austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We ride with the wind as we go side by side

I'd fallen out of updating the Republic serial Zorro Rides Again since it's fine to watch while doing WiiFit step aerobics but not as fun to talk about as the Buck Rogers or Ace Drummond serials. But I did want to mention the serial concluded, first, with the locals being shocked that the grand-son of the original Zorro, who'd been acting like a reckless layabout upperclass twit of the year all twelve installments, turned out to be the new Zorro, just like his grand-nephew, implying a total lack of ability to foresee obvious implications in the Republic Serial universe. Second, they used the ``Give Me A Ship And A Song'' tune from Ace Drummond, rewritten to be less airplane and more horse-oriented. Fun. (It also concluded with a struggle for possession of ... boxes full of documents. I suppose that might be of actual real-world legal value, but from a screen-thrills point of view, the idea that New Zorro is fighting to take possession of lein releases is underwhelming.)

The next serial, Zorro's Fighting Legion, I'm not covering regularly, although it moves the action back to post-independence Mexico so we get the original Zorro character back at least. He's up against a villain whose deep voice sounds a lot like Ace Drummond's Dragon, although this one has a vaguely Aztec-themed mask instead of a Dragon to command. Also, they have a lot of stray lines of gunpowder considering all the unprotected flames everybody is constantly thrusting about. But this time Zorro actually gets a team of to help him out, a blessed moment of acknowledging that the hero actually can't do everything alone and trained teams are more effective which seems rare for the genre. (Well, they're not putting on a strong performance the first couple installments, but the theory is good.)

Also, the first installment ends with --- I am not making up any of this --- Zorro trapped on a collapsing cliff's edge, caught between the cliff, the wildfire started by the desperados, the desperados shooting at him, and the pile of gunpowder being used to set off an avalanche which will bury the passing gold trail below. Now that's a proper cliffhanger. Can it get better than that?

Remarkably, it does. Shortly after this Zorro and the Legion free one of their team with a daring raid on his captors including releasing a swarm of bees. I do not know which Montgomery Burnsian genius, in the writing room and in the on-screen universe, first told his partners they should release a swarm of bees, but I am grateful to him for doing it.

I wonder if people in Republic Serial universes get together and tell tales of this time they were on a rope bridge and walked across without it being cut.

Trivia: After 1868, students enrolled at Rutgers College need no longer take Latin and Greek after the Sophomore year, but might elect one course from among several: astronomy, analytical chemistry, German, Latin, or Greek. This elective system would remain substantially intact until 1891. Source: Rutgers: A Bicentennial History, Richard P McCormick.

Currently Reading: The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809 - 1918, A J P Taylor.

PS: Searching For e On The New York Thruway, and I think we all know the mile markers are only approximate anyway.


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