The Big Valley

Saturdays at 12 PM

eastern (on most MeTV stations)
Set in the late 1800s, 'The Big Valley' follows the Barkley family's Wild West adventures. Stern widow Victoria Barkley (Barbara Stanwyck) and her family brave bandits, horse thieves and land grabbers on their ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley. Linda Evans plays the only daughter, Audra, a bold tomboy who is able to look out for herself.


Episode Guide

Episode Guide

Season 1
  • Season 1
  • Season 2
  • Season 3
  • Season 4

Ep 1: Palms of Glory

The Barkleys lead the resistance when the Coastal and Western Railroad hires bully-boys to force farmers to give up their land for a pittance. Meanwhile, a young man appears claiming to be Tom Barkley’s bastard son.

Ep 2: Forty Rifles

Nick’s former Civil War commander and idol stirs up trouble among ranch hands dissatisfied with working for Heath, who is having trouble being accepted as a Barkley.

Ep 3: Boots with My Father's Name

Victoria starts brooding about how Tom could truly love her if he was unfaithful and fathered a bastard child. She journeys to Heath’s hometown to try to find the truth about Tom’s relationship with Heath’s mother.

Ep 4: Young Marauders

Audra is saved from serious injury by a young man who says he is a mustang hunter. She falls in love with him; her brothers find him a suspicious character.

Ep 5: The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner

Victoria sells land to an old friend who has deeply sentimental reasons for owning it, despite the fact that her own sons are part of a plan to flood that land with waters from a dam.

Ep 6: Heritage

Heath investigates violence during a strike at a Barkley mine. He finds that the miners hate the Barkleys for promises not kept. The family sets out to make things right before the Molly Maguires strike again.

Ep 7: Winner Lose All

A hispanic family is in a land dispute with the Barkleys. Maria, the young daughter of the family, falls in love with Heath. Her father disapproves of Heath’s illegitimate birth, and uses the land crisis as leverage to force Heath and Maria apart.

Ep 8: My Son, My Son

Audra wants to flirt with Evan Miles, a childhood friend back from the east. Little does she know that he suffers from a dangerous emotional instability.

Ep 9: Earthquake!

During an earthquake a mission church collapses into a forgotten mine that lies under it. Victoria is trapped there with a pregnant indian woman and a man with a grudge: He's a ranch hand that Nick recently fired.

Ep 10: The Murdered Party

Jarrod defends a member of a ne’er-do-well family on a charge of murder, even though the main witness against him is Heath.

Ep 11: The Way to Kill a Killer

The only chance Mariano Montoya’s herd has to survive anthrax is the immunization that Eugene learned about at college. Montoya says that if the Barkleys want to prove that the procedure is safe, they must test it on their own prize bull.

Ep 12: Night of the Wolf

Nick is bit by a rabid wolf, a virtual death sentence. Not wanting his family to witness his decline, he leaves, making Heath swear he won’t tell the others what has happened. Nick hopes that in his final 60 days he will do something worthwhile.

Ep 13: The Guilt of Matt Bentell

The Barkleys learn that the man they have hired to run their logging operations was the commandant of a notorious Civil War prisoner camp, in which Heath was held prisoner.

Ep 14: The Brawlers

A group of Irish immigrants settles on Barkley land, believing they have bought the land from a reputable agent. Nick thinks of them purely as squatters, while they refuse to believe they've been scammed.

Ep 15: Judgement in Heaven

Jarrod risks inviting his client home for a Christmas visit. She's a young woman accused of aiding and abetting her boyfriend, an outlaw who has recently escaped from jail.

Ep 16: The Invaders

A gang of rawhiders injures Heath, and then takes him to the ranch looking for a reward for “saving” him from ambush. While there, they realize the rest of the men folk are away, leaving the ranch vulnerable to their thievery.

Ep 17: By Fires Unseen

Nick brings his bride-to-be back from San Francisco; the family doubts, however, that she’s ready to marry.

Ep 18: A Time to Kill

Jarrod welcomes an old law school friend to the valley, only to find that a secret service agent is on his trail. It seems that every place the friend travels, counterfeit money comes into circulation.

Ep 19: Teacher of Outlaws

Victoria is kidnapped by outlaws who think she’s the local schoolteacher. The reason is unusual: The gang leader wants her to teach him how to read.

Ep 20: Under a Dark Star

Jarrod is guilt-ridden because he helped convict Keeno Nash of a crime he now knows Nash didn't commit. When he is released, Jarrod offers Nash help, despite the fact that he had threatened Jarrod’s life at the trial.

Ep 21: Barbary Red

Nick is shanghaied at a saloon by a woman whom Jarrod once defended for that very crime.

Ep 22: The Death Merchant

The Barkleys are plagued by neighbors who claim a boundary changed when a stream changed course. Into the picture comes Handy Random, a gunman who once did the Barkleys a great service.

Ep 23: The Fallen Hawk

Heath’s guilt gets the better of him when he blames himself for a friend’s injury. He seems oblivious to the fact that his friend is manipulating him.

Ep 24: Hazard

Gil Anders, once a friend of Heath’s, is ambushed by bounty hunters. The Barkleys hide him, and Jarrod seeks to discover the truth about the crime of which Anders has been accused, despite the fact that Heath believes Anders deserves death.

Ep 25: Into the Widow's Web

Heath’s boyhood sweetheart comes to town in a traveling show. When her drunken husband turns up murdered, Heath is arrested by the new district attorney, who is out to show that the Barkleys can’t get away with murder despite their wealth and reputation.

Ep 26: By Force and Violence

When Heath is trapped under a broken-down wagon, the only person who can help Victoria save him is an escaped convict.

Ep 27: The River Monarch

The Barkleys’ riverboat is recovered years after its sinking, but the government gold it had been carrying is missing. The local newspaper editor starts a smear campaign, accusing the late Tom Barkley of having stolen the shipment.

Ep 28: The Midas Man

Scott Breckinridge offers to loan money to ranchers during a serious drought. When he will not give an extension to the loans, the ranchers believe the Barkleys are part of a plot to buy up foreclosed land.

Ep 29: Tunnel of Gold

Victoria extends credit to help an old friend open a store in Stockton, not knowing that the woman’s husband has a shady background and that his old associates have their eyes on a shipment of Barkley gold.

Ep 30: Last Train to the Fair

The Barkleys are on the way to the fair in Sacramento when Audra falls ill. Luckily there is a doctor on the train; however, he is being hunted by men who have every intention of hanging him.

Ep 1: Lost Treasure

A con man tells Heath that he, not Tom Barkley, is Heath’s father. Heath is determined to find out the truth; if he isn’t Tom Barkley’s son, he won’t let himself be a Barkley, despite the fact that the family says they will not let him leave without a fight.

Ep 2: Legend of a General: Part 1

The Barkleys offer sanctuary to a Mexican general who has fled false arrest. Heath is jailed in Mexico, and the Barkley ranch is invaded by men trying to seize the general.

Ep 3: Legend of a General: Part 2

The Barkleys refuse to give General Ruiz up for extradition to Mexico, even in exchange for Heath’s life. Instead, they embark on a plan to save both Heath and the general.

Ep 4: Caesar's Wife

Therese Marvin has strong feelings for her stepson, Will, and a bitter jealousy of Audra, whom she believes is pursuing Will.

Ep 5: Pursuit

A young Payute indian flees back to his tribal encampment when he learns he has measles, believing that only his medicine man will be able to save him. Victoria goes after him, knowing that if he reaches his people the disease may wipe them out.

Ep 6: The Martyr

Jarrod defends a basque sheepherder—a self-described anarchist—who is accused of murdering a cattleman. He finds that not all of the basque community wants his client to be acquitted.

Ep 7: Target

Unscrupulous gubernatorial candidate Joshua Hawks claims that Tom Barkley stole his land.

Ep 8: The Velvet Trap

Nick falls for a woman, not knowing that she is a gunslinger’s lover. She sees this as a perfect opportunity to rid herself of a problem: A pursuer bent on revenge.

Ep 9: The Man from Nowhere

Jarrod is sent by the state to help mediate in a land dispute. Injured and without memory of his identity, he is taken in by the family involved in the dispute.

Ep 10: The Great Safe Robbery

Three comically inept brothers try hard to crack a railroad safe.

Ep 11: The Iron Box

Nick and Heath are arrested by a corrupt sheriff and sent to a road-gang prison. When the warden learns that the two prisoners are of the “California Barkleys,” he plans to tempt Nick into leading a breakout so he can legally shoot the brothers outside the wire.

Ep 12: Last Stage to Salt Flats

Stage passengers, including Victoria, Jarrod and Heath, are abandoned in the middle of the desert by robbers.

Ep 13: A Day of Terror

Audra and Victoria are trapped in a church with a Bible school class by an outlaw clan comprised of a mother and her sons.

Ep 14: Hide The Children

When he accuses some gypsy workers of stealing his brandy and injures one of them in a fight, Nick is volunteered by his brothers to escort the other gypsies and their dowry wagon to a wedding. On the way there, he becomes smitten with the bride-to-be and learns some lessons about intolerance.

Ep 15: Day of the Comet

Audra befriends a man she finds camping out on Barkley land; she is intrigued by his cynical, poetic manner, and learns he is being pursued by men from his past.

Ep 16: Wagonload of Dreams

The Barkleys help a Greek immigrant deliver his fruit to San Francisco via wagon after the railroad manager jacks up the freight price to make a windfall profit.

Ep 17: Image of Yesterday

Victoria learns that the leader of a gang of hired guns, hired to protect ranches against another gang of marauders, is an old flame. She becomes increasingly disturbed by the lawlessness of his men and challenges him to live up to the ideals he once had.

Ep 18: Boy into Man

Lud, the oldest of three children, refuses to cooperate with the Barkleys, who have taken him and his siblings in. He is determined to track down their mother, who has disappeared.

Ep 19: Down Shadow Street

Victoria is eyewitness to the murder of a saloon girl: A murder committed by her godson, the only child of a local judge. When the boy admits the crime to his father, the judge turns to desperate means to protect him.

Ep 20: The Stallion

A ranch hand who has gotten too old for regular saddle work is determined to catch a wild stallion to prove he is as capable as ever.

Ep 21: The Haunted Gun

Senator and ex-gunman Jud Robson claims he is being stalked by enemies. Unfortunately, it seems that almost anyone can arouse his suspicions.

Ep 22: Price of Victory

Heath tricks Nick into becoming a sparring partner to a professional boxer. When nick knocks him down by a fluke, it is discovered that the boxer has a blind side caused by a blood clot. Nick offers him a job on the ranch, but when the boxer insists on re-entering the ring, Nick becomes his manager for one last fight.

Ep 23: Brother Love

Itinerant “preacher” Brother Love tries his charm on Audra; Heath sets out to prove the preacher is a con man.

Ep 24: Court Martial

Armed men occupy the Barkley house, bent on punishing Nick’s former general for the destruction of an innocent town during the war. Jarrod convinces them to let the general and Nick give their side of the story.

Ep 25: Plunder!

Heath is sent to a town endangered by a possible dam break. The town has been abandoned except for a few men who are there to guard against looters. Temptation gets the better of them, and they turn on Heath.

Ep 26: Turn of a Card

Heath must deliver $5,000 to his brothers to buy a much-needed mine pump at a government auction. A professional gambler wants to divest him of his money, finding Heath’s achilles heel: His chivalry toward the gambler’s Tahitian bond-woman.

Ep 27: Showdown in Limbo

Sheriff Frank Sawyer thinks that all it takes is time to toughen up his young son, newly returned from the east. His attitude is likely to endanger them and Heath, too, as they travel to Stockton to deliver a notorious outlaw.

Ep 28: The Lady from Mesa

Long-time Barkley cowhand Sam Williams is badly injured on guard-duty. Feeling guilty for allowing Williams on the job, Nick is determined to bring Sam’s daughter to his side. She’s a schoolteacher in Mesa, Nevada…or is she?

Ep 29: Days of Grace

Heath is accused of attempted rape. An old friend, now a nun, breaks him out of jail, knowing that if she doesn’t, his trial will be immediate and strictly pro forma.

Ep 30: Cage of Eagles

Nick hires Patrick Madigan as a dynamiter despite the fact that he is suspected of having a Fenian background. Tensions rise when a British mining engineer threatens to have him deported.

Ep 1: Joaquin

A newly hired ranch hand is suspected of being the famous outlaw Joaquin Murietta, supposedly killed in an ambush 10 years before.

Ep 2: Ambush

Victoria and a reluctant Simon Carter are the only protection three Yaqui indian women have from a group of bounty-seeking scalp hunters.

Ep 3: A Flock of Trouble

Nick is tricked into winning a flock of sheep in a card game. His first instinct is to get rid of them immediately, but his neighbors’ reactions start to rankle and he finds himself increasingly unable to back down as a matter of principle.

Ep 4: The Time After Midnight

Jarrod is blinded by an explosion set by a scoundrel who doesn’t want to face him as acting district attorney at trial. The family encourages Jarrod to continue with the case, and assists him at the trial.

Ep 5: Night in a Small Town

Tom Wills is marshal in a small town that he cleaned up and keeps on a very tight leash. Heath is disturbed to find just how much power his old friend has.

Ep 6: Ladykiller

Nick may become the latest victim of a family who preys upon male customers at their hotel. His pursuit of the young woman of the family gives them pause; should they kill him now or hope that a Stockton Barkley will marry her?

Ep 7: Guilty

Jarrod’s client, Jeff Bowden, was convicted of the murder of a priest. Jarrod is convinced of the man’s innocence and sure he can win on appeal. When Bowden escapes during his transfer to prison, Jarrod tries to intervene before he or anyone else gets killed.

Ep 8: The Disappearance

Audra disappears while she and her mother break their stagecoach journey in a small town. No one will admit to Victoria that they saw her daughter traveling with her.

Ep 9: A Noose is Waiting

Two men are found hung, and a note left by each of them claims a third person will die: Victoria Barkley.

Ep 10: Explosion: Part 1

The only way to stop a forest fire is to make a firebreak, and the only way to make a firebreak on the scale required is to use nitroglycerin. The first attempt to deliver the nitroglycerin kills the men involved. Now, the Barkley boys are the only ones willing to make the dangerous second attempt.

Ep 11: Explosion: Part 2

The brothers start a tricky journey to deliver nitroglycerin to the scene of a forest fire. The dangerous chemical is needed for the creation of a firebreak, which will contain the fire.

Ep 12: Four Days to Furnace Hill

A woman prisoner is killed while she is being delivered to a desert prison. Unwilling to lose the $100 bounty, the guards substitute Victoria for the prisoner, whose buggy has broken down en route to a mine stockholders’ meeting.

Ep 13: Night of the Executioner

A prominent politician is assassinated and the town drunk is accused. Heath sees a known outlaw in the vicinity riding the drunk’s pinto horse. The problem is, the sheriff swears the outlaw was in jail at that very time.

Ep 14: Journey into Violence

Heath is taken captive by a band of “religious” who accuse him of killing one of their own, and they condemn him to serve as a slave to the dead man’s widow.

Ep 15: The Buffalo Man

Victoria hires three convicts to help her with the peach harvest. The violence of the convict overseer, especially towards the black ex-soldier, horrifies her.

Ep 16: The Good Thieves

Nick and Heath cross the state line to bring back two outlaw brothers who shot Jarrod in the course of a robbery. They find a town in which the outlaws are considered benefactors, which impedes the Barkleys’ search for justice.

Ep 17: Days of Wrath

Jarrod seeks to avenge the death of his new wife at the hands of a man he sent to prison.

Ep 18: Miranda

Miranda, a Mexican revolutionary, tries to trick the Barkleys into giving her a valuable necklace they're holding for safe-keeping.

Ep 19: Shadow of a Giant

Nick and Heath join a posse led by famous lawman Seth Campbell. Heath is uneasy, as he feels Campbell is too cavalier with peoples’ lives.

Ep 20: Fall of a Hero

Heath is sure to be acquitted of a crime he can’t remember committing if he trusts the unscrupulous methods of Jarrod’s co-counsel. Heath would rather honestly work for the truth to come out, even if that means learning he actually committed the crime.

Ep 21: The Emperor of Rice

Walter Masters is out to corner the rice market, but his old friend, Victoria, refuses to sell him the family rice, choosing instead to sell it to a consortium of Chinese-American businessmen. The weak-willed Masters allows his wife to take drastic measures in response.

Ep 22: Rimfire

Jarrod is eager to negotiate the merger of the Barkley and Glover silver mines. Unfortunately, land between the two mines is occupied by Chinese “squatters” who have taken over abandoned real estate. They insist they will not be bought out and tensions rise.

Ep 23: Bounty on a Barkley

Nick courts a young woman, unaware of the fact that she has a bounty hunter husband. At first she doesn’t have a chance to tell Nick this; later, she doesn’t want to.

Ep 24: The Devil's Masquerade

When Jim North’s bride-to-be arrives from the east, Heath suspects that something is not quite right.

Ep 25: Run of the Savage

Young Danny Wiggins seems bound for trouble; Nick sets out to try to help him whether he wants it or not.

Ep 26: The Challenge

Victoria and her long-time friend, Senator Bannard, are set up for a “compromising” photograph by Bannard’s political rival.

Ep 1: In Silent Battle

War hero Jonathan Eliot intrigues Audra, but her brothers feel there is something off-center about his obsession with purity.

Ep 2: They Called Her Delilah

One-time confederate spy Julia Saxon visits Stockton to much vilification. She is accused of murder, and Jarrod agrees to defend her despite his own mixed feelings, as he was once in love with her.

Ep 3: Presumed Dead

Victoria loses her memory when injured in a stage accident. She is nursed to health by a rustler who can’t resist telling her that she is his (late) wife, whom he misses so much.

Ep 4: Run of the Cat

Nick is attacked by a mountain lion. His physical injuries are bound to heal, but he suffers from terrible nightmares. Despite his condition, he is determined to track down the cat by himself to face his demons.

Ep 5: Deathtown

Jarrod arrives at a town to handle a land transaction only to find that the men he was to meet have disappeared.

Ep 6: The Jonah

Things start going wrong with the fruit harvest when Waldo comes on the scene. The ranch hands firmly believe he’s “Jonah” and pressure nick to fire him.

Ep 7: Hell Hath No Fury

Gang-leader Dillie falls in love with Heath and wants to settle down with him. Her brothers don’t approve, and Heath has no wish to marry her.

Ep 8: The Long Ride

Audra witnesses a brutal killing and goes into a catatonic state. The killers trail the stagecoach on which Victoria is accompanying Audra home. They destroy shelters and salt wells in an attempt to force the passengers to surrender Audra.

Ep 9: The Profit and the Lost

Heath saves the life of a hired killer who is on the way to stockton to kill—Heath.

Ep 10: A Stranger Everywhere

Nick inadvertently causes problems for the town dressmaker when, as a joke, he tells a ranch hand that the woman is a missing member of an outlaw gang.

Ep 11: The Prize

The Barkleys take in the infant son of a wanted man. The baby’s father is searching for him as a bounty hunter lies in wait.

Ep 12: Hunter's Moon

On his way to buy stock in a country, Nick is arrested and accused of having an affair with a local landowner.

Ep 13: Top of the Stairs

Victoria wonders if she is being lied to; she is told her brother-in-law has gone insane, but she is refused admittance to his sickroom even when he is sedated.

Ep 14: Joshua Watson

Nick is relieved when, after betting $5,000 on a rodeo against a rival ranch, he hires brilliant cowboy and ex-slave Joshua Watson. When the rival Mortons learn how good Joshua is with a gun, they claim he is an outlaw in an attempt to foil Nick's chance at winning.

Ep 15: The Secret

Adam Howard believes that his wife has been having an affair with Jarrod. He buys a neighboring ranch and sets out to harm the Barkleys in every way possible.

Ep 16: The 25 Graves of Midas

Nick and Heath travel separately to a mining town to investigate a collapsed mine. When Nick arrives, he finds a hostile populace—and no Heath.

Ep 17: Lightfoot

Modoc indian Tom Lightfoot returns from Harvard to find that not everyone is willing to treat him with respect. His bitterness leads him to turn against even his longtime friends, the Barkleys.

Ep 18: Alias Nellie Handley

Victoria impersonates a sneak thief so she’ll be sent to prison. There, she'll gather evidence on the terrible conditions.

Ep 19: The Royal Road

Jarrod’s headstrong ward, Laura Haydon, falls in love with a Punjabi “prince,” unaware that he’s actually a confidence artist.

Ep 20: A Passage of Saints

Jarrod rents a farm to a mormon man and his two wives, who have wandered the west since being expelled from Utah when polygamy was outlawed there.

Ep 21: The Battle of Mineral Springs

After hearing how the town of Mineral Springs has been ruined by the “boss” of a neighboring town, the Barkleys open a freight business connecting Mineral Springs with Stockton and the rest of the valley.

Ep 22: The Other Face of Justice

Legendary stockton sheriff Harry Bodine picks up his guns again when a brutal gang begins terrorizing the countryside. His motives, however, are not as they seem.

Ep 23: Town of No Exit

Heath stumbles upon a ghost town apparently ruled by the mad.

Ep 24: Danger Road

An English “tenderfoot” is tricked into driving a wagonload of whisky to an indian reservation. He joins forces with Victoria, who is delivering medicine. They find the road filled with more peril than one would expect.

Ep 25: Flight from San Miguel

An old girlfriend of Heath’s asks his help in rescuing her husband, a Mexican revolutionary leader. The family agrees that he should, though if he is caught, the Barkley mines will be confiscated—and Heath may lose his life.

Ep 26: Point and Counterpoint

Jarrod jeopardizes his possible candidacy for attorney general by defending an accused murderer. Little does he know, he was approached to be counsel as part of a complex plot for revenge on Victoria.