Do you remember 'Stagecoach West'?

By: John Miller

"Stagecoach West" is a famous TV series from the 1960s. How many seasons were there?

"Stagecoach West" is still known as a high-quality Western show. But it lasted for just one season, spanning 1960 to 1961.

What sort of show is "Stagecoach West"?

The show is a typical spin on Western drama. It features gritty cowboys, enormous Western landscapes, and of course, villains galore.

Actor Wayne Rogers plays the main character. What's his name?

Wayne Rogers is Luke Perry. Rogers would later achieve worldwide fame for his role as Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in "M*A*S*H."

Luke Perry is one of the show's primary characters. What does he do for a living?

Luke is one of the men who runs a stagecoach company named Timberland Stage Line. The company transports people and goods across the Old West, encountering many hazards along the way.

Simon Kane is another main character. Who is he?

Simon Kane is Luke Perry's business partner. Together, they run the stagecoach operation in spite of the perils of the Wild West.

The show is still known for its high production values. How long were the episodes?

They were one-hour episodes, interrupted, of course, by multiple commercial breaks. The shows were about 50 minutes long.

What's unique about the partnership between Luke and Simon?

Luke and Simon are both Civil War veterans. Luke fought for the South. Simon, on the other hand, was a Union stalwart.

Simon and Luke operate a stagecoach business in which state?

The men run their company from the made-up town of Outpost, Missouri. Their route takes them from Outpost all the way to San Francisco, California.

True or false: Several episodes were shot in color… but they never aired.

In the early '60s, it was still far cheaper to shoot in black-and-white film than in color. The series was always filmed in black-and-white.

What role does Richard Eyer (Davey) have in this series?

Richard Eyer was a child star of sorts in the '50s and '60s. He plays Davey, Simon's teenage son, who often rides the stagecoaches across the West.

In one episode, the men must transport an Army colonel back East. What's the infamous colonel's nickname?

His real name is Sam Carlen, but he's known as "The Butcher." And there are banditos who want to catch him before he reaches the safety of the East.

In the very first episode, we see James Best in a guest role. Best became famous for his role in which series?

Best became world-famous for his role as Rosco P. Coltrane, the dim-witted sheriff's deputy in "The Dukes of Hazzard."

In an episode called "The Swindler," a con man tries to convince citizens of Outpost to invest in what?

A man named Hollis Collier wants the locals to pour their life savings into a gold mine. Unfortunately, he's an evildoer with nothing but personal gain in mind.

In "The Big Gun," what sort of weapon is Luke transporting to an army base?

Luke must somehow get a Gatling gun (an old machine gun) to a remote army base. Along the way, he runs into serious trouble -- of course.

How is Davey portrayed during the series?

Davey is the archetype of a Western kid. He's a good-golly-gee-whiz kid who thinks most people are generally nice. He's often wrong.

True or false: This was Wayne Rogers' first TV series.

Rogers became famous with his appearance in this series. But he'd already been in several TV productions and movies, including a minor role in "Cool Hand Luke."

In an episode titled "Come Home Again," Simon stumbles upon two women who are being pursued by whom?

The women are being chased by a private investigator. And it's Davey who leaps into action to help the women.

Which famous actor did NOT have a guest star role during the series?

Clint Eastwood didn't appear on the show. Many stars made short appearances during the series, including Coburn, Chaney Jr., Beverly Garland, Jack Lord and more.

In the very first episode, why is Simon packing up to leave town?

Simon's wife deserted Simon and his son… and his boss decides to blab the news to everyone in town. After physically beating up the man, Simon prepares to leave town, with his boss's hitmen hot on his trail.

Robert Bray later gained greater fame, thanks to which program?

Thanks to "Stagecoach West," Bray was already a familiar face in Hollywood. But then he appeared on the hit show "Lassie" and became a household name.

In "Red Sand," Simon is trapped in a home with two other men who are accused of what?

The two men are outlaws wanted for robbery and murder. Simon must somehow navigate their menacing presence or risk death outside... in a huge sandstorm.

Dean Stockwell makes an appearance in "Red Sand." True or false: It was his first Western.

By 1960, Stockwell had already been in several big Western productions. They included "Wagon Train" and "Cimarron City."

In an episode titled "Blind Man's Bluff," a gunslinger tries to kill a woman named Della. What's unique about the gunslinger?

Stace, a blind gunslinger (no word on how that works, exactly), is angry after Della rebuffs his advances. In revenge, he tries to kill her.

True or false: Luke never kills anyone during the TV shows.

Luke is a good guy. But he's no stranger to violence -- or killing. He'll gun down the bad guys if he has to.

The series ran for just one season. How many total episodes were there?

Unlike today, in which a season may consist of less than 20 episodes, TV seasons were longer, with more episodes. There were 38 episodes of "Stagecoach West."

In "The Remounts," what happens to Davey?

In this episode, poor Davey is kidnapped. Luke and Simon must concoct a way to rescue their precious little guy.

True or false: Luke sometimes kills his own passengers.

Hey, it's the Old West. It happens. And after hundreds of dusty miles, sometimes those passengers get on your nerves.

This production got mostly good reviews. Why didn't it last longer than one season?

In the early '60s, Westerns were everywhere, from movie theaters to television. No matter how good the show might have been, there just wasn't enough demand for "Stagecoach West."

"Stagecoach West" appeared at a time when TV stations were more limited. Which network aired the show?

This was an ABC show. In spite of its high quality, the show just couldn't survive in an era glutted with Western-themed programming.

In the show's final episode, Luke receives an ominous gift from a bad guy. What is that gift?

Luke is attempting to protect a woman named Jenny from her evil boyfriend, Mingo. Mingo sends Luke a tombstone… in effect, threatening his life.

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Image: youtube

About This Quiz

There was no shortage of Western shows in the '50s and '60s, but in 1960, Hollywood decided to add another one to the mix. This series featured dozens of actors who were -- or became -- huge stars. How much do you know about "Stagecoach West"?

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