The Rifleman (1958–1963)
3 user

The Day a Town Slept 

Lucas and Mark ride into North Fork after a two week hunting trip to discover that Micah is no longer Marshal. Worse then that, they have a new Marshal who is crooked and allows outlaws to deputy.


Richard Donner


Calvin Clements Sr. (teleplay) (as Calvin Clements)


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Episode cast overview:
Chuck Connors ... Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford ... Mark McCain
Paul Fix ... Micah Torrance
Joe Higgins ... Nils Swenson
Lawrence Dobkin ... Ben Judson
James Best ... Bob Barrett


Lucas and Mark return to North Fork after a three week absence only to learn that in their absence, Micah was voted out as town Marshal and a newcomer, Ben Judson, is now in charge. It seems that several locals were away and many simply didn't bother to vote assuming Micah would win in a landslide. Lucas thinks the fix is in when Judson declares that a wanted outlaw, Bob Barrett, is a free man and can come and go as he pleases. Judson and Barrett realize that to get away with their scheme, they'll have to get rid of the only witness to Barrett's crimes - Micah Torrance. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Family | Western





Release Date:

16 April 1962 (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 »

Did You Know?


Micah's backstory is partially revealed here. He has been a Marshal for 30 years, and hurt his right arm some time ago- he calls it a trick arm. He normally carries a shotgun for that reason, but this also explains why he carries his pistol on his left side. He also knew Wyatt Earp. See more »


A marshal is not elected, he is appointed by Federal authorities. 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 »

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User Reviews

Started off well - but ended poorly
15 September 2015 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

Lucas and Mark have been out hunting for a couple of weeks and ride back into North Fork to find that the place has elected a new Marshal. It seems that everyone was so sure about Micah being re-elected that none of his supporters showed up to vote (which includes Lucas). So now, North Fork has a new Marshal by the name of Ben Judson. But what people do not know is that Ben is working with a wanted outlaw by the name of Bob Barrett. Bob is wanted for a stage robbery and Micah Torrance is the key witness. With Micah out of the way, Ben and Bob are set to stop any prosecution of the case.

This set-up seemed like a gem of a story. Now Lucas, with the help of Micah, will have to take back the town from the two renegades. Well..., that would have made for an excellent episode but the writer felt like taking Micah back to his sad and pathetic drinking days which only made for a disappointing turn of events. Now the well respected Micah returns to his intoxicated state which was how Micah was introduced to the series. Paul Fix deserved better.

Anyway, with 'TV luck' the storied ended and things may return to normal in North Fork. But for us, the show became more depressing with each scene. With such hopeful beginnings, the episode left us wanting.

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