I've recently been happy to spend more time with my favorite TV series, MAVERICK, as I have reviewed the beautiful Season 4 release of the show from the Warner Archive.
I reviewed the Season 3 set in late July. Whereas Season 3 contained 26 episodes in one case, Season 4 comes in two cases, "Part One" and "Part Two," with each case containing 16 episodes on four discs.
Like Season 3, Season 4 is a very fine-looking set. MAVERICK fans will be delighted to own it, and I encourage those who don't yet know the series to check it out.
Near the end of the season the show also introduced Robert Colbert as brother Brent Maverick in two episodes, "The Forbidden City" and "Benefit of Doubt." (He's seen below with Kelly and Moore.) Colbert seems to have been chosen for his resemblance to Garner, but the less said about his flat and uninspired performance, the better. Colbert has had a long and successful career as a working actor, including an extended run on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, but he was simply the wrong fit here.
Chief among the Season 4 highlights is "Hadley's Hunters," a Jack Kelly episode with several Warner Bros. TV Western stars making cameos, including Clint Walker, John Russell, and Ty Hardin. The great cast also includes Edgar Buchanan, George Kennedy, and perennial '50s Western villain Robert J. Wilke.
Other favorites include Moore and guest star Merry Anders in "The Town That Wasn't There," in which an entire town moves and then moves again; "Bolt From the Blue," a Moore episode written and directed by Robert Altman; Jeanne Cooper and Michael Pate in "Flood's Folly," a Moore episode with travelers stranded by a blizzard; the Kelly episode "Dodge City or Bust"; and "Triple Indemnity," another Kelly episode which marked Peter Breck's first appearance in his recurring role as Doc Holliday, taking over from Gerald Mohr who played the part twice earlier in the series run.
I especially enjoyed revisiting "Substitute Gun" for the first time in years. When I watched the series years ago, the name of guest star Coleen Gray meant nothing to me. Since then I've come to appreciate her film career, seen her speak on two occasions, and had the pleasure of an hour-long phone interview. It was a lot of fun seeing her play opposite Jack Kelly in the episode.
In addition to being a good-looking set, the discs have a nice robust sound quality. The closing theme song sounds terrific.
While it's true that the first two to three seasons of the series are the strongest, for me any season of MAVERICK stands head and shoulders over most other television. I've watched these episodes countless times, and I'll be watching them again in the future, thrilled to have them on DVD at last.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website. Please note that the initial sets of this series sold at the Warner Archive site are traditionally replicated (pressed) rather than burned on demand.