater parks, they rescue a pelicanwho returns the favor when Scott and Diane are trapped underwater by a net. Diane: Wende Wagner.
Note: This is one of the few episodes after "The Holocaust" that Bob and Scott are in together. Filmed at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California.
- "Out of the Frying Pan" (12/15/68):
- Lassie is kept busy while Bob and his partner Al exercise some forest service mounts in the surf: as she tries to protect a lost white kitten (the property of a dog-wary local woman) that is fleeing a predatory hawk, she also has to chase down Starfire, a recalitrant horse. Finally she sets the kitten in a tidal cave for safety while she fetches the mare, but the tide is rapidly coming in. Amy Baker: Ellen Corby. Al Jennings: Morgan Jones.
Trivia: This is set at the Indian Springs Ranger Station at the Elk River National Forest.
Note: Beefcake for 1960s Lassie fans: DeMave and Jones ride horseback sans shirts!
- "Lassie and the 4-H Boys" (12/29/68):
- Two brothers disagree over the fate of Butch, their 4-H bullRuss, who's made a pet of the animal, wants to keep him, but Ken wants to sell him for beef to earn their college tuition. So when Butch wanders away, Ken accuses Russ of hiding him. Russ Hines: Jim Halferty. Ken Hines: Jerry Mathers. Mr. Hines: Steve Brodie.
Judge's Voice: Lloyd Nelson.
- "Deadly Game" (01/05/69):
- Lassie's day with Jingo, a beagle staying with his owner's father on the man's home construction site turns too busy: first she pulls the beagle away from a blasting site, then, in trying to get him out of a house about to be demolished, Lassie is herself trapped. Hank: Roy Engel. Worker: H. Lloyd Nelson.
Trivia: Bob was born on a farm.
- "What Price Valor?" part 1 (01/12/69):
- Bruno, a war dog under rehabilitation, suffers from flashbacks after being exposed to blasting and escapes from his run. After warning the construction crew and local ranchers that Bruno is dangerous, his trainer Mike and Bob, on horseback with Lassie trailing him, set out find him before the others do. Mike Cranston: Norman Alden. Joe: Mike Farrell (billed as "Michael Farrell"). Al: John Cliff. Carl: Wayne Heffley.
Trivia: Takes place near the Indian Springs Ranger Station in the Elk River National Forest.
- "What Price Valor?" part 2 (01/19/69):
- After Bruno stampedes Charlie Withers' corral of horses and kills a calf at the Grant ranch, the anchers begin hunting the dog. Lassie, finding him first, tries to lead him home. Then Buck is thrown from his horse and it looks as if Bruno will attack him. Mike: Norman Alden. Buck Grant: William Smith. Joe: Mike Farrell (billed as "Michael Farrell"). Charlie Withers: Stuart Randall. Jim Malone: James McCallion.
Note: James McCallion used to play Mi Taylor opposite another 1960s animal star, King, of the the television series National Velvet, which also featured Arthur Space (Doc Weaver in the Jeff and Timmy episodes) as Velvet's father, Herbert Brown.
- "A Chance to Live" (01/26/69):
- While Bob surveys a potential campsite on the Oregon coast, Lassie befriends a mallard and her ducklings, but the animals are endangered by a quite innocent source: a man performing maintenance on his car in the woodshe's allowing the oil to drain into the water. Jack: Bill Williams. Man: Sam Edwards.
- "The Return Home" (02/02/69):
- The owner of a dune buggy concession/club refuses to allow the Forest Service to stabilize an area of his property near a lake, where dune erosion threatens the lake and the nearby village. While Bob thinks of a way for Rick to keep his club and protect the dunes, the club's expectant mutt Lady keeps returning to the now sand-engulfed shack she once lived inand ends up having her pups in the midst of the raceway. Rick Butler: Sammy Jackson. District Ranger: Bill Williams.
Trivia: Bob was evidently something of a mechanic in his younger years. He mentions that many a boy who tinkered with cars later became a pilot or astronaut. Was he perhaps also talking about himself?
- "Tempest," part 1 (02/09/69):
- Bob and Lassie visit the wild, surf-tossed Oregon coast where logs washed downriver into Winchester Bay after a flood are creating a problem for the Coast Guard, where they meet Jake Peterson, an old acquaintance of Lassie, a former forest ranger who now is a crab fisherman. The logs prove even more dangerous next day, when Jake takes Lassie out fishing with him; one strikes and disables his boat as a storm brews. Jake Peterson: Ford Rainey. And Chief Tom McAdams as himself. (Pete is uncredited.)
Note: McAdams, a decorated Master Chief Boatswain's Mate, tells his story here. He mentions the Lassie episode on page five of the interview.
- "Tempest," part 2 (02/16/69):
- Huddled together in his disabled boat, Lassie and injured Jake Peterson ride out the tumultuous surf. As the boat heads for the treacherous Cliffs, Bob and the Coast Guard mount a dangerous rescue to save their lives. Jake: Ford Rainey. Pilot: Christian Drake. And Chief Tom McAdams as himself.
- "To Catch a Crow" (02/23/69):
- Scott's crusade to prove to congressman Ted Worth that a camp for Job Corps volunteers will not introduce "hoodlums and thieves" into the neighborhood is endangered when a crow snatches his son's watch, implicating Luke Roberts, a former deliquent determined to do something with his life. Luke Roberts: Richard Evans. Roy: Cal Bartlett. Ted Worth: Peter Hobbs. Phil Worth: Dan Ferrone.
Trivia: Scott was born and raised in Chicago, and, from a comment he makes, may have had a troubled adolescence.
- "Walden" (03/02/69):
- Lassie befriend Patricia Prescott, who refers to herself as "Walden," a free-spirited teenage girl, who has left home to live in the wilderness like her idol, Henry David Thoreau, after the young woman cleans up a picnic area. But both of them are endangered by aftershocks from an offshore earthquake, especially when Walden takes refuge in a cave. Walden: Hilarie Thompson. Sheriff Baker: L.E. "Buck" Young. Dispatcher: H. Lloyd Nelson.
Trivia: This takes place at the Blue Jay Guard Station in the Columbia National Forest.
Note: Notice the City Hall Scott parks in front of early in the episode. This same set was also used as a hospital in the Timmy episode "The Dognappers."
- "The Stalker" (03/09/69):
- Lassie has rescued a squirrel that was attacked by a hawk, so after patching it up as well as he can, Scott takes the little creature to the wild animal park run by his friend Andy Holt, who tells him that they are importing a male tiger as a mate for the female already living at the facility. But the driver of the transport truck swerves and crashes, freeing the frightened male tiger. Lassie leads the search for him as he heads east, directly for the home of the district ranger, whose wife is home alone and hampered by a cast. Rick: Richard Tretter. Lori: Patricia Derby. Andy Holt: Kevin Hagen.
Trivia: Rick's radio call sign is KMB 642. Scott was district ranger of the area before Rick.
Note: This episode was evidently shown out of production order, as Scott comments to Andy that he just got Lassie back from Bob, who was at a job "up north." Sometimes the "friend of animals" theme of Lassie got a bit much: Lassie scares off the hawk for chasing the squirrel. What's the hawk supposed to eat? He's not attacking the squirrel to be malicious; he's hungry. Rick and Lori's surname is not given.
- "Price of Wisdom" (03/16/69):
- When Scott and Lassie visit Neeka and Dean Chalmers at their temporary home, Neeka takes Lassie with him to help finish collecting and identifying plants for a school project, and meet Clay Bowers, a former construction worker with a leg injury who has turned into a bit of a hermit. Neeka asks Bowers to help him with his project, partially to draw the embittered man out of his shell. Neeka: Mark Miranda. Dean Chalmers: Robert Rockwell. Mr. Bowers: R.G. Armstrong.
Note: Dean is on annual leave and is caring for Oakwood Lodge as a favor to his old friend Mr. Haskell.
- "Night of the Ghost" (03/23/69):
- Scott, Lassie and Neeka survey riding trails and camp out at the hotel of an derelict mining town reputed to be haunted by a wolf and the man who killed him. Whistling winds, falling objects and a sound like a wolf howl continue to spook both Neeka and Lassie, especially after darkness falls. Neeka: Mark Miranda.
- "Time of Crisis" (03/30/69):
- While his dad's in town, Neeka gets the idea to drive his father's truck. It strikes a rock, gas spills, and Neeka and Lassie escape in time, but the resulting explosion send the horses fleeing. When found, Neeka's horse Cloudy is badly hurtand may have a broken leg. Neeka: Mark Miranda. Chalmers: Robert Rockwell. Dr. Samuel Roderick: John Harmon.
Note: Scott does not appear in this episode.
- "Lassie and the Flying Squirrels" (04/06/69):
- In this all-animal episode, Lassie follows a flying squirrel back to its nest, where she meets the animal's mate. When the mate is trapped in a discarded tin can, Lassie's new friend braves a stalking bobcat to enlist the collie's help. But the trapped squirrel is first endangered by a hungry coyote, and then by a roll down a cliff that leads to a busy park road, with Lassie and its mate in hot pursuit.
Note: The opening of this episode, where Lassie follows migrating geese down to the lake and watches them for a while, is from "Fly Away Home." However, the dog who is on the porch and reacts to the geese is "HeyHey," not "Mire." At the beginning of the episode, the three horses in the corral are the same ones that escaped in "Time of Crisis," including Neeka's horse Cloudy, so I assume Scott is still staying with Dean and Neeka in this episode; they are just off somewhere else. The episode makes it look like a flying squirrel can glide prodigiously long distances; they are really only capable of short "flights" from branch to branch. Yes, of courseŚLassie drops the now-empty can in one of the park trash barrels before she leaves for home!
- "Moonshiners" (04/13/69):
- Brothers Leroy and Woody, with their mongrel dog Charley, move into the Clear Lake National Forest in order to make moonshine undisturbed, but when Bob catches Woody buying supplies for their product, Leroy tries to distract the rangerby setting a small fire in the tinder-dry forest. The fire ends up trapping the men instead. Woody: Wayne Sutherlin. Leroy: Buckland Noah Beery. Ranger: Patrick Waltz.
Note: Spike plays Charley. Buckland Beery is the son of Noah Beery Jr. of The Rockford Files who appeared in the season 13 episode "Danger Mountain" and who would appear in season 17's "A Year of Sundays."
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