Home Television Drama Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers

Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers

1 9 5 6 – 1 9 5 7 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes

Set in India in the colonial days of the late 19th century, the stories of this fictional outfit were based on the exploits of the real Bengal Lancers, the famed British Cavalry unit.

Colonel Standish (Patrick Whyte) was the commander of the 77th and working under him were two lieutenants who were also close friends – Michael Rhodes (Philip Carey) and William Storm (Warren Stevens).

Lt. Rhodes was portrayed as a Canadian because New Jersey-born Phil Carey had trouble mastering an English accent.

Debuting on Sunday 21 October 1956, the Screen Gems series aired on NBC on Sunday evenings and was filmed not in India, but at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in the Mojave Desert in California (standing in for the Khyber Pass) where a permanent set of a fort with 16-foot walls was constructed at a cost of more than $250,000.

The fort appeared in many other productions including the Star Trek episode “Arena” (1967). The set was finally removed in the early 70s.

As well as playing the role of Colonel Standish, Patrick Whyte acted as technical adviser on the series. Whyte had served as a major in the British army in India from 1927 to 1944, putting in time with the 16th Punjab Regiment and the Jaipur Lancers (which had absorbed the Bengal Lancers in 1922).

Lieutenant Michael Rhodes
Philip Carey
Lieutenant William Storm
Warren Stevens
Colonel Standish
Patrick Whyte

Episodes

The Regiment | The Pawn | The Hostage | The Steel Bracelet | The Traitor | The Stepping Stone | The Challenge of Chandra Singh | The Weakling | The Handmaiden | Shadow of the Idol | Golden Ring | The Maharani | The Gentle Vise | Silent Trumpet | Cecil of Kabul | The Barbarian | The Imposter | Test of a Titan | The Enemy | The Relentless Man | The Courtship of Colonel Standish | The Pit of Fire | The Glass Necklace | Ten Thousand Rupees | Akbar the Great | The Inconstant Moon