1 9 9 3 – 2 0 0 1 (USA)
203 x 45 minute episodes
Chuck Norris starred as Sergeant Cordell Walker, a part-Cherokee Vietnam vet, former Marine, martial arts expert and Texas Ranger who solved crimes the old-fashioned way – with his fists.
He was joined by the more cerebral Jimmy Trivette (Clarence Gilyard) in crime-busting. Walker and Jimmy met frequently with prosecuting District Attorney Alexandra Cahill (Sheree J. Wilson) at C.D’s Bar and Grill in Fort Worth.
C.D. (Gailard Sartain and later, Noble Willingham) was a retired Texas Ranger turned bar owner. He had been a Ranger for 15 years but had received a medical discharge after he was shot in the knee. He also wrote an advice column for the Gazette under the pen name ‘Trail Buddy’.
Norris kicked and punched his way through 203 episodes, bringing down various criminals – from drug cartels to insane cannibals – using his own brand of natural justice.
Sydney Cook (Nia Peeples) and Francis Gage (Judson Mills) were other members of Walker’s unit at the Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger Unit. Both Sydney and Gage were well versed in the martial arts.
Sydney often went undercover on assignments with Gage while Walker and Trivette directed operations. Gage was never called by his first name; “I use my last name because of my first name”.
As the series progressed, a romance developed between Alex Cahill and Walker. They married in May of 2000 and in the series finale on 19 May 2001, Alex gave birth to a girl she and Cordell named Angela Walker.
Norris had turned down numerous offers to do a television show but was impressed by the concept – and also by the fact the show would be filmed close to his ranch.
A huge success throughout its original eight-year run, the show returned for a TV movie in 2005, but a change of policy at CBS scuppered plans for any further continuation.
The show gained a surprising second life in the 21st century thanks to Conan O’Brien, who would show brief clips from the series during his NBC talk show.
Sheree J. Wilson
Gailard Sartain (1)
Noble Willingham (2)