Friday, November 25, 2016

What Might've Been: Casey Jones (1957)

Screen Gems obtained a license to do a series dramatizing the exploits of real-life railroad engineer Casey Jones in 1957. However, if you have trouble locating it in reference books about primetime shows of the past, there's a good reason for it. It began the season airing in England on the BBC before being syndicated in the US in the spring of 1958.

Character actor Alan Hale, Jr., 7 years before Gilligan's Island, was cast as Jones, the engineer behind the wheel of the Cannonball Express. The series could've continued for another season, except that Hale had accepted a recurring role in Rory Calhoun's The Texan the following season. Insofar as I know, the series' last American home was the FX network in its early years, when it had more of a variety of programming than it does now.

Right now, let's take a look at a sample episode, "The Silk Train":

No rating. Didn't see it when it was on FX too often.

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