1 9 5 8 – 1 9 6 1 (USA)
108 x 30 minute episodes
A black and white Western drama series from NBC.
The exploits of lawman, Indian fighter, scout and professional gambler Bat Masterson (played by Gene Barry) in the days of the Old West were based on a real character, though it’s unlikely he was much like he was portrayed in the show.
In the series, Bat wore a Derby hat and carried a gold-topped cane – as did the real William Barclay ‘Bat’ Masterson, apparently.
The hat and cane had been presented to Masterson (along with a specially designed gun) by the grateful citizens of Dodge City during his tenure as sheriff there.
Preferring to use his wits and his cane to disarm opponents, rather than his gun, Masterson provided quite a contrast to the general run of violent Western heroes.
He was a debonair charmer of women and roamed the Southwest romancing the ladies and helping to protect the innocent, especially in situations where they had been wrongly accused of crimes.
The series spawned two TV features in 1966 and 1968 made from re-edited episodes of the series, entitled Mystery Island and The Man In A Looking Glass respectively.