Wanted: Dead or Alive is an American Western television series starring Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall. It aired on CBS for three seasons from 1958-1961. The black-and-white program was a spin-off of a March 1958 episode of Trackdown, a 1957-1959 western series featuring Robert Culp as a Texas Ranger named Hoby Gilman.McQueen's character of Josh Randall is a Confederate veteran and bounty hunter with a soft heart. He often donates his earnings to the needy and helps his prisoners if they have been wrongly accused. Randall carries a shortened Winchester Model 1892 carbine, called the "Mare's Leg", in a holster patterned after "gunslinger" rigs then popular in movies and television.The 1987 film of the same title is a Setting Update of sorts starring Rutger Hauer as Randall's great-grandson, who is also a bounty hunter.
The series contains examples of:
- Always Gets His Man
- Bounty Hunter
- Dating Catwoman: In "Journey for Josh," Randall is transporting a female bank robber while keeping an eye out for her male partner. They eventually fall in love. The episode manages to work in Fourth Date Marriage (as it seems Randall decides to spend the rest of his life with her) and Cartwright Curse, as her partner kills her and is then killed by Josh. And they only had half an hour to squeeze all that in!
- The Drifter
- Hand Cannon: the "Mare's Leg" in .44-40, despite the .45-70 cartridges on Randall's belt.
- Hanging Judge: "Miracle at Pot Hole."
- Lysistrata Gambit: "To the Victor."
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Sawn-off repeating rifle actually.
- Unorthodox Reload: Josh would frequently flip-cock his "Mare's Leg".