Next came the 20-hour season in 1978,
and 11 2-hour episodes in 1979.
Zeb Macahan - James Arness
Molly Culhane - Fionnula Flanagan
Luke Macahan - Bruce Boxleitner
Laura Macahan - Kathryn Holcomb
Josh Macahan - William Kirby Cullen
Jessie Macahan - Vicki Schreck
A 20-hour miniseries returned in 1978, and aired from 2/12/78 to 5/21/78, replacing Eva Marie Saint as Kate Macahan with Fionnula Flanagan as (aunt) Molly Culhane.
Luke is on the run again, and finds love again, and friendship with a sheriff (Lloyd Bridges.)
On the run again... He meets Hillary! First she kicks him.
Then she implies yes. Then she says no. Then she says yes.
Then he spends some time with some outlaws, and gets some pointers.
Zeb is asked to mediate between the Sioux (led by Ricardo Montalban) and the U.S. Army over visiting Russian royalty who have slaughtered buffalo inside the reservation. Laura plans to marry a Mormon. Zeb finds an old flame, and learns she is married (to William Shatner.) Jessie has been stung by a swarm of bees, and is allergic, and Zeb takes her to the Arapaho medicine man to heal, against the family's wishes. Zeb and Luke set out to drive a herd of cattle up from Texas to the starving Arapaho. Luke rescues a judge who promises to help him solve his legal problems.
Jessie is lost in the desert, and is found by Tilo, a young Navajo, played by Native American actor Ray Tracey.
Molly and Laura get assistance and questionable companionship from a man who says he knew Zeb. Josh goes to Las Mesas to help Luke and thinks he found a nice girl.
The final season consisted of 11 2-hour movies, each one a stand-alone. These are the titles:
The Enemy - aired 2/5/79 - Zeb is at odds with an Indian-hating West Point graduate in the hunt for a chief suspected of raiding wagon trains. Native American actor Duane Loken stars as Wolf Paw.
Here are additional frames from Swedish television:
The Innocent - aired 2/12/79 - Josh becomes involved with a widow and her handicapped son who are struggling to operate a ferry crossing.
Hillary - aired 2/2679 - Luke thinks he has found the man who can clear his name, and plans his wedding to Hillary.
L'Affaire Riel - aired 3/5/79 - Zeb is asked by General Phillip Sheridan to come between an independent French/Indian group and English-speaking Canadians.
The Scavengers - aired 3/12/79 - Aunt Molly and Laura are 'rescued' and held by a seeming gentleman pirate.
The Forgotten - aired 3/19/79 - Luke and Josh discover a Confederate soldier who doesn't know the war is over.
Luke - aired 4/2/79 - Luke is offered the chance to go undercover as an informant in exchange for clearing his name.
China Girl - aired 4/16/79- a pregnant chinese immigrant is rejected by her family.
The Slavers - aired 4/23/79- About white slavers in Mexico, selling girls into prostitution.
The show had a home in the U.S. on TNT daily, then just Saturdays, then it was gone. Then it was back on TNT on Saturdays 8am ET And gone again. EMAIL TNT and ask for its return!
James Arness and Bruce Boxleitner worked together several other times. Bruce was a guest in the very last "Gunsmoke" tv episode, "The Sharecroppers," in 1975. And they both starred in the tv movie "Red River," in 1988, and of course "Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice" in 1994.
Tamara's Gunsmoke page, where you can find more Gunsmoke page links.
See my entire frames collection!
Go to HTWWW pg 1
Go to HTWWW pg 2