Series / Wagon Train

Incredibly successful Western series about a group of pioneers heading out west after The American Civil War. The show lasted for eight seasons (1957-62 on NBC, 1962-65 on ABC), thanks in part to the broad range of storylines that its Walking the Earth format provided. These days, however, it's more well-known for being the first two of those five famous words Gene Roddenberry used to pitch Star Trek: The Original Series.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adventure Towns
  • Actor Existence Failure: Series star Ward Bond unexpectedly died of a heart attack in 1961, necessitating a change to John McIntyre as the new lead. Interestingly, no episode actually deals with Maj. Adams' (Bond's character) leaving/retiring/dying, and so the next episode is McIntyre's character taking over from a tyrannical replacement played by Lee Marvin.
  • The Chief's Daughter: In "The Charles Avery Story," some soldiers are escorting a chief's daughter (played by Oscar-nominee Susan Kohner) back to her people with a peace treaty signed by the President. When they come under attack and their mission is threatened, Flint agrees to aid them.
  • Domestic Abuse: The title character of "The Emily Rossiter Story" (played by Oscar-winner Mercedes McCambridge) is married to an abusive man.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "The Mary Halstead Story," Tracey, leader of a gang of bandits, becomes obsessed with vengeance on Tommy Nichols for killing Earl, the previous leader of the gang. But when he finds him, Earl's mother, Mary Halstead, defends Tommy, saying her son would listen to her and spare him. Tracey figures Earl would want him to listen to Mary, so he does, and even guns down one of his own men who wanted to kill Tommy and Mary.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune
  • Red Baron: Earl "Laramie Kid" Halstead in "The Mary Halstead Story."
  • Syndication Title: Major Adams, Trailmaster (Bond episodes); Trailmaster (post-Bond episodes)
  • Tomboy: Judy Rossiter in "The Emily Rossiter Story" wears pants and is a pretty good shot with a rifle. She's a bit of an Action Girl, too, and shoots one of the bad guys dead in the climax.