The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot (2 hrs)

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Aug 27, 1993 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Pilot (2 hrs)
When marshal Brisco County Sr. is gunned down by John Bly and his gang of outlaws, his son, bounty hunter Brisco County Jr., comes back from the East to gain revenge on the killers.

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  • When Marshall Brisco County is gunned down bringing in the Jon Bly Gang, the Robber Barons of San Fransisco hire Brisco County Jr. to bring in the gang dead or alive. Along with Socrates Poole he chases the first criminal Big Smith, Bly's right hand man.moreless

    What a wonderfully fanciful western science fiction adventure. When I first saw this back when it was on I enjoyed it immensely. I was disappointed when it was canceled after the first season.

    Bruce Campbell, master of the B movies, Army of Darkness, Evil Dead, etc..., Jack of All Trades, and of course currently Burn Notice is one of the recognizable actors today stars. Even if you don't know his name! Campbell stars as Brisco county Jr.

    Socrates Poole is played by a young Christian Clemenson most recently a regular on Boston Legal and a recurring character on CSI: Miami. The other regular is Lord Bowler played by the recently deceased Julius Carry a fine character actor.

    The rest of the cast is pretty special as well. You have Billy Drago everyone's favorite bad guy playing Bly. Professor Wickwire played by John Astin of the Addams Family. Amanda Wickwire played by Anne Tremko. Dixie Cousins played by Kelly Rutherford of Melrose Place and Gossip Girl. Finally the real star of the show Comet the horse played by Comet the horse!

    In this first two hour adventure Brisco must find each of the thirteen men who gunned down his father. This episode leads him closer to Bly through Big Smith his right hand man.

    Also a mysterious Alien Orb is uncovered and seems like it might be important in the future. Also we learn about the first of the Professors new and different inventions.

    Very much tongue in cheek and meant to entertain. This is another series that last but a year on FOX and they cut it loose. Not uncommon in these ealry years of the network;. Again I would have to think production on this show probably was a little too much for FOX to handle. X-Files premiered the same year and played immediately after Brisco County Jr. on Friday nights. Of course it lasted for many more years. I really to this day can't remember why this show was canceled other than Westerns just weren't popular. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • After Marshal Brisco County is shot dead by a gang of outlaws lead by John Bly, his bounty hunter son Brisco County, Jr. is sent in to catch the killers. A good start to this quirky comedy-drama...moreless

    Firstly a few words on how I came to watch this series. I am a big fan of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and 'Xena: Warrior Princess', in which Bruce Campbell often appeared as 'King of Thieves' Autolycus. I am also into 'The Evil Dead' films and Campbell's work in general.

    Here in the U.K., this series was shown on $ky in the early 1990s, but never made it to terrestrial TV, so I never got to see it originally. But I remembered a friend going on at the time about how good it was, and being a Campbell fan, when I saw the series was available on DVD (despite not usually buying DVDs of shows I know little about) I decided to give it a try.

    And if the Pilot is anything to go by, I'm not disappointed.

    Pilots generally fall into two categories. Some hit the ground running and capture the excitement of the new series. Others are shakier, as the new show tries to find its footing. Thankfully, this Pilot falls into the former category, and is a very good set-up to the series.

    Although I didn't consciously realise it, I seem to be a fan of series that had short runs (examples such as 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' (1983) and 'The Highwayman' (1987/8)). They often seem to be quirky and adventurous, their main flaw being that the mainstream television stations simply don't know what to do with them. They seem to want big mainstream successes, and if shows such as this one don't pull in massive viewing figures, they deem them too expensive to make and pull the plug, which is a real shame.

    The characters are well introduced; Campbell plays Brisco as if he's been in the role for years, and carries the lead effortlessly. Christian Clemenson is fair but rather limited as Socrates (though I am assured that the role improves with the series), and I like Julius Carry as rival bounty hunter Lord Bowler (though he certainly doesn't seem like a Lord).

    I also like the supporting cast, especially John Astin as Professor Wickwire, who at points felt to me somewhat like a toned down and underplayed version of Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown in the 'Back To The Future' films (especially the third one, which itself was set in the Wild West).

    The writing is sharp and funny, and I love the humour of the series (which Campbell describes as "just below over-the-top"); actually, it is very similar in places to that of 'Hercules' and 'Xena', with it's modern references and it's knowing wink of just how ridiculous it is.

    The story has many twists and turns, and seldom has a dull spot.

    My favourite scenes are the dynamite on the table scene between Brisco and Bowler, and the shootout after Brisco (posing as an outlaw) dares to "touch Pete's piece" (his gun).

    There is also a supernatural element, with the mysterious Orb, which adds another dimension to the story without being played over-the-top and spoiling things.

    The climax of the story is over a bit quick after all the build up, but wraps the story up nicely.

    All-in-all, a good start to what looks to be a really enjoyable series.moreless
  • In the pilot gives you a glance into this unusual series. The show is a combination of genres. There is science friction with magic and crazy inventions. It is a western with horses, stage coaches, and gun fights. All set in melodrama and humor.moreless

    This is an interesting show in that it combines elements for a western, melodrama, science friction, and humor. The characters are wonderfully three dimensional. They have faults, weakness, with strengths. The show has wonderful cliff hangers with clever writing to resolve the cliff hanger. The pilot is an excellent example of the show. Brisco County Junior enters the picture because his father has been killed. His father was a law man and Brisco does not want to revenge his father's death, he wants to complete his father's task. You meet a young man that is full of determination and conviction. Schooled as a lawyer from Harvard, he is back to being a cowboy because it suits him better. He is a paradox which makes him entertaining. The writers enjoy this type of character with many sides. Socrates Poole in the pilot appears to be a two dimensional character. Wait as the series progresses, you will see his character develop and see the many sides of him. There is the funniest cliff hanger when Brisco is having an old fashion gunfight with one of John Bly's gang. As they take their positions for the gunfight. Three other men of Bly's gang aim their guns at Brisco. It looks for sure like there is no way for our hero to live through this situation. As the guns are about to fire, Brisco hits the ground and they all shoot each other. You can not stop laughing at the brilliant writing to allow our hero to survive. Look in each episode and you will find all the elements you see in the pilot. It is science friction with the orb and its magic. There are crazy inventions from the crazy professor that save the day. It reminds you of back to the future. It has western action with horses, shoot outs, and gun fights. There is melodrama with our hero always getting tied up and in a jam. He always seems to find a damsel to save. He almost gets run over by trains. He is almost hung. The melodrama includes the humors lines. It is an outstanding show that only lasted one session.moreless
  • A clever combination of western, sci-fi and comedy genres

    \"Brisco\" was the odd series out. It combined elements of sci-fi with the western serials and added just the right elements of satire to make it memorable. The pilot embodied everything that made this short lived series great.


    When law man Brisco County Snr. is murdered by the John Bly and 12 other criminals he has captured and is transporting the Robber Barons hire his son Brisco County Jr. a former lawyer turned bounty hunter to track down the Bly gang and bring them to justice. Humor informs every episode--the villians escape when Pete (a recurring very funny foil for Brisco)hires someone to paint a rock to look like the railroad tracks ahead in order to fool the engineer into smashing into it.

    In the background of all of this is John Bly\'s obsession--the Orb. This mysterious object can heal fatal wounds, give slaves the strength to break free but if misused can dispense justice all its own. Bly\'s search for the Orb is (SPOILER AHEAD)so he can ultimately gain control of the world (sounds like he has been watching too much Pinky & the Brain).

    Bly and his mysterious obsession with the Orb is later revealed 3/4 of the way through the season closing out this story arc. Unlike most TV shows \"Brisco\" actually had a conclusion (although it wasn\'t seen as such at the time. Plans for a second season would have revamped the format a bit making Brisco the sheriff of a town with many of the colorful characters he encountered over the course of the first season visiting the town on a regular basis).

    A great show that Fox didn\'t quite know what to do with (\"The X-Files\" might have SEEMED like the logical choice to pair the show with but it was virtually ignored in its time slot on Friday before being cancelled), \"Brisco\" should have been given a second chance and a second season.moreless
  • OMG, this was the pilot! Think about how many pilot episodes you saw (well at least I have) that sucked or were so so but the show turned out GREAT! Well this is an awsome pilot for an awsome show!moreless

    OMG, this was the pilot! Think about how many pilot episodes you saw (well at least I have) that sucked or were so so but the show turned out GREAT! Well this is an awsome pilot for an awsome show!

    I love the way it is divided into comercial break chapters (I think this is classic of old westerns.)

    The show introduces the main characters with style. The one thing missing was the over the top humor. Don\\\'t get m wrong, it was FUNNY. I especially liked the lawyer slams:)! However, I think they held back on some of the more offthewall humor for later episodes.

    You are introduced to a common form of humor on the show...word play (or a play on words.. I guess,hehe.)

    If you even REMOTELY like the pilot watch more, you will learn to love this show.

    BUY THE DVDs that is the BEST way to get a revival or at least a movie(can you say FIREFLY...yes I know he has nothing to do woth this show, but you know what I mean!)

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey

Brisco County Sr.

Guest Star

M.C. Gainey

M.C. Gainey

Big Smith

Guest Star

Anne Tremko

Anne Tremko

Amanda Wickwire

Guest Star

Billy Drago

Billy Drago

John Bly

Recurring Role

Kelly Rutherford

Kelly Rutherford

Dixie Cousins

Recurring Role

John Pyper-Ferguson

John Pyper-Ferguson

Pete Hutter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When the Mexicans are about to hang Brisco for cheating at cards, his hands, while sitting on Comet, are tied behind his back. When the shootout cuts the rope around his neck, the next scene has him riding away, but his hands are loose, despite no visible time or opportunity to free them.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Francis Killbridge: I understand you're a lawyer, Mr. County.
      Brisco: Not anymore. Tried it, didn't much care for it.
      Kenyon Drummond: Seems like a shameful waste of seven years.
      Brisco: Well it's better than a shameful waste of an entire lifetime.

    • Brisco: Dixie's right, I'm not really Roscoe Marydoodle
      Dixie: Maryweather
      Brisco: Ah, yeah... Maryweather

    • Brisco: Where did you learn how to throw a punch like that?
      Amanda: Catholic school
      Brisco: That was going to be my first guess...

    • Brisco: You'll have to excuse Comet... he doesn't know he's a horse.

    • Big Smith: Welcome to Sutter Creek. Five years ago the gold ran dry, the governor's dead, the mayor runs the brothel and the minister's a kind of town.

    • Pete: Forget about it?!? You mean... rip it from my memory like a picture from a book? A picture of a small boy... kind of shy... with big ears who only wanted to be liked. And the laughing faces of his classmates, mocking him because he forgot to wear his pants to school? Is that what you mean?

    • Amanda Wickwire: What's your name?
      Brisco: Brisco County.
      Amanda Wickwire: Is that where you're from?
      Brisco: No, that's who I am.

    • Pete: (preparing to shoot Brisco) Dixie, I'm kind of a stickler for gun safety. Could you move a little to the left?
      Dixie: Don't you get it? He's somebody.
      Pete: Sorry, Dixie, but existential thought doesn't hold much water out here in the territories.

    • (on board a runaway stagecoach)
      Dixie: What do we do now?
      Brisco: Well, I can swing out, get a good foothold and climb up to the top of the stage. And then if I'm real careful and God is on my side, I could leap onto the rear of the back horse and work my way out to the lead team, taking care not to fall under their thundering hoofs. Then reach out, grab the bridle of the lead horse and rein them in to a safe and steady stop.
      Dixie: Oh my!
      Brisco: Or...we can jump!

  • NOTES (5)

    • Originally the character of Dixie Cousins was only suppose to appear in the "Pilot" episode. The character of Amanda Wickwire was suppose to be a recurring love interest for Brisco. But due to the overwhelmingly positive reaction towards Dixie. The roles were reversed. Dixie became the recurring love interest and Amanda was written out of the series after the "Pilot."

    • The episode is divided into seven chapters - the titles are: Ch. 1 - The Blast Supper; Ch. 2 - Scarred Feet, Turn Up The Heat; Ch. 3 - Hot Flames, Two Dames and Loose Reins; Ch. 4 - Lowdown Showdown; Ch. 5 - Yell To Your Horse; Ch. 6 - Spur of The Moment; Ch. 7 - Grave Peril

    • Pete Hutter stops the train carrying Bly by the Wile E. Coyote-esque tactic of painting a picture of the tracks on a boulder blocking the tracks. The painter is Carlton Cuse, series creator, in a cameo.

    • The actors playing members of the Westerfield Club are all veterans of previous Western TV shows or movies: Robert Fuller (Wagon Train), Stuart Whitman (Rio Conchos, The Comancheros), and James Drury (The Virginian).

    • Pete Hutter is "killed" for the first, but not last time, in what becomes a running gag throughout most of the series.


    • Professor Wickwire: Try the omelette, I hear it's great!
      Clearly a reference to the Denver Omelette, also called a Western Omelette, is usually an omelette mixed with diced ham, onions, and green bell peppers

    • Chapter 1 title: The Blast Supper
      This is an allusion to the last (Passover) supper that Jesus had with His disciples.