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F Troop
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TV Series
    (September 14, 1965-April 6, 1967)
    Aired on ABC
    Ken Berry as Capt. Wilton Parmenter
    Forrest Tucker as Sgt. Morgan O’Rourke
    Larry Storch as Cpl. Randolph Agarn
    Melody Patterson as ‘Wrangler’ Jane Angelica Thrift
    Frank de Kova as Chief Wild Eagle
    Don Diamond as Crazy Cat
    Premise: (Mis)adventures of the soldiers of Fort Courage, the residents of the neighboring town of the same name, and the Indians of the Hekawi tribe
    None of the Hekawi were portrayed by actual Native Americans.
    One of the running gags involved the lookout tower collapsing, usually caused by an off-target cannonball while firing a salute.
    Sgt. O’Rourke’s money-making schemes were derivative of Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko.
    Characters frequently referred to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which took place a decade after the series was set.
    Despite decent ratings, the show was cancelled after the second season because of concerns that the sets took up too much space on the Warner Bothers backlot.
    If you are the kind of person to get upset over the Battle of the Bighorn error, your head probably asploded during the episode in which a band suspiciously similar to the Beatles played Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’
    Despite lasting only two years, its reruns aired for four years on Nick at Nite (1991-95) and three years on TV Land (1997-2000).
    ’SPY’ magazine accused (admittedly tongue firmly in cheek) the Oscar-winning film ‘Dance with Wolves’ of ripping off ‘F Troop’ for its plot: soldier becomes an accidental Civil War hero, takes command of a post out West, and discovers that the natives he thought would be hostile are friendly.

Credit: C. Fishel

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