The Zorro Television Companion
A Critical Appreciation
About the Book
The legendary Zorro, the masked renegade who rode through the night defending justice in late 18th century Spanish California, became in 1957 the topic for Walt Disney Studios’ first continuing live-action series and the name of a new American icon. Based on the stories of Johnston McCulley, the legend of Zorro gave birth to the archetypal dual-identity crime fighter, inspiring the creation of such future pop icons as Batman and the Lone Ranger.
This book documents the conception and success of a television legend that has endured for over 40 years. The opening chapter discusses the growth of Zorro, from Johnston McCulley’s creation of the character in 1919 to Walt Disney’s adaptation of the story and its 1957 ABC premier, and provides an introduction to the star actor behind the mask, Guy Williams. Subsequent chapters reveal behind-the-scenes aspects of the action show, discussing the secrets of Zorro’s fencing technique and daredevil stunts and giving insight into the cast, costumes, sets, crew and music of the episodes. Chapters Four through Nine deal exclusively with the content of the first and second seasons as well as the four one hour specials on Walt Disney Presents. Plot summaries are provided for each episode.
The Zorro legend continued to enjoy worldwide popularity long after the filming of the final episode, and concluding chapters discuss the cultural significance of the legend outside of America, particularly in Argentina, where Guy Williams continued his career as the famous pop-culture hero off the screen.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 51 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2005
Table of Contents
1. Presenting Señor Zorro: “Welcome to the TV Airways, Walt Disney” 5
2. “The Bold Renegade Carves a Z with His Blade”: Of Swords and Stunts 25
3. “This Shall Be the Disguise of El Zorro”: Behind the Scenes- Costumes, Sets, Crew, Music 31
4. “Out of the Night”: Overview of the First Season 45
5. The First Thirteen: Episode Guide, Part 1 52
6. The First Thirteen: Episode Guide, Part 2 74
7. The Eagle’s Brood: Episode Guide, Part 1 85
8. The Eagle’s Brood: Episode Guide, Part 2 112
9. The Second Season: Welcome to Monterey (Episode Guide) 133
10. Return to Los Angeles (Episode Guide, Part 1) 158
11. Return to Los Angeles (Episode Guide, Part 2) 180
12. Zorro Merchandise 203
13. “Adiós, Señor Zorro” 210
14. From Frontierland: The Return of the Fox (Episode Guide for Walt Disney Presents) 227
15. Zorro Forever 241
Epilogue: Life After Zorro 255
Chapter Notes 259
Book Reviews & Awards
“most welcome…valuable…recommend it”—Television Chronicles; “tells you all you could possibly want to know”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly.