"The Big Valley" The Lost Treasure (TV Episode 1966) Poster

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theowinthrop is wrong
bigdave547220 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have just watched this episode on MeTV, and the posted synopsis is more accurate than the review by theowinthrop. He or she said that it was from memory of seeing the episode many years ago, and I am sure that it was just a mistake.

I had myself thought that I remembered that in the pilot episode, Heath had found his father's grave after looking for it, and then was stomping on the flowers when Audra took after him with a whip. I learned in seeing it again recently that was a mistaken memory. Heath happened upon the grave by accident, and it was not really stomping on the flowers, Audra just accused him of that.

Anyway, this was not one of my favorite episodes, but it was alright. Seems to just be an excuse to reiterate that Heath was accepted as a member of the family, and it did not really matter if he was actually Tom Barkley's bastard son, or not. For anyone who knows human nature, the whole series is based upon an incredible premise. Just look at how Bocephas treats his half-sister, Jett Williams, and no DNA test is necessary, as she is the spittin' image of her father. Look at the H.L.Hunt families. Look at the Charles Lindbergh families. People who ever inherited anything just don't accept the illegitimate half-siblings, and the cheated upon widow certainly does not take the bastard in as her own son. But it is interesting fiction.
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False pretenses?
bkoganbing20 July 2016
The first season Lee Majors came to the Barkley household and announced he was Tom Barkley's illegitimate son. That was quite a handful for the other Barkleys to swallow. But accept him they did. Heath's illegitimacy gradually died down as an issue.

Now it comes roaring back in this episode when ne'er do well Buddy Hackett replete with Irish brogue comes with a couple of gunmen, Bruce Dern and John Milford, on his trail. He says he was both Heath's mother's husband and his real father.

This episode belongs to Lee Majors and Hackett as Majors is taken aback and feeling like he's been pulling a con on the Barkleys just as Hackett has done his entire life to get by. He even faked his own death and Heath's mother thought herself a widow until the day she died.

A bit of Barkley history comes to light in this story.
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The story overcame the poor casting
kfo949424 August 2012
As much as I like Buddy Hackett, the seriousness of the script and the terrible Irish accent made this show difficult to watch. Not that the acting was poorly done, it was a poor casting job by the production staff.

Charlie Sawyer (Buddy Hackett) comes to the ranch and tells Heath that he is his son. He even produces a marriage certificate proving that he was once married to his mother.

Heath takes a ride with Sawyer back to his old hometown of Strawberry to find if any knows the truth. Ms Hannah that use to keep Heath as a child is elderly but does remember Sawyer. And even says that he was indeed married to Heath's mother.

Heath returns back to the ranch and tells the entire Barkley clan that he is not a Barkley. Barbara puts on a near award winning performance as she tries to persuade Heath that he is a Barkley.

When the truth is finally revealed the viewers will be happy that all could be back to normal at the ranch. Even with the poor casting, the show did have some good moments that were entertaining.
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Oh, it's okay, but I wished they'd have cast
summerfields14 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Somebody more "vital" than Buddy Hackett. Being a huge, huge fan of Heath (my sole boyhood idol), I never approved the writer's bizarre idea of casting this talented comedian in this particular role (many folks relish that very fact) I wasn't very 'flattered', I guess - by having my hero having such a - well, quite frankly - weak and whimpy 'maybe daddy'....

If Heath was going to have a mysterious dad coming outta nowhere: for Heaven's sake make him a real he-man a'la Clark Gable or Bruce Cabot for crying out loud!

It was a real relief knowing that Buddy was a phoney. And the ending scenes are extremely heart-felt and beautifully done.

*"If I ever did have a son, I wish he could have been you" Buddy says to Heath on his deathbed. There are tears flowing freely...

*Don't take that literally; even big fans are inept many times for misquotes: words to that effect....and oddly, Majors never looked better than at this deathbed scene.

This episode was the rather mildly controversial season two opener, for trivia nuts - like me.
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Buddy Hackett in a dramatic western role
theowinthrop31 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this back in the 1960s when I had an on-again/off-again interest in the Barbara Stanwyck western series. What attracted me was watching one of my favorite funny-men, Buddy Hackett, doing a straight performance as one "Charles Sawyer".

From what I recall the blurb for the plot given above is not quite true. Heath (Lee Majors) was the illegitimate son of the Barkley family. Unlike Jarrod (Richard Long) and Nick (Peter Breck) and Audra (Linda Evans) Heath's mother is not Victoria (Barbara Stanwyck). However, in the course of the show Victoria and the others accept Heath as one of them.*

*Interestingly enough there was a fourth brother who was also the fourth legitimate child named Eugene. Like the older brother on HAPPY DAYS, he wandered out of the series and nobody ever said anything about him but that he was at an Eastern college or he was living out East!

Heath is naturally curious about his past, and one day one Charles Sawyer turns up - the man Heath recalls as his foster father (not as the blurb suggested, a total stranger). Sawyer needs some help and is asking Heath if he could be of assistance. Sawyer then leaves. Heath follows a few days later, and discovers that Sawyer has been involved in a financial matter with some crooks, and owes them a sum he no longer has.

The episode follows as Heath tries to get to the source of the problem, and also tries to protect Sawyer.


In the conclusion, while trying to run to a safe place, Hackett (as Sawyer) is shot down by the villains off his horse. Heath (after taking care of the villains with Nick) goes back to the dying Sawyer and tries comforting his last moments.

The episode's point was that Sawyer had not been a bad foster father - Heath actually was grateful enough for his care. Unfortunately Sawyer's associations destroyed him. Hackett actually did a good job in the episode as a man who tried to do right but got all caught up in forces he couldn't control. It (like the performance in BUD AND LOU) was one of the few appearances Hackett did in straight drama, and he was quite good in it.
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