Broken Arrow (TV series)
Broken Arrow is a 73-episode western television series, a fictional account of the actual relationship between Tom Jeffords, an agent of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, played by John Lupton, and the Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise, portrayed by Michael Ansara. The name "broken arrow" refers to the intent of the Indians to cease fighting the white man.
The series is based on Blood Brother, a novel by Elliott Arnold, which in 1950 was made into the film of the same name, starring Jimmy Stewart as Jeffords and Jeff Chandler as Cochise. The television pilot aired on May 1, 1956 on CBS's The 20th Century-Fox Hour, with Lupton in the title role. The series began its two-year run in prime time on ABC on September 25, 1956. It was filmed at studios of 20th Century-Fox.
Broken Arrow along with CBS's Brave Eagle, starring Keith Larsen, were among the few early westerns to portray American Indians positively, but Michal Ansara found the role of Cochise to be unchallenging. He told TV Guide in 1960: "Cochise could do one of two things–stand with his arms folded, looking noble; or stand with arms at his sides, looking noble."
Episodes and guest stars
Tom Fadden (1895-1980) played the character Duffield in seventy episodes of the series. Early in his career, Sam Peckinpah was among the writers on the series.
In the second season opener, "White Man's Magic" (October 1, 1957), Peter Hansen appears as Captain Farrell, whose fiance, Peggy, played by Nan Leslie, is kidnapped in a stagecoach attack by the Apache renegades led by Geronimo, portrayed in this segment by Ric Roman and later in film by Chuck Connors. Jeffords and Cochise succeed in freeing Peggy by overstating the danger that Geronimo faces from a bullet that has been successfully extracted.
Among other guest stars on the series were:
- Chris Alcaide appeared twice as Brown Eagle in "Passage Deferred" (1956) and as John Brett in "Hired Killer" (1958).
- Merry Anders played Amy Breece in "Smoke Signal" (December 10, 1957)
- Phyllis Avery played an unnamed schoolteacher in the episode "The Teacher" (November 19, 1957).
- Frank Cady played Thaddeus Parker in "Devil's Eye (November 12, 1957)
- John Doucette appeared in the episode "The Broken Wire" (May 14, 1957).
- Mort Mills guest starred as Halley in "Black Moment" (October 29, 1957).
- Leonard Nimoy guest starred in "Conquistador" (October 8, 1957).
- Gregg Palmer appeared as Lieutenant Savage in "White Savage" (December 24, 1957).
- James Philbrook appeared as Clem Harrison in the episode "Manhunt" (1958).
- Gilman Rankin, of the western series Tombstone Territory, appeared as Tawanga in "The Doctor".
- Paul Richards played Bret Younger in the episode "The Desperado" (March 26, 1957).
- Robert F. Simon portrayed Ben Slade in the pilot episode and was cast as General Everitt in the episode "Ghost Face."
- Ray Teal appeared as Fenster in "The Bounty Hunters" (November 26, 1957).
Broken Arrow was broadcast at 9 p.m. Tuesday from 1956 to 1958. Repeat episodes were aired on ABC on Sunday afternoons in the 1959–1960 season and in prime time on Sundays in the summer of 1960. In subsequent syndication, the program was called Cochise.