The Big Valley (1965–1969)
3 user

The Secret 

A wealthy rancher, and long time family friend, suddenly sets out to ruin the Barkley's. He has intense hatred of Jarrod, who he suspects is having an affair with his young wife.


Joe Mazzuca (as Joseph A. Mazzuca)


A.I. Bezzerides (creator), Louis F. Edelman (creator) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Richard Long ... Jarrod Barkley
Peter Breck ... Nick Barkley
Lee Majors ... Heath Barkley
Linda Evans ... Audra Barkley (credit only)
Barbara Stanwyck ... Victoria Barkley
Simon Oakland ... Adam Howard
Nancy Malone ... Marcy Howard
Kelly Corcoran Kelly Corcoran ... David Howard
Napoleon Whiting ... Silas
Bing Russell ... Slade
Peter Brocco ... Judge Lawson
Paul Sorensen Paul Sorensen ... Olson
Vince Deadrick Sr. Vince Deadrick Sr. ... Foley (as Vince Deadrick)
Pete Kellett Pete Kellett ... Smith


A wealthy rancher, and long time family friend, suddenly sets out to ruin the Barkley's. He has intense hatred of Jarrod, who he suspects is having an affair with his young wife.

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Release Date:

27 January 1969 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Heath Barkley: Where you headin'?
Nick Barkley: To see Howard.
Heath Barkley: Jarrod asked us to wait a couple of days. You said you would, Nick.
Nick Barkley: If you recollect, I said I'd think about it. And the more I think about waiting for Judge Lawson, and now waiting for the court in Sacramento, and then maybe waiting for the Supreme Court, I think it best that you and Jarrod stay here. I'll see to Howard.
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User Reviews

Jarrod and a woman have a secret but the husband does not understand
3 December 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

The episode opens with Jarrod escorting a beautiful woman toward the waiting stagecoach. From all indications Jarrod and the woman have something in common in fact you could say they have a big secret between them. As the woman rides off on the stage, a man in the background is writing notes in a book as if spying on the couple.

The next scene shows Adam Howard helping his son, David, practice shoot a rifle. Then appears the woman that Jarrod was with in Stockton. Her name is Marcy the wife of Adam Howard. After Adam opens a letter the next thing he says is that the entire family is going to Stockton- he has business there.

Adam has learned of his wife seeing Jarrod and now is determined to get back at the entire Barkley family. His business in Stockton is to buy the spread next to the Barkley's ranch and dam up the creek. And in the middle of a drought the entire Barkley cattle herd is in jeopardy of being killed.

Jarrod goes to talk with Adam but things go sour. Adam confronts Jarrod with times and places that Jarrod and Marcy have been seen together. And all we get from Jarrod is that Adam is wrong about what he believes.

All viewers know there is a secret between Jarrod and Marcy that the two do not want made public. With both refusing to answer questions the viewer can only expect the worse. And when the herd starts dying it seems violence is the only option.

Simon Oakland is the guest star as he plays the mad husband Adam Howard. Mr Oakland was usual cast a the rough or mob type character in many episodes of the 60's and 70's. In this show he was perfectly cast as the husband believing his wife is unfaithful and demands revenge. A nice offering from the last season of the series.

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