CTVA Western - "The Oregon Trail" (Universal/NBC)(fall 1977) starring Rod Taylor

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
Wagon Train (Revue/NBC/ABC)(1957-65) starring Ward Bond, Robert Horton, John McIntire, Robert Fuller
Hong Kong (TCF/ABC)(1960-61) starring Rod Taylor & Lloyd Bochner
The Oregon Trail (1976-77)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by: James Beer
references:
Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

Rod Taylor web site
----------------
THE OREGON TRAIL
----------------
Universal City Studios, Inc.
for
NBC (Wednesdays 9:00pm EST)
Produced by Carl Vitale, Michael Gleason, Richard Collins
Production Supervisor: Terry Wilson (Bill Hawks in Wagon Train)

US Western series 1976 2hr pilot + 1977 13 episodes x 60 min color
Starring:
Rod Taylor
as Evan Thorpe
with
Darleen Carr
as Margaret Devlin
Charles Napier
as Luther Sprague
Andrew Stevens
as Andrew Thorpe
Tony Becker
as William Thorpe
Gina Marie Smika
as Rachel Thorpe

Premise:
Set in the 1840's "The Oregon Trail" follows the journey of a group
of pioneers traveling by Wagon Train from Illinois to Oregon to begin new lives.

Theme "Oregon Bound"  by Danny Darst, Rod Taylor, Charles Napier

"The Oregon Trail": Theme song lyrics
"Kind of dusty
The Earth beneath my feet
Kind of dusty
As I ride through the burning heat
With the help of God and this mountain man
And the hand of my eldsest son
My little boy and my little girl
Will grow up in the promised land
And in the eyes of a woman, meant for me
I have a dream where the sun goes down
Klamath Valley's calling me
Cause I'm Oregon bound
Oh, I'm Oregon bound
Yes, I'm Oregon bound"
[JB]

Video Source:
Complete 6-DVD set available from Timeless Media Group (via NBC Universal) [JB]

############# The Oregon Trail ###############
############## pilot tv movie ################
##############################################

[00] THE OREGON TRAIL (2hr pilot tv movie) [verified -JB]
10Jan76 original airdate
Produced and written by Michael Gleason
Directed by Boris Sagal
director of photography Jack Wolf
starring
Rod Taylor .............. Evan Thorpe
Blair Brown
David Huddleston
Douglas V. Fowley
Andrew Stevens
.......... Andrew Thorpe
Tony Becker ............. William Thorpe
Gina Marie Smika ........ Rachel Thorpe
guest stars
J.D. Cannon
G.D. Spradlin
Linda Purl
With:
George Keymas .......... Trenchard
Robert Karnes .......... Hatcher
Jerry Hardin ........... Macklin
A. Wilford Brimley ..... Ludlow
Hoke Howell ............ Vaughn
Walker Edmiston ........ George Cutler
Eddie Little Sky ....... Sioux Brave
John Wyler ............. Rev. Turner
The pilot movie opens on Thorpe's wedding day. He marries Jessica, two years after the death of his first wife, Mary.
The next day, farmer Thorpe, his new wife, and his three children head off to the Oregon Territory on a wagon train in
search of a better land and better life.[JB]

############# The Oregon Trail ###############
############# season fall 1977 ###############
##############################################
NBC Wednesdays 9:00pm Eastern

[01] The Oregon Trail: HARD RIDE HOME (1/2)  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49008
21Sep77 NBC original airdate
Written by Michael Gleason, Eugene Price
Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff and Herb Wallerstein.
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Larry Strong.
music score: Dick DeBenedictis;
Guest Stars
William Windom ........ Devlin
Ken Swofford
A. Wilford Brimley .... Joseph Burke
Hoke Howell ........... Vaughn
Jimmy Weldon .......... Ludlow
Ron Foster ............ Connolly
Synopsis 1:
The wagon train's trail scout is killed when he was hit by an Indian's arrow in the back, and Evan sets out
in search of finding a replacement. On a mission to find a new scout, that's when he meets a mountain man
named Luther Sprague, and Evan convinces him to join the train heading for Oregon. [JB]
Synopsis 2:
Thorpe's twelve-year old son inadvertently defiles Indian burial grounds.[JB]
(continued on episode #2 "The Last Game")

[02] The Oregon Trail: THE LAST GAME (2/2)  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49009
21Sep77 NBC original airdate
Written by Eugene Price
Directed by Herb Wallerstein
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Gene Foster
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
William Windom ........ Devlin
John Vernon ........... Charles Shrigley
Carole Tru Foster
Hoke Howell ........... Vaughn
Norman Blankenship .... Ryder
Charles W. Young ...... Jackson
Joe Rainier ........... Kirk
Francesca Jarvis ...... Helen Olson
Kimo Owens ............ Dumont
A. Wilford Brimley .... Joseph Burke
(continued from episode #1 "Hard Ride Home") 

[03] The Oregon Trail: WATER HOLE   [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49004
28Sep77 NBC original airdate
Teleplay by Nicholas J. Corea; Story by Parker Browning
Directed by Virgil Vogel
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Jerrold Ludwig
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Kim Hunter ............ Liz Webster
Lonny Chapman ......... Coe Webster
Jean Rasey ............ Elie Webster
William Phipps
Lester Lee Blackwell ...... Higgs
Lucky Hayes ........... Mrs. Smith
Synopsis:
A sudden dust storm contributes to the pioneers' desperation as they trek across the desert in search of a water hole.[JB]

[04] The Oregon Trail: THE TRAPPER'S RENDEZVOUS   [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49001
12Oct77 NBC original airdate
Teleplay by Nicholas J. Corea; Story by William Kelley, Robert Boxberger, Nicholas J. Corea
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Larry Strong.
music score: Bruce Broughton, Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Claude Akins .......... Lemus Harker
Ted Gehring ........... Tobias
Timothy Scott
Bob Terhune ........... Bear Williams
Richard Elman Kennedy ... Barnes
Synopsis:
The Thorpes befriend a crusty mountain man, unaware that he is leading a pack of trappers planning deadly
revenge on an ex-comrade, scout Luther Sprague.[JB]

[05] The Oregon Trail: THE ARMY DESERTER  [verified -JB] (a.k.a. "The Army Defector")
prod. no. 49003 /  19Oct77 NBC original airdate
Teleplay by Eugene Price; Story by Stanley Roberts, Eugene Price
Directed by Herb Wallerstein
director of photography Joe Jackman; film editor: Gene Foster
music score: Bruce Broughton
Guest Cast:
Kevin McCarthy ........ Levering
Clu Gulager ........... Harris
Nicholas Hammond
Steve M. DeFrance ..... Pvt. Moss
Ed Jauregui ........... Foster
John Lloyd Abbott ..... Pvt. Hancock
Synopsis:
The Thorpes take in an injured young man claiming to be a sole survivor of an Indian massacre, unaware that
he is an Army deserter and that his wounds are self-inflicted. [JB]
 
[06] The Oregon Trail: HANNAH'S GIRLS  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49007
26Oct77 NBC original airdate
Written by Nicholas J. Corea
Directed by Don Richardson
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Jerrold Ludwig.
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Stella Stevens ........ Hannah Morgan
Denise Galik .......... Libby Owens
Billy Green Bush ...... Niles Sharpe
Mills Watson .......... Dixie Long
Maxine Olmsted ........ Mrs. Stewart
Suzanne Hunt .......... Kate Bowles
Roy Gaintner .......... Stewart
Lucille Meredith ...... Mrs. Thatcher
Synopsis:
Hannah Morgan (Stella Stevens) is the leader of a group of mail-order brides (who actually are a group of "showgirls")
who join the wagon train. Romance percolates, but mutual respect arises instead as Hannah helps nurse Evan's daughter
back from a bout of cholera.

---------------------------------
Cancelled by NBC after 6 episodes -
the remaining episodes were UNAIRED on NBC
although most aired on BBC in the UK
---------------------------------


[07] The Oregon Trail: RETURN FROM DEATH  [verified -JB]
(a.k.a. "The Man Who Wouldn't Die")
prod. no. 49006
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 06Dec77)
Teleplay by Robert Pirosh; Story by John W. Bloch
Directed by Richard Benedict
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Larry Strong.
music score: Bruce Broughton
Guest Cast:
James Wainwright
Beth Brickell
Jack Hogan
Robert J. Hogan

Kitty Ruth .......... Laura Hubbard
Tom McFadden ........ Flint
Alba Francesca ...... Alice Bowman
Rick Alexander ...... Langley
Synopsis 1:
Evan Thorpe serves as defense attorney for a mysterious man suspected of killing a member of the wagon train.
Frontier justice was never so just.
Synopsis 2:
A jury trial halts the wagon train as Thorpe plays defense attorney for the accused slayer of a ladies' man. [JB]
Note:
Episodes #6 and #7 were combined on a video release titled "Death on the Oregon Trail."

[08] The Oregon Trail: THE SCARLET RIBBON  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49017
30-Nov-77 NBC (some sources)[JB] (copyright date 13Dec77)
(BBC UK airdate 20Dec77)
Teleplay by Nicholas Corea; Story by E. Jack Neuman
Directed by Bill Bixby
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editors: Jerrold Ludwig, Larry Strong.
music score: Bruce Broughton
Guest Stars:
Bill Bixby .......... Fred F. Mason
William Shatner ..... Master Sgt. Buford Cole
Donna Mills
Richard Jaeckel

Damon Douglas ....... Pvt. Shaeffer
Russ Marin .......... Forbes
Harry G. Adams ...... Pvt. Haynes
Synopsis:
A bullet-ridden wagon reveals that gun-runners are supplying rifles to the Redskins and Evan is detemined
to run them to earth whatever the risk.

[09] The Oregon Trail: THE GOLD DUST QUEEN  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49010
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 3Jan78)
Written by Richard Collins
Directed by William Wiard
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: John F. Schreyer
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Susan Howard ....... Amelia McKay
Howard McGillin
Dennis Burkley
Brad Weston ........ Jase
Tony Swartz ........ Luke
John Perak ......... Russ
Lois Walden ........ Effie Billbough
Synopsis:
Horse rustlers raid the wagon train's remuda and Thorpe finds himself attracted to a beautiful woman. [JB]

[10] The Oregon Trail: RETURN OF THE BABY   [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49019
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 10Jan78)
Teleplay by S. S. Schweitzer; Story by Lester William Berke and S. S. Schweitzer
Directed by Alan J. Levi
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Jack W. Schoengarth.
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Kim Darby ........... Mary Anne Morehead
Gerald McRaney ...... Daniel J. Morehead
William Bryant
Eric Server ......... Baker
George McDaniel ..... Finney
Sara Rush ........... Joan
Synopsis:
An Indian woman gives birth to a baby after her village is destroyed. [JB]


[11] The Oregon Trail: EVAN'S VENDETTA  [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49021
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 17Jan78)
Teleplay by Nicholas Corea and John Austin; based on a novel by Burt & Budd Arthur
Directed by Paul Stanley
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Duane Reese
music score: Don Costa
Guest Cast:
William Smith
Ed Lauter
Dirk Blocker
Lynne Randal
l
Jim Davis ........... J. D. Price
Kathie Browne ....... Mae Simms
Gordon Zimmerman .... Jack Simms
Synopsis:
Thorpe and his son, Andy, are bush-whacked by an outlaw gang while looking for a source of water for the train. [JB]
 
[12] The Oregon Trail: SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN [verified -JB]
prod. no. 49018
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 24Jan78)
 Teleplay by Robert Hamilton
Story by Norman Jolley, Richard H. Bartlett & Robert Hamilton
Directed by John C. Champion.
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Larry Strong.
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Robert Fuller ....... Bartlett Hancock
Elizabeth Chesire ... Jenny Hancock
Brandon Cruz ........ Thad Cooley
Woodrow Parfrey ..... Doc Cooley
John Steadman ....... Harper
Loren Ewing ......... Slim
Synopsis:
Thorpe has to deal with a religious zealot who refuses medical treatment for his young daughter
who was injured in a wagon accident. [JB]

[13] The Oregon Trail: WAGON RACE  [verified -JB]  (a.k.a."The Race")
prod. no. 49002
Unaired on NBC Network (copyright date 31Jan78)
Written by Elizabeth V. Wilson
Directed by Lewis Allen
director of photography: Joe Jackman; film editor: Jerrold Ludwig.
music score: Dick DeBenedictis
Guest Cast:
Mariette Hartley .... Susan
Morgan Woodward
John Lawlor
Dianne Shalet
Andrew Prine
Jim Malinda ......... Jedediah
Sanford Gibbons ..... Kurtz
J.T. Conlan ......... Hoffer
Synopsis:
A woman on the wagon train faces the wrath of her fellow passengers after she strikes up a friendship with Thorpe.
The members of another train sabotages the Thorpe party's outfit to slow them down and try to prevent them from getting
to a trading post first for essential supplies. [JB]

############# The Oregon Trail ###############
################# the end ##################
##############################################

Have you any comments, corrections, episode titles, air dates, production numbers, directors, writers, story/synopsis, guest stars, cast lists, etc?
Have you any old videos, or tv guides? Dust them off and let us know if you have any information on this series or any other tv series from the
Golden Age of TV, which is missing from any episode guides on the web. Perhaps a certain episode of a particular series coincided with a key
moment in your life, or in world events - and or has left a vivid memory of when it was shown. Let us know. Would you like to see any other
tv series guides on this site? If so please e-mail The Classic TV Archive - see Feedback below.
This guide may be distributed and copied freely, in its entirety, for personal use. All original author and copyright information must
remain intact. Any sales or other uses of this document are expressly forbidden, without the specific consent of the author(s).
Copyright The Classic TV Archive. All rights reserved.


Return to The Classic TV Archive Western Page 
Return to The Classic TV Archive Home Page

Feedback  -  Western Guestbook