Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Virginian

I think I’ve seen every episode of the long running TV show, The Virginian, but that doesn’t stop me from watching them again when my husband clicks in on. Even if I’m deep into a book, either reading or writing, that show has the ability to pull me out and engage me in what’s happening in Medicine Bow. 

The TV series is but one adaptation to the original book written in 1902 by Owen Wister. Several movies were also created based on this book that has been credited as being the first true western ever written and the one that created the genre made famous by Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. In my office, I have boxes of Louis L’Amour and few Zane Grey novels that had been my grandfather’s and then my mother’s. I’ve read many of them, but in truth, they are getting too fragile, but I’m not ready to be parted from them yet. 

I’ve also read The Virginian. I found the concept of the 1st person narrator who details the story of a man who is only referred to as the Virginian interesting and unique. No real name is ever mentioned. One of my favorite characters in the TV series is Trampas. (I appreciated the cameo of Doug McClure in the popular 1994 Maverick movie starring Mel Gibson. McClure died just a year later.) In the book, Trampas is the Virginian’s foe. The book also has the Virginian ‘getting the girl’, a young school teacher named Molly Stark Wood, and has an happily ever after ending. 

The Virginian TV series was unique in the fact it was filmed to be ninety minutes long, (seventy-five with commercial breaks). Running for nine years, it became the third longest running western series behind Bonanza and Gunsmoke. The show had many changes throughout it’s run, including the changes in the owner’s of Shiloh Ranch, but the main character, the Virginian, played by James Drury, remained the same. Drury starred in many TV shows and films, including a cameo appearance in the 2000 movie, The Virginian starring Bill Pullman.

If you enjoyed the show, this is a fun website full of information--

If you have the time and interest, I’d recommend reading the original novel, just because. A free download can be found here


  1. Of course, I love Gunsmoke and Bonanza, just like everyone else did. But The Virginian was slightly more sophisticated, a little less hokey...although, I admit, I loved "hokey,"--But yes, this series was wonderful. I love those photos...well, everyone know how much I love black and white photos. Thanks, Lauri. You did a great job.

  2. I only saw a couple episodes of The Virginian, but I liked them. I did see a movie of The Virginian(a different one from the one you mentioned with Bill Pullman and Diane Lane.)I really liked it and I loved that it had a happy ending.
    I did not know Doug McClure had died, so that was some sad news. Loved your pictures and enjoyed your blog, Lauri.

  3. Loved The Virginian, but then I loved all those TV Westerns! Sad to hear Doug McClure passed on.

  4. I have no idea why I've never seen The Virginian on TV but I haven't. Now I'll be sure to see if it's on Netflix. I just downloaded the book from Amazon. Thanks, Lauri.


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