Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two successful and popular outlaw cousins in the old West, decide it´s time to go straight. The problem is that the governor just can´t give them amnesty right away, they have to prove that they deserve it. And in the meantime they will still be wanted. Hunting them is everybody, from sheriffs to bounty hunters, to posses and ordinary people.
Hannibal Heyes/Joshua Smith is the thinker, the poker player and the optimist, while Kid Curry/Thaddeus Jones is the quick-drawing worrier who sometimes is a bit slow. Together they are Smith and Jones...
Other regular characters include "Big Mac" McCreedy, a wealthy ranch owner, who´s feuding with his next door neighbour, senor Armendariz. Harry Briscoe is an agent with Bannerman detective agency, who´s perhaps not the brightest man around. Clementine Hale is a woman with an enormous zest for life. She owns the only picture of Heyes and the Kid and often uses it to get them to get her out of trouble.
This show contained both humour and drama, as well as gunplay, poker games, and chases. It is said to be in part inspired by the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but it owes equally to TV series Maverick. (Peter Duel's appearance in most of the first season's episodes, with the black hat and his hair combed back, looks very similar to James Garner as Maverick.)
On New Year's Eve, 1971, Peter Duel died from a gunshot wound to the head. The death was officially ruled suicide. Duel was fighting an alcohol addiction (he had been convicted of DWI), had been drinking that night, and was depressed over his legal problems and the state of his career, feeling that Alias Smith and Jones was hardly his best work. The runaway success of Alias Smith abd Jones led to a grueling schedule for the actors, as cast and crew worked overtime to produce more episodes to keep up with public demand, and this may also have played a part.
The role of Hannibal Heyes was filled within only a few hours by Roger Davis, who had originally done the voice-overs in the opening credits, but the show´s popularity sank steadily - as did the interest for Western shows in general, and the series was canceled in January 1973.