The Oregon Trail (TV series)

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The Oregon Trail
GenreWestern drama
Created by
  • Samuel A. Peeples
  • Michael Gleason
Written byE. Jack Neuman
Nicholas Corea
Directed byBill Bixby
Opening theme"Oregon Bound" performed by Danny Darst
ComposerDon Costa
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (7 unaired)
  • Carl Vitale
  • Michael Gleason
  • Richard Collins
Running time60 minutes
Production companyUniversal Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 21 (1977-09-21) –
October 26, 1977 (1977-10-26)

The Oregon Trail is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from September 21 until October 26, 1977, except its pilot episode that aired the previous year. The series was filmed in the Flagstaff, Arizona area.[1]


In the pilot, Evan was recently widowed and remarried. Evan's father was also recently widowed. Beginning with the series, the second wife was too dead; Evan's love interest now being Margaret Devlin. The father character was dropped and the scout character (Luther Sprague) was added.



No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
TVM"The Oregon Trail"Boris SagalMichael GleasonJanuary 10, 1976 (1976-01-10)
1"Hard Ride Home"Burt Brinckerhoff & Herb WallersteinMichael Gleason & Eugene PriceSeptember 21, 1977 (1977-09-21)
2"The Last Game"Herb WallersteinEugene PriceSeptember 21, 1977 (1977-09-21)
3"The Waterhole"Virgil W. VogelStory by : Parker Browning
Teleplay by : Nicholas J. Corea
September 28, 1977 (1977-09-28)
Guest stars: Lonny Chapman and Kim Hunter
4"Trapper's Rendezvous"Hollingsworth MorseStory by : William Kelley & Robert Boxberger & Nicholas J. Corea
Teleplay by : Nicholas J. Corea
October 12, 1977 (1977-10-12)
Guest star: Claude Akins
5"The Army Deserter"Herb WallersteinStory by : Stanley Roberts & Eugene Price
Teleplay by : Eugene Price
October 19, 1977 (1977-10-19)
Guest stars: Clu Gulager and Kevin McCarthy
6"Hannah's Girls"Don RichardsonNicholas J. CoreaOctober 26, 1977 (1977-10-26)
Guest star: Stella Stevens
7"Return from Death"Richard BenedictStory by : John W. Bloch
Teleplay by : Robert Pirosh
UNAIRED (U.S.) November 23, 1977 (1977-11-23) (United Kingdom)
8"The Scarlet Ribbon"Bill BixbyStory by : E. Jack Neuman
Teleplay by : Nicholas J. Corea
UNAIRED (U.S.) November 30, 1977 (1977-11-30) (United Kingdom)
Guest stars: Richard Jaeckel, Donna Mills, Bill Bixby and William Shatner
9"The Gold Dust Queen"William WiardRichard CollinsUNAIRED (U.S.) December 7, 1977 (1977-12-07) (United Kingdom)
Guest star: Susan Howard
10"Return of the Baby"Alan J. LeviStory by : Lester William Berke & S.S. Schweitzer
Teleplay by : S.S. Schweitzer
UNAIRED (U.S.) December 14, 1977 (1977-12-14) (United Kingdom)
Guest stars: Kim Darby and Gerald McRaney
11"Evan's Vendetta"Paul StanleyNicholas J. Corea & John Austin
Based on a novel by Burt & Budd Arthur
UNAIRED (U.S.) January 17, 1978 (1978-01-17) (United Kingdom)
Guest star: William Smith
12"Suffer the Children"John C. ChampionStory by : Norman Jolley & Richard H. Bartlett & Robert Hamilton
Teleplay by : Robert Hamilton
UNAIRED (U.S.) January 24, 1978 (1978-01-24) (United Kingdom)
Guest star: Robert Fuller
13"Wagon Race"Lewis AllenElizabeth V. WilsonUNAIRED (U.S.) January 31, 1978 (1978-01-31) (United Kingdom)
Guest stars: Mariette Hartley and Andrew Prine


Terry Wilson (Bill Hawks in Wagon Train) served as production supervisor on the series, and series stars Rod Taylor and Charles Napier co-wrote the theme song, "Oregon Bound", with singer Danny Darst.

The budget for the series was a reported $380,000 an episode.[2]

NBC cancelled the show after six episodes, but the remaining seven episodes were later aired on BBC 2 in the UK,[3] and the entire series was shown in the UK on BBC1, from November 1977 to January 1978.



NBC broadcast a single, 90-minute pilot episode in 1976. The series then ran 13 episodes during the 1977-1978 season.

Home media[edit]

On April 13, 2010, Timeless Media Group (TMG) released the show on six DVDs, running 750 minutes. The set includes 14 original episodes, including the feature-length pilot and the six episodes that did not air on NBC.[4]


  1. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 629
  2. ^ Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood (Bear Manor Media, 2010) p198
  3. ^ "The Oregon Trail". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Lambert, David (March 12, 2010). "The Oregon Trail - The '70s NBC Show Starring Rod Taylor Comes to DVD with Unaired Episodes". TV Shows on DVD. TV Guide Online. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.

External links[edit]