Here Come the Brides [TV Series] (1968)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Revisionist Western  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Robert Brown, David Soul, and Bobby Sherman were the stars of Here Come The Brides, which ran on ABC from September of 1968 until April of 1970, portraying Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy Bolt, respectively. The three brothers, living in Seattle in the year 1865, own nearby Bridal Veil Mountain. Left to them by their parents, who died some years before -- while Joshua and Jeremy were very young boys -- the mountain is a potentially vast source of timber, and provides employment for much of the area. But in the opening episode, the Bolts are about to lose all of their loggers because of the sheer remoteness of the Pacific Northwest, and the lack of one thing that the men regard as essential: Women -- more specifically, young, respectable, marriageable women. Jason Bolt (Robert Brown) strikes a bargain with the loggers: He'll bring 100 women to Seattle, all of marriageable age and seeking husbands, who will stay at least a year, if the men will keep working. In order to raise the money for the voyage east, the Bolts are forced to take a loan from Aaron Stempel (Mark Lenard), the owner of the local sawmill, which comes with one pre-condition -- if any of the women leaves in less than a year, the Bolts will default on the loan and ownership of the mountain will pass to Stempel. Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy head to New Bedford, Massachusetts, a city left largely bereft of younger men in the wake of the ravages of the Civil War, and find women doing all sorts of jobs usually done by men -- the first time they meet Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley), she's doing maintenance on a fire engine. It requires some selling (and conning) by Jason to get 100 women to go west, on a broken-down mule boat commanded by Captain Roland Francis Clancy (Henry Beckman). They're disenchanted with the boat and the town that they find at the end of their journey, but Candy Pruitt, who becomes they're de facto leader, is persuaded to stay on and persuades the rest of the women to try it for a year. She also develops the beginnings of a romantic attraction to Jeremy Bolt (Bobby Sherman). The youngest and most sensitive of the brothers, Jeremy talks with a stutter, which tends to make him sound even less sure of himself than he really is. Joshua Bolt (David Soul), the middle brother, is often caught between Jeremy and oldest brother Jason, acting as an intermediary between the two. The series' conflicts are often resolved with help from Lottie Hatfield (Joan Blondell), the owner of the local saloon, who becomes something of a mother hen to the New Bedford women. The other key characters on the show included Aaron Stempel, the sawmill owner who, in the first season, often played the role of villain in his attempts to maneuver the Bolts into losing their bet and their mountain. Also prominent in many episodes was Big Swede (Bo Svenson), the strongest of the loggers, Biddie Cloom (Susan Tolsky), Candy Pruitt's closest friend, and Captain Clancy, the mule boat captain, whose interest in Miss Lottie brings him back to Seattle on a regular basis. Most of the episodes dealt with the Bolts struggling to meet quotas and keep the women happy, or the romantic conflicts that inevitably resulted from men and women living in relatively spartan conditions amid competing relationships, although there were also episodes that focused on the complex relationship between the Bolt brothers, and Jason's dual-role as sibling/patriarch; and other episodes that addressed issues of racism and other prejudices, amid the rapidly changing post-Civil War world.