Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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Captain Sligo 

In one of the series' loopiest episodes, Boston whaling captain Aaron Sligo suddenly forsakes the sea entirely. He moves to Kansas, buys a ranch and ceremoniously sets up a plaque on the ... See full summary »


William Conrad


William Kelley


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Buck Taylor ... Newly
Richard Basehart ... Captain Aron Sligo
Salome Jens ... Joesphine Burney
Royal Dano ... Watney
Stacy Harris ... Leonard
Robert Totten Robert Totten ... Blacksmith
Bobby Eilbacher Bobby Eilbacher ... Tim Burney
Geri Reischl ... Anne Burney
Larry Finley ... Bartender
Matt Emery Matt Emery ... Trail Boss
Brian Foley Brian Foley ... Cowboy


In one of the series' loopiest episodes, Boston whaling captain Aaron Sligo suddenly forsakes the sea entirely. He moves to Kansas, buys a ranch and ceremoniously sets up a plaque on the 100th meridian of longitude, which he says is as far from the sea as possible in the United States (true, but he could have moved farther north). He then becomes a cattle buyer, ordering a shipment of cows from Texas, while courting the widow next door. The widow resists his courtship until he proves that he can grow corn, knowing the soil on Sligo's lot is notoriously unfertile. But Sligo hasn't lost all of his seafaring identity or his skills. He still dresses in full uniform, builds his house in the shape of a ship, and brings his first mate along to serve as ranch foreman. When a rival cattleman pulls a dirty trick on Sligo which prevents him from bringing his cows to market (by spreading a rumor of brucellosis among the herd) and when the rancher's hands beat the first mate to a pulp, Sligo uses ... Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

4 January 1971 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Conrad, who directed this episode, played Marshal Dillon on CBS Radio from 1952- 1961. See more »


Leonard: [Stopping an old drunken sailor walking down the street.] Hold it there, sailor. Now, me and Mr. Tanner got to thinking that you might be missing your whaling days. So, first, Tanner's gonna whale ya, then I'm gonna whale ya.
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User Reviews

most... annoying... episode... ever
9 September 2013 | by grizzledgeezerSee all my reviews

If you detested the Captain Holly episodes, you're likely to despise this one.

Richard Basehart has never been a favorite actor (even at his worst, Forest Tucker still exudes /some/ charm), and here he blusters and yells his way through Captain Sligo's confrontation with the world. For most of the show, you feel you're being audibly assaulted.

The story isn't helped by the sense that about five minutes of script seem to have been lost somewhere. That Sligo wants to set up a ranch on the 100th meridian ("equally far from both oceans") is stated outright, but how he comes to be Josephine Burney's neighbor -- and right in her front yard! -- and why he should want to court her (other than that she's fairly good-looking and a fellow Gael) aren't exactly clear.

The general confusion probably explains why the IMDb summary gets the corn-growing subplot backwards. Sligo doesn't know you can't grow corn from seeded cobs.

There are two semi-irritating children who try to get Burney and Sligo married. Burney is played by a nearly unrecognizable (and largely wasted) Salome Jens. And Royal Dano is /utterly/ wasted as Sligo's assistant.

A dismal and largely pointless episode.

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