“Shane! Come back!” is the last thing we hear at the end of the Academy Award-winning 1953 movie. He did just that in 1966, when Shane returned as an ABC drama that altered the movie’s plot but retained its characters and setting.
David Carradine (Kung-Fu) stars as the gunslinger Shane, now reformed and working at the ranch he helped save in the movie. Jill Ireland is Marian Starett, his newly widowed boss. Christopher Shea (Linus in the early Charlie Brown specials) plays her son Joey, newly fatherless and lobbying for Shane to take the job. Added for the series is Marian’s dad (Tom Tully). And while he was killed in the film’s climatic gunfight, returning specifically for the series is the evil cattle baron Rufe Ryker (Bert Freed).
While the attraction between Shane and Marian is hinted at in the movie, in the series it’s front and center. Carradine and Ireland have electric chemistry and leave the viewer wondering will they or won’t they?
Notable guest stars: Robert Duvall, Warren Oates, Diane Ladd, James Whitmore, Wayne Rogers, John Qualen, Bradford Dillman, Charles Grodin, Joseph Campanella, J.D. Cannon.
Based on the 1949 novel by Jack Schaefer and the 1953 Paramount film.