The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (TV series)

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters is an American Western television series based on Robert Lewis Taylor's 1958 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, and starring Kurt Russell, Dan O'Herlihy and (in the final 13 episodes) Charles Bronson. The series aired on ABC for one season, 1963–64, and was produced by MGM Television.[1]

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Executive producerBoris Sagal
  • Don Ingalls
  • Boris Ingster
  • Robert Sparks
  • Robert E. Thompson
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time48 minutes
Production companyMGM Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 29, 1963 (1963-09-29) –
March 15, 1964 (1964-03-15)
Guns of Diablo (film)
Charles Bronson as Linc Murdock



The series was aimed at teenaged boys and young families. It was known for the breakthrough performances of the 12-year-old Kurt Russell in the title role and Charles Bronson as Linc Murdock, the second wagon master in the last 13 episodes. Bronson began his role in the episode "The Day of the Toll Takers" (January 5, 1964). Each episode begins with the title "The Day of ..."

Although it started out with an ensemble cast, by the end of the run, the cast had largely been reduced to the characters of Jaimie and Linc. The original cast included Dan O'Herlihy in the role of Jaimie's father, Sardius "Doc" McPheeters, who often yields to alcohol and gambling. Donna Anderson played Jenny, a young pioneer woman who befriends Jaimie during the perilous journey westward.

Mark Allen was cast in 19 episodes as Matt Kissel, with Meg Wyllie in 18 segments as Mrs. Kissel. In nine episodes, real-life child barbershop quartet The Osmond Brothers portrayed the singing sons of the Kissel family, all with given names of books of the Old Testament, Alan Osmond as Micah Kissel, Merrill Osmond as Deuteronomy Kissel, Jay Osmond as Lamentations Kissel, and Wayne Osmond as Leviticus Kissel.[2]

Michael Witney in 14 episodes portrayed the first wagon master, Buck Coulter, with his last appearance in "The Day of the Pawnees, Part 2" (December 29, 1963). Witney was replaced by Bronson in the next episode. Hedley Mattingly was cast eight times as Coe, and James Westerfield appeared seven times as John Murrel. Other recurring roles were filled by Sandy Kenyon in five episodes as Shep Baggott, stuntman Paul Baxley four times as Tracey, and Mike DeAnda in five assorted roles. Vernett Allen, III, was cast as Othello in nine episodes.[2]

Guthrie Thomas, the now-veteran singer-songwriter, was also included in the cast of character actors as a "double" for Kurt Russell when horses were involved. Thomas and Russell were only months apart in age and the TV producers did not want Russell harmed because of insurance liabilities.[citation needed] Thomas had been raised on several ranches, one of which was owned by film actor Francis Lederer, and fulfilled the age and horse-riding requirements of Russell's role as Jaimie McPheeters. Thomas was accustomed to the film business, as several motion pictures, one being John Ford's Sergeant Rutledge, had been filmed at Lederer's Mission Stables, now an historical California landmark. Veteran Western actor Slim Pickens, a close friend of Thomas' family, was responsible for his getting a screen test and subsequent roles.[citation needed]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Day of Leaving"Boris SagalS : Robert Lewis Taylor
T : John Gay
September 15, 1963 (1963-09-15)
2"The Day of the First Trail"Fred Jackman Jr.S : Robert Lewis Taylor
T : John Gay
September 22, 1963 (1963-09-22)
3"The Day of the First Suitor"Don MedfordS : Robert Lewis Taylor
T : Herman Groves
September 29, 1963 (1963-09-29)
4"The Day of the Golden Fleece"Walter DonigerT : Joseph Cavelli, Don Ingalls
S/T : Leon Paul
October 6, 1963 (1963-10-06)
5"The Day of the Last Bugle"Allen H. MinerT : Don Ingalls
S/T : Noel Langley
October 13, 1963 (1963-10-13)
6"The Day of the Skinners"Fred Jackman Jr.S : N.B. Stone Jr.
S/T : Don Ingalls
October 20, 1963 (1963-10-20)
7"The Day of the Taboo Man"Andrew V. McLaglenT : Margaret ArmenOctober 27, 1963 (1963-10-27)
8"The Day of the Giants"UnknownT : Herman GrovesNovember 3, 1963 (1963-11-03)
9"The Day of the Long Night"Abner BibermanT : Joseph CavelliNovember 10, 1963 (1963-11-10)
10"The Day of the Killer"Walter DonigerT : Robert E. ThompsonNovember 17, 1963 (1963-11-17)
11"The Day of the Flying Dutchman"Don TaylorT : Jay SimmsDecember 1, 1963 (1963-12-01)
12"The Day of the Homeless"Boris SagalT : Shimon WincelbergDecember 8, 1963 (1963-12-08)
13"The Day of the Misfits"Jack ArnoldT : Shimon WincelbergDecember 15, 1963 (1963-12-15)
14"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 1"Tom GriesS : Louis Pelletier
T : Leon Paul
December 22, 1963 (1963-12-22)
15"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 2"Fred Jackman Jr.T : Don IngallsDecember 29, 1963 (1963-12-29)
16"The Day of the Toll Takers"Walter DonigerT : Ken TreveyJanuary 5, 1964 (1964-01-05)
17"The Day of the Wizard"Boris SagalT : Shimon WincelbergJanuary 12, 1964 (1964-01-12)
18"The Day of the Search"James GoldstoneT : Robert E. ThompsonJanuary 19, 1964 (1964-01-19)
19"The Day of the Haunted Trail"Stuart HeislerT : Ardel WrayJanuary 26, 1964 (1964-01-26)
20"The Day of the Tin Trumpet"Ted PostT : Edwin BlumFebruary 2, 1964 (1964-02-02)
21"The Day of the Lame Duck"Boris SagalT : Shimon WincelbergFebruary 9, 1964 (1964-02-09)
22"The Day of the Picnic"Richard DonnerT : John GayFebruary 16, 1964 (1964-02-16)
23"The Day of the 12 Candles"Ted PostT : Shirl HendryxFebruary 23, 1964 (1964-02-23)
24"The Day of the Pretenders"Charles F. HaasT : Roland WolpertMarch 1, 1964 (1964-03-01)
25"The Day of the Dark Deeds"Donald C. KluneT : Edwin BlumMarch 8, 1964 (1964-03-08)
26"The Day of the Reckoning"Boris SagalT : Bernie GilerMarch 15, 1964 (1964-03-15)

Guest stars




The program faced stiff competition on CBS at 7:30 Eastern on Sundays from My Favorite Martian and the first half of The Ed Sullivan Show. NBC aired Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in the same time slot.[3]



After the series was cancelled, Kurt Russell and Charles Bronson reprised their roles of Jaimie McPheeters and Linc Murdock in the 1964 theatrical movie called Guns of Diablo, an expanded color version of the series' final episode, "The Day of the Reckoning" (March 15, 1964). Russ Conway appeared in the film as "Doc" McPheeters, replacing Dan O'Herlihy in new sequences.


  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1985). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946–1981, Part II: Live, Film, and Tape Series. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 523–524. ISBN 0-8108-1651-2.
  2. ^ a b "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963–1964)". Internet Movie Database. September 15, 1963. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  3. ^ Adams, Val. "TV's 'M'Pheeters' Ends on March 15 / A.B.C. to Replace Dramas With Reruns of 'Empire'" (The New York Times, January 16, 1964, p.71)