Before Easy Rider hit the big screen, motorcycle hero Jim Bronson was already plying the highways and byways of America.
The 1969 TV series Then Came Bronson followed the exploits of jaded journalist Jim Bronson, played by Michael Parks.
After witnessing the suicide of his best mate Nick (Martin Sheen), Bronson quits his job, buys the dead man’s shiny Harley Davidson and hits the road in a search of a more fulfilling life.
Along the way he encounters various characters, with their share of problems, including the fesity, flighty, runaway bride Temple Brooks (Bonnie Bedelia) who reluctantly joins him for the first part of his journey.
Though he’s a loner and something of a latter day cowboy, he’s always willing to pitch in and lend a helping hand — a good samaritan if you like.
In keeping with the times, Bronson is a committed pacifist and no longer to prepared to spend his life working for ‘The Man.”
The show has some similarities to the early 1960s series Route 66 (in fact, Michael Parks guest-starred in one episode).
It’s also been described as a “knock-off” of Easy Rider, but its debut in March, 1969 pre-dates the cult movie by several months.
The first three episodes, including the end credits scenes, were shot in and around Jackson, Wyoming.
The producers thought it would be a good idea to screen the pilot in the town cinema, to give locals a sense of where the series was going and what they were in for — since they would shooting in and around the town.