RETURN ENGAGEMENT

 

 

Episode First Shown: March 1st 1970

Lotta Crabtree returns to Virginia City. There is a party at the Ponderosa and Lotta’s leading man becomes jealous of Hoss. In the play Lotta is in her character is meant to shoot the leading man’s character, and what she doesn’t know is that there are real bullets in the gun! Hoss is arrested for the murder after the sheriff finds blanks in his saddlebag and thinks Hoss switched the bullets.

 

 

 

 

I've just seen this episode for the first time and it was OK but something about it didn't really work; it just never took off and
the story needed explaining better.

For example I thought the idea that Lotta's mother had hidden gold coins was weak and unlikely. The action seemed at times to be leaden to me and in need of some energy and change of scenery.

I think that was a combination of poor scripting and directing and poor choice of actors and actresses.

Sally Kellerman seems to be a good actress but she has a slower, more laid back style than Yvonne de Carlo who brought snap and arrogance to Lotta. I thought that the actor who played the leading man (Stanhope?) was poor, too much ham acting, but at least I had a good laugh over his wig LOL! David McClean as Mashall Fallon was adequate as was William Bryant as Lew McDonald.

I found it jarring that Kellerman was a fair-haired Lotta and de Carlo a dark haired one. Also it's Joe not Hoss who fell for the original Lotta and there is no reference to this.

Now for the good bits. As ever, the three Cs and Candy gave of their very best. Hoss was delightful and Dan treated us to many of his happy, innocent Hoss expressions, bewilderment, enamoured etc. A very funny scene with the family and Hop Sing at breakfast and Hoss pretends to be ill so he can see Lotta. Ben is by turns the gracious host, the friend to Lotta and the detective and I liked his
scripted part. Joe isn't in this much but I did like the full range of merry Joe expressions at his brother's infatuation for Lotta.

I thought that a good part of the script were the red herrings as to who was the guilty party. I didn't think it was Hoss of course, nor the first red herring but I did suspect the second red herring until a twist gave is the final, guilty party.


Trivia: my, didn't the Cs and Candy look smart in the saloon. Hoss with his "Maestro" jacket, vest and tie, Ben equally elegant and
Joe and Candy in smart dark jackets and ties. I also noticed Michael wearing a signet ring on his right pinkie finger!

Overall I thought that the stars were their usual excellent selves but the supporting cast and story not too good.

Hilary

 

 

 

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