|Ghost Town U.S.A.|
| Season 3, Episode # 1 |
Number (#50) in series (117 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Jim Backus|
|Original airdate||17 September 1971|
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"Tell it Like it Is"
(Season 2 finale)
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"Grand Canyon or Bust"
Ghost Town U.S.A. is the season opening episode of Season 3 of The Brady Bunch, and the 50th overall episode of the series. Written by Howard Leeds, and directed by Oscar Rudolph, it premiered 17 September 1971 on ABC-TV. It is the first part of a three-episode story arc, filmed entirely on set and in rural towns outside of Los Angeles.
The Bradys and Alice begin their trek to Grand Canyon, but a stop at a ghost town turns out to be a detour, after a mentally disordered prospector locks everyone in the jail, thinking they plan to steal his (non-existent) gold claim.
The kids and Alice are in excited anticipation about the big surprise Mike and Carol are bringing home. The material part of the surprise is sitting in the driveway: a camper trailer. The other part of the surprise is that they will be taking it on vacation to the Grand Canyon. On the start of their trip, the family decides instead of heading for a campground for the first night, based on information from a pump jockey at a gas station stop, they will head to Cactus Creek, a deserted ghost town, once a gold mining town, where they will set up for the night.
After arriving at Cactus Creek and setting up camp, they find the town is as interesting as they had hoped, but it isn't as deserted as they believed. They are met by Zaccariah T. Brown, who has many a fanciful story of the gold rush days. Underneath Zaccariah's friendly exterior, the family will ultimately learn that he has plans for them that they would rather he didn't carry out based on what he believes their reason for being in Cactus Creek is.