Today's guest blogger is Joanne Walpole who gushes of her love for Heyes and The Kid from the TV show Alias Smith and Jones, and tells us of how the show has influenced her own work. Joanne writing under the name of Terry James sees a novel out at the end of the month LONG SHADOWS and it can be ordered now to ensure delivery - HERE
Joanne also maintains her own blog HERE
And so The Tainted Archive hands you over to the lovely Joanne
My love affair with Alias Smith & Jones by Joanne Walpole
It’s truth time. Alias Smith & Jones was THE biggest influence on me writing westerns. There. I’ve said it. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Alias Smith & Jones (TV, 1971). They form my earliest recollections of the genre, although I was only five or six years old at the time when they were first shown in the UK. As soon as I could hold a pencil, I wrote episodes for my mum. Given a few spare minutes, I’ll still whip up an unlikely tale.
As time has gone by, I have been asked on numerous occasions what the attraction was, and still is. Being a deep thinker, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the strong bond of friendship between Heyes and the ‘Kid’. Add this to the simplistic, non-violent and ultimately satisfying alls-well-that-ends-well plots and you have that most wonderful beast – the timeless western.
Obviously as the years go by, my tastes change, and so does my choice of favourite episode. If I had to choose now, it would be a toss up between The Girl in Boxcar #3 and The Fifth Victim. Strangely, these are both Kid Curry biased episodes, which is why I am surprised I single them out since my preference is the Hannibal Heyes character. Why? Because he’s intelligent, good with cards and easy on the eye. Not that Kid Curry doesn’t have equally attractive qualities being fast with a gun, a bit more serious and highly likely to get into trouble.
Look closely enough at my writing and you’ll find something of Alias Smith & Jones in there, whether it be the stance of a gunfighter or the luck of a gambler. It may not be a literary or cinematic masterpiece but it holds high the essence of what a western is to me – good vs. evil, honesty, integrity, friendship and that ‘leave you with a smile’ ending.