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Daniel Boone leads a party of settlers into Kentucky to find the town of Boonesborough. Along the way, he meets and falls in love with a lovely, red-haired servant named Rebecca and must vie with the gambler, Jim Santee for her affection.
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According to an interview with Veronica Cartwright, she left the series because the producers wanted to have her character of Jemima Boone involved in more mature situations, such as budding romantic relationships. Patricia Blair did not like this because it made her feel too old, so she threatened to leave the series if Cartwright was not let go from the series. See more »
The 165 one-hour episodes (45 in B&W, 120 in color) of the frontier western "Daniel Boone" originally aired on NBC from 1964-1970. This was an extremely popular baby boomer show that may seem a little odd today due to an uncharacteristic emphasis on racial/ethnic diversity (insert Ed Ames as Mingo and NFL lineman Rosey Grier as Gabe Cooper). But the times were a-changing as the country tried to turn itself into LBJ's "Great Society" and network executives smelled an opportunity to cash in on the baby boomer's budding social awareness.
The series moved between a domestic focus on Boone's family (Patricia Blair as wife Rebecca, Veronica Cartwright as daughter Jemima, and Darby Hinton as his son Israel) to "one-with-the-wilderness"/"the British are evil" themes. The series focused on Boone after he had moved to Kentucky.
Daniel was played by Fess Parker who already had an established coonskin cap franchise from his mid-1950's Disney TV portrayal of Davy Crockett. Boone is played as an even tempered peaceful man who likes to chum around in the woods with Oxford educated Indians and runaway black slaves (see above), your basic 1770's flower child. Other than his confrontations with "the man" (represented by those nasty Redcoats) there is very little messy violence and lots of "Little House on the Prairie" moments.
Cartwright, the most talented of the ensemble, is frustratingly underutilized. Particularly given that the most celebrated event in the real Daniel Boone's life was the rescue of his daughter and her two friends from Indian kidnappers.
Cartwright bailed out after season two, Ames after season four, and Blair after season five. Budding sausage king Jimmy Dean was added as Josh Clements, a character in the tradition Chester and Festus from "Gunsmoke".
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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