WAGON TRAIN -- the 4th Season

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Executive, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Executive

    Executive Stunt Coordinator

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    In July 2011 I ran into the same problem on Encore Westerns as I once did back in 1983 (when I first viewed this and many other great old shows on CBN Cable) : The syndication package ends about 24 episodes into the 4th season!! Next Thursday Encore is going back to the beginning of the series -- just one episode short of airing "The Christopher Hale Story" that brought John McIntire to WAGON TRAIN as the new aging wagonmaster to replace Ward Bond after Bond had died late in 1960. History would repeat itself 7 years later when McIntire replaced the late Charles Bickford as Shiloh owner on The Virginian. According to episode guides, several of the McIntire episodes before The Christopher Hale Story aired out of order during the original NBC run, in which the drawing of McIntire came after Robert Horton (who got top billing for the rest of the fourth year). However, as you may have noticed those episodes have no sign of John -- with Bill and Charlie in one of them talking about "when Chris gets back" at the beginning. The syndicated stories have Flint in charge or at least center around him. The only way to see Hale currently is if you've seen the 90 minute color episodes from the 7th Season. The rest of the 4th, 5th, and 6th seasons as well as the 8th Season (in black & white again for budgetary reasons) all still seem to be "lost". And yet in Encore Western's ads, they also list Robert Fuller's name.... According to their episode list, the last episode they have is "The Nancy Palmer Story" with Audrey Meadows. Before that are 3 episodes I've never seen including "The Sam Elder Story" (aired yesterday, which I recorded to watch this weekend), "The Jed Polk Story", and "The Odyssey of Flint McCollough". Anyone know when the Season 4 set is supposed to be released? :huh:
     
  2. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Not a clue. But there is a way to get some of the John McIntire episodes through the "Going West" set. I had never seen "Wagon Train" before and so to get a sampler I purchased that set, which contains the following episode across 3 disks: 1 John Gillman Story (year 8, episode 3) Bobby Darin, Whit Bissell 2 Tiburcio Mendez Story (4, 26) Nehemiah Persoff, Leonard Nimoy 3 Ah Chong Story (4, 37) Frank Ferguson, Arnold Stang 4 Lt. Burton Story (5, 22) Charles McGraw, Dean Jones 5 Nellie Jefferson Story (4, 27) H.M. Wynant, Janice Paige 6 Heather Mahoney Story (5, 37) Jane Wyatt, Cyril Delevanti 7 Emmet Lawton Story (6, 24) Dennis Hopper, Richard Devon 8 Kurt Davol Story (6, 11) Eddie Albert, Karl Lukas 9 Tom Tuesday Story (6, 28) Brian Keith 10 Abel Weatherly Story (6, 16) J.D. Cannon, William Fawcett 11 Johnny Masters Story (6, 18) Robert Wilke, Anthony George 12 Heather and Hamish Story (6, 29) Michael Parks, Ann Helm So for me, John McIntire was why I decided to buy the 7th season in color when released. However, i was always a fan of "Ward Bond" since watching the movie "Gentleman Jim", so I knew i would get those when released. Recently I saw a 6 disk set at Sam's with the same "Going West" Cover, but I've never seen mention of it anywhere else (not even TMG's website) to deternine what all episodes are on it. Depending on if/when TMG continues release "Wagon Train" full seasons, I may get the 6 disk set as a replacement.
     
  3. Executive

    Executive Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for sharing that -- I wasn't aware Timeless Media Group had a separate WAGON TRAIN release just with John McIntire B & W episodes. For some reason I suspect that "The Ah Chong Story" has white actor Arnold Stang in dark makeup, playing a Chinese man. Is that correct? If so it would be no more unusual than Michael Ansara or Leonard Nimoy playing Indians in earlier episodes. How much was that "Going West" set?
     
  4. Executive

    Executive Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is an old TV GUIDE cover of an issue I once had from June 1961. I bought it used in the early 1990s: [​IMG]
     
  5. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I received word from Timeless Media that season 4 of Wagon Train is scheduled for release by the end of the year. The other unreleased seasons (i.e., 5, 6, and 8) are not scheduled yet but could come after that. I'm really looking forward to season 4 and having the transition to John McIntire. I'm a big Ward Bond fan, I know there was nothing said in the story about what happened to his character, but I'd like to see the episode where McIntire takes over the reigns. After that I can be happy with the connection to my Going West and the season 7 color sets. Not to say I won't buy the other seasons if released, but I could be satisfied if not.
     
  6. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Good job, Brad! I hadn't heard anything one way or the other about Season Four, so that's great. I feel like you do in that I'm a big Ward Bond fan too and I'm not sure how I'll take the transition. But it's great that we'll have the chance to see it for ourselves!



    Gary "not sure how far I'll go with this series" O.
     
  7. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I actually started my Wagon Train experience with the "Going West" set since it was a way to get my feet wet (12 episodes) without the cost of the only other set available at the time, the season 7 color set. I very much enjoyed the stories within that set and so was sold on the series. That made the purchase of the earlier seasons a no brainer with Ward Bond and Robert Horton leading the way. I had read that the transition episode "Christopher Hale Story" stars Lee Marvin as the new wagonmaster until John McIntire's character takes it away from him. Without that episode and season 4 it almost seems like two similar but different shows. So the transition of Bond to McIntire in season 4 and the departure of Horton after season 5. Not that I've actually experienced any of these transitions (just read about them). Right now I just seem to know the show from its too end points.
     
  8. Executive

    Executive Stunt Coordinator

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    The rest of the 4th Season -- even though I haven't seen those yet, isn't much different considering that Robert Horton was still part of the show. So were Terry Wilson as Bill Hawks and Frank McGrath as Charlie Wooster -- both of whom were part of this series for all 8 years. I read that a year later Robert Horton wanted out of the series for whatever reason, and so Flint was given a proper sendoff in the 5th Season finale -- rare for a TV series from that era! :cool: It seems that the later years of so many old series seem to be the most rare -- particularly BONANZA, but at least I managed to watch all of those in TV reruns.
     
  9. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    Great news, TMG will release Wagon Train: The Complete Season Four on October 25th, along with 2 sets of The Virginian, seasons 5 & 9 (the latter being The Men from Shiloh), and Tales of Wells Fargo: The complete seasons 1-2. Just think, we'll see the trransition episode wihich introduced John McIntire in The Christopher Hale Story, and even see the prequel The Janet Hale Story, guest starring McIntire's wife Jeanette Nolan. Now, if TMG can leave the Revue sliding filmstrips bumper in at the end of all of the credits of all episodes. If they don't, I'd still buy it anyway!
     
  10. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    I'm gonna have to wait a little longer before I get my Wagon Train S4 set, for the folks at Barnes & Noble tell me that there will be a delay in shipping out the product to me. It's expected to be shipped out November 17.
     
  11. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Same thing happened to me. I first ordered it as a pre-order and it was scheduled to ship on the week of release. Then i cancelled it to take advantage of another 15% off coupon and got bumped to 11/17. Same with my Virginian order. Oh well...i don't have time to watch either right now anyway.
     
  12. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    I finally received the Wagon Train S4 10-DVD set today, which was delivered by UPS from Barnes & Noble, and you know what? I checked out some episodes, and I found out that the picture and sound are excellent among the first 24 episodes, you know, pristine transfers. But beginning with The Christopher Hale Story and ending with The Don Alvarado Story, its rather 16mm-ish. The Revue tag is missing throughout all these episodes, but so what! I'll enjoy watching them whenever possible.
     
  13. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    You wanna know something? I found "Weight of Command" on You Tube, which is in four parts, and also has the Revue bumper in at the end. It's something that was left out by Timeless in their release of the S4 set, but I can access the end of part four anytime on YT. Oh, by the way, S5 is on the way in May, and I figure all the eps will be in B&W, don't think those five color episodes will be seen that way, but in B&W instead.
     

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