The Rifleman (1958–1963)
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One Went to Denver 

Bank robber Tom Birch and his outlaw gang arrive in North Fork, where Birch has some unfinished business--he wants to visit his old friend, Lucas McCain.


Lewis Allen


Pat Fielder


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Episode complete credited cast:
Chuck Connors ... Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford ... Mark McCain
Paul Fix ... Micah Torrance
Lewis Charles ... Eber Tate
Jack Kruschen ... Sammy
Ben Morris Ben Morris ... Jimmy Carson
John Goddard ... Naylor
Harlan Warde ... John Hamilton
Bill Quinn ... Frank Sweeney
Richard Anderson ... Tom Birch


Lucas McCain's childhood friend, the closest thing to a brother he ever had, drops into to see him at the ranch. Tom Birch is now a known bank robber but his visit with Lucas and Mark is entirely friendly. Mark knows all about the Birch gang and Lucas has to try to explain to him what it means to be a friend but still be honest. Tom tells Lucas he headed to Colorado but when he heads off in the direction of North Fork, it's pretty obvious that he's going to rob the bank and Lucas is forced to choose between his friendship and his community. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

rifle | See All (1) »


Family | Western


Did You Know?


In the opening scene, Mark is reading an almanac. It is a paperback book and has modern pages and binding. 19th century books were all hardcover. See more »

Crazy Credits

Chuck Connors breaks the 4th wall in the opening credits after he shoots his rifle and then stares into the camera. See more »

User Reviews

Richard Anderson gives an excellent performance in this episode.
15 October 2015 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

Richard Anderson does a nice job of playing Tom Birch, a friend of Lucas, that rides into North Fork with more on his mind that just a visit of old friends. It seems that Tom has a few men and they having been riding across the territory robbing banks.

Lucas is familiar with Tom's past but still welcome him as an old friend that he has not seen in years. Tom tells Lucas that he is just stopping by on his way to Denver. Mark is a bit more suspicious of Tom and when he tells his Pa that he saw Tom riding toward North Fork instead of Denver, Lucas still wants to believe the best.

In town, Micah has already been alerted that a gang of robbers may be on their way to North Fork so he has extra guards on duty. When Lucas rides in and sees Tom, Lucas knows that something is about to go down and it is going to involve one of his best friends.

Richard Anderson does a nice job in this episode as the cool and collective friend. Even when the viewer knows that his character is on the wrong side of the law, Anderson's performance still makes him seem like an enjoyable chap. Another nice western show that makes for a entertaining watch.

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Release Date:

17 March 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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