For old and new fans alike of The Lone Ranger TV series, this is the three part origin story start to finish without the standard opening and closing sequences of the individual episodes to interrupt the continuity of the story. For devotees of the Ranger, this is the grand daddy of all Western sagas, telling as it does how Texas Ranger John Reid survived the ambush by the Butch Cavendish Gang, and how he was nursed back to health by an Indian friend from his childhood. Tonto (Jay Silverheels) declares his companion a 'trusty scout', and names him Kemo-sabe. I've read various interpretations of the origin of the term Kemo-sabe, but I'm satisfied with Tonto's explanation. Reading too much into it just detracts from the story, just like the English translation of 'tonto' from Spanish, which I won't mention, because it's just better not to know if you can help it.
I thought it quite clever how the origin story created the mystique of the Lone Ranger, like the sixth grave that created the illusion that all the Rangers died in the box canyon ambush. You never see the face of the man who becomes the Lone Ranger, as it's always turned away or obscured to hide his real identity. Even the origin of Silver is handled brilliantly; the voice of the story's narrator describing the wild stallion's sterling qualities. I got just the biggest kick out of that explanation.
For it's time, The Lone Ranger was a prolific TV Western with two hundred and twenty one episodes spanning eight years on the air from 1949 to 1957. Quite notably, most of the individual shows never quite matched up in quality to the first three episodes telling the origin story, but that was a simpler time and special effects in Westerns was virtually unheard of. But the show captured the imagination of this viewer as a young boy, as the Lone Ranger became one of my personal heroes along with such luminaries as Tarzan and Superman.
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