“Paladin, Paladin where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin where do you call home?
Have gun, will travel reads the card of the man…
A knight without armor in a savage land…”
His gunfights and fisticuffs were certainly old school Old West, but Paladin was more complex than most of the TV cowboys. When he marched into the roughest parts of the roughest towns, he’d get the job done, but when he wasn’t on the job, he made the swanky Hotel Carlton in San Francisco his home. And there, he partook liberally of all of life’s finer accoutrements—art, women, good bourbon and good literature. As a West Point grad, he knew his history, he could quote from the Greeks and the Romantic poets…be it to charm a lady friend or teach some shady character a little something about Socratic right and wrong. Paladin was nobody’s ‘aw, shucks’ cowboy.
Of course, Paladin didn’t just read literature’s masters—he always scanned the several newspapers that he subscribed to, seeking potential clients. And to the poor souls he read about, the victims and innocents, the scores of humanity’s unprotected, to these he’d send his famous business card (an image of a white chess knight and the motto “Have Gun, Will Travel… Wire Paladin, San Francisco”). Then, the show would usually kick off with Hey Boy bringing the boss his messages and the latest request for service.
Paladin’s standard fee was a thousand dollars—a lot of money in those days—though he sometimes waived it and worked for free. And occasionally, Paladin came down on the very people who had hired him in the first place—if it turned out that they were the truly corrupt ones in that particular episode’s plot mix. There was nary a fee or a business arrangement that took precedent over his sense of ethics.
Series star Richard Boone had his hand in everything Have Gun related. He directed several episodes, was involved in writing and casting, and he even helped write the show’s popular theme song “The Ballad of Paladin,” a hit Johnny Western single in the early 60’s. Kam Tong played Paladin’s assistant Hey Boy, except in 1959 when he worked on The Garlund Touch, and occasionally during the 1960-61 season, when was replaced by Lisa Lu, playing Hey Girl.
From 1958-61, Have Gun was the number three program on television. It aired Saturday nights, at 9:30 p.m., the lead-in to another popular western, Gunsmoke. In 1974, legal controversy reared its head when a federal magistrate found in favor of a Rhode Island radio performer, Victor De Costa, who claimed he had actually created the character in the 1940’s and was entitled to a chunk of the show’s profits.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry cut his teeth on Have Gun incidentally—the complex and faceted heroes that became his specialty got their start on terra firma and then graduated to space.
USA / CBS – Filmaster / 226×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 September 1957 – 21 September 1963
Creator: Herb Mendow, Sam Rolfe / Theme Music: Johnny Western, Richard Boone, Sam Rolfe / Sung by Johnny Western / Producers: Frank Pierson, Don Ingalls, Robert Sparks, Julian Claman,
RICHARD BOONE as Paladin
KAM TONG as Hey Boy
LISA LU as Hey Girl (1960-1961)
Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)
In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.
Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966
Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)
Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white
Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)
Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989
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