Boots and Saddles (TV series)
|Boots and Saddles|
|Created by||Robert A. Cinader|
|Written by||Don Brinkley
Robert A. Cinader
|Directed by||William J. Hole, Jr.
Bernard L. Kowalski
|Starring||John M. Pickard
|Theme music composer||Fred Steiner|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||38|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||California National Productions|
|Original run||September 19, 1957– May 29, 1958|
Set at the 19th century Fort Lowell, fictionalized in appearance, in the former Arizona Territory, near Tucson, Arizona, the series stars John M. Pickard, also known as Jack Pickard, as Captain Shank Adams, Patrick McVey as Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Hayes, and Gardner McKay as Lieutenant Dan Kelly. Other roles were filled by David Willock as Lieutenant Binning, John Alderson as Sergeant Bullock, and Mike Hinn as scout Luke Cummings.
In the first episode entitled "The Gatling Gun", a visiting general unaware of proper desert fighting techniques challenges Hayes' command with a powerful new weapon. In the second episode, an arms trader named Jackson (Ned Glass) sells repeating rifles at high prices to Indians. Captain Adams forces Jackson to ride patrol to see the danger of his transactions.
In "The Obsession", an officer blocks a young recruit’s attempts to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on the grounds that the soldier (played by Wright King) cannot perform under battle conditions. In "Private War", the fort is split between lingering Confederate and Union Army sympathizers.
In “The Prussian Farmer”, written by Gene Roddenberry, who nearly a decade later created Star Trek, a former Prussian cavalry officer named Franz Mueller (Herbert Rudley) helps the recruits repel an Apache attack.
In "The Paymaster", calm at the fort dissipates after four months of pay arrives; character actor Claude Akins guest stars. In "Terror at Fort Lowell", scouts face danger tracking Apache raids. In "The Deserter", a trooper named Grimes (Paul Picerni) leaves his patrol in the desert without any horses.
In "A Quiet Day at Fort Lowell", Captain Adams helps a soldier deal with his feelings of guilt resulting from an act of cowardice. In "The Treasure", an American Civil War bandit wills his contraband to the U.S. government, but his daughter, Laurie (Rebecca Welles), comes forward to contest her father’s will.
In another episode, "The Trooper’s Wife", a domineering woman arrives at the fort to reclaim her husband (Strother Martin). DeForest Kelley, later to star as "Dr. McCoy" on Roddenberry's Star Trek, appears as "Merriwether", a champion fighter from the Seventh Cavalry, in "The Marquis of Donnybrook".
In "The Duel", Lieutenant Kelly is challenged to a duel. lance v. saber, by an Apache chief. Robert Knapp appeared twice as Private Hank Swanson in the episodes, "Terror at Fort Lowell" (1957) and "The Indian Scout" (1958).
Joe Conley, later storekeeper Ike Godsey on CBS's The Waltons, appears as Private Spanner in the episode "The Superstition", the story of a supposedly jinxed officer. A scout flees the fort fearful of Spanner’s "evil spirits". In "Weight of Command", diphtheria strikes the fort.
In "The Decision" the soldiers give food to hungry Paiute Indians in violation of military rules and face discipline: "no good deed goes unpunished". In the series finale, "The Captain’s Leave", Adams encounters a couple, with the wife pregnant, trying to cross the desert without sufficient supplies.