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. The series aired on ABC for one season, 1963–64, and was produced by MGM Television.[1]

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
GenreWestern
StarringKurt Russell
Dan O'Herlihy
Charles Bronson
Donna Anderson
Michael Witney
Meg Wyllie
Theme music composerLeigh Harline
Jerry Winn
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producerBoris Sagal
ProducersDon Ingalls
Boris Ingster
Robert Sparks
Robert E. Thompson
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time48 minutes
Production companyMGM Television
DistributorMGM Television
Release
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 29, 1963 (1963-09-29) –
March 15, 1964 (1964-03-15)
Chronology
Followed byGuns of Diablo (film)

SynopsisEdit

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

Mark Allen was cast in nineteen episodes as Matt Kissel, with Meg Wyllie in eighteen 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 fourteen 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 T.V. 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 the 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].

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"The Day of Leaving"Boris SagalStory by : Robert Lewis Taylor
Teleplay by : John Gay
September 15, 1963 (1963-09-15)
2"The Day of the First Trail"Fred Jackman Jr.Story by : Robert Lewis Taylor
Teleplay by : John Gay
September 22, 1963 (1963-09-22)
3"The Day of the First Suitor"Don MedfordStory by : Robert Lewis Taylor
Teleplay by : Herman Groves
September 29, 1963 (1963-09-29)
4"The Day of the Golden Fleece"Walter DonigerStory by : Leon Paul
Teleplay by : Joseph Cavelli, Don Ingalls, and Leon Paul
October 6, 1963 (1963-10-06)
5"The Day of the Last Bugle"Allen H. MinerStory by : Noel Langley
Teleplay by : Don Ingalls and Noel Langley
October 13, 1963 (1963-10-13)
6"The Day of the Skinners"Fred Jackman Jr.Story by : Don Ingalls and N.B. Stone Jr.
Teleplay by : Don Ingalls
October 20, 1963 (1963-10-20)
7"The Day of the Taboo Man"Andrew V. McLaglenTeleplay by : Margaret ArmenOctober 27, 1963 (1963-10-27)
8"The Day of the Giants"TBATeleplay by : Herman GrovesNovember 3, 1963 (1963-11-03)
9"The Day of the Long Night"Abner BibermanTeleplay by : Joseph CavelliNovember 10, 1963 (1963-11-10)
10"The Day of the Killer"Walter DonigerTeleplay by : Robert E. ThompsonNovember 17, 1963 (1963-11-17)
11"The Day of the Flying Dutchman"Don TaylorTeleplay by : Jay SimmsDecember 1, 1963 (1963-12-01)
12"The Day of the Homeless"Boris SagalTeleplay by : Shimon WincelbergDecember 8, 1963 (1963-12-08)
13"The Day of the Misfits"Jack ArnoldTeleplay by : Shimon WincelbergDecember 15, 1963 (1963-12-15)
14"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 1"Tom GriesStory by : Louis Pelletier
Teleplay by : Leon Paul
December 22, 1963 (1963-12-22)
15"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 2"Fred Jackman Jr.Teleplay by : Don IngallsDecember 29, 1963 (1963-12-29)
16"The Day of the Toll Takers"Walter DonigerTeleplay by : Ken TreveyJanuary 5, 1964 (1964-01-05)
17"The Day of the Wizard"Boris SagalTeleplay by : Shimon WincelbergJanuary 12, 1964 (1964-01-12)
18"The Day of the Search"James GoldstoneTeleplay by : Robert E. ThompsonJanuary 19, 1964 (1964-01-19)
19"The Day of the Haunted Trail"Stuart HeislerTeleplay by : Ardel WrayJanuary 26, 1964 (1964-01-26)
20"The Day of the Tin Trumpet"Ted PostTeleplay by : Edwin BlumFebruary 2, 1964 (1964-02-02)
21"The Day of the Lame Duck"Boris SagalTeleplay by : Shimon WincelbergFebruary 9, 1964 (1964-02-09)
22"The Day of the Picnic"Richard DonnerTeleplay by : John GayFebruary 16, 1964 (1964-02-16)
23"The Day of the 12 Candles"Ted PostTeleplay by : Shirl HendryxFebruary 23, 1964 (1964-02-23)
24"The Day of the Pretenders"Charles F. HaasTeleplay by : Roland WolpertMarch 1, 1964 (1964-03-01)
25"The Day of the Dark Deeds"Donald C. KluneTeleplay by : Edwin BlumMarch 8, 1964 (1964-03-08)
26"The Day of the Reckoning"Boris SagalTeleplay by : Bernie GilerMarch 15, 1964 (1964-03-15)

Guest starsEdit

ReceptionEdit

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]

FilmEdit

After the series was canceled, 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.

ReferencesEdit

  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 Data Base. Retrieved March 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  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)

External linksEdit