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Nichols (1971, Opening)

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Published on Jul 14, 2008

Hilarious offbeat, black comedy Western with one of the strangest series finales ever. In 1914, Nichols (James Garner) a soldier, sick of killing, returns to his Arizona home town, named after his family, and is strong-armed into serving as sheriff by the Ketcham clan, who run the area. Nichols, who doesn't believe in toting a gun, scoots around via an Indian motorcycle. The character is similar to Garner's quick-witted, laid-back lawman in the "Support Your Local Sheriff" movies (1969 & 1971), but greedier and sneakier. The Ketchams install as deputy their relative, Mitch Mitchell (Stuart Margolin - not Jimi Hendrix' drummer). The nasty deputy has a dog named Slump, and Mitchell is even dumber than Angel, who Margolin portrayed on Garner's next series, "The Rockford Files." A business-savvy local gal (Margot Kidder) has an undefined relationship with Garner, but it's obvious there's lots of action in the back rooms of her saloon. The strict moral lines of traditional Westerns are absent in this very Vietnam War era show's view of the Old West's dying days: the Ketchams aren't all bad, and little-respected Sheriff Nichols wouldn't mind ripping off the town to head for Mexico. As the series' only season ended, network execs called for major changes from Garner's company which co-produced the shows - they got 'em. At beginning of the last episode, Nichols is killed breaking up a fight between 2 old men, then is replaced when his much-meaner, black-mustached identical twin materializes ! Many of the series' creative team went on with Garner to produce The Rockford Files.
Written by David Stevens

My copy of this TV series has deteriorated due ravages of time, so that's why it's in that red colour.

Nichols (1971)
Pilot Opening

Starring
James Garner
Margot Kidder
Neva Patterson
John Beck
Stuart Margolin

Created and Directed by
Frank Pierson

Series Original Music by
Bernardo Segall

Series Produced by
Frank Pierson
Meta Rosenberg
Michael Zinberg

Series Cinematography by
Lamar Boren

Series Production Management
Terence Nelson

Copyright (c) 1971-1972 Warner Bros. Television.
Uploaded by Historical and Educational Purposes only. No infringement is intended.

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