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|Index||12 reviews in total|
This is a excellent western. I grew up watching it and I still love to watch it. James Stacy is my favorite actor and his portrayal of Johnny Lancer was really good. Any one who likes westerns should enjoy this show too!!! This program did not last long enough in my opinion. If anyone gets a chance to see this western on the western channel or TV land if it is ever offered again should do so. I believe that all western fans will enjoy this program. If you want to find a place to buy this old TV series check out Classic Video LLC on the internet. That is where I am purchasing mine at. Check out this great program. All the characters on the show are good, but the character of Johnny Lancer portrayed by James Stacy is the best.
Widower Murdoch needs his sons to return home to help him protect the ranch - but he needs detectives to find them! Scott, the elder, is a city boy brought up by his maternal grandpa in refined Boston following the death of his mother in childbirth. Johnny is a gunfighter south of the border, the result of a liaison with a Mexican beauty who hid her son from his father. What will lure them to a different life of cattle ranching in the west? How will these different men get on together? Throw into the mix a pretty young ward and a host of guest appearances and the outcome is a sensational TV western series with great scripts, strong performances and superb plot lines that truly shape out character as well as move the story along.
This was a great show that unfortunately wasn't provided the budget that it deserved to stay on the air. Wayne Maunder and James Stacy had the type of chemistry that made you feel as if they really were brothers. Andrew Duggan played an excellent Murdoch Lancer. Oh, how I loved to hate him.!!!! Loved watching this show with my sister. Wayne Maunder was my favorite as Scott!!!
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.
"Lancer" was one of the most excellent western-adventure series to come
out of the late 1960's. This was a great show that unfortunately wasn't
provided the budget that it deserved to stay on the air,due to the
powers to be over at CBS. This was a western that was compared to
"Bonanza" and "The High Chapparral",but it offer a lot more. Produced
by Alan A. Armer("The Fugitive","The Untouchables",and "The
Invaders"),under the executive in charge of production William Self for
20th Century-Fox Television and Kent Productions,this was a series that
ran for two seasons on CBS-TV,producing 51 episodes all in color that
was on the air for September 24,1968 until May 19,1970.
"Lancer" was an impressive series with great writing and direction along with stunning photography not to mention exciting western action and adventure. "Lancer" was about a man Murdoch Lancer(played by Andrew Duggan,who was a less wholly admirable patriarch than Lorne Greene's Ben Cartwright of Bonanza),who emigrated from Scotland in the mid-1800's,owns and operates a 100,000 acre ranch where he raises cattle and horses. When land pirates kill his foreman and seriously wounded him,he sends for his two sons whom he hasn't seen in years. Scott Lancer(played by Wayne Maunder),was the educated older son and was a veteran of the Union Army(who served in a cavalry unit during the war and rose to the rank of Lieutenant while serving under General Phil Sheridan). The youngest son Johnny Lancer(James Stacy)was a half-hispanic gunslinger who was also known as Johnny Madrid. Johnny's mother was Murdoch's second wife-a Mexican woman named Maria. Johnny,unlike Scott,was born at Lancer and spent approximately the first two years of his life there. For reasons known only to herself Maria deserted her husband and left Lancer with Johnny in the company of strangers,according to Murdoch's ward,Teresa O'Brien(Elizabeth Baur). The brothers knew nothing about each other's existence until they are "introduced" to each other by Teresa when they arrive on the same stage in Morro Coyo. After a rough start the boys,along with their father Murdoch and Teresa eventually become a close-kint family and share the trials and tribulations of cattle ranching and the occasional visitor from the past-either Johnny's past as a gunfighter,or Scott's past as a soldier or scion of Boston society or Murdoch's own past.
This series was compared to "Bonanza",but was a lot more. It was more down to earth in its approach to solving each problem in some of the episodes. It was brilliant western drama at its finest. The father let his sons be themselves and treated them with dignity and respect. And it shows in some of the episodes,with some of the best writing in a western drama ever presented. Also on board this series was Paul Brinegar,formerly the cook Wishbone on another CBS-TV western series "Rawhide",also appeared as Jelly Hoskins,a series regular.
The guest star roster included on this series were Joe Don Baker,Ellen Corby,Dub Taylor,Jack Elam,Sam Elliott,Bruce Dern,along with actor/director Ron Howard(as Ronnie Howard from the Andy Griffith Show),Cloris Leachman,Scott Marlowe,Stefanie Powers(The Girl From U.N.C.L.E),Frank McHugh,along with Lloyd Haynes(Room 222),Vic Tayback(Griff and later on for Alice),and Manuel Padilla,Jr.(aka Jai from the TV-series Tarzan).
Don't miss the best episodes from this series from season one:(the 1968-69 season)"The Pilot Episode:The High Riders","Death Bait","Glory","Yesterday's Vendetta","The Measure of a Man",and "The Devil's Blessing".
Also the best episodes from its second and final season:(the 1969-70 season)"Blind Man's Buff","Legacy","Cut The Wolf Loose","Shadow of a Dead Man","Blue Skies for Willie Sharpe","The Lion and the Lamb","The Rivals",and the final episode of the series "Lifeline". After CBS canceled this series in the Spring of 1970,the network repeated all 51 episodes in the summer of 1971 as a replacement. The summer replacement was for the variety-series "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" which the western "Lancer" replaced.
Lancer is about a man, Murodoch Lancer, who emigrated from Scotland in
the mid-1800s, who lives on a 100,000 acre ranch where he raises cattle
When land pirates kill his foreman and seriously wound him he sends for his two sons whom he has not seen in many years.
Scott,portrayed by Wayne Maunder,is somewhere around 25, and living in Boston where he was raised by his maternal grandfather after the older man took him east when his mother died either from a fever or from childbirth. Scott served in a cavalry unit during the war and rose to the rank of Lieutenant while serving under General Phil Sheridan.
Johnny, portrayed by James Stacy, is a few years younger. Known as Johnny Madrid in certain parts of the country, Johnny's mother was Murdoch's second wife - a Mexican woman named Maria. Johnny, unlike Scott, was born at Lancer and spent approximately the first two years of his life there. For reasons known only to herself Maria deserted her husband and left Lancer with Johnny in the company of "some sort of gambler" according to Murdoch's ward, Teresa O'Brien. Johnny is saved from a firing squad by the Pinkerton agent hired to find him.
The brothers know nothing about each other's existence until they are "introduced" to each other by Teresa when they arrive on the same stage in Morro Coyo - a usually sleepy little village near the ranch.
After a rough start the boys, Murdoch and Teresa eventually become a close-knit family and share the trials and tribulations of cattle ranching and the occasional visitor from the past - be it Johnny's past as a gunfighter, Scott's past as a soldier or scion of Boston society or, occasionally, Murdoch's own past.
It is similar to, but definitely not a clone of, Bonanza. For one thing we have no idea if Murdoch is still married to Maria or if she is dead. Johnny doesn't talk about his mother much outside of the pilot episode and Cut The Wolf Loose.
This was one of my favorite shows of the 60's. I especially liked James Stacy's portrayal of Johnny Lancer. He was a very fine actor. The show was much more realistic than some of the TV westerns such as Bonanza. Had a good cast and the location shots were great. Would love to see it back on reruns. Many of the story lines focused on the conflict between the father, Murdoch Lancer, and his sons, Scott and Johnny. But the best shows featured the character of Johnny, as portrayed by James Stacy. Unlike some other TV westerns which also took place on ranches, this show actually was a realistic portrayal of everyday life on a ranch. You actually saw cattle, which I don't recall ever seeing on Bonanza. If you get a chance to see this show on cable, don't miss it.
I loved watching this show as a teenager and I've watched a few episodes in the past few years that would come on late at night. I really loved the character of Johnny Lancer/Madrid, played by James Stacy. He was very cute! The show had good story lines and each episode was stand alone. All the characters in the show were very believable and seemed to work together real good. Lancer was one of the better westerns on at that time. I wish we had better writers now that could come up with as good a show! If you haven't seen this show and get a chance to watch it you won't be disappointed if you're a fan of westerns.
I grew up watching this great western as well. It was the best of all the westerns on TV when compared to Bonanza, High Chapparral, Laredo, Big Valley, etc. And I used to watch them all! I just loved the two brothers and their love/hate relationship. The wholesome family environment in the midst of the turbulence of that time era. It is a shame that we cannot have this type of wholesome programming back on the television. Nothing we have today can compare to the shows that were released in the late 1960's. I have looked for it to appear on channels such as TV Land and have not been able to locate it. I plan on looking to see where I can purchase these if they are on DVD as well. Thanks for the information! This is a great site.
What about 'Lancer' was not to love, especially for prepubescent
elementary school girls? It was a story about a ranch and featured a
grumpy patriarch, a cute female 'ward' and two gorgeous,
non-threatening young men, one dark, one fair.
Johnny, the son of a Mexican serving-wench, was my favorite.
My friends and I were so crazy about 'Lancer' it was a frequent subject of our conversations for most of the week, and the ONLY topic of conversation on Tuesdays (anticipation of that night's episode) and Wednesdays (the aftermath.) Fancying myself a writer even back then, I would write stories about 'Lancer,' the first of which introduced my pals and I as new 'wards' of the Lancer family. My friend Penny, the artist, illustrated the stories. We made probably the first and only 'Lancer' graphic novel. I'd give anything to have those stories back..... It's nice to visit this page and discover that 'The Lancer-ettes' and I were not the show's only fans.
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