Karate-champion-turned-movie-star Chuck Norris was ideally cast as the title character in the contemporary Western series, Walker, Texas Ranger. Introduced as a two-hour TV movie on April 21, 1983, the weekly, hour-long CBS series starred Norris as Cordell Walker, who worked out of the Dallas office of the Texas Rangers with his youthful partner, Baltimore-born former football pro Jimmy Trivette (Clarence Gilyard Jr.). While Jimmy, like his superiors, preferred to rely upon modern crime fighting techniques -- computers, forensic science, strict adherence to civil liberties and due process -- the impassive, taciturn Walker was generally of the opinion that criminals were subhuman scum, worthy only of a slug in the face or a kick in the groin. Kicking, in fact, was a Walker specialty, notably whenever he came within close proximity of a locked door or bolted window. Though she didn't always approve of his methods, Walker's off-and-on girlfriend, assistant D.A. Alex Cahill (Sheree J. Wilson), admired his strong sense of justice and fair play, especially when protecting those weaker than himself. Too, Alex found Walker extremely handy whenever she got kidnapped, which seemed to happen at the rate of once every other week! Despite his loyalty to his friends, those close to Walker remained so at their own risk, inasmuch as the bad guys were not above hurting them to get to him. Others within Walker's orbit included his old pal C.D. Parker (Noble Willingham), a former Ranger who, after being invalidated out of the service, opened up a restaurant; Uncle Ray Firewalker (Floyd Red Crow Westerman), the sagacious old Native American who raised Walker from childhood and had taught him the value of restraint and contemplation -- unless of course, violence was absolutely called for; Carlos Sandoval (Marco Sanchez), an undercover detective who owed his life to Walker; and Walker's former martial arts student Trent Malloy (James Wlcek), who owned a karate school (and who, teamed with Carlos Sandoval, was briefly spun off into his own TV series, Sons of Thunder). During the series' final seasons, undercover Rangers Francis Gage (Judson Mills) and Sydney Cooke (Nia Peeples) linked up with Walker's team. In the course of events, Uncle Ray Firewalker passed away; C.D. Parker was killed by a band of elusive assassins who intended to work their way up to Walker in their efforts to knock off every Texas Ranger in Dallas; and in the series' seventh season, Walker and Alex became engaged, with wedding bells ringing at the end of season eight and the birth of a baby daughter in the final episode. After ending its CBS run on July 28, 2001, Walker, Texas Ranger launched what was apparently an endless rerun cycle in syndication and on cable.
by Hal Erickson synopsis