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Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Bargain - picked up in W H Smith's for the sum 0f £9 - can't be bad. Amazing value when you think the four disc set contains each and every season one episode including the ninety minute pilot.

I used to enjoy this when it was shown on British TV during the seventies and eighties, and I've seen the odd episode from time to time, but I'm looking forward to watching the entire season over the next week or so.

Alias Smith and Jones originally started out as a TV movie, The Young Country which was made in 1970 and directed by Roy Huggins who would later act as executive producer on Alias Smith and Jones as well as writing many of the episodes under the name, John Thomas. The original TV movie was about two conmen in the Old West and starred Roger Davies as Stephen Moody, while Pete Duel played Honest John Smith. However when the TV movie was developed into a series there were many changes, the main one being that the two heroes now became outlaws desperate to reform. Peter Duel remained but this time recast as Hannibal Hayes while Ben Murphy signed on to play Kid Curry. Interestingly when Pete Duel committed suicide Roger Davies was his short lived replacement. It is also interesting to note that the narration at the beginning of the show was also done, except in the pilot, by Roger Davies. Both The Young Country and the pilot for Alias Smith and Jones were originally aired as ABC TV-Movies of the week.

The show owed much to the successful 1969 movie Butch and Sundance which starred Robert Redford and Paul Newman - indeed Ben Murphy was cast because he was considered a Paul Newman lookalike. The real life Kid Curry (Harvey Logan)  was actually a member of Butch Cassidy's gang. And the outlaw gang our heroes used to ride with are known as The Devil's Hole Gang which is obviously linked to Butch's Hole in the Wall Gang.


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