In the pilot for this series, which originally aired as an episode of "Cheyenne", Marshal Frank Ragan, who has already given his resignation, comes to town to learn what happened to his friend Johnny Wilson. But it is apparent that everyone in the town wants him to stop investigating, especially town boss Ben Stark, who is willing to kill to keep him from finding out too much.
Deputies Stark and Porter return Davids, an escaped prisoner, to Ft. Mercy which is commanded by the tyrannical Capt. Ridgeway. When the other prisoners riot, Stark is taken hostage and subjected to a life-threatening ordeal.
A female mine owner drives her workers so hard that they finally walk out. Furious, she hires a band of vicious gunfighters to keep the miners under control. Marshal Ragan is called in to set matters straight.
Several years ago Marshal Ragan's wife was murdered, and he never caught the killer. Now he has--a man named Johnny Fox, who admits to Ragan that he was paid to kill her. Ragan is torn between his desire for vengeance for his wife's murder and his wanting to know who paid to have her killed and why.
A cavalry unit tells Deputy Stark that rancher Lloyd Mitchell has sold them spoiled food and some of the troops were poisoned, and demands that Stark turn Mitchell over to them. Stark suspects that not everything is as it seems, however, and begins to believe that the "cavalry" unit may not be quite what they appear to be, either.
A conflict is brewing in Eagle's Nest between farmers and cattlemen. The farmers bring in Judge Daniel Harvey to "enforce" the law, which outrages the cattlemen. Marshal Ragan, believing that the judge's methods will result in a range war, decides to look a bit deeper into the judge's past history.
While in the Badlands looking for a band that's been conducting raids, Ragan and the deputies join with a group of cavalry officers after the same men---a breakaway group led by one of their own captains. Soon the marshals begin to have doubts about the lieutenant in charge, and arguments over the use of the limited amount of water bring conflict.
A visiting German countess is tried and sentenced to death in Grand Forks for the murder of her husband. Marshal Ragan finds it odd that she refused to defend herself at the trial and decides to find out why, but he has to hurry--there's not much time left before her execution.
Deputies Stark and Porter are forced to kill a man in self-defense, but no one believes them. Marshal Ragan has to find the only witness to the shooting who can clear the two, otherwise they'll be hanged for murder.
Brothers Simon and George Deus decide to become wealthy entrepreneurs and go into business together. However, when Simon starts running farmers off their land so he can take it, George opposes him and trouble brews. Marshal Ragan tries to rally the farmers behind George and against Simon.
Deputies Del Stark and J.D. Smith are forced to shoot and kill the Barton brothers as they attempt to take over a church and hold the pastor hostage. A surviving Barton brother threatens to kill the preacher if Del and J.D. don't surrender themselves to him.