Two milestones are approaching as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" ends its third season on CBS: A real train pulls into the show's Western town for the first time and, when it leaves, so does the country doctor's virginity.
"As you know, Dr. Quinn is the oldest living virgin on TV," says a smiling Jane Seymour, the show's 44-year-old star, standing next to her series' new huffing-and-puffing steam locomotive.
In the season finale May 20, Quinn and the outdoorsy Byron Sully (Joe Lando) finally tie the knot.
"We go away on our honeymoon in this train," Seymour says, referring to the narrow-gauge locomotive that rolls along 600 feet of track on the set in Agoura, about 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
"We have a wonderful, delightful love scene in the train. He (Lando) carries me aboard . . . and carries me to bed. He starts to undo my laces and I say, 'It's not even dark yet!' So he pulls down a blind; we kiss. He pulls down another blind, another lace; we have another kiss. He closes another blind; another kiss. . . . I get up and pull down the last blind and we have a long kiss. It's wonderfully romantic."
And it comes not a moment too soon for the British actress. "How long can I play a sexually inactive anticipator?" she asks. Quinn and Sully have been attracted to each other ever since the doctor arrived from Boston. "All our fans are endlessly writing, 'When are you going to get married?' "
Seymour feels the marriage "is going to change the show for the better. We'll deal with the whole idea of relationships. And there's always a chance we'll have a baby." (That seems likely since it was announced Tuesday that Seymour and her husband, director-actor James Keach, are expecting a child in January.)
Story lines also will be enhanced by the addition of the train. "It opens up our show to endless possibilities," Seymour said. "New people, good and bad, new diseases, new medicines."
The engine, a 1920s Vulcan, "looks, moves and sounds very much like one of the period (in which 'Dr. Quinn' is set, 1868)," says Jim Clark, who is both the engineer and vice president of the Fillmore-based Short Line Enterprises, a movie train rental firm. But he noted that the engine has been converted from using coal to diesel oil, so it burns cleaner than in days of old.