Trail Tales Cast Interview with Doug Seus: Bart's Trainer and part of the Family

Interview conducted on: December 18th, 2001
approx 7:15pm MST/4:15pm in Hawaii..

yes i was on vacation, don't hate me cause I hate humidity

First, I'd like to thank Doug and Lynne for taking the time to talk on the phone.
They have their hands full with all the great work they do,
including the training of their new stars: Tank, Lil Bart, and Honey Bump (Lil Bart's Sister)

Virgil Vogel, director of the episode, DECOY contacted Doug and Lynne after seeing Bart's work in a film called The Bear.
**side note: Bart and the Seus Family had worked with Mr. Vogel on a Television Series called CENTENIAL years before**

Storyboards and a script for the episode were sent ahead so that Bart and the Seus's could prepare for the role. Although Doug and Lynne recall different seasons, the general concensus is that the episode was filmed in the winter season. **winter was Lynne's guess, and Doug agreed she was most likely right... after all Doug is a smart man..** Either way, Doug said that the trailers used to transport the animals have climate controls, including air conditioners and misters so that the animals are always enjoying the best of conditions.

Even Arizona's drastic climate changes had no affect on Bart. From a young age, the bears are introduced to many different climates to acclimate them to the any possible filming condition. This is done for their own comfort and they are eased into these experiences through Doug and Lynne's care and knowledge.

When asked what kind of instructions they gave to Stephen Baldwin, Doug said he got the same talk that everyone gets, one really important rule... let the bear make the overtures. When the actor is first introduced to the bear, Doug talks with the actor, throwing the emphasis off of the bear and allowing Bart to feel comfortable. Doug says, until the actor and Bart feel comfortable, he stays in between the two.

I asked Doug about Stephen and Bart, how they got along. Doug said that Stephen was extremely adaptable during his scenes with Bart. Doug went on to comment on Stephen, saying that he was such an energetic and free-spirited young man, very nice and gracious.. much like Brad Pitt (Tristan/Legends of the Fall).


Taking a moment, Doug informed me that Virgil Vogel passed on about four or five years ago (1995 or 1996). Doug described Virgil as a top notch director, always in control and said he acted like a goodnatured gremlin. **now before you 80's children start breaking out the Mogwai traps... i'm sure he means the -mischief maker- kind of gremlin**

Now, one of the best decisions Virgil Vogel made was to cast Doug as Bart's owner/friend in the show. Doug says he was shocked when Virgil said, "Get in there and do the part." Boy, are we glad he did.


           Doug recalls that the filming for his 'death scene' seemed to go on-and-on-and- well you get the picture right? So much so apparently others noticed that scene in the episode. The day after the episode aired Doug headed into his favorite coffee shop back in Utah and was greeted by the local jokers who told him that "We thought you'd never die!"

Well Doug, we'll gladly thumb our noses at them and tell them you and Bart are a part of TV history and A+ in our books.

Bart will be remembered as one of the sweetest co-stars of the Young Riders.

Please go to the Vital Ground Site:

it's a non-profit that buys land to link Wildlife Refuges together
 to provide safe passage for Bears in the Wild!

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