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The series was set in the years immediately following the American Civil War. William Colton, a former Union cavalry officer headed to the American west in search of a new life. Each episode dealt with Colton's encounters with various individuals on his trek west.
Rod Serling was the series' creator. Longtime TV Guide critic Cleveland Amory wrote that Serling "obviously intended [The Loner] to be a realistic, adult Western," but the show's ratings indicated it was "either too real for a public grown used to the unreal Western or too adult for juvenile Easterners." Serling had expressed an open distaste for television Westerns in an editorial that set up the premise for "Showdown with Rance McGrew," an episode of The Twilight Zone, in which he as quoted as saying: "it seems a reasonable conjecture that if there are any television sets up in cowboy heaven and any of these rough-and-wooly nail-eaters could see with what careless abandon their names and exploits are being bandied about, they're very likely turning over in their graves - or worse, getting out of them."
|Lloyd Bridges||William Colton||1|
|Season One||September 18, 1965||March 12, 1966||26|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series