1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 1 (Australia)
34 x 25 minute episodes
This Wild West-style action series was set in Australia in the 1850s.
Peter Graves (of Mission: Impossible fame) starred as stagecoach company owner Chris Cobb and the series featured his adventures in the constant struggle against bushrangers, aborigines and competitors during the country’s formative years.
Anthony Wickert featured as his helper, Dan, while the bad guys in the series included George Wallace Jr and Chuck Faulkner – who had been Australia’s first newsreader and weatherman back in 1956 for Channel 9.
Although filmed in Australia, the series did all it could to look American – even the bad guys were émigrés. The locals were mostly reduced to lines like “You’re an American – you’re the only one who can stop them.”
And, as might be expected from an Aussie Western, there was not an Indian in sight!
Whiplash was taken from the experiences of an American, Freeman Cobb, who migrated from Boston to Australia in the 1850s, began a Wells-Fargo-type transportation system across the big empty land and made it the best available until the railroads came in 1910, putting the company out of business.
At the peak, Cobb harnessed 6,000 horses a day and covered 20,000 miles of runs.
The Whiplash company filmed part of the time at stud ranches and sheep and cattle stations and the remainder of the time at Artransa Studios in the Sydney suburb of Frenchs Forest.
Graves became friendly with an aboriginal leader called Nose Peg during filming. After spending a day before the camera, Nose Peg apparently wanted to change his name to John Carter as he felt it would give him more dignity as an actor.
Peter Graves and James Arness (Marshall Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke) are brothers.