Picks and Pans Review: Zorro

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Family Channel (Saturdays, 6:30 P.M. ET)

B-

With the revival of Davy Crockett on TV last year, it was inevitable that someone would bring back Disney's other great TV folk hero from the '50s: the masked avenger of missionary California, Zorro.

Ah, but a number of things have been altered in this remake, shot in Spain and starring Duncan (My Wicked, Wicked Ways) Regehr. The primary difference is that Zorro's alter ego, Don Diego, is no longer played with an effeminate flourish. Instead, he is a progressive man of science, who uses his knowledge to outwit the minions of the Los Angeles pueblo's despotic administrator, played by soap actor Michael Tylo.

The McGyverization of the Zorro legend is an arrogant little twist, but it doesn't stick in the craw. That's because the Z-man still gets more use from his bullwhip, his sword and his ink-black steed than he does from his chemistry set. This show is never going to supplant the memory of the supersuave Guy Williams in ruffled shirts from the original TV version. But it's a pleasant, undemanding way to spend a half hour. Besides, now that Davy and Zorro have been reincarnated, I'm beginning to get my hopes up that my own favorite Disney live-action hero from that era will be next. Swamp Fox lives!

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