The High Chaparral

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Buck and John
"Sudden Country"

Meg and Creed Hallock
"Sudden Country"

Buck with Meg Hallock
"Sudden Country"

1.10  Sudden Country            Buck, John
Mistakes of an inexperienced eastern bank clerk who attempts to settle on a ramshackle ranch near the Cannon family threaten to wipe out the cattle industry of the territory.

Produced by Buck Houghton
Directed by Richard Sale
Written by Steven Thornley  
Originally Broadcast:  November 5, 1967    

Story Line: Creed and Meg Hallock make repeated mistakes trying to establish their ranch. Against his better judgment, John Cannon allows Buck to give the Hallocks assistance with help from Blue and Manolito. Creed buys a non-existent herd and is swindled again when he innocently purchases diseased Mexican cattle. John ruins the greenhorn financially when he must order the cattle killed before they can infect other animals.

Guest Stars: 

John Kerr 
as Creed Hallock

Jan Shepard 
as Meg Hallock

Robert Hernandez 
as Jose

Anthony Dexter 
as Dave Gore

King Moody 
as Frank Gore

Henry Wills 
as Charlie Harmon

Mike Ross
as the Bartender

Jack James
as Sandy

Character Highlights: This episode centers around Buck’s obvious, though never openly expressed, feelings for Meg. Victoria recognizes Buck’s conflicts over his feelings even before he does. An important character element throughout this episode is the interaction between Buck and John. While John is his usual gruff and unsympathetic self, Buck almost playfully teases him into going along with his plan until John begrudgingly agrees. John chastises Buck for the plan’s failure and urges him to give up on the Hallocks but Victoria steps in to take Buck’s side. When Buck thanks her for siding with him, Victoria lights into Buck about some minor infraction, so she does not appear too aligned with Buck in front of her husband. Buck’s desire to help comes up against John’s practicality again, but even without direct confrontation from Buck, John gives in a second time out of regard for his brother’s feelings. When they must destroy the Hallock’s diseased cattle, however, there is never any question that Buck supports John in the decision. Buck’s most direct confrontation with John occurs when Meg has left her husband and John is congratulating her. Almost under his breath, Buck says, "Shut up, John" and John immediately backs down. In spite of his feelings for Meg, Buck does the right thing by saving her husband from himself and encouraging their reunion. Mano and Blue play relatively minor roles here, but it is worth noting that this is the first episode where Mackadoo, Mano’s permanent mount appears, although we see him only briefly in the opening.

Complete Episode Synopsis
 This is a classic “fish out of water” tale about a young couple -- Missouri bank clerk Creed Hallock and his wife, Meg -- who decide they want to become Arizona ranchers. They soon find themselves hopelessly embroiled in trouble … and the Cannons find themselves constantly rescuing them.

Much to Big John’s dismay, Buck decides to take Blue and Mano over to the broken-down ranch house that Creed bought, sight unseen, and help them fix it up. Later that night, however, while Creed is off in town with Mano buying supplies, some marauding Apaches scare Meg senseless and it's up to Buck to comfort her.

Meg turns to Buck when she is terrified
by Apaches approaching in the dark

Daylight brings no relief when it is discovered that Creed was swindled by the Gore Brothers, who sold him a herd of “exactly nothing.” Buck again comes to the couple’s rescue and confronts one of the brothers in Tucson, but Buck has to kill him in self-defense. Creed is then even more frustrated, for it seems that Buck is always having to save him ... and, what's worse, Creed's money has been spent and now he has nothing.

Sam begins firing on the diseased cattle.

The catastrophes continue, and Creed finds himself more and more insecure about his ability to handle himself in such wild territory. Worse, he can’t help comparing himself to Buck Cannon, who keeps bailing them out of trouble … and who, Creed correctly suspects … is falling in love with his wife. Meg realizes that Buck is in love with her and tries to discourage him, but even after she sells her jewelry to a Mexican rancher for a last-ditch attempt to buy cattle, she and Creed have to face total devastation when it is discovered the cows are diseased and all must be destroyed.

Creed, stubborn and unable to face total failure, refuses to give up. Meg, totally fed up with his unbending stance, decides to leave him. She flees to the Cannon ranch, telling everyone she is leaving her husband because she can’t bear to watch him die (which seems inevitable.)

Creed, though wounded, fires on an attacker who is about to shoot Buck.

Buck, sadly acknowledging that he has no future with Meg because she still loves Creed, goes back to the Hallock ranch and attempts to persuade Creed to give it all up so that Meg will come back to him. During their argument, however, the remaining Gore brother returns for revenge and, in a surprise turn of events, Creed saves Buck from getting shot … proving to himself that he is, in fact, every bit the man that Buck Cannon is.
Creed then decides to take Meg and return east, but John tells him that it takes different types of men to build up a territory, and that if Creed wants to become a banker in Arizona, he can still play a role in the development of the West. The Hallocks gratefully accept, and ride on towards their new home in Tucson.  
                                                (Synopsis by Brenda Meskunas)                  
Supervisory Producer:  Irving Elman
Production Manager:  Kent McCray
Music by Harry Sukman; Theme by David Rose      
Director of Photography:  Harold Stine, A.S.C.
Color Consultant:  Edward P. Ancona
Unit Production Manager:  Andrew J. Durkus
Assistant Director: Sherry Shourds
Stunt Coordinator:  Henry Wills
Story Editor: Ward Hawkins
Art Direction:  Hal Pereira, McClure Capps
Edited by Marvin Coil, A.C.E.
Set Decoration:  Robert Benton, Bill F. Calvert
Post Production Co-ordinator:  Bill Wistrom
Casting:  Russell Trost
Sound Recording: Joe Edmondson, Joel Moss
Make-up Supervision:  Wally Westmore, S.M.A.
Hair Style Supervision:  Nelly Manley, C.H.S.
Titles by CINEFX
Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California


Much of this material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes from The High Chaparral Press Kit released in 1971. The Character Highlights were written by Charlotte Lehan.  The Episode Synopses were written by members of the HC Discussion Group and are attributed at the end of each one.
Especially good portrayals of these characters

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