What Is the TV Series "Dead or Alive" About?

The television series "Dead or Alive" is about a veteran of the Civil War by the name of Josh Randall, played by actor Steve McQueen, who works as a bounty hunter during the 1870s in what is known as the "Wild West." He uses a sawed-off rifle as his weapon.

Despite his profession, Josh Randall is a caring man who wants to see justice done, and he helps his prisoners if they are not really guilty. He also readily gives up some of his earnings to help the less fortunate. For part of the series, Wright King starred as McQueen's sidekick, playing Jason Nichols, a former deputy sheriff.

Sometimes, Randall is involved in endeavors that do not involve catching criminals. In an early episode of the second season, he tries to talk parents into seeking medical treatment for their son with appendicitis, although the father does not believe in "modern" medicine. In another episode of the same season, Randall attempts to find a wife for a friend who is too shy to look for one himself.

"Dead or Alive" is a spin-off of a Robert Culp western series called "Trackdown." The CBS series opened on September 6, 1958, with 30-minute episodes that aired in black and white. The 94th and final episode aired on March 29, 1961. Guest stars on the series often included up-and-coming actors.