The Portal

Scott and Johnny in Lancerland

by  Sharon


WARNING #1: the following is a satire.  It is supposed to be amusing.  If it will offend you to see Scott portrayed as somewhat obsessive-compulsive and Johnny as slightly dim, please read no further. Like anything else, this probably is funnier read late at night.  Very late.

WARNING #2:  the following is a sequel.  So, if you found Episodes #1& #2 to be amusing, rest assured that this one will probably not be as funny.  If you did not enjoy the others, you should have stopped reading by now!!!!

DISCLAIMER: I love Scott and Johnny both.  REALLY!!!!  (But especially Scott.)

CHALLENGE:  to identify quotes and other episodes referenced.

Episode #3  “The Portal”


It was a beautiful sunny day and the Lancer Brothers set out with Teresa O’Brien for a daytrip to Green River.  Scott was driving the buckboard, his father’s ward seated beside him, while Johnny, on Barranca, trailed slightly behind the wagon.  Johnny was attired in his usual black pants with the silver buttons along the sides and a new white shirt.  His hat was settled squarely on his head and the cord dangled beneath his chin.  Teresa had exchanged her customary pants for a very ladylike long sleeved blouse and long skirt. In lieu of his familiar beige checks, Scott was wearing his very popular dark blue shirt.  He had his hat pushed back on the crown of his head and the reins held loosely in his work-gloved hands. With the horses moving in rhythm to the Lancer Theme, the trio approached the gleaming white arch that marked the main entrance to the Lancer ranch.

As they passed smoothly through to the other side, the young people were not immediately aware that any changes had taken place.  Then, just as Scott realized that he was no longer driving the team of horses pulling the buckboard, something at his wrist caught his eye.  <<Damn.>> he thought. <<Ruffles.>> Next he stretched his legs; as he had expected, his long limbs were now uncomfortably encased in . . . tweed.  Scott could feel that he was also wearing that singularly unbecoming round brimmed hat on his now much too short blond hair.  He consoled himself with the observation that at least he had on a rather nice pair of gloves.  After a few moments of admiring them, Scott finally remembered to look around for his brother.  Barranca, of course, was nowhere in sight; Johnny, he noted, was half reclining in the body of the buckboard, his pink sleeved arms crossed over his chest, his first season hat pulled low to shield his eyes from the bright sun. 



“We just passed under the arch.”


“And . .  .  it would appear that the Yahoo Ladies are discussing the pilot episode again.”

“They sure do seem ta like that one,” was Johnny’s complacent reply.  “Maybe this time those Scott-Land women of yours will see that I really did have a plan.”

Scott raised his eyebrows. “I suppose that stranger things have happened,” he conceded.

<<Yeah, like you turnin’ out ta be the one that saved the ranch>> thought Johnny resentfully.

Scott smiled sardonically to himself at that.  Voice overs—audible thoughts—were a fairly recent innovation, one to which Johnny had yet to catch on. 

Glancing over at Teresa, who was now driving the team, Scott did one of his patented double-takes. 

“Ah,  . . . Johnny?”


“I think that this one might be a bit . . . well, different.”

“Whadya mean?”

“You should take a look.”

Johnny slowly roused himself from his lounging position, while Scott stared, transfixed, at his ‘surrogate sister’.  Teresa was attired in a dress that somewhat resembled her dance hall outfit from ‘Angel Day’.  The very short skirt had bold black and white stripes and the décolletage was daringly low---in fact it was even very much more revealing than her wicked stepfather Carl Bolton would ever have condoned.

“It was Mr. Lancer who had two,” Teresa announced.  Scott’s eyebrows shot to the top of his head, but this was evidently not the response that the young woman desired.  When Scott failed to reply quickly enough for her satisfaction, she gave him a fierce glare.  “I said, ‘It was Mr. Lancer who had two,’” Teresa snarled at him.

“Two . . . what?”  Still staring at Teresa, Scott managed to choke out his line just as Johnny’s head appeared over the girl’s shoulders, giving the younger Lancer brother a proper eyeful.  He promptly collapsed in a heap in the rear of the wagon, laughing uncontrollably.

“Two wives.  And sons.”  Teresa shook her head.  “You two,” she added in disgust.   Scott fought very hard to keep a straight face.  “What’s so funny?” the girl demanded irritably. 

“Nothing, nothing,” the well-mannered Easterner replied in an amused tone. 

<<I should be the one laughing, >> she thought.  <<Murdoch certainly hasn’t ever had two good ideas.  As if Ruffles and Mr. Stud Pants here are ever going to save his precious ranch. >>  

<<And I know you can hear me, >> Teresa added, glaring at Scott.  <<Ask me if I care. >>




Having made the obligatory stop at the overlook, the newly met half-brothers stood up to gaze in wide-eyed wonder at their father’s vast holding of land.  In a monotone voice utterly devoid of emotion, Teresa pronounced Lancer to be the “most beautiful place in the whole wide world.” When she slapped the reins and abruptly set the horses into motion, both Scott and Johnny were thrown off balance and sent tumbling into the bed of the buckboard.  As Teresa hurried the team past the Lancer vaqueros, the men stood open-mouthed, frozen in mid-cheer at the sight of the tangle of arms and legs in the rear of the wagon.

Once inside the Hacienda, Johnny and Scott approached the door to the Great Room with considerable apprehension—not that either one was willing to reveal his growing concerns to the other.  Standing outside the handsome wood paneled door, Scott carefully brushed an imaginary speck off of Johnny’s black bolero jacket while Johnny made minute adjustments to Scott’s tie. 

“Are you ready?” Scott asked his brother. 

“I guess,” said Johnny, trying very hard not to laugh. 

Scott regarded him without a hint of amusement.  “I ahsked you if you were ready,” he repeated in a stern voice.

Johnny gave him one of his devilish grins.  “Oh, come on, Scott, you know what he’s gonna say.”  

Scott gave his brother one of his pressed-lipped looks.  Johnny couldn’t stand it.  He turned to place a supporting hand on the wall, weak with silent laughter, struggling mightily to regain his composure. Scott moved in close behind his brother.  “What is it, Johnny?” he asked in his most concerned tone, standing with his hands on his hips.  “Talk to me, Little Brother.” Unable to answer, Johnny just bit his lip and shook his head.  With a worried expression, Scott leaned in close to the younger man’s ear and murmured a gentle question; “Drink?” he asked softly, sending Johnny completely over the edge. 

“Drink?” was the very first word that their father had said to them in the pilot episode.  It was something that they both clearly recalled, even after thirty years, and it never failed to amuse them.  As usual, Scott managed a small smile while Johnny slowly crumpled to the ground, overcome by helpless laughter. Mission accomplished, Scott sat down for a moment and carefully began to remove his very nice traveling gloves, one finger at a time.  As he watched Johnny dissolve, Scott realized that he was likely to be criticized unmercifully for what would be perceived as intolerable cruelty to his extremely sensitive younger brother.  But he also knew that if Johnny didn’t somehow get his amusement out of his system now, he would never be able to pull off his renowned “looking for love” expression in his next close up. 

Gloves removed, Scott stood up, sighed and then helped the younger man to his feet.  Completely serious once more, Johnny adjusted the precise position of his gun belt, slung very low on his hips, and settled his hat squarely on his head.  Scott drew his stylish gloves back on, so that he could take them off again once they were inside.  “Remember,” Scott said, “We don’t know each other.”  Johnny nodded grimly. “We don’t even like each other,” he replied in a menacing Madrid tone.  Together they opened the double doors and entered the Great Room.

A tall, white haired man rose from a seat behind a highly polished desk.  “Scott! Johnny!” he exclaimed, smiling broadly and approaching the two young men.  “Welcome!”  The brothers looked at each other in considerable confusion, then tentatively stepped further into the room.  The white haired stranger, who except for his cheerful expression would have borne a very close resemblance to Murdoch Lancer, continued to beam at them. 

“Boys, I just cannot say how happy I am to see you.”  At those words, each of the brothers took a quick sideways step closer to the other, bringing them almost shoulder to shoulder.

Turning to Scott, their father’s smile vanished.  “Scott . . .  you have your mother’s eyes.  I want to tell you all about her.  And, Son, I owe you an explanation, why I never came to claim you in Boston.”

Scott inhaled sharply and turned pale.  The expression on his face was one of stunned surprise and pain.  The Bostonian was certain that the entire room was tilting wildly; he even extended his arms slightly in an effort to maintain his balance.

“Hey, what’s the matter with you?” Johnny whispered. “Ain’t that what ya always wanted ta know?”

“Yes . . but . . .but,” Scott murmured helplessly. 

“But what?” Johnny shot back in an irritated undertone.

“But if he tells me now, there won’t ever be a ‘Legacy’ episode.” Scott slowly sank into a chair, the picture of despair.

Johnny thought for a moment.  “So, which one was that?”

“My grandfather came to visit,” Scott said despondently.  “He kept calling me ‘Scotty’  . .  and he called your mother a foreigner.”

“Yeah, I remember.  He sure was wrong there, cause everyone knows my Mama was Mexican . . .  hey, weren’t that the one with Murdoch having those flashbacks of his?”

“Yes, it was and I had some very nice parts also.  Technically, it is a ‘Scott’ episode.’”

At that, Johnny whirled around, gun drawn and pointed menacingly at the white-haired stranger, who was in the midst of a tearful mea culpa about negligently abandoning his elder son in the State of Massachusetts.  Johnny cut him off.  “Quiet!  Now there ain’t no call ta be talkin’ ta Scott that way,” he ground out.  “He never had that many episodes ta begin with.”  Johnny glared at Murdoch Lancer.  “How would you like it if he went and ruined that ‘Little Darlin’ show for ya?”

Murdoch smiled benignly at Johnny.  “Johnny, you’ve got your mother’s temper,” he said.  “I met her down at Matamoros,” Murdoch explained.  “I’m not really sure just why she left me, but I’m certain that it was entirely my fault.”

As if on cue, Johnny snarled out his next line, “That ain’t the way I heard it,” and then stopped in consternation, realizing that it didn’t quite fit.  He quickly looked to Scott for assistance, but his brother was still sitting and staring dismally into space.

“And of course I do care what you heard, Johnny.  We need to sit down and talk about the past.”

“Just who the hell are you?” Johnny demanded angrily.

“Why, I’m your father,” was the older man’s response, “though of course I have no right to call myself that.  Come, please, Boys, let’s sit down over here,” he said, gesturing towards a large sofa.  “I want to hear all about your lives.  The ranch is in danger, but that’s not important right now.”

Johnny edged warily towards the sofa while still keeping his gun carefully trained on the pleasant sounding man who looked so very much like Murdoch Lancer. 

“Speaking of the ranch, I’d like to give you each one-third.” 

“Give it to us, huh? Just like that, no strings attached.”

“That’s right,” Murdoch said with a smile, ignoring the gun pointed in his direction.

Scott slowly rose out of his chair and drew himself up to his full height.  “Go ahead. Do it,” he urged his younger brother.  Johnny pulled the trigger and “Murdoch” staggered backwards, dramatically clutching his chest and then very slowly dropping to the floor.  “I forgive you,” he murmured with his last breath.  Johnny holstered his weapon and nudged the fallen man with his foot. As with most of the show’s victims, there was no discernible bullet hole or blood.

Drawn by the sound of gunfire, Teresa O’Brien soon appeared in the doorway.  Seeing Murdoch Lancer lying motionless on the floor at his sons’ feet, she smiled broadly.  “Good,“ Teresa announced. “Now I can get the hell out of here.”

Johnny was dismayed. “What? Where ya goin’?”

“To the Big City, Tough Guy.  Far, far away,” she said smugly.  “No more hanging around waiting to be ‘introduced.’”

“But, if you leave, who’s going to take me shopping?” Scott asked in a concerned voice.

Teresa stared at him in disbelief, then gestured at her garish outfit.  “Do you really want me picking out your clothes, Blondie?”

“No,” Scott responded quickly, with a small shake of his head.

“Don’t worry, Boston, I’ll go with ya,” Johnny offered.  “I’ll help ya pick out some very nice things.”  Scott looked from Johnny’s silver festooned skintight pants and bright pink shirt to Teresa’s bold black and white stripes and sighed.  Beige checks had never looked so good.

The brothers watched avidly as Teresa departed with a last seductive swish of her very short skirt.  Once she was gone, Johnny looked down at Murdoch and then over at Scott. “Sorry ‘bout messin’ up your ‘Legacy’ episode.”

“Can’t be helped,” was Scott’s toneless reply.

“Well, I’m guessin’ it’s gonna be kinda hard ta do that one without ‘im, huh?” 

“It will be impossible,” Scott acknowledged sadly. “And now I won’t get to rescue Teresa in ‘Angel Day’ either.”

Johnny wasn’t too sorry about that; he’d always figured he really should have been the one to go after Teresa and have that great shootout with ol’Carl Bolton and his “Silver Six-Guns”.  He shook his head, remembering how many shots had been fired in that scene.  Johnny couldn’t count as good as Scott--- his older brother had learned that at Harvard--- but the gunfighter knew that those writer fellas had given Scott an awful lot of bullets in one gun, he must have had at least . . .  well, it was one of those numbers higher than six. 

Nonetheless, Johnny tried to offer Scott some reassurance.  “Well, there must be quite a few shows we can do just fine without the two of ‘em.  And maybe we can get Jelly to sign on sooner.”


“Hey, you can still do ‘Buscaderos’, that was your best one.”

“That’s true. I only had the one scene with Murdoch.  Of course, I won’t get to say, ‘Take it from me, Johnny Madrid.’” 

There was a short pause while the brothers contemplated that.  Johnny regretfully realized that he was going to miss out on a good laugh, and Scott contentedly recalled his outstanding performance in the other portions of that episode.

<<I’ll still get to say ‘The rope won’t break for me’, >> Scott thought, with his usual perfectly modulated delivery. 

<<He’s still gonna say ‘The rope won’t break for me’, >> Johnny thought, in his head giving Scott a very high pitched, squeaky voice.  He wondered why his brother was glaring at him.

“So what’s next?” Johnny asked finally.

“I’m really not sure,” Scott replied.  He slowly opened his jacket and carefully withdrew a few folded sheets of paper from an inner pocket.  “Oh,” he said in a tone of mild surprise, as he consulted his copy of the Classic TV Western Archive Episode Guide. “It’s ‘Blood Rock’.”

“’Blood Rock’?” Johnny asked in a puzzled voice. “Ain’t never heard too much ‘bout that one.”

“It’s not discussed very often,” Scott agreed.  “You’re hardly in it.”

Johnny nodded in immediate comprehension.  “So what did you and the Old Man do in that one?”

“Well, it says here that we ‘arrange for ten-year-old Ben Wallace to finally meet his outlaw father’,” Scott read from the Guide.  “It seems that the father and son had never encountered each other before,” he explained.

“Huh.  Kinda hits close ta home, don’t it?”

Scott was completely Amazed that Johnny had picked up on that so quickly; after all, the show’s writers never had. 

“I may have gotten shot in that one.  It’s unclear.  I haven’t been able to decide whether or not to count it.”

Johnny rolled his eyes, Scott was always counting things, and it was a known fact that the Bostonian had been shot many more times than the ex-gunfighter.  <<The only thing even keepin’ me in the runnin’ is that he lets it count double that I got shot in the pilot. >> Johnny thought ruefully.  <<That an’ Scott bein’ so honorable that he‘s only takin’ half a point for this here ‘Blood Rock’ show. >>

Out loud, Johnny continued the conversation: “Well, Scott, it seems like ya can’t do that show without Murdoch, but it ain’t like anybody’s gonna miss it too much anyway.”

Scott bristled. “You mean because you aren’t in it, I assume?”

Johnny regarded his brother with an innocent expression.  “Oh, I’m in it. I’m in all of ‘em. Even that Buscaderos show of yours.  Which is really all about me, anyway.”

Scott stared angrily at his brother.  There was one episode that Johnny hadn’t been in, he knew for certain that there was, but the blonde man couldn’t recall the name of it. It had, after all, been thirty years. Scott desperately scanned the episode listing.  <<You’d think that I would have highlighted that one. >>  he thought, berating himself.  Scott couldn’t exactly argue with his brother’s assertion about ‘The Buscaderos’, either.  Despite his own acting tour de force, the only poster produced from the show had been one of Johnny---- standing in a doorway. 

Scott began methodically ticking off the episodes on the list that would be impossible to perform without Murdoch Lancer.  It was quite clear that many of the ‘Johnny episodes’ would be unaffected. 

Johnny looked over his older brother’s shoulder.  “Well, Scott, it kinda looks like your first season’s gonna be as relaxin’ as your second one.”

“Yes, it does,” was the taller man’s annoyed response.  Scott shook his head.  “And I let them cut my hair for this,” he complained in frustration.

“Huh?  Whaddya mean, Boston, you sayin’ you used ta have long hair?”

“Yes, and a mustache too, and I . . .  oh, well, it’s not important.”

Johnny was still pondering this strange semi- revelation, when suddenly the brothers heard a thumping sound.  It seemed to be coming from beneath their father’s large desk.  Johnny sauntered in that direction while Scott carefully stepped over the corpse to join him.  Together they looked under the desk and saw a large, grey haired man seated in the kneehole, bound and gagged.  The brothers untied the stranger and assisted him to his feet.  From the scowl on his face, it was immediately apparent that this was the ‘real’ Murdoch Lancer. 

Scott looked thoughtfully at the man lying dead on the floor and then up at the very much taller man standing beside him.  “If you are Murdoch Lancer,” the Easterner said slowly, “then that must be Murgood, your non-evil twin.”

“And you must be Scott, the ‘smart one’,” Murdoch said, addressing him in a sneering tone.  In a disparaging voice, he added, “Call me anything you like, we’re strangers to one another.”  “And I’ll take credit for that,” Murdoch concluded dismissively.  Turning his attention to Johnny, the dour rancher regarded his younger son appraisingly. 

“That your shootin’, boy?” he asked gesturing towards the body. 

“Yeah,” was Johnny’s soft reply, accompanied with a look that begged for his father’s approval. 

“Stupid.” Murdoch glowered at him.  “Can’t you count?  Now you’ve got one less bullet to use to defend the ranch.”

Johnny’s temper flared.  “Now all of a sudden you’re talkin’ gun money, well, let me tell ya, that’s extra. . . . “

Murdoch looked from one of his sons to the other, and quickly came to a decision.  “No, thanks,” he said brusquely. He pulled two envelopes out of the center drawer of his desk.  “Here’s your money. You can go now.”

“What?” the brothers asked in startled unison. 

“Here’s your money.  One thousand dollars for one hour.  Time’s up.  You can go now. Do as you’re told.”

After handing an envelope to each of them, Murdoch Lancer sat down at his desk and opened up one of the ledger books.  Scott and Johnny stood in open-mouthed disbelief, envelopes clutched in their hands, watching as their father began examining the columns on the first page.  After a long moment, Murdoch looked up.  “Are you two still here?”

“We’re goin’,” Johnny growled. Each of the brothers sadly stepped over the late Murgood.  Johnny followed his older sibling as Scott crossed the Great Room in a few long strides.  At the double doors, the young men paused and turned for a final look at their father, while a dirge-like Lancer theme variation softly played.  “We’re leaving now,” Scott announced soberly.  The grey haired Lancer patriarch glanced briefly up at his sons.  “Stay off the grass,” he admonished them, then turned his attention back to his work.




Jelly Hoskins bustled into the Great Room, followed by the Lancer version of a deus ex machina: a couple of nameless ranch hands designated to cart Murgood away.

“Jelly,” Murdoch said by way of greeting.  “Where have you been? Come on over here, pull up a chair.”

“Now, Boss, I don’t know nuthin’ bout them books of yours.”

“Jelly,” Murdoch said fondly, shaking his head, “you don’t need to.  Besides, these aren’t The Books, this is my bound copy of the Classic TV Western Archive Episode Guide.”

The grizzled horse wrangler shook his own head and stood with his hands on his hips.  “Waal, then how come that there book is so thick, cause I know for a fact, we didn’t have all that many episodes.”

Murdoch paged through the book.  “First season episodes . . . .  second season episodes.  . . . then there are some records:  Most Bullet Wounds . . . Most Punches Thrown . . . Most On-Screen Kisses . . . .

“Waal, that would hafta be Scott,” Jelly observed, pulling on his grey beard, “Seems like that boy’s always workin’ on them books.”  

Murdoch nodded.  “Let’s get down to business, Jelly, figure out how these episodes will work.  Now this first show, ‘Blood Rock’, it has a ridiculous plotline about reuniting a father and his son; we can forget that one.”

Jelly nodded his emphatic assent.  If there was one thing the all-around handyman absolutely detested, it was any acting having to do with kids—--or cows. 

Murdoch continued down the list.  “Now, here’s a good one, Jelly, ‘Chase a Wild Horse’.  You’ll take Johnny’s place. Think you can handle it?” 

“Oh, I’m more’n ready for that fence line scene Boss, I bin workin’ out.”

Accompanied by a burlesque version of the “Lancer theme”, Jelly very slowly removed his patched vest and then his plaid shirt, while Murdoch avidly looked on.  Then, putting on his most winning smile, Jellifer B. Hoskins gazed into the camera lens and announced, “Yahoo Ladies, this episode’s for you.”




Scott and Johnny in Lancerland   
Episode Three  “The Portal”
Written by S. Coulton

Scott Lancer as  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .Scott Lancer

Murdoch Lancer as . . . . . . . . .  . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . .  . .Murdoch Lancer
Johnny Madrid Lancer as . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .  .. . . . . . . . . . . Johnny Madrid Lancer 

Teresa O’Brien as.. . . . . .  . .  . . .  . .  . . .  . . . .  . . . . . . . ... .Teresa O’Brien

Jelly Hoskins as . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  . . .. . . . . . . . . .  . . . ... Jelly Hoskins

Special Guest Star:

Lorne Greene as  . .  . . . .  . . . . .  . . . .  . . . . .  . . . .  . . . . .  . . Murgood Lancer





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