Garcia's Secret Mission

Season 1 - Episode 10

Airdate: 12/12/57
Starring: Guy Williams (Zorro and Don Diego)
With: Britt Lomond (Capitan Monastario), Henry Calvin (Sergeant Garcia), Gene Sheldon (Bernardo), Frank Yaconelli (Pancho), Nick Moro (Pepe)
Directed by: Norman Foster
Teleplay by: Antony Ellis. Based on the Zorro Stories by Johnston McCulley
Associate Producer: William H. Anderson
Music: William Lava
Art Director: Marvin Aubrey Davis
Photography: Gordon Avil, A.S.C.
Film Editor: Roy Livingston, A.C.E.
Set Decoration: Emile Kuri, Hal Gausman
Costumer: Chuck Keehne
Make-up: Pat McNalley
Sound: Robert O. Cook
Unit Manager: Roy Wade
Assistant Director: Vincent McEveety
Production Coordinator: Louis Debney
Production #5860

The Story Line

The normally easy duty of raising the cuartel's flag turns into a problem for Sergeant Garcia when he discovers that Zorro has substituted a flag with a large "Z" for the army's flag. To make matters worse the flagpole has been greased to prevent the soldiers from removing it. Monastario publicly reprimands Garcia and then realizes he can profit from the situation by secretly ordering the sergeant to pretend he was thrown out of the service in disgrace. This, he hopes, will make the people of the village take Garcia into their confidence and thus unwittingly betray Zorro.

Monastario has also sentenced two peons to hard labor in the tar pits to punish their obvious enjoyment of the flagpole incident, and Zorro decides to end this cruelty by tricking Monastario with Garcia's unknowing assistance. He accepts the sergeant's offer of help and tells him they will meet outside town, knowing that Monastario and the lancers will follow. He sends them off on a long ride into the mountains, then rides to the tar pits, where he forces a lancer to load tar to help the peons. His work isn't done, though, as he tricks Monastario into chasing him back to the tar pits. There, the hapless commandante and his men end up deep in the tar.

Production Notes

  • The wardrobe department had an unexpected surprise when it received the lancers' uniforms back from the cleaners after the scenes in the tar pits. The combination of tar and cleaning fluids had shrunk the uniforms to the point that they had to be replaced, and filming had to be rescheduled until duplicates could be obtained.
  • Sharp-eyed viewers will spot that one of the soldiers drops his sword in the rocks as the lancers chase after Zorro.
  • The Bell Ranch, located in the hills between the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley, was used for the location scenes. Vast expanses of empty land can be seen below the hilltop during the chase; today that area is completely built up.
  • Nestor Paiva had an uncredited role as Gonzales, the innkeeper. He reprised the role in a number of other episodes. Eumenio Blanco is seen as the Alcalde but is also not in the credits.

Scene Images

Morning in the cuartel
Another day starts for the soldiers of the cuartel, but as they will soon discover, Zorro was busy last night.
Zorro has been busy
A new flag is flying high above them, and when they try to take it down, they discover the flagpole has been covered in grease and is too slippery to climb.
The soldiers can't take down the flag
When Garcia and his men try a new approach to get it down, but with disastrous results.
Two Indians are punished for laughing
Furious at being humiliated, Monastario orders the arrest and whipping of two peasants who had been laughing at the soldiers.
Monastario decrees a harsh punishment
Monastario tells the men they can escape their punishment by tarring the stable roof, but he sets an impossible schedule for them.
Monastario's new plan
The commandante tells Garcia that he is to be drummed out of the army, and then gain the confidence of the civilian population to learn Zorro's true identity.
Garcia is drummed out of the service
That same afternoon Garcia is striped of his rank and dismissed from the service.
Diego is horrified to see the results of his prank
Seeing the court martial, then learning of the punishment facing the peasants, Diego is dismayed to see what his joke with the flag has led to.
Garcia says he wants to help Zorro
Later, Garcia tells Diego that he has had a change of heart and wants to join forces with Zorro.
Zorro tells Garcia to meet him outside town
Garcia gets his wish when Zorro surprises him that night and tells him to meet at a lonely signpost early in the morning.
Zorro smiles as Garcia tells Monastario of the meeting
Just as he expected, a bemused Zorro watches Garcia run straight to Monastario with news of the upcoming rendezvous.
Strange clues to find Zorro
When Garcia arrives at the signpost there is a note from Zorro telling him to ride next to a distant mountain range. An eager Monastario sets off in pursuit of his foe.

Scene Images

Stranger orders at the cuartel
Back at the cuartel, the soldiers are puzzled by orders from Monastario to bring every bucket they can find to the tar pits.
Is this the last clue?
Finally arriving at the mountains, Monastario and Garcia find a message from Zorro saying he will be waiting at the top.
Monastario realizes it was a trick
When they get there Zorro is nowhere in sight. A furious Monastario realizes he has been tricked and orders a hasty return to the cuartel.
Zorro causes problems at the tar pits
Meanwhile, a soldier has arrived at the tar pits with the buckets, only to be ambushed by Zorro. He orders the soldier to fill all of the buckets with pitch.
Zorro sets a trap
Zorro then starts cutting brush and piling it up in front of the tar pits.
Zorro taunts the soldiers
He next taunts the soldiers, who set after him in what may be the longest chase sequence in the series.
The soldiers are right behind Zorro
Finally, it looks like the soldiers may actually catch him this time. All they need to do is jump over one last pile of brush.
The trap is sprung
Over they go - straight into the tar pits!
Diego laughs at the soldiers
To make matters worse, when they arrive back in the pueblo Diego is there and has a laugh at their disheveled condition.
Monastario is not amused
Capitan Monastario is decidedly not amused.
Another mark of Zorro
When the cuartel gates swing shut the peasants are delighted to see a "Z" daubed on them in tar.
Diego has one last laugh
Diego can't help having one last laugh while Bernardo looks worried about how Monastario might react this time.

Publicity Photos

All captions are from the Disney syndication publicity kit. Click on the photos for larger versions.

Monastario strikes a pose

The masked avenger, Zorro (Guy Williams), rears his sturdy steed, Tornado, on its hind legs.

Zorro heps Alejandro

Zorro, (Guy Williams) dismounts in his secret cave after a night raid. (Note: this photo was actually from an earlier episode.)

Monastario strikes a pose

Sergeant Garcia (Henry Calvin) is petrified when his step ladder tips over and he is dumped unceremoniously into a pool of mud.

Preview of this episode

"Next week, suspense and action set a fast-moving pace"

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