» » Have Gun - Will Travel Genesis (1957–1963)

Have Gun - Will Travel Genesis (1957–1963) HD online

Have Gun - Will Travel Genesis (1957–1963) HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Episode / Western
Original Title: Genesis
Director: William Conrad
Writers: Herb Meadow,Sam Rolfe
Released: 1957–1963
Duration: 30min
Video type: TV Episode
Paladin is assaulted in his room at the Hotel Carlton. In a furious fight, he beats down his attacker, Roderick Jefferson. The young man, it turns out, had gambling debts he couldn't repay; the holder of his gambling IOUs wanted Jefferson to kill Paladin. This spurs Paladin to tell Jefferson of a similar occurrence -- involving himself 10 years earlier. As that story unfolds, we learn that Paladin (whose real name we're never told) owed $15,000 to Norge. Paladin's only way out was to go to a valley, entirely owned by Norge, to challenge the mysterious Smoke to a duel. Smoke, a dying gunman, had been nursed to health by the residents of Norge's valley. Paladin is to challenge Smoke to a duel. Smoke's dress is familiar: all black with a symbol of a knight's chess piece on the holster. In short, we're told how Paladin became Paladin.
Episode cast overview:
Richard Boone Richard Boone - Paladin / Smoke
William Conrad William Conrad - Norge - Gambler
Parley Baer Parley Baer - Reston - Townsman
Nestor Paiva Nestor Paiva - Burton Townsman
Ann Morrison Ann Morrison - Mrs. Burton (as Ann Merrison)
James Mitchum James Mitchum - Roderick Jefferson

Parley Baer, the actor who gives the eulogy at Smoke's funeral, was the voice of Chester opposite director/guest star William Conrad's Matt Dillon on the Gunsmoke radio series.

The title comes from the first book of the Bible, which describes the creation of the earth, or it can apply to the beginning of any process or system. In this case, it's an origins story of Paladin's character.

Reviews: [5]

  • avatar


    While the French word paladin was used specifically from the late 1500s onward to indicate "one of the 12 knights in attendance on Charlemagne", its meaning eventually grew to include any chivalrous or heroic person, and may still be used today to designate an advocate for a worthy cause. (It is only in a different episode that we are told the true significance of the ubiquitous Chess Knight, representing the only piece on the board capable of moving eight different ways and jumping over obstacles.)

    This account of how "Paladin" acquires both his name and his famous trademark, privately related to a "young man gone wrong" as a cautionary tale, is fascinating and even moving. Key here is the deep remorse shown by the subject of the original story once he has completed his grim "assignment" -- the only thing that makes his determination to carry on a very curious legacy plausible.

    We never learn how or where our "Paladin" finally meets his fate, but I rather like to think it will mirror (pun intended) more or less the way he arrived on the scene -- mentoring the young man who eventually will claim for himself the mantle of "Dragonslayer"!
  • avatar


    Now it can be told: The Secret Origin of Paladin!

    Or is it? I recommend we NOT take "Genesis" as the gospel truth about the beginnings of our hero.

    Remember that Paladin spins this story--actually an allegory--to young Mr. Jefferson as a cautionary tale. It has a storybook quality to it, with characters named Smoke, Norge, and Paladin. Think of dragons (smoke), Vikings (Norge is simply the Norwegian word for Norway), and a Paladin (a knight in shining armor). This is all alluded to in the story, with Smoke christening our hero "Paladin" and referring to himself as a dragon. It was he who was keeping the townspeople safe from the marauding Viking plunderer, Norge, who claimed to own everything in the town (a claim which in itself is fantastical).

    The story stirred up memories of the 14th century Arthurian romance "Gawain and the Green Knight," in which young, impetuous Gawain agrees to fight the monstrous Green Knight. Before that climactic battle, however, Gawain has to undergo a series of tests, similar to the ordeals which Smoke subjects young, impetuous Paladin. As the climax approaches, each hero suffers a lack of confidence and hedges his bets, with Gawain wearing a charmed silk girdle and Paladin creating a smoke screen. At the end, Gawain is prepared to be decapitated, but suffers only a token, humbling nick to the neck, just like Paladin suffered only a slight wound to his left arm.

    The parallels are by no means perfect, but there are enough of them to where I suspected the writer of drawing upon the Pearl Poet's masterpiece. King Arthur, chivalry, and knights errant are all things the series alludes to and evokes, so why not?

    The story is also too surreal to be taken seriously as the historical origin of Paladin. Paladin kills Smoke, then attends his funeral, and nary a soul in the town rises against him, or even seeks to arrest him? The high blown and lofty rhetoric of the minister (who will protect us now that Smoke is gone? We will never forget Smoke and the man who killed him) is akin to the legends the minstrels would create in a hero's wake. Couple that with the scene of Paladin and his horse atop the rocky crag warning Norge to go no farther. It's ridiculous if you try to take it as anything but a storybook ending. The worm's eye view and Boone's mugging heroically for the camera as the flashback ends indicates this is a fantasy.

    Another strange element that sure was cool but which stretched credulity was Paladin's adopting Smoke's distinctive black outfit and even the holster with the paladin chess piece on it. Now why did Smoke have a paladin on his holster? Did Smoke belong to an order of knights like the Green Lantern Corp. that are duty bound to take up the mantle and the fight when a fellow member falls?

    Once again, Paladin was using this story to teach a lesson and to point Jefferson towards a better path in life. I don't think he was waxing autobiographical. But that doesn't detract from what is an outstanding episode and strong start to the series' final season. I especially enjoyed seeing Boone playing a dual role (with Smoke being a faint foreshadowing of HEC RAMSEY, still a decade away). William Conrad was also excellent on both sides of the camera. James Mitchum sure lucked out to make his debut in this episode.

    Fact or fiction? Before answering, consider again the key roles played in the story by smoke and mirrors.
  • avatar

    the monster

    So how did Palladin get to be Palladin. After five years of adventure, our mystery man in black is finally revealed. Okay, the 30-minutes answers many questions, but be prepared for a brace of philosophizing, some brittle dialog, and an earnest if not very accomplished James Mitchum. On the action front, however, is a really acrobatic and eye-catching fist fight.

    Perhaps most interesting, however, is the casting. In effect, Boone plays not just one but three roles here— Palladin, Palladin as a young man, and Palladin's alter-ego and mentor, a guy named "Smoke". Now, the 45-year old Boone is a stretch, playing, say, a 25-year old, especially since there's no attempt to make him look younger. At the same time, he plays the older Smoke using a blond wig, no less. And since Smoke and the younger Palladin often share the same scene, that not only takes some getting used to, but some trick photography, as well.

    But the more interesting question is why would Boone take on the additional role of Smoke since most any other competent actor would have sufficed. I'll venture two guesses. First is easy-- after 5-years of the same role, Boone's ready for a change, even a brief one.

    Second is more abstract— maybe someone wanted to say something metaphorical and profound about the nature of honor, courage, and the other virtues associated with knighthood. And having the same actor play both the teacher and the student says something about the sameness of the lesson and the values taught by the lesson. In short, the same virtues that motivated medieval knighthood are as necessary today as they were yesterday and must be handed down from generation to generation.

    Anyway, whatever the real reason, it remains a curious piece of casting. All in all, the episode amounts to a definite departure from the series norm, and whether or not you like it remains, I suppose, a matter of taste.
  • avatar


    This was a terrible way to start what became the sixth and final season. I'm surprised Richard Boone agreed to perform this script and I'm equally surprised that William Conrad agreed to direct. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of both Richard Boone and this iconic show. But this one was a clinker. The idea of this story-line isn't a bad one. They struggle to tell us the origins of the Paladin name. But the story they came up with is hard to watch, even for a big fan. The story opens with Paladin being attacked by a young man with a gambling debt. Paladin, of course, survives the attack. And after what amounted to a really vicious attack. He sits down with the man who attacked him and gave him the history of Paladin. When you watch this episode see if you deal with someone who shot at, and attacked you in this way. What was even more preposterous was Richard Boone playing a duel role. It just didn't work. The makeup was pretty good. But there's covering up that voice. For me, it just did not work at all. And in the end was a silly story. But, I think what I most resented about this story was the way they handled the character of the man called Paladin. It had previously been established that Paladin was West Pointe educated Army officer. And educated and honorable man. But in this episode, they make him a much smaller gambling addicted man who is clumsy with a gun. And who has is kept trapped while he is given instructions on how to become more handy with a gun. I found myself cringing as this story unfolded because I am a fan of the show. There's a stunt in this story that is completely ridiculous. Watch for it. And see if you think anyone could survive and be talking afterward.
  • avatar


    Gary Peterson's review is an outstanding exposition of this episode's mythical elements. (It's been 45 years since I read "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", and didn't catch the references.) But it doesn't change that fact that this is a weak and somewhat contrived story.

    Paladin's origin needs little explanation. He's Batman without the cape, a highly principled person who wants to see justice properly meted out. It needs no justification or explanation.

    Richard Boone was a generally good actor, but playing a fundamentally overwrought character who often declaims pompous quotes or (worse) his own overly pointed dialog, sometimes leads to Shatnerian delivery, which badly mars the funeral scene.

    The makeup artist does a good job of making Boone look (a bit) younger, and narrowing Smoke's nose. (Smoke strongly resembles Kirk Douglas. It's hard to believe no one caught that.)

    This isn't a "must-see" episode. It won't spoil your enjoyment of the series, but it doesn't add anything that's already implicit. (Is that redundant?)

    By the way, though Norge is the inhabitants' name for their country, it's also the brand name of refrigerator -- which William Conrad somewhat resembles.