The original title of “Point Blank” was "The Saga of Onyx O'Neill," bearing the name intended for the lead character that was to become Bret Maverick. Roy Huggins intended the episode as the pilot episode for Maverick. But Jack Warner, head of the studio, had decreed that any series pilot must be based on a property already owned by Warner Bros. This allowed the studio to avoid paying royalties to writers for the creation of series based on their original material. Huggins therefore based his pilot — "War of the Silver Kings" — on the non-fiction book “The War of the Copper Kings,” a non-fiction book he found in the Warner Bros. catalog.
“Point Blank” became the second episode of Maverick, but as the intended pilot, it retains many points of exposition and character development for the series. An allusion to the Tall Man, seen and described in “Trail West to Fury,” is made by Bret Maverick to Molly Gleason to explain why he became a drifter.
Warner Bros. often took older scripts and refashioned them into teleplays for other series. During the Writers Guild Strike of 1960, “Point Blank” was rewritten as the episode “Perfect Setup” for 77 Sunset Strip.
Season 1, Episode 2
“The Third Cross”
September 29, 1957
Based on the screenplay “The Saga of Onyx O’Neill”
Frank Sully (uncredited)
Director of Photography
Supervising Film Editor
01. All credits, unless otherwise noted: Maverick, War of the Silver Kings (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. Robertson, Ed, Maverick: Legend of the West (1994), Pomegranate Press
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