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Wagon Train rollin' in on October 7th

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

  1. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Well-Known Member

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    I've already ordered the "Going West" set, and I'm looking forward to it, as I really haven't seen too many of the McIntyre episodes (excepting that 90-minute color season, which actually did circulate a fair amount in syndication, apparently as its own package, apart from the hour shows).

    Although, I'm not sure if these particular episodes Timeless is serving up sound like the 'best' the series might offer. Arnold Stang guest-starring as a Chinese gent? Oh, well. We'll see. I very much hope to get the 'big' November set as well, although I don't yet know how I'll scrape up the funds to get it. Ouch, what a price-tag. And, yes, Denny Miller and Rober Fuller have occasionally made appearances at film/memorabilia shows. They're both great fun to talk with!
     
  2. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    You haven't lived untill you see Marlo Thomas as a Chinese girl in The 5th Season episode of BONANZA titled "A Pink Cloud Comes from Old Cathay"!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    I watched the first four episodes of "Going West" last night, and this was my first encounter with Wagon Train. I have to say that these are wonderful shows, and I pray that we get much more Wagon Train released. I particularly liked the Bobby Darin episode. The quality is not bad. I'm sure they were all taken from 16mm film stock; all in all very watchable, and I highly recommend the set.
     
  4. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Doug, more "Wagon Train" is coming from Timeless Media on November 11th. That's when they'll release the complete color 7th season and 16 random black & white episodes. It's one of Timeless' mega sets and right now DVDPacific seems to have the best price at $61.56 for pre-order, including shipping.

    DVD Pacific - Buy New DVD Movies, HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs
     
  5. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that information Bob. I'll definitely be "in the saddle" for that release. Probably best price around too.

    Thanks again.

    Doug
     
  6. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Well-Known Member

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    Hey, every time I go on this site I end up spending more money ordering tv shows I would have been ignorant about! Now I have ordered this set along with The Texan, M Squad and Wagon Train - Going West. I will be in the poor house at this rate!
     
  7. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Well-Known Member

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    I have watched one episode of the Complete Color Season - granted not a real guide to how all of them will look, but I will say that the color was good - a bit washed out - and there was a general softness - in other words not vibrant and sharp like say Hawaii Five O etc. so the idea of Timless saying they are from Studio masters seems dodgy. It is perfectly viewable of course and certainly acceptable but I imagine if these are from NBC/ Universal that Timeless obviously cannot give them the resources they would like. Of course, I'm just assuming. Regardless, the show is well done and the 90 minutes afforded each episode allows for much more character development. I will report on how the rest compare in this set.
     
  8. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Two quick questions Brent: Where did you purchase your set - I ordered mine from DVD Pacific, and it has yet to ship, and is the set in slimline cases or the regular Amray cases?

    Doug
     
  9. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Well-Known Member

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    Doug, I'll jump in with your answers. The discs are housed in a box with an eight page plastic tray fold-out similar to the Warner Superman sets, with two discs per tray.

    I ordered mine from DeepdDscount. I have ordered The Texan, M-Squad, and the Annette Treasure from DVDPacific. Annette shipped yesterday, but no sign of the other two.

    Have not watched any Wagon Train yet as I've been working my way through Steve Canyon and The Lone Ranger.
     
  10. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bob! Since I posted my question I see that my set has shipped from DVD Pacific.

    Doug
     
  11. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Well-Known Member

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    I started watching the Wagon Train in color box with one of the b&w extra episodes "Charlie Wooster: Wagon Master", because I thought it would be a comedy episode, but it turned out to be a mystery. Anyway, this episode and other b&w episodes on this disc had a different opening theme song. So my questions are: did Wagon Train have different theme songs on it's original run or is this other theme the "Major Adams: Trailmaster" theme, or something else? And does the Rosin book talk about the music at all?

    I also watched the extra disc with the Denny Miller and Robert Fuller interviews, which were great, and they did not repeat any of the same stories.
     
  12. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Bob, I pulled this from Wikipedia, so take it for what it's worth . . . .

    "The first season theme "Wagon Train" was written by Henri Rene and Bob Russell, and lyrics were not used. The theme was conducted by Revue musical director Stanley Wilson. In the second season, a new more modern sounding theme was introduced. "(Roll Along) Wagon Train" was written by Sammy Fain and Jack Brooks and sung by Johnny O'Neill. About midway through the second season this was replaced with an instrumental version by Stanley Wilson. In the third season a more traditional sounding score was introduced. "Wagons Ho!" was written and conducted by Jerome Moross. This theme would last through the series run and is the most remembered Wagon Train theme. Stanley Wilson re-recorded "Wagons Ho!" for the last two seasons."

    *** UPDATE ***

    I forgot about the classic themes site and they have a more detailed description of the various themes used during the series' run.

    http://www.classicthemes.com/50sTVTh...agonTrain.html
     
  13. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob, that site really nails the answer, down to the separate Major Adams theme. So there were three different instrumentals (one sometimes with lyrics) on the regular run plus the syndicated Major Adams theme.
     
  14. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Glad to be of some help. By the way, I had a chance to meet Denny "Duke Shannon" Miller at a nostalgia convention in Maryland a little over a year ago. What a down-to-earth nice guy he was, and his enthusiasm for the series was infectious! At the time that I met him, he knew that something was in the works for a "Wagon Train" DVD release, but he thought it was going to be a season-by-season release and was lamenting the thought that he might not be around by the time the seasons he appeared in eventually were released. I'll bet he was delighted to be a part of this release.
     
  15. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone comment on what kind of shape the b&w episodes are in? Are they from 16mm or did Universal supply tape masters?
     
  16. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Well-Known Member

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    The description on the box claims both the color and the b&w episodes came from Universal masters. But the B&W description is worded slightly different.

    I am no expert but I think these B&Ws are 16mm based on the big closeups in the Nina Foch episode. The picture quality varies episode to episode. Some very good, nothing really unwatchable, though some have credits sequences that jump. In spot checking the episode length, the B&Ws run 48 min plus to 51 minutes.

    I have watched 6 of the color episodes and five of them are 70min. The one with Michael Rennie on disc2 has a long pre-credit sequence and is 77min long.

    I find the stories pretty engrossing and the action straight-forward and pretty tough, and am glad I bought this set as I have not really seen Wagon Train since the sixties and it's a good show to revisit. There are a lot of interesting names in the writing and music credits. But it may not be worth the repurchase if you already have these episodes from syndication runs.

    Maybe someone who has seen the new set plus the Columbia House and the syndicated versions can comment on whether this Timeless set is an upgrade.
     
  17. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's not good. No way are those supposed to be only 70 minutes long.
     
  18. michael_ks

    michael_ks Well-Known Member

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    I believe Stephen is right. Uncut 90 minute episodes should contain around 77 minutes worth of material, correct? (51m in 1 hr + 26m in 1/2 hr) I think I'm going to pass on this given the less than stellar source material and price point and now, what appears to be hit and miss for episode completion.
     
  19. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Well-Known Member

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    WAGON TRAIN's 90 minute season was 1963-1964, the same year as ARREST AND TRIAL, and both shows were produced by Universal and ran on ABC. So that's the best point of comparison, and my memory (although I don't have any on the shelf at the moment) is that the 16mm-sourced ARREST AND TRIALs on Timeless' DVDs do run about 76 minutes each.

    I guess the question becomes, were the 90-minute WAGON TRAINs cut to 70 minutes when they ran on the Lone Star channel? If so, then the DVDs are probably sourced from the cut masters (why, though?) and they may be as good as it gets. If not, one would obviously want to track down recordings of the longer versions.
     
  20. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    It seems that I always find out about these cut episodes after I buy the set. I recently just finished up the syndicated episodes of The Guns of Will Sonnett, which were almost unwatchable, because of the huge chunks of missing story line. You literally had to really work hard to figure out how they got from point A to point B. At least with a 90 minute show, I would hope that with 6 or 7 minutes gone, it won't be as noticeable.

    Doug
     

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