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DVD Review: Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon – Season Two

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For fans of Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon, Infinity Entertainment’s re-mastered four-DVD set of season two is a must. All 23 of the episodes were filmed in glorious 1950s-era color, the kind that jumps out and demands your attention. But I doubt if more than a select few have ever seen these programs look as good as they do here.

Season two of Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon originally aired in 1956-57, on the CBS television network, and starred the great Richard "Dick" Simmons. Obviously this Richard Simmons is no relation to the fitness guru. The original Richard Simmons lived a mighty 90 years, born in 1913 and passing in 2003. Besides his starring role as Sergeant Preston, Simmons appeared in 17 films, including The Youngest Profession (1943), and Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready (1977).

Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon is a Baby Boomer classic, due to such great episodes as "Pack Ice Justice" which is filled with racial undertones, and "Blind Justice" which obliquely addresses the handicapped. Sergeant Preston and his trusty dog Yukon King got the bad guys every time, and they never even had to fire a shot, except as a warning. This was an assuring vision to a youngster such as myself.

Like the Lone Ranger, and the Cisco Kid, Sergeant Preston’s mission was a simple one: He was the good guy who was going bring the bad guys to justice. And in every 30 minute episode, he did exactly that. It is somewhat unfair to judge the show by today's standards, 50 years after the programs were originally televised. But the campy aspects are irresistible. The bright red uniform shirt Preston sports is amazing. Worn with knee-high leather boots and black pantaloons, Preston has an outfit to die for.

The fact that this is a man wandering the Yukon territory alone, except for his trusty doggy, is never addressed. He seems to have no interest at all in the women he encounters along the way. No matter though. The opening narration, which encapsulates the plot neatly in the opening minutes, sets everything in context. Sergeant Preston (we never hear his first name) has a mission, and nothing will stand in his way.

Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon remains a classic, and this re-mastered DVD set is really the only way to see it. Unfortunately, there are no extras offered at all here, just the episodes. For old time fans though, it is a revelation to see how beautiful these shows were filmed way back when. As a slice of 1950s Americana, it doesn't get much better than Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon.

And his outfit is to die for.

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