A Review by Mike Tooney

“The Accused.” An episode of Daniel Boone (1964-70). Season 2, Episode 27. First airdate: March 24, 1966. Fess Parker, Joanna Moore, Ed Ames, Ken Scott, Vaughn Taylor, E. J. Andre, George Savalas. Writer: David Duncan. Director: John Florea.


   Daniel Boone (Parker) gets into real trouble when a man he has just been dickering with over the price of furs ends up being murdered.

   Every bit of circumstantial evidence points to Daniel, but being a scrupulously honest individual, he allows himself to be jailed even after an inquest clinches his guilt. Things aren’t helped at all by the inflexible attitude taken by the local constable.

   Of course, Daniel didn’t do it, as his Oxford-educated Cherokee friend Mingo (Ames) knows instinctively. Not being one to see injustice done, Mingo springs Daniel from the hoosegow and the two set out to find the real perpetrators.

   …which they eventually do, but only after a lot of running and jumping and shooting of the sort you won’t find in a typical Perry Mason episode.

   Which brings us to the chief defect of this particular show: that, with just a little rearranging, it would have made a grand whodunit, instead of the more prosaic how’s-he-gonna-clear-himself type of plot.


   The viewer knows ab initio what happened, who did the crime, and how they attempted to cover it up — and this knowledge contributes nothing to the progression of the storyline.

   If the producers had taken the first five tell-all minutes of the episode and simply moved them to the end, at the point when the perps have been apprehended and are explaining how and why they did the dirty deed, this commonplace action adventure show could have been elevated to a higher plane — a genuine whodunit.

   By inserting closeups of more of the people with worried expressions at the inquest — Perry Mason-style — and snipping a scene or two later on, the mystery would have been sustained.


   But by not doing so, the writer and the director missed a golden opportunity to give us a real rara avis indeed, a buckskin whodunit. Thus, the best moments in the show must remain the final few funny minutes when Daniel and Mingo are stranded literally up a tree.

   We’ve already discussed Joanna Moore in a couple of previous Mystery*File entries here and here, as well as Fess Parker here.

   If writer David Duncan’s IMDb filmography is complete, the notion of writing a mystery was foreign to him.

   And, yes, that’s Telly Savalas’s younger brother George (1924-85) playing the warden. Usually billed as “Demosthenes” (his middle name), he appeared in 114 episodes of Kojak.