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Following the Civil War, former Union soldier William Colton rides through the West trying to find himself and helping out people with their problems along the way.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Superb Serlinguesque TV Western series from 1965 with the uncanny feel of independent film
In its own modest way, the single best television series Lloyd Bridges ever helmed. Though it only lasted 26 half-hour episodes in the mid-1960s, this rumination on the psychological and moral readjustments anguishing former Union soldier William Colton (Bridges) as he returns to the trail of a loner in post-Civil War America, had a freeform, experimental texture unlike any television western of its day -- most likely due to the significant contribution made to its teleplays by Rod Serling. Great direction and dialogue, too. The premiere episode, "An Echo of Bugles, " featuring an unforgettably poignant performance by a virtually unrecognizable Whit Bissell as "weak-as-a-kitten" former Confederate POW "Ab Nichols", sets the tone for this meditation on the lingering schizophrenia of divided loyalties that plagued our post-Lincolnian land as Grant assumed its presidency. A revelation to be rediscovered -- best writing of any TV Western I ever encountered. Truly a Western with an adult sensibility, obviously created as a centennial reflection on the aftermath of the War Between the States as seen through the eyes of the quintessential American cowboy archetype of the "loner". Serling will never be duplicated and, boy, is he missed! Haunting and haunted.
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