Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Lone Ranger in The Battle of Barnaby Bend (1966)

On CBS' Wild, Wild West, federal agents Jim West (Robert Conrad) & Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) often had to deal with pint-sized but corrupt genius Miguelito Loveless (Michael Dunn). Seeing how popular Loveless was with audiences, someone at CBS decided that the Lone Ranger would have a similarly sized opponent, one Tiny Tom.

In "The Battle of Barnaby Bend", the Ranger (Michael Rye) and Tonto (Shep Menken) pursue Tom (Dick Beals, also the voice of Alka-Seltzer pitchman Speedy and Frankenstein, Jr.'s creator-sidekick, Buzz Conroy) into the small town, where Tom and his bouncing bandits find more than they bargained for......

Rye would recycle his Ranger voice, ironically enough, for the Super Friends' Native American hero, Apache Chief, more than a decade later.

Rating: A.


Scoobyfan1 said...

Hmm... a Dr. Loveless like foe for the Lone Ranger? Even though I wasn't around when this Lone Ranger animated series aired, it doesn't seem like that great of an idea to me.

Dr. Loveless worked in the Wild, Wild West because it was an adventure series, and live action; altogether that seems to me like a much better situation for a character like him than the Lone Ranger.

In the Lone Ranger radio series, and live action TV series most of the time the Lone Ranger faced Bandits, Indians, and the like; I would imagine when some of the people who watched the Lone Ranger live action series or listened to the radio series back in the day saw the animated Lone Ranger facing some Dr. Loveless type figure they were probably thinking: Um, OK that's great and probably turned to ABC, NBC or whatever independent station was on the air in the market someone lived in.

At least that's probably what I would have done if I lived in the 1960s.

hobbyfan said...

Considering the Ranger was on the same network as Wild, Wild West, it seems Format Films & Jack Wrather were, ah, persuaded to develop Tiny Tom as an antagonist. Unfortunately, this was one role that wasn't suited for Dick Beals.