Actors: Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, Dal McKennon, Ed Ames Fess Parker
Directors: Nathan Juran William Wiard
Writers: David Duncan, D.D. Beauchamp
Producers: Aaron Rosenberg
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 36
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Fox Mod
DVD Release Date: September 26, 2014
Run Time: 8150 minutes
Daniel Boone was a real life frontiersman and American pioneer whose exploits and explorations were impressive enough to make him one of the country’s first folk heroes. This television series does not look to paint an accurate representation of history, but instead focuses on enhancing the legend of Boone. There are definite timeline issues in the narrative, but the spirit of the adventurer is captured in the same manner I imagine word of mouth originally embellished Boone into celebrity.
Available for the first time thanks to the 20th Century Fox TV Archives, all six seasons of this 1964 series have been released in a box set in time for the 50th Anniversary. The complete series includes 165 episodes, included in this 36-disc set for fans and new viewers alike. The first season of the series was in black-and-white, but the remaining five switched to color.
All of the adventures of Boone and his family in the new frontier fell into a now-missing family adventure genre of television. Though fans should be grateful that this series has made it to DVD at all, you should also be aware of the fact that the production is only possible through Fox’s DVD-R process, creating packages as they are demanded. It is difficult to tell much degradation to the image with a series this old, but the very idea of having a package made of recordable discs still carries a stigma for some consumers.
Part of the reason this show was so successful was the casting, with the legendary Fess Parker in the iconic role of Boone after having already played Davy Crockett to perfection in the 1950s. Though Parker had roles in plenty of other classic films, such as Old Yeller (1957) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962), he would never reach greater fame than he did by playing these two real-life legendary adventurers. The first season introduces Parker as Boone, a frontiersman living in
with his wife (Patricia Blair) and kids. He also has a trusted Native American
friend, Mingo (Ed Ames), which is needed against the many enemies of the
territory, from native to British. Kentucky
The show also had a successful way of creatively bringing other historical figures into the narrative, however ridiculous they often were. In the third season George Washington comes to visit, and in the final season Boone has a reoccurring alliance with Johnny Appleseed, as well as helping Benjamin Franklin to preserve free speech. Mostly, however, Boone just helped those in need, whether it was an escaped slave or a French prince. Anyone who was in need could count on Boone to save the day.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 8.5/10
Special Features: 0/10