27 July 2006 | skoyles
Amerindian dignity and American compassion
I well remember his series with great fondness. My Mother watched primarily to drool over Michael Ansara and I because of the fine flavour of Native American culture. Let us remember the time: in Westerns all Indians were "bad guys" save for Tonto, and the Apaches were the worst of the worst. Yet in "Broken Arrow", as in the motion picture upon which it was based, the Apaches were human and Cochise an heroic figure up to whom any little boy could look. John Lupton suffered from the ""Sugaroot" Will Hutchin's "aw shucks" young Jimmy Stewart lightweight syndrome" but somehow overcame it by dint of good acting and a underlying tragic flavour shared with Ansara and with the whole series. The tension in the series was cultural; the friendship of Cochise nd Tom always balanced against this cultural gulf. Not a typical Western at all but an exploration of multiculturalism in its best sense, "Broken Arrow" was unique in its day.