— With a hearty "Hi yo, Silver, away!'' the Lone Ranger and his pale steed thunder across our television screen to the cavalry charge of the William Tell Overture.
We have the first nine episodes of this classic and start with the first, as the Texas Rangers strive to bring law and order to a wild country. They're riding over arid plains, a posse closing in on a terrorist band, and we're transported to the battles of yesteryear.
I haven't seen this for 50 years, and I'm surprised I still like it. Was this a kids show? I look and our kids are rapt, watching closely as a traitor among the Rangers leads them into a trap. They ride into a boxed canyon, where the outlaws are taking aim with rifles from the rim. As the lawmen rein in their horses, gaze up to absorb their fate, Buddy slides closer to his big sister on the couch.
Then the gang opens fire, and one by one, the Rangers drop in a hail of lead.
``This is pretty violent,'' says Hon.
``No real gore, though. No close-ups,'' I say.
``Which is good, because I can watch it,'' says Alice.
``When was it made?'' asks Uncle Chet, and I retrieve the DVD case, but reading it is impossible with my glasses on. And if I take them off I won't be able to see as one ranger, gravely wounded, survives. Hours later, minutes in TV time, he's crawling toward water when he's found by his old friend, Tonto, a Native American hunter.
Tonto dresses the white man's wounds, nurses his friend back to health and buries the other Rangers. When the lone survivor regains his strength, he vows to catch the outlaws and others who prey on the innocent.