Saturday, 14 February 2015
90 Casey Jones
First watched : Uncertain
This had been on before but I think it's most likely I first saw it as part of the morning schedule in the summer holidays in 1972. Like The White Horses the theme song is easier to recall than the series itself. Made in the late fifties, Casey Jones was very loosely based on a real railroad engineer and his train , The Cannonball Express. It had a regular cast of five with Alan Hale's Casey assisted by Wallie the fireman and Redrock the conductor plus a wife and Casey Junior ( Bobby Clark ) who featured in episodes to a variable extent.
The episodes - thirty-two were made in total - were basically mini-Westerns with familiar tropes , gold shipments, escaped prisoners , Indian attacks etc but with a low death rate to keep it child-friendly. The resourceful Casey manages to save the day in half an hour. It was quite gritty and is still watchable although being black and white it hasn't been shown here since 1975.
Apart from Clark all the cast had died by the mid-nineties. Now 70 himself he still makes the odd public appearance although his screen career ended in the early sixties.