Dan McW

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A narrator turns up around episode 7 or 8 of A Man Called Shenandoah. I think it's Fred Foy.

Somewhere around episode 8, the opening credits went from a snowy setting to a rocky desert terrain, then back to the snow.

I've skipped around the set a lot, mainly to see favorite character actors such as Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, L.Q. Jones, and Strother Martin.
 

Dan McW

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Well, I'm through episode 16. The narrator disappeared for a while but came back. The alternate opening credits appeared only the one time--it's been back to the snowy opening for all episodes.

John Dehner guest-starred in one recent episode I watched. Is there a '60s TV series that that man didn't appear in? Great performance in A Man Called Shenandoah by Mr. Dehner, incidentally.
 

Flashgear

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I'm enjoying the new WAC release of Man Called Shenandoah too. And Like Dan and many of us here, I look forward to seeing John Dehner in just about anything as well. A nice coincidence with releases this month has another fine John Dehner guest appearance showing up in the just released Gunsmoke season 13 episode "Deadman's Law". Like the rest of these remastered episodes, it looks spectacular with some eye popping exteriors at Vasquez Rocks...Gunnar Hellstrom, one of my favorite "German" types in so many War series like 12 O'Clock High and Combat, also turns in a solid performance. And Rawhide's Steve Raines is in this one too!
 

Dan McW

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Leonard Nimoy appeared as a hit man in one recent episode I watched, and his future wife Susan Bay appeared two episodes later. The narrator is still weighing in at the start of each episode as I move through disc 3. For episode 17 or 18 or thereabouts and each episode since, a slightly different Robert Horton vocal is used for the opening theme song. Karl Swenson, a familiar TV face, appeared as a sheriff in episode 21.
 

Ron1973

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Well, I'm through episode 16. The narrator disappeared for a while but came back. The alternate opening credits appeared only the one time--it's been back to the snowy opening for all episodes.

John Dehner guest-starred in one recent episode I watched. Is there a '60s TV series that that man didn't appear in? Great performance in A Man Called Shenandoah by Mr. Dehner, incidentally.
He guested as soap opera star Rex Goodbody on The Beverly Hillbillies. Granny thought the series was real and wanted to doctor him. He then played a police captain as a regular on The Dukes of Hazzard spinoff, Enos.
 

Dan McW

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Another omnipresent '60s TV star, Andrew Duggan, appeared in episode 22. Also appearing was frequent western heavy Lane Bradford, whom I also just saw in a season-13 Gunsmoke episode. DeForest Kelley had a small part in episode 23, whose entire credited cast was familiar TV/movie folks: Joanna Pettet, Warren Stevens, and Elisha Cook along with Kelley.
 

Flashgear

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Some screen captures I took from episode 10, "The Locket" (Nov. 22, 1965), filmed at the picturesque Alabama Rocks at Lone Pine, Ca., with guest star Martin Landau...the well known locales seen in countless movies and tv shows...among them the celebrated 1955-60 Budd Boetticher/Burt Kennedy Columbia Westerns with Randolph Scott and the immortal Bad Day at Black Rock.
Locket 1.JPG

Locket 2.JPG


Locket 3.JPG


Locket 4.JPG


Locket 5.JPG


Locket 6.JPG


Locket 7.JPG


Locket 8.JPG

Robert Horton with Chris Alcaide...another man who might know the truth about "Shenandoah" and the mysterious Locket...
Locket 9.JPG


Locket 10.JPG


Locket 11.JPG


The creator/producer of A Man Called Shenandoah was E. Jack Neuman. His previous series for MGM was Mr. Novak, where Martin Landau had previously appeared in two memorable episodes of that great series also.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Thanks for providing those screen captures, Randall! The prints look OK...not CBS/Paramount quality for certain, but not bad. Would you say the transfers look comparable to the ones used for The Loner or The Rebel releases? That would certainly be acceptable to me. I definitely plan to get this set later this summer...
 
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Flashgear

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Jeff, I think A Man Called Shenandoah looks quite good, but as far as WAC's previous MGM TV releases go, these definitely fall far short of the stellar treatment of Dr. Kildare, Eleventh Hour or The Lieutenant. I would think they compare favorably with The Rebel, and maybe somewhat lesser than The Loner, but pretty close in my opinion to both of those. Probably just shy of Sam Benedict too, if you have that one.

I'm glad to have A Man Called Shenandoah complete, as I think it's quite a good series. The episodes are loaded with great guest stars, the episode following this one featured George Kennedy and Madeline Rhue!
 
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Dan McW

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Well, I finished the series. Poor Shenandoah is still wandering out there in TV land searching for his identity.

Real-life married couple John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan appear as bickering friends in the next-to-last episode, "Care of General Delivery." James Doohan turned up trying to pass himself off as the man Shenandoah was looking for, but our hero quickly caught him in a lie.

Robert Horton in the later episodes started receiving a credit for writing the lyrics, either to the main theme song itself or to the tunes he sings at the end of each episode (not sure which).

All in all, an enjoyable series. Lots of good guest stars made it so. There was at least one familiar face in virtually every episode, to this veteran classic TV watcher.
 

Flashgear

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This was shared on Facebook's Classic TV Lover's Haven page...a Variety trade paper clipping showing the first Nielsen ratings for the fall 1965-66 season...the debut episode of A Man Called Shenandoah was at #1...of course, it faded in the Nielsens and was cancelled in the spring, although it had a full season order. Other soon to be cancelled shows Honey West and Legend of Jesse James are also in the top 20...My Mother the Car is in the top 30...Other long running and very successful shows (My Three Sons, Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, Lucy Show) or new shows with long runs to be (Big Valley, Lost in Space) are well down the list, but still in the top 40...One of my favorites, Combat! is not even in the top 40, airing that week the episode "Main Event", with comedian Jack Carter and Ben Cooper, admittedly a very average outing ...People were checking out the new shows My Mother the Car and Please Don't Eat the Daisies, before returning to watch Hanley, Saunders and the Squad...Combat! was going into a successful fourth season and would be renewed for another...just goes to show how volatile and reliable the ratings were in those days...and maybe worse now? What with the fragmented boutique type programming on marginal cable networks struggling to find their micro demographic...


And check out the casting call for dancers - female..."Caucasian", "Must be beautiful", "Please do not apply unless you are pretty and can dance"...definitely a no - go today, but at least they were up front with it in those days...
 
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Jeff Flugel

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This was shared on Facebook's Classic TV Lover's Haven page...a Variety trade paper clipping showing the first Nielsen ratings for the fall 1965-66 season...the debut episode of A Man Called Shenandoah was at #1...of course, it faded in the Nielsens and was cancelled in the spring, although it had a full season order. Other soon to be cancelled shows Honey West and Legend of Jesse James are also in the top 20...My Mother the Car is in the top 30...Other long running and very successful shows (My Three Sons, Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, Lucy Show) or new shows with long runs to be (Big Valley, Lost in Space) are well down the list, but still in the top 40...One of my favorites, Combat! is not even in the top 40, airing that week the episode "Main Event", with comedian Jack Carter and Ben Cooper, admittedly a very average outing ...People were checking out the new shows My Mother the Car and Please Don't Eat the Daisies, before returning to watch Hanley, Saunders and the Squad...Combat! was going into a successful fourth season and would be renewed for another...just goes to show how volatile and reliable the ratings were in those days...and maybe worse now? What with the fragmented boutique type programming on marginal cable networks struggling to find their micro demographic...


And check out the casting call for dancers - female..."Caucasian", "Must be beautiful", "Please do not apply unless you are pretty and can dance"...definitely a no - go today, but at least they were up front with it in those days...
And look at the list of shows in the Top 40. A lot of stone cold classics there...
 

Bob Gu

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Interesting, shows that ABC was doing well in the top 30 markets. Those are share numbers, right, not in millions of viewers? With the old margin for error thrown in those share numbers are all pretty even.

This was the season before everything, with maybe a few exceptions, went to color, in primetime. Ratings were not the only thing in a series renewal. Shows could be cancelled because they did not want to make the jump to color, or sponsors that "owned" certain time-slots wanted something different, or other reasons.
 

Flashgear

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Bob, interesting that you brought up "other reasons" for a show leaving the air. Combat! is a show that serves as the perfect example of a series that left before it's time was truly up...having still strong ratings in it's color fifth year, but of course, the first four years had been produced in B+W. The owner of Combat! wanted to sell it into lucrative syndication ASAP because they thought that a mostly B+W show would have limited syndication life with ever more Americans buying their first color TVs...but the FCC had an archaic rule at the time that a show couldn't be sold into syndication while it was still in production with new episodes. So, that forced the issue with Selmur/ABC taking it off the air in order to rush it into syndication. Because ABC still wanted an action filled war show, they began production on Garrison's Gorillas...a big let down for me as an 11 year old, as I never did like Garrison's Gorillas...

Of course, an even more regrettable example of shows being pulled off the air while ratings and advertising sales were still strong is the "Rural Purge" by CBS in 1970-71 of audience favorites Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres...although in fairness, all of those shows were long in the tooth by then.

I wonder also about how that huge debut for A Man Called Shenandoah might have back fired on the longevity of the show. The premise of the show being somewhat artificial and repetitive in it's unfolding. Most weeks Shenandoah falls just short of somebody finally telling him who he really is, with some potential enablers being shot and killed just before they have the big reveal. In one episode, a guy who knows who Shenandoah really is has his tongue cut out by indians first! Still, Robert Horton is very good and it's loaded with great guest stars and action. Glad to have the Warner release.
 

Bob Gu

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Robert Horton is great in SHENANDOAH. I like the way he carries himself and his gun-handling style. I remember being sad when he left WAGON TRAIN. I only bought the color season DVD set of WAGON TRAIN. I think about just getting the Horton years. Except for the reprint of S1, they are pretty expensive. So maybe I'll start watching/recording them from METV.

(Meaningless observational Trivia Department: Ever notice that William Smith, in LAREDO, is wearing, Horton's WAGON TRAIN buckskin pants, the ones with the built in knife scabbard in one leg? The Universal wardrobe department never throws anything out.)

I liked GARRISON"S GORILLAS. Didn't miss COMBAT!, because it was still on. The local ABC station was showing the black and whites, M-F, before the evening news, and the color season in prime time, on Thursdays at 10 PM. They didn't show or moved, elsewhere, a new ABC magazine/interview show.

Randall, I guess you have read the COMBAT! Viewers Companion. , and the Vic Morrow biographical info in "Outrageous Conduct". Vic Morrow was not showing up much by Season 5 and we had more Rick Jason episodes. The producers were not pleased with him, the contracts were up for renewal and Morrow and Jason were already two of the higher payed leads on TV at the time. Although I think you are right that getting COMBAT! into syndication was the main reason for cancellation.

Randall, after you get caught up on Mr. Novack, you should start a discussion thread on COMBAT!.
 

Flashgear

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Bob, very interesting trivia about Robert Horton's buckskins being handed down to William Smith on Laredo. Thanks for that, I'll have to take another look at that series. I have Laredo in the TMG complete set, a fun show then and now.

I remember reading in the Combat! viewer's companion that Vic Morrow and Rick Jason were among TV's highest paid stars at the time. Rick Jason, a very humble and intellectually introspective man, was honest in having the good fortune of benefiting from a "Favored Nations" clause by which every pay raise that Vic Morrow got required a matching salary for him. Jason enjoyed acting, but it wasn't the lifeblood that it represented to Vic Morrow, the ultra method actor who aspired to the Brando and Dean school of acting. Jason was too humble, as evidenced in his many fine performances, principally, the two parter "Hills are for Heroes". His passion was in writing (very fine writer) and wines, owning his own prestigious winery. Maybe that was inspired by the many Combat episodes filmed at the Korbel wineries? Vic Morrow's talent was always evidenced in his powerful "presence", and he directed some of the all time greatest episodes of Combat! I wish he had directed more episodic TV than he did. Sad that both of these guys died tragically. Thanks for the encouragement about my Novak posts. I might have a few worthy posts about my favorite Combat episodes in store, ha, ha...

Robert Horton certainly leaves a fine legacy in westerns. I like Wagon Train too. TV western comfort food. Incredible guest stars (Bette Davis, Robert Ryan, Joseph Cotten, etc.), reliably good, and occasionally great. Despite it's reputation, it could be shockingly adult and daring as well, but rarely, so it has memorable impact when it did so. Off the top of my head, season three's Benjamin Burns Story comes to mind. I have all the Wagon Train season sets from TMG, except for season 5, which is currently unavailable anywhere strangely. I got all the Ward Bond / Robert Horton seasons first (1 to 4), and then backfilled the rest of the run as I found deals along the way. John McIntire was good too. But season 5 has thus far escaped me, although I keep looking. Hopefully, Shout will re-release the whole run in more affordable editions. Between these and the Virginian releases, that's a whole lot of Universal TV westerns! To go along with my already huge CBS, WB and other TV westerns.
 
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