Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Western

Westerns* on TV when this chap was younger so much younger than today. The following are in no particular order. If I remember a snatch of the theme tune it is to the right of the dash

The Tenderfoot - Easy lopin', cattle ropin' sugarfoot
Cheyenne - Cheyenne, Cheyenne, lonely man, Cheyenne
Bronco - Bronco, Bronco Layne
Wagon Train
Rawhide - long song, very famous (not a lyric)
The Virginian
Davy Crockett - Daveee, Daveee Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier
Have Gun Will Travel
Lone Ranger - William Tell overture with, presumably, the Lone Ranger yelling 'Hi yo Silver away'

I did a search for Television Westerns and I am happy to report that there were many shows I did not see. Gunsmoke, for example, is one of the famous shows I have never seen. Not so misspent a youth as I suspected.

Transmission times are crucial. Afternoons after school I escaped from homework and TV to the golf links and sandhills. I never developed the couch potato habit.

My late auntie and I had disagreed over the Virginian. She was furious when it came on. "How do they get away with it?" she would say. "Same thing every week."

I pointed out that the same criticism could be applied to Coronation Street (twice a week in the previous century), but she would have none of it. If I wanted one of her Benson and Hedges I'd need to watch what I was saying.

Last night P and I watched The Claim (2000). When it got to the bit where Mr Dillon has a flashback and remembers selling his wife and child while drunk, I struck the arm of my chair and said, "The Mayor of Casterbridge."

It is comforting to know that one can still impress one's nearest and dearest after all these years. Picture my humble acceptance of her congratulations as the final credits rolled and there appeared an acknowledgement that the film was based on the novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.

*the ones that made it to Ulster Television (UTV) and the BBC

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