Watch The Big Valley
- 4 Seasons
The Big Valley is a classic American western television series that premiered on ABC in 1965 and ran until 1969. The show is set in the mid-1800s in the San Joaquin Valley of California and revolves around a wealthy, powerful Barkley family, led by the strong-willed and indomitable matriarch, Victoria Barkley, played by Barbara Stanwyck.
In the show, Victoria is a widow who runs her family's large ranch, the Big Valley, with the help of her sons, Jarrod (Richard Long), Nick (Peter Breck), Heath (Lee Majors), and her daughter, Audra (Linda Evans). Jarrod is the oldest and a lawyer, Nick is the rough and tough ranch boss, Heath is the illegitimate son from Victoria's late husband and a former soldier who fought in the Civil War, and Audra is the youngest and often tries to find her place in a world dominated by men.
The Big Valley is a family drama with a western twist, following the Barkleys as they navigate life, love, and the challenges of the time period, such as the lawlessness and violence of the Wild West, the struggle for women's rights, and the conflict between the ranchers and the farmers.
Throughout the series, viewers witness the Barkleys' relationships with each other and their various love interests, as well as their interactions with the many colorful characters who inhabit the valley. There are also several recurring storylines, such as the rivalry between the Barkleys and a neighboring family, the Morgans.
The Big Valley is known for its strong female characters, with Barbara Stanwyck's Victoria being a groundbreaking role for women on television. She is a trailblazer and a force to be reckoned with, taking charge of her family and holding her own in a world dominated by men. Linda Evans' Audra also showcases the changing roles of women, as she struggles to find her place and be taken seriously in a male-dominated society.
In addition to the compelling characters, The Big Valley also features breathtaking scenery and exciting action scenes, such as shootouts and cattle drives. The show's theme song, "The Big Valley," has also become iconic, with its memorable melody that perfectly captures the show's essence.
Overall, The Big Valley is a timeless classic that has stood the test of time. It is a beautifully crafted show with rich characters, engaging storylines, and stunning visuals that transport viewers back to a bygone era. The show has influenced generations of westerns and is considered a pioneer of its genre.
The Big Valley is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (201 episodes). The series first aired on September 15, 1965.