|The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters|
|Theme music composer||Leigh Harline|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer||Boris Sagal|
Robert E. Thompson
|Running time||48 minutes|
|Production company||MGM Television|
|Original release||September 29, 1963 –|
March 15, 1964
|Followed by||Guns of Diablo (film)|
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters is an American Western television series based on Robert Lewis Taylor's 1958 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The series aired on ABC for one season, 1963–64, and was produced by MGM Television.
The series was aimed at teenaged boys and young families. It was known for the breakthrough performances of the 12-year-old Kurt Russell in the title role and Charles Bronson as Linc Murdock, the second wagon master in the last 13 episodes. Bronson began his role in the episode "The Day of the Toll Takers" (January 5, 1964). Each episode begins with the title "The Day of ..."
Although it started out with an ensemble cast, which included Dan O'Herlihy in the role of Jaimie's father, Sardius "Doc" McPheeters, who often yields to alcohol and gambling, by the end of the run, it had largely been reduced to the characters of Jaimie and Linc. Donna Anderson played Jenny, a young pioneer woman who befriends Jaimie during the perilous journey westward.
Mark Allen was cast in 19 episodes as Matt Kissel, with Meg Wyllie in 18 segments as Mrs. Kissel. In 9 episodes, real-life child barbershop quartet The Osmond Brothers portrayed the singing sons of the Kissel family, all with given names of books of the Old Testament, Alan Osmond as Micah Kissel, Merrill Osmond as Deuteronomy Kissel, Jay Osmond as Lamentations Kissel, and Wayne Osmond as Leviticus Kissel.
Michael Witney in 14 episodes portrayed the first wagon master, Buck Coulter, with his last appearance in "The Day of the Pawnees, Part 2" (December 29, 1963). Witney was replaced by Bronson in the next episode. Hedley Mattingly was cast eight times as Coe, and James Westerfield appeared seven times as John Murrel. Other recurring roles were filled by Sandy Kenyon in five episodes as Shep Baggott, stuntman Paul Baxley four times as Tracey, and Mike DeAnda in five assorted roles. Vernett Allen, III, was cast as Othello in nine episodes.
Guthrie Thomas, the now-veteran singer-songwriter, was also included in the cast of character actors as a "double" for Kurt Russell when horses were involved. Thomas and Russell were only months apart in age and the TV producers did not want Russell harmed because of insurance liabilities. Thomas had been raised on several ranches, one of which was owned by film actor Francis Lederer, and fulfilled the age and horse-riding requirements of Russell's role as Jaimie McPheeters. Thomas was accustomed to the film business, as several motion pictures, one being John Ford's Sergeant Rutledge, had been filmed at Lederer's Mission Stables, now an historical California landmark. Veteran Western actor Slim Pickens, a close friend of Thomas' family, was responsible for his getting a screen test and subsequent roles.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"The Day of Leaving"||Boris Sagal||Story by : Robert Lewis Taylor|
Teleplay by : John Gay
|September 15, 1963|
|2||"The Day of the First Trail"||Fred Jackman Jr.||Story by : Robert Lewis Taylor|
Teleplay by : John Gay
|September 22, 1963|
|3||"The Day of the First Suitor"||Don Medford||Story by : Robert Lewis Taylor|
Teleplay by : Herman Groves
|September 29, 1963|
|4||"The Day of the Golden Fleece"||Walter Doniger||Story by : Leon Paul|
Teleplay by : Joseph Cavelli, Don Ingalls, and Leon Paul
|October 6, 1963|
|5||"The Day of the Last Bugle"||Allen H. Miner||Story by : Noel Langley|
Teleplay by : Don Ingalls and Noel Langley
|October 13, 1963|
|6||"The Day of the Skinners"||Fred Jackman Jr.||Story by : Don Ingalls and N.B. Stone Jr.|
Teleplay by : Don Ingalls
|October 20, 1963|
|7||"The Day of the Taboo Man"||Andrew V. McLaglen||Teleplay by : Margaret Armen||October 27, 1963|
|8||"The Day of the Giants"||TBA||Teleplay by : Herman Groves||November 3, 1963|
|9||"The Day of the Long Night"||Abner Biberman||Teleplay by : Joseph Cavelli||November 10, 1963|
|10||"The Day of the Killer"||Walter Doniger||Teleplay by : Robert E. Thompson||November 17, 1963|
|11||"The Day of the Flying Dutchman"||Don Taylor||Teleplay by : Jay Simms||December 1, 1963|
|12||"The Day of the Homeless"||Boris Sagal||Teleplay by : Shimon Wincelberg||December 8, 1963|
|13||"The Day of the Misfits"||Jack Arnold||Teleplay by : Shimon Wincelberg||December 15, 1963|
|14||"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 1"||Tom Gries||Story by : Louis Pelletier|
Teleplay by : Leon Paul
|December 22, 1963|
|15||"The Day of the Pawnees: Part 2"||Fred Jackman Jr.||Teleplay by : Don Ingalls||December 29, 1963|
|16||"The Day of the Toll Takers"||Walter Doniger||Teleplay by : Ken Trevey||January 5, 1964|
|17||"The Day of the Wizard"||Boris Sagal||Teleplay by : Shimon Wincelberg||January 12, 1964|
|18||"The Day of the Search"||James Goldstone||Teleplay by : Robert E. Thompson||January 19, 1964|
|19||"The Day of the Haunted Trail"||Stuart Heisler||Teleplay by : Ardel Wray||January 26, 1964|
|20||"The Day of the Tin Trumpet"||Ted Post||Teleplay by : Edwin Blum||February 2, 1964|
|21||"The Day of the Lame Duck"||Boris Sagal||Teleplay by : Shimon Wincelberg||February 9, 1964|
|22||"The Day of the Picnic"||Richard Donner||Teleplay by : John Gay||February 16, 1964|
|23||"The Day of the 12 Candles"||Ted Post||Teleplay by : Shirl Hendryx||February 23, 1964|
|24||"The Day of the Pretenders"||Charles F. Haas||Teleplay by : Roland Wolpert||March 1, 1964|
|25||"The Day of the Dark Deeds"||Donald C. Klune||Teleplay by : Edwin Blum||March 8, 1964|
|26||"The Day of the Reckoning"||Boris Sagal||Teleplay by : Bernie Giler||March 15, 1964|
The program faced stiff competition on CBS at 7:30 Eastern on Sundays from My Favorite Martian and the first half of The Ed Sullivan Show. NBC aired Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in the same time slot.
After the series was cancelled, Kurt Russell and Charles Bronson reprised their roles of Jaimie McPheeters and Linc Murdock in the 1964 theatrical movie called Guns of Diablo, an expanded color version of the series' final episode, "The Day of the Reckoning" (March 15, 1964). Russ Conway appeared in the film as "Doc" McPheeters, replacing Dan O'Herlihy in new sequences.