A historical television series that focuses on the impact of the Underground Railroad during the 19th century, "Underground" offers viewers a message of social progress that's just as relevant in 2017.
I was 15 at the time this show came began it's short televised run. At that time, the television air waves were heading toward becoming wall to wall westerns. In fact, this was he year "Gunsmoke" made its debut. This show however was not in that league.
In fact, it wasn't even in the Gene Autry/ Roy Rogers league. What it did have going for it was a veteran B western actor, Douglas Kennedy, who had never been a lead star - even in a B western. He was simply a reasonably good background character actor. And the only reason I can fathom a studio choosing him for this series role (which had some potential)was that he had to have come cheap.
Yet despite these obvious failings,in its beginning,the show drew a great deal of attention. For in the opening, Kennedy as the star character, leaps onto the screen wearing two guns, drew both guns, fired four shot toward the screen, and while doing this, he flipped the other gun into the air.
He then tosses the gun he's shooting from his left hand to the now empty right, while deftly catching the other gun in his left hand, all the while continuing to fire. When he's through firing, he twirls both guns and holsters them neatly.
Every cowboy oriented kid in the TV audience and some adults too) tuned in regularly to see this feat of gunman-ship, or gun acrobatics if you wish. It was really cool. But the producers never followed it up with a decent script for a decent show to follow this highly successful opening act. The show died in its second season - even though Steve Donavan Western Marshall comic books were already on the newsstand and doing reasonably well.
Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Go figure.
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