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Yancy and his sidekick finally come to life in standard-def, but the results don't do the iconic show any favors....
Shout! Factory / 850 Minutes / 1958-1959 / Unrated / Street Date: October 9, 2012
Jock Mahoney is a badass. In Yancy Derringer, he plays the titular character, a suave, debonair stud who owns and runs a plantation by day and by night works as an undercover agent, a man who - along with his stoic Native American partner Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Weh (X Brands) - solves the kinds of crimes only seasoned veterans could. And the dude is cool - yeah, he used to be a Confederate soldier and he's not exactly the reliable type, but as Yancy Derringer: The Complete Series progresses, both Mahoney and his character get ample opportunities to act awesome.
The show doesn't progress all that much (it only ran for a season), but this TV-on-DVD box set must exist for a reason - there must still be fans out there who want to see Derringer pull the pistol out of his pill box hat and take down baddies. I'd never experienced the series before - not even in reruns - and as a primer course in unraveling the coolness, the steely southern bravura of its title character, this compilation absolutely succeeds.
That being said, however, it's by no means a definitive set. There's an argument that simply having the show available (in any viable format) is a coup for those who've loved the series for decades, but even armchair home theater enthusiasts won't be able to shake the fact that these episodes don't look and sound all that great (more on that later). It's very clear from Yancy Derringer: The Complete Series why the show and its protagonist made such an impact, but both he and Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Weh deserve a better 21st century representation.