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Series / Dusty's Trail

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Dusty's Trail was a 1973-1974 series, starring Bob Denver and Forrest Tucker about a stagecoach and wagon lost from their train en route to California. Many have interpreted it as basically Gilligan's Island in the Old West, especially since the characters were all Expys of the castaways, and both shows were created by Sherwood Schwartz.

Ranked by What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History as the 59th worst event.

A number of the episodes are in the public domain. The original negatives to all episodes are currently owned by Disney through 20th Century Studios (successor to Metromedia Producers Corporation, which originally produced the series).


This show includes examples of:

  • Attending Your Own Funeral: This happened to Dusty in one episode.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead:
    • Lulu: Blonde
    • Betsy: Brunette
    • Mrs. Brookhaven: Redhead
  • The Boxing Episode: In "John J. Callahan", Callahan will win $500 in a boxing match if he can last 5 minutes against the Champ. But the Champ has kidnapped Mrs. Brookhaven.
  • Compilation Movie: The Wackiest Wagon Train in the West, which was merely Dusty's Trail composed of four separate TV episodes with four separate storylines, nowadays found on inexpensive public domain DVD's.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Apparently Mr. Callahan has one.
  • Damsel in Distress: Betsy, who was kidnapped no less than three times over the course of twenty-six episodes.
  • The Ditz
  • Everyone Meets Everyone
  • Expository Theme Song: "A stage and a wagon a headin' west; part of a wagon train lost from the rest."
  • Expy: As noted above, all the characters were the equivalent of a Gilligan's Island character:
    • Dusty: Gilligan
    • Mr. Callahan: The Skipper
    • Mr. Brookhaven: Mr. Howell
    • Mrs. Brookhaven: Mrs. Howell
    • Lulu: Ginger
    • Andy: The Professor
    • Betsy: Mary Ann
  • Ghost Town: When Dusty and the gang stumble upon an apparent ghost town in "Brookhaven, U.S.A", Mr. Brookhaven decides to rename it and turn it into a real town again.
  • Girl Next Door: Betsy.
  • Happily Married: The Brookhavens.
  • Hot Teacher: Betsy.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: It's said in the theme song "Dusty's the reason for their plight. Thanks to Dusty, nothing's right."
  • Killer Gorilla: In "Love Means Not Having to Say You're Bananas", a gorilla that has escaped from a traveling circus invades the camp and captures Betsy. Dusty, Andy, and Mr. Callahan try to think of some way to get her out of the cave the gorilla has put her in.
  • Laugh Track
  • The Millstone
  • Panty Shot: One episode sees the ladies spelling out "HELP" (one or two letters each) on their panties, trying to alert the authorities that they're being held hostage by outlaws.
  • Public Secret Message: Used in "Then There Were Seven." See Panty Shot.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Gilligan's Island in the Old West, with the wagon crew and passengers as Old West versions of the castaways.
  • Recycled Premise: What happens when you take Gilligan and the castaways and put them in a Wild West setting with a stagecoach, trying to find their way back to civilization?
  • Sobbin' Women: In "Here Come the Brides, There Go the Grooms", two hillbillies kidnap Dusty and Callahan to become husbands for their ugly sisters in a double-barreled shotgun wedding.
  • Superstition Episode: "Witch's Trail."
  • The Western: Parodied.


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