This episode of The Rifleman brought together past and future superheroes
In 1961, two superheroes met on the small screen
Near the end of season three, "Stopover" is already a pretty dramatic Rifleman episode. The story finds Lucas and Mark huddling in their barn in the middle of a snowstorm. When a coach gets stuck outside, the passengers ask Lucas if they can wait out the storm with them. Of course, he accepts. But when a gunman traveling under a different name is uncovered among the passengers, the group starts pointing fingers about a recent robbery. Things get more complicated when a love triangle develops.
The first guest star name that jumps out is Adam West. While this episode came out in 1961, five full years before West would appear as Batman, he's still instantly recognizable. The future superhero plays the reluctant gunman, trying to stay off the radar.
But there's another hidden superhero in this episode.
While the whiskey salesman isn't a heroic character in this episode, his actor is a different story. Vince Medford was played by Gordon Jones. Or as you might know him — The Green Hornet.
The Green Hornet originated as a radio show in the 1930s. In 1940, the superhero finally got to see the big screen...as a movie serial. Movie serials used to play sequentially in chapters in cinemas, once a week, usually following one story. The 13-chapter serial from 1940 was simply called The Green Hornet and the title character himself was played by Gordon Jones.
Twenty-one years later, he would appear on the McCain ranch to go head-to-head with Adam West.
So when you're watching this episode, you're not just watching stranded coach passengers waiting out a storm; you're watching past and future superheroes meet.