The Dakotas was a rather violent western, like most of those at that time. The premise was that a bunch of former gunfighters turned U.S. Marshalls would ride the Dakota territory keeping order. There were at times some lighter moments during each episode, usually involving Marshall Frank Ragan having egg on his face. The entire cast was quite good. Jack Elam also showed that he could do the lighter moments as well. Chad Everett came to notice in his role as Deputy Marshall Del Starke, and Michael Greene got his start as Deputy Vance Porter. Larry Ward was quite intense as Frank Ragan, a man with some unhappiness in his life. The series only ran one year and was cancelled over the violence issue, so loose ends in the backgrounds of the characters were not cleared up.