My name is Ann Williams, Since the passing of my father, Adam Williams, I am the owner/publisher for the newspaper, "The Banner." The Banner stands for "Truth—Honor—Integrity." My father & I had known Jason McCord for sometime. Jas was "Branded" a Coward, but my father and I believed Jas to be innocent and had stated so in "The Banner." I am here to tell you his story.....
Captain Jason McCord was a West Point graduate and decorated Cavalry officer in the U. S. Army—the sole survivor of the battle of Bitter Creek, who was unjustly accused of cowardice. Jas was knocked unconscious during an Apache massacre, when he awoke the entire command had been wiped out. Later, Jas was court-martialed for cowardice, he was judged to have deserted the field of battle and was stripped of his rank and dishonorably discharged from the Army. He was branded a coward and disgraced in the eyes of the world. He was nicknamed "The Coward of Bitter Creek." Jas knew he was innocent but refused to pin the blame where it belonged, his commanding officer, General Reed, who died in the battle.
Now as a civilian, Jas roams the West in search of redemption and justice, for others and ultimately for himself. His exciting travels take him into the lives of many others searching for the dream of the American West. He moves from one job to the next, one town to the next, Jas is skilled as a surveyor, mapmaker, and engineer, which led him into encounters and adventures with the people he meets. He makes friends in the course of his travels, but he also has many enemies who hated the name Jason McCord for what it represented. Often these people had a relative or a friend that had died at Bitter Creek.
From time to time, President Ulysses S. Grant recruits Jas for daring undercover missions, which he courageously undertakes, but his disgrace and shame follow him wherever he goes.
* Ann Williams was first introduced in episode #19—'Mightier than the Sword'
later in episode #47—''Coward Dies Many Times' and the last episode #48 'Kellie'
Near the end of the second season, a format change was instituted to set up a third season. The Bitter Creek plotline was dropped to make McCord more of a family man - with a steady girlfriend (Ann Williams), adopted daughter (Kellie) and joining a surveying firm run by his grandfather.
It was not to be. In spite OK ratings, 'Branded' was discharged at the end of year two.
*Created by Harry Cohen and produced by game-show icons Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, Branded ran until September 4, 1966. The first 16 episodes were broadcast in black and white; the remaining 32 were shown in color, the producers decided to air some episodes of the first season in b/w and some in color. The second season aired entirely in color, you will see Jason McCord manage to rub shoulders with a number of real-life historical figures, including George Armstrong Custer, Horace Greeley and P.T. Barnum.
"Branded" is well worth watching! Great stories and fantastic co-stars/character actors!
As the Rifleman's rifle was to Lucas McCain, the broken sabre was a symbolic weapon to
Be sure and stop by the McCain Ranch to see Lucas, Mark, Micah and the rest of the townfolks in North Fork!
"There will always be a place for westerns on television," said Chuck. "Because they're 'Americana' and you can't throw America out of America. The Western is the American fairy tale."
The Rifleman "Welcome to the McCain Ranch....."
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Branded first posted 12/03/06
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