Written by: Christian Charret and Denis Leroy
Starring: Adrian Paul, Christopher Lambert, Alexandra Vandernoot, Stan Kirsch, and Elizabeth Gracen
- Interviews with the executive producer
- Watcher Chronicles
- Bloopers reel
- Character Profiles
- Original Series Promo
Released by: Anchor Bay
Rating: NR, suitable for audiences 12+
My Advice: Buy it if you like fantasy. Or, hey, even if you think you don’t.
[ad#longpost]Based on the phenomenal hit movie of the same name, the Highlander TV series stars Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, a relative of everyone’s favorite highland rogue, Connor MacLeod. Duncan is younger and a bit more adventurous, but no less skilled with his katana. Over the first season, we get to learn a great deal about this enigmatic character, his true love Tessa, and the other luminaries of the new Highlander world. There are even plenty of satisfying cameos by Christopher Lambert, reprising his role as Connor.
Over the nine discs, some episodes are stronger than others, of course, but even the weakest episode is fun and interesting, especially given that the first season of most titles is the weakest. There is enough action to satisfy those fans, but also some real character development and drama. Some of these scenes could easily have devolved into melodrama, but they don’t. There is a fair amount of camp in some of the episodes, but they’re done with awareness and a sense of fun. Leave your snobbery at the door, and you’ll have a much better time enjoying this show. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for famous rock stars like Joan Jett and Roland Gift as guest stars.
Given the heftiness of this set, the value is wonderful. Not only do you have an entire TV season in one box, but there are features galore. Each episode has a synopsis, as well as associated character profiles and Watcher notes, where one of the fictional Watchers reports a bit on his or her thoughts about the Immortal in the episode. We also get to see the original series promo/behind-the-scenes, which is fun if not terribly illuminating, and a hysterical reel of bloopers, all done to the show’s dramatic theme song by Queen. There are also interviews with executive producer Bill Panzer on each disc, which highlight some of the things to look for in the episodes and give fans a bit more information to enjoy. A little foldout pamphlet provides some production notes and trivia on season one and whets your appetite for the episodes within.
The packaging here deserves a special note. All too often these foldout, multi-disc sets let the discs slide around and get scratched. Not so with this set. Each fold-out envelope holds three discs, all securely set in there, and the three envelopes are themselves tucked into a sturdy half-box that keeps them closed and secure. All available surfaces are nicely decorated with characters and scenes from the show, displaying the breadth of history shown on this program.
I have heard a few people comment that they did not watch this television show because they feared it would be silly. Well, fear no more, proud viewers, because it isn’t. Fans of adventure films will love the fight scenes and historical flashbacks, as will people who just like fun stories. If you haven’t tried this series yet, now’s your chance. If you are a long-time fan of this show, then you will be pleased with the overall care taken with this presentation and the value for your hard-earned coin.