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Then Came Bronson

By DJ

Then Came Bronson was about a reporter named Jim Bronson (played by Michael Parks) who contemplates the meaning of life after his best friend commits suicide. He decides - as many others at the time did - to turn his back on his urban lifestyle and try something new.

He quits his job, sells off or gives away almost all of his belongings, and hits the road on his dead friends motorcycle. That all happens in the pilot. The rest of the series centers around the towns and the people he meets while on the road discovering himself.

Then Came Bronson at heart was really just a rehash of the old TV Western genre, but this time the lonesome cowboy was on a Harley Sportster rather than a horse. But, the attraction and popularity at the time was the sheer fantasy of escape from what were extremely troubled times in the U.S. Looking back, the country was driven by Vietnam, the draft, racial divisiveness, and an administration that, until lately, was unrivaled for corruption, venality, and malevolence towards the citizenry. The "generation gap" pitted children against parents, and the entire structure of American society was called to question. Against this backdrop, "Then Came Bronson" struck a chord with the disaffected of how great it would be to just get the hell out and "live life my way".

The continuing underground popularity of the show among Baby Boomers and Harley riders is testament enough to the magnetism of the program. It was indeed the best of times and the worst of times. But they were times when, to paraphrase Hunter Thompson in his 1967 "Hell's Angel's" book, you could travel the length and breadth of this great country and be assured that no matter where your destination, there would be like minded people there who were instantly your friends, an attitude that continues to thrive in the Harley community today, as thousands of Hog owners will testify. The show's continuing popularity, albeit underground, speaks for itself. Hang in there, and don't ever let yourself turn out to be the guy in the station wagon!!

On December 30, 2003, Then Came Bronson's producer, Bob Justman, sent along this note:

My name is Bob Justman and I produced the 2-hour pilot and all 26 one-hour episodes of TCB. I just want to thank you and all the people who praised our efforts way back in 1969-70.

I've made many TV shows during my career but non of them spoke to the heart the way TCB did. I'm glad to discover that my efforts were appreciated and I thank all the people who took the time and effort to make their feelings known.

Thank you, Bob, for a great series and for acknowledging your fans here! We have a lot of them over in our forums. -Patrick Mondout

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Then Came Bronson forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Then Came Bronson viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

Been riding Harleys since 75 because of this show. Showed what being free meant in a not so free time.

--John Gammone n.y.c.

Note: This is just a random sample of the Then Came Bronson messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 17, 1969 - September 9, 1970

Cast: Michael Parks

Network: NBC

Genre: Adventure

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC


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Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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