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Susan Saint James,
Lancer is the story of a rancher who struggles to hang onto his vast holdings in California's San Joaquin Valley with the help of his two sons and his ward. Scott, whose mother died in childbirth, is Murdoch Lancer's older son. He was raised by his maternal grandfather in Boston. Younger son Johnny was taken from his father by his Mexican mother when he was only around two. He grew up around the Mexican border and went by the name Johnny Madrid under which he earned a reputation as a fast gun. Deservedly so apparently as men from his past occasionally show up to cause problems for Johnny and his new found family. Teresa O'Brien, daughter of Murdoch's murdered ranch foreman is Murdoch's ward and a surrogate sister to the two boys. Written by
Lancer has been compared to Bonanza. But I did not find it to be anything like Bonanza. It definitely had its own style and the characters were varied and interesting in their personalities. Lancer was down to earth in its approach to each problem presented in the episodes. Each character was flawed in some way, which made them more interesting. There was humor in the show, but the show was not clownish. There was believable drama, not stereotypical scenarios that were boring and unsatisfying. The father let his sons be themselves and treated them with respect and dignity. The fact that they had not been together as a family for many years was a major factor in a much more interesting interaction between the characters. Each character, whether in a leading role or not, had his own unique style of presenting the role in a believable way. I especially enjoyed Paul Brinegar. It was very disappointing to me when the show went off the air and I am always looking for it to reappear on the channels which feature reruns of older shows.
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