Shazam! 1.3 – Thou Shalt Not Kill

This is a convoluted little episode of Shazam!. The late owner of a horse named Beckett has ordered that the horse be put down after her death, and a nasty ranch hand who hates the horse is all too happy to have it killed. Her niece tries to steal the horse to save it, and her father, the local sheriff, wants to enforce the will’s orders. Astonishingly, nobody complained about this provision in the probate court or wherever before execution day. Captain Marvel is needed to lift a fallen tree off the horse – long story – and fly to the state capital to find a judge with a lick of sense to stay this fool will. The script is by Marianne Mosner, who appears to have been asked to write something around a horse and a ranch and three speaking parts.

The principal guest star in this episode is Pamelyn Ferdin, who is tasked to ride Beckett and bawl in every other scene. She appeared as a teenager in a huge number of programs in the late sixties and throughout the seventies. She was one of the voices of Lucy in Peanuts films and specials in the period, and guest starred in that Sigmund and the Sea Monsters with the annoying dog next door. She’d star as Laura on Filmation’s Space Academy a few seasons later.

The director of this episode is Arthur H. Nadel, a name familiar to anybody who remembers Filmation’s shows. This appears to have been his first Filmation credit; he’d spent the sixties shooting several of the many western adventure shows of the day, but after this, he’d be one of Filmation’s regular go-to men for live action, and would later take a position with the company, so anybody who remembers their many later cartoons like Masters of the Universe and Blackstar remembers seeing his name on the credits.

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