Wanted: Dead or Alive is an American Western television show that ran for three seasons from 1958 to 1961, starred Steve McQueen as Josh Randall. The series was a spin-off of Trackdown (1957-59), a western TV series featuring Robert Culp as a Texas Ranger.
Josh Randall is a bounty hunter
with a relatively soft heart. He often donates his earnings to the needy, and will help his prisoners if they have been wrongly accused.
Randall carries a shortened Winchester 1892 Model carbine, called the "Mare's Leg," in a holster patterned after "gunslinger" rigs then popular in movies and television. (This 1892 gun is anachronistic since Josh Randall is referred to in many episodes as a Confederate States of America Army veteran.)
Writers included Samuel A. Peeples
and Charles Beaumont
. Filmed in black and white, this half-hour adult western featured taut performances, especially by comparative newcomer McQueen, who made quite an impression on critics, viewers, and film producers with his intense portrayal of the grim "anti-hero" bounty hunter. The series was produced by Four Star Productions
and was filmed at the Selznick Studios.
The original opening titles features a black screen with ominous music with the flash and sound of the weapon as McQueen's character advanced to the front of the screen between the shots.
The first season theme song was written and conducted by Bill Loose. It was replaced by a new theme titled "Wanted". This theme was used until the end of the series. It was written and conducted by Herschel Burke Gilbert.
The series was followed by a 1987
film sequel, Wanted: Dead or Alive
, in which Rutger Hauer
played Nick Randall, Josh Randall's grandson.
On June 7
, New Line Home Video
released Season One of Wanted: Dead or Alive
on DVD in Region 1
for the very first time. In 2007, BCI Eclipse acquired the distribution rights to the series and released the final two seasons on DVD. Season 2 was released on July 17
and Season 3 on October 16