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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Trackdown - Robert Culp

 Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (c) Doris McCraw

We're halfway through the years and there are still some great old-time Westerns to be investigated. This month is the early Robert Culp vehicle. Links to other posts will be at the end. Now, onto the information.

Most people remember Culp from the 1965 TV series 'I Spy'. However, he starred in a show long before that hit. The show 'Trackdown' aired from 1957-1959. Culp starred as the Texas Ranger, Hoby Gilman. The thing I enjoyed about the episodes I've seen is the focus on solving the crime, not so much on the shoot-outs. Culp brought a gravitas to the character that made his character fascinating to watch.  

The show was a spin-off of the Dick Powell, Zane Grey Theatre anthology that aired in the 1950s. In fact, the pilot episode was first aired as 'Badge of Honor' on the anthology. The show was endorsed by the state of Texas and the Texas Rangers according to a Wikipedia article. That made it a rarity in the entertainment industry.

Robert Culp as Toby Gilman
photo from Wikipedia

As for Culp, his portrayal of Gilman, in my opinion, was brilliant, along with the writing and directing. Another thing to remember is a season was 39 episodes during this time so the season ran for almost nine months. 

This thirty-minute show is a wonderful look at early television and the diversity of shows. In many ways, it is almost more detective show than the classic Western, but that does not take away from the fun of taking a trip back in time. You can check out an episode using the link below.

Trackdown - Self-Defense

For the earlier posts in the series, see below.

Cimarron City

Whispering Smith


  1. These westerns sound full of invention and zing, Doris. Thanks so much for sharing

    1. My pleasure. I enjoy re-watching so many of these shows. Doris

  2. Detective story mixed with western? It doesn't get much better than that for me!

    1. I am enoying the interplay of the actors as they bring the writer's words to life. Doris

  3. Doris, there are a lot of these I didn't even know existed! Thanks so much for bringing them to our attention. I was born in 1957, so wasn't watching Trackdown, but by golly by the time Rawhide came along I must have been about 3 or 4 and able to know that was a show to watch! LOL

    1. I'm just a bit older, so I have vague memories of a lot of these. Since my family had the second TV in town, there was a lot of watching going on in the house. LOL. Doris