There is something about a good Western that attracts people to it. Gunsmoke was good and as such it remained on television for many years and also kept its popularity even after it left the small screen. Gunsmoke takes place mostly in Dodge City a small town on the edge of the Western frontier. Dodge City had a reputation for being a rough and tumble settlement where almost anything could happen. U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (played by James Arness) is the man in charge who is trying to keep law and order at a time and in a locale in which that was not of prime concern. He is aided to that end by saloon keeper Miss Kitty (played by Amanda Blake), no nonsense doctor Doc Adams (played by Milburn Stone), half Comanche blacksmith Quint Asper (played by Burt Reynolds) and his deputy Festus Haggen (played by Ken Curtis). A large part of the reason that Gunsmoke was popular besides the strong acting, good guest stars and interesting stories was that it was a realistic portrayal of the expansion in the United States at the time to the western part of the land.
Episode 1: Blue Heaven: Kip Gilman (played by Tim O’Connor), a man trying to elude men hunting him, meets up with a runaway boy, Packy Kerlin (played by Kurt Russell). After hearing the young boy’s story about going to Dodge City to try and find his mother the fugitive decides to use the boy as his cover.
Episode 2: Crooked Mile: Quint begins dating a woman whose father is not especially happy about their relationship. Matt gets wind of a plan that the father has cooked up and races to stop him in time.
Episode 3: Old Man: A crabby man with tons of enemies is murdered. An old man has been framed for the crime and sentenced to hang.
Episode 4: The Violators: A murder in which the victim has been scalped happens and Dodge City residents blame the Indians. Matt is not so certain.
Episode 5: Doctor’s Wife: A new doctor and his wife arrive in Dodge City and it is not good news for Doc Adams. His troubles get worse when the wife spreads bad things about Doc around town in the hopes of gaining more business for her husband.
Episode 6: Take Her, She’s Cheap: A farmer offers his young daughter to Matt as a girlfriend and Matt politely declines. The love-struck teen does not take no for an answer and travels to Dodge City but all she finds there is trouble.
Episode 7: Help Me, Kitty: The daughter of one of Kitty’s friends arrives in town pregnant and stating that she wants to leave the father of the child. Kitty attempts to take the girl to her mother but their stagecoach is hijacked.
Episode 8: Hong High: Matt is framed for the murder of a prisoner he was transporting. A sergeant who seems to have revenge on his mind seems intent on making sure Matt is found responsible for the death.
Episode 9: Jonah Hutchison: Dodge City’s first settler returns after being released from prison. Once back he aims to get back his land any way he can.
Episode 10: Big Man, Big Target: A rancher’s wife is carrying on an affair with an outlaw. The outlaw has on his mind to remove the rancher from the picture.
Episode 11: Chicken: A man by error earns the reputation as a top notch gunfighter. Of course, trouble finds him and he has to try and step up to the plate.
Episode 12: Innocence: A new young lady in town earns the attention of several suitors. When she decides upon one the rest become very jealous.
Episode 13: Aunt Thede: The unconventional aunt of Festus comes to Dodge City. She causes plenty of trouble and even tries to play matchmaker for two young people.
Episode 14: Hammerhead: A man and his daughter arrive in Dodge City looking to buy some horses. He announces that he will hold a horse race with the winner being the ranch he buys the horses from.
Episode 15: Double Entry: An old friend of Matt’s comes to Dodge City looking to buy a business. Matt soon uncovers that this is not the real reason he is in town.
Episode 16: Run Sheep Run: A man attempts to cheat a young couple out of the money for their ranch that he is attempting to buy. When the cheat turns up dead the young couple go on the run.
Episode 17: Deputy Festus: Matt has to leave town and leaves Festus in charge. Three trappers which Matt had arrested fool Festus into releasing them.
Episode 18: One Killer on Ice: A bounty hunter asks Matt for his help to transport a criminal that his partner is guarding. Matt soon realizes there is more to the story than he first thought.