Laramie: Double Eagles is a fourth season entry and features mainly Robert Fuller as Jess Harper. The thrust of the show is Jess going out on a posse with Sheriff Mort Corey (Stuart Randall) after some thieves. There are a few interesting twists in this hour western that make it a bit above average.
One of the main guest stars is Russell Johnson, who plays one of the murdering robbers, Al Denning. Most known as Gilligan’s professor, Johnson is at his worst here in this episode. I’ve seen Johnson play bad guys before, but I still think about the professor and how different that role was from these villainous types.
The other main guest star is Charles Robinson. He plays Sam Moore, down on his luck and having to support his beautiful and pregnant wife, Alma (Valora Noland).
Norman Leavitt also appears in this episode. He has played all kinds of roles in the Laramie TV series. He’s most often some kind of townsman, as he is here as Frank, the storekeeper. What I like is the tender scene between him and Sam, who has a big tab already at the store. Frank decides to be tough, but he just can’t, not knowing that Alma is due to deliver any day now.
I actually hate to say too much about the hour because I don’t want to give away those twists and I’m afraid of saying things that will. I just like the way the drama unfolds, the surprises it offers, and the way that it isn’t just a standard posse chase show.
What helps in that regard are some of the characters and how they interact. James Griffith, for example, is just outstanding in the role of Charlie Frost, one time drunk. He’s smart and intuitive, and it’s one of my favorite roles for this very versatile actor.
A good supporting cast goes a long way towards making a show worth watching, and this episode has a good one. In addition to those already mentioned, Dick Foran, George Wallace, Emile Genest, Stacy Harris, and William Bryant all make up a piece of this very successful TV show pie.