Wagon Train rollin' in on October 7th

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    TVShowsonDVD.com has posted information about Timeless Media's upcoming release of the classic western series "Wagon Train." This is a pretty modest release containing just 12 episodes from the years that John McIntire was the wagon master; no episodes from the Ward Bond era are included. I wonder whether Timeless is testing the waters with this release to see what the level of interest might be. Regardless, this release doesn't include the three public domain episodes that have been available for some time now so, for me, these will all be "new" episodes. Details here:

    Wagon Train DVD news: Announcement for Wagon Train - Going West | TVShowsOnDVD.com

    This, along with "Laredo" season 2, part 1, "The Deputy," and "The Texan" gives TV Westerns fans a nice array of choices this Fall and makes Timeless one of the key DVD releasing companies for vintage TV shows.

    Several online retailers have this available for pre-order, including DVDPacific at $17.96 shipped:

    http://www.dvdpacific.com/item.asp?ID=1029485
     
  2. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Damn! I want the Ward Bond eps. They've lost a sale there.
     
  3. silverking

    silverking Guest


    Timeless do seem to be emerging as a prime outlet for vintage material, particularly westerns.

    Interestingly I note they have for sale various 16mm reels on EBay including the short lived "Overland Trail" with William Bendix & Doug McClure. Wonder if this is another one they are considering.
     
  4. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Here's the breakdown by season/episode #. Does Ward Bond appear throughout S4 I wonder? If so, he should appear in 3 episodes of the set. And why is there no mention of Robert Horton on the cover when he appeared in seasons 1-5?

    disc 1

    8 - 3
    4 - 26
    4 - 37
    5 - 22

    disc 2

    4 - 27
    5 - 37
    6 - 24
    6 - 11

    disc 3

    6 - 28
    6 - 16
    6 - 18
    6 - 29
     
  5. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Hope there will one day be season sets.
     
  6. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    I have 9 Columbia House volumes of the Ward Bond-era WAGON TRAINs on VHS. I believe that WT was the first of the hour long westerns, and they have terrific guest stars e.g., Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Lou Costello, andCharles Laughton, a John Wayne cameo as General Sherman in an episode directed by John Ford that anticipates HTWWW!). I would think that the masters from those would still be available for transfer to dvd). One memorable episode featured Margaret O'Brien, Linda Darnell, Dan Duryea, and Marjorie Main.
     
  7. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Robert Horton came to England to sing at the London Palladium & as I remember was a big success. Wagon Train was huge in England in the late 50's early 60's.
     
  8. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Ward Bond died on November 5, 1960 (according to IMDB.com), so he may have been in some early season 4 episodes, but not likely the three episodes listed since they were later in that season's run. It's possible that Robert Horton may not be in the episodes included in this set (or may appear briefly). Sometimes regular characters don't appear in all of the episodes and sometimes they appear very briefly. The public domain episode titled "Alias Bill Hawks" features almost exclusively Terry Wilson and, in one of the other public domain episodes, John McIntire isn't seen at all, so it's possible that Horton doesn't appear in any of the episodes other than "The Tiburcio Mendez Story" or perhaps very briefly in a few others.
     
  9. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  10. J Hall

    J Hall Agent

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    I saw this on the Sam's Club shelf this past weekend along with other Timeless western releases ("Guns of Will Sonnet", "Laredo" and "Branded").
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  12. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    You're the second person I've seen who says they've already found "Going West" at Sam's Club. I wonder if a few copies leaked out early to them, prior to the release date, or if this is an organized "exclusive early release" effort? Hmmm...
     
  13. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Wow--that's major! For TMG to go to the trouble of "painstakingly restoring and re-mastering" episodes of "Wagon Train" is really a bold move.

    Initally I thought this was the 8th and final season of the series, but as it turns out it's the 7th, the only season to be filmed in color with a 90 min. format to compete with "The Virginian". (In the last season, the format goes back to the familiar 60 min. B/W format).

    I like the fact that the set includes 16 similarly restored hand-picked episodes from the B/W years, but at the same time, it probably means that season by season releases are bound to become a dim prospect. I wish the focus had been on something like 60 of the hour long B/W episodes (roughly equivalent to 32 X 90min + 16 X 60 min) but I gather TMG was going for the appeal of color.

    Very intrigued by this--problem is I'll probably have to decide between it and "M Squad".
     
  14. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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  15. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I'm not familiar enough to know what episodes may have been available for syndication runs by Universal (too bad Hank Dearborn isn't posting here anymore, he would know), but keep in mind that for the various Universal series that Timeless is licensing, they are getting their prints from the collector's market, so it may be that it's the later, John McIntire episodes that are more readily available to Timeless rather than the Ward Bond episodes. Timeless has enough of a track record with black & white shows that I think that they would have issued Ward Bond episodes if they could lay their hands on them.

    What's interesting to me is that they are including interviews with both Robert Fuller and Denny "Scott" Miller on this set . . . . that's really a bit of a departure for Timeless as they normally don't include extras, though there was an extensive Larry Cohen interview on season 2 of "Branded." Also, I had the chance to meet Denny Miller at a nostalgia show a year ago and I asked him about the prospects for a DVD release of "Wagon Train." At that time he said that he had heard that there was going to be a release of "Wagon Train," but he thought it was going to be a season-by-season release of the series and that he'd be gone from the earth by the time his seasons were released. Perhaps Timeless wanted to include interviews with both Fuller and Miller, both of whom are presently in good health and attend various nostalgia shows and conventions on a regular basis, and so decided to release these later episodes now . . . . speculation on my part, but a possibility.

    Denny Miller, Actor/ Author

    Robert Fuller: Site map

    And be sure to check out photo #8 on Denny's photos page (under the "Store" tab) . . . . sure to put a smile on the face of all fans of the "Wagon Train" series!
     
  16. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Dave!
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I'm hoping one of the 16 B/W's will be the Lou Costello episode. I'd love to see that one.

    Gary "thanks Bob & Michael for getting this info out to us" O.
     
  18. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    It'll be interesting what they source the color episodes from - those were syndicated many years ago, so maybe they still had acceptable transfers handy.
     
  19. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    That's got to be one for the trivia books. I don't think I've ever heard of a series switching to color and then going back to black & white. Or for that matter ANY TV series going from color to b&w!
     
  20. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I Believe THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW was B&W,then color,then B&W [​IMG]
     

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