¶ I couldn't stay without any amount of plain adventures so I decided to go back, way back to season 4 despite the warning of DVD Talk concerning the low quality of the prints—which is sadly true. Oddly enough, the last episodes of season 7 were a return to season 4 therefore I closed the cycle backwards—but those season 7 had alternate and inferior production team. Anyway, let's embrace season 4 for now.
¶ Find the production crew for the 1961/1962 season: producer Endre Bohem associate producer Mel Epstein (from episode 4 "Judgment at Hondo Seco") story consultant Lou Morheim (later working on "The Outer Limits") director of photography John M. Nickolaus, Jr. (later working on "The Outer Limits")
¶ Producer Endre Bohem removed the gimmick title "Incident of/Incident at" as well as the opening narration of trail boss Gil Favor.
¶ The outfit consists of: Trail boss Gil Favor Ramrod Rowdy Yates Scout Pete Nolan Cook Wishbone Cook Assistant Mushy Drover Jim Quince Drover Joe Scarlet Hey Soos and a newcomer: drover Collins
¶ So far, I discovered the first three episodes from volume 1, disc 1. Let's dive slowly into the river of "Rawhide".
¶ "Rio Salado" written by John Dunken directed by Ted 'Magnum Force' Post guest: Tom 'Coogan's Bluff' Tully as Dan Yates, Edward Andrews, Carlos Romero, John Pickard
It's an intimistic and family background-oriented entry that shows the lost old father of ramrod Rowdy Yates who is a no-gooder and greedy skunk. Four seasons later—i.e., season 8—another episode entitled "Crossing at White Feather" will deal with Yates' tragic family background. Above all, it's a Mexican bandits adventure featuring the revolutionary Antonio Marcos, wanted dead or alive. The beginning of Act 1 shows the reunion of Yates and Hey Soos after a long holiday at home: touching. There was no sign-off scene at the end because Gil Favor just returned from holiday and summoned his outfit to start a new drive.
¶ The Sendoff written by John Dunkel directed by George B. Templeton guest: Darren McGavin, Claude Akins
It's a torn-inside character's study on a coward wagon master named Jed Hadley (actor Darren McGavin) who let his people kill by Indians and that is hunted down by greedy man Karse looking for a box of gold coins. Notice the linkage of the director with production manager Harry Templeton. Gil Favor's sign off end scene will be re-used until season 7.
¶ The Long Shakedown written by Albert Aley directed by Justus Addiss guest: Skip Homeier, Lew Gallo
A good ordeal entry in which trail boss Gil Favor tests and calls into question the capacities of his own drovers and fears they become too old (Jim Quince) for the job and prefers hiring a band of unsteady and effective youngblood drovers.
¶ Judgement at Hondo Seco written by Louis Vittes story by John Dunkel and Louis Vittes directed by Perry Lafferty guest: Ralph Bellamy, Burt Douglas, Anne Whitfield, Kathie Browne, Robert Donner
It's a Jim Quince-oriented dark drama. It's 'the' ambitious entry dealing with the relatives of Quince: his iron 'judge' brother and his wild daughter in love with a convicted gambler. Quince fails to be hanged by the neck by his own brother (sic)! Notice the wife of Darren McGavin playing saloon girl Lilly. First credits for associate producer Mel Epstein.