is an American live-action western from the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The story is about Lucas McCain and his son, Mark McCain. Mark's mother and Lucas' wife was killed by bandits, breaking Lucas' heart forever and making him swear to always take care of Mark and those who can't defend themselves. Lucas wins enough money in a turkey shooting contest to buy a plot in New Mexico, but soon discovers that the town nearby is on the brink of falling apart due to crime. Lucas dedicates his time to protecting the town and looking to kill the fastest man in the West.Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
is the sci-fi analog
. The Rifleman
is also available completely and legally on Hulu
Tropes related to The Rifleman:
- The Alcoholic: Micah Torrance, who gets a second chance from Lucas.
- Bandito: A whole band of them appears in "The Vaqueros".
- Bears Are Bad News: The mountain man in "Day of the Hunter" is done in by a bear he didn't see coming because he was so focused on getting McCain to duel him.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Lucas for an episode where some gunpowder went off in front of him and temporarily blinded him. He still managed to use his rifle with amazing skill.
- Daddy Issues: Lil, though she and her father do rebuild the relationship.
- Easily Forgiven: Lucas gave lots of people second chances, but YMMV on how much they were deserved.
- Evil Twin: Lucas has one who comes back for an episode.
- Gun Twirling: Of the "twirl a lever-action gun to cock it" variety. Lucas' rifle was specially designed to allow this, and also could have a screw put through the lever so that it would hit the trigger every time he cycled the action.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Tune is preceded in opening credits by a rapid firing of 12 shots and the announcer calling out, "The Rifleman!"
- Handicapped Badass: One episode involved a blind man who could tell who someone was by their footsteps. He even (unknowingly) attacked and got the upper-hand in a fight with Lucas.
- Lucas himself became this for an episode where he was blinded. It helps that he was a badass before that happened.
- Heartbroken Badass: Lucas is so devastated by his wife's death that he never remarries, and her memory is often brought up.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: One episode had a brief conversation where Mark mentioned his genius idea for eliminating dishes . . . bread bowls.
- Historical-Domain Character: Samuel Clemens turns up in town in one episode. Mark can't stop squeeing.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lil
- Hunter Trapper: In the episode "Day of the Hunter", one of these tries to goad Lucas McCain into killing him in a showdown.
- Missing Mom: Mark's mother and Lucas' wife.
- The Neidermeyer: One episode had an Army Major was this to his troops and the civilians of North Fork. Fortunately, everyone in North Fork realized how insane his military command was, and his superiors got a message from Lucas McCain about his incompetence, recalling the Major back to headquarters. However, the Major spun the story, claiming that his superiors needed his command elsewhere, even leaving his Lieutenant with this message: "Lieutenant, remember, the key to command is a firm hand, discipline!"
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted with Mark, surprisingly for the day. He is 11 at the beginning of the series and 15 at the end, allowed to age naturally.
- Recycled In Space: Brandon Tartikoff originally pitched Deep Space Nine as "The Rifleman in space".
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Numerous characters in the show, both good and bad, carry Colt Peacemakers.
- Shirtless Scene: Lucas spends most of "The Vaqueros" without a shirt, and his hair all messed up. And it is awesome.
- Suicide by Cop: In "Day of the Hunter", a Hunter Trapper tries to goad Lucas into killing him a duel.
- The Load: Mark McCain. Somewhat justified since he's just a kid, but still. A good 80% of the conflicts are directly caused or made worse by him. And he's useless.
- Unorthodox Reload: The "flip-cock method" became the show's gimmick.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mark is sometimes guilty of this, particularly when chatting with strangers about his father.
- You Look Familiar: You constantly see the same actors coming back in different roles.