Episode First Shown: March 2nd 1969

Ben is trapped in the basement of the Virginia City courthouse after a mine explosion causes the place to collapse. Trapped with Ben are Bristol Toby, a miner on trial for murder; Callie the courthouse clerk and her fiancÚ Jonathan Pike (who is the chief witness against Toby) plus a critically injured lawman.




The love of both Hoss and Joe for Ben and Candy's warm regard for his employer shine through in this episode. When Hoss first realises that Ben is trapped he looks so desperate yet determined. Joe's expression says it all - Michael's wonderful way with emotions - and Candy's face says "oh, no, no". Great acting without words.

The tension is sustained with so many debris falls and dust not to mention smoke and lack of air. I really liked the inclusion of morse code as it connects to Ben's past (good Cartwright canon) and Toby's.

There are some great twists and turns in this episode. For example Arch Tremayne's mining expertise seems to make him the hero of the day, yet he turns out to be the murderer. I hadn't remembered that. Great fight scene with Joe and Tremayne and it looks like Michael was doing all his own stunts in this fight. Hooray!

The Bristol Toby/Jonathan Pike sub-plot runs in and out of the main rescue theme very neatly. I
wanted Toby to be proved innocent and of course he is. A fine performance by Don Knight as Toby.

The nice little twist with Banty actually saving the day is unexpected. I am always on edge watching everyone go up the coal chute and while I know Joe is going to make it I just have to be sure!

The episode needed the relief of the light comedy over Ben's ankle at the end. I was wondering if Dan had put anything strange in the water and if Michael tried to tickle Lorne's foot LOL!!!

BTW I take it that the title "Five Candles" is a metaphor for the five lives that could be snuffed out?

A very good episode and with a full complement of Cartwrights (for the later seasons) and Candy. As we said this always seems to work best.





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