21 January 2005 | westpoint64
Routine Western spiced up by occasional appearance by film actor
There's a sleigh of hand in the very title of this show. Note that the name of the show is "The Deputy". This conveniently allowed Fonda to not have to be a major player in all the episodes. Fonda appears in some episodes throughout the show but more likely than not you'll see him only at the beginning and end (usually this is explained by Fonda's Simon Fry character being "out of town")...and I've even seen a few episodes where Fonda doesn't appear at all! Really, the show's more about Allen Case than Fonda, but the Fonda name was there to draw viewers. Other than Fonda's needing money, I doubt there was any reason he'd do TV...particularly in a stock Western like this one. Don't get me wrong: the show's pleasant in a Revue Studios crank-em-out-cookie-cutter way (guess who produced the show?) and the jazz guitar that's going on in the background (sounds like Barney Kessel! cool!) is nice, but the plots are pretty clichéd and you've been there before. I wouldn't call it on the level of Wagon Train, Laramie, Gunsmoke, or The Rifleman, but it's a pleasant show. Just don't expect to see a lot of Fonda in it.