Here Come the Brides is a television series that aired on the ABC television network from September 25 1968 to April 3 1970. It was loosely based upon the Mercer Girls, Asa Mercer's efforts to bring civilization to old Seattle by importing marriageable women from the east coast of the United States in the 1860s, where the ravages of the American Civil War left towns there short of men.
As a television western, it was a bit of an oddity in that it rarely featured any form of gunplay, and violence was generally limited to comical fistfights. This was in keeping with the progressive attitudes that were starting to prevail in popular culture in the late 1960s. Stories highlighted the importance of cooperation, racial harmony, and peaceful resolution of conflict. Plots were usually a mix of drama and humor. Being one of the first shows targeted at young women, most of the humor was at the expense of the men, but not particularly bitingly so.
The show was extremely popular when it first aired. However, for its second season, the family-geared series was moved from the 7:30 Wednesday night "Family Hour" to the tougher, more adult-oriented time slot of 9:00 Friday night in September 1969. The ratings quickly slid out of the top 40 and production ceased in the spring of 1970.
The first season was released on DVD by Sony Pictures on May 16, 2006. Fans were enthusiastic, but sales did not meet expectations.
The Bolts travel to New Bedford, Massachusetts, recruit the women, then charter a mule-ship to take them to Seattle. The local saloon owner, Lottie (Joan Blondell) takes the women under her wing, while Bolt desperately works to keep the women from leaving at the next high tide. Eventually, the women decide to give Seattle and the loggers a chance. The ship's captain, Clancy (Henry Beckman), develops a relationship with Lottie, and becomes a regular character in the series.
Much of the dramatic and comic tension in the first season revolved around Stempel's efforts to sabotage the deal and take over the Bolts' holdings. Stempel became more friendly in the second and final season, which focused more on the development of individual characters and the conflicts associated with newcomers and with people just passing through.
Bobby Sherman and David Soul were propelled to pop stardom as Jason's brothers, Jeremy and Joshua respectively. Jeremy took a prominent role, not only as the boyfriend of Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley), the beautiful leader of the brides, but also as a young man struggling with a conversation-stopping stammer. In one episode, he is temporarily cured of his impediment, following coaching by a traveler who has come to Seattle. Upon discovering that his benefactor is actually a con artist, his faith is shaken so deeply that the stammer returns.
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