Okay, one problem with watching The Virginian five days a week in order (or tivo during the week and watch on the weekends, like me) you noticed the plot problems the writers created over the years.
Case in point, Emmett Ryker.
When we first meet Ryker he is a gunslinger who knows Sheriff Mark Abbott. Abbott tells Ryker that being a gun for hire is not a job with any security. By the end of the episode, Ryker has decided that Mark Abbott is correct and he signs on as a deputy.
Later in that season, we meet Lloyd Nolan, the man who raised Ryker. Nolan and his clan are on the wrong side of the law and Ryker must make the choice between family and the law. There's a great deal of talk about how Nolan raised Ryker and mentored him.
Over the next two seasons, Ryker goes back and forth between being the sheriff and the deputy of Medicine Bow. But from time to time we see him and Mark Abbott together and they have a great father/son rapport.
In the Laramie Road episode in 1965, the Sheriff is John Brannan and he gets killed by two grifters. Ryker goes into tailspin over his grief of his mentor and the man who taught him the difference between right, wrong and the law. It's because of Brannan he became a lawman.
But it wasn't Sheriff Brannan that did that, it was Sheriff Mark Abbott who did all that. And Abbott isn't dead, he will return in the 1966 season.
And then there is Trampas' backstory. Early in the beginning of the second season, we get a whole episode devoted to Trampas' backstory with his nefarious father (Sonny Tufts). His father dies at the hand of Judge Garth while Trampas is away (the Judge had to draw and kill Pa Trampas or die). Trampas discovers the truth when he recognizes the gun the Judge carries.
Over the next two seasons, the story of Trampas' father's death, takes a couple of different twists and turns, none of them in accordance to the episode in the second season.
Guess that is why series now have bibles so that mistakes like this don't happen.
But, all that aside, I am enjoying The Virginian, especially the guest stars who graced that show over the years. After watching Lee J. Cobb too much, you start to realize how unhappy he was on the show. The man rarely smiles and looks like he spends too much time sucking lemons.
Thankfully James Drury and Doug McClure (and the others) all look like they enjoy being on the show. This despite the fact that anytime either Drury or McClure falls in love, the woman is killed. We're only four seasons in and I've lost count how many woman have died or left town rather than marry the Virginian or Trampas.
And as much as I love Clu Gulager when I was a kid (and oh, I loved him) watching this show and even now, his method acting is in stark contrast to Drury and McClure's more naturalistic approach and too often tends to draw attention to himself in a way actors don't necessarily want. But, then, he has that voice and that smile that makes you put up with all that method acting. McClure has a great smile but Trampas was never a bad boy. Ryker, he oozed being a bad boy with his very being.
And young girls, we loved bad boys.
And by season 4, I actually find myself missing Beldon (LQ Jones) but by then, he was off making movies with Sam Peckinpah.
When it comes to riding a horse, McClure is probably the best horseman on the series.
My San Fran roommate probably thinks I'm crazy watching five episodes of this show over a weekend (MrCutter would say I'm definitely crazy) but I do appreciate the Western Channel running them in series order.
I loved Judge Garth when I was a kid and wished I had a grandpa like him. Now, I'm ready for him to get himself promoted to territorial governor and for Morgan Starr to show up because I am tired of seeing Cobb scowl through every episode he's in.
Funny what a difference almost 50 years can make in that regard.
Lynn in Sherman Oaks
"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."
"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese
Avatar-Bob's Big Boy-Toluca Lake, designed in 1948 by Wayne McAllister, still in business.