Actors: James Drury, Doug McClure, John McIntire, Jeanette Nolan, Sara Lane
Number of discs: 9
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory / Timeless Media
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 1820 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
“The Virginian” is a rare thing in today’s time. It was an American Western television series, which are not common today. It is the third longest running western to grace our television following “Bonanza” at fourteen seasons and “Gunsmoke” at twenty seasons. It was also filmed in color and was television’s first 90-minute western series. The stellar cast from this season includes James Drury, Doug McClure, John McIntire, Jeanette Nolan and Sara Lane. If you love Westerns, then this is the show for you to watch! The last of a dying breed.
This DVD contains 24 full color episodes from the eight and final season (under the title of “The Virginian), which were fully restored and digitally remastered. In season 9, which is actually the last season of this show, the show’s title was changed to “The Men from Shiloh” and the entire feel of the series was completely redesigned. Shout! Factory/Timeless Media also delivered this DVD release within a very sharp collectible embossed tin. The episodes look good for their age and they gave this show the respect that it surely deserves.
Official Premise: Owen Wister’s 1902 western novel The Virginian was one of the first great novels of the American West. Set in the semi-mythical town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming in the 1890s, it chronicled the lives and relationships of the people who came west and settled the wild land. The Virginian was the first 90-minute television western, airing in prime time on NBC from 1962-1971. The eighth and final season of The Virginian was followed by a single season of The Men From Shiloh, a show featuring the same characters and setting but told in a new and different format.
Besides the main cast this series was packed with great guest stars including: Art Carney (“The Honeymooners”), Neville Brand (“Laredo”), Desi Arnaz (“I Love Lucy”), Edgar Buchanan (“Petticoat Junction”), Burgess Meredith (“Rocky”) and Alan Hale, Jr. (“Gilligan’s Island”). Season 8 marked the return of actors like William Shatner (“Star Trek”) and Joan Crawford as well. This show definitely represented a different time in television, where everything wasn’t just crappy repetitive reality shows. You would be able to watch TV and actually see great performances from great actors.