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A Tribute to One of TV's Finest Shows
(The Original
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20th Century Hero in the 1870's
As the series progressed, it became clear that Paladin came from a well-to-do family, served as a Union cavalry officer during the Civil War, then at some point thereafter left for Frisco to assume his double-life of civilized sophisticate/rough-and-tumble gunfighter. At the prestigious Hotel Carlton, he lived a life of leisure and luxury. He liked the arts, fine food, brandy, cigars, gambling, acquiring knowledge, and he absolutely loved women. He dressed in the most expensive clothes of the day, and always had an appropriate quote at the ready, whether it be Shelley or Montaigne for a beguiling lady, or perhaps Socrates or Shakespeare for those of his own gender. He was able to speak several languages, play piano and compose his own symphonies, ascertain a bourbon's distillery with merely a small sip, and play chess (vs. himself, no less) according to the military tactics of various historical figures.

But things were different once Paladin changed into his work attire. Dressed completely in bad-man black, with a silver chess-knight on his holster, he'd hire out his services to those fortunate enough to be able to afford them. On many occasions, however, Paladin would do charity work, donating or waiving his fee for a good cause. He was a champion of justice, highly-principled and ethical, always concerned with "what's right." (Look up "paladin" in the dictionary, watch a few episodes, and you'll understand why this name was chosen.) Frequently he would switch his allegiance to his employer's opponent -- after discovering his now ex-employer was up to no good. He was physically strong, and great with his fists (once duking it out bare-knuckled with a prize-fighter for dozens of rounds), but it was with his gun that Paladin truly excelled.