Agent Jim Hardie shifts over its history from being mostly an Agent helping Wells Fargo cope with bad guys, to being the owner of a ranch near San Francisco, California, who still does some... See full summary »
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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
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AMONG THE MOST popular subjects to center a Western on has long been stories of the highly storied Texas Rangers, incidentally, who were the first State Police department in the Country. We can and will name several series that find their roots in the organization.
STARTING WITH THE most fundamental and ancestral to all is THE LONE RANGER; which started out with the cold blooded massacre of a troop of Rangers. The sole survivor becomes the one who dons the mask. TALES OF THE Texas RANGERS, like the previously mentioned series was a kiddie show its origin on the radio also. We even have WALKER, Texas RANGER in more recent times.
SO, SOMEWHERE IN the middle, circa 1957-59, we were presented with, for our approval, TRACKDOWN. It starred a young Robert Culp as Ranger Hoby Gillman. He was sullen, humorless and all business. Mr. Culp played him that way to a tee, creating for us the impression that this was his own true personality.
THE SERIES' OPENING sported the Flag of the Texas Rangers vigorously blowing across our smallish, B & W TV screens. It was accompanied with opening theme, which we have long since forgotten. We do seem to recall that there was an announcer doing opening voice over.
EACH AND EVERY week, Ranger Gillman was out somewhere in solo force, looking for those who were wanted for previous High Misdemeanors and Felonies. In short, the Ranger was serving Arrest Warrants. HJe served many and did it far and wide.
OF PARTICULAR INTEREST is one episode which co-featured a Bounty Hunter, who struck an alliance with Hoby. This Boiunty Hunter was Josh Randall, portrayed by Steve McQueen. This is the most significant episode in the series; for it served as the Pilot for McQueen's starring in WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE.
NOW SCHULTZ, DON'T them network execs move in mysterious ways?
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