Mackenzie's Raiders (1958–1959)

TV Series   |    |  Western


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Mackenzie's Raiders (1958) Poster

Colonel Mackenzie, commander of the 4th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Clark near Brackettville in Kinney County in southwest Texas during the 1870s, receives secret orders from President Ulysses... See full summary »


7.7/10
70

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13 September 2017 | Marlburian
6
| Still watchable
I've spent the last few weeks viewing 38 episodes on Youtube (one appears not to have been uploaded). Annoyingly a third or so of the latter episodes lack their final minute or two of plot.

The series compares well enough with other TV westerns of the 1950s period that I vaguely recall, though I would like be able to see the apparently-lost "Boots and Saddles" before saying which is best.

The latter did have rather more vivid characters whom I can still recall 60 years later, whereas Colonel Mackenzie is supported by a somewhat drab cast: the succession of junior officers look mostly the same and the personalities of the two NCOs most often seen never develop. Perhaps having a civilian scout appearing regularly would have helped - Chiricahua Corporal Killeagle appears in the penultimate episode and could have featured in earlier ones.

At least there very little contrived love interest (though in one episode the colonel does have to deal with an infatuated lady admirer), and now and then a familiar face appears: Doug McClure, Jack Elam, Morris Ankrum, John Doucette and - before stardom as Mr Spock - Leonard Nimoy.

One might carp at patrols away from the fort for several days with no apparent supplies - or did they live off the land? And each episode commences with the voice-over announcing that Mackenzie's illegal forays into Mexico risked death by hanging - so why do the soldiers not wear civilian clothing? One might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb! Still, I did enjoy the 850 minutes of viewing.

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