The transcript below is from the video β€œWalker, Texas Ranger Officially Ended After This Happened” by DoYouRemember.

DoYouRemember:

There’s only one set of rules out here – the code of the Old West and there’s no more perfect reminder than the adventures of Walker, Texas Ranger.

They definitely did somet:hing right with nine action-packed seasons, plus syndication, reruns, and air times in hundreds of countries. You’d think there’d be nothing left to uncover but there you’d be wrong, partner. Fort Worth still has plenty of secrets worth revisiting and that’s where we come in.

How much of this sweeping epic is rooted in reality and where did these steely heroes draw the line? I’m nostalgic Nick with DoYouRemember and if you enjoyed this throwback, be sure to give it a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll hear about the latest culprit we bring in. But without further ado, let’s giddy up.

DoYouRemember:

Ranger… Bolt

Most elements of Walker, Texas Ranger were very fleshed out. Producers, including Norris himself, had some quality source material to start from. The film Lone Wolf McQuaid, where Chuck first showed his potential as a ranger alongside LQ Jones, RG Armstrong and William Sanderson. Though Texas Ranger is technically an original creation, they do not shy away from this film as an influence. All three of those actors also appeared in Walker, Texas Ranger or should I say, they almost appeared in Sam Bolt, Texas Ranger, the show’s original name in early stages.

Yep, Norris’s character was nearly named Sam Bolt, which would have altered his parents and uncle’s names too since Walker is a short version of firewalker. But it probably wouldn’t have changed co-creator Paul Haggis’s attitude about it all which was pure hatred. Haggis only worked on the series for two weeks and all of that without a bit of love for how things were playing out. Haggis decided to switch to film and now has million-dollar baby Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace under his belt. So I guess everyone can say: thank you, Walker.

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Renaissance Man

The eyes of the ranger are upon you. Well, really, all on Chuck Norris as he was the face of Walker, Texas Ranger in every possible way, from starring as the titular lead to being an executive producer. Oh and he also sang the opening theme song Eyes of a Ranger. There’s a great nod to this in the season 7 episode Jacob’s ladder. Walker and Jimmy hear the song play on the radio and Jimmy cringes and turns it off before Norris cranks it back on, insisting that it is good.

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In Character

Chuck Norris’s former martial arts student and later acting mentor Steve McQueen once advised him, “Put as much of yourself into the character as possible”. And Walker, Texas Ranger let quite a few actors do that. The character Walker rose above a tragic start, with his family being murdered in front of him. So he never got to really know his parents but he did stay in touch with his Cherokee heritage, being raised by his uncle Ray on a reservation. And Chuck Norris is actually one-quarter native American. His paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were both full-blooded Cherokees. And just like Walker, Norris also learned how cruel people could be at a young age. So Norris made sure to put all of this into his character.

The character’s origin was a tribute to Norris’s own life in another way. Firewalker was the name of a 1986 film that he starred in and Chuck’s brother Aaron Norris worked as the stunt coordinator for the film. And for even more real inspiration, Wade Harper, who played Robert Fuller, was himself a retired El Paso Ranger.

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Lone Star State

For decades, most hit TV shows, no matter the setting, were all filmed in Los Angeles. Just step into a studio, put up a screen, build a room and you got yourself, well, anywhere. But not for Walker, Texas Ranger. Filming was done exclusively in Rexas, right where the show took place, Fort Worth and Dallas

This gave the team plenty of native Texans to recruit as extras. Some even getting speaking roles, which really helped the show feel authentic. Among the main casts, Noble Willingham was the only true Texan and the State senate even named Norris an honorary Texan. And in 2010, Chuck and Aaron were both named honorary rangers.

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And The Award Goes To…

There was always something special about captain C.D. Parker. Walker is a total tough guy when we first meet him but he even started off as Robin to C.D.’s Batman and he’s still a reliable guide, even in retirement. He’s also the only person to actually call Walker by his first name consistently. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg of his impressive achievements. For his steadfast service as a ranger, C.D.’s given the Frank Hamer Award, a very real prize with a very noble backstory.

Hamer started his career on horseback in the wild west and became an actual Texas ranger, who was famously the leader of the group that killed Bonnie and Clyde. After a notorious career, Hamer retired in 1932 after serving in law enforcement for 27 years.

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Kick It Into Gear!

It’s impossible to picture Walker as anyone but the martial arts master Chuck Norris. After all, monsters check under their beds for Chuck and that’s thanks to his black belts in multiple disciplines. But he might have just stayed a teacher instead of acting. Early, Chuck Norris was shy and not overly athletic. But things started turning around when he joined the Air Force and learned martial arts in Korea. But even then, he was only supposed to teach. But when he taught Steve McQueen, who was already Norris’s hero thanks to 1971’s On Any Sunday.

Well, during their time together, Norris mentioned his school was facing financial hardship and it was the king of cool McQueen himself who suggested to Norris that he get into acting. And we have another icon to thank still, the one, the only, Bruce Lee. The two first met at a Karate competition in 1967 and when Lee was hired as a fight coordinator for the James Bond spoof The Wrecking Crew, he caught up his old friend and that became Norris’s official entry into acting. Bruce then made him a household name by bringing him along for 1973’s Way of the Dragon. All this set Norris up to follow the way of the ranger.

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Clean Action

Walker, Texas Ranger dominated most of the 90s and it did this while also breaking the decades formula. Most hit shows at the time had plenty of main characters, all making messy life choices but not Walker. Chuck made sure his character set a good example of model living. The show deliberately made it clear that rangers didn’t do drugs or cross any big lines to see the job done.

A lot of this came from Norris himself. He put his foot down and insisted that the rangers be family friendly so parents could feel engrossed the whole time but if their kids wanted to watch too, they could. That’s why season 5’s The Neighborhood got made. Norris begged to be allowed to make a young adult gang-related episode and swore if it didn’t have the best ratings of the whole year, he wouldn’t ask for another favor. Spoiler! He was able to ask for a lot more favors. The show also took a stance on morals. Lycan Walker’s mannerisms, you can tell whenever he’s talking to someone he doesn’t cotton with as Walker won’t take off his hat or even shake the person’s hand. A prime example was when he was talking to a bunch of racists in season 2’s Deadly Reunion. I mean, Chuck doesn’t have to waste his manners on hateful people.

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Horsepower

Next to its sweeping landscapes and sweeping roundhouse kicks, Walker, Texas Ranger was most famous for product placement. You can’t watch anything today without some brand being prevalent. So let’s start with the big one, the partnership between Walker, Texas Ranger, and Chrysler, especially their dodge division. You could tell who the bad guys were because they would drive cars from Ford or GM. And the heroes, of course, had keys to a Sparkling Dodge, and the ones destined to fail, well, they all drove Chevy’s. An early exception was Walker starting off with a GMC Sierra before switching to a Dodge Ram. As for C.D. Parker’s old goldie, that’s a 1964 Cadillac convertible.

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Great Grilling

Although he helps Walker out a ton, C.D. Parker mostly enjoys a quieter life, managing his own restaurant – C.D.’s Bar & Grill. The show used Fort Worth’s famous White Elephant Saloon located in the historic stockyards district for all the outside shots. Its history isn’t too different from C.D.’s place, built by a gunslinger named Luke Short, who was friends with the likes of Old West lawmen Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Bat Masterson.

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Ending It On Their Terms

We’ve heard it too many times, quality shows overstaying their welcome and jumping that dreaded shark. But Walker, Texas Ranger defied the odds and treated us to a strong ending through and through. In fact, its fanbase grew as the show went on. Season six ranks higher than any of the first three, netting 10 million viewers each week. The show was so popular, CBS was fully prepared to sign off on not one, but two more seasons. But it was Chuck himself who Karate kicked that idea out of the air. For one thing, he explained, “You always want to try to quit as a winner”. For another, he needed to focus on another impending triumph for his whole family. Norris’s wife was pregnant and so the show’s life ended as two new lives came into this world as Chuck’s wife gave birth to twins in 2001. And the fans are still out there too. A loose remake of Walker, Texas Ranger for the CW network drew 2.44 million viewers for its premiere, which was the CW’s highest same-day viewership since 2016’s Legends of Tomorrow.

So now we want to hear from you. Has anyone out there given this new Walker a view? If so, how is it and did you have a favorite moment or episode from the original series? Get in the comments and you let us know because just like C.D., we’re here to listen. Be sure to give this video a thumbs up for us and subscribe to the channel so you never miss a memory. From all of us here at DoYouRemember, thanks very much for watching.




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