Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Johnny Ringo

Originally Broadcast 14th May 1966
Episode Three of ‘The Gunfighters’

Written by: Donald Cotton

I am still loving this underrated story, as I’ve finished the third part of the action, with more deaths and double crosses than a festive episode of Eastenders. Sadly my favourite character has bitten the dust, but at least its time to say goodbye to his wobbly set (something we saw wobble in episodes two and three!). Apart from that set, everything looks stunning and it’s so surprising the outcome is this good, looking at the studio space provided for the show during the mid-1960s.

One thing I’m loving in this story, is William Hartnell’s inability to call Wyatt Earp by his actual name, rather than Mr. Wearp, something injected into the script as an in-joke in this episode. Now every time somebody calls him by his actual name, it sounds wrong! Hartnell is absolute fun in this episode, he gets a cracker of a line saying how Doc Holliday is such a good friend of his, this story is pure Doctor Who and Billy Hartnell is lapping it up, having a real good time filming this one, making it more fun for me to watch.

The song wasn’t too much of an annoyance here, but the level of violence is quite surprising giving the broadcast date, there are numerous deaths including one made in jest with no ‘downfall’ or penalty for the character who is enjoying killing people for the sake of it. I’m not sure how some of this survived a nasty trip to the cutting room floor, but it certainly makes the outcome more effective, giving us a greater insight into the historical period.

Not really much to add onto this episode that hasn’t been said above or previously, this is just 100% silly fun and I’m loving it.

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