The Loner

What made me want to watch a western television show that only aired one season from 1965-1966? Rod Serling…that is the reason and a good enough reason for me.

Do You Remember... "The Loner"

This is the show that he started a year after the Twilight Zone. The show didn’t make it past one season. That is not because of the content. It was an adult western…Serling hated some of the westerns at the time and wanted to make this one more realistic. While he didn’t bring in the Twilight Zone scifi take he did bring his own way of conveying mortality tales.

That didn’t fly with some viewers who only wanted the shoot’em up cowboy tales.

Lloyd Bridges starred in this show about a man named Bill Colton who roamed the west a month after the Civil War ended. Along the way we would meet new characters every week. I watch this show and think…why didn’t it catch on? Was it too smart for some viewers? You did have action but the shows were character and story based.  Another reason it didn’t last is the Western theme at that time had been mined  and mined bare but Serling’s western wasn’t like many of the others.

This series I have to recommend to anyone. There are only 26 episodes all 25  minute each so it’s not a huge investment of time. Serling wrote 75 percent of the scripts so you know the dialog and stories are good. Lloyd Bridges is excellent in the staring role.

If you are looking for an intelligent western with good stories, dialog, and action when needed…get The Loner.

You can watch many if not all on youtube. They were released in 2016 on DVD.

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

45 thoughts on “The Loner”

      1. He was a brilliant writer. Have you seen Patterns? Watch the movie version with Van Heflin, the live TV version isn’t as good. The dialogue in it was something he really worked hard at. He wanted it to be real.

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    1. There was a time when I look at those shows…that westerns…just flat out dominated.

      He did a parody of them on the Twilight Zone episode “Showdown with Rance McGrew”… Not being accurate of the time is one thing he didn’t like…

      He also hated Hogan’s Heros with a passion…but of course for a different reason.

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      1. I still watch Hogan’s Heroes, and no matter how many times I’ve seen them I still laugh. The Nazis are such morons, which is done by design, because the main guys who played them were all Jews who escaped from Germany or Austria and stipulated that the Nazis always lose or they quit.

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      2. The characters are great. Major Hochstetter (who was played by Howard Caine, who’s from your part of the world and I understand was quite a banjo player) was hilarious, and Carter (Larry Hovis, a very funny guy) with some of the goofy things he’d say and his impressions of Nazis, even Old Bubblehead as they call him… I think Robert Clary is the only one still living from the original cast (Kenneth Washington, who replaced Ivan Dixon in the last season, is still around). He’s 94 and retired, bless him…

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    1. Thanks for reading…yea I just started to get into westerns in the past few years…this one is written well…and Lloyd Bridges is a good way to start.

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  1. Never heard of it, but like you I think Serling was a great writer and cinematic talent, so I believe it could be worth a watch. As to why it didn’t catch on, I think you answered that yourself , 1960s “intelligent western”. That didn’t quite fit the social norms back then.
    Well, off topic, we’ve had more snow here since I woke up tahn we’ve had in the 7 years or so I’ve been here up to now combined. Kiddo made a snowman out back. 2021, 2020’s weird cousin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That had to be one of the reasons. John mentioned the schedule and that could be it also.

      That is COOL!!! Oh how I wish we get some. How many inches did you get?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d not heard of this before, I don’t think we had it in the UK. I’ve just watched the first episode and enjoyed it, and it’s interesting that it has stood up to the test of time.

    Probably the reason it didn’t do well was because by them morality tales were what people wanted to get away from. I loved westerns when I was a kid but by the time I was in my early teens even I found them a bit patronizing in tone. I can appreciate this programme now – but wouldn’t have enjoyed it then, I don’t think.

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    1. I also thought it held up really well. You can hear Serling in the writing. In a few episodes I’ve seen you don’t know if a person is a bad guy or good guy…they are both in some cases. I think people wanted good or bad and not a combination of the two also.

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    1. I never heard of it either until a few days ago. I’m a huge Twilight Zone/Rod Serling fan… I have to say…it holds up well.
      My favorite is the black and white Gunsmokes with Dennis Weaver….I do like The Wild Wild West.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just found out about it CB…I’m such a Serling fan…he is about quality. I’ve watched around 15 of the 26 and so far only one so-so one…and that one was good. Lloyd Bridges don’t hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So, this is what you were talking about. I told you I had some old TZ magazines, right? I got a small set of them just before Carol shut down production. We just lost Carol in Jan. 2020. She made it to 90.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read about that last night. That is cool…I liked her a lot…I have a special that she is on about him. She kept his legacy alive in a good way.

      Liked by 2 people

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