Wild West Tech

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Wild West Tech
Wild West Tech (title card).jpg
Wild West Tech
Starring Keith Carradine (season 1)
David Carradine (seasons 2 and 3)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 34
Production
Running time One hour
Broadcast
Original channel The History Channel
Original run August 19, 2003 – November 8, 2005

Wild West Tech is a program that aired on The History Channel in the United States that aired from 2003 to 2005. The show was originally hosted by Keith Carradine (2003–04), but his half-brother, David Carradine took over hosting duties for season 2 and subsequent seasons. The show illustrates a variety of technologies used in the Wild West, and features interviews with numerous Western historians, as well as re-creating versions of important events in Western history.

The series was created by Dolores Gavin (History Channel) and supervising producer Louis Tarantino.

Format[edit]

Each episode is dedicated to some broader aspect of Wild West life. Once the context is established in brief by the host, more specific elements are developed. Throughout the program, professors, writers, and other experts explain finer points while historical reenactments and dramatizations portray just how key 19th century events may have transpired. The production aims to put the viewer into the spirit of the Old West with its host inhabiting an unnamed frontier town delivering (sometimes ironic) commentary.

A new spin on the typical technology fact program, this program often covers subjects from the American Old West that are not generally discussed in more traditional settings. For example, one episode takes a look at the brothel, focusing on the inventions and technological innovations used to make the institution of prostitution less harsh on the lives of the women involved.

Another explains that Morphine was first isolated in 1803 by the German pharmacist Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner, but it was not until the development of the hypodermic needle (1853) that its use spread and it spread quite a bit in the American West. It was used for pain relief and, ironically, as a "cure" for opium or alcohol addiction. Its extensive use during the American Civil War resulted in over 400,000 sufferers from the "soldiers disease" (addiction).

The same episode informs the viewers that heroin, along with other drugs, was only criminalized in the United States by the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 decades after it was derived.

Other topics include the technological histories of various alcoholic beverages, saloons, weapons, and cowboy gangs.

Episode guide[edit]

Two pilot episodes were produced, hosted by Keith Carradine, to help sell the History Channel on the concept of the series. Seasons 2 and 3 were hosted by David Carradine.

Pilots[edit]

No. Code Airdate Title
1 Pilot–1 Aug 25, 2003 Outlaw Tech
2 Pilot–2 Aug 19, 2003 The Gunslingers

Season 1[edit]

No. Code Airdate Title
1 1–1 Mar 30, 2004 Cowboy Tech
2 1–2 Apr 6, 2004 Execution Tech
3 1–3 Apr 13, 2004 Military Tech
4 1–4 Apr 20, 2004 Hunting Tech
5 1–5 Apr 27, 2004 Western Towns
6 1–6 May 4, 2004 Brothel Tech
7 1–7 May 11, 2004 Native American Tech
8 1–8 May 18, 2004 Train Tech
9 1–9 May 25, 2004 Gambling Tech
10 1–10 Jun 8, 2004 Gold Rush Tech

Season 2[edit]

No. Code Airdate Title
11 2–1 Nov 9, 2004 Six–Shooter Tech
12 2–2 Nov 16, 2004 Vigilante Tech
13 2–3 Nov 23, 2004 Alamo Tech
14 2–4 Nov 30, 2004 Deadwood Tech
15 2–5 Dec 7, 2004 Massacre Tech
16 2–6 Dec 14, 2004 Biggest Machines in the West
17 2–7 Dec 21, 2004 Freak Show Tech
18 2–8 Dec 28, 2004 Disaster Tech
19 2–9 Jan 25, 2005 Shootout Tech
20 2–10 Feb 1, 2005 Saloons
21 2–11 Feb 15, 2005 Law & Order Tech
22 2–12 Feb 22, 2005 Gang Tech
23 2–13 Mar 22, 2005 The Road West
24 2–14 May 24, 2005 Civil War in the West

Season 3[edit]

No. Code Airdate Title
25 3–1 Sep 13, 2005 Revenge Tech
26 3–2 Sep 20, 2005 Freak Shows II
27 3–3 Sep 27, 2005 The Unexplained
28 3–4 Oct 4, 2005 Massacres II
29 3–5 Oct 11, 2005 Bounty Hunters
30 3–6 Oct 18, 2005 Vices
31 3–7 Nov 1, 2005 Grim Reaper
32 3–8 Nov 8, 2005 Gadgets

Trivia[edit]

The History Channel sometimes airs re-edited versions of the episodes to fill odd bits of time on the schedule; these 30 minute versions feature no new content.

There is a video that documents how Keith lost the show to David in a poker game that appears at the beginning of episode 2–1.

Shortly before leaving the show, Keith Carradine grew a mustache for his role in the TNT production of Monte Walsh.

External links[edit]