Starring Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson, Kelly Rutherford, John Astin, Billy Drago
Written By: Jeffrey Boam , Carlton Cuse
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com link
I believe I might have just watched the pilot episode when this originally aired; but I never saw the full series. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr is a cult favorite; namely because of the star of the show, Bruce Campbell. He’s the king of B-movies and Tv shows and this short-lived TV series displayed Campbell’s brilliant one-liners and goofy acting. Now fans of the series & of Bruce Campbell can enjoy this massive 8 DVD disc set!
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr takes places place in the old west and is about a bounty hunter called Brisco County Jr (Bruce Campbell). Jr went to Harvard so he has book smarts as well as street smarts. The show starts out with the famous U.S. Marshall Brisco County (R. Lee Ermey) taking in John Bly (Billy Drago) and his gang. Well things get bad and Brisco County is murdered by Bly. Brisco County Jr is hired by a bunch of businessmen to to take matters into his own hands and capture Bly, but also to take in other fugitives and misfits. One of the guys that’s the middleman of the business associates for Brisco is a lawyer named Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson). He tells him what assignments he has and helps Brisco out when he can. Along the way of tracking down Bly, Brisco County Jr. meets a wacky scientist called Professor Wickwire (John Astin) who is into trying new inventions like rockets, and other modern things that were not common back then. Brisco County also runs into a rival bounty hunter, Lord Bowler (Julius Carry), who he regularly competes against until later on when they join forces. Of course Brisco needs some ladies to go after & ones to fall for him and he certainly has his fair share. The most notable one throughout the series is the Saloon singer Dixie (Kelly Rutherford) who’s always mixed up with trouble and a bit of a con artist at times. Each episode finds Brisco fighting against different villains, but always wins in the end. The two biggest storylines of the series is finding the mystical orb, which can give people superhuman strength or it can turn you into dust. And the other storyline is finding John Bly, who always ends up popping up for a episode or two and disappearing since he always escaped. The series only lasted 1 season but its filled with entertaining western hijinks, lots of laughter and an interesting sci-fi/supernatural feel to it.
I only saw the first episode when it originally aired but I definitely like the rest of the episodes better than the pilot. The pilot was good but it only scratch the surface for the characters. The other episodes, you see Brisco flirting with girls, acting all goofy, getting into more fights, and even conning bad guys too. I thought Bruce Campbell was great as Brisco County Jr and gave the character some great one-liners and funny moments. I didn’t think I’d like this show but I just kept watching the DVDs as soon as I got home from work. It’s definitely a fun, old school type of TV series that makes you escape into that world of westerns. This short-lived TV series was big with it’s sets and special effects for its time. I can definitely see why Fox canceled the show after the first season. Well besides the viewership being down, it probably cost a lot to produce too. This show wasn’t just a western, it also had action, comedy, sci-fi and supernatural things to the show, which made The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. very unique. While it’s all unbelievable, it’s still fun to watch.
Bruce Campbell wasn’t the only star of the show, there was also Julius Carry (SHO’NUFF!) who stole quite a few scenes . I’m sure Lord Bowler was a fan favorite among the cast because he usually had all the funny things happen to him. It seemed in the beginning, he was there just to say “damn” and get hurt a lot. But I think it was wise to make him more of a sidekick than just a rival bounty hunter. Comet, the horse of Brisco County was almost like the 4th character on the show. Brisco would talk to it like a normal person and it was funny (and a little weird) to see. I didn’t like Socrates Poole at first, but he does get more likable as the episodes go by. Kelly Rutherford plays Dixie, and she’s really beautiful so I liked when she was on the show. I just didn’t like the way she talked on the show because it felt too phony. John Bly, played by one of the scariest actors out there, Billy Drago, was a great villain. He just kept bopping back up every once & awhile and being the bad guy. You might remember Billy Drago as Frank Nitti in the Untouchables, other than that it seems he’s been in a lot of horror movies. The guy is certainly up there with Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Walken and Steven Buscemi as the creepiest looking actors around. Bruce Campbell said in the liner notes that he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.
For a canceled TV series, there are certainly a decent amount of extras on the DVD box set. Some studios just give fans the episodes and that’s it, but not for this set. You can watch the pilot episode with commentary by Bruce Campbell , but I didn’t get to watch that since I barely remember the pilot. I’ll go back and listen to the commentary one of these days because i’m sure Campbell has a lot of interesting things to say. There’s a featurette where you can listen to Brisco County Jr. talking about all the inventions he witnessed, usually from Professor Wickwire. I liked watching the History of Brisco County Retrospective documentary, which you get to see all the cast come back to talk about their characters & the show itself. I think fans of the series will like that featurette the best. Other bonus features include a featurette about all of the tools of the trade lore, Bruce Campbell reads a chapter from one of his books about the TV series, and a roundtable discussion with the creators & writers of the show. So there’s a decent amount of extras for you to watch after you are done watching the series on DVD.
I haven’t finished the DVD yet because there are 8 discs after all. I’m in the middle right now, so I don’t really know how the series ends. As of right now, John Bly was caught but then escaped again (SHOCKER!). But I’m still wrapped in the show and want to continue watching the DVDs and find out what happens. This DVD set is filled with extras for fans to enjoy, and the show also looks great on DVD. It’s not a totally clean transfer but its better than normal TV that’s for sure. If you like Bruce Campbell and westerns, you’ll love this DVD set!
Pilot Episode Commentary by Bruce Campbell and Carlton Cuse
Brisco’s Book of Coming Things: Video Catalog of the Show’s Signature References to Future Items and Ideas
The History of Brisco County Retrospective Documentary
Tools of the Trade Brisco Lore Featurette Gallery
A Reading from the Book of Bruce
A Brisco County Writer’s Room: Roundtable with Key Series Creative Personnel
Booklet Liner Notes by Bruce Campbell
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: Socrates’ sister, Riverboat, Showdown, Deep in the Heart of Dixie
Running Time: 1385 minutes