This sci-fi/western show ran for 27 episodes on Fox from 1993-1994. It starred the always entertaining actor, Bruce Campbell as Brisco County, Jr. Who is the unusually named character you might ask? Brisco is a Harvard educated ex lawyer turned bounty hunter.
Much like The Wild Wild West before it, Brisco took place in the 1800s during the days of the transcontinental railroad and burgeoning scientific inventions. Another appealing factor was the humorous elements. After the death of Brisco’s esteemed father, (R. Lee Ermey) he decides to become a bounty hunter so that he can take down the man responsible for his father’s death.
The deliciously menacing character actor, Billy Drago plays County’s nemesis and his father’s murderer, John Bly. On his quest for justice, Brisco is joined by Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson), a lawyer hired to be the liaison between Brisco and the industrialists that want Bly captured. He also has a trusty steed named Comet that is like an equine sidekick.
One of the central plot points involved a mysterious golden orb that had strange powers. In the right hands, it could be used for good but in the wrong hands it became a forced to be reckoned with. Several characters became semi-regulars on the show such as bounty hunting rival, Lord Bowler (Julius Carry) and steamy saloon chanteuse, Dixie Cousins (Kelly Rutherford). Even the Addams Family’s John Astin turns up as scientist/inventor Professor Albert Wickwire.
This program became a cult hit among steampunk aficionados and stalwart Campbell fans. Created by Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) and Jeffrey Boam (The Lost Boys, Lethal Weapon 2 & 3) Brisco boasted illustrious directing turns by two X Files veterans, Kim Manners and Rob Bowman. Unfortunately, these impressive behind the scenes players couldn’t save the show from its fate.
Stuck in a traditionally ratings graveyard time slot of 8:00 pm on Fridays, Brisco found itself fighting for numbers. Although critically acclaimed, the show was cancelled. Despite being off the air for twenty-three years, Brisco is still popular among Campbell’s fans and gets regularly mentioned at comic cons.
The complete DVD series was released in 2006. Some of the special featured segments on it are A Reading from the Book of Bruce, and a gallery of cool gadgets from the show hosted by Campbell.
Categories: Cult TV Essentials