Wagon Train: Going West
Timeless Media Group, July 2008, 12 episodes on three boxed discs, 600 minutes, $34.98.
When Ward Bond died of a heart attack on November 5, 1960, many viewers of the hit weekly TV series Wagon Train wondered how anyone could replace his gruff but kindhearted wagon master Seth Adams. Bond does not appear in these dozen episodes, but his replacement, John McIntire, demonstrates that he was no second-string wagon master. What’s more, his employees are solid—assistant wagon master Bill Hawks (Terry Wilson), cook Charlie Wooster (Frank McGrath) and tall scout Duke Shannon (Denny Miller). Super scout Flint McCullough (Robert Horton) only appears in a couple of these episodes, but his star quality shows through. Excellent guests were a hallmark of the series. Among the better ones in this set are Bobby (“Mac the Knife”) Darin, Leonard (“Spock”) Nimoy and the unsung Brian Keith.
Down the road, Timeless Media Group plans to release a 15-disc set that will include all thirty-two 90-minute color episodes from the 1963–64 season, plus 12 classic black-and-white episodes from other seasons. Ward Bond should be back then. Wagons, ho!
Originally published in the December 2008 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here.