Green Hornet,The. ABC (US Network) 20th Century Fox 1966-67

The Green Hornet was a short-lived (26 half-hour episodes) American action series in 1966. It came from the same producers as the Batman series, and is in all honesty a fairly average show, with little to raise it much above the other shows of this period, though for some inexplicable reason, it seems to have acquired a cult following, with items from the series in very high demand. Much of this is probably due more to one of the show’s secondary characters, Kato, than it is to do with the series or its star, Van Williams. For it is in this series that the now almost legendary Bruce Lee made his acting debut. The series drew very little public interest at the time, and was cancelled during the first season, except that is, for Hong Kong where it was broadcast as the Kato show and had a very strong following. It was in Hong Kong, that Bruce Lee was to launch his sadly all too short film career.

The series revolves around newspaper magnate Britt Reid, masquerading as the Green Hornet, and leading an undercover fight against crime, assisted by his manservant Kato. Believed by many to actually be a criminal himself, the Green Hornet is able to muscle in on criminal groups in a way no law enforcement agency ever could. Amongst others who are aware of the Hornet’s true identity is the District Attorney who is able to give clandestine assistance on occasions. Also featured in the series and for me the show’s real star was a black sedan known as Black Beauty. This car had many fantastic devices, more than a few borrowed from the James Bond films I suspect.

The Green Hornet Television series was developed from a comic book hero, and radio series of the 1950’s, though for the purpose of this entry I have tried to deal purely with the items released in connection with, or around the time of the television show. For a series that was seemingly not that successful on its original showing an amazing amount of merchandise seems to have been produced.