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Series / Here Come the Brides

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Clockwise from top: David Soul as Joshua Bolt, Robert Brown as Jason Bolt, Bobby Sherman as Jeremy Bolt,
and Bridget Hanley as Candy Pruitt.

Here Come the Brides is an American Western series that aired for two seasons (1968–70) on ABC.

In the small frontier town of Seattle, lonely lumberjacks threaten to leave the area due to the lack of women. To save his business, logging company boss Jason Bolt (Robert Brown) promises to bring 100 marriageable women to the town and get them to stay for a year. Sawmill owner Aaron Stempel (Mark Lenard) pays for the women's journey as a wager: if the women leave Seattle within the year, Stempel wins Bridal Veil Mountain, home of the Bolt logging company. Jason and his brothers Joshua (David Soul) and Jeremy (Bobby Sherman) recruit the women from Massachusetts and work to keep them in Seattle, despite Stempel's efforts to sabotage the deal.

Here Come the Brides contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Family: Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy, and their deceased father Jonathan.
  • Amoral Attorney: "Loggerheads" has a pair of slimy lawyers who are secretly brothers. They travel around starting lawsuits, making out wills, and collecting bad debts while hiding the fact that they're working together.
  • Anchored Ship: Jeremy and Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley) have been in love since the pilot, but they can't get married for fear that viewers would think Bobby Sherman was also married and lose interest in him. Jeremy tries to propose to Candy a few times, but something always happens to get between them.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: In "Candy and the Kid," Lottie says, "Taking all the men out of town and away for half the night is hardly law enforcement and if it is, I'm Goldilocks."
  • And Starring: Starring Robert Brown, co-starring Bobby Sherman, David Soul, Bridget Hanley, Mark Lenard, and Joan Blondell as Lottie.
  • Awful Wedded Life: When Joshua asks a woman in the pilot if she wants to get married, she says, "I am married, and I hate men."
  • Baddie Flattery: In "Candy and the Kid," Candy is kidnapped by an outlaw who wants to marry her. When Candy tells him, "Richard, we're not married. And we never will be. So you just stop talking nonsense," he says, "You know, you're feisty. I like that in a woman. To a point."
  • Bat Scare: In "The Soldier," Jeremy is startled by some bats while searching for a grizzly bear in a cave.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Clancey is mauled by a grizzly bear while drunkenly stumbling home from his birthday party in "The Soldier."
  • Big Brother Instinct: In the pilot, a sailor mocks Jeremy by mimicking his stutter. Joshua grabs the sailor by the collar and says, "Next time I catch you making fun of him stuttering, I'll tear you apart!"
  • Blind Date: In "A Jew named Sullivan," the women find out that one of them is Jewish, so they try to set her up with the only Jewish man in town.
  • Busman's Holiday: In "Mr. & Mrs. J. Bolt," the brothers are taking a break from work in a cabin in the woods, but Jason keeps the other two so busy with wood-cutting and repairs that they feel like they're still at the logging camp.
  • Casino Episode: "A Hard Card to Play," in which a professional gambler and his wife come to Seattle. The town charter forbids gambling, so the two set up shop on Captain Clancey's ship, and all the loggers come to gamble. Clancey ends up betting the ship and losing, and the Bolts have to put themselves even deeper in debt to Stempel to borrow the money to win it back. It turns out Stempel invited the gamblers to Seattle as part of a ploy to win the mountain. Joshua manages to win enough at poker to pay off their new debt to Stempel.
  • Cast Incest: "Next Week, East Lynne" contains an in-universe example. When Jason stars in a production of Hamlet, the actress playing Gertrude relentlessly hits on him between scenes.
    Lockhart: Eleanor, dear, don't forget you're playing Mr. Winthrop's mother.
    Eleanor: Don't worry, Lockhart. I plan to mother him to death.
  • Catapult Nightmare: In "The Soldier," Candy sits upright screaming from a nightmare, although she won't tell what it was about.
  • Cement Shoes: In "The Crimpers," the titular kidnappers plan to kill Jason and Stempel by tying bags of rocks to their feet and throwing them off a ship.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Christmas Place," in which a woman gives birth to a son on Christmas Day. Two young girls think that the baby will be killed on Easter, like Jesus, so they kidnap the baby, planning to smuggle him to San Francisco, where no one will know he's a Christmas baby.
  • Circuit Judge: William Zuckert appears in a few episodes as Judge Young or Judge Weems.
  • Clear My Name: In "The Firemaker," a series of fires start breaking out near Seattle, and the prime suspect is a logger who was accused of arson when he lived in Olympia. It turns out the fires were actually started by his romantic rival, who had been promised a promotion by Stempel if he could get married within the week.
  • Clothing Damage: Jeremy's shirt gets ripped to shreds in "The Soldier."
  • Cock Fight: In "A Man's Errand," Jeremy punches Ward, who he thinks was moving in on Candy. The two fight until they crash into Lottie's saloon, when Joshua and Jason separate them.
  • Commonality Connection: Jeremy and Candy bond over the fact that he stutters and she bites her nails.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: In "His Sister's Keeper," Stempel's younger sister Julie comes to visit Seattle and starts dating Jason just to piss off her brother.
  • Death by Childbirth:
    • A dog dies this way shortly after the women arrive. This causes them to worry that the same thing will happen to them, so Jason travels to San Francisco to find a doctor.
    • The two girls from "A Christmas Place" lost their mother and their baby brother this way a year before the episode takes place.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: A band plays the theme song, "Seattle," in the pilot and later in "The Stand-Off."
  • Dramatic Slip:
    • In "A Crying Need," Jeremy clears a log jam with dynamite, but trips as he's running away. He makes it far enough that he only gets a concussion.
    • In "The Soldier," Jeremy falls repeatedly because of the shackles on his legs while he's being hunted by Sgt. Todd.
  • The Drunken Sailor: Recurring character Captain Clancey, who transported the women to Seattle.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: When Jason is interrogating the crimpers about his brothers' whereabouts, he says, "Either you tell me with your teeth, or without."
  • Facepalm: Clancey does this in "The Legend of Bigfoot" when he tries to fire a small cannon at Bigfoot but hits Lottie's saloon instead.
  • Fake Cutie: Ada Moon from "Next Week, East Lynne" is an actress who appears to be somewhere in her twenties, but claims to be thirteen. She acts like a caricature of a young girl, speaking in a falsetto and behaving in an aggressively perky manner. Most of the townspeople instantly fall for her act.
  • Feud Episode: In "Loggerheads," Joshua comes up with a profit-sharing idea. Jason won't agree to try it, so he and Joshua argue until Josh leaves to found his own logging camp.
  • A Fool for a Client: Jason in "Loggerheads", although he's only stalling for time until Joshua finds the lawyer they want.
    Judge Weems: Mr. Bolt, do you know what they say about a man who represents himself?
    Jason: Yes sir, that he has a fool for a client. Though I've also heard it said, sir, that the good Lord protects fools.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In "The Legend of Bigfoot," the women prepare to defend themselves from Bigfoot with frying pans. Clancey runs into the dormitory at the wrong moment and gets beaten up.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In "One Good Lie Deserves Another," Lottie tries to throw a bottle at her slimy ex, but he holds up a bag to protect himself.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In "The Soldier," Jeremy tracks down Sgt. Todd to try to make amends for the death of his bear. Todd holds him at gunpoint, shackles his ankles, gives him a five-minute head start, and then tracks him down, planning to shoot him the same way Jeremy shot his bear.
  • Impairment Shot: After Jeremy drinks drugged whiskey in "The Crimpers," shots from his perspective are blurry.
  • Karma Houdini: The girls from "A Christmas Place" cause the town an enormous amount of grief and heartache, with even Jason wondering if the baby's disappearance is a sign to give up on Seattle, and Stempel urging calm despite his stake in seeing the protagonists fail. Yet for all of this, there is no scene or mention of their being punished or chastised or even corrected on their unique interpretation of the Gospels. When the epilogue comes, the girls are standing smiling by the baby's crib, and the mother even asks them to teach her husband how to change a diaper.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: In "The Stand Off," Stempel buys a large plot of land that includes a road the loggers regularly use, complete with hired goons to beat up trespassers. The men keep trying to sneak through the area, and keep getting themselves beaten up. After a few days the women get sick of seeing them injured, so they agree to withhold all affection, from sex to hand-holding.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In "The Crimpers," Jason and Stempel chase down two of the kidnappers, interrogate them, then take their coats so they can get into their lair.
  • The Mutiny: The women briefly mutiny early in the voyage because they didn't realize they would be stuck on a mule ship for six months. The Bolts talk them out of it.
  • No-Sell: In "The Stand Off," the hired goon Ox agrees to let Jason strike the first blow. Jason punches him in the stomach, but Ox barely reacts. Cue Oh, Crap! from Jason as he realizes what's about to happen.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • In "A Man's Errand," Candy is crying over Jason's controlling behavior. Ward, a new man in town, leans to wipe the tears from her face. Jeremy wanders into the area, and from his angle, it looks like they're kissing.
    • In "Marriage, Chinese Style," a girl who is convinced she's going to marry Jeremy walks in on him while he's shirtless; when he tells her to leave him alone, she starts crying, and he hugs her. Candy and Biddie walk in on them at that moment.
    Candy: Well, I never.
    Biddie: Ooh. None of us has.
    • In "His Sister's Keeper," Julie Stempel falls into a pond while on a date with Jason and goes behind a bush to dry her clothes. A raccoon scares her, and she runs out in her shift. Aaron is spying on their date with binoculars and rushes down the hill to intervene.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Big Swede's real name, Olaf Gustavson, is rarely used by anyone except Miss Essie.
  • Only One Name: Former slave Ox from "The Stand Off."
    Jason: I didn't catch your name.
    Ox: Ox.
    Jason: Ox. Is that like Joe Ox, or Ox Jones, or-
    Ox: It's like Ox. Just Ox.
  • Operation: Jealousy: After Big Swede and his girlfriend Miss Essie have an argument in "Lovers and Wanderers," Big Swede tries to win her back by flirting with some of the brides. His plan backfires, and Miss Essie stops talking to him. Heartbroken, Big Swede leaves town, and Miss Essie starts flirting with Jason in the hopes of making Big Swede jealous when he returns. This backfires even worse - the other lumberjacks think Jason fired Big Swede to steal his woman, and they all protest by going on strike.
  • Pants-Free: In "A Dream That Glitters," Jeremy is so nervous about meeting Candy's grandfather that he forgets to put on pants and almost walks out the door in his underwear before Joshua points it out.
  • Press-Ganged: In "The Crimpers," Jeremy is kidnapped by men who plan to sell him into service as a sailor. Joshua tries to rescue him and is kidnapped too.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In "The Soldier," Jeremy shoots a bear that he thinks mauled Clancey, but that turns out to be a tame bear used as a regimental mascot. He tries to make amends by buying a baby bear for Sgt. Todd, whose military career was ruined by the mascot's death.
  • Rewritten Pop Version: The "Seattle" theme song was recorded by crooner Perry Como, who had a minor hit with it in 1969.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Bigfoot turns out to be a mute Indian in a costume and a white man with a footprint maker.
  • Self-Offense: In "The Crimpers," Joshua and Jeremy get into a fight in the dark with Jason and Stempel, with each pair thinking the others are kidnappers.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The kidnappers from "The Crimpers" pour something into Jeremy's drink that makes him feel woozy. He staggers out of the saloon to get some air, and they grab him as he passes out.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: A traveling salesman named Merlin comes to Seattle in "A Man and His Magic." He tricks the townspeople into thinking that he stopped the rain and prevented a flood, then swindles them out of their money by selling things like lust-inducing perfume and Elixir Vitae. He flees town as soon as it starts raining again.
  • Soft Glass: In "Hosanna's Way," Jeremy shatters a skylight by tapping it with his knuckles.
  • Speech Impediment: Jeremy's stutter.
  • Stutter Stop: Merlin from "A Man and His Magic" is able to cure Jeremy's stutter because Jeremy believes in his powers more than anyone else. When Merlin is exposed as a fraud, Jeremy's faith is shattered, and his stutter returns in full force.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: In "Loggerheads," Joshua is angry that Jason isn't taking his ideas seriously and starts giving the other lumberjacks instructions without Jason's knowledge. Jason says, "If you were an employee of mine, and you did what you did last night and this morning, I'd fire you." Joshua snaps, "I'll save you the trouble. I quit!" and storms off.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The brothers do this after making plans in some episodes.
  • The Teaser: The show started using these in the second season.
  • Teen Idol: All three of the brothers, although Robert Brown was way up at the top end of the teen idol age range. Most teenage girls were enamored of Bobby Sherman, but some preferred David Soul (which turned out to be a wise choice). Bridget Hanley was the show's female teen idol.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: "Seattle", about "find(ing) your own true love" in the titular city.
  • Through His Stomach: One woman woos one of the lumberjacks by describing all the dishes she knows how to make.
  • Title Drop: After Jason says grace aboard the ship, he says, "Gangway, Lord, here come the brides!"
  • Title Theme Drop: "Seattle" is occasionally worked into the soundtrack.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Stempel in the second season. By then, it is becoming obvious that the women are there to stay and thus Stempel essentially concedes that he lost the bet and so eases off on the antagonism.
  • Unconventional Courtroom Tactics: In "Loggerheads," Jason, representing himself against Aaron Stempel, stalls for time by reading from a book of poetry. Judge Weems allows it as long as he sticks to American poetry, but finally tells him to stop when he tries to read from Richard II.
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: The kidnappers in "The Crimpers" abduct Joshua and Jeremy in a horse-drawn wagon.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: In "After a Dream, Comes Mourning," Biddie interviews Clancey about the events of the days after the brides arrived in Seattle. Clancey describes how the men had forgotten to prepare housing for the women and had to build a dormitory in a few days.
  • You Killed My Father: "Hosanna's Way" has an Apache boy whose family was killed by a Hunter Trapper for stealing food. When Hosanna sees the killer selling the trinkets he stole at Ben's general store, he grabs a knife and stabs him in the back, almost killing him.