The Lieutenant

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The Lieutenant
The Lieutenant Series, Part 1.jpg
Cover of Part 1 of the Complete Series DVD
Created by Gene Roddenberry
Starring Gary Lockwood
Robert Vaughn
John Milford
Henry Beckman
Richard Anderson
Don Penny
Carmen Phillips
Steve Franken
Composers Arthur Morton
Jeff Alexander (1.12, 1.14)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes29
Running time60 minutes
Production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television
Distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television
Original network NBC
Original 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 19631964 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 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 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 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.

Production and broadcast

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

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. It was never transmitted. [2] The subject of race was considered taboo in entertainment television in 1964, and because the network refused to broadcast "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. [3] This episode was eventually transmitted on the cable channel TNT in the early 1990s.

After The Lieutenant

The Lieutenant performed well in the ratings, but 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, "To Kill A Man," Rice is sent to a fictitious Asian country based on Vietnam as an advisor, his assignment as such mirroring the real-life situation for which the series had been canceled.

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 animated series that writer David Gerrold expanded the "T," giving us Captain James Tiberius Kirk; however, that he chose "Tiberius" was purely coincidental. According to Gerrold, he had been influenced by I, Claudius, and had approached Roddenberry with his choice of middle name, but it was not until 2014 that Gerrold learned of the earlier use. [4]

Several actors who appeared on The Lieutenant—among them Ricardo Montalbán, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and Majel Barrett—would later join Roddenberry in Star Trek. [2]

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


Robert Vaughn

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

Guest stars included Eddie Albert, Jack Albertson, Edward Asner, Barbara Babcock, Barbara Bain, Ina Balin, and Majel Barrett, who later became Roddenberry's wife.


TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"A Million Miles from Clary"Don Medford Ed Waters September 14, 1963 (1963-09-14)
Platoon morale is threatened when an 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 McLaglen Jerome B. ThomasSeptember 28, 1963 (1963-09-28)
Rice goes undercover 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 Donner Beirne 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 Kulic Gene Roddenberry October 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 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.
12"Alert!"Don Taylor Lee Erwin December 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 Daniels Blanche 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. McLaughlin Art Wallace March 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.

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  1. 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.
  2. 1 2 Barbrick, Greg. "The Lieutenant The Complete Series Part Two DVD Review: Gene Roddenberry Sows the Seeds of Star Trek". Cinema Sentries. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  3. "LIEUTENANT, THE: TO SET IT RIGHT (TV)". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. Silverman, D. S. (2015). Always bring phasers to an “animated” canon fight: Star Trek’s animated adventures on Saturday mornings. In D. Brode & S. Brode (Eds.) Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The original cast adventures. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow. ISBN   978-1-4422-4987-5