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Have Gun Will Travel
86 replies to this topic
Posted August 19 2006 - 01:28 AM
I love 50s-60s era westerns, having been introduced to them by way of "The Rifleman" when I was five years old--this was a year or so after the show went off the air. Oddly enough, as popular as HGWT was in its initial run, I never came across it at any time during the 60's-80's, but took a chance when S1 came out on dvd. I'm enjoying it very much and have all three season sets including the companion book to the series. From that compendium which showcases all 225 episodes I realized there is much to look forward to in seasons 4-6, like the aforementioned two parter "A Quiet Night in Town". I also welcome the season 6 opener "Genesis" which provides vital information on the otherwise mysterious background of Paladin. Although season three is a bit of a miss to me owing to Richard Boone's increasing level of creative control of the series at the expense of Sam Rolfe (who departed in mid-season) and the fact that the season was rushed to accomodate Boone's desire to appear on Broadway, I know there is still much to savor in seasons 4-6. My only qualm is how rapidly Boone ages in the show, ostensibly due to his heavy smoking/drinking and generally overindulgent lifestyle. But an exceptional and serious method actor he most certainly was.
Posted August 19 2006 - 01:42 AM
Pat, My doom and gloom...and apologies are due to nothing more than the fact that as a fan my favorite episodes are from season 4 and I posted somewhere that I wish that HGWT would go through at least S4....so it only stands to reason that Paramount would go thru S3 and seemingly stop. I realize that these sets do not come out with any regularity....but as much as I love this show....I am merely fearful I'll never see S4 or S6 on DVD.
Posted August 19 2006 - 02:00 AM
Let's not panic just yet. Here are the facts: S1 - 5/11/2004 S2 - 5/10/2005 S3 - 1/3/2006
Posted March 07 2007 - 07:31 AM
It's been 14 months now...time to panic yet?
Posted March 07 2007 - 08:21 AM
Unfortunately, YES!!!! Gary "classic tv on dvd continuations are really taking a beating - HGWT, LITB, My Favorite Martian, etc. - so many older shows seem to be dead in the water right now" O.
Posted March 08 2007 - 12:13 AM
My problem is that they keep on Releasing New Shows Season 1's without finishing existing Series, CBS is the worst at this, they've started on Hawaii Five Out,Mission Imposible, Rawhide,Family Ties, Perry Mason, and I love alot of these series, but finish what you started first before starting another possible to be abandoned series. Now that Gord has more pull with his site I'm wondering if he can ask CBS point blank what the status of this series is?
My DVD Collection
Posted March 08 2007 - 12:28 AM
While I do see the same basic problem across the studio board (some worse than others) - that new series keep getting released while existing series stall - I don't think CBS is the company I'd be most upset with. They are, after all, going to continue "Rawhide", "Perry Mason", and "Mission Impossible" this summer. And I bet "Hawaii 5-0" gets the same treatment with another release quickly. I actually think CBS/Paramount and Paramount in general do great jobs with continuing their series.
Having said all that, I will admit that the lack of a fourth season of HG-WT is very disappointing and we have gone way too long without any info. But if one studio draws my wrath on this particular issue of sending out Season 1's but not following through it's got to be Universal. They are the absolute worst (note "Leave it to Beaver", "Quincy", "Kojak", and "Dragnet" as prime examples).
Gary "while I do want to see a continuation of HG-WT, and while I do agree with Dave in principle, I don't think CBS is doing that bad of a job - Universal, on the other hand, is horrible right now" O.
P.S. I echo Dave's request for Gord to see if he can give us some info about this release. And I wouldn't mind some info about "LITB Season 3" either. Hint-hint.
Posted March 08 2007 - 02:48 AM
Well, It does look like HGWT has reached the end of the trail, & 'Cheyenne' may also have bitten the dust. Very disappointing as sales on HGWT can't have been that poor if they released 3 seasons. I recall Columbia House did put out the whole lot on video & they were remastered for those releases so quality prints are available. I agree about Paramount being the best of the bunch but they are not beyond criticism. Western wise no Gunsmoke season sets & who knows if we will see any more 'best of'. Good about 'Rawhide' S2 V1 but will they continue with it for all 8 seasons, I have grave doubts. Likewise 'Big Valley'.The only real ray of light recently was the 'Wanted Dead or Alive' news but I am concerned about BCI Eclipse who are a bit of a budget label I believe & we could end up with cut or syndicated prints. Add to that th discontinuation of the 'Rifleman', Warner Bros complete indifference to their old western catalogue and the endless wrangling over 'rights' for Bonanza & 'The High Chaparral'. I won't even mention 'Laramie' 'Wagon Train' or the 120 other old western series mouldering in vaults. Its all too depressing !
Posted March 08 2007 - 03:20 AM
It is sad about HGWT but it is still premature to give up on Cheyenne when it has only been 9 months for this show. Its not time to panic until a show goes over a year without a release. Unless they are going to do season sets of Gunsmoke then I'm not interested in any more. I wouldn't worry about BCI. They are a budget label on the rise. They have been doing stellar, bar raising work on Filmations Saturday Morning shows so I expect Wanted Dead or Alive to be just as stellar.
...When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth
Posted March 08 2007 - 07:15 PM
Regret I don't share your optimism on Cheyenne, Randy. I think S1 was first announced back in Jan last year so it would be 15 months since then. If you are correct & there is a year between releases ,it would be something like 2013 before the show was completed & the series would be nearly 60 years old.I think the target audience would also be dwindling somewhat by that time. I would prefer, really, an announcement from WB that 'no further releases are planned at this time' or somesuch & at least put us out of our misery. The slow roll out on some series is a major source of irritation for me. Would be interested to know what others think.
Posted March 09 2007 - 12:36 AM
I think the Studios Expectations for these series run too high, It's not like there's a massive promotion blitz that cost them money, so it has to come down to production costs, but they are'nt going to make a whole lot of money on Cheyenne and other series if they just sit in the vaults.
My DVD Collection
Posted March 09 2007 - 01:52 AM
There's also a bit of history for these HGWT releases. The whole series of HGWT was remastered for VHS in the mid-90s and sold through Columbia House. When Columbia House moved the series to DVD, they didn't spring for a new set of masters; instead they used the old video masters for transfer to DVD, with the resulting picture quality considerably sub-par. I think Columbia House only got through 3 complete seasons, the 3 seasons that later CBS/Paramount released in stores. The discs in these releases were repackagings of the Columbia House ones. Perhaps one of the reasons for the delay in further releases of HGWT is that CBS/Paramount no longer wants to do a release made from video masters. This is a very good policy; seeing their release of Perry Mason Season 1, I only wish that the first three seasons of HGWT on DVD looked that good. But a trade-off to that is perhaps the cost of new digital masters for DVD. Having invested so much in the series for the video transfers, perhaps they feel the sales just haven't warranted the cost of brand new digital transfers for DVD. In sum, we have the Columbia House HGWT releases to thank for the release of the first 3 seasons by CBS/Paramount. As far as the last 3 seasons, with Columbia House no longer doing their own releases, CBS/Paramount has probably come to the conclusion based on sales that producing new HGWT season sets from digital masters, their preference now, is just not worth the cost.
Posted March 12 2007 - 11:22 AM
Oh, that sucks. I'm sure if one of Encore's Western channels could air it, they could foot the bill. Still, a shame that Paladin can't be represented wholly on DVD yet.
Posted March 12 2007 - 01:02 PM
I'm surprised The Westerns Channel didn't purchase Have Gun Will Travel. They have the hour-long black & white GUNSMOKE episodes and a show that really wasn't worth acquiring: The Westerner, starring Brian Keith.
Posted May 03 2007 - 02:31 AM
Well I'm glad to have the 3 seasons of Have Gun Will Travel, but I've officially put this on my Abandoned Series List. I Wish Paramount and all other studios would stop releasing new series until they finish up with the originals. Hopefully the Sales of McHales Navy were sufficient to convince these studios to license out this material if they refuse to finish the sets.
My DVD Collection
Posted May 03 2007 - 02:36 AM
Yea, it does look very bleak at this point. And it is a shame since HGWT is one of the best, yet underrated, westerns ever done. I've thoroughly enjoyed my 3 sets as well. Gary "this is a series that Paramount really dropped the ball on - and I don't say that often about them, as they are generally the best studio for releasing classics" O.
Posted May 03 2007 - 03:15 AM
Great minds function along parallel lines it seems as I was just about to post my sentiments on the outlook for HGWT as well. Although subsequent dvd sets to certain shows have started back up after longer than a 15 months hiatus, it certainly doesn't happen often. From what I've read, the series picks up again in quality in seasons 4 and 5 which adds to my lament. (S3 was a bit of a disappointment to me relative to the stellar first two seasons, but from what I've read in my copy of the series companion guide, I understand why this was the case). I'm just about ready to revisit S1-3 now that I'm finishing up the first go round for M:I and "Untouchables".
Posted May 03 2007 - 04:01 AM
All 6 seasons of Have Gun Will Travel are equally enjoyable, and in spite of different producers taking over the series the quality ratio of good episodes to mediocre is consistent. Whether CBS Video / Paramount will release the second half of the series depends on the other things they have on their DVD production schedule as well as how well sales have been on the 3rd season set.
Posted May 03 2007 - 07:57 AM
Isn't HGWT the only series from the 50s & 60s that CBS/Paramount has started and seemingly abandoned?
Posted May 03 2007 - 08:04 AM
Well, "The Phil Silvers Show" a/k/a "Sgt. Bilko" was a "best of" collection and not a season set release so, perhaps, Paramount only had the intention of releasing that set as a "stand alone." On the other hand, Paramount released several "best of" collections of "Gunsmoke" before announcing a full season one release for this Summer, so who knows? As it stands now, "The Phil Silvers Show" has never had a follow-up release.