Zorro – The Complete Series (1990 – 1992/A&E DVD Box Set)
C Episodes: B-
With releases of older TV shows making their way to DVD becoming more of a rare
occurrence lately, it's great to see A&E meeting collector demand by
bringing such an expansive set like this to the masses. The boxed set of Zorro - The Complete Series covers all four seasons of the show,
and contains a whopping 15 discs, with the last of them containing some
exclusive content unavailable outside of this collection.
Although I remember getting a kick out of this show around the time of its
original run, I just wasn't feeling as much it this time around. I'm certain that diehard fans of the character
will be pleased to finally see these episodes available; casual viewers, on the
other hand, are likely to be in agreement that the show hasn't aged all that
gracefully, being just a bit too hokey for most tastes.
One of the things the show still has going for it is Duncan Regehr's refreshing
performance as Zorro/Don Diego de la Vega - a role he would continue to play
throughout the show's four season run. Regehr is also known for his turn as Dracula a
few years prior in The Monster Squad,
another underrated turn that should have brought far more notice to his career
than it did.
As Zorro, he was able hit just the right balance of class and swagger that the
character should have... an achievement that other actors to don the cape and
mask have sometimes failed to achieve. His
performance is timeless, and is one of the few things about this incarnation
that holds up just as well today.
Extras are absent, should you buy the seasons individually - but if you pick up
the complete boxed set covered here, you'll get the bonus disc The
Zorro Archives. Sad to say, this
disc doesn't feature any real behind the scenes content regarding this show,
but does include for the first time ever, a presentation of New World's unaired
pilot for the Zorro TV series. While not as good as the episodes to come,
there are those out there who will want the boxed set just to see this.
As for the rest of the content on the disc, we have the 1920 Mark of Zorro with Douglas Fairbanks,
as well as the first chapter of Zorro's
Fighting Legion. Both films appear to be in the public domain, so their
inclusion more or less amounts to being filler. For those interested, a photo gallery of shots
from the television show is also included.
Picture and sound quality on the set are average, with the program presented in
its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and with a Dolby 2.0 stereo mix. Video quality of the bonus features is varied,
but is fairly poor. The worst looking
among them being the pilot episode, which seems to have been sourced from a
degraded or possibly later-generation (professional) VHS tape, but I suppose
we're lucky to have it at all.
Fans of shows like Hercules: The
Legendary Journeys, Xena, and Highlander: The Series will already be
familiar with the combination of action, adventure and camp seen here. I encourage them to check it out, as they will
likely find a lot to like about this particular incarnation of Zorro.
- David Milchick