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The Young Riders


Young Riders: Season 1

Hey everyone, I’m going to try to post all the episodes I have of this show. I’m missing End of Innocence from season one and five episodes from season 3 (Mask of Fear, Dark Brother, The Road not Taken, The Sacrifice, and Lessons Learned). Had an error on my discs and couldn’t get those eps on the computer, so if anyone out there has them and wants to post, maybe we could get this whole show up for all the fans that love it. Here’s episode 1 The Kid. I do not own Young Riders or any of the characters, no copyright infringements intended.

YoungridersDVD cover of the first Season 1 box set

The Young Riders is an American Western television series created by Ed Spielman that presents a fictionalized account of a group of young Pony Express riders (some of whom are young versions of legendary figures in Old West history) based at the Sweetwater Station in the Nebraska Territory during the years leading up to theAmerican Civil War.  The series premiered on ABC on September 20, 1989 and ran for three seasons until the final episode aired on July 23, 1992.


Filming of the original pilot for the series took place in California. After the ABC network picked it up, the series production moved to Tucson, Arizona, with filming in “Mescal,” a western-themed movie town operated by Old Tucson Studios.

Before the series premiere, producers of the 1988 film Young Guns filed a lawsuit against ABC and the series producers, claiming the series title combined with its plot infringed on their trademark.

In the second season, Don Franklin joined the cast to portray the character Noah Dixon. In doing so, he became the third African-American actor to hold a starring role in a television western – after Raymond St. Jacques who had co-starred on the final season of Rawhide as cattle drover Simon Blake (1965) and Otis Young who co-starred with Don Murray on the short-lived (1968–69) TV series The Outcasts. Having never ridden a horse before, Franklin was sent to “Cowboy Camp” for 3–4 days where he learned how to mount and dismount, and the basics of riding. Desiring to also work behind the cameras, Franklin talked with producers about writing and directing an episode for the series. In an interview, he noted that the series producers were very receptive and was regularly encouraging the cast to not only make suggestions, but also follow through with them. When the cast noted that they didn’t like the series becoming a “guest-villain-of-the-week”, it was changed to refocus back on the individual characters and their relationships with each other. Franklin himself also encouraged that more black characters be included in the series.

Cast and Characters:

  • 220px-Anthony-zerbe-trailerAnthony Zerbe in trailer for “The Laughing
  • Aloysius “Teaspoon” Hunter is a former Texas Ranger and one of the few survivors of the Battle of the Alamo. A colorful character, Teaspoon can be a tough task master but he cares about all of his riders. Played by Anthony Zerbe.
  • The Kid is a soft-spoken southerner. He loves his horse, Katy, who he purchased by winning the money to buy her in a boxing match. He is the first of the riders to learn that Lou is a girl, and he falls in love with her. Played by Ty Miller.
  • William F. Cody is arrogant and brash, but also devoted to his friends. He is an excellent shot with long arms such as rifles. Played by Stephen Baldwin.
  • James Butler Hickok is hot-tempered and quick to go for his gun. He is a fast draw and gains a reputation as a gunslinger that he doesn’t particularly want as it causes people to come challenge him. His temper frequently gets him in trouble, though Teaspoon and Sam try to help him learn to control it. Played by Josh Brolin.
  • Buck Cross (Running Buck), is a half Kiowa who is close friends with Ike. Buck helps break down stereotypes that the townsfolk have of Indians in the area. Played by Gregg Rainwater.
  • Louise “Lou” McCloud presents herself as a man so that she can join the riders. The Kid finds Lou out in the first episode, and the other riders when they help her rescue her brother and sister from their abusive outlaw father. She eventually falls in love with and marries The Kid. Played by Yvonne Suhor.
  • Sam Cain is the current marshal of Sweetwater, and a former gunslinger. He is in love with Emma and she finally marries him at the end of Season 1. Because of his own past, Sam tries to help Hickok deal with his growing gunslinger reputation. Played by Brett Cullen.
  • Ike McSwain is mute and bald, but that doesn’t keep him from being an excellent rider. He is particularly close to Buck, who taught him sign language. Ike can be very passionate about protecting people. Played by Travis Fine.
  • Noah Dixon is a free-born black man who joins the Riders in the second season. Played by Don Franklin.
  • Emma Shannon is the caretaker of the station and the riders. Though she can be just as tough as Teaspoon when the riders do wrong, she tries to be a mother to them all. She is in love with Marshal Cain, but because of her past, she hesitated to marry him until the end of the first season. Played by Melissa Leo.
  • Jesse James, is a young boy who joins the riders in the third season. Played by Christopher Pettiet.
  • Rachel Dunne takes on the role of station caretaker after Emma leaves. Played by Clare Wren.

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