An Homage to Wagon Train

I suppose it says something about the state of daytime, or anytime, TV for that matter, but we have recently discovered the INSP channel. It deals in Westerns, both movies and TV shows and we have become faithful fans of the once-and-beloved series Wagon Train.

The series ran from 1957-1965, evolving for black and white to color. The stories centered on the people traveling to California from the East to start new lives. Ably helmed by Ward Bond, aka Major Seth Adams, in the first two seasons and part of the third until he died of a heart attack and then by John McIntire as Chris Hale. Occasionally, the stories run off the train with adventures and back stories of the permanent crew.

There were guest stars and it’s fun to guess them, either before they were TV stapes like Leonard Nimoy or Dean Stockwell, or already famous like Bette Davis or Ann Blyth.¬†

The stories are varied, from humor to pathos. Almost without an exception, they are moralistic. Sometimes too much so as I’ve found myself wishing a few times for a deus ex machina¬†to save the character. So much for happy endings; some of them are just Right.

I guess we’re reliving our childhoods spent in front of the TV. Little did we know we were learning lessons about life at the same time.