This French-produced (but English language)  series about William Tell was the perfect antidote for fans of derring-do who were bored with the umpteen versions of the Robin Hood legend. The series starred Will Lyman as the  crossbow- wielding Tell and Jeremy Clyde (of Chad and Jeremy fame) as Gessler, the tyrant Tell opposed during the Swiss Uprising against the Austrians in the 14th Century. Each episode featured

William Tell and his son (the one with the apple on his head) defiantly foiling Gessler’s sinister machinations with the aid of fellow rebels.

Adding to the show’s appeal is the fact that each episode ran just a half-hour. This prevents boredom by combatting the problem many hour-long formulaic shows suffer from: the fact that they often have just a half-hour’s worth of actual story dilluted with monotonous filler.

Look for a young Sarah Michelle Gellar and Steve Buscemi in a few episodes. The first two seasons of twenty-four episodes each ran on The Family Channel in the U.S. and on FR3 in France, but the twenty-four episodes of the third and final season were never shown in the U.S., creating a built-in Holy Grail of “Lost Episodes” even for hardcore American fans of this pleasantly diverting show.  

(BONUS TRIVIA NOTE: Will Lyman, who played William Tell in this series, went on to be the narrator of The Most Interesting Man in the World Commercials.)

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Filed under Forgotten Television


  1. lifewith4cats

    I just checked my U.S. based movie club netfix. and as usual they said, “nya nya nya nya nya You cant watch this.” So this is me 😦

  2. Uh oh, Sara. Sounds like this thing is in dire need of a major DVD release, complete with an emphasis on the “lost episodes”.

  3. Delores

    Awesome! I love how you always write stuff about these out of the way things that are so cool!

  4. Sounds like a great series to watch. Im a crossbow fan so this peaked my interest. Thanks!

  5. Noami

    I am desperately searching for the entire series. Anyone with the entire series, please share asap! Would do anything to see them!

  6. Excaliber169

    I use to watch Crossbow faithfully growing up in the 80’s, they just dont make shows and movies like this anymore. I was a very big fan and been serching for a dvd release for years….I would love to watch the series all over again.

  7. Palmer

    Gessler was such a good villain on this show!

  8. This show looks like it makes crossbows look as badass as they deserve!

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