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Series / Zorro (1957)

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"Beware, Commander! My sword is a flame to right every wrong, so heed well my name!"

Out of the night, when the full moon is bright,
comes a horseman known as Zorro.
This bold renegade carves a Z with his blade,
a Z that stands for Zorro.
Zorro, the fox so cunning and free.
Zorro, who makes the sign of the Z.
Zorro! Zorro! Zorro! Zorro! Zorro!
opening theme tune

Zorro is a 1957-1959 Disney-produced swashbuckler television series starring Guy Williams as the eponymous character. Four feature-length TV specials were made until 1961 after the series' end.

Don Diego de la Vega, son of rancher Alejandro de la Vega, lives in California, at a time when it is still a Spanish colony. He returns from Spain at the beginning of the series and finds that the people are being oppressed by the military commander Enrique Monastario. Diego, a master swordsman thanks to his studies abroad, decides to play the part of a pacifist intellectual, and creates a Secret Identity to fight against evil: El Zorro! He is helped by his servant Bernardo, who also has a secret: he's mute, and pretends to be both deaf and mute. This allows Bernardo to eavesdrop and gather information people would never let slip around someone who could hear.

Zorro begins by helping Ignacio Torres, who has been falsely accused of treason, then continues to fight against Monastario's tyranny. When Monastario is eventually removed from his post, Diego thinks that there won't be any further need for Zorro, but he's forced to continue when he discovers the conspiracies of "The Eagle", a figure that is plotting the secession of California.

See also the 1990-1993 Zorro series starring Duncan Regehr.

Zorro provides examples of:

  • Alternate History: The failed revolt by "The Eagle" is, of course, not based on any actual historical events. Still, California had briefly attempted to be an independent nation for a short time, and their flag used an animal (a bear, not an eagle).
  • Artistic License History: The series is explicitly set in 1820, yet there is no sign of the light, high-waisted dresses that were in fashion at the time. The dark fabrics, full skirts, and tightly-fitted sleeves the majority of the female characters wear would be more at home in the early 1840s — two decades later.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Although it can happen for Zorro to kill a mook in self-defense, it is much more frequent for his main foes to be Self-Disposing Villains or to be killed by an accomplice, sparing Zorro from doing the dirty job.
  • Bait-and-Switch: One episode opens with a local peon frantically running around the plaza, telling everyone Zorro has been captured. Some soldiers even haul out a sturdy cage occupied by the masked outlaw. Then the peon runs over to a small carriage occupied by Diego and Bernardo. Turns out the caged "Zorro" is really one of the lancers and it's all a trick; the commandante is trying to make some of Zorro's accomplices reveal themselves so he can interrogate them about Zorro's identity. The townspeople begin preparing to help Zorro immediately and are even willing to risk arrest to free their masked protector. Luckily for them, the real Zorro shows up to warn them just before the commandante springs his trap.
  • Because I Said So: García tells Ana Campillo that she must return to Spain, because the interim commander says so. Guess who the interim commander is?
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: On one occasion, García blatantly lets Zorro get away in favor of arresting the criminal he just brought in, much to the Magistrado's annoyance. García, who was about to be executed for stealing four months worth of the garrison's pay before Zorro barged in with the real culprit in tow, declares (out of the Magistrado's hearing) that it would be politer to catch Zorro some other time. The rest of the men seem to agree, since Zorro brought back their wages along with the thief.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Corporal Reyes.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge:
    • Sergeant García and Corporal Reyes exchange shut-up kicks with each other when one of them is about to let slip to Don Alejandro that they know what happened to Don Diego (whom they knocked out and tied up to save him from fighting in a duel).
    • On another occasion, a private gives García a warning kick to the rear after Monastario walks in on the soldiers drinking and singing a song about him... one with very unflattering lyrics.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Zorro has an uncanny ability to know when someone is in trouble... Little do the people know that it's largely thanks to Bernardo!
  • Big Eater: Sergeant García.
  • Call-Back: When García tells a group of prisoners they've been pardoned in honor of the viceroy's visit in one episode, one of the men worries that Monastario plans to shoot them down for "trying to escape" if they leave their cells, referencing Monastario's plan to get rid of Ignacio Torres in the very first episode.
  • Catchphrase Insult: Monastario's "Baboso!" toward García, which is in turn often used by García on his men, especially Corporal Reyes.
  • Clark Kenting: Although Zorro is only wearing a mask covering the upper half of his face, nobody ever recognizes him as the mild Don Diego. Confronted once with the notion, Sergeant García just laughs it off and tells Diego — no offense! — that Señor Zorro is much taller and muscular than him. Justified by the fact that many people in the Pueblo resemble Zorro while wearing his costume, even one of the Commandante's own men. There is also the fact that for most of the run, Zorro mainly operates at night, making it hard for people to get a good look at him. Bernardo has also donned Zorro's costume as a decoy on a few occasions, muddying the waters further.
  • Colorization: In 1991, Disney had the series digitally colorized for airing on The Disney Channel.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Zorro knows the soldiers outnumber him, and he never even tries to take them all on at once. When he does need to face superior numbers, he'll lure some of his opponents away before returning to deal with the rest, or he'll take advantage of natural obstacles, such as scaffoldings or stairs, to make sure they can only challenge him one at a time. He's also not afraid to flat-out run away if he needs to.
  • Costume Copycat: At one point, Monastario makes a deal with a prisoner who has been jailed for murder: if he dresses up as Zorro to publicly discredit him, he will be allowed to escape. After the real Zorro foils his first attempt, the impostor robs the church, which proves much more effective. The public is so outraged that Diego doesn't dare to ride out as Zorro, and must track down the fake as himself. To make matters worse, Diego is forced to engage the impostor — who happens to be a highly skilled swordsman — in a duel... in full view of Monastario.
  • Courtroom Antics: This being an action/adventure show, courtroom scenes are few and far between. However, the few that do crop up are invariably full of this.
    • In an early episode, Monastario has arranged for the judge sent to preside over an important trial to be delayed. This allows his fellow conspirator Licenciado Pina to take over. The substitution sends the courtroom into an uproar, which is compounded when Pina freezes just before delivering a guilty verdict. The cause? Zorro holding a sword to his back. Then, to complicate matters even further, the real judge finally turns up.
    • When García is put on trial for stealing his fellow soldiers' pay, this ensues thanks to his entirely unbelievable alibi. Diego's attempts to speak up in his friend's defense only make matters worse.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Diego hides his impressive swordfighting skills from everyone in the pueblo to distance himself from Zorro. However, this leads to trouble when he is forced to participate in duels as himself, especially when (as is frequently the case) his life is on the line. Diego does blow his cover once, when Monastario watches him fight a skilled swordsman. Though Diego does his best to make it look like he won by sheer luck, his unlikely victory is enough for the Commandante to put the pieces together.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Discussed. When he first learns of the corruption in Los Angeles, Diego muses on the proverb, "When you cannot clothe yourself in the skin of the lion, put on that of the fox," meaning that wits may succeed where brute force would fail. The phrase later provides the name of his masked identity, reflecting his intent to use skill and trickery as his main weapons against injustice. As the series goes on, more than one character notes that Zorro lives up to his name.
    Reyes: He's riding in circles like a crazy man!
    Magistrado: Crazy like a fox. He's found out about the trap!
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • When not dressed as Zorro, Diego relies on his sharp tongue and quick wit to make fools of his enemies.
    • Padre Felipe delivers some excellent one-liners as well.
      Monastario: But wait, I am not finished telling you—
      Padre Felipe: Confessions every Wednesday and Saturday at seven.
    • Even García has his snarky moments, particularly with Reyes, but he does effectively cut Monastario's ego down to size on a few occasions, such as when the latter assumes the Viceroy's daughter will fall madly in love with him.
      Monastario:' [after going on about how the Viceroy's daughter couldn't resist him] You would find me attractive, right?
      García: What, why no!
      Monastario: I mean if you were a woman, you idiot.
      García: If I were a woman and fat like this, I wouldn't be particular.
  • The Ditz: Corporal Reyes first and foremost, giving Sergeant García someone to yell after for being dumber than him. Though even Reyes sometimes gets the Dumbass Has a Point role, to García's annoyance.
  • Doomed by Canon: "The Eagle" and his separatist revolt don't last for more than a few hours. They can't; Spanish California will secede from Spain to be part of Mexico, not an independent nation.
  • Dresses the Same: A male example — during a costumed party, both Sergeant García and the governor ends up dressed identically as Emperor Nero, to the sergeant's embarrassment and the governor's annoyance.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In "Slaves of the Eagle", everyone except the magistrado agrees that selling peons who cannot pay their taxes into slavery is unjust. García so firmly believes it's wrong that he posts only one guard in the cuartel and dresses as Zorro in order to free the prisoners himself. It backfires spectacularly. Not only is he caught and instantly recognized, the Magistrado then orders that every available guard be posted, effectively ruining any chance the real Zorro might have had of freeing the prisoners.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • García is prone to this, particularly when being ordered around by one evil official or another.
      Magistrado: Go after him! Send the men after him!
      García: Who, me, Your Excellency?
      Magistrado: Yes, you idiot!
      García: But I am under arrest, Your Excellency.
    • Corporal Reyes is normally Sergeant García's Butt-Monkey, but sometimes he manages to catch García off-guard by making a valid point.
  • Enemy Mine: Yes, Zorro is an outlaw and Sergeant García is supposed to capture him. More often than not, however, they end up on the same side against the villains of the week. García sure doesn't mind much, almost gushing toward Zorro at times, and even if Diego is sometimes annoyed by the Sergeant's klutziness, he's still fond of him too.
  • Everybody Knew Already: In the episode "Amnesty for Zorro", Zorro is offered exactly that... if he agrees to publicly reveal his identity. Diego is all set to go through with it, but is stopped by Don Alejandro, who reveals that he has known Zorro's identity for some time.
  • Exact Words: As a soldier in the King's army, Sergeant García is duty-bound to obey the orders of his superiors, no matter how much he might dislike them. However, he's not above creative interpretation of said orders, especially when his good friend Don Diego is around to explain why such interpretations make perfect sense.
  • Facepalm:
    • In the very first episode, Commander Monastario (while stuck inside a prison cell) facepalms as he watches Zorro utterly humiliate Sergeant García and the rest of his soldiers for the first time (but certainly not the last).
    • Zorro also takes a turn after watching Judge Vasca take a huge gulp of drugged ale, then go back for another sip... and yet another before the drug finally kicks in.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • García's gluttony and fondness for drink has gotten him into serious trouble or threw a spanner into other people's plans multiple times.
    • Capítan Toledano's is jealousy over his wife, Raquel. The Magistrado quickly seizes on the opportunity to weaken the newly arrived Commandante's authority over the pueblo by engineering a situation where someone is caught serenading Raquel and suffers the full force of Toledano's anger. Luckily, Zorro is able to manipulate the situation to make it look like a practical joke played on an unwitting García.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Sergeant García is one of the most comedic characters in the show and is quite rotund, though most of the humor comes from him Comically Missing the Point rather than his weight.
    García: Please, could you not just say "plump?"
  • Fat Idiot: Sergeant García is not the sharpest tool in the drawer (which he readily admits himself) and always has lots of trouble following the commandante's most convoluted plans. Although he does a decent job when commander by interim, and he's still smarter than Corporal Reyes.
  • Flynning: Happens in all episodes. And if the enemy is supposed to be a master swordsman as well, it takes longer. This is made less obvious by using fencing drill (Guy Williams was a champion fencer) rather than a lot of wider swings.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Zorro infiltrates a Masquerade Ball at one point. García, of course, assumes he's just another guest.
  • General Ripper: Monastario. Anything can be done, no matter how evil, if it helps to capture that damn Zorro!
  • Genre Savvy: A group of prisoners who have been unexpectedly given amnesty by Monastario are rightfully suspicious of the Commandante's uncharacteristic generosity. One even lampshades the Commandante's common tactic of releasing prisoners and then shooting them down for "trying to escape." They outright refuse to leave their cells until García promises them free wine at the tavern.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Played completely straight, with characters peppering otherwise English dialogue with common Spanish words and phrases.
  • Guile Hero: Zorro is no slouch with a sword, but given the choice he's more likely to rely on stealth and clever planning to achieve his goals — or just even the odds against a garrison of soldiers that vastly outnumbers him.
  • Hypocrite: In one episode, Alejandro assumes leadership of a "committee of vigilance" dedicated to addressing recent unrest in the area. As part of a trap for Zorro, they arrest the leader of a group of peons who have been protesting the Magistrado's actions and spread the word that he will be executed... perpetuating exactly the sort of injustice Alejandro would normally oppose. Fortunately, he has a Heel Realization at the end of the episode and vows to never repeat his mistake again.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The military arranged a clever way to deliver the taxes to Monterrey without risk. The blacksmith forged a giant padlock, whose sole key was delivered first to the governor. So, even if thieves stole them, they wouldn't be able to open the case. They called all the people to watch the ceremony: the taxes will be safe at the moment when García closes the padlock, doing this! (Yes, you understood it correctly, he closed the padlock alone, as a demonstration, without securing the case with it... and the only key is one state away.)
    • Alejandro has a moment of this when he assures Don Nacho's imprisoned wife and daughter that the dons are planning to storm the jail and release them. In the middle of the garrison, which is full of soldiers. Justified in part by the fact that Monastario ordered all the guards out of earshot, except for one man who hid nearby to eavesdrop, but one would still expect Alejandro to be more cautious.
  • Idle Rich:
    • Subverted by Diego. He plays up this image in his first meeting with Monastario so the commandante will dismiss him as harmless, but he makes sure to keep track of what's going on in Los Angeles. It isn't long before he's acting as the voice of reason to his father and the other hotheaded dons, appealing to whatever sense of justice corrupt leaders may have, and otherwise trying to find peaceful solutions to the pueblo's problems. It's his inability to follow up with action when his attempts to use words fail that often gets him branded a coward.
    • One of Diego's friends prefers gambling and drinking in the tavern to working the ranch he inherited from his father. This causes trouble when he gambles away his land and cattle to a card shark in the Eagle's employ. The new owner uses his winnings to open a tannery which pollutes a river many other ranches rely on, threatening their livelihoods. Zorro steps in to handle the situation, winning back the land and cattle and running the card shark out of town. He then warns the young man to straighten himself out, quit gambling, and work his ranch honestly, or else.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Zorro displays many examples of this, but the best one was against the wanderer Cleim. He fought a swordsman with just a knife... and won.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade:
    • In an early episode, Zorro grapples hand-to-hand with one of Los Angeles's many corrupt Commandantes on a rooftop. The Commandante seizes his chance and makes a grab at Zorro's mask, learning his true identity. Cue the villain realizing what a bad idea that was and backing away while begging Diego not to kill him. However, he promptly saves Zorro from grappling with the dilemma of whether to do just that by backing straight over the edge of the rooftop. García, attracted by the commotion, confirms that the fall killed him.
    • At one point, one of Zorro's enemies takes him by surprise and succeeds in stunning him. He removes Zorro's mask and costume and dons them as trophies, thus learning Zorro's identity. This backfires only moments later, however, when soldiers mistake him for Zorro and (in a rare display of Combat Pragmatism) shoot him. Diego awakens shortly after and has only to feign innocence to preserve his secret.
  • Kirk's Rock: Probably one of the earliest uses of this trope in television, dating from before they were called that. In the episode "The Missing Father", Zorro pursues a mysterious masked figure over the Rocks.
  • Leitmotif: Almost every member of the main cast has one — a gentle violin riff for Diego, a variation on the same violin riff backed by brass for Zorro, a whimsical clarinet for Bernardo, a military trumpet for García, and so on.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The plots of individual episodes are adaptions of Zorro comic books published by Disney. Disney also created a novelization entitled Walt Disney's Zorro, published by Whitman in 1958.
  • Masquerade Ball: The episode "Masquerade for Murder" features a masquerade ball at the De La Vega hacienda. Although it's a pretext to have a masked assassin meddling with the guests and try to kill the governor. Naturally, Sergeant García confuses Zorro with a masked guest.
  • Mickey Mousing: Walt Disney's print sure can be found here; the music follows the action very closely. Especially whenever Bernardo explains something to Diego through charades; his leitmotif always varies to punctuate every gesture. There's also, for example, a scene of Zorro exchanging barrels of powder for barrels of cognac and handling them to Bernardo which goes on for quite a long time, but is made watchable by the perfectly timed music.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: There are guns in the setting, and Zorro eludes a shot now and then; but most of the time, when Zorro is on the scene, everybody tries to best him in a sword fight (and, of course, loses). This is partially justified by the fact that all the guns and rifles are single shot (the series is set in 1820, before repeating firearms were common). Thus Zorro only has to worry about a single bullet at a time.
  • Nice to the Waiter: A good way to gauge the morality of any prominent character is to take note of their reactions to Sergeant García. The good ones are, at worst, exasperated by his antics. The bad ones are inevitably infuriated by his innate goodness, incorruptible nature, and lack of intelligence combined with dumb luck.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Diego's servant Bernardo is mute, but pretends to be deaf as well, the better to eavesdrop and gather information.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Bernardo does this in addition to Obfuscating Disability, as mentioned above, to make himself seem even more harmless. Notably, his antics often work to inconvenience or mildly humiliate Zorro's enemies.
    • Unusually for the franchise, Diego himself does not do this. Unlike many other incarnations of the character, who favor the Idle Rich approach, he's vocal about his opinions and very active in the pueblo's affairs, to the point where the people view him as a Big Good. His main strategy for distancing himself from Zorro is pretending to be a pacifist who cannot handle a sword.
  • Police Are Useless: Replace "police" with "soldiers" and you get the idea. The military is completely useless, whether they're chasing a mere man dressed in black or dealing with any other threat (which is almost always stopped by Zorro).
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Sergeant García. Though he rarely fails to obey orders, he has a good heart, showing decency and respect to those he arrests and frequently expressing remorse when he is ordered to do something unjust by his superiors.
  • Put Their Heads Together: In the season 2 episode "Zorro Fights a Duel", Zorro gets the drop on two banditos who tried to capture him for the reward, and knocks their heads together.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: The various evil commandantes, starting with Commander Monastario, are the only members of the army who can last more than a minute in a swordfight against Zorro. Not that they ever win, of course, but at least they can give him a workout, unlike the rank-and-file soldiers (including Sergeant García), who just get humiliated even when outnumbering the masked outlaw. Partially justified as it'd be mostly the upperclass who become officers and have the time to dedicate themselves to fencing - or they climb up the ranks by being very good at their jobs.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Toledano is one of Los Angeles's few honest commandantes. His just and competent administration of the garrison frustrates the Magistrado to no end by denying him opportunities to sow dissent among the people, and while he does try to capture Zorro due to the latter being a wanted outlaw, he's willing to let Zorro go to prioritize dealing with more dangerous criminals like the Eagle's men. Naturally, he proves too good to stick around; the Eagle's agents see to it that his tenure only lasts a few episodes.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When one of her underlings suggests that Diego might be Zorro, Raquel angrily dismisses the notion, pointing out that every one of her predecessors has suspected that and nothing ever came of it. However, she decides to have Diego arrested on suspicion of being Zorro anyway, since he's been asking awkward questions and throwing him in jail will get him out of the way for a while.
  • Sadistic Choice: When Sergeant García is ordered by his superior to give false testimony on threat of being hanged, Zorro decides to give the sergeant an incentive to tell the truth by threatening to carve a Z on him... and he won't stop at ruining García's uniform. When García takes the stand at the trial, he is confronted by both a miniature gallows and a Z projected on one wall, reminding him that he faces punishment no matter what he says.
  • Say My Name: Very rare is the episode where someone doesn't dramatically exclaim "Zorro!" upon seeing the masked outlaw (or sometimes just his Zorro Mark). Whether it be Sergeant García, the Commandante, the villain of the day or mere bystanders.
  • Scarecrow Solution: Trying to catch an unjustly accused man who has taken sanctuary in the church of a monastery, Commandante Monastario invades the place with his soldiers to "protect" the church from a fictitious Indian attack. The monastery is so well-guarded that Zorro almost gets caught trying to reach the prisoner. Trading force for wits, Don Diego spreads a story about a vengeful ghost by telling it to the impressionable Sergeant García. Later that night, Zorro appears disguised as the ghost and scares all the soldiers into fleeing.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Zig-zagged. Zorro is usually more than happy to break prisoners out of jail or threaten government officials in the name of justice. However, at one point he cannot justify freeing a group of peons who are to be sold into slavery for failing to pay their taxes. Diego had already tried to pay off their debts with no success, and while the punishment is cruel, it is perfectly legal. His tune changes in a hurry when he realizes the tax collector who arranged the sale is part of the Eagle's conspiracy.
  • Secret-Keeper: Bernardo. For a long time, Bernardo is the only person who knows that Diego and Zorro are one and the same. He is later joined by Don Alejandro.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: "Amnesty for Zorro" reveals Don Alejandro to be one. He admits that he figured it out some time ago, but was waiting for Diego to come clean himself. However, when Diego considers publicly revealing his identity, he graduates to a regular Secret-Keeper by dressing as Zorro and taking Diego hostage to stop him.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: After Zorro saves Don Nacho from jail, Nacho takes refuge at the San Gabriel Mission. Monastario has enough religious principles (and fear of priests with flowerpots) to refrain from violating sanctuary to capture him, but he's not above having his men surround the church and using various underhanded means to compel Nacho to break sanctuary himself.
  • Self-Made Man: One episode revolves around a man who built up his fortune through years of hard work rather than inheriting it like the Old Money landowners. Diego sincerely respects him and admires his success, but more snobbish characters look down on him and his family for not being Blue Bloods, and despite being one of the richest men in Los Angeles he still feels out of place at high-class social functions. Then his fortunes take a turn for the worse when the Magistrado comes up with a flimsy legal pretext to arrest him and seize his fortune, forcing Zorro to intervene.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: When Monastario learns that the viceroy is coming to Los Angeles, he pulls out all the stops to make himself look like a respectable Commandante running a model pueblo. He declares amnesty for everyone in jail, pays for them all to get free drinks at the tavern, and forcibly recruits crowds of bystanders to put on the appearance of happiness and prosperity. Then, when the viceroy does arrive, he spends the entire day trying to flatter and impress him. Finally, to top off his cover-up, he parades in Diego, whom he had arrested shortly before receiving news of the viceroy's impending arrival, and publicly unmasks him as Zorro. At which point his careful schemes fall apart. Not only does Diego turn out to be a personal friend of the viceroy's family, giving him the advantage in being able to defend himself, the viceroy reveals that he had plenty of evidence of Monastario's corruption even before arriving in Los Angeles. All Monastario's cover-up did was delay the inevitable.
  • Shoot the Rope: In "The Flaming Arrow", Zorro saves an old friend of Don Diego from hanging by shooting the rope with a flaming arrow. He does so before the trapdoor is opened, though, leaving time enough for the fire to burn the rope. He also pins the executor's sleeve to the gallows by firing another arrow to prevent him from interfering.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Straddles the line between Know Your Place, Woman! and Men Are More Equal. Damsel in Distress is played straight more often than not, and the vast majority of female characters have motivations that revolve around the men in their lives. However, many of the prominent female characters are portrayed as intelligent and capable in their own right, carrying out their own plans and intrigues. Justified, at least in part, by the setting. Gender roles in the early 19th century were strictly defined. An Action Girl or a woman in a leadership role would be anachronistic — though this doesn't stop some female characters, such as Raquel, from running things behind the scenes.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Martinez, the man Monastario enlists to impersonate Zorro, is implied to be this. He kills a man who flirted with the object of his affections in a duel, and it's later revealed that he followed her to Los Angeles from Monterey. Notably, the woman in question doesn't seem to like him much even before he commits murder.
  • Stout Strength: Sure, Sergeant García isn't that fast — not surprising, considering his bulk — nor is he a skilled swordsman... but if a bandito falls into his grasp, he's not getting away. Just asks Pablo, an evil Indio, who ends up in his grip and is almost choked to death by García (mostly unintentionally, though the Sergeant is quite upset at the bad guy for trying to kill him).
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Sergeant García fits this trope to a T. Though he's often the one who rides in pursuit of the masked bandit, García comes to respect Zorro early in the series. He frequently expresses his hope that Zorro will intervene in unjust situations, and is sometimes visibly gleeful when Zorro eludes capture yet again.
  • Timmy in a Well: This is how Don Diego meets with Phantom (his second steed). The horse shows up alone and tempts Diego into pursuit, but is too fast to be caught. The chase leads Diego to Phantom's wounded former master, Lieutenant Lopez, who was mugged and left for dead. Before dying, he begs Diego to take care of Phantom.
  • Title Theme Tune: The show having both a Character Title and One-Word Title, the famous theme tune ends up as one by repeating "Zorro" over and over.
  • Translation Convention: The show was aired for English-speaking audiences, so the majority of the dialogue is in English. However, Spanish words are substituted in periodically, to keep it fresh in the viewers' mind that the characters are actually Spanish-speaking.
  • Weapon Specialization: Zorro isn't just adept with the sword, he's quite skilled with a whip too — up to slashing his Zorro Mark on a villain's cloth with it. Although rare, a few duels are entirely fought with whips, notably against some cruel slavers.
  • White Stallion: Zorro usually favors a black stallion, Tornado, the better to vanish into the night. However, during a time he's away from his usual base of Los Angeles, he rides a white stallion, Phantom, who proves to be just as speedy and as intelligent as Tornado.
  • Zorro Mark: The Trope Namer, cutting his classic letter Z on his opponents or the scenery. Many an episode ends up focusing on the "Z" title card while Zorro's leitmotif plays up.