|Why did the show's original stars, Ward Bond and Robert Horton, leave the series? |
Ward Bond died in the middle of Season 4 and was replaced by John McIntire. Robert Horton decided to leave the series at the end of Season 5 because his contract was up and he wanted to pursue other career opportunities.
|Why did the show expand from 60 to 90 minutes? |
ABC wanted the show to expand to 90 minutes in order to compete with The Virginian which aired on rival NBC and also aired for 90 minutes.
|Did John Wayne really appear on Wagon Train? |
Yes, Wayne had a brief cameo near the end of the episode The Colter Craven Story which aired in Season 4. Wayne appeared at the request of old pals Ward Bond, who starred in Wagon Train and John Ford, who directed the episode. Wayne was billed as "Michael Morris" in the closing credits.
|Is Wagon Train still airing today? |
Wagon Train still airs occasionally on several cable networks. Most recently it has been airing on the Encore Western Channel. Check your cable listings. Also, numerous episodes have been uploaded on You Tube if you want to watch it there.
|Why did the show air in color on Season 7 but return to black-and-white for its final season on the air? |
Who knows? That decision is indeed a mystery. You'll have to ask a network or Revue Studio executive at the time (provided you can find one still alive).
|Are any of the show's stars still alive? |
Several, in fact. Robert Horton, Robert Fuller, Denny Miller, and Michael Burns are all still living. Ward Bond died in 1960 while the series was still airing. Frank McGrath died in 1967, two years after the show was canceled. John McIntire passed away in 1991 followed by Terry Wilson in 1999.
|What happened to the characters of Major Adams and Flint McCullough when their portrayers left the series? |
There was never any specific answer to this question given in the dialogue but viewers were left to assume that Major Adams had died and that Flint McCullough had left the train for parts unknown.
|Was the show based on a movie? |
The series was partially based on a 1950 Western entitled Wagonmaster, directed by John Ford. Ironically, Wagon Train star Ward Bond appeared in that film in a supporting role.