The Lieutenant

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The Lieutenant
Cover of Part 1 of the Complete Series DVD
Created byGene Roddenberry
StarringGary Lockwood
Robert Vaughn
John Milford
Henry Beckman
Richard Anderson
Don Penny
Carmen Phillips
Steve Franken
ComposersJeff Alexander
Arthur Morton
Lyn Murray
Harry Sukman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes29
Running time60 minutes
Production companyMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 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, Southern California, the West Coast base of the U.S. Marine Corps, The Lieutenant focuses on the men of the Corps in peacetime 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 officers alike.

The series was known for hosting a plethora of stars and guest stars who would later appear in Roddenberry's more well known work, Star Trek. Rice himself—whose middle name was also shared by the character James T. Kirk—was played by Gary Lockwood, who appeared in the second Star Trek pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Majel Barrett, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig all appeared as guest stars, along with Ricardo Montalbán—famous for his portrayal of Khan Noonien Singh—and Paul Comi, from the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror".[1][2] Several other prominent stars appear in various other episodes, such as Rip Torn playing a drill instructor, Ted Knight playing a yeoman, veteran actor James Gregory (another Star Trek guest star, from the episode Dagger of the Mind) as a senior Marine NCO, Alice star Vic Tayback as a Marine Corps sentry, and veteran character actor Denver Pyle—later internationally known as Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard—appeared in the series as a Marine Corps major.

The series was released on DVD in two half-season sets by the Warner Archive Collection on August 14, 2012.[3]


Gary Lockwood starred as USMC second lieutenant William Tiberius Rice, a recent graduate of the United States Naval Academy who is 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 roles on The Big Valley and as Krystle Carrington in Dynasty, appeared in several early episodes as Colonel Hiland's daughter Nan, who flirted with Rice. The series focused primarily on Rice's various assignments as a junior officer, which often involved special details or difficult situations. Several of the later episodes featured Rice becoming an undercover investigator with military intelligence, allowing for plots and scenarios which Rice would otherwise not be involved with as a second lieutenant.

Production and broadcast[edit]

After its original broadcast, The Lieutenant was sparsely rerun in syndication, as its run had not been long enough for episodes to be stripped in daily broadcasts. In 2016, digital subchannel network GetTV aired The Lieutenant on Wednesday evenings at 8 p.m. Eastern Time in a block of four episodes, not following the original airdate order.

Unbroadcast episode rumors[edit]

The installment "To Set It Right", which was written by Lee Erwin, was about racial prejudice, and featured Nichelle Nichols as the fiancée of a black Marine, portrayed by Don Marshall, with Dennis Hopper as the antagonist to that Marine. Some allege that the episode was never broadcast.[1] However, multiple newspapers from the time indicate that it was to be shown on February 22, 1964, at least in some markets,[4][5] including ones in the South[6]

Moreover, Variety ran a review of the episode on February 24, 1964.[7]

The Paley Center for Media in New York City possesses a videotape of the episode.[8] It also appears on the 2012 Warner Media DVD Collection The Lieutenant: The Complete Series Parts 2.

After The Lieutenant[edit]

The Lieutenant was canceled after only one season.

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.

The title character in The Lieutenant was Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice; on the original series of Star Trek, the title character was James T. Kirk. It was not until the "Star Trek: The Animated Series" episode "BEM" that "Tiberius" was revealed as Captain Kirk's middle name. The name William Rice is also very similar to that of the first officer William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation almost a quarter of a century later.

The DVD release of The Lieutenant - The Complete Series, Part 2 includes a feature film version of the episode "To Kill a Man" that was released in international markets.

Cast members[edit]


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.

Guest stars[edit]

Guest stars included Eddie Albert, Jack Albertson, Edward Asner, Barbara Babcock, Barbara Bain, Ina Balin, and Majel Barrett, who later became Roddenberry's wife. There were also Marian Collier, Russ Conway, Dennis Cross, Robert Karnes, Paul Newlan, Gregg Palmer, Joe Ploski, Penny Santon, Tom Simcox, Ray Teal and Kelly Thordsen.


Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"A Million Miles from Clary"Don MedfordEd WatersSeptember 14, 1963 (1963-09-14)
Platoon morale is threatened when an easygoing enlisted man (Bill Bixby) uses his friendship with Rice to gain favors.
2"Cool of the Evening"Robert GistSheldon StarkSeptember 21, 1963 (1963-09-21)
Rice goes to the aid of a dishonest young woman (Kathryn Hays) when he hears her scream in a dark alley, but then finds himself facing serious charges.
3"The Proud and the Angry"Andrew McLaglenJerome B. ThomasSeptember 28, 1963 (1963-09-28)
Rice goes undercover at a boot camp as a private to investigate charges that Sgt. Karl Kasten (Rip Torn) is brutal in his training of new recruits.
4"The Two Star Giant"Richard DonnerBeirne Lay, Jr.October 5, 1963 (1963-10-05)
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.
5"A Very Private Affair"Buzz KulicGene RoddenberryOctober 12, 1963 (1963-10-12)
Pilot episode: 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.
6"To Take Up Serpents"Andrew V. MclaglenJay SimmsOctober 19, 1963 (1963-10-19)
Rice is assigned to an air base for training and comes to the realization that he has a fear of flying.
7"A Touching of Hands"Don MedfordSy SalkowitzOctober 26, 1963 (1963-10-26)
Rice offers sympathy to the lonely wife of a fellow officer (Ina Balin), but soon finds himself the subject of malicious gossip.
8"Captain Thomson"Leon BensonSheldon StarkNovember 2, 1963 (1963-11-02)
A gruff and tactless guerilla warfare instructor (Paul Burke) makes impossible demands on his trainees.
9"Instant Wedding"David AlexanderEllis MarcusNovember 9, 1963 (1963-11-09)
Rice tries to protect a fellow officer's girlfriend from the romantic attentions of a Navy officer.
10"A Troubled Image"Don MedfordHerman GrovesNovember 16, 1963 (1963-11-16)
Rice trains a group of Vietnamese combat officers and finds one of them is a beautiful woman.
11"Fall from a White Horse"John BrahmGeorge EcksteinNovember 30, 1963 (1963-11-30)
Rice is asked to provide legal defense by a fellow Marine officer (Andrew Prine) who is accused in a hit-and-run accident and is in danger of being court-martialed.
12"Alert!"Don TaylorLee ErwinDecember 14, 1963 (1963-12-14)
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.
13"The Art of Discipline"Arnold ButlerArchie L. TeglandDecember 21, 1963 (1963-12-21)
Rice loses control of his new platoon when he relaxes discipline to win friends.
14"The Alien"Michael O'HerlihyStory by : George Eckstein
Teleplay by : "Robert Wesley"
December 28, 1963 (1963-12-28)
Rambridge conducts a double courtship in an effort to marry a stewardess (Madlyn Rhue) as quickly as possible in order to adopt a Korean orphan.
15"O'Rourke"E. W. SwackhammerJay SimmsJanuary 4, 1964 (1964-01-04)
A famous author (Eddie Albert) decides to prove the contemporary Marine Corps is far less effective than it was during World War II.
16"Gone the Sun"James GoldstoneRobert DozierJanuary 18, 1964 (1964-01-18)
Returning to his hometown while escorting a dead soldier, Rice is blamed for the death of a Marine during maneuvers by the parents of the deceased man, and connects with the beautiful sister (Sherry Jackson) of a friend. Strother Martin plays a taxi driver.
17"Between Music and Laughter"Vincent McEveetySy SalkowitzJanuary 25, 1964 (1964-01-25)
A party girl (Patricia Crowley) asks Rice to help her win back the affections of her ex-husband, Captain Rambridge.
18"Interlude"Richard DonnerStory by : Robert E. Thompson
Teleplay by : Paul Schneider & Margaret Schneider
February 1, 1964 (1964-02-01)
Rice's career in the Marine Corps is threatened when he is paralyzed in an automobile accident, but he finds love during his rehabilitation with a woman (Joanna Moore) dying of a brain tumor.
19"Capp's Lady"David AlexanderRobert J. ShawFebruary 8, 1964 (1964-02-08)
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.
20"Green Water Green Flag"Leon BensonSy SalkowitzFebruary 15, 1964 (1964-02-15)
Rice meets Lt. Joe Worth, an old adversary just when he is suddenly given command of important maneuvers due to Rambridge's appendicitis.
21"To Set It Right"Vincent McEveetyLee ErwinN/A
Rice tries to play peacemaker when he has to resolve a racial dispute between two young members (Dennis Hopper and Don Marshall) of his platoon. Nichelle Nichols plays the black soldier's fiancee.
22"In the Highest Tradition"Marc DanielsBlanche HanalisFebruary 29, 1964 (1964-02-29)
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 Nimoy's assistant.
23"Tour of Duty"Andrew V. McLaughlinArt WallaceMarch 7, 1964 (1964-03-07)
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.
24"Lament for a Dead Goldbrick"Robert ButlerSy SalkowitzMarch 14, 1964 (1964-03-14)
A newspaper reporter (Robert Duvall) writing an exposé of Marine training methods holds Rice responsible for the accidental death of a Marine.
25"Man with an Edge"Vincent McEveetyStory by : Beirne Lay, Jr.
Teleplay by : Beirne Lay, Jr. and Lee Erwin
March 21, 1964 (1964-03-21)
Rice loses his girlfriend to a Naval Academy football All-American (Chad Everett), who also happens to be the nephew of the colonel.
26"Operation Actress"Leonard HornRobert J. ShawMarch 28, 1964 (1964-03-28)
Rice is shocked when a conniving Hollywood actress (Leslie Parrish) announces that she is going to marry him.
27"Mother Enemy"Vincent McEveetyRobert J. ShawApril 4, 1964 (1964-04-04)
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.
28"The War Called Peace"Andrew V. McLaughlinAnthony WilsonApril 11, 1964 (1964-04-11)
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."
29"To Kill a Man"Vincent McEveetyGene RoddenberryApril 18, 1964 (1964-04-18)
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. A feature-film version of this episode was released internationally, though not in the United States.


  1. ^ a b Barbrick, Greg (7 September 2012). "The Lieutenant The Complete Series Part Two DVD Review: Gene Roddenberry Sows the Seeds of Star Trek". Cinema Sentries. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  2. ^ Asherman, Allan, "The Star Trek Compendium". Pocket Books, New York (1993)
  3. ^ Lambert, David. "The Lieutenant DVD news: Announcement for The Complete Series, Part 1 and The Complete Series, Part 2 |". Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Saturday, Feb. 22". The Cincinnati Post. February 15, 1964. Archived from the original on January 30, 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Tonight's Television". The Tulsa Tribune. February 22, 1964. Archived from the original on January 30, 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Best Bet: 'The Defenders' Sheds Light on Addiction". The State. February 22, 1964. Archived from the original on January 30, 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Reaction, Telepix Followup, THE LIEUTENANT ("To Set it Right")". variety. February 24, 1964. p. 8.
  8. ^ "LIEUTENANT, THE: TO SET IT RIGHT (TV)". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved 1 September 2013.

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