Based on the 1902 novel by Owen Wister, The Virginian was the first 90min TV western ever to be aired and lasted from 1962 to 1971. The series revolved around the tough foreman of the Shiloh Ranch, played by James Drury who went only by the name The Virginian, his real name remaining a mystery. The story takes place in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, and focused on the Virginian’s quest to maintain an orderly lifestyle at the Shiloh Ranch. Other key characters include ranch owner Judge Garth (Lee J. Cobb), his daughter Betsy (Roberta Shore) and ranch hands, Trampas (Doug McClure) and Steve Hill (Gary Clarke).
The white horse that the Virginian rides was named Joe D and Trampas’ buckskin horse was named Buck. Actor Doug McClure became best known for his role on the series and as the show progressed it was his character of Trampas who became the most involved character. Over the 9 years of the shows run many characters came and went and the show underwent many changes, the most notable of which was the last season that was renamed “The Men from Shiloh” and featured a complete change of look and soundtrack.