The Good

This is one of the most entertaining shows that I have ever seen.

The Bad

No commentary tracks or "making of" segments.

Clint Walker stars as Cheyenne 8/98018/features.php" class="dvd">Cheyenne: The Complete First Season. From what I understand, this was the first TV show made by a Hollywood Film studio. While the overall throughline of the show pretty much remained consistent, this tale of a man in the Post Civil War United States, who traveled throughout the Wild West not looking for trouble (but not avoiding it) was a highly entertaining show to watch.

Composed of 15 episodes in this box set these shows very much speak to our world today. First off, there's the "Johnny Bravo" episode that deals with "anti-Mexican" sentiment. In "West of the River" we have girls that are kidnapped by Native Americans and come to assimilate among them. Another interesting episode is "The Outlander" in which Cheyenne realizes that a respectable woman, married to a judge, used to be a prostitute. The simple fact that many of these issues are human issues and ones that we will always deal with, I think very much play into why this show is able to still resonate as much as it does.

Features

The Lonely Gunfighter: An Interview With Clint Walker

A very well spoken and well kept Clint Walker sits down for what is a highly entertaining discussion. He talks about living through the depression, how he got into show business, how he'd never really ridden a horse before doing Cheyenne and just about everything else related to the show. For me, the most touching moment was when he talked about his relationship to his horse.

Video

Standard Version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it's original television exhibition. The black and white look of this show isn't nearly as harsh as other shows from that time. In fact, it seems like every effort was made by the set designers to have these characters wear neutral colors so no one color dominated the TV screen. Also, I like how this show toys with the classical Western convention of men in white hats and black hats, very much shaking up who the good guys and bad guys are.

Audio

Dolby Digital - English: Mono. The biggest difference between this TV show and a lot of western movies, is that the writing on this show seemed to be equally as important as the acting. While the action in this film certainly serves it's purpose and the audio is mainly used to underscore everything, I was quite taken with how well crafted all the stories for Cheyenne were.

Package

A color picture of Cheyenne Bodie, with the plains of the Old West behind him is the only image that's needed on this front cover. The back cover gives us some more pictures of Bodie, a small description of this show, a "Special Features" listing, a credits list and technical specs. The five discs that make up this set are stored in three, slim cases, all with a different picture of Clint Walker adorning them. The episodes for each disc are indexed out on the back of the discs.

Final Word

I was unbelievably taken with Clint Walker in the starring role of this show. He had such an easy command of the screen that it is obvious why Cheyenne endured as long as it did. Also, the fact that many see Walker as starting the "Western Craze" is also something that doesn't surprise me much. At 6'6", this man cut a very imposing figure but the way he handled himself was also something to admire. I know that as time has gone on these older shows are seen as being more melodramatic than anything else, but to be able to go back and explore Cheyenne: The Complete First Season has really allowed me to understand how and why the Western genre has endured for so long.