Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A sprawling adaptation of the same-named novel by David Nevin, the three-part CBS miniseries Dream West starred Richard Chamberlain as colorful, controversial American explorer John Charles Fremont (1813-1890). The story detailed the visionary (and occasionally mercenary) Fremont's lifelong war against shortsided authority figures, beginning with his early skirmishes with the "brass" as an Army officer. In 1842, Fremont embarked upon his greatest adventure, heading an expedition to map the Oregon Trail -- the first step towards opening the entire North American continent to free and unimpeded exploration. His mission pitted Fremont against hostile Indians, the Mexican army, and the U.S. government itself. Along the way, he crossed paths with scores of historical figures, including Kit Carson, Jim Bridge, John Sutter, and President Abraham Lincoln. Alice Krige, Richard Chamberlain's vis-à-vis in the earlier Wallenberg: A Heroes' Story, co-starred as Jessie Benton, the headstrong senator's daughter who became Fremont's wife. Running seven hours in all (plus commercials), Dream West was originally telecast from April 13 to 15, 1986.