Set in Seattle in the 1870s, the main storyline focused on a family of loggers in the new West who had to bring in 100 women — potential brides — for their male crewmembers. While the show was set in the past, it made some considerable impact in the present — most notably launching Bobby Sherman and David Soul as teen idols.
The show starred Robert Brown as Jason Bolt, Bobby Sherman as Jeremy Bolt, David Soul as Joshua Bolt, Mark Lenard as Aaron Stempel, Bridget Hanley as Candace “Candy” Pruitt, and Joan Blondell as Lottie Hatfield.
Some of the notable guest stars on Here Come the Brides included Bruce Lee, Davy Jones, Ed Asner, Vic Tayback, Marge Redmond, Daniel J Travanti and James B Sikking.
Even the cast of ‘Here Come the Brides’ enjoys it (1968)
By Margaret Scott
Recipe for high adventure and good fun: Take six stellar roles, blend well with a happy cast having a ball at making an hour-long series, spice with dash and derring-do. Mix well in a Seattle of the 1870s, add a touch of logging camp atmosphere, 100 brides for the Pacific Northwest — and vou have ABC’s Wednesday evening “Here Come the Brides.”
The “Pacific Northwestern,” as it is called bv story editor Bill Blinn, is a happy show. “There’s fun to be had in doing a series that is pure entertainment,” says Blinn.
With the rough edges sanded off, the basis for the series is this: Seattle in the 1870s is logging camp territory. The population: relatively few, and all male.
Logging camp operator Jason Bolt, with his younger brothers, Joshua and Jeremy, bring 100 prospective brides to this settlement in Washington Territory. (Pioneer Square was a little more rugged of course, but it’s the spirit of anew land that this series attempts to capture. The hard facts, sir and ma’am, are on hand in the historical museum.)
If there is a flavor of the Broadway play, “Rainmaker,” at times in this series, it’s not entirely coincidental. Author of the play, N. Richard Nash, did the pilot script from which “Brides” derives.
Robert Brown stars as Jason. Costarring are Joan Blondell as Lottie, the saloon-keeper; Bobby Sherman as Jeremy; David Soul as Joshua; Bridget Hanley as Candy Pruitt, leader of the imported brides; and Mark Lenard as sawmill owner Aaron Stempel.
Robert Brown terms the series “high romantic adventure with wit and style. It is set in a marvelous time in history, America before mechanization took over. It is for everyone, the young, too.”
BROWN’S ENJOYING ROLE HE PLAYS
The actor, wearing the fringed forest-green working clothes, terracotta turtleneck shirt and fur-topped boots of his television alter ego, described Jason: “He is a pioneer hero without a gun, who wins with words and action. He is close to a Renaissance guy in that he can do almost anything.
“The character is joyous and upbeat. I’m having a happy time with this. Bolt is dependable, responsible, and a bit naughty, too. He takes care of his brothers, his loggers, the brides and the Bolt brothers’ timberland, Bridal Veil Mountain, as well as the community.”
This essentially upbeat, happy role contrasts strongly with Brown’s extensive, and heavier, roles in numerous Broadway and Shakespearean productions.
Joan Blondell, who plays Lottie, a friend to Jason and a mainstay in the town, has said of Brown, “He has a quality that reminds me of a young Errol Flynn, except that he is a better actor.” Quickly, she adds, “And the Flynn I knew at Warner Brothers was a fine gentleman.”
SERIES IS JUST WHAT SHE NEEDED
Asked why she had decided to do this series, Miss Blondell, who has appeared in some 100 films and made numerous stage and television guest appearances, said, “I read the scripts and they were good. That’s where. you begin.”
Her son, Norman Powell, a television executive; married daughter Ellen and four grandchildren live in the Los Angeles area..”A series is exactly what I needed. Now I can settle down in one place near the ones I love.
“And I have another ‘family’ here at the studio — the cast and crew. It’s wonderful, something that I haven’t experienced since the years when I was making pictures at Warners.”
While auburn-haired Bridget Hanley and Susan Tolsky, who is featured as Biddie Cloom, are the only young actresses in the regular cast, with Mitzi Hoag playing the recurring role of Miss Essie, the schoolteacher, dozens of beauties are working on the set in each production, either in guest veles or as extras.
DAVE SOUL IS MINISTER’S SON
Bobby Sherman, cast as Jeremy, the sensitive, youngest Bolt, who stutters, was a singing star of ABC’s “Shindig!” and made his straight dramatic debut in a segment of “The FBI” last season. Bobby plays 30 musical instruments, has his own professional recording firm, and has recorded, among others, The Monkees.
He and David Soul, a folk singer before he turned to acting, are planning to produce a record together, doing all the instrumentation and voices themselves.
A minister’s son, David did part of his growing up in Germany and in Mexico City, where he learned the six- and 12-string guitar. He was wed last June to actress Karen Carlson, whom he met when she played one of the brides in the “Here Come the Brides” pilot last December.
The three actors, Robert, Bobby and David, like the brothers they portray, stand firmly together.
Recently, during lunch break at the series’ main location site in the Angeles National Forest, elevation 5,400 feet, some 30 miles east of Hollywood, the three spoke of their relationship.
THEY ARE 3 MUSKETEERS
“Since all of us were new at this, we didn’t realize how busy we would be, how many things had to be done and, as a result, began going in separate directions, just a little,” began Brown.
“But unintentionally,” said Sherman. “The personal warmth among us is bound to carry over into our acting, so we might as well take advantage of it,” Soul commented.
“From now on,” Robert smiled clapping the other two on the backs, “we’re definitely together.”
Later, back at Columbia Ranch in the San Fernando Valley where the production is based, Bridget Hanley noted, “We are one big, happy family, and love each other more every day — except for him.” She pointed at Mark Lenard, who plays Aaron Stempel, the resident semi-heavy, with a leer.
Stempel is Jason’s wealthy opponent, a fair man, but disagreeably cynical. Should any bride prove unmarriageable or leaves within a year, Stempel will win the Bolt brothers’ Bridal Veil Mountain.
Crossing the muddy exterior Seattle Square set — it is hosed down frequently to keep it appropriately damp-looking for the Pacific Northwest — Lenard, a New York stage actor with a master’s degree in speech and drama from the University of Michigan, approached to tell Bridget Hanley that he had been invited to be a guest at a national science fiction convention in San Francisco.
“All because I played Spock’s father on ‘Star Trek,'” he said. As a result of the role last season, he now has a fan club with headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.
Bridget, the only member of the cast to come from Seattle, attended San Francisco’s College for Women, and worked in the Bay City as an ad agency secretary while she moonlighted as an actress.
Since the pilot was filmed, more than 14,000 board feet of lumber have been used to build interior and exterior sets for “Here Come the Brides.” Buildings include Lottie’s saloon, the community meeting place; a jail, the church, the Bolts’ cabin, a sawmill, and docks, with a replica of Captain Clancey’s 180-foot mule boat, the Shamus O’Flynn.
A set decorator, Frank Lombarde, watching a lavish party scene in the Seattle Square, shook his head and said, “It’s unbelievable. What we’re really doing here is filming a feature every week.
“This is one show I’ll be glad to have my eight kids watch. There just aren’t many good family movies anymore, so this will be a treat for all of us — when the homework is done in time.”
All involved in “Brides” give generous praise for the quality and the spirit of the show to Claver, executive producer for Screen Gems.
“The series offers viewers all ages plenty of action, adventure, romance and beautiful scenery,” said Claver.
“The series has action as opposed to violence, but, more important than anything, it never loses its sense of humor.”
Here Come the Brides: Opening credits/theme video – with vocals
Here Come the Brides: Original theme song lyrics
The bluest sky you’ve ever seen, in Seattle.
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle.
Like a beautiful child
Growing up, free and wild.
Full of hopes and full of fears,
Full of laughter, full of tears,
Full of dreams to last a year
When you find your own true love you will know it
By his smile, by the look in his eyes.
Scent of pine trees in the air
Boys all stand around and stare
Look out everyone, Here Come the Brides.