73. A Few Miles West of Nowhere
Kelly and Scotty investigate the murder of a government employee in a small town whose inhabitants are hostile towards a proposed atomic power plant.
French title: A l’ouest de nulle part
Italian title: Ad Ovest del nulla
Richard Kiel (Tiny), Andrew Duggan (Pierson), Diahn Williams (Kathy), Ken Swofford (Clay), Leonard Stone (Charlie), Debi Storm (Jenny), John Bellah (Frank), Ben Frank (Everett), Carole Kelly (Blaine), Dan Kemp (Nick), Bob Legionaire (Attendant), Boyd Santel (Bobby)
29 January 1968
Who said small town folks are friendly? They certainly aren't in Bracket, where Kelly and Scotty are confronted with a great deal of hostility. Ostensibly the good people of Bracket are staunchly opposed to a government proposal calling for the construction of an atomic power plant nearby. But there's more to it than that. The townsmen, led by Pierson, have formed an anti-government militia. They even have a weapons stash. Pierson has already killed one government man, and he's prepared to do the same to Kelly and Scotty. And then there's Kathy, a waitress who likes Kelly but is compelled to betray him because she feels she owes Pierson for getting her dim-witted goliath of a brother, Tiny, out of trouble.
We tend to think that the militia movement in the United States is a fairly recent phenomenon, but that's what this 1968 episode deals with -- and does so very effectively. Andrew Duggan is convincing as Pierson, the militia ringleader who's convinced that the American government is in cahoots with the Commies, and it's interesting to see Richard Kiel -- who later achieved international fame as "Jaws" in two 007 flicks -- in a multi-faceted role; Tiny is devoted to Kathy, tender in the presence of Kathy's daughter Jenny, vicious in dealing with his enemies, and (or so the script seems to imply) prejudiced against blacks. In short, this very well could be one of Kiel's best roles. The highlight of the episode is when a gang of toughs trash Kelly and Scotty's car and luggage in an attempt to intimidate the agents and run them out of town. Of course, the guys don't run. And they don't get mad. They just get even. While the ending -- with Tiny and Kelly and Scotty becoming sudden allies to rescue Jenny from a well -- seems a little contrived, this is an original and action-packed entry.
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