Fury (retitled Brave Stallion in syndicated reruns) is an American western television series that aired on NBC from 1955 to 1960. It stars Peter Graves as Jim Newton, who operates the Broken Wheel Ranch in California; Bobby Diamond as Jim’s adopted son, Joey Clark Newton, and William Fawcettas ranch hand Pete Wilkey. Roger Mobley co-starred in the two final seasons as Homer “Packy” Lambert, a friend of Joey’s.
The frequent introduction to the show depicts the beloved stallion running inside the corral and approaching the camera as the announcer reads: “FURY!..The story of a horse..and a boy who loves him.” Fury is the first American series produced originally by Television Programs of America and later by the British-based company ITC Entertainment.
The story begins with two young boys fighting on the street. As the winner of the exchange, Joey Clark, walks away, the loser attempts to throw something at him, but the object goes through a nearby window. The store owner quickly pins the blame on Joey, who has been labeled a troublemaker from past incidents. Rancher Jim Newton witnesses the incident and follows along as Joey is taken before the judge to clear the boy’s name. After learning that Joey is an orphan, Newton takes him home to his Broken Wheel Ranch and begins adoption procedures.
A typical plot involved a guest star who falls into mischief, was rebellious or disorderly, and got into trouble but is subsequently rescued by Fury. In most episodes, Fury allowed only Joey to ride him, but occasionally others were allowed the honor of mounting Fury if they had done a good deed for the horse. One of the original conceits of the show was that Fury remained a ‘wild’ (untamed) horse, who wouldn’t allow anyone but Joey to ride him or even come near him. In several episodes people would see the calm interaction between the horse “and the boy who loved him,” and assume that the horse must be broken — but when they tried to put a saddle on him, Fury would rear up and attack them!
Numerous episodes focus on youth organizations, including the Boy Scouts, Big Brothers, Junior Achievement, 4-H Club, Little League, and even the Girl Scouts. A 1957 episode is dedicated to Fire Prevention Week.
Ann Robinson played Joey Newton’s dedicated teacher, Helen Watkins, in nine episodes of the first season. In addition to Roger Mobley as Packy Lambert, another friend of Joey’s is portrayed in the series by child actor Jimmy Baird (born 1945), who was cast as Rodney “Pee Wee” Jenkins.James Seay portrayed a sheriff in six episodes. Maudie Prickett was cast twice, once in the title role of “Aunt Harriet” (1958).
Among the other guest stars were Shelley Fabares as Midge Mallon in “The Tomboy” (1957), Tony Young in “Timber Walker” (1959), Lee Van Cleef as Race Collins in “House Guests” (1959), and Walter Maslow in “The Relay Station” (1959).
Jim Bannon appeared twice on Fury, once as a prison warden in the episode “Fish Story” (1958). Andy Clyde was cast in “Fury Runs to Win” (1956) and “Black Gold” (1959). Russ Conway was cast in “Joey Goes Hunting” (1955) and “A Present for Packy” (1960). Nan Lesliewas cast twice on Fury, as Stella Lambert in “The Model Plane” (1958) and as Packy’s mother in “The Pulling Contest” (1959). Paul Picerni of “Untouchables“ fame,portrayed Tupelo in “Packy, the Lion Tamer” (1960). He also appeared in “An Old Indian Trick” (1959). John M. Pickard, star of the syndicated Boots and Saddles western series, appeared in the episodes “Timber” (1956) and “Trail Drive” (1959). Will Wright, known for his curmudgeonly roles, was cast in “Ghost Town” (1955) and “The Meanest Man” (1958).
Much of the outdoor footage was shot at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, where the “Fury Set” was built specifically for the series. This set included a small house, a shed, corrals, and other features, but it was dominated by a large barn. The Fury Set was used in the films Fury at Showdown(1957) and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959) and the television series, Bonanza and Cimarron Strip, before it burned to the ground in the massive Newhall/Malibu fire of 1970.