"That was the Arizona territory in 1880, and I was its chief marshal." So began this western series starring Henry Fonda as Simon Fry. Unfortunately, Fonda's character was fully integrated ... See full summary »
"That was the Arizona territory in 1880, and I was its chief marshal." So began this western series starring Henry Fonda as Simon Fry. Unfortunately, Fonda's character was fully integrated into the plot in only six of the episodes of the first season and thirteen in season two. In all other episodes he appeared only briefly, generally at the start of the episode and again at the close. Fonda did narrate most episodes. Fonda worked for ten weeks on season one, for example, shooting all of his scenes during that time, which left the rest of the year free for film and theater work. While Allen Case tried hard as the title character, Clay McCord, the series is well- known for the substantial differences in quality between what the series producers (and Fonda himself) came to call the "Fonda" and "Non- Fonda" episodes. Written by
Henry Fonda's first television series was this western, set in the Arizona territory in 1880 (as Fonda's character often said during an opening narration on many episodes.) Fonda's sequences were shot all at once each season so that he would be free the rest of the year to pursue film and theater work. See more »
The Deputy had a fatal gimmick to start with when it debuted on television in 1959. It's star was to be movie legend Henry Fonda who played a US Marshal. But note the title of the series, the one who carried the show for the most part was his deputy in one particular town in his jurisdiction, Allen Case.
Case was a storekeeper in the town so the deputy's job was a part-time gig. He was not a violent man, only resorting to firearms when he absolutely had to. For action fans this was a big no no.
But in plain fact it was Fonda's name that lured viewers to the show and he only appeared in maybe a third of the episodes and in some only brief appearances. So people tuned in for Fonda and didn't get him.
This was a busy period in Henry Fonda's life, he was working in three different mediums, stage, screen, and television. My guess is that he didn't have the time to devote to a weekly television series and opted for this format. After two seasons The Deputy was canceled.
It was an average television western, but the next time Fonda did a regular TV series it was as a full time star.
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