CBS (Fri., Jan. 10, 8 P.M. ET)
Matt Dillon rides again—at a trot. In this sedate sequel to TV’s long-running western series (1955—75), James Arness hasn’t been the sheriff of Dodge City for quite a spell. He’s a newly widowed gentleman farmer with a willful, nearly grown daughter (Amy Stock-Poynton). But at age 68, Arness is so wizened he looks more like he should be playing checkers by the general store than galloping after varmints. Ah, well, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.
Dillon has his hands full. There are some rustlers, led by Joseph Bottoms, who stole 100 head of Dillon’s cattle. He must also contend with a nasty bunch of vigilantes, led by Pat Hingle, who ride around administering frontier justice, their heads covered by burlap sacks that make them look like a posse of Elephant Men. And every time the bullets start flying, Dillon’s daughter seems to turn up with love-struck greenhorn Matt (Major Dad) Mulhern trailing in her wake.
The movie just moseys along waiting for the next shoot-out to shake things up. But the western setting still makes for fairly flavorful TV.