Chuck Connors wrote his own Rifleman story to get Lucas McCain a kiss

You might recognize this love interest from a famous Twilight Zone.

Chuck Connors wanted Lucas McCain to find love. Of the romantic kind. The writers of The Rifleman saw the show in a different way. In their minds, the Western was the story of parental love, the love of a father for his son. Still, Connors felt that Lucas needed to get out a little more. So he took matters into his own hands. The Rifleman star came up with his own episode. And in this story, Lucas would kiss a pretty woman.

Connors, a former pro athlete, only had a handful of writing credits in his long career. He came up with a few stories for The Rifleman and one for his follow-up series, Branded. "The Visitor" was his best. In this season-two episode of The Rifleman, fleshed out and turned into a screenplay by scribe William F. Leicester, a young widow comes to North Fork to seek an inheritance.

McCain falls for the beauty, Ann Dodd, who is played by Christine White. She is no mere stranger. Ann is an old friend of Lucas' deceased wife, Mark's mom. After years apart, the old acquaintances meet again and sparks fly.

"There goes wild, wild Lucas, whose hurt is very deep," Ann tells Lucas as they sit on the McCain porch in the twilight. "You know you left town without even saying goodbye?" Just when you think they will kiss, they do not.

A scene later, Lucas takes Ann back to her room. "'Course you never were a talking man, and I like that about you," she tells him. She makes the move, moving in for a kiss. As Marshal Micah Torrance watches.

White on The Rifleman and The Twilight Zone

White was a character actor best known for her role as a passenger beside William Shatner in the immortal Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." That classic would be one of her final television roles, surprisingly.

She had just one major lead role in a series, as the female lead on Ichabod and Me, which was described as "The Andy Griffith Show set in New England." That sitcom had a tie to The Twilight Zone, believe it or not. In 1962, Rod Serling guest-starred in an episode, "The Celebrity," in what would be his first and only sitcom acting role.

But back to North Fork. Ann Dodd's time in town lasts a mere episode. The Rifleman team was reluctant to tie down Lucas for too long. Despite what Connors may have wanted. His next episode for the show, "The Actress," also centered around a woman who breezed into town and into Lucas' life. So we can see what the show might have been like under his direction.

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HopeChinWah 39 months ago
I think Miss Millie would have made good mother for Mark and a good wife for Lucas. Too bad that didn't happen.
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LindaNitzschke 40 months ago
This is my favorite episode I jealous of Christine White!! (She was a great actress, tho...really believable in taking on characteristics of the person she was portraying...made it very hard to even recognizer her after seeing this episode first. They say the same thing about Paul Muni...that he took on his characters so completely that most people had little idea what he looked like in real life!)
UncleBigBad 40 months ago
Fun Fact: Chuck Connors was the 1st NBA player that shattered a backboard through a monster dunk.
LindaNitzschke UncleBigBad 40 months ago
With just one addition to the story...the backboard was improperly installed...thus part of the reason it shattered.
Andybandit 40 months ago
The Rifleman is my favorite western, I like how Lucas and Mark love each other and respect each other.
ScoobyDoo169 40 months ago
I wish that they would have kissed!! I don't know if I saw that episode or not I might have. I wish that they would have let him control the show more, he has a lot of good ideas. I wish he had more love interest. I really wish he would have found a wife to be Marks mother. He seemed to have strong sparks with Lou Mallory, she would have been a perfect companion for him and a great mother to Mark. I am definitely a romantic and I always wished there had been more romance in it. I loved the episode when Mark likes that girl and sings "Something Special" it was so sweet and I like the one with that girl that liked him who was racing the horses with him and had that cute scene under the tree.❤
ScoobyDoo169 ScoobyDoo169 40 months ago
Oh yeah I did see this one metv just showed it. They did kiss!!!😙
ScoobyDoo169 ScoobyDoo169 40 months ago
That was so romantic just like when Mark sang "Something Special" to that girl. I love those two episodes. She was a good candidate for being Marks mother too. I wish they would have put Lucas together with either her or Lou Mallory.😙😊
Mirramanee ScoobyDoo169 40 months ago
I think Christine White's character, Ann Dodd, would have been a great addition to the show as Lucas' love interest. However, I absolutely do not agree that he and Lou Mallory would have made a good match. I have stated this before and will state it again that Millie Scott would have been the better match for Lucas. Millie was much more the home body and sweetly mothering type who would have fit in perfectly with Lucas and Mark at the ranch. Lou Mallory was way too independent and feisty for that. I did not see her giving up her hotel and other businesses in North Fork to retire to the ranch to care for Lucas, Mark and any other little ones they might have had. I have always thought that it was a real shame Joan Taylor left the series when she did, as it was obvious the writers were moving her character toward a permanent relationship with Lucas and they fit together really well.
I do agree that Ann Dodd would have also been a sweet addition to the McCain home. Her character was a lovely woman with a borderline playful touch that appealed to Mark on one level and to Lucas on another level. I'm sure that would have been a great match. But definitely not Lou Mallory.
ScoobyDoo169 Mirramanee 40 months ago
Well I still think Lou Mallory would have been the better choice. Ann Dodd would have been a good choice too but she chickened out. There was no reason why she couldn't have stayed with Lucas and Mark but she used the excuse that she couldn't replace Marks mother. It is obvious though that no one can replace Marks mother but it would be nice if he had a woman in a mother-like role. On the other hand Lou Mallory was very close to Lucas and Mark and helped whenever she could. When Mark feel off a horse and went paralyzed and couldn't walk, Lucas and Lou went through the freezing could and through loads of dangers like freezing to death and dangerous men to get to the hot springs which ended up helping Mark at the end. There has to be lot's of love there for her to do that.
ScoobyDoo169 ScoobyDoo169 40 months ago
Sorry I meant the freezing cold.
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