HUDSON’S BAY. CTV, Canada, 1959-60. “Pilot episode.” Barry Nelson (Jonathan Banner), George Tobias (Pierre Falcone). Guest Cast: Toby Tarnow, Ben Lennick, Jean Caval, Jim Barron, Sean Franck. Director: Alvin Rakoff.

   Quite a few episodes of this series exist and are available either on YouTube or circulating in the collectors’ market. Barry Nelson plays an agent of the famed Hudson’s Bay Company, his bailiwick being essentially all of Canada, and more, or so the opening narration tells us: Labrador to California, Minnesota to Alaska. That’s quite a chunk or territory for two men to cover, but Jonathan Banner and his French-Canadian sidekick Pierre Falcone seem to have done it, for a period of one season, or 39 episodes.

   There was no onscreen title for the episode I watched, and there seems to be some uncertainty about it. The more reliable authority, as far as I have been able to determine, is Classic TV Archives, which does refer to it as the pilot and quite possibly episode one of the series itself. The official title, according to CTVA, is “Battle of Mississippi,” a/k/a “Indian Girl Witness” or “The Celebration.”

   IMDb, on the other hand, has the story listed under the title “Revelry at Red Deer,” which both they and CTVA have listed as Episode #8. The synopsis as given on IMDb matches the story I watched, for whatever worth that may be.

   In this episode, a fight breaks out over a Indian girl at a party held at the end of a hunting and trapping season, and when one of the men who was attracted to her is found murdered, the one who thought he had a prior claim to her is accused.

   Toby Tarnow, a Canadian actress, plays Little Dove (or Little Doe or Little Dory, sources vary) but has little or no dialogue. One telling scene occurs when Banner tries to locate her as a witness by going to the chief of tribe, and the chief says she has no tribe.

   Another longer scene consists of members of two trading companies shooting it out, with lots of dramatic deaths and falls from higher regions of the trading post. This makes sure that the story fills out to its full 25 minutes of so.

   If this series had been filmed in color, I think it might be worth further watching, but in black-and-white and with only a very ordinary episode under my belt, I think I’ll pass. (The first seven minutes are included in the clip below.)