Me-TV 50.2 Spotlight: "The Big Valley" Trivia & Quotes

By Terri Overby


The series was loosely based on the Hill Ranch, which was located on the western edge of Calaveras County in California. Lawson Hill started the ranch and ran it until his death in 1861. He and his wife, Euphemia, had four children: three sons and one daughter.

This was the only western to be built around a strong, female lead character.

Dell Comics published a six issue comic book series based on the series from 1966-1969.

Victoria's horse was Misty Girl. Nick rode Coco.

The series was canceled despite its popularity, because the networks were phasing out westerns in favor of more modern TV shows.

Victoria is the only Barkley who was never shot throughout the run of the series. Heath was shot the most, and Nick has the distinction of being the only Barkley who is shot twice in the same episode.

In every episode where Nick is a spectator in a court-case, he interrupts the court to speak his peace, which always gets him into trouble with the judge who is presiding. Throughout later episodes, this took on a comedic tone, as the viewer knew that it was only a matter of time before Nick would voice his displeasure.

There was originally a fourth Barkley son, Eugene Barkley, portrayed by Charles Briles, who appeared in eight episodes of the first season. Briles was forced to leave the show midway through the first season because in real life he was drafted by the U.S Army. Eugene never returned in later seasons, even when Briles left the Army. Eugene was never referred to again.

With the February 6, 2012 death of Peter Breck (Nick Barkley), there are only two regular cast members with more than twenty appearances on the show still living: Lee Majors (Heath) and Linda Evans (Audra Barkley).



The pilot episode has established that the year is 1876 and Heath is 24. In 1865, during the last months of the Civil War when Heath was in a prison camp, the character actually would have only been 13 years old.

In Season 1 “The Invaders”, Heath speaks Spanish to Allie Kay. He says, "¿Lupe, tú estás aquí? Acuestate cerca de mí. Quiero abrazarte. Dáme un besito." Translation: "Lupe, you're here? Lie down near me. I want to hold you. Give me a kiss."

The name of Heath's horse is Charger.

Heath states that the Barkley Ranch is 30,000 acres.

Nick states that his full name is Nicholas Jonathon Barkley.

It is revealed in this episode that Jarrod's full name is Jarrod Thomas Barkley.

The sheriff's office is the same set used for Gunsmoke complete with a map of the state of Kansas, even though this town is set in California.




Jarrod Barkley: Nick, I promise never to call you a bull in a china shop again.
Nick Barkley: We get back in one piece, you can call me anything you like.
Nick Barkley: It might do you good to eat a little dust once in a while.
Jarrod Barkley: I'm a lawyer, remember? I only eat crow.
Heath: Now I have had me a day...!
Heath: Boy Howdy! I've got blisters in places I didn't even know I had places.
Heath: Well it’s no pride I got in him for a daddy, but it’s a proud name, and I'm gonna wear it. And Boy Howdy! People are gonna look up to me!
Nick Barkley: Untie me and I'll show you a little justice, Barkley style.
Victoria Barkley: When Nick is pushed, he pushes back with everything he has.


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