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1 item from 2011

Your next box set: The Virginian

22 April 2011 2:44 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

This TV western looks great, has marvellous guest appearances and is unashamedly literate – and the complete series one has 30 episodes

The Virginian is only the third longest-running TV western, behind Bonanza and Gunsmoke, but it's a small mountain of TV: nine years and 249 episodes.

James Drury starred throughout, playing the man known only as The Virginian, and whose eyebrows are for ever drawn up in an expression of pained exasperation, as if everyone around him is a big disappointment.

The set-up is based on the 1902 Owen Wister novel of the same name: The Virginian is the taciturn, vaguely mysterious foreman of Shiloh ranch – just outside Medicine Bow, Wyoming – keeping order on behalf of its owner, Judge Garth (Lee J Cobb). The only other character to stick out the entire run is square-jawed ranch hand Trampas, played by Doug McClure.

The Virginian looks great – it was filmed in lush colour in wild California hills. »

- Tim Dowling

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