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Interesting script that holds the viewers attention the entire time
kfo94944 October 2012
Doc Adams has a dilemma in which a murderer has been shot and a local townswoman is having a baby. Doc Adams delays his visit to the expecting mother and stays with the murderer. The women has a miscarriage and the father of the dead baby is livid.

Tom Butler (Joe Don Baker)is the father that learns that Doc Adams attended to the murderer instead of being by the side of his wife Sarah. When he sees Doc Adams in town he physically assaults Doc and makes threats about his abilities as a doctor.

Even though Doc Adams feels bad about the situation nothing can change the facts. But the murderer, which is mending at Doc's office, decides to kill Doc and hits him over the head. About the same time Tom Butler, who feels bad about the assault, come to talk with Doc. Ms Kitty opens the door to see Tom standing over Doc's body. Tom flees with the entire town pursuing him.

The townsfolk chase Tom back to his house and set fire to the residence. They drag Tom out of the house not knowing that Sarah is in the basement. With Matt, knowing the truth, approaches the scene will he be able to save Tom from a lynching or Sarah from the fire.

This is one of the better scripts that holds the viewers attention at all times. A good episode that includes the entire cast.

NOTE- When Tom, after learning Doc stayed with the murderer, pushes Doc into some boxes-- it is VERY clear that a body double was standing in for Doc. When the hat comes off it appeared to be a teenager standing in for Ole Doc.
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World Caves In On Joe Don Baker
richard.fuller15 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Joe Don is Tom Butler. Apparently his wife, Sarah, was pregnant and Doc Adams elected to stay in town and tend to a convicted murderer, who would be hung anyway, instead of seeing Sarah, who I guess miscarried.

I missed the first couple of minutes of this episode.

Upon seeing Joe Don, I decided to sit thru this episode of Gunsmoke, tho I suspect I had seen some of it before.

So now we had a very young, brooding Joe Don, upset over the death of his unborn child. He seemed to bear a slightly altered version of Brando, Marlon, that is, Texas version I suppose.

Joe Don made an approach to the convict still under Doc's care and as Joe Don left, he told Doc he blamed him.

Joe Don wasn't happy.

So then Joe Don goes to see Doc one dark night, and finds Doc slumped over his desk. Joe Don shakes Doc, and Doc tumbles to the floor.

Enter Miss Kitty.

Of course now she must believe that Joe Don killed Doc. The bit that looked familiar was her shove at Joe Don.

"Get out of the way!" she says as she kneels next to Doc.

Joe Don flees, looking very guilty in the eyes of the mob that gathered. They knew he was mad at Doc for not saving that baby.

Joe Don then races home to find Sarah, packed and ready to leave to stay with her sister.

Poor Joe Don.

Now what made me decide to post about this episode was Sarah's declaration to Joe Don that the baby wasn't his until it was born, until she and God presented it to him.

I found this very naively odd.

In this day and age, my conclusion was that Sarah was telling him someone else was the baby's father, but now I see she was keeping it innocent.

Joe Don had nothing to do with the baby's birth, it seemed she was concluding.

And this was 1969.

Before Roe v. Wade, when it was decided the construct of cells in the woman's womb wasn't human, so was Sarah making the point that the baby that died wasn't Joe Don's.

Very odd deduction, I thought.

Agree with Sarah or disagree, but it is worth recognizing.
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