The Big Valley (1965–1969)
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Judgement in Heaven 

Jarrod arranges for the girlfriend of a murderous outlaw to be released from jail so she can spend Christmas with the Barkley family. The family has mixed feelings about sharing the ... See full summary »


Murray Golden


Mel Goldberg, A.I. Bezzerides (creator) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Richard Long ... Jarrod Barkley
Peter Breck ... Nick Barkley
Lee Majors ... Heath
Linda Evans ... Audra Barkley
Barbara Stanwyck ... Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
Lynn Loring ... Maybelle
Patrick Culliton ... Corey
Robert Porter ... Hayes (as R. J. Porter)
Napoleon Whiting ... Silas
Ned Wever Ned Wever ... Judge Parker
Frank J. Scannell Frank J. Scannell ... Dr. Merar (as Frank Scannell)
Kathryn Reynolds Kathryn Reynolds ... Meg Travis (as Kay Reynolds)
Kay Stewart Kay Stewart ... Helen Travis
Nicolas Surovy ... Billy Joe Gaines


Jarrod arranges for the girlfriend of a murderous outlaw to be released from jail so she can spend Christmas with the Barkley family. The family has mixed feelings about sharing the holidays with her. She's a wildcat and, with her boyfriend still on the loose, she defiantly vows to re-join him at the first opportunity, causing chaos in the Barkley household. Written by dubchi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Lynn Loring receives a 'Guest Star' credit. See more »


Referenced in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: Baby Outlaws (1995) See more »

User Reviews

Christmas at the Barkley Ranch
25 November 2011 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

In this Christmas episode we have the writers trying convey a nice warm story of a wild girl suddenly settling down and becoming a member of the community all because of the Barkley's life style. Only problem is they should have hired better actors to make this story more believable. The regular Barkley clan acting was good but the guest actors Lynn Loring and Nicholas Surovy were just plain bad.

The story begins with Jerrod gets Maybelle Williams (Lynn Loring) out of jail to spend Christmas with the Barkley family. She is the girlfriend of famed bank robber and killer Billy Joe Gaines (Nicolas Surovy).

While Maybelle is with the Barkleys, Billy Joe escapes from jail and makes his way to Stockton to get his girlfriend. Maybelle at first just wanted to run away but is falling in love with the Barkley family and with Jerrod.

Thus the story plays out with Maybelle wanting to be someone respectable or wanting to be on the run with Billy Joe. And at the end she has to make a decision of which path she is going to take.

I actually like the plot of the story but the guest acting was more along the lines of a community group play. Lynn Loring, who I have reviewed before, is better in this show than the others she has been in as an actress. Only problem is that out of a scale of 10 to 1 she is a perhaps a three in this episode. Someone else could have made this a charming performance but we get someone that may have been better casted as 'townlady #2'. The only time we connect with her character is when she sees the dress that Audra has opened as a present.

Nicolas Surovy was no better as the killer Billy Joe Gaines. He looks scared and timid to be cast as someone that is a criminal on the run. But his performance is overlooked since this was his first acting job. There was also problems with the dialog of his character. Early in the show we see Billy and his two friends riding to Stockton. One of them ask Billy what he is getting Maybelle for Christmas. Billy Joe replies with no emotion whatsoever,, "I'm going to be her Christmas present this year". Yuck!

The show is saved by the rest of the main cast performing their lines with the utmost interest. This may not be the best show of the first season but it does do justice to the "Big Valley' series.

Note- When Audra gets knocked out by the horse- she is pulled out of the fence by Maybelle. Watch Audra's right hand as Maybelle rides away. And one scene has all the Barkleys around the piano singing "Deck the Halls'.

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Release Date:

22 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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