Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The two-hour pilot for the Father Murphy TV series first saw the light of a TV screen on November 3, 1981. Merlin Olsen plays John Michael Murphy, a muscle-bound frontiersman who gets in dutch with crooked town boss Burt DeBenning, who has eyes for Murphy's gold mine. When the town is destroyed, Murphy heads for the hinterlands, where he meets schoolmarm Mae Woodward (Katherine Cannon) and the orphans in her charge. To keep the orphans out of the workhouse, Murphy poses as a priest and pretends that they're his flock--and is forced to sustain his guise ever afterward. Well, not quite ever afterward, since Murphy and Mae Woodward were eventually married during the run of the Father Murphy series proper.
deception, gold, orphan, schoolmistress