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Maverick: The Complete Second Season [6 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:04/23/2013

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    Season Two of the tongue-in-cheek western Maverick marks the introduction of the series' jaunty theme song ("Who is the tall dark stranger there?/Maverick is his name. . .") written by David Buttolph. It is also the season in which all pretentions of presenting a "straight" western were dropped, and the emphasize was on comedy and satire, thanks largely to the input of series stars James Garner as frontier gambler Bart Maverick. Though the writers made a brave effort to afford equal time to Garner's costar Jack Kelly as Bret's brother Bart Maverick, it was clear who the viewers had picked as their favorite (no slight to the talented Kelly, who held his own admirably in the handful of "serious" stories offered this season). That Maverick was essentially a spoof of the whole TV western genre is never more clear than in its first "parody" episode, Season Three's Gunshy, a hilarious takeoff of Gunsmoke featuring Ben Gage as the usurious Marshal Mort Dooley (the "Kitty" counterpart in this episode does nothing but stand by bravely and warn "Be careful, Mort!") Later this season, Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th century drawing room comedy The Rivals is reconfigured as a western tale, with Roger Moore in the renamed "Anthony Absolute" role; two years later, Moore would join the regular Maverick cast as Bret and Bart's English cousin Beau Maverick. Among the other notables making guest appearances during Season Three are Richard Long, introducing the recurring character of genteel con artist Gentleman Jack Darby in "Alias Bret Maverick"; future Oscar winners Martin Landau in "High Card Hangs" and Louise Fletcher in "Two Tickets to Ten Strike" (which also features early appearances by Connie Stevens and Adam West; Dan Blocker of Bonanza fame in "The Jail at Junction Flats"; The Wild Wild West's Robert Conrad in "Yellow River"; and, best of all, Clint Eastwood as a thickheaded gunslinger in "Duel at Sundown". Despite the stiff competion of CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show and NBC's The Steve Allen Show, Maverick managed to close out its second season as America's sixth highest-rated program--and also garnered (no pun intended) an Emmy nomination for star James Garner. ~ Hal Erickson

    Cast & Crew

    • James Garner - Bret Maverick
    • Jack Kelly - Bart Maverick
    • Diane Brewster - Samantha Crawford
    • Roger Moore - Cousin Beauregard Maverick
    • Robert Colbert - Brent Maverick

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