Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What Might've Been: Lancer (1968)

After flopping with Custer at ABC, 20th Century Fox tried out Wayne Maunder in another Western, this one seemingly a knockoff of either Bonanza or The Big Valley.

Lancer lasted two seasons (1968-70) on CBS, then returned as a summer replacement series in 1971. Maunder was cast as Scott, one of two sons of ranch owner Murdoch Lancer (Andrew Duggan). James Stacy played younger brother Johnny, although in real life, Stacy was older than Maunder. Go figure.

The series came from the pen of Samuel A. Peeples, who'd also worked on Custer. Producer Allan Armer came over from Quinn Martin's company, where he'd produced The Invaders.

Complete episodes are not available online at present that I can pull. What I can do, though, is offer a sample clip.

My first exposure to Lancer came during its summer stint in '71, airing as it did just before bedtime. Why did it ultimately fail? It borrowed too heavily from both Big Valley and Bonanza. Ironically, after Fox acquired the properties of Four Star, or at least a large chunk of them, they now own both Lancer and Big Valley.

Rating: B.

No comments: