For those watching The Virginian on Encore Westerns at the moment you’ll notice Season Three breaks from tradition with the traditional ride-in title sequence and introduces more action footage to the mix. While I like the footage of James Drury in particular I’m not a fan of the large letter V that introduces the various actors. It was an interesting experiment at creating more of a dynamic quality to the titles but I prefer the traditional ride-in sequence. It compliments Percy Faith’s classic score to greater effect.
I originally posted this November 15, 2009 little knowing one year later Encore Westerns would disappoint fans by excluding it from their broadcasts of The Virginian. To exclude the final season is selling the fans short. For those who missed my post first time around or who haven’t located it in my archives here it is again. I’m only sorry loyal fans aren’t able to watch this season on Encore Westerns and judge the merits of the season for themselves..
Was the choice of ditching Percy Faith’s distinctive theme and the familiar ride-in sequence in favor of Ennio Morriconne’s Spaghetti Western influenced theme and tinted images a mistake? It’s a matter of opinion. I like the new theme and graphics but feel they belong to a spin-off show and not the 9th season. The departure is too radical and feels alien to the original concept of The Virginian TV series.
The definite mistake was Trampas’ new outfit and his mustache. And a dry stoical ‘batman’ replacing any female regular at Shiloh Ranch.
The new format never had time to grow on audiences before the cancellation of The Men From Shiloh in 1971. An era was at an end.