I’ll admit it. I love the Highlander TV series. Duncan McLeod. Joe Dawson. Meethos. These were some great characters. I own the entire series on DVD and it’s a nice piece of my collection. From the first episode guest starring Christopher Lambert to the awful “A Wonderful Life” tribute that the series wraps up with, Highland was a show I’d curl up with Ronni and Zuel on Sunday nights and watch in bed before going to sleep and getting ready for another week at University.
Then there is Highlander: The Raven which I missed during it’s original one year run. Well, actually I saw one or two episodes and found it to be a huge drop in quality. Now that I picked up the entire box set for free on Swapadvd.com, I finally had a chance to watch the series unfold.
I’ll admit it wasn’t AWFUL. I always loved Amanda, played by ex Miss America (and Bill Clinton fucktoy) Elizabeth Gracen, and Paul Johansson was a pretty decent actor as well, so I enjoyed the series, although by the time I finished the series, I was pretty bored with the slow moving scripts, the lack of character growth and the lack of Duncan McLeod. Amanda, being an amoral bon vivant thief, if not really the best character to head a series, even if she did constantly steal the show in the original series. There is also a noticable lack of chemistry between the two leads, which is bad when your entire premise is “Highlander meets Moonlighting.”
The series is 22 episodes long and it’s really only of appeal to long time Highlander fans…but even then it drags with plots that blur from one episode to the next and a distinct drop in the special effects budget from the previous series. Most of the episodes revolve around an evil Immortal doing something bad and then Nick Wolfe and Amanda arguing over to arrest them or take their head.
What makes the collection worth watching AND owning is the 9 part documentary series “The Unravelling of a series” that is one of the most dramatastic train wrecks I have ever seen. it’s a pretty no holds barred discussion involving the actors, writers, and producers as to why the show failed. It’s hilarious. Elizabeth Gracen was on the verge of both a nervous breakdown and psychotic episodes due to Kenneth Starr basically stalking her for the impeachment trial, Elizabeth and her co-star hated each other. Every producer wanted a different focus than the other on the show, hence why the entire series seemed to change drastically from one episode to the next. It was fascinating to watch and in the end, the documentaries made the collection.
I don’t think I’d ever watch the series again, but I’ll happily watch the documentaries as it’s a great case study for how to ruin a show with a guaranteed large fanatical fan following. Ah well, if only they had stuck with the idea of the Meethos and Joe buddy comedy. My two favorite characters in one show would have easily lasted several seasons. Alas, it was not to be be. If anything Highlander: The Raven proves that indeed, there can be only one - and it’s Duncan MacLeod.
Is It Worth Keeping: Only for Highlander Mooks like myself
Rating: 5.5 (and that’s only because of the documentaries)