Laredo, with its blend of western comedy and high drama, is one of the best television westerns to be found. Laredo premiered in prime time as an episode of The Virginian and was such a big hit, with its wonderful cast, gorgeous color photography, western ambiance and tight, serio-comic scripts, that it was immediately signed for a full season.
Season 1 Ep. 6: Anybody Here Seen Billy
Chad sneaks into the barracks at night wearing only his underwear. Reese and Joe catch him and he explains he lost Billy Harker, the prisoner he was escorting. He gets a change of clothes, Reese’s spare gun and a horse and heads back out. The next day Reese and Joe are sent out to catch the thief who stole the ranger horse, the only clue being Chad’s muddy socks. They find Chad as he is wrestling with Laurie Martin, Harker’s girl, a very convincing but deceptive young woman. She convinces Reese she was forced to help Harker out of fear and she leads him off to find Harker but knocks him out with a piece of wood instead. She is caught but tricks cattle drovers into thinking the rangers are outlaws and escapes during the ensuing fist fight and cattle stampede. Joe saw her escape but let her go saying if she thinks they aren’t following she’ll head right for Harker, which she does. The rangers track her to the outlaws hideout and capture or kill Harker and his gang in a shootout. Captain Parmalee refers to it as a “happy coincidence” but cautions them at having too many of them in the future
Laredo combined action with humor to tell the tales of three Company B Texas Rangers. Reese Bennett is older then his two partners, Chad Cooper and Joe Riley. Reese is in his forties and was previously a Union Army Officer. Chad was in the Border Patrol during the Civil War but is originally from New Orleans. He joined the Rangers to search for the gunrunners who helped ambush fellow border patrolmen. Joe was a gunfighter who was at times on the wrong side of the law and joined the rangers as protection from a sheriff or two. Chad and Joe love to tease Reese about his age. They had a Gunga Din like camaraderie.
They are lead by Captain Parmalee who was stern and disciplined. He would send them on their missions and many times was not amused by the shenanigans they got into. Erik Hunter joined them in the second season. Veteran actor Claude Akins played Ranger Cotton Buckmeister in 5 different episodes but never officially became part of the cast. The pilot, “We’ve Lost A Train”, appeared as an episode of The Virginian in April of 1965.
Reese’s horse Cactus was mentioned in several episodes. Chad’s horse was Amigo, which was Peter Brown’s own horse in real life.
Cast and Crew:
Neville Brand, Peter Brown and William Smith
Director: William Witney and others
Production Company: Universal TV
Original Air Date: 1965
Audio & Video: Mono – Color
AAdditional details in:
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Filed Under: Laredo