Branded

Branded

1965 - United States

This Western series starring Chuck Connors as ex-West Point graduate, Captain Jason McCord, who is cashiered out of the US Army for cowardice, was in fact created by Larry Cohen as an allegory of the McCarthy political black listings of the 1950's. McCord had lost consciousness and somehow survived as the only survivor of the Indian massacre at the Battle of Bitter Creek in Wyoming. However, the top brass believed that he had fled the scene of conflict and kicked him out of the force, leaving him forever branded. 

The series followed his exploits as he tried to prove his innocence, wandering through the country with a broken sabre, the symbol of his shame. He managed to find work as an engineer and mapmaker in a variety of jobs and occasionally unearthed evidence in his favour, although the end of the series left his ultimate fate unresolved. Connors, already famous on US television in The Rifleman (1958-63), was the only regular in the series - although his father, General Joshua McCord (John Carradine), did appear in several episodes. Creator Cohen went on to devise another never-ending series, The Invaders. Most of season one's 16 episodes (early 1965) were in black & white (save for a three-part episode that was filmed in colour).  

Published on November 30th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Alias Smith and Jones

Set in the late 19th Century when the Wild West was no longer so wild and the 'frontier' had been pushed back almost as far as it would go, Alias Smith and Jones was one of US television's last great flirtations with the Cowboy genre...

Also tagged Western Series

F Troop

A broadly played slapstick comedy, F Troop was set in the post-Civil War era at a Union camp known as Fort Courage (somewhere west of the Missouri River).

Also released in 1965

Court Martial

Court Martial was a British made production co-funded by ITC (in the UK) and Roncom Productions (in the USA) which aired on ITV in 1965 and on ABC in 1966.

Also released in 1965

The Cisco Kid

The Cisco Kid was nominated in 1953 for an Emmy Award for children's programming. By 1955 it was the most popular filmed television series among American children.

Also tagged Western Series

Annie Oakley

Television's first Western heroine was played by Gail Davis and co-starred Brad Johnson as Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig and Jimmy Hawkins, as Annie's brother, Tagg.

Also tagged Western Series

The Big Valley

Set in California's San Joaquin Valley, The Big Valley was what the series 'Dallas' may have looked like if it had been set in the 1870s.

Also released in 1965

Bat Masterson

Based on the real-life exploits of William Bartholomew Masterson, a Dodge City lawman who preferred to use his wits instead of his fists and his cane instead of his Colt.

Also tagged Western Series

The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok

"James Butler Hickok, mister" our hero would announce to all and sundry before his sidekick would elaborate, "That's Wild Bill Hickok, mister! The bravest, strongest, fightingest U.S. Marshal in the whole West!"

Also tagged Western Series