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File:Bearcats 2345.jpg


Bearcats! was a short-lived 1971 TV series (13 episodes plus 2-hour pilot film Powderkeg), a Western set in the year 1914.

Hank Brackett (Rod Taylor) and Johnny Reach (Dennis Cole) were freelance adventurers who drove around the southwestern U.S. in a Stutz Bearcat sports car instead of riding horses. They took on problems that no one else could solve, and their fee was a blank check--on the theory that if you could put a dollar value on your troubles, you really didn't need their help.

The 20th-century setting allowed the writers to add modern elements such as the aforementioned Bearcat, oil companies, Imperial German spies and World War One, Mexican revolutionaries, and belt-fed machine guns to the usual Wild West milieu. It ended up as something of an Anachronism Stew anyway because they often Did Not Do the Research -- one episode featured a Renault FT-18 tank (the tank was not invented until 1915), another a Curtiss JN-4 biplane (first flight 1915) in Mexican Air Force colors (Curtiss "Jennies" were exported only to Britain). The show's continuity was a little soft from week to week, particularly with regard to those Mexican revolutionaries--one week, Hank and Johnny were working with the Mexican government against the rebels, the next week they were siding with the rebels against the corrupt Mexican government, and so on.

Despite all that, the show was quite fun to watch.


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