I too remember some of the episodes when I was a kid growing up,but by far out of all the "Lassie" series that ever depicted the true meaning of a boy and his dog was that of "Jeff's Collie". My friend and I had a debate is which who was the best character of all the shows and to our decision we came with Tommy Rettig for his performance to the show. He brings a astounding depth of passion and emotion to his character and by far this was the original and the first series that really brought "Lassie" out in the open and the first ever to do so during the early 50's. When Rettig left the show in 1957,he was replaced by actor Jon Provost and the tone set the collie along with his new family,The Martin's. The family consisted of June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly as the father. In other words during this run,and in some of the episodes with Provost who played Timmy,it was always up to Lassie to get him out of a tight situation and boy was Timmy one hard headed individual at times when it came to staying out of trouble! Good girl,Lassie! When the 1960's came along the collie went into another direction where during this time the Martin family would move to another country and this time Lassie was taken up by park ranger Corey Stuart played by Robert Bray and in this one Lassie had to defend her honor by helping out Ranger Stuart at times and in a two part episode called "The Tempest" it goes into that detail where Lassie fights for survival in a barron land when the Ranger is seriously hurt after a tragic accident(worth seeing and its in color). By the end of the 1960's,Ranger Stuart and Lassie went their separate ways,and the collie would take up with another family by the 1968-1969 season and from there her services would be needed once more and thus end the shows' trimuph run making it one of the all time children's shows ever.
For the 17 years it ran on the CBS network(from 1954-1971),Lassie was an
American institution every Sunday evening until the network changed the overall course of its programming. Truly,she was America's favorite dog. Catch the re-runs on Nickelodeon and on the Animal Planet Channel.
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