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Probably the bitter end of French colonialism worked against any long run for Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion. While this was being filmed the Algerians, buoyed by what they saw the VietMinh do at Dien Bien Phu to the Foreign Legion stepped up its campaign to get the French out of North Africa. Within five years of this show ending the entire chunk of North Africa that used to be colored on maps the same as mother country France was several different African countries.
Former swimming champion Buster Crabbe played the title role of Captain Gallant, American expatriate serving in the Foreign Legion very much like an American cowboy hero. That certainly was something he was familiar with having done many a B western. They even gave him a western sidekick in Fuzzy Knight who played that role in many a western back in the day. Fuzzy was his usual funny self, but even to an 8 year old looked jarringly out of place in North Africa. You kind of wonder what he was in the Foreign Legion for.
Crabbe got to work with his son Cuffy whose role was exactly like that of Lee Aaker as Rusty in the Rin Tin Tin series. His parents were killed, no explanations were given and Cuffy sort of attached himself to Gallant and the feelings were reciprocated. I mean who wouldn't want a cowboy hero father, especially when it's your real father.
The Berbers were treated just like the American Indians, good and bad ones from our westerns. Sometimes they were nasty on their own and sometimes some evil white dudes were stirring them up. Just like the plot of a gazillion movie and TV westerns.
The show in its two season run was filmed in Morocco which did give it an air of authenticity to it. But at heart it was a kid show and fast moving political events in Africa as the continent was on the brink of being granted wholesale independence from Europe made the whole concept of Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion unrealistic.
Still it might be nice to see reruns of it now. Even though they would date so badly.
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