HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL-REVIEW OF A CLASSIC TELEVISION SHOW
Paladin-The Man in Black
The year is 1957. Television is becoming a great part of family entertainment. When searching for adventure the audience is enjoying the history period of the old west. The post Civil war era is exciting with new promise of freedom and opening new territories in the west. Though western television series are mostly fiction, they still have a believable touch of realism for their faithful viewers.
CBS Television Network produces a show with the story following a well educated gentleman with a military background. He was once a Union officer. He was a graduate of the West Point Military Academy. He was a gentleman of fine taste and distinction. He called himself Paladin (white knight) and carried a calling card to be handed to intended clients for his services which included being a hired gun, bodyguard, courier and anything else which his talents could earn him the $1000 fee he asked for. The calling card read “Have Gun-Will Travel, Wire Paladin, San Francisco”. He lived at the Hotel Carlton in that city. He dressed in fancy apparel unless he was traveling for clients. While on the road he dressed in black and wore a holster with a white knight emblem (Paladin) on it which held a Colt .45. Paladin also carries a concealed derringer under his gun belt.
Ballad of Paladin
Six Seasons 1957-1963
On Sept. 14, 1957, CBS airs Have Gun Will Travel starring Richard Boone as Paladin. Its first half hour episode is called Three Bells to Perdido with guest stars Jack Lord, Janice Rule and Judson Pratt. The story begins with a rancher desperate to get his daughter and son-in-law out of the Mexican hole in the wall. The rancher hires Paladin to bring them home.
Each week brings another adventure with the man in black and his side kick known as Hey Boy (Kam Tung) who helps unite Paladin with his clients working out of the Hotel Carlton. Hey Boy is recurring in the entire run of the show other than one season (Season four, 1960-61) where Hey Girl (Lisa Lu) is his messenger. Each episode brings another half hour of great guest stars in various roles requiring the services of Paladin (Richard Boone).
Have Gun Will Travel ran six seasons and in 1963 its last episode, Squatters Rights aired with Paladin hired to rid a squatter from a man’s land for $1000. But after the landowner shows Paladin reasons not justified. The hired gun changes his mind. One of Paladin’s famous quotes is “I may no longer be an officer or a gentleman, but I’m not an assassin.”
In Memory of Richard Boone
We lost the star of this show in 1981. As with many fine actors of his time, his memory lives on in his well known roles. Paladin is certainly one of Richard Boone’s finest titles. Today we can still watch him entertain us in Have Gun Will Travel as it is aired on Encore Westerns at 2:30 p.m. EST weekdays.
Check out the Have Gun Will Travel website.
Maybe Its The Cowboys
- MAYBE IT'S THE COWBOYS
Westerns were my dad's favorite shows when it came to entertainment. This is a memorial poem for my dad. His interest is still very much alive in me as I love to watch the old classic westerns,too.