29 April 2003 | Marta
Terrible mid-60's series that didn't last long
"Custer" lasted 16 episodes, and that's 16 episodes too many. I can't find any reason why a network would have picked poorly-written junk like this up to broadcast. The western story lines the writers used were tired and worn in the 50's, and by the late 60's were just plain ludicrous. "Star Trek" had debuted the year before, and this left-over relic from the early days of TV had no chance. To write a series around a character that everyone in the audience knows will be massacred a year or two later is startling and morbid, to say the least. It gives the series an air of doom that I don't think the network intended.
Wayne Maunder plays the title role, and while he was good 4 years later in "The Seven Minutes," he must still have been learning his craft because he's just plain bad as Custer. He resembles a young Errol Flynn more than Custer as he minces and leaps about, and does not have the air of command necessary for someone playing Custer. Tinkerbelle maybe, but not Custer.
Slim Pickens co-stars as the requisite wild west trail boss/guide, named "California Joe" (good grief!), and was obviously cast to add verbal witticisms and old west humor to the show. It doesn't help one bit.
This series had a stellar guest cast in those 16 episodes: James Whitmore, Agnes Moorehead, William Windom, James Daly, Robert Loggia, Kathleen Nolan, Ray Walston, Darren McGavin, Lloyd Bochner and many more. Even great talent like that couldn't save this series, which should have been battle-axed before it ever hit the air.