CBS’ Saturday-night heavy hitter splits into a two-parter as it looks at breast cancer and at a girl’s embarrassment in pioneer days. Some horseplay about one of the townsmen being kidnapped in drag gives color, but Jane Seymour’s Dr. Mike puts in her own strengths; scripter Toni Graphia has supplied a worthwhile if forced teleplay, and director Jerome R. London shows how to bring it to life.
Newspaper owner Dorothy (Barbara Babcock), being courted by Loren (Orson Bean) and by Jake (Jim Knobeloch), thumbs down a breast amputation for a lump similar to the one that killed her mother. Quinn urges her to submit, but Dorothy says she’d rather die. It takes a couple of the good things of life at a picnic before the nickel drops.
Jake, hitting ladies’ night at the saloon dressed in a frock, gets himself kidnapped by two outlaws. Thinking he’s a dame, one of them takes a fancy to him; he escapes unscathed and undiscovered.
Quinn’s foster daughter Colleen (Erika Flores) becomes rudely aware of her bosom. One boy makes a pass and gets slapped, and Colleen goes to brother Matthew (Chad Allen) for advice, the logic’s thin here, since she could consult with Quinn. But it gives Allen and Flores a chance at a dramatic spot.
Program continues with its successful strategy of measuring contemporary problems in a period frame, and Seymour’s characterization of a liberated woman in a time of restrictions remains top-flight. Babcock’s strong as the frightened but brave woman; her solitary march down the main street to the picnic grounds is effective.
Knobeloch’s femme interp is amusing, Patrick St. Esprit rings the bell as the smitten outlaw, and Johnny Moran as Colleen’s youthful tormentor is solid.
Roland (Ozzie) Smith’s camerawork is assured, Conrad Gonzalez’s editing complements it. Ira Diamond’s design hands the production a fine if rosy sense of yesteryear’s realities, with Dorothy Baca’s costume designs looking like the genuine articles. William Olvis has supplied a supportive, even lulling, score.