There was a new cowboy in Dallas, and he wasn’t throwing touchdown passes. But Walker was almost gone before he could really get started. After just four episodes, the show’s production company suffered financial collapse, and the show was rescued at the last minute by CBS Productions, who would continue to run the show for its nearly decade-long run. For nine years Norris brought us the ultimate Texas Ranger in a formula cops-and-robbers show. The show often became a parody of itself, but maintained a solid viewership throughout. Hell, Norris even sings the theme song. Truthfully, what started as a one-man show (it was originally called Chuck Norris Is Walker, Texas Ranger) had become a good working ensemble that probably kept the train going for so long. Walker (Norris) is a tough-guy Texas Ranger. He is partnered with Sydney Cooke (Peebles) and Jimmy Trivetti (Gilyard) who’s an ex-jock with a brain. Walker had a love interest and eventual wife in the local assistant district attorney Alex Cahill (later Walker) Together they fight the evils that come to the high plains of Texas armed with their fists, six-shooters, and Stetsons.
Fans of Norris were never disappointed in what they got here. The requisite martial arts and tough-guy talk are present pretty much in every episode. There’s a popular T-shirt design that lauds their hero in epic fashion. One of my favorites is : “McGyver can build a plane out of gum and paper clips, but Chuck Norris can kill him and take the plane.” Another brags: “Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas”. And there’s the humorous: “Chuck Norris knows what Willis is talkin’ about”.
With all of the show’s episodes on DVD, CBS has been putting together DVD versions of two-part episodes and releasing them as television movies. The sixth such release is Flashback. It comes to us from the end of Season 3.
An old amateur geologist uncovers a prize he’s been looking for his entire life. It’s the legendary Cooper’s Gold, and it’s worth a rather large fortune. Unfortunately, when he takes samples of his find and a map to the local coin dealer, he walks right into the middle of a vicious holdup. The old man gets killed, and the bad guys are now on the trail of Cooper’s Gold.
Walker knows the tale of Cooper well. Hayes Cooper was a Ranger 130 years earlier and was on the trail of gold thieves. The rumor was that he caught the bad guys and kept the gold for himself. The legend was that he buried it somewhere but never came back for it. The gold was missing all that time. Walker wants to catch these murderous bad guys, but he also wants to clear Cooper’s name, if he can.
This is one of those episodes that are told in flashbacks, hence the title, to the days of Hays Cooper. Most of that comes in a dream/vision that Walker has after being bitten by a rattlesnake. He also “appears” to be helped by the spirit of Hayes Cooper riding a glowing white horse. In fact, Cooper saves his life. Of course, the flashbacks feature the regular cast in other personas. Obviously, Norris is going to play Cooper himself.
It’s a rather fanciful episode, but one you can get in the third season release. There are no extras, and the audio/video is unchanged from the episode release. Here it is merely edited into a single “movie”. The original episodes aired in May of 1995. Fans need to pick these up if the series is to continue. There’s no denying they might “need a little help”.