Before I get started, I’d just like to thank everyone who has written to me since the last issue. I’m so very pleased that you love Wildest Westerns as much as I do.
I was asked in the last issue whom I thought was F Troop’s funniest guest star. Well, my favorite guest star was Bernard Fox in “The Phantom Major.” He was so extremely funny with his British accent and of course, his impeccable timing. He played the part of Major Bentley Royce, a British expert in guerrilla warfare. At the time that he was our guest star, he was also appearing as “Colonel Crittendon” on Hogan’s Heroes and as “Doctor Bombay” on Bewitched. Bernard Fox also made memorable appearances on The Andy Griffith Show and The Danny Thomas Show; in 1971 he worked with John Wayne in the sprawling Western, Big Jake, and in 1997 had a featured role in the blockbuster, Titanic.
As I watched “The Phantom Major” episode the other day, I was again caught up in the wonderful magic of F Troop. “The Phantom Major” was one of our best because it was a true ensemble show; everyone was outstanding. By ensemble I mean that it was a total group effort. Written by Arthur Julian and directed by Leslie Goodwins, “The Phantom Major” aired on September 28, 1965. It was shot in black and white and was one of the first episodes of the first season. I’m sure if F Troop had gone on for a third season, Bernard Fox would have returned as the Phantom Major.
There are so many funny scenes in this show. It is full of comedy. In this show the name of the Inspector General is Colonel Herman Sanders. This was another on of Arthur Julian’s inside jokes. You see, Herm Saunders was one of F Troop’s producers.
When I’d made up my mind to write about “The Phantom Major” and had watched the show several times………………………………………