“The Fatal Step”


Season:     3 episode 5
Series Episode:  69
Air Date: October 24, 1961
Laramie TV series starring John Smith, Robert Fuller, Spring Byington and Dennis Holmes
A Revue Studios production



Sometimes it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad.


Cast & Crew Lists


CharacterRoleActorActor AgeStatus
"Slim" ShermanOwner - Sherman ranch and relay stationJohn Smith30Credited
Jess HarperSherman ranch handRobert Fuller28Credited
Daisy CooperSherman housekeeperSpring Byington75Credited
Mike WilliamsOrphanDennis Holmes11Credited
Slim's horseAlamoUncredited
Mr. Burch Billy's father/Superintendant of the Overland stage lineRaymond Bailey57Credited
Mort CoryLaramie sheriffStuart Randall52Credited
Wes DarrinOutlawDennis Patrick43Credited
Gil FletcherBilling's marshalRobert Wilke 47Credited
Tad KimballOutlawGary Clarke28Credited
Mose Shell Stagecoach driverEddy Waller71Credited
FrancieBilling's saloon girlAllison Hayes31Credited
Laramie doctorRaymond Greenleaf69Credited
Billing's postmasterHarry Harvey, Sr.60Credited
Billing's hotel clerkOlan Soule52Credited
Billing's bartenderDavid McMahon50Credited
FarmerTom Fadden66Credited
Billy BurchStage line passengerUncredited
BarnesGeorge Taylor61Uncredited
Laramie deputies (2)Uncredited
Stage line passengerPat O'Malley71Uncredited
Stage line passengers (2)Uncredited
Billing's asseyor Uncredited
Mary Anderson Tad Kimball's fianceeMentioned
PerkinsLaramie farmerMentioned



DirectorJoe Kane
TeleplayPaul Savage
StoryJohn Champion
ProducerJohn Champion
Laramie ThemeCyril J. Mockridge
Music ScoreCyril Mockridge
Director of PhotographyRay Rennahan, A. S. C.
Associate ProducerDan Ullman
Art DirectorLloyd S. Papez
Editorial Dept. Head/SupervisorDavid J. O'Connell
Editorial Color ConsultantAlex Quiroga
Color Processing byConsolidated Film Industries
Film EditorRay C. de Vally
Musical SupervisionStanley Wilson
SoundEarl Crain, Jr.
Makeup ArtistJack Barron
Hair StylistFlorence Bush
Costume & WardrobeVincent Dee
Series Stuntmen (uncredited)Paul Baxley, Joe Canutt. Bill Catching, Chuck Courtney, John Daheim, Leonard P. Geer, Sol Gorss, Charles Horvath, Robert F. Hoy, Loren Janes, Allen Pinson, Chuck Roberson, Ronnie Rondell Jr., Dean Smith, Tom Steele, Jerry Summers, Jack Williams
Note: Robert Fuller often performed his own stunts in the series.
Assistant DirectorCarter De Haven, III
Set DecorationJohn McCarthy & Perry Murdock



Epilogue – based on “The Fatal Step,” a teleplay by Paul Savage & story by John C. Champion



(DAISY COOPER is in the Sherman ranch house kitchen. JESS HARPER and SLIM SHERMAN are sitting at the table in the front room, drinking coffee. MIKE WILLIAMS is standing next to JESS HARPER.)


MIKE WILLIAMS: But, how long did they keep ya in jail.?


JESS HARPER: Too long, Mike. Nah, just a couple hours. Seemed like days though.


(DAISY COOPER slowly walks from the kitchen to stand behind MIKE WILLLIAMS.)


SLIM SHERMAN: See, we had to convince the folks in Billings that we didn’t wound the marshall just because we didn’t like him. That took some doin’, believe me. I don’t think we coulda done it without Tad Kimbal’s help.


JESS HARPER: Yeah, that’s right. And he made a full confession. Townspeople believed him. They hadn’ta…(Fingers his neck) they’da had quite a necktie party.


MIKE WILLIAMS: A necktie party? You mean everybody was going to get all dressed up? How come?


SLIM SHERMAN: Not exactly Mike. Ya’ see a necktie…


DAISY COOPER: Ah, that is what you meant, wasn’t it? You don’t have any objection to wearing a necktie, do you? (Throws a sideways glance at MIKE WILLIAMS)


JESS HARPER: Oh, ah… No, Miss Daisy. Fact is, I got one around here someplace myself. Ah, ya see Mike, ah, those folks up in Montana, they… they dress up more than we do down here in Wyoming.


MIKE WILLIAMS: Maybe they wanted to celebrate ’cause you straightened everything out.


DAISY COOPER: I’m sure that’s right.


SLIM SHERMAN: Necktie party. Now where did you ever pick up a crazy expression like that?


JESS HARPER: From you! Where else?



Geographic References

Billings, Montana Territory, United States of America

Casper, Wyoming Territory, United States of America

Colorado Springs, Colorado Territory, United States of America

Laramie Basin, United States of America

Laramie, Wyoming Territory, United States of America

Oregon, United States of America

Sheridan, Wyoming Territory, United States of America

St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

Summit Pass



Apple pie






Sources: Laramie episodes (written, spoken and credits), Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Wikipedia, individual observations, and others as indicated by the links.

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