Sunday, July 14, 2013

Classic TV: F-Troop (1965)

I previously reviewed F-Troop on my other blog, Saturday Morning Archives, a ways back, but now, let's take another look.

As the theme song says, the Civil War was nearly over when Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry) caught a very lucky break. A timely sneeze, likely due to an allergy, led to a reversal by Union forces turning defeat into victory. As a result, the bumbling Parmenter was assigned as commander of Fort Courage, the Army outpost of last resort, if you will. There, Parmenter had to deal with Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker), a shifty wheeler-dealer in and out of uniform who was making secret business deals with the local Native American tribe, the Hekawis, along with his sidekick, Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch, Tennessee Tuxedo), and at the same time attend to the affections of local storekeeper Wrangler Jane (played by teenager Melody Patterson, who got by by looking older than she really was).

F-Troop attracted an eclectic group of guest-stars during its two year run, including Vincent Price, Paul Lynde (Bewitched), and Harvey Korman. The writing was sometimes a little uneven, but the chemistry among the core players was good enough such that had the ratings been a little stronger, they could've had a 3rd or 4th season. As it was after the series ended, James Hampton (Dobbs) moved on to The Doris Day Show, which Ivan Shreve is reviewing weekly over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.

Tucker & Storch would reunite in 1975, co-starring in a CBS Saturday morning series, Ghost Busters, which lasted a year. Berry headlined a variety show that also failed before landing another hit series as part of the ensemble of Mama's Family. Everyone else seemed to just drift off into obscurity.

Of course, you know this season 1 open:

Rating: B+.


Hal Horn said...

Covered on the NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS post, but F TROOP actually rated solidly in both seasons. THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS both fell off badly in their second seasons (both fell out of the top 60), as did PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES and LAREDO among two-season entries around the same time, but F TROOP actually had no dropoff in season two.

Ended by its studio, which is a shame. Show likely would have made it past the 100 episode mark if renewal depended on the ratings.

hobbyfan said...

What was WB thinking, then?