|Have Gun – Will Travel|
Richard Boone as Paladin
|Created by||Sam Rolfe
|Directed by||Andrew McLaglen
|Narrated by||Richard Boone|
|Opening theme||composed by
|Ending theme||"Ballad of Paladin" composed by
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||225|
|Running time||25 mins.|
|Production company(s)||CBS Productions
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Picture format||4:3 black and white|
|Original run||September 14, 1957 – April 20, 1963|
Have Gun – Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated either number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings during each year of its first four seasons. It was one of the few television shows to spawn a successful radio version. The radio series debuted November 23, 1958.
Have Gun – Will Travel was created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow and produced by Frank Pierson, Don Ingalls, Robert Sparks, and Julian Claman. There were 225 episodes of the TV series, 24 written by Gene Roddenberry. Other contributors included Bruce Geller, Harry Julian Fink, Don Brinkley and Irving Wallace. Andrew McLaglen directed 101 episodes and 19 were directed by series star Richard Boone.
The title was a catchphrase used in personal advertisements in newspapers like The Times, indicating that the advertiser was ready for anything. It was used in this way from the early 20th century. A form common in theatrical advertising was "Have tux, will travel," and this was the inspiration for the writer Herb Meadow. The TV show popularized the phrase in the 1960s, and many variations of it were used as titles for other works such as Have Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert Heinlein.
Opening sequence 
Originally, each show opened with exactly the same 45-second visual. Over a slow four-note-repeat backbeat score, a tight shot of a silver chess knight emblem centered in a black background is shown. The view widens to show that the knight is actually an emblem affixed onto the black pistol holster of a gunman, clad entirely in black, who is standing with right side to the camera, and his left hand in the pistol belt. Only his midsection, showing the full gun holster, is seen. Paladin's right hand then slowly draws the weapon, a Western revolver, from the holster, leisurely cocks it, and then rotates it to point the barrel exactly at the viewer, for 10 seconds. During this time, Paladin delivers a pointed line of dialogue from the coming episode (since the speaker's face is never seen, this is possible to do with the same visual in each episode). Then the pistol is again leisurely uncocked, and reholstered with an angry brusqueness, which also serves as emphasis for the previous short speech. As soon as the weapon is reholstered, the view again tightens to show only the chess knight, and "RICHARD BOONE in HAVE GUN – WILL TRAVEL" appears. This leads into the show's theme music. In the actual episode that followed, the line delivered at gunpoint in the opening sequence is often not delivered with the exact same intonation or phrasing. There are a few cases where line does not occur in the story at all: In Season 1's "No Visitors;" Season 2's "The Wager," and "Lady on the Stagecoach."
The first season's Christmas episode, "The Hanging Cross," is unique. Instead of drawing the revolver, Paladin unbuckles the belt and removes the entire rig, holding it out to the camera as he talks. The camera then tilts upward, revealing Richard Boone himself speaking to camera, then hanging the belt, holster, and gun on a wall peg and walking away as the theme picks up and the title graphics appear.
In a later version of the opening sequence, there is a longer range shot, with Paladin in a full-body profile silhouette, and he fast-draws the revolver, dropping into a slight crouch as he turns and points it directly at the camera. After the dubbed-over line, he straightens back up as he shoves the firearm back into his holster. This silhouette visual remained for the rest of the run of the series, but in later episodes, the spoken line would be dropped.
Filming locations 
Unlike many other westerns, entire episodes were filmed outdoors and away from the Paramount Studios backlot. Beginning in season four, filming locations were often given in the closing credits. Locations included Bishop and Lone Pine, California; an area now known as Paladin Estates between Bend and Sisters, Oregon); and the Abbott Ranch near Prineville, Oregon.
This series follows the adventures of "Paladin", a gentleman gunfighter (played by Richard Boone on television and by John Dehner on radio). He prefers to settle without violence the difficulties brought his way by clients willing to pay him. When forced, he excels in all manner of fisticuffs and the use of duelling weapons.
Paladin resides at the posh Hotel Carlton in San Francisco. His attire is stylish and elegant, so much so that, on their initial meeting, many a client take him for a transplanted Eastern dandy. Paladin enjoys the opera, the theatre, recitals and other refined etertainments. He insists on partaking in gourmet meals, treats chess as a blood sport, and is known for his prowess at poker. He enjoys fine cigars and is devoted to the company of beautiful ladies.
When his services are engaged Paladin dons all black trail clothing, becoming a "black knight," so to speak, an anonymous chevalier lacking a coat-of-arms by which he may be identified. His weapons of choice are a finely-crafted revolver, a derringer hidden under his black leather gunbelt and, on occasion, a specially-made rifle bearing a knight's head on its stock (see more at "Paladin's Weapons, below)".
Paladin routinely switches from an expensive frock-coated, lightly hued suit (or informal smoking jacket when in his rooms) befitting his living the good life in genteel urbanity, to all black attire appropriate for his forays into the lawless and barren Western wilderness as a hard-living gunslinger. The change may betoken the off-putting chess move of the knight. Like a chess master seeking control of the board, Paladin employs all his talents and abilities to gain superior positioning in any situation, most often shooting an opponent only as a last resort.
Paladin is a mercenary. He accepts commissions but also is known to offer his services to people whose troubles find their way into the newspaper. In the parlance of chivalry, since Paladin is not attached to the service of any liege lord, his is "a free lance." In "The Outlaw" Paladin denies that he's a bounty hunter although some of his assignments make that distinction highly academic.
Paladin is a former Union cavalry officer, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a veteran of the late War Between the States, otherwise known as the American Civil War. In the episode "Squatters Rights" mention is made of his having fought at the battle of Antioch Station in Tennessee on April 10, 1863.
Exceedingly well-schooled and highly cultured, Paladin is a world traveler and polyglot, conversant, if not fluent, in any foreign tongue required by the plot. He has a thorough knowledge of ancient history and classical literature. Almost every episode has Paladin dropping a line from Plato, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, St Paul, John Milton, Lord Byron, Miguel de Cervantes, even Oscar Wilde, whom he saved from kidnapping in "The Ballad of Oscar Wilde". There are abundant instances of Paladin recalling lengthy Shakespearean passages at will.
A strong, moral, male role model, who not only has committed great poetry to memory but has the ability to call it to mind to aptly underscore any particular situation, was unique in the realm of 1950s prime time television programming.
Always motivated by his code of chivalry to act justly in a just cause Paladin exhibits a passion for justice as well as for the rule of law, and constantly differentiate between the two concepts. He must have studied for the bar as deduced by the ease with which he is able to call to mind and meticulously quote from obscure decisions, along with the dates and names of the cases. He even shows himself adroit in court procedure when defending a gunman in "Trial at Tablerock" before a hastily convened court held in a saloon. This skill doesn't stop him from being routinely beat up and even shot as he carries out his clients' assignments.
Paladin may be aristocratic in demeanor but he's no snob or bigot, character flaws he finds particularly disdainful. While he certainly maintains a richly-textured lifestyle in San Francisco he is invariably courteous to the hotel's staff, including the occasionally officious desk clerk, along with the ubiquitous Chinese bellhop and jack-of-all-trades, Hey Boy, as well as his sister, Hey Girl (see below), seen in several episodes. Upon arriving home after a very late night soiree Paladin has even been known to waltz lightheartedly in the hotel foyer with Maggie McGuire (Peggy Rae), the Carlton's Irish scrubwoman,
Among Paladin's early exploits is an 1857 visit to India, where he won the respect of the natives by hunting man-eating tigers. Back in the United State, he has cultivated friendly relations among the Indian Nations. The Pawnee chief, Cah La Te, admits that the Indians know him as Ulu Shah Te, i.e., "He Who Rides with Many Tribes" ("The Hanging Cross").
The episode "Genesis" has it that Paladin's early reputation for duelling is well known. Revealed in the same episode, Paladin obviously had not always been so highly principled before taking up his knightly profession. He belongs a well-to-do family he had no wish to disgrace. He nevertheless continued a dissipated existence for a time, alienating his family or, at least, his parents who sent him "a small monthly remittance not to go home": money he routinely gambled away (see "Genesis" below).
In his somewhat reformed life, Paladin expects his clients to treat him as courteously as he treats them. He has no scruples about charging steep fees from clients who can affort to hire him, typically $1000.00 a job-a small fortune at the time and a still impressive sum in the 1950s. On a few occasions, depending on the person, Paladin has been known to take nothing for his services. Again, when the outcome warrants, he graciously remits his stipend altogether.
Paladin has Christian sympathies but seems not to belong to any particular religious tradition. He has certainly studied many and appreciates elements found in their philosophies. He understands the symbolic power of the Cross. He takes great pleasure in singing carols, and has a profound love for the beauty of the Christmas story ("The Hanging Cross ").
Paladin's Yuletide spirit comes most notably to fore when he aids a young man and his pregnant wife seeking shelter, as he had, from a driving snowstorm. Breaking in upon a small town saloon's Christmas Eve revels they ask for help but are ignored. Paladin forces the barkeep to, at least, give them shelter in the storeroom. He eventually convinces a hard-bitten bar girl to help as the couple's son is born, the town doctor having passed out during this, "his only vacation." The storm abated, Paladin moumts his horse to leave, pausing to notice the livery stable's sign. Over the plaintive strains of a harmonica playing Adeste Fideles Paladin realizes with some satisfaction that he's spent Christmas in Bethlehem, Texas. The episode's title, "Be Not Forgetful of Strangers" harkens from Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful of showing hospitality to strangers. for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
Too, Paladin shows an abiding respect for the tireless Franciscan friars he encounters in their missions on the frontier ("The Sanctuary", "A Statue for San Sebastian", "A Miracle for St Francis"). Inevitably the priests endanger themselves by protecting Indians, Mexicans and underprivileged settlers from the schemes of unscupulous bullies. Still, it's telling that, when burying a rancher killed by hostile Indians, Paladin doesn't recite a biblical passage but intones [[John Donne's "Death Be Not Proud" over the grave instead.
Paladin's Business Card and Chessman 
A set piece takes place in each episode: Paladin's "Have Gun-Will Travel" engraved business card is displayed in a closeup, highlighted by a musical sting. Prominent on the card is a drawing of a chessman, the horse-headed knight. The same device worked in platinum is attached to the center of his holster.
The symbol refers to the man's name, Paladin, a knight errant—a nickname or, more precisely, a nom-de-guerre, even a working name—denoting his occupation as a champion-for-hire. The series' closing theme song describes Paladin as "a knight without armor". In "The Road to Wickenburg," Paladin draws a parallel between his methods and the knight's movement on a chess board: "It's an attack piece, the most versatile on the board. It can move eight different ways, over barriers, and [is] always unexpected."
Along with the horse-headed knight's piece appearing on Paladin's iconic business card, is found the brief instruction: "Wire Paladin-San Francisco". The laconic message inspired comedians of the day to quip, "What's Paladin's first name? 'Wire', of course—look at his card!"
The beginning of Paladin's career is revealed in a flashback which takes place during the first episode of the final season ("Genesis," episode 193). Norge, a smarmy land dealer (portrayed by William Conrad who directed the installment), gives an unnamed young man an opportunity to pay off a $15,000.00 gambling debt. If not, he obliquely promises to disgrace the young man's "distinguished family name" by sending the young man to jail.
Norge explains that he's looked into the young man's background and counts on his personal code of honor to accept an offer to hunt down and kill a mysterious gunman named Smoke in exchange for wiping out the debt. The young man is assured by Norge that Smoke is a blackguard, "wanted for fifteen murders in fifteen states," who deserves to die several times over. By killing off all of Norge's guards Smoke has kept the land baron off his own property in Delta Valley for some time. The young man accepts the commission by burning his IOUs.
Wearing a brown jacket, tan hat with tight, tan trousers stuffed into a pair of tall, black, riding boots (see photo above) the young man rides off seeking Smoke. In a soft leather holster covered by a flap the young man carries a service revolver, obviously the sidearm he wore as an Army officer. Viewers first see Smoke from the right side. He's garbed all in black, his pistol intriguingly holstered in hard, black leather on which is seen the unmistakeable knight's head chess device.
Smoke sneaks up behind the young man on the outskirts of town and knocks him senseless. After recovering he sees Smoke on a cliff above him while he is confined behind a pallisade and a 1000-foot drop behind. Smoke (also played by Boone in a grey wig and without his trademark mustache) is fully aware that the young man believes he's on a mission of justice. However, Smoke informs the young man, he's but the latest in a string of misguided amateur bounty hunters paid by Norge to kill him. Smoke is not impressed by the young man's gentlemanly attire and demeanor. He sardonically informs the young, well-meaning avenger that he may think himself "a noble paladin" like his medieval forebears who wore "shiny armor" and "carried pointy lances," but that a paladin is, after all, nothing more than a mercenary, a soldier of fortune. Smoke mentors the young man on fast draw techniques to make himself "worthy" to face him. Since the young man refuses to identify himself, Smoke taunts him as "my noble Paladin."
This appallation turns out to be doubly ironic when the already dying Smoke is fatally shot. Only then does he reveal to the young man that Norge lied. Smoke admits to being a criminal gunslinger once but, indebted to the townspeople for taking him in and nursing him back to health, Smoke became their champion, "the one noble thing" he has ever done, protecting his new friends from the despotism they had suffered under Norge and his hired thugs. Smoke warns his slayer that while he won this match "there are always dragons."
During the funeral service Smoke is movingly eulogized by townspeople now left without a protector. It is all too clear to the young man that the gunfighter had, without doubt, earned their veneration as their defender. The young man is overcome by grief for what he has done.
At the flashback's conclusion Norge, speeding to Delta Valley in a buckboard to take back his domain, is confronted by a man wearing a black, low-crowned Stetson and black trail clothes. The young man has become the new defender of the town. With Smoke's knightly holster on his hip he is now Paladin. The flashback ends with the implication that Paladin eliminates Norge thus saving the town from further tyranny. Paladin thus takes on his profession as an act of personal redemption.
The episode, written by Sam Rolfe, one of the show's creators, exhibits elements of both Christian allegory and mythical subtexts, unusual for a popular Western in 1962.
Paladins's trail clothing 
On the trail, Paladin wears black boots, what look like black denim trousers, a black shirt and a flat-crowned Stetson having four tastefully understated silver conchos attached to the leather band around the crown. Paladin originally wore a narrow, gray string tie knotted in standard four-in-hand fashion (see picture in the Books section below) instead of the usual bow-knotted variation worn by many tradesmen and bankers in Westerns. This tie continues the concept of Paladin's gentlemanly fastidiousness and furthers a notion that he regarded his profession as simply "going to work" to the Eisenhower generation.
The tie was discarded after the first season, perhaps feeling that it was too much of an affectation. Paladin's shirt remained open-collared for the rest of the series.
In a few early episodes Paladin wore a large, natural sheepskin jacket coupled to a fleecy, close-fitting, ear-flapped travelling cap in snow and cold weather. The floppy ear flaps, turned up and untied, gave the gunman an uncharacteristic sloppy, even comic appearance. For the rest of the run Paladin substituted a close fitting, black leather jacket with a gray sheepskin collar, resembling the leather bomber jacket style familiar to audiences at the time along with black gloves and his usual black headgear.
Paladin was a man of means. His clothing would have been tailored for him in the fashion of the time and suited to his needs.
It is strongly implied that Paladin's black gunbelt, holster, and very likely his flat-crowned hat, first belonged to Smoke, the wily yet virtuous gunslinger whom Paladin mistakenly thought a scoundrel, as detailed in the "Genesis" segment above.
Paladin's presumed afterlife 
In the final episode of the radio show, Paladin moves to Boston in 1875 to claim an inheritance bequeathed by his aunt Grace. Paladin mentions living in Illinois as a child, recalling his father mentioning that Grace had run away from the family to New York.
In the television series, Paladin's gunfighting career continues sometime longer, He encounters an old Army friend, as he searches for a corporal, a deserter from the 7th Cavalry, the command of Colonel George Armstrong Custer until 1876;; and Oscar Wilde toured America in 1882.
In the 1972–74 series Hec Ramsey, set at the end of the 19th century, Boone stars as an older former gunfighter turned early forensic criminologist. At one point Ramsey denies that, in his younger days as a gunfighter, he had worked under the name Paladin. The origin of this myth is Boone's remark in an interview, "Hec Ramsey is Paladin—only fatter." Naturally, he merely meant the characters had certain similarities: Ramsey, for his part, was practically buffoonish, imparting a measure of humor to Hec Ramsey missing from the sterner, more erudite Paladin.
In the two-part 1991 TV mini-series, The Gambler—The Luck Of The Draw, a poker game is played by the rules of "the late Mr. Paladin" in the hotel where Paladin usually stayed. The players are under the impression that. alas, Paladin had finally met his Maker.
Related information is found in the Historical setting section below.
Paladin's weapons 
Paladin's primary weapon is a custom-made .45 caliber Colt Single Action Army revolver that was perfectly balanced and of excellent craftsmanship. It had a one-ounce trigger pull (virtually impossible to achieve reliably with the Colt lockwork; most SAAs are four to eight pounds, not ounces, and a one-ounce pull would be very dangerous) and a rifled barrel with the rifling unaccountably stated in the show as though it were a special feature, though all SAAs had rifled barrels unless specially made for shot cartridges. The accuracy was given as "one inch to the right at fifty feet" though such a large error in windage surely would have been corrected on a custom-made Colt. But it sounds impressive to uninformed viewers.
The lever-action Marlin rifle strapped to his horse's saddle was rarely used, but the chess-piece knight's insignia embossed on the rifle's stock suggests this weapon was as meticulously crafted as the six-shooter. The derringer (a double-barrelled Remington in most episodes, a single-barrel Colt in others) which Paladin hides under his belt saves his life in numerous instances. Paladin's intuitive sense of chess-like strategy—often anticipating moves ahead of his adversary and backing it up with formidable skills in all areas of personal combat—plus his epicurean tastes and implied lust for women (when relaxing in San Francisco) made him very much a "James Bond" of the Old West. Ever a man of refinement, Paladin even carries a few expensive cigars in his boot when out on adventure.
Paladin's great advantage over adversaries was not his impressive equipment or even his ability as a marksman, superior as that may be; Paladin's edge was his training, intellect, rich education and tactical sense gained from his experience at West Point and as an officer in the U.S. Army. He has the ability to relate ancient antecedents to current situations. With the enemy surrounding him, Paladin often comes up with an insightful aside about General Marcellus and the siege of Syracuse or something similar, employing this insight to his advantage. Paladin also had common sense and the ability to relate to other people on their level, relate to them, and make them see his point of view. He could have been a great lawyer, as he demonstrated so many times the ability to sway public opinion.
Hey Boy and Hey Girl 
The one other major semiregular character in the show was the Chinese bellhop at the Carlton Hotel, known as Hey Boy, played by Kam Tong. According to author and historian Martin Grams, Jr., the character of Hey Boy was featured in all but the fourth of the show's six seasons, with the character of Hey Girl, played by Lisa Lu, replacing Hey Boy for season four while Kam Tong pursued a career with another television series.
Lu appears in the 1957 episode "Hey Boy's Revenge," playing Hey Boy's sister, Kim Li. In that episode, the audience also learns that Hey Boy's name is Kim Chan. (We also learn that Paladin can read Chinese in at least a rudimentary way.) In another episode from the first season, "The Singer," Hey Boy responds to a stranger who addresses him with "Hey you!" by annoyedly responding that it is "Hey Boy" and not "Hey you."
In the season/episode sequencing used by Netflix, Kam Tong (Hey Boy) did actually appear in three episodes of Season 4: episode 1 ("The Fatalist"), episode 2 ("Love's Young Dream"), and episode 9 ("The Marshal's Boy").
Guest stars 
June Lockhart appeared twice in the role of Dr. Phyllis Thackeray. Her first appearance was in the episode "No Visitors." She portrayed a groundbreaking female physician who diagnosed a case of 3 day measles instead of the smallpox a fire and brimstone wagonmaster decided was reason enough to abandon a mother and child alone on the prairie. Paladin rescued the mother and child, and found a kindred spirit in the lovely Dr. Phyllis Thackeray. In "The Return of Dr. Thackeray," which aired May 17, 1958, Her second appearance, Paladin's physician 'friend' diagnoses a cook with smallpox. Dr. Thackeray worries that the disease has infected the ranch hands coming in from a cattle drive employed by wealthy ranch owner Sam Barton, played by Grant Withers, because Barton and his weak son refuse to take responsibility for containing the outbreak on their ranch. Singer Johnny Western, who performed the series theme song, appears in this episode as an immature gunslinger. Paladin shows his softer side as he and the lovely Dr. Thackeray talk about why they are not ready to change their lives and marry.
Perhaps as a favor to his son, Andrew, HGWT's original and main director, famous Oscar-winning actor, Victor McLaglen, appeared in the series' first season as Mike O'Hare, an Irish architect trying to build a dam in the wilderness against the wishes of a nearby town in "The O'Hare Story".
Roy Barcroft the prolific character actor whose glance could shake planets in science fictipn serials in the 1930s and '40s, was well-remembered as kindly Colonel Logan in the "Spin and Marty" segments of "The Mickey Mouse Club." He appeared in eleven episodes in various roles.
Harey Carey, Jr., who also appeared in "Spin and Marty" as Bill Burnett, could be seen in segments of just about every Western TV series made in the 1950s and was part of the John Ford stock company, appearing in several movies with John Wayne. He did his friend Roy Barcroft two episodes better, being featured in thirteen episodes.
Hal Needham, ace stuntman and character actor, who later directed several successful films, appeared in 26 episodes.
Olan Soule, who had a very long career in movies and television, appeared in eleven episodes as the Hotel Carlton's desk clerk. He was spelled a couple of times by Peter Brocco, another prolific character acter.
Opening theme - closing song 
The program's opening four note motif was as familiar a theme as the four note openings of its contemporaries, Dragnet and Twilight Zone and Perry Mason. It was composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann. Its closing song, "Ballad of Paladin," was written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe and was performed by Western.
In the third season a new lyric was added to the five line "Ballad of Paladin" making it six lines long. In 1962-63, the final season, the song's lyrics were cut back to four lines, the original fourth and added sixth being dropped.
The fully recorded version, sung by Johnny Western, opening with the refrain and with a second verse never heard on the television series may be heard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgvxu8QY01s
Historical setting 
Like many westerns, the television show was set during a nebulous period after the Civil War. Based on several episodes, Paladin had served in the cavalry during that war, about 12 years previously, and the episode "The Fifth Man" (May 30, 1959) was clearly set during 1875 (the introduction to episodes of the radio version explicitly states the year 1875 as well). The episode "Full Circle" (May 14, 1960) and "Blind Circle" in the fifth season are also set in 1875. ("Full Circle" is set three years after September 1872.) The episode "Lazarus" in the fifth season takes place on March 6 and 7, 1875.
"Comanche" (May 16, 1959) ends with Paladin surveying the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, June 26, 1876. In "Out at the Old Ball Bark" in the fourth season, he speaks of having seen a baseball game in 1876. In "The Shooting of Jessie May" in the fourth season, a newspaper is dated October 7, 1876, and an event in the Civil war was "10 or 12 years ago." "The Cure" in the fourth season is set sometime after the death of Wild Bill Hickok, August 2, 1876. The episode of December 6, 1958 ("The Ballad of Oscar Wilde"), takes place during Oscar Wilde's tour of America in 1882.
On the other hand, in "Cage at McNaab," which was episode 23 of the sixth season (which originally aired 16 February 1963), Paladin is asked by the wife of a condemned prisoner to visit him and see if new evidence can be found to clear him. Paladin's visit leads to quite an unexpected result: Paladin literally finds he now walks in another man's footsteps. While imprisoned, to demonstrate that he could not have spent the last year in solitary confinement, Paladin says, "Last week the liberal Republicans nominated Greeley for President and Brown for Vice President." This refers to the 1872 election, indicating this occurred prior to November 1872, probably in the summer of 1872. He also says, "Last May 22, the Amnesty Act for Confederate soldiers was signed," also in 1872.
In the third season episode "Pancho," Paladin tangles with a teenager named Doroteo Arango, a man who would later be better known as Pancho Villa. The real Pancho Villa was not born until 1878.
In the fifth season episode "The Invasion" (April 28, 1962), Paladin is hired by the State Department to prevent an uprising by a charismatic Irish-American named O'Shea, a leader of the Fenians who intended to seize the English colonies in Canada as hostage to force Britain out of Ireland. These Fenian raids began in 1866 and were one of the main reasons for Canada's independence in 1867. "The Invasion" specifically refers to Canada being under British rule, so must be set before 1867.
Season 5, Episode 18 "The Mark Of Cain" Paladin clearly states that Tom Horn is already dead. Tom Horn was hanged in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickell November 20, 1903.
Broadcast history and ratings 
September 1957 – April 1963: Saturdays at 9:30 pm
- October 1957 – April 1958: #4 – 33.7
- October 1958 – April 1959: #3 – 34.3
- October 1959 – April 1960: #3 – 34.7
- October 1960 – April 1961: #3 – 30.9
- October 1961 – April 1962: #29 – 22.2
- October 1962 – April 1963: #29 – 20.8
The television show was nominated for three Emmy Awards. These were for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series, for Richard Boone (1959); Best Western Series (1959); and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead or Support), for Richard Boone (1960).
Many of the writers who worked on Have Gun – Will Travel went on to gain fame elsewhere. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, Bruce Geller created Mission: Impossible, and Harry Julian Fink is one of the writers who created Dirty Harry (the opening title and theme scene of the Dirty Harry sequel Magnum Force would feature the same Paladin-like sequence of a handgun being slowly cocked and then finally pointed toward the camera, with a line of dialogue). Sam Peckinpah wrote one episode, which aired in 1958. Both Star Trek and Mission: Impossible were produced by Desilu Productions and later Paramount Television, which also now owns the rights to Have Gun – Will Travel through its successor company, CBS Television Distribution.
In other media 
Radio show 
The Have Gun – Will Travel radio show broadcast 106 episodes on the CBS Radio Network between November 23, 1958, and November 27, 1960. It was one of the last radio dramas featuring continuing characters and the only significant American radio adaptation of a television series. John Dehner (a regular on the radio series version of Gunsmoke) played Paladin, and Ben Wright usually (but not always) played Hey Boy. Virginia Gregg played the role of Miss Wong, Hey Boy's girlfriend, before the television series began featuring the character of Hey Girl. Unlike the small-screen version, in this medium there was usually a tag scene back at the Carlton at both the beginning and the end of the episode. Initially, the episodes were adaptations of the television program as broadcast earlier the same week, but eventually original stories were produced, including a finale ("Goodbye, Paladin") in which Paladin leaves San Francisco, apparently forever, to claim an inheritance back east. The radio version of the show was written by producer/writer Roy Winsor.
There were three novels based on the television show, all with the same title as the show. The first was a hardback written for children, published by Whitman in 1959 as part of a series of novelizations of television shows. It was written by Barlow Meyers and illustrated by Nichols S. Firfires. The second was a 1960 paperback original, written for adults by Noel Lomis. The last book, called A Man Called Paladin, written by Frank C. Robertson and published in 1963 by Collier-Macmillan in both hardback and paperback, is based on the television original episode "Genesis" by Frank Rolfe. This novel is the only source wherein a name is given to the Paladin character, Clay Alexander, but fans of the series do not consider this name canonical. Dell Comics published a number of comic books with original stories based on the television series.
In 2001, a trade paperback book titled The Have Gun – Will Travel Companion was published, documenting the history of the radio and television series. The 500-page book was authored by Martin Grams, Jr. and Les Rayburn.
In 1997 it was announced that a movie version of the television series would be made. John Travolta was named as a possible star in the Warner Bros. production, which was scripted by Larry Ferguson and to be directed by The Fugitive director Andrew Davis. The film was not made.
In 2006, it was announced that a Have Gun – Will Travel movie starring Eminem was being made, with possible release in 2008; as of 2012, release is expected in 2013. Paramount Pictures extended an 18-month option on the television series and planned to transform the character of Paladin into a modern-day bounty hunter. Eminem was also expected to work on the soundtrack.
Television reboot 
Home video and DVD 
All of the episodes were released on VHS by Columbia House.
Note: In the second-season DVD, two of the episodes are mislabeled. On disk three, the episode titled "Treasure Trail" is actually "Hunt the Man Down," and on disk four, "Hunt the Man Down" is "Treasure Trail"; the "Wire Paladin" in each case refers to the other episode. In season six, volume two, the final two episodes "The Sanctuary" and "Squatter's Rights" are missing from the Region 2 DVD release. No explanation for the omission has been given.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release date|
|Season 1||39||May 11, 2004|
|Season 2||39||May 10, 2005|
|Season 3||39||January 3, 2006|
|Season 4- Volume 1||19||March 2, 2010|
|Season 4- Volume 2||19||July 6, 2010|
|Season 5- Volume 1||19||November 30, 2010|
|Season 5- Volume 2||19||February 22, 2011|
|Season 6- Volume 1||16||May 7, 2013|
|Season 6- Volume 2||16||May 7, 2013|
Victor De Costa: a previous Paladin 
In April 1974 a Portuguese cowboy from Rhode Island named Victor DeCosta won a federal court judgment in his second suit against CBS for trademark infringement, a decision supporting his claim that he had created both the Paladin character and some concepts seen in the series. His cowboy image notably included the nickname "Paladin," a mustache, an all-black outfit including flat-top black hat, chess knight on the business card, and the motto "Have Gun – Will Travel". In their previous appeal, the defendants claimed it was "'coincidence' run riot," "more bizarre than most television serial installments." During subsequent litigation, the "court found no basis for liability for common law service mark infringement or unfair competition and accordingly reversed.". After that, DeCosta applied for registration of his mark, and in 1975 the Patent and Trademark Office granted his application. Meanwhile CBS granted the syndicated broadcasting of the series throughout the United States to Viacom. DeCosta sued Viacom for trademark infringement, and after an appeal, in 1991 he was awarded $3.5 million. The award was eventually denied in 1993, and after the death of Victor DeCosta (1993) the litigation was continued by David DeCosta.
Cultural influences of Paladin 
- Have Space Suit—Will Travel is a 1958 "space opera"-type science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein that partly spoofs the title of this series. It is also a picaresque with the main character starting at home and then being called to adventure in space. The connection between westerns (known also as "horse operas") and science fiction in Americana is once again alluded to.
- Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel is a 1958 album by guitarist Duane Eddy
- "Have Love, Will Travel" is a 1959 song written and recorded by Richard Berry.
- In a scene in Stand By Me, the main characters sing the show's closing theme song as a way of evoking that film's era (it is set in late 1959); songwriter Johhny Western successfully sued the producers for not getting his permission beforehand. This scene is spoofed in the "Stand by Me" segment of the Family Guy episode "Three Kings".
- The 1962 Tom and Jerry cartoon Tall in the Trap (directed by Gene Deitch) was a parody of Have Gun – Will Travel.
- A feature of Frank Zappa's 1970 tour's performances was the "Paladin Routine," a brief improvised comedy sketch based on the Have Gun – Will Travel characters, culminating in a vocalization of the music from the series' opening-credit sequence. One such performance is documented on the bootleg album Freaks & Motherfu*#@%! (later released as part of Beat the Boots).
- In a preview of the upcoming season of Downton Abbey aired November 25, 2012, in what appears to be an anachronism, the character Lady Cora tells her husband, "I'm American—have gun, will travel."
- "Have Time Will Travel" from "The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald".
See also 
- "Richard Boone".
- The Museum of Broadcast Communications (Encyclopedia of Television) – Have Gun, Will Travel by Peter Orlick
- "Have Gun – Will Travel".
- Eric Partridge, Paul Beale, A dictionary of catch phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day
- J. Daniel Gifford (2000), Robert A. Heinlein: a reader's companion, p. 98
- TV Acres
- Movie City News: Have Gun – Will Travel (In the course of the series, the trigger pull weight was given as both one and two ounces. In the first episode, "one ounce" is stated. In the episode "Julia," "two ounces" is given.)
- "The Piano http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0597640/". Have Gun – Will Travel. "one inch to the right at fifty feet"
- Hal Erickson, "Return of Dr. Thackeray," All Movie Guide
- "Kevin Hagen". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- The episode "The Mark of Cain" is set after Jesse James, Frank James, the Dalton Gang, Cherokee Bill, and Tom Horn are all dead. Jesse James died in 1882, Cherokee Bill in 1896, Tom Horn in 1903, Frank James in 1915, and the last member of the Dalton gang in 1937.
- Dunning, John (1998), On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 311, ISBN 0-19-507678-8 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- Michael Fleming (1997-05-15). "Krane Takes Bull by Horns". Variety. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "Eminem to star in Have Gun – Will Travel film remake". CBC News. 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- Rose, Lacey (2012-08-21). "CBS, David Mamet Developing 'Have Gun – Will Travel' Reboot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Tucker, Ken (2012-08-22). "David Mamet's 'Have Gun, Will Travel' reboot: Why it's a great idea". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- "Have Gun Will Travel DVD news: Announcement for The 6th and Final Year, Volume 1 and The 6th and Final Year, Volume 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Time, April 29, 1974.
- "377 F.2d 315: Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., Defendant, Appellant, v. Victor Decosta, Plaintiff, Appellee.capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation v. Victor Decosta.c B S Films Inc. v. Victor Decosta :: US Court of Appeals Cases :: Justia". Law.justia.com. 1967-05-11. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Michael V.P. Marks, "Legal Rights of Fictional Characters," in: Copyright Law Symposium, ASCAP, Columbia University Press, 1980, ISBN 0231048661 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK], p. 54
- DECOSTA v. VIACOM INTL., March 11, 1991
- Morning Report: Television, Los Angeles Times, September 25, 1991
- "Licensing and Intellectual Property Law Desk Reference: 2004 Edition - Michael D. Scott - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- "FindACase | DECOSTA". Mt.findacase.com. 1993-06-28. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
Further reading 
- The Have Gun – Will Travel Companion by Martin Grams, Jr. and Les Rayburn. OTR Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9703310-0-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Have Gun – Will Travel at the Internet Movie Database
- Have Gun – Will Travel at TV.com
- Have Gun – Will Travel at the Museum of Broadcast Communications
- Have Gun – Will Travel Tribute Site
- The Entire Radio Series for download
- Web-site for the Have Gun – Will Travel paperback book
- Have Gun – Will Travel: The Radio Series by author Martin Grams, Jr.
- First version of opening sequence
- "Ballad of Paladin" (closing theme) – written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe and performed by Johnny Western