“Back to the days of the Gold Rush, as Sergeant Preston with his wonder dog, Yukon King, meets the challenges of the Yukon … A land inflamed with gold. Men who came quickly learned the heroism of sacrifice and the treachery of greed.”
These words first reached across the radio airwaves in 1947. Children and adults alike would gather around the warm glow of their large radios to hear the exploits of Canadian Mounties Sergeant Preston and his trusty companions Rex, his horse, and Yukon King, his Alaskan Malamute. When the early days of television arrived, it was no surprise that the more successful radio dramas would become some of the first television shows. Sergeant Preston was part of that transition wave of the new medium of television. Although filmed in color, the series ran in black and white, which was the only format available to the homeowner in those days. Now through the release of the series on DVD, we get to see the series for the first time in color.
Sergeant Preston was played by Richard Simmons, and no, he wasn’t an exercise guru. The character represented the long arm of the law in a frontier part of the Northwest in 1898. The series combined elements of the western with parts of the police drama and even rescue show. The wide open format allowed for a pretty diverse appeal. Preston’s natural good looks and charm brought in the ladies, who weren’t going to come for the shootouts and action. Attractive Malamute Yukon King was all the show needed to bring in the kids. This might well have been one of the first truly family television series to come around. It had an almost Disney-like character to it. The series often emphasized polite society ethics and culture in an untamed land. Preston spoke respectfully to the ladies and insisted on good manners from the prospectors he encountered. Now that first season is available as a DVD set. It looks and sounds fine, when you consider the age. It’s a good bargain and has a lot of nostalgic value.
“This case is closed”.