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. 9: A Matter of Policy
The stage carrying State Senator Sparks and Captain Parmalee is held up by the Davis Gang, who takes the stagecoach horses forcing the Senator and Parmalee to walk to Laredo. Meanwhile, the Brannigan Brothers lose heavily in a card game and accuse Chad of cheating, which starts a fight in the saloon. The fight spills out onto the street just as the Captain and Senator Sparks arrive, giving the Senator a bad first impression of the Rangers. Reese, Chad and Joe set up a Texas style breakfast for Senator Sparks but the Brannigans ruin it and cause the tray of food to be dumped onto the Senator, who threatens to remove Ranger funding. Parmalee travels on the stage with the Senator to dissuade him from cutting the funding. Reese, Chad and Joe devise a plan to have their own “outlaw” gang, lead by Reese, stop the stage and then Chad and Joe will come to the rescue but a member of the real Davis Gang is in the saloon when Reese is recruiting and the plan backfires. This leaves the three Rangers searching for the real gang’s hideout to save Parmalee and Sparks.
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