The Lieutenant

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The Lieutenant
The Lieutenant Series, Part 1.jpg
Cover of Part 1 of the Complete Series DVD
Format Drama
Starring Gary Lockwood
Robert Vaughn
John Milford
Henry Beckman
Richard Anderson
Don Penny
Carmen Phillips
Steve Franken
Composer(s) Arthur Morton
Jeff Alexander (1.12, 1.14)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 29
Running time 1 hour
Original channel NBC
Original run September 14, 1963 (1963-09-14) – April 18, 1964 (1964-04-18)

The Lieutenant is an American television series, the first created by Gene Roddenberry. It aired on NBC on Saturday evenings in the 1963–1964 television schedule. It was produced by Arena Productions, one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's most successful in-house production companies of the 1960s. Situated at Camp Pendleton, the West Coast base of the U.S. Marine Corps, The Lieutenant focuses on the men of the Corps in peace time with a Cold War backdrop. The title character is Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice, a rifle platoon leader and one of the training instructors at Camp Pendleton. An hour-long drama, The Lieutenant explores the lives of enlisted Marines and general officers alike.

The series was released on DVD in two half-season sets by the Warner Archive Collection on August 14, 2012.[1]


Gary Lockwood starred as USMC Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice, a recent graduate of the United States Naval Academy who had been assigned his first command, that of a rifle platoon. Rice is a young, educated idealist who still has much to learn from an older mentor. Robert Vaughn played Captain Raymond Rambridge, Rice's company commander, an up-from-the-ranks officer. Richard Anderson, remembered for playing Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, had a recurring role as battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Steve Hiland, and Linda Evans, later known for her role as Krystle Carrington in Dynasty, appeared in several early episodes as Colonel Hiland's daughter Nan, who flirted with Rice.

Production and transmission progress[edit]

Actor Gary Lockwood was twenty-six years of age and still an apprentice actor at the time the series premiered. Lockwood received his stage "family" name from early mentor Joshua Logan, who had participated in Mister Roberts and Picnic and whose middle name was Lockwood. A former UCLA college football player who could be violent and quick-tempered,[citation needed] and who had seriously injured a man in a brawl at a party,[citation needed] Lockwood tried to withdraw from the series program at the last moment, hoping to concentrate on films. He did not do so because the producers and network executives convinced him that there would be unpleasant payback if he did.[citation needed] Lockwood later compared being a TV star to being a jet pilot: many experts, he said, worked behind the scenes and then the pilot entered the hot seat and made it all work.[citation needed]


One episode of The Lieutenant was never actually transmitted.[citation needed] The installment, titled "To Set It Right," which was written by Lee Erwin, was about race prejudice, and featured Nichelle Nichols as the fiancee of a black Marine, and Dennis Hopper as the adversary of that Marine. The subject of race was considered taboo in entertainment television in 1964, and because the network refused to transmit "To Set It Right" or even pay for it, MGM had to shoulder the entire cost of production.[citation needed] The Paley Center for Media in New York City possesses a videotape of the episode.[2] It was his frustrations with "To Set It Right" never having been transmitted that Gene Roddenberry made his decision to turn Star Trek into an allegorical production[citation needed], thereby incurring a heavy debt to the political satires of the Reverend Dean Jonathan Swift Jr., Gulliver's "Travels" in particular, and such of the religious satires of François Rabelais as Gargantua and Pantagruel.[citation needed]

After The Lieutenant[edit]

The Lieutenant performed well in the ratings, considering the competition from The Jackie Gleason Show on CBS. The program had occupied the time slot previously held by the legal drama Sam Benedict starring Edmond O'Brien and Richard Rust. Rust also guest starred in an episode of The Lieutenant. Despite its success and promise, The Lieutenant was nevertheless canceled after only one season because, according to Roddenberry, the Vietnam War had made present-day military dramas toxic for television. In the final episode of the series, Rice is sent to a fictitious Asian country based on Vietnam as an advisor, mirroring the same real-life situation that the series had been canceled for.

Roddenberry recruited Lockwood one more time, in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the second pilot installment for Star Trek, as Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell.

A middle name would be reused for Star Trek: The title character in The Lieutenant was Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice; on Star Trek the title character would be Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

The Lieutenant also brought together several other actors—amongst them Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, and Majel Barrett—who would later join Roddenberry in Star Trek.

Also available on the DVD release of The Lieutenant - The Complete Series, Part 2, a feature film version of the episode "To KIll a Man" released internationally.

Cast members[edit]


Prior to his selection as The Lieutenant, Lockwood had appeared as magazine researcher Eric Jason in the ABC series Follow the Sun during the 1961–1962 season.

Robert Vaughn[edit]

Vaughn received the same compensation as Lockwood, even though he was usually in only one scene per episode.[citation needed] Vaughn asked both MGM Television and Norman Felton (under whose Arena Productions banner The Lieutenant was being produced) for his own series during the run of The Lieutenant. The result was The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which began the next season and proved to be highly successful.


Episode # Episode title Original airdate Plot Director Writer
1-1 "A Million Miles From Clary" September 14, 1963 Platoon morale is threatened when an enlisted man (Bill Bixby) uses his friendship with Rice to gain favors. Don Medford Ed Waters
1-2 "Cool of the Evening" September 21, 1963 Rice goes to the aid of a young woman (Kathryn Hays) when he hears her scream in a dark alley, but then finds himself facing serious charges. Robert Gist Sheldon Stark
1-3 "The Proud and the Angry" September 28, 1963 Rice goes undercover as a private to investigate charges that Sgt. Karl Kasten (Rip Torn) is brutal in his training of new recruits. Andrew McLaglen Jerome B. Thomas
1-4 "The Two Star Giant" October 5, 1963 Rice is mistakenly assigned as an aide to General Stone (Neville Brand) just as the general is ordered to Washington to defend his policies at a Senate hearing. Richard Donner Beirne Lay, Jr.
1-5 "A Very Private Affair" (pilot) October 12, 1963 2LT William T. Rice reports for his first assignment, and is forced to choose between winning the confidence of his new platoon by overlooking a fight or revealing the truth to MCAPT Raymond Rambridge. Buzz Kulic Gene Roddenberry
1-6 "To Take Up Serpents" October 19, 1963 Rice is assigned to an air base for training and comes to the realization that he has a fear of flying. Andrew V. Mclaglen Jay Simms
1-7 "A Touching of Hands" October 26, 1963 Rice offers sympathy to the lonely wife of a fellow officer (Ina Balin), but soon finds himself the subject of malicious gossip. Don Medford Sy Salkowitz
1-8 "Captain Thomson" November 2, 1963 A gruff and tactless guerilla warfare instructor (Paul Burke) makes impossible demands on his trainees. Leon Benson Sheldon Stark and Gene McCarthy
1-9 "Instant Wedding" November 9, 1963 Rice tries to protect a fellow officer's girlfriend from the romantic attentions of a Navy officer. David Alexander Ellis Marcus
1-10 "A Troubled Image" November 16, 1963 Rice trains a group of Vietnamese combat officers and finds one of them is a beautiful woman. Don Medford Herman Groves
1-11 "Fall From a White Horse" November 30, 1963 Rice is assigned to defend a fellow Marine officer (Andrew Prine) who is accused in a hit-and-run accident and is in danger of being court-martialed. John Brahm George Eckstein
1-12 "Alert!" December 14, 1963 Rice falls in love with a business executive's daughter (Sharon Farrell) who gives him an ultimatum of either leaving the Marine Corps or breaking off the relationship. Don Taylor Lee Erwin
1-13 "The Art of Discipline" December 21, 1963 Rice loses control of his new platoon when he relaxes discipline to win friends. Arnold Butler Archie L. Tegland
1-14 "The Alien" December 28, 1963 Rambridge conducts a double courtship in an effort to get married as quickly as possible in order to a Korean orphan. Michael O'Herlihy teleplay: Gene Roddenberry (as "Robert Wesley"), story: George Eckstein
1-15 "O'Rourke" January 4, 1964 A famous author (Eddie Albert) decides to prove the contemporary Marine Corps is far less effective that it was during World War II. E. W. Swackhammer Jay Simms
1-16 "Gone the Sun" January 18, 1964 Rice is blamed for the death of a Marine during maneuvers by the parents of the deceased man. Strother Martin plays a taxi driver. James Goldstone Robert Dozier
1-17 "Between Music and Laughter" January 25, 1964 A party girl (Patricia Crowley) asks Rice to help her win back the affections of her ex-husband, Captain Rambridge. Vincent McEveety Sy Salkowitz
1-18 "Interlude" February 1, 1964 Rice's career in the Marine Corps is threatened when he is paralyzed in an automobile accident, but he finds love during his rehabilitation. Richard Donner Margaret & Paul Schneider and Robert E. Thompson
1-19 "Capp's Lady" February 8, 1964 Rice makes an effort to warn Sgt. Horace Capp (James Gregory) that the woman he plans to marry has both a notorious reputation and a police record. David Alexander Robert J. Shaw
1-20 "Green Water Green Flag" February 15, 1964 Rice meets an old adversary just when he is suddenly given command of important maneuvers due to Rambridge's illness. Leon Benson Sy Salkowitz
1-21 "To Set It Right" February 22, 1964
(never actually transmitted)
Rice tries to play peacemaker when he has to resolve a racial dispute between two young members of his platoon. Nichelle Nichols plays the black soldier's fiancee. NOTE: The network never compensated MGM Television for this installment, forcing the company to bear the entire burden of its costs. Vincent McEveety Lee Erwin
1-22 "In the Highest Tradition" February 29, 1964 Rice is assigned as a technical advisor with a film crew making a movie about a Marine lieutenant in World War II. Leonard Nimoy plays a Hollywood producer and actor. Majel Barrett plays the wife of the World War II Marine. Marc Daniels Blanche Hanalis
1-23 "Tour of Duty" March 7, 1964 A Marine (Ricardo Montalbán) returns from overseas and learns that his wife was killed while riding with another man, then takes advantage of Rice's sympathies. Andrew V. McLaughlin Art Wallace
1-24 "Lament for a Dead Goldbrick" March 14, 1964 A newspaper reporter (Robert Duvall) writing an expose of Marine training methods holds Rice responsible for the accidental death of a Marine. Robert Butler Sy Salkowitz
1-25 "Man With an Edge" March 21, 1964 Rice loses his girlfriend to a Naval Academy football All-American (Chad Everett), who also happens to be the nephew of the colonel. Vincent McEveety teleplay by Lee Erwin and Beirne Lay, Jr., story by Beirne Lay, Jr.
1-26 "Operation Actress" March 28, 1964 Rice is shocked when a conniving Hollywood actress announces that she is going to marry him. Leonard Horn Robert J. Shaw
1-27 "Mother Enemy" April 4, 1964 Rice recommends Sgt. John Delwyn (Walter Koenig) for officer's school, but then discovers that the man's mother is a leading member of the American Communist party. Vincent McEveety Robert J. Shaw
1-28 "War Called Peace" April 11, 1964 Rice is assigned to run a surreptitious check on carelessness in security measures that has developed on a top-secret scientific project called "The War Called Peace." Andrew V. McLaughlin Anthony Wilson
1-29 "To Kill a Man" April 18, 1964 Rice is assigned to deliver top-secret military information to combat troops in Vietnam, but when his plane is shot down, he and a Vietnamese aide are forced to fight their way back. Vincent McEveety Gene Roddenberry

Guest stars[edit]


External links[edit]