1 9 6 6 (USA)
17 x 60 minute episodes
Just like the 1953 Alan Ladd classic that fathered it, this Western drama series from Paramount told the story of a stranger with a fast gun and a mysterious past, who took the side of the homesteaders in their fight for survival against the cattlemen in a Wyoming valley.
Nobody knew who Shane was, where he came from, or what he had done.
One day he just rode into the valley and hooked on as a hired hand with the Starett family.
David Carradine, who had the lean and hungry look of his father, John, played Shane.
The Staretts were Jill Ireland, as a pretty widow who is drawn to Shane, Christopher Shea as her 8-year-old son, who worships him, and Tom Tully as the boy’s grandfather.
Shane’s – and the settlers’ – nemesis was Rufe Ryker (Bert Freed), who vowed: “I’ll go on fighting them sodbusters till I run ’em clear out of my valley”.
Debuting on Saturday 10 September 1966, the show was short-lived mainly due to its competition. It was shown on Saturday nights at 7:30 pm directly opposite The Jackie Gleason Show, then the fifth most popular show on television.
Shane was cancelled at midseason with its last broadcast on New Year’s Eve 1966.
Larry D. Mann