German fans of The Virginian will be pleased to see the release of the German edition of Season One on DVD on October 14, 2010. The softcover edition of my book A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 was released in Germany in May 2010 and makes the perfect companion to the DVD. They’ve even used the cover photograph (reversed) from my book on the DVD cover design. 🙂
For all Sara Lane fans here’s a film excerpt from I Saw What You Did (1965). As I mention in another post on my blog this William Castle film featured a pre-Virginian Sara Lane – credited as Sarah Lane. To set the scene – Kit Austin (Sarah Lane) has been invited to her country house by her friend. They get up to mischief making prank calls that soon get out of hand. This clip contains some violent scenes for 1965 and it goes without saying not to try this at home. 🙂
It might not be common knowledge but Doug McClure and Michael Landon were good friends dating back to their early days on The Virginian and Bonanza. Both were born within a year of each other and receiving their big breaks on TV Westerns. Landon spoke affectionately of Doug McClure in the late 1980s and Doug returned the favor in an interview in 1990.
“Doug has always been one of the really nice people in the business. He was always like a kid,” Landon told freelance writer Tom Ito.
Doug told Ito, “The spirit of our friendship during those early years, I think, was the living of our dreams… there was a sense of friendly competition in the way that we were trying to do the best we could being Little Joe or Trampas.”
Sadly they would both succumb to cancer at a relatively young age. Micheal Landon in 1991 and Doug McClure in 1995.
As I was writing this post I learned of the death of Bonanza creator and producer David Dortort on September 5 at the age of 93.
Quotes are from Conversations With Michael Landon by Tom Ito. Copyright Contemporary Books, Chicago 1995.
When John Dehner departed his role as Morgan Starr in The Virginian after the misguided season four you would think his days on The Virginian were behind him. However, in a case of selective amnesia by the producer, in October 1969 he made a brief return in “Halfway Back from Hell” (8:03) as a different character, Marshall Eliaza Teague.
Dehner has already made two guest star appearances on The Virginian as different characters in 1963 in “Echo of Another Day” (1:26) and “To Make This Place Remember” (2:02) before his brief stint as Morgan Starr. The same applied to Charles Bickford who appeared in “The Devil’s Children” (1:11) as Tucker McCallum.
Much like a theatre company familiar actors such as Leslie Nielsen, William Windom and Tom Tryon among others appeared in different roles throughout the nine seasons. However when an actor had been a recurring character such as Morgan Starr, Dehner’s return in a different role seemed unnecessary for the continuity of the series.