Chess knight courtesy of COCHISE LEATHER COMPANY


Have Gun – Will Travel presents the self-imposed quest of an man called Paladin to bring about justice in the developing West. The original series ran for six seasons, from September 14, 1957 to April 20, 1963 (Saturday nights), and appeared on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) channels.  The original closing theme was written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone and Sam Rolfe and recorded by Johnny Western.  The opening theme, written by Bernard Hermann found its origins in the score he wrote for the movie, On Dangerous Ground.  The popularity of the series led to a radio drama spin-off starring John Dehner as Paladin (November 23, 1958 – November 22, 1960, 106 episodes).



Those associated with Have Gun – Will Travel were nominated for a number of awards.*  Nominees included:


  • Richard Boone – Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead or Support), Primetime Emmys, 1960


  • Richard Boone – Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series (Best Western Series), Primetime Emmys, 1959


  • William Margulies, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) – Best Cinematography for Television for the episode “Ella West,” Primetime Emmys, 1959


  • William Margulies, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) – Best Cinematography for Television for the episode “The Outlaw” (1957), Primetime Emmys, 1958


  • Shimon Wincelberg – Episodic Drama for the episode “The Fatalist” (1960), Writers Guild of America (WGA), 1962


    One nominee won the award:


  • Gene Roddenberry – Best Teleplay for the episode “Helen of Abajinian” (1957), Writers Guild of America (WGA), USA, 1958


Have Gun – Will Travel is a darker western concentrating on man’s recognition of right and wrong, justice versus vengence, paths taken and the decisions that dictated the direction of those footsteps. Many of the episodes begin at the Carlton Hotel, where a vignette related to the subject of the episode is sometimes enacted.


The subject of the episodes often involves social ethics and mores, or the lack thereof. Episodes explore addiction, adoption, the “big fish in small pond” syndrome, civic duty, cultural diversity, despotism, disability awareness, functionalism, genocide, gun control, inheritance, justice, the man versus society conflict, maturation, noblesse oblige, parental responsibility, the principle of law, religious persecution, the corruptive influence of power, racism, religious zealousy, social castes, social progress, respect for seniors, value of life, vigilantism, and women’s suffrage. On a more positive note, the series emphasized the importance of education, the superiority of intelligent response to reaction, and a thorough knowledge of world history and those that shaped it.


However, it is upon the personal choices a man makes when presented with the seven deadly sins, or as Paladin may have quoted, “Luxuria, gula, avaritia, acedia, ira, invidia, and superbia,”*** that the episodes concentrate. Through these choices, the ying and yang of a person’s character is scrutinzed. There are those who simply falter from the straight and narrow and are worthy of redemption.**** There are also those lost in a labrynth of evil within their own mind from which there is no possibility of escape.*****


Some episodes provide funhouse mirror reflections of each other, with endings that reflect differently on each character’s image. ***(** Despite being replete with remonstrations, the series does occasionally tread lightly on man’s quirks, offering counterpoints of the heights of the ridiculous and depths of poignancy.******* Three such episodes are based on literary works.  “Foggbound”******** is an expedition embedded in Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. “A Knight to Remember” borrows character personalities from The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, and there is a resemblance of the classic German legend, Faust, in “The Poker Fiend.”


A number of episodes center on teachers and education, so it is not surprising that within those episodes are life lessons.  There is also a reverence shown for the teachings of history, exemplified through quotes about similar circumstances and the continued relavance of those past histories to the present. A comment by George Santayana is perhaps appropriate.

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages,
infancy is perpetual.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


For a listing of information about each episode, including cast and crew identification, click on the links below:



Three Bells to Perdido

The Outlaw

The Great Mojave Chase

Winchester Quarantine

A Matter of Ethics

The Bride

Strange Vendetta

High Wire

Show of Force

The Long Night

The Colonel and the Lady

No Visitors

The Englishman

The Yuma Treasure

The Hanging Cross

Helen of Abajinian

Ella West

The Reasonable Man

The High Graders

The Last Laugh

The Bostonian

The Singer

Bitter Wine

Girl from Piccadilly

The O’Hare Story

Birds of a Feather

The Teacher

Killer’s Widow

Gun Shy

The Prize Fight Story

Hey Boy’s Revenge

The Five Books of Owen Deaver

The Silver Queen

Three Sons

The Return of Dr. Thackeray

Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork

Silver Convoy

Deliver the Body

The Statue of San Sebastian



The Manhunter

In an Evil Time

The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk

The Hanging of Roy Carter

Duel at Florence

The Protege

The Road to Wickenburg

A Sense of Justice

Young Gun

The Lady

A Snare for Murder

The Ballad of Oscar Wilde

The Solid Gold Patrol

Something to Live For

The Moor’s Revenge

The Wager

The Taffeta Mayor

Lady on the Stagecoach

Treasure Trail


Hunt the Man Down

The Scorched Feather

The Return of the Lady

The Monster of Moon Ridge

The Long Hunt

Death of a Gunfighter

Incident at Borrasca Bend

Maggie O’Bannion

The Chase


The Man Who Lost

Return of Roy Carter

Sons of Aaron Murdock



The Fifth Man

Heritage of Anger

The Haunted Trees

Gold and Brimstone



First, Catch a Tiger

Episode in Laredo

Les Girls

The Posse

Shot by Request




The Black Handkerchief

The Golden Toad


Champagne Safari

Charley Red Dog

The Naked Gun

One Came Back

The Prophet

The Day of the Bad Man

The Pledge


Return to Fort Benjamin

The Night the Town Died

The Ledge

The Lady on the Wall

The Misguided Father

The Hatchet Man

Fight at Adobe Wells

The Gladiators

Love of a Bad Woman

An International Affair

Lady with a Gun

Never Help the Devil


Black Sheep

Full Circle

The Twins

The Campaign of Billy Banjo


The Trial

The Search



The Fatalist

Love’s Young Dream

A Head of Hair

Out at the Old Ball Park

Saturday Night

The Calf

The Tender Gun

The Shooting of Jessie May

The Poker Fiend


The Marshal’s Boy


The Legacy

The Prisoner

The Puppeteer /  The Mountebank

The Sanctuary

A Quiet Night in Town (Part 1)

A Quiet Night in Town (Part 2)

The Princess and the Gunfighter

Shadow of a Man

Long Way Home

The Taxgatherer

Fatal Flaw


The Last Judgment

The Gold Bar


The Siege

The Long Weekend

El Paso Stage

Duke of Texas

Broken Image

Brother’s Keeper

Bear Bait

The Cure

The Road

The Uneasy Grave

Soledad Crossing



The Vigil

The Education of Sara Jane

The Revenger

Odds for Big Red

A Proof of Love

The Gospel Singer

The Race

The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs

The Piano

Ben Jalisco

The Brothers

A Drop of Blood

A Knight to Remember

Blind Circle

The Kid

Squatter’s Rights


Justice in Hell

The Mark of Cain

The Exiles

The Hunt

Dream Girl

One, Two, Three

The Waiting Room

The Trap

Don’t Shoot the Piano Player


Man Who Struck Moonshine

Silent Death, Secret Death

Hobson’s Choice

Coming of the Tiger

Darwin’s Man


Cream of the Jest


Pandora’s Box

Jonah and the Trout

The Knight




Taylor’s Woman

The Fifth Bullet

Place for Abel Hix

Beau Geste

The Bird of Time

Memories of Monica

The Predators

Shootout at Hogtooth

A Miracle for St. Francis

Marshal of Sweetwater

Man in an Hourglass


Trial at Table Rock

Be Not Forgetful of Strangers

The Treasure


Bob Wire


Unforgiving Minute

American Primitive

The Burning Tree

Cage at McNabb


The Walking Years

Sweet Lady of the Moon

The Savages

The Eve at St. Elmo

The Lady of the Fifth Moon

Two Plus One

The Black Bull

Face of a Shadow






*               Sources: Fandom and IMDB 

**             Gene Roddenbury wrote 24 episodes: 314, 15, 16, 17, 43, 46, 59, 63, 67, 71, 80, 81, 82, 88, 89, 91, 147, 182195, 204, 207,                                 216220

***           Lust , gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride

****         Examples include episonde: 60, 67, 6973, 74, 83, 87, 93, 96, 131, 141, 218

*****        Examples include episodes  4, 34, 55, 70, 72, 102, 109, 112, 117, 125, 141, 144, 145, 166, 191, 219

******      Examples include episodes 16 & 17, 44 & 45, 65 & 66, 91 & 92, 157 & 158, 212 & 213

*******    Examples include episodes 33, 42, 51, 54, 81, 85, 95, 101, 107, 129, 143, 149, 164, 170, 181, 189, 195, 211, 223

********   Shimon Wincelberg (S. Bar-David) also wrote 24 episodes:  2,49, 62, 84, 85, 94, 96, 103, 107 111, 118, 127, 129132, 138, 142,                           152, 156167, 174, 181, 189, 206, 213