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October 7, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: Outlaws

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 18th 2006 9:39AM

Rod TaylorThis show only last 11 episodes, in 1986-87, but they're episodes I remember fondly.

In 1886 Texas, Sheriff John Grail tracks down four outlaw cowboys. Before anything can happen, a weird force comes out of the sky and zaps them to 1986! When they get there, they form a detective agency and solve crimes (OK, not right away, but they find it's the only thing they can do), all the while trying to adjust to all the new inventions and culture of the modern world.

This was a goofy yet incredibly entertaining show. The cast including Rod Taylor, Richard Roundtree, Patrick Houser, Charles Napier, and William Lucking. The love interest was Christine Belford. The plots of the episodes were actually rather restrained, considering we're talking about cowboys coming from the past. We had Taylor falling in love during a case, with a woman who looks just like his old flame from 1886. Another plot had our heroes protecting a small store from a gang of crooks. The fun in the show was not only watching the cowboys deal with 1986 (airplanes! telephones! IDs!), but also how they would solve crimes using good old-fashioned common sense and blunt force. Shannen Doherty made an appearance in the pilot, as a little girl.

It's the type of show that I can picture coming out on DVD, all the episodes in one set, but I haven't heard anything about it coming out. I'd buy this in a second.

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This show was one of my favorites. The Magnificent
Seven was another one. I have always loved westerns and was so happy when they were being made again. We can thank Kenny Rogers and Kevin Costner for bringing the western back to popularity. When you think about it, a western has the same similarities as a modern cop/action show, except with horses instead of fast cars. There can be as much excitement in a western as in any other drama. The plots are the same, but the times are different. Rest in peace, John Wayne.

October 19 2006 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Find out which production studio made this show. If it was Warner Bros., perhaps they'll put it online on their AOL broadband TV service if you ask and present this blog entry.

October 18 2006 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Man, I loved that show. Like Dr. Funbags, I also liked both cowboy shows and time travel stories. It seems like the combination of cowboys and scifi just begs for a death sentence. *cough*Firefly*cough*

October 18 2006 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

Yeah - I was a fan of Young Riders as well. The world needs another great Wild West TV Show.

October 18 2006 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

I loved this show - as a kid it had my 2 favorite things - Cowboys and Time Travel (thanks to Back to the Future) - I was dissapointed it didnt last longer, but have always had a fondness for it - even when I couldn't remember the name of it. Then a few years ago thanks to the Internet I found out its name and have been waiting for a DVD since.

October 18 2006 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Outlaw/cowboy shows just haven't been that popular, well except for Deadwood. I think we have a vacuum that needs to be filled with a wild wild west show these days.

October 18 2006 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow! Loving this feature! I remember this show, vaguely. The one thing from the pilot that I remember was an exchange between the cowboys and a "modern" character. The character called the cowboys "dudes" and the cowboys looked at each other and got quite offended. The Rod Taylor cowboy said something like, "We are NOT dudes! We're cowboys." I never really understood the line, but it has always stuck with me.

October 18 2006 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was great to watch Rod Taylor--the role was a good one for him: crusty, devilish, with a heart-of-gold he took pains to hide, a man proud and regretful--often for the same things, and of course there was his complicated relationship with the two younger cowboys, the two brothers. I wanted to see how that all turned out.

And Christine Belford could always make things interesting -- in fact, she was why I took a chance on this show. I figured if she was involved in it, it must be good. And I was right. It was a good show.

Nicholas Corea -- creator, producer, writer -- was a decorated Vietnam vet. He was also the producer and writer for The Incredible Hulk and kept writing for various shows -- including a few of the Star Treks -- until his death in the late 90s.

I was sorry the network didn't give Outlaws a longer run. I'd buy the DVD, too.

October 18 2006 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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