The Rifleman (1958–1963)
2 user 1 critic

The Shattered Idol 

Lucas and Mark meet Mark Twain. Later they find out that he has a sad secret.


Joseph H. Lewis


Margaret Armen


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Episode cast overview:
Chuck Connors ... Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford ... Mark McCain
Paul Fix ... Micah Torrance (credit only)
Jack Elam ... Russell
John Harmon ... Eddie Halstead
Bud Osborne ... Mr. Loomis
Mary Jo Tierney Mary Jo Tierney ... Holly
Kevin McCarthy ... Mark Twain


Mark McCain is agog when the stagecoach stops at their ranch because of trouble with a wheel. The only passenger on board is Samuel Clemens, none other than Mark Twain. Mr. Twain isn't very nice and doesn't really want to talk to anyone. When Mark asks him to tell him what happens in a future chapter of his serialized book Huckleberry Finn, he tells him that Finn is dead and tells him to go away. Lucas learns that Twain is carrying a heavy burden but Mark is not in a forgiving mood. Written by garykmcd

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Family | Western





Release Date:

4 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The billiards table being used is a carom table which as the episode shows involves hitting both of the other two balls with your cue ball. The other white ball has a dot on it and is the other player's cue ball while third ball is the object ball and is red. When Mark Twain is challenged to make a shot it is in the three-cushion billiards variation of carom billiards. See more »


Clemens' son died in 1872. Huckleberry Finn was not published until 1884. See more »

Crazy Credits

Chuck Connors breaks the 4th wall in the opening credits after he shoots his rifle and then stares into the camera. See more »

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User Reviews

Had a lot of potential but missed the mark.
14 March 2016 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

Since North Fork is the crossroads of the world, we get a visit from none other than Mark Twain. And when the stagecoach needs repair, this will keep Mark Twain in town for a few days to the joy of one of his biggest fans, Mark McCain.

But things does not go how Mark McCain wanted. It seems that Twain is having some issues with his young son's death and McCain is devastated as his idol does not live up to his reputation.

I am sure this sounded like a nice idea when the writer was making this into a teleplay. But the way the story evolved around a pool table and some made-up information, the story seemed dull. There was a lot of potential with this story but it seemed that the writer took the wrong path. Even when the episode ended, it was difficult to comprehend what the story accomplished. Had it not been for the acting by Johnny Crawford and Kevin McCarthy, this could have been disaster. An average offering to say the least.

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