Russell Johnson appeared previously "The Fawn Patrol" (09x16) as Mark Adams, a biologist with the USDA Forest Service. He appeared in the Bob and Scott years as John Bradley in "Father and Son" (16x07). Johnson is perhaps best remembered as The Professor in Gilligan's Island (1964-1967).
Timmy's classmates and other children who appeared as extras in the Timmy and Lassie episodes were often played by the offspring of cast and crew members. Producers Jack Wrather and Bonita Granville Wrather's daughter Linda Wrather had recurring appearances in the series as Wilhelmina "Willy" Brewster, a neighbor of the Martins and Timmy's friend. Linda first appeared in "The Goose" (04x16).
Ranger Allen: Raise your right hand, boys and girls, and repeat after me: I give my pledge as an American ...
Children: I give my pledge as an American ...
Ranger Allen: To save and faithfully to defend from waste ...
Children: To save and faithfully to defend from waste ...
Ranger Allen: The natural resources of my country ...
Children: The natural resources of my country ...
Ranger Allen: Its soil and minerals, its forests, waters, and wildlife.
Children: Its soil and minerals, its forests, waters, and wildlife.
Ranger Allen: Thank you, children. Be seated.
Ranger Allen: As you know, children, we're facing an emergency and the Forest Service needs your help. Right now, with the watershed burned off, there's nothing to stop the winter rains from washing down, flooding Calverton and the entire valley! Now here's where you come in. You're being recruited -- just like soldiers when our country is in danger. Tomorrow, the entire class will be taken to the mountains to plant seeds for trees!
Children: (in unison) Oh, wow!
Ranger Allen: (approaching Timmy's desk) What's your name, son?
Timmy: (standing respectfully) Timmy Martin, sir!
Stock footage was employed frequently in the Timmy and Lassie episodes -- especially stock footage of animals going about their business in the wild. There is a considerable amount of stock footage in this episode depicting the activities of a busy little squirrel. At one point however, the stock footage of a little squirrel happily going about his business has been intercut with 2 seconds of a cottontail rabbit. Oops.
This episode opens with a shot of a poster in Timmy's classroom depicting Smokey Bear.
The USDA Forest Service's Smokey Bear
campaign began in 1944 with a poster depicting Smokey dousing a campfire. The campaign remained unchanged for fifty years and is the longest running campaign in US history. In 1950, the public response to the campaign exceeded expectations when a badly burned black bear cub was rescued from a forest fire in New Mexico, rehabiliated, and sent to the Washington Zoo.
Below: An original Forest Service poster dated 1958 featuring Smokey Bear and his friends.
This episode exemplifies the Timmy and Lassie experience of the 1960s. It offers a theme of environmental awareness and concern, a "growing up" lesson for Timmy, and moment for Lassie to prove her love by finding a satisfactory resolution to her young master's problem.