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The Cisco Kid was the first television show shot in color, though few viewers were aware of this when the series went on the air in 1950, or for years afterward. Actually, by the time color television was widespread, the series had disappeared from syndication in most markets, so this will be the first chance that even most fans of the show will have to see it in color. It arrives on DVD courtesy of MPI Home Video, in a four-platter set with 20 episodes that are interesting to watch, but also reveal a lot of deficiencies in the way the program was preserved. Many of the early episodes in this set show serious signs of wear, including deep vertical scratches that appear as intermittent bright green lines. There's also a certain softness to the transfer throughout that has to be the fault of the source, not the equipment, because the scratches are sharply detailed -- this looks like badly preserved Cinecolor or some other less-expensive (if not bargain-basement) process of the period. There's a pastiness to flesh tones in many of the shots, while other shots look better preserved. No one would ever accept a movie that looked like this, but as television it's a fascinating artifact, and not just visually. The portrayals of Cisco and Pancho, by Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo, may seem offensive by modern standards, but they have a subtlety that wasn't lost on Americans of Latino descent, who appreciated the positive role models that were presented of Mexicans in the old West, at a time when such portrayals were rare. As to the content, it's pretty rudimentary Western stuff, involving jumped claims, land disputes, bank robberies, and other usual conflicts. The technical side is very weak, as the producers, working almost prematurely in the film medium for television, were forced to utilize second-string directors and other technical people. The stunt substitutions are also pretty dire at times (a problem that, in fairness, afflicted television as late as the original Star Trek, if not beyond), and the looped in lines are sometimes fairly obvious. The casting can be interesting; there are no future big names to be seen at work, but some familiar movie faces turn up, including Raymond Hatton and Charles Watts, at times in unexpected roles. Each disc is programmed with five shows, which can be accessed individually or played in sequence automatically from commands on a simple opening menu, and each 25-minute program gets a single chapter.