Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Before 'Django Unchained' There Was 'The Outcasts'

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act December 5, 2012 at 10:41PM

So with all the attention on Tarantino's Django Unchained (which I confess I've seen already and absoluely love - but I'll get to that soon in due time) one should keep in mind that the basic premise of a black and white team of bounty hunters isn't new at all. In fact there was a TV show based on the same premise back in 1968.
12
The Outcasts

So with all the attention on Tarantino's Django Unchained (which I confess I've seen already and absoluely love - but I'll get to that soon in due time) one should keep in mind that the basic premise of a black and white team of bounty hunters isn't new at all. In fact there was a TV show based on the same premise back in 1968.

I wrote about it for the old S & A wesbite, and what better time to reprint it again. The show I'm referring to was the TV western series The Outcasts. And if you were a young, impressionable black kid back then (like me), this was simply THE SHOWThe "I-have-to-see-it-every-week-or-else-I'll-die" TV show.

A long time friend of mine and I still talk and reminisce about the show and the impact it had on us as young kids.

Even once, a few years ago, I was speaking on the phone with someone else and somehow The Outcasts came up. When I was finished, a white guy who was next to me and overheard what I was talking about said to me: “You were talking about The Outcasts?? God, I LOVED that show!” When a show made over 40 years still has that kind of impact, then you know it was something really special.

The show was on the ABC Network starting in the fall of 1968 and its premise was quite simple and effective. It dealt with two bounty hunters; a white Southerner and former slave owner, Earl Corey, played by Don Murray, who had lost everything during the Civil War and was reduced to being a bounty hunter for a living.

His partner was a former slave named Jemal David played by Otis Young (who passed away in 2001), who was also working as a bounty hunter with his newly won freedom. However this was no simplistic, love-thy-brother “why-can’t-we-all-get-along” sappy, uplifting show. Suffice it to say, David and Corey despised each other, but they were forced to stay and work together for survival, in a cold, brutal and unforgiving environment.

The show was, bluntly, about racial tension and conflict. There were episodes, for example,  in which David got in trouble and Corey had to decide whether he should side with the white guys or defend his partner, despite the fact that he absolutely hated his guts.

David, on the other hand, was angry. I mean he was one really pissed off brother. I still remember one particular episode where the pair wound up on an old former plantation, where there was an ex-slave played by Roscoe Lee Browne, still rooting for the Confederacy. The hate and contempt David had for Browne burned a hole through the screen.

Needless to say, the show only lasted one season and was canceled after 30 episodes. It was too real, too raw for audiences at the time to take. And considering it premiered just a few months after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and with this country boiling over with urban riots, college student anti-war demonstrations, The Black Panthers,  Richard Nixon as President, and watching American soldiers being killed and wounded in Vietnam, especially after the Tet Offensive (look it up), every night on the network news, The Outcasts was not the show people wanted to see.

However, audiences are even more timid today, and there’s no way a network would ever make a show like that again, except maybe HBO. It was a hard and uncomfortable reflection of the turbulent times that this country was going through. People today would rather watch NeNe Leakes than something that would really challenge them. Personally I think it's a conspiracy to lull people to sleep, and that’s our loss.

But The Outcasts is a show that begs to be released on DVD or at least syndicated on some cable network for people to discover it again. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Here are some scenes from the show:

This article is related to: Television, TV Features


Shadow & ActNewsletter