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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

WARNER WESTERNS—THE DAKOTAS U.K. ANNUAL

 
WARNER WESTERNS
THE DAKOTAS U.K. ANNUAL
The Dakotas was a twenty episode western TV series produced by Warner Bros. in 1963 for ABC Set in the Dakota Territory, episodes revolved around the efforts of Federal Marshal Frank Regan and his deputies to maintain law and order in the vast area. Larry Ward starred as Federal Marshal Frank Ragan, with Jack Elam as Deputy JD Smith, Chad Everett as Deputy Del Stark, and Mike Greene as Deputy Vance Porter.
 
The Dakotas was exactly comfort television. What set the show apart from the glut of other westerns on TV at the time was its edgy, dark tone and its willingness to be morally ambiguous. This was also what cut the run of the show short. In the episode Sanctuary at Crystal Springs, two of the deputies, JD and Del, gundown two murderous outlaws inside a church. Outraged viewers besieged the network with complaints and The Dakotas was abruptly cancelled.
 
Surprisingly, even though it had a relatively short TV lifespan, there were no Dell tie-in comics for the show. Dell made an effort to publish comics for even minor TV Western series as soon as they began to air, but somehow The Dakotas missed being called up. The only printed tie-in to the show was the single U.K. annual pictured above.

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