The melodrama loosely follows the retcon of Zorro from the 2005 novel by Isabel Allende, yet also uses the major characters from the 1950s Disney series. It shows a fantastic, ahistorical version of colonial Los Angeles full of romance, royal intrigue, and witchcraft, even polygamy. The city is populated with gypsies, slaves, clerics, cannibals, conspirators, rebellious Indians and Amazon warriors, along with Spanish settlers, soldiers, pirates and mestizo peasants.
The hero, Don Diego Dela Vega, adopts the secret identity of Zorro, the masked avenger. Instead of being a Spaniard, however, Diego is now a mestizo born in the 1790s to a white father, Don Alejandro Dela Vega, and his wife, a Native American warrior named Toypurnia, who was given the name Regina when she married Alejandro.
Diego learned his acrobatics and fencing skills in Spain, under the tutelage of a great swordmaster. Remembering the injustices he saw as a child, he returned to his family's California hacienda. Now he lives as both a nobleman and a vigilante, fighting imperialist oppression. He is backed by the brotherhood of Zorro, a secret society called the Knights of the Broken Thorn.
Since this is a telenovela, much of the drama focuses on romantic melodrama and family intrigue. Here, Zorro falls in love with a beautiful young widow, Esmeralda Sánchez de Moncada. She arrives in California with her sister Mariángel Sánchez de Moncada and her father, Fernando Sánchez de Moncada, the newly appointed governor—and villainous dictator—of Los Angeles.
The hero must challenge a host of evildoers, branding them with the distinctive Zorro "Z" – made from three swift scratches. The story arc focuses on mysteries concerning Esmeralda's long-lost mother and the man whose atrocities changed Diego's life forever. Their resolution threatens to shake the Spanish Empire.