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 (several were written by Gene Roddenberry), of which 101 were directed by Andrew McLaglen and 19 were directed by series star Richard Boone. Title, The title was a catch phrase 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 1900s. 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 sixties, 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 white 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 long-barreled 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 decocked, 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 usually not delivered in this way. In Season 1's "No Visitors," the line does not occur in the story at all. 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. Characters, Paladin: The show followed the adventures of "Paladin" (no other name is ever given), a gentleman gunfighter (played by Richard Boone on television, and by John Dehner on radio), who preferred to settle problems without violence; yet, when forced to fight, excelled. Paladin lived in the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, where he dressed in formal attire, ate gourmet food, and attended the opera. In fact, many who met him initially mistook him for a dandy from the East. But when working, he dressed in black, carried a derringer under his belt, used calling cards with a chess knight emblem, and wore a stereotypical western-style black gunbelt with the same chess knight symbol attached to the holster. The knight symbol refers to his name -- possibly a nickname or working name -- and his occupation as a champion-for-hire (see Paladin). The theme song of the series refers to him as "a knight without armor." In "The Road to Wickenburg," Paladin draws a parallel between his methods and the chess piece's movement: "It's an attack piece, the most versatile on the board. It can move eight different ways, over barriers, and is always unexpected." Paladin's routine switch from the expensive light-colored suit of his genteel urbane persona in San Francisco to his alter ego who wears all-black attire for quests into the lawless and barren Western frontier is also a chess reference. Paladin was a former Army officer and a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was a polyglot, capable of speaking any foreign tongue required by the plot. He also had a thorough knowledge of ancient history and classical literature, and he exhibited a strong passion for legal principles and the rule of law. Paladin was also a world traveler. His exploits had included an 1857 visit to India, where he had won the respect of the natives as a hunter of man-eating tigers. Paladin -- whose real name was never revealed -- took on his role by happenstance, a backplot revealed in the first episode of the final season. To pay off a gambling IOU, he had been forced to hunt down and kill a mysterious gunman called Smoke, whom Boone himself acted out without his moustache and with grey-white hair. Smoke had given the Paladin character his nickname, facetiously calling him "a noble paladin." The question had turned out to be doubly ironic, as Smoke had revealed in his death scene that he had not been a criminal gunfighter, but instead had protected the nearby town from the man who had sent Paladin. Paladin had adopted Smoke's black outfit and had confronted the other man (acted out by William Conrad, who also directed the installment) when he had arrived. It was implied that Paladin had killed him. The episode was unusually allegorical and mythical for a popular Western in 1962. Paladin charged steep fees for his services -- typically a thousand dollars a job. His primary weapon was 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 and a rifled barrel. The accuracy was given as "one inch to the right at fifty feet." The lever-action Winchester rifle strapped to his horse's saddle was rarely used, but the horsehead insignia embossed on the rifle's stock suggests that this weapon was as meticulously crafted as the six-shooter. The derringer (a double-barrel Remington in most episodes, a single-barrel Colt in some) that Paladin hid under his belt had saved his life numerous times. Paladin's intuitive sense of chesslike 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 carried a few expensive cigars in his boot when out on adventure. Paladin's great advantage over adversaries was not his impressive equipment, or his ability as a marksman, superior as this was; Paladin's edge was his rich education. He had an infallible ability to relate ancient antecedents to his current situations. When the enemy was surrounding him, Paladin could usually make some insightful quip about General Marcellus and the siege of Syracuse or something similar, and then use this insight to his advantage. Burying a rancher killed by Indians, he recited John Donne's "Death Be Not Proud" above the grave. A male role model who memorized poetry was unique in a 1950s television series. Like a chess master, he sought control of the board through superior position, and usually killed only as a last resort. In the final episode of the radio show, Paladin returns to the East to claim a family inheritance. 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. But it is not true that Ramsey says, at one point, that in his younger days as a gunfighter, he had worked under the name Paladin. The origin of this myth is that Boone stated in an interview that "Hec Ramsey is Paladin -- only fatter." Naturally, he merely meant that the characters had certain similarities: Ramsey, for his part, was practically buffoonish, imparting a measure of humor to Hec Ramsey that had been missing from Have Gun -- Will Travel, compared to the erudite Paladin. 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. In the 1957 episode "Hey Boy's Revenge," Lu appears 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." Notable guest stars: This article may contain excessive, poor or irrelevant examples. You can improve the article by adding more descriptive text. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. Guest stars included: Philip Ahn, Claude Akins, Jack Albertson, James Anderson, John Anderson, Keith Andes, R. G. Armstrong, Phyllis Avery, Val Avery, Parley Baer, Raymond Bailey, Martin Balsam, Don "Red" Barry, James Best, Whit Bissell, Robert Blake, Dan Blocker, Antoinette Bower, Peter Breck, Charles Bronson (5 times), Kathie Browne (multiple appearances), Edgar Buchanan, Walter Burke, Dyan Cannon as (Dianne Cannon), Harry Carey, Jr. (9 times), John Carradine, Lon Chaney, Jr., Lee Van Cleef, James Coburn (2 times), Mike Connors, William Conrad, Hans Conried, Walter Coy, Johnny Crawford, Ken Curtis (5 times), Abby Dalton, Royal Dano, Jim Davis, John Dehner (also radio voice of Paladin), Joe De Santis, Angie Dickinson, Ivan Dixon, Lawrence Dobkin, Elinor Donahue, John Doucette, Andrew Duggan, Buddy Ebsen (2 times), Duane Eddy, Jack Elam, Robert Emhardt, Peter Falk, John Fiedler, Paul Fix, Constance Ford, James Franciscus, Gale Garnett, Clu Gulager, Dabbs Greer, Leo Gordon (4 times), Frank Gorshin, Murray Hamilton, John Hoyt, Richard Jaeckel, Ben Johnson, I. Stanford Jolley, L. Q. Jones, DeForest Kelley, George Kennedy (7 times), Sandy Kenyon, Werner Klemperer, John Larch, Len Lesser, June Lockhart (twice as Dr. Phyllis Thackeray), Richard Long, Perry Lopez, Jack Lord, Lisa Lu (later played Hey Girl), Theodore Marcuse, Strother Martin (4 times), Patricia Medina (2 times), Mike Mazurki, Victor McLaglen (father of frequent director Andrew McLaglen), Nico Minardes (2 times), James Mitchum, John Mitchum, Harry Morgan, Billy Mumy, Hal Needham (25 times) (also Richard Boone's regular stunt double), Ed Nelson (5 times), Simon Oakland, Warren Oates, J. Pat O'Malley, Gregg Palmer (4 times), Woodrow Parfrey, Michael Pate, Hank Patterson, Larry Pennell, Suzanne Pleshette, Sydney Pollack, Vincent Price, Andrew Prine, Denver Pyle (7 times), Alan Reed, Wayne Rogers, Pernell Roberts, Janice Rule, Bing Russell, Albert Salmi, William Schallert, Marian Seldes, Jeremy Slate, Hal Smith, Brett Somers, Olan Soule (hotel desk clerk), Harry Dean Stanton, Robert (Bob) Steele, Harold J. Stone, Frank Sutton, Buck Taylor, Kenneth Tobey, Doodles Weaver, Jack Weston, David White, Stuart Whitman, Peter Whitney, Robert J. Wilke (5 times), Lana Wood, Morgan Woodward, Theme songs, The program's opening theme song was composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann. Its closing theme song, "Ballad of Paladin," was written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe, and was performed by Western. Historical setting, Like many TV 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. On the other hand, the episode of May 16, 1959 ("Comanche") was set during 1876, as it ends with Paladin surveying the aftermath of Custer's Last Stand (Battle of the Little Big Horn). 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, the 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 1876 death of Wild Bill Hickok. 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 "Season 6, Episode 23: Cage at McNaab" Original Air Date--16 February 1963 Paladin is asked by the wife of a man who is condemned to die to visit him in prison and see if new evidence can be found to clear her husband. Not sure if he wants the job, Paladin agrees to the visit and it leads to quite an unexpected result. Paladin literally finds he now walks in another man's footsteps. While imprisoned, to prove he could not have spent the last year in solitary confinement, Paladin specifically states that the "Last week the liberal Republicans nominated Greely for President and Brown for Vice President." This was the 1872 election, indicating this occurred prior to November 1872, probably the summer of 1872. He also says, "Last May 22, the Amnesty Act for Confederate soldiers was signed." The Amnesty Act occurred in 1872 also. See: "Ulysses_S._Grant#Reconstruction_2" and "United_States_presidential_election,_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. Awards, 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). Writers, 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 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 CBS between November 23, 1958, and November 22, 1960. It was one of the last radio dramas featuring continuing characters. 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 left San Francisco, apparently forever, to claim an inheritance back East. The radio version of the show was written by producer/writer Roy Winsor. Books: 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 where 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. Film: 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 scripted by Larry Ferguson and to be directed by The Fugitive director Andrew Davis. However, the film was not made. In 2006, it was confirmed that the reports of a possible Have Gun -- Will Travel movie starring Eminem with a possible release date of 2008 was being made, although that was later changed to 2010, but now set for a 2013 release.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. Home video and DVD, All of the episodes were released on VHS by Columbia House. CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released the first four seasons of Have Gun -- Will Travel on DVD in Region 1. Season 5, Volume 1 will be released on November 30, 2010. Season 5, volume 2 will be released on February 22, 2011. 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. DVD NameEp #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 Online video, As of July 2010, Netflix has all six seasons available for instant viewing. The real 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. Popular culture, Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (July 2008) "The Ballad of Palindrome" is a 1998 spoof performed by the theme song's original singer, Johnny Western. "There are campfire legends that the plainsmen spin, of a man who was nothing like Paladin. Couldn't ride, couldn't shoot, but he won his fame because everything he said, said backward, was the same.", In a scene in Stand By Me, the main characters sing the show's closing theme song. This scene is partially re-created in a scene in an episode of Family Guy., Have Gun -- Will Travel is one of many westerns mentioned in the Olympics' 1958 hit song "Western Movies.", The 1962 Tom and Jerry cartoon Tall in the Trap (directed by Gene Deitch) was a parody of Have Gun -- Will Travel., In an episode of The Richard Boone Show (1963) called A Tough Man to Kill, Richard Boone played a modern-day Paladin type. This was apparently a homage to the show's original concept., 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)., The Norma Jean song "ShaunLuu" has lyrics at the end, "have gun, will travel.", Megadeth has a song entitled "Have Cool, Will Travel" on their Cryptic Writings album., The Web comic series High Moon was influenced by the radio series Have Gun -- Will Travel., In the game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men by Eidos and IO Interactive, three achievements for the Xbox 360 and PC version are named after the show., The closing song on The Audition's second album, Champion, is entitled "Have Gun, Will Travel.", The title of the show appears in Tim O'Brien's short story "The Things They Carried.", The hit song by At the Drive-In, "Quarantine" (from their breakthrough album Relationship of Command), includes the refrain, "Have trigger -- will travel.", "Have Love, Will Travel" is a 1959 song written and recorded by Richard Berry., Lee Tillman, an R&B singer from Baton Rouge, once recorded a song called "Have Gun -- Will Travel" during the TV program's run., In the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" (which is set in a virtual wild West), the antagonist Death uses the line "have infection, will travel," in reference to a computer virus., An instrumental version of the theme song is played during the training sequences in Stanley Kubrick's 1987 film Full Metal Jacket., In the game Red Dead Redemption, there's an achievement named "Have Gun Will Travel" and acquired by completing all hideouts in a single public Free Roam session., In the episode of The A-Team titled "Say It With Bullets," H.M. Murdock pretends to be a '50s TV star, starring in "Have Murdock -- Will Travel.", In the TV movie Evil Roy Slade, the character "Marshal Bing Bell" was an obvious parody of Paladin., The Equalizer, starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, featured McCall, a former CIA agent turned civilian troubleshooter, running a classified ad whose essential message was similar to that of Paladin's cards., In the game Marvel vs Capcom 3, when the character Deadpool performs the special move Trigger Happy, he shouts, "Have gun--will shoot!" a play on the show's title., Listen to, Have Gun -- Will Travel on radio (50+ episodes), "Ballad of Paladin" (closing theme) -- written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe and performed by Johnny Western, Bibliography, The Have Gun -- Will Travel Companion by Martin Grams, Jr. and Les Rayburn. OTR Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9703310-0-2, References/source, ^ "Richard Boone". http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/B/htmlB/boonerichar/boonerichar.htm. , ^ The Museum of Broadcast Communications (Encyclopedia of Television) -- Have Gun, Will Travel by Peter Orlick, ^ "Have Gun -- Will Travel". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050025. , ^ Eric Partridge, Paul Beale, A dictionary of catch phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Nm3jbg0JalMC&pg=PT199 , ^ 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 show, "one ounce" is stated. In the episode Julia, "two ounces" is given.), ^ 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, but Frank James died in 1915. Cherokee Bill died in 1896 and Tom Horn died in 1903. A member of the Dalton gang lived to 1937., ^ Michael Fleming (1997-05-15). "Krane Takes Bull by Horns". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117341748.html?categoryid=3&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-12-31. , ^ "Have Gun -- Will Travel". The Internet Movie Database. 2007-07-23. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816522. Retrieved 2008-01-01. , ^ "Eminem to star in Have Gun - Will Travel film remake". CBC News. 2006-06-14. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/06/14/eminem-havegun-remake.html. Retrieved 2008-02-16. , ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Gun-Travel-Season-5-Volume-1/14461, ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Gun-Travel-Season-5-Volume-2/14829, ^ Time, April 29, 1974., ^ David Gallaher (2007-10-27). "HIGH MOON: Back Cover of My Notebook Sketch". http://high-moon.blogspot.com/2007/10/high-moon-back-cover-of-my-notebook.html. Retrieved 2008-01-09.