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Lancer

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Pathfiner, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

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    Anybody here remember Lancer ?

    a kind of 'darker' version of the Bonanza family western circa 1970 made by CBS and produced by Alan A. Armer (The Fugitive, The Invaders etc) it was in color and ran for two seasons, around 51 episodes and had many top guest stars

    it seems to have been 'eclipsed' by 'The High Chaparral' rather as it seldom gets mentioned or ever rerun...

    it starred James Stacy as ex-gunslinger Johnny Madrid Lancer...Wayne Maunder as gambler Scott Lancer (who were half brothers) ...and Andrew Duggan as the rather 'shady' figure of Murdoch Lancer their father who later in life has the desire to reunite his unlikely family - who of course gradually bond into a tight family...but it was a bit 'darker' than say Bonanza

    Elizabeth Baur (later Det. Fran Belding in 'Ironside') played Murdoch's neice Teresa O'Brien and in the second season Paul Brinegar (Wishbone from 'Rawhide') came in as 'Jelly Hoskins' (Wishbone by another name - Jelly even remarked he'd once been a cook on a cattle drive as a show 'in-joke')

    I believe it was a CBS show, and would love to see it get a DVD release...
     
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  2. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    LANCER, 1969-70, was produced by Fox, as was the earlier Wayne Maunder series, CUSTER, 1967. I liked Lancer better than THE HIGH CHAPARRAL. (Although High Chaparral had one the best western theme instrumentals.)

    Lancer had to tone down the action for the second season, because of the anti-TV violence pressure groups, that cropped up after the MLK and RFK assassinations in 1968. (I wonder what those groups would make of the gore fest that is SOP in modern TV shows.) Anyway, Johnny Madrid was actually reduced to hitting a guy with his hat during a barroom brawl! No joke! The show was still good, but cutting back on action in a western is just wrong.

    The Elizabeth Baur character was criminally underused. After Lancer was cancelled at the end of the second season, 1969-70, the show was brought back for reruns in the summer of 1971, on CBS.
     
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  3. John Karras

    John Karras Second Unit

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    It's owned by Fox, so there would have to be some interest from someone like Shout/Timeless (who are currently doing deals with Fox)
     
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  4. jperez

    jperez Second Unit

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    I liked it a lot. Sort of a higher-browed Bonanza or Big Valley, with the great Andrew Duggan as the patriarch-gentleman rancher, whose two sons -of different mothers and backgrounds and unknown to each other- come to live with him. Although it barely lasted two seasons, the series avoids what for me is Bonanza's terminal cuteness and Big Valley's ocassional forays into soap opera territory, and genuinely explores the evolving relationship between a father and two adult sons that are just starting to know each other.
     
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  5. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer
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    One of my favorites of that time period. I really enjoyed Andrew Duggan as the father, Murdoch.

    I found it terribly entertaining and also would like to enjoy it again on DVD/Bluray.
     
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  6. Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

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    thanks for the additional info !

    Good to see Andrew Duggan in a regular role as Murdoch Lancer - he always brought great depth to his 'guest star' characters in so many classic shows who were often distiguished men who were either flawed or downright nasty ! - so good to see him for once given the chance to explore a character deeper and be a 'reformed' shady guy as an elderly Murdoch Lancer was...

    we need to ask Shout after this show for a possible DVD release...
     
  7. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Another Duggan fan here, would love to see this released on DVD too.
     
  8. Message #8 of 27 Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Just noticed that the LANCER pilot is on DECADES right now! Started at 3PM! Decades is showing three more episodes today at 4PM, 2AM, and 3AM EST.

    Hope all 51 episodes of LANCER will show up on a DECADES Binge soon. (Correcting my mis-typing in my 2016 post #2, Lancer was on from 1968 to 1970, originally.)
     
  9. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    The DECADES schedule for the next two weeks is up, and the next 10 episodes of LANCER will be shown M-F at 2PM to 3PM EST from Jan. 29 to Feb. 9. Perhaps it will continue thru the rest of Feb.
     
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  10. Message #10 of 27 Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    DECADES is showing LANCER again. They started with Season 1 this week. Tuesday thru Saturday schedule. 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM.

    During the run from Jan/Feb 2018 they showed all of Season 1 and only three episodes of Season 2, so I hope they show all of Season 2 this time. Saturday morning's episode is S1E5 'The Lawman', with James Gregory.

    Original Promo:




    Below: A Black and White print of the original color pilot. This opens with a blank screen playing the theme song. I don't count that in the runtime. I remember that LANCER premiered in a commercial free time slot, in 1968. Even though this version is 58 minutes, I think it is missing something. I remember a scene where Anthony Caruso's character is revealed to be Johnny's uncle on his mother's side. Caruso's placement in the credits seem to indicate that his part was bigger than shown here, plus look how he steps forward when Johnny arrives at the ranch, and steps forward again ahead of Murdock and Teresa at the end when Johnny's in trouble and Scott goes to help him. (But maybe I am misremembering.)

     
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  11. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I found a better upload of the pilot, and edited it into my previous post. Obviously it is still in black and white and there is no sign of the missing scene I remember.

    But at least this version is not reverse image flipped and blue. 4bcc6a760a1ebeae679e0bf95f60678e. james-stacy-wayne-maunder-elizabeth-baur-andrew-duggan-vorn-m-local-GEHK1Y. ob_094f33_james-stacy-ranch-l. 2c69fe2169ec1bffca9e85ca44b85876.
     
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  12. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    I was hoping to pick up the remainder of season 2 but unfortunately WCBS dropped Decades from its subchannels in favor of some dopey new channel showing nothing but new crap. So Decades no longer has a New York affiliate, at least at the moment.
     
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  13. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    You could try YouTube. I just noticed that someone has uploaded 50 minute versions of 46 episodes. Missing are one Season 1 and four Season 2 episodes. Decades is showing edited or time-sped 46 minute versions.

    You have to search for them by season and episode number plus episode title, not Lancer. They have a station logo, for CFCF 12, a Montreal station.
     
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  14. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    I could download from there but I really only take things from youtube as a last resort or for something very unimportant as the compression and quality is abysmal.
     
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  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info, Bob! Will try and check some episodes out on YouTube later...have never seen Lancer before.
     
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  16. Message #16 of 27 Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    OK, Jeff! I hope you enjoy LANCER.

    In 1968, LANCER was a highly anticipated show for me, because I was familiar with the cast. It is always fun when actors and actresses who you like, separately in other shows, wind up in the same series together.

    I liked Andrew Duggan in 12 O'CLOCK HIGH. I thought Wayne Maunder was robbed when CUSTER was cancelled, and was glad that Fox and Samuel A. Peoples brought him back for LANCER. James Stacy was a regular player on OZZIE AND HARRIET, and was well known because of the coverage fan magazines gave his marriages to Connie Stevens and Kim Darby.

    My family did not get a color TV until 1971, so when CBS brought back LANCER for Summer reruns in 1971, it was one of the first shows I remember seeing in color, at home.

    And like MR. NOVACK , LANCER featured some of our favorite guest star crushes: Brenda Scott, in blonde and brunette versions, Lynn Loring, Susan Strasberg, Stephanie Powers, twice, and more.

    1.10Glory_clip_image001.



    brenda-scott-in-lancer-112268-7x9-orig-tv-still. 2.21Buscaderos_clip_image001. ad0b220593bdbd398fde2ea58634a766. 12144824. 9850067_orig. Wayne_Maunder_Lancer_1969.
    lancer-the-black-mcgloins. lancer-zee.
     
  17. Message #17 of 27 Sep 21, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks Bob for all this great info. You know, I've never seen a complete episode of Lancer. I'll have to check out what they have on YT. Bob, you say that the YT prints have the CFCF Montreal logo on them? As it was apparently picked up by CTV (along with CBC, one of our then two National networks in Canada) I don't know why I missed this show as a kid. Something else that Dad wanted to watch or perhaps Hockey, Football and Baseball got in the way of me seeing it.

    Sure like Andrew Duggan in just about everything he did. Among many examples, I really appreciate the brilliant interplay between him and Frank Overton in 12 O'clock High's season two episode "Storm at Twilight" (Nov. 22, 1965), where Major Stovall has just learned that his son is missing in combat and he pleads with General Britt to allow him back on combat operations. In that scene, where they both reminisce about being West Point classmen of 1926, you really believe these guys are long time pioneering aviators of the Army Air Corps who have known each other as close friends for that many years. And that they are now faced with very grim, desperate and dangerous times. That scene in the TV series is truly worthy of the great Oscar winning feature film that inspired it. Brilliant drama and affecting warmth that is supremely believable.

    I'd love to see Lancer get a proper DVD release.
     
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  18. Message #18 of 27 Sep 21, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    Bob Gu

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    Well, Randall, LANCER was on, down here, against MOD SQUAD and JERRY LEWIS in it's first season and MOD SQUAD and I DREAM OF JEANNIE and THE DEBBIE REYNOLDS SHOW, ( I don't remember that one, at all), in it's second.

    Without the competition of LANCER, MOD SQUAD was in 11th place in the ratings for it's third season, after placing 23rd for it's second against LANCER and the two comedies.

    Both LANCER and MOD SQUAD premiered on Sept. 24, 1968, 50 years ago this week.
     
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  19. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    1968 saw the debuts of not only the two shows above, but also Hawaii Five-O, Adam-12, The Name of the Game, Land of the Giants, Julia, Here Come the Brides, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Banana Splits, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and 60 Minutes!
     
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  20. Message #20 of 27 Sep 23, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I was able to find the TV Guide page for LANCER from the 1968 Fall Preview issue and a, very positive, TVG review by Cleveland Amory, online.

    lancer_tvg14sept68. tv_amory68.


    I had saved every TV Guide Fall Preview Issue from about 1965 to the early 80s.
    Around 1982 I tossed them all out, thinking, I would never see any of these shows again. Less and less old stuff was being rerun. Why torture myself? And then came Columbia House, TV on DVD, YouTube, and now Retro TV stations.

    30e461713fffc1481d6eb2e9372c58e5. DCtP2kMXUAACLwq.

    The 1968-69 Season was great, Jeff.
     

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