While returning to the ranch with a horse he just purchased, Heath becomes side tracked and ends up taking home a baby after the mother dies. The father, an outlaw, eventually heads for the Barkley's...
The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Colonel MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »
Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (five-card draw) is ... See full summary »
Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts, and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »
Victoria Barkley heads her adult brood on the Barkley Ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley, near Stockton, in the 1870s. Heath is the illegitimate son of Victoria's husband, Tom (who is dead at the time of the series). Bank robbers, horse thieves, revolutionaries, and land grabbers keep the Barkleys hopping.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The exterior shot of the Barkley house shown in the opening theme was the same house exterior used for Tara in Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »
The majority of the women on the series had their set using hairspray as well using techniques that were not available in 1870s America. In fact hairspray was not invented until WWII and only came into regular use in the post-war years. See more »
Throughout the series, Lee Majors was always introduced as Heath in the credits, no last name. This was because, even though he was accepted as a member of the family, there was always the question of whether he was a true Barkley or not. See more »
It's hard to believe that a mid-1960's western could be the favorite TV show of a preteen boy in the 1970's but it's true. This was in reruns at 4:00pm daily and I could not WAIT to get home and see it. My sister felt the same way. I know, based on www pages out there, that I am not alone in my love for "The Big Valley", but I have to admit that it's a strange thing to be addicted to. There's something about the camera-ready cast, the quality of the stories and guest stars, the majestic opening theme and background music in the episodes and the overall aura of "The Barkleys" that is just irresistible to me. The series was just one of many, many TV westerns, but what sets this apart is the female slant and the striking use of color. Was there ever a bluer shirt than Victoria Barkley's? Hair more golden than Audra's? Leather more black than Nick's? Watching reruns of "Gunsmoke" and "Bonanza", they really look like dusty, brown, more authentic (especially with "Gunsmoke") presentations. "BV" started out that way, but soon progressed into an almost surreal blend of authentic locales mixed with '60's styles and colors. How else to describe Lee Majors' sideburns, the clean lines of the womens' riding gear or the ladies' false eyelashes? But I wouldn't change any of it for the world. The Barkleys' world is a world I'd want to live in. Everything is beautiful and they stand for truth, justice and the American way! They are defenders of right and will suffer to preserve integrity. (Kinda like The Super Friends, but with less wacky costumes...) The blend of types in the show is expert. You have scholarly, level-headed Jarrod, tough, explosive Nick, sensitive, handsome Heath, thoughtful, gloriously beautiful Audra and stern, fair, in charge Victoria (...oh, and then some poor kid who was let go right off the bat and never heard from again. That's the breaks, Eugene!) Together, in any combination, or separate, they are a captivating lot. Certain images burn the memory......Victoria cocking her rifle and ordering outlaws away, her croaking Audra's name when the girl has stumbled into trouble, Heath anytime he removed his shirt, Nick raging through the front door, Audra's black riding hat with chin string sitting atop her mane of the most beautiful hair in Hollywood...... Some of the stories were rehashes of other previous works (including Stanwyck's own movies! See "Jeopardy" some time!), but most of the time they were compelling and always they were filmed with skill and class. This is one of the best TV shows ever made.
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