Wagon Train TV Show
TV Show Details
|Original Air Dates||1957 - 1965|
|Key Cast||Ward Bond, Robert Horton, John McIntire, Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson|
“Wagon Train” was a popular western about California-bound settlers.
Wagon Train was a story-driven western about a group of settlers traveling from Missouri to California. Every week, the western focused on a fellow traveler or situation that occurred while the wagon train headed west. There was always some new misfortune that the caravan (or someone traveling with the caravan) would encounter that became the basis for the episode.
There were plenty of bandits, attacking Indians, thieves, diseases and other adversities along the way that kept the storyline interesting for years.
Although there would always be some sort of physical action (who can have a western without a brawl or gunfight?), the main emphasis of “Wagon Train” was on the people and the unexpected problems that inevitably arose on their journey.
Debuting on September 18, 1957, “Wagon Train” became a very popular show on television very quickly. For three seasons, it was either the number one or two rated television show on air. Given its enormous popularity, the show attracted many top stars. Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Barbara Stanwyck and Mickey Rooney are some of the notable actors who starred in episodes of “Wagon Train.”
Ward Bond starred in “Wagon Train” as the gruff wagonmaster Major Seth Adams. His main sidekick was Flint McCullough (played by Robert Horton), who was the Indian Scout. The trail cook was Charlie Cook (played by Frank McGrath) and the regular weekly cast was rounded out with tough guy Bill Hawks (played by Terry Wilson). When Ward Bond unexpectedly died during the fourth season, his character was delicately replaced with a new wagonmaster named Chris Hale (played by John McIntire) and some new co-stars were introduced to the program.
There was a time when the western ruled the television airwaves. Standing above even these great shows was “Wagon Train,” an unforgettable series about California-bound settlers.
• After star Ward Bond suddenly passed away from a heart attack in 1960, John Hale was chosen to replace him. To handle the matter delicately, the studio decided to intersperse some episodes starring Robert Horton with episodes of still-yet-to-be-aired shows starring Ward Bond. Then, the studio introduced the new wagonmaster, Christopher Hale, in an episode entitled “The Christopher Hale Story” in March, 1961. The death of wagonmaster Seth Adams (Ward Bond) was never explicitly discussed or explained on “Wagon Train.” The program introducing Chris Hale just starts with the wagon train waiting for a new wagonmaster to come.
• Robert Horton, who plays Indian Scout Flint McCullough, was a virtual unknown when he began starring in “Wagon Train.” The western show made him a star, with reports that he actually received more fan mail every week than anyone else on the program. After “Wagon Train” ended in 1965, Horton became the star of another western series on television named “A Man Called Shenandoah” which aired from 1965 – 1966. When this western ended, Horton continued starring on television in a variety of guest roles on other popular programs.
• “Wagon Train” was originally a one hour show and was filmed and shown in black-and-white on television. When the series was moved from the NBC station to the ABC station in 1962, it started being filmed in color.
• “Wagon Train” originally aired on television from September 18, 1957 to September 1, 1965. There were a total of 138 episodes filmed. After its first run on television, “Wagon Train” continued to be shown in syndication for many years.
• The 1950 western movie “Wagon Master” was the inspiration for this classic television series. In the movie, there are two wagon train leaders (played by Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.) guiding a group of Mormon settlers to Utah. Ward Bond starred in the movie version, but his role in the film was as the settler’s leader, Elder Wiggs.
Season 1 DVD
Wagon Train The Complete First Season DVD Set
The entire first season of this classic western TV show is in this DVD set. Ward Bond stars as the “Wagon Train” leader and Robert Horton is his scout.
Season 2 DVD
Wagon Train The Complete Season 2 DVD Set
The stories about the California-bound settlers continues in this second season of “Wagon Train.” This DVD set contains all of the episodes from the second year of the show.
Season 3 DVD
Wagon Train The Complete Season 3 DVD Set
All 37 episodes of the third season of “Wagon Train” comes in this collectible tin. This makes a great gift for fans!
Season 4 DVD
Wagon Train The Complete Season 4 DVD Set
All of the season four episodes are in this exclusive DVD set that is attractively packaged in a collectible tin. This was the last season that Ward Bond starred as the wagon train leader because he sadly passed away during the year that these episodes were being made. John Wayne makes a special appearance as General William Tecumsah Sherman in the “The Colter Craven Story” during this season.
Season 5 DVD
Wagon Train The Complete Season 5 DVD Set
All of the season 5 episodes of “Wagon Train” are in this collectible-tin DVD set. There are 10 discs and just like the previous season DVDs, the image quality has been digitally-remastered to provide the best viewing image possible of these shows.
The Complete Color Season DVD
Wagon Train The Complete Color Season
This excellent DVD set contains all 32 color episodes from the 7th season of “Wagon Train.” Unlike previous episodes of this western, these episodes were 90 minutes long. (The original “Wagon Train” shows were 60 minutes long and were shown in black and white.) Bonus: This DVD collection also contains 16 classic episodes from “Wagon Train” representing different years of programs from its original eight year television run.
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