DVD Tuesday: Tales of Wells Fargo, The Guns of Will Sonnett

Perhaps the most anticipated TV on DVD release today is Peyton Place: Part Two, if only because it’s still a bit of a shocker that the series is being issued on DVD at all. Not to mention the fact that Peyton Place: Part One came out just two months ago on May 19th. Part 1 included the first 31 episodes of the ABC prime time serials, broadcast between September and December of 1964; Part 2 includes the next 33 originally broadcast between January and April of 1965.

These two sets combined contain the first 64 episodes of Peyton Place. But there were a total of 514 so there’s still a long way to go. Hopefully an announcement will be made soon about Part 3.

Also hitting stores today is Guns of Will Sonnett – Complete Seasons 1 and 2. According to a quick search of Amazon.com, Timeless Media Group has already released both seasons individually, twice. First in August of 2004 and again in April of this year. If you haven’t purchased either season you might want to pick up this combined set. The half-hour Western ran from 1967 to 1969 on ABC with a total of 49 episodes.

Walter Brennan and Dack Rambo starred as Will and Jeff Sonnett. Will was Jeff’s grandfather and the two were roaming the West searching for Jeff’s father (and Will’s son) Jeff. I believe both the season sets and the complete series have the same bonus features: a biography of Walter Brennan, an episode of DuPont Playhouse starring Walter Brennan, and the final episode of The Guns of Will Sonnett not broadcast until September of 1969.

Also out today is Tales of Wells Fargo, a 6-DVD set featuring an assortment of 46 episodes from the first five seasons of the Western starring Dale Robertson (it ran for six; from 1957 to 1962). It’s an impressive “best of” collection but even the very best “best of” collection is still a “best of” collection.

I’m not sure why the collection only includes episodes from the first five seasons but I assume it has something to do with legal rights issues. For the first five seasons Tales of Welles Fargo was in black and white and ran half and hour; the sixth and final season was an hour long and in color. This may be the first DVD release for the series, although episodes have been included in some of those huge compilations of various shows.

Finally, Bewitched: The Complete Eighth Seasone final season of the beloved sitcom, comes out today with the last 26 episodes. A complete series set must be in the works, right?


1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    There were 50 episodes of “THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT”; #50, “Three Stand Together”, which served as a “pilot” for a proposed third season of the series [the Sonnetts as the law in a small town], was indeed shown on September 15, 1969, the last night it aired on ABC, and omitted from most episode guides….even producer Aaron Spelling forgot about that in his autobiography, claiming #49, “The Man Who Killed James Sonnett”, was the “final episode” (HE got that information from an earlier printing of Brooks & Marsh’s “COMPLETE TELEVISION DIRECTORY..”).

    MCA treated the hour-long color version of “TALES OF WELLS FARGO” (the final 1961-’62 season) as a “separate series”- it wasn’t syndicated in the same “package” with the first five seasons of half-hour monochrome episodes…in fact, two of the hour-long episodes were re-edited into an “overseas” theatrical feature, eventually turning up in the States in syndication. As with most of their “unsaleable” black and white shows, MCA allowed their copyright to lapse on most of the half-hour “WELLS FARGO” episodes years ago, so the DVD “box set” probably consists of most of those episodes.

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