The Littlest Hobo is one of those tv shows all of us have watched at least a few times over the years. Be it because you are channel surfing on a rainy Sunday or because you want your kids to watch a wholesome TV show with very little violence and a positive view of life, this children's TV program always entertains. The first incarnation of Hobo was in a 1958 made for TV movie. This was followed by a made in Canada tv series that ran for 3 years staring in 1963. In 1979, the intelligent German shepherd signed a new contract for a syndicated TV show that ran for some 7 years. The Littlest Hobo Collection Volume 1 from VCI Entertainment, an outfit that specializes in hard to find westerns, horror movies and so on, is a 2 Dvd set containing 12 episodes of the original series.
Where Lassie the wonder dog could only bark to say Timmy fell down the well, again, London, the dog trained by Charles P. Eisenmann, can use elevators, open gates, catch criminals, foils assassination attempts, and, on a slow day bark to say some guy is in trouble.
DVD 1 of this 2 disc package features 6 episodes, the first three of which are a restored color print of the 1963 series.
Trouble In Pairs features Hobo, or London the super canine, helping some orphans save a couple of horses from the glue factory. As if this was not enough, he also rescues the kids when their bus gets caught in a flood.
Silent Witness is the strangest episode in this package. A drunk driver kills an old lady and Hobo hounds him until he confesses to the cops. Honored Guest is a doppelganger episode where a German shepherd has been trained to attack a foreign dignitary and Hobo foils those plans.
Die Hard, no not the one with Bruce Willis, has London rescuing an old prospector from himself, a car accident, a walk in the desert, and a snakebite.
Double Cross, episode five on the first dvd pits London against striking loggers, local farmers, and a bad guy who is playing both sides for his own profit.
The first DVD closes with One Last Rose, an episode about an office mouse bank accountant who is secretly tunneling under the bank so he can rob it. Since the guy has been nice to the littlest hobo, the dog manages to foil the robbery plans without getting the guy in trouble.
The second Dvd in this Littlest Hobo set features six other episodes from the original series, all in black and white.
Cry Wolf has London making friends with a burlesque singer who says she was attacked by the Jersey Strangler to get publicity for her waning career. When the strangler does attack, Hobo comes to the rescue.
Come Next Fall Session is when the littlest hobo befriends a young woman whose boyfriend had a touch of gold fever that stops him from going back to medical school. Two college professors arrive, Hobo helps the want to be doctor save them and get a college grant.
Blue Water Sailor is the episode where the dog who is even more intelligent than Lassie helps a sailor capture a couple of criminals.
Hobo then finds himself in Miami where he helps a couple of Cuban refugees find the eye doctor that can fix one of the kids' eyes. This episode, titled Chico, is where London's talents are put to the test as he has to help the cops chase down a refrigerated truck in which the kids hid.
Honor Ranch features Ellen Corby of The Waltons fame. She takes in an escape convict from an honor farm. Hobo and the old lady teach the kid a few things about the importance of a hard day's work and tough love.
In The Great Manhunt, Hobo befriends a nebbish man and helps him gain the respect of the community when he captures an escaped convict.
These twelve episodes from the original The Littlest Hobo series are quite enjoyable and decent fare for the whole family even if there is a bit of gunplay and Hobo growls at people a lot more than in the newer series.
The only problem with this 2 dvd set is with the first three episodes which are the restored color prints. Unfortunately, the people at VCI Entertainment could not get the sound in sync with the actors' lips so you sometimes get the same feeling you get when watching a Japanese horror movie. This is annoying but you eventually get over it and the other 9 episodes are very well restored.