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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > TV > Have Gun - Will Travel: The Fourth Season, Volume Two (1961/CBS DVD)

Have Gun - Will Travel: The Fourth Season, Volume Two (1961/CBS DVD)

Picture: C+    Sound: C    Extras: D    Episodes: A

Paladin returns in this latest volume of Have Gun - Will Travel.  I've been a fan of this series for some time now, and it is good to see that CBS has seen fit to continue releasing the program.  While that is cause for celebration, it's a shame to see that each season is now split between two volumes, rather than being an all-inclusive set.  It is easy, however, to overlook this decision, as the episodes are all free-standing and there aren't cliffhangers to add frustration to the waiting.

Richard Boone once again puts forth an excellent performance as the man in black, which we have covered in previous volumes elsewhere on this site, but this is my first look at the series in these new volumes.  Remarkably, this show is still fresh four seasons in.  As in earlier seasons, the writers have done a commendable job at keeping things interesting for our hired gun.  His cool demeanor and desire to solve situations with brain power and logic before resorting to a weapon ensure that no matter what the situation is, it will always be a joy to watch.

The episodes contained in this volume are as follows.

1) Shadow of a Man
2) Long Way Home
3) Taxgatherer
4) Fatal Flaw
5) Fandango
6) The Last Judgment
7) The Gold Bar
8) Everyman
9) The Siege
10) The Long Weekend
11) El Paso Stage
12) Duke of Texas
13) Broken Image
14) Brother's Keeper
15) Bear Bait
16) The Cure
17) The Road
18) The Uneasy Grave
19) Soledad Crossing

The picture is in black and white, with its original 35mm full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. While it isn't perfect, it is crisp, with few examples of neglect or careless transferring.  The audio track provided is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, and while not as great as the video (there are pops and other unwanted noise that have not been cleaned up), it is pretty good for its age.  I did notice at least one example of the narration missing at the beginning of an episode, where Paladin normally provides a voice-over to sum up the episode before holstering his gun.

There are no extras on these discs, and while that is a shame, you're still getting some bang for your buck, as there are nearly 20 episodes here to enjoy.  There are at least summaries and original airdates listed on the artwork as a reference accompaniment to your viewing.

I recommend this volume to any fans of the series, or western fans in general who have yet to check this show out.  Perhaps someday we'll be treated to Blu-Ray editions of the series with some new bonus content to sweeten the pot.  Until then, grab this set - it is essential viewing.

  David Milchick


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