Wagon Train (1957–1965)

TV Series  -   -  Western
7.9
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Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »

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Title: Wagon Train (1957–1965)

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Episodes

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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1965   1964   1963   1962   … See all »
Nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Frank McGrath ...
 Charlie Wooster (272 episodes, 1957-1965)
Terry Wilson ...
 Bill Hawks / ... (267 episodes, 1957-1965)
...
 Flint McCullough / ... (187 episodes, 1957-1962)
...
 Christopher Hale / ... (152 episodes, 1959-1965)
...
 Major Seth Adams (134 episodes, 1957-1961)
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Storyline

Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, but good-at-heart Major Seth Adams, backed up by his competent frontier scout, Flint McCullough. After Adams and McCullough, the wagon train was led by the avuncular Christopher Hale along with new scouts Duke Shannon and Cooper Smith. Many stories featured the trustworthy assistant wagonmaster Bill Hawks, grizzled old cook Charlie Wooster and a young orphan, Barnaby West. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 September 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Major Adams, Trail Master  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(252 episodes) (season-1-6 and 8) | (32 episodes) (season 7)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8)| (Season 5)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was sponsored by the Edsel Division of the Ford Motor Company during its first season on the air. See more »


Soundtracks

Wagon Train Theme
Written by Sammy Fain and Jack Brooks
Performed by Johnny O'Neill
(Season 2 only)
See more »

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User Reviews

The "Gold" from the TV Western's Golden Age
18 October 2000 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the quintessential show from the Golden Age of TV westerns, this series ran from 1957 to 1965 and it had a simple but compelling format. Each week it told the story of one of the travelers on an 1870's "wagon train" making its way across the American West. This format thus combined the sweeping backdrop of an ever-changing frontier with the small, personal story of a single individual.

So popular did the show become that it attracted an impressive array of "guest stars" -- Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Rhonda Fleming, Barbara Stanwyck, Leslie Nielsen, Lee Marvin, etc.

The earlier shows in the series were probably the best since they featured Ward Bond as the leader of the wagon train and Robert Horton as his scout. Ward's death in 1960 and Horton's departure in 1962 weakened the series though it maintained a respectable level of production for several more years.

While the TV westerns that arose in the Eisenhower years are now nostalgically regarded as fine "family" entertainment, it's curious that they often showed their leading actors stripped half-naked and subjected to various forms of torture. "Wagon Train" was no exception. On the 1-15-1958 episode titled "The Gabe Carswell Story," for example, a bare-chested Robert Horton is staked out spreadeagle-style under the scorching sun and left to die by a villainous "half-breed." And in the 12-13-1961 episode titled "The Traitor," Horton is stripped to the waist, tied to a wagon wheel, and whipped across his bare back. In both cases the sado-masochistic nature of these sequences is emphasized rather than muted and the exposed muscularity of the actor is openly exploited.

While Ward Bond could never be replaced, many viewers looked kindly on his successor, John McIntire. Robert Fuller, however, never quite seemed adequate as Robert Horton's replacement.


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