Highway to Heaven

Season 1 Episode 4

The Return of the Masked Rider

Aired Unknown Oct 03, 1984 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
10 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Return of the Masked Rider
Jonathan and Mark help aging movie heroes stand up to a street gang known as Satan's Helpers. Also, they persuade a young boxer not to throw a big fight, when the gang tries to bully him.

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  • Silly, and a disapointing yawner!

    It is too early in the run of this series to have such a lackluster episode. It is almost as if the writer, Dan Gordon, could not decide between a serious vein and a comedic story and as a result fails miserably at both. Perhaps it may even be better for me to avoid episodes done by the same writer, though since he has been credited with 30 some-odd episodes, I'll give him more of a chance before I make that call.

    Furthermore, even though this episode is over 20 years old, it seems really dated in its naivety in how it portrays the elderly trying to recapture a spirit of lost youth during the scenes where they "suit up" in their former TV costumes from the 40's to "save the day" and end up looking like complete doddering fools in their comical Will Rogers and Tonto attire. Is this how Dan Gordon really views old age? Perhaps now, 20 years later, he has a little more personal familiarity with his own age, and a more realistic view.

    As an ending comment, though this relates more the the DVD release of the first season, it seems whomever put this DVD set together did a poor job with little, or more likely, no work at all on cleaning up the video. This episode particularly was so dark and off-contrast that I could not distinguish at times between Victor French and the black actors. Even though it was largely shot indoors, at times all I could see where teeth and eyeballs, and if I didn't know better, someone, somewhere, was not overly concerned with how this might come across as.

    My verdict - what a raging disappointment! At least wait until later on in the series run to use fillers, not in the first five episodes of the first season! Wow what we have learned in the years since about how to capture ratings!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • [Marc learns that the man threatening to kill himself was a famous actor from his youth]
      Mark Gordon: This is probably a bad time to ask, but can I have your autograph?
      [Everyone laughs]

  • NOTES (0)


    • The character of Deadwood Dick is taken directly from a Columbia movie serial that was produced in 1940. The lead character was played by Don Douglas who died in 1945.

    • The name of Lash Lathem comes from a popular B-movie hero of the 1940s and 1950s named Lash LaRue (which was also the actor's name). He appeared in a series of western films. The Indiana Jones character (and the whip he uses) is based on Lash.

    • The character of Roland Rinaldo appears to be based on Zorro (played by many men over the years) from the look of his outfit and the fact that he ripped a lot of shirts in the old days (Zorro was known to slash the letter 'Z' on the shirts of outlaws).

    • The character of Redfeather, The Masked Rider's sidekick is similar to The Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto.

    • The character of The Masked Rider is clearly based on The Lone Ranger. Even the "real-life" name of the actor who played him is based on the real actor (The Lone Ranger was played on television by Clayton Moore and The Masked Rider was "played" by Morton Clay). Finally, the end of the episode was a take-off of the end of many episodes of The Lone Ranger.