|Created by||Gil Grant|
|Country of origin||Canada/France Co-Production 1-2 series
Canada/United Kingdom Co-Production 3rd series
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||66 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jay Firestone
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Original channel||first-run syndication (1999-2002)|
|Original run||September 20, 1999 – May 20, 2002|
Relic Hunter is an anglophone Canadian television series, starring Tia Carrere and Christien Anholt. Actress Lindy Booth also starred for the first two seasons; Tanja Reichert replaced her for the third. It was inspired by the success of the video game Tomb Raider.
It centers around Sydney Fox who is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting "relic hunter", looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the descendants of the original owner. She is aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money. The series includes fantasy and science fiction elements, with many of the relics featured having genuine supernatural powers or being pieces of unusually advanced technology.
It ran for three seasons in the U.S. between 1999 and 2002 after fulfilling its initial three-season, 66-episode contract, from which it was not renewed. In both Ireland and the United Kingdom, it is aired on Sky1 and subsidiary channels, while in Canada, it is aired on CityTV and Space, CTV's sister network A-Channel and recently Showcase. The series was shot in the Toronto area, explaining Carrere's frequent attendance in courtside seats at Toronto Raptors games during the time.
Overview and themes
Relic Hunter follows the globe-trotting adventures of unorthodox American archaeologist Sydney Fox (Tia Carrere), and her more reserved British assistant Nigel Bailey (Christien Anholt). They are assisted at their "home base", a generic American university identified only as Trinity College, by ditzy student secretary Claudia (Lindy Booth), the spoiled and fashion-conscious daughter of one of the college's major donors. The character of Claudia was replaced in the third season by Karen Petrushky (Tanja Reichert), who is closer to the standard "sexy secretary" stereotype but with a facility for predicaments of a bureaucratic nature.
At the beginning of each episode, there is a short flashback in which a relic or artifact is used or abused in its original time before being lost, stolen or hidden. The show cuts to Trinity College in the present day, where Sydney and Nigel are asked to find the relic by some person or agency such as a museum, private collector (in disguise) or government. Most episodes feature the duo traveling around the globe, hunting for clues in order to find the artifact. Complications abound, often with rival relic hunters getting involved, generally giving Sydney a chance to show off her martial arts prowess. It is then up to Sydney and Nigel to seize the relic and ensure it ends up in the proper hands (such as the rightful owners or a suitable museum). Each episode ends with a scene at Trinity College explaining what has happened to the relic.
The plots in Relic Hunter usually take a grain of historical information and are dramatized in order to fit in with the story. There are, however, some historical errors on the show. For example, the episode "Devil Doll" mentioned Cuzco as an Aztec city but Cuzco was an Inca. Also "Gypsy Jigsaw" features some goofs: though the action takes place in Romania, the plate number of the taxi is not Romanian, the name of the places have no any resemblance with any Romanian place, and the Romanians in that episode talk with a rather Slavic accent than Romanian one. (Romanian is a Latin language and not a Slavic one.)
Many episodes feature comic moments interlaced with the action. Sydney also knows how to hold her own in a fight and Carrere is often involved in many fights and stunts in the show. The show also exploits the sexual tension between Sydney and Nigel, including one episode in which they went undercover in a nudist colony. Sydney is also frequently seen wearing skimpy clothing, with lots of cleavage and tight-fitting shorts; this was a major aspect of the series.
Cast and characters
Relic Hunter featured four starring roles throughout its run. The two protagonists of the series, Sydney Fox and Nigel Bailey are the only characters to appear in all 66 episodes of the series.
- Tia Carrere as Sydney Fox (Seasons 1–3): The main protagonist and titular relic hunter of the series, Sydney works closely with Nigel Bailey whom she meets in the first episode and is proficient in both hand-to-hand (seen in most episodes) and weapons (seen in particular in episode thirty, "Roman Holiday") combat. She has many contacts all over the world, in the archaeological fields and otherwise and is very protective of both her assistants as well as her students and colleagues. She is willing to fly to any country without notice to fetch back, "save" or avenge them.
- Christien Anholt as Nigel Bailey (Seasons 1–3): Sydney's more reserved British teaching assistant and companion who accompanies her on her travels whilst searching for the relics. Nigel often finds himself in situations that are uncomfortable and needs Sydney's help to get out of them. This evens out as the series progresses though. He is secretly in love with Sydney.
- Lindy Booth as Claudia (Seasons 1–2, Episodes 1–7, 9–37, 39–44): Sydney's office assistant who often helps out Sydney and Nigel from the campus back home whilst they are abroad. She sometimes plays a vital role in finding the relic and shares witty banter with Nigel. In spite of her general incompetence, she possesses a savant-like ability for organizing unorthodox and creative solutions to travel difficulties that Sydney and Nigel face, in one case arranging for them to sneak over the Angolan border disguised as Catholic missionaries.
- Tanja Reichert as Karen Petrushky (Season 3, Episodes 45–66): Claudia's replacement for the final season. She was portrayed as far more competent than Claudia, though she had more of a habit of getting kidnapped.
There were also a number of recurring characters in the series, as listed below:
- Tony Rosato as Stewie Harper (Episodes 1, 8, 21): Relic hunter who has a love-hate relationship with Sydney.
- Thomas Kretschmann as Kurt Reiner (Episodes 6, 12): An ex-partner of Sydney turned rival.
- Louis Mandylor as Derek Lloyd (Episodes 7, 26, 46): A CIA agent who requires Sydney's help on several occasions.
- Lori Gordon as Lynette (Episodes 8, 10): Claudia's replacement while she's away.
- Nancy Anne Sakovich as Cate Hemphill (Episodes 25, 34, 53; mentioned in 47, 54, 59, 66): An Interpol agent and occasional romantic interest of Nigel.
- Crispin Bonham-Carter as Preston Bailey (Episodes 42, 65): Nigel's brother and worst enemy.
- Simon MacCorkindale as Fabrice De Viega (Episodes 47, 58, 66): Sydney's sworn enemy who killed her mentor Alistair Newel when she was ten.
Relics featured in the series
The following table lists the relics featured in each episode, together with the time and location of the flashback sequence and any other locations used in the episode.
|Episode title||Relic||Flashback details||Other locations|
|1||Buddha's Bowl||Buddha's alms bowl||Nepal 523 BC||Hong Kong|
|2||Smoking Gun||Al Capone's diamond-encrusted gun||Chicago 1930||United States|
|3||The Headless Nun||Remains of Sister Evangeline||Nova Scotia 17th century||Canada|
|4||Flag Day||Pioneer's Bear Flag of California||California 1846||United States|
|5||Thank You Very Much||Lost guitar of Elvis Presley||Germany 1960||Germany|
|6||Diamond in the Rough||Magical Glove of former baseball great Jimmy Jonesboro||Fenway Park, Boston 1946||United States|
|7||Transformation||Paracelsus scrolls||Salzburg, Austria 1946||Peru|
|8||Etched in Stone||Treasure of legendary Viking Jann the Bold||Northumbrian Coast 935 AD||Sweden|
|9||The Book of Love||Casanova's Book of Love||Casanova's Hideaway, Italy 1749||Italy|
|10||The Myth of the Maze||Minotaur's Maze||Athens 3000 BC||Greece|
|11||Irish Crown Affair||Lost crown of the last King of Ireland||Ireland 1000 AD||Dublin|
|12||The Emperor's Bride||Coffin of the bride of a Chinese Emperor||Huang River, China 1000 BC||Alaska|
|13||Afterlife and Death||Diamond of Thutmose III||Egypt 1425 BC||Amsterdam|
|14||Nine Lives||Statue of the cat goddess Mafdet||Egypt 1895||New York|
|15||Affaire de Coeur||Rings that belonged to lovers, Callum and Elena||Scotland 1430||Scotland|
|16||A Vanishing Art||Scepter of the Kingdom of Hungary||Budapest 1897||Atlantic City|
|17||A Good Year||Crown jewels of France||Paris 1792||France|
|18||The Last Knight||Templar Grand Master's sword||Paris, circa 1300||France|
|19||Love Letter||Records proving a secret marriage on the eve of the French Revolution||Village South of Paris 1789||France|
|20||Possessed||Zeus' sacred sundial||Libya 14th century||Brussels|
|21||Nothing but the Truth||Ruby Chalice of Truth||The Barbary Coast 1534||Paris|
|22||Memories of Montmartre||A tiara known as the Heart of Europe||Moulin Rouge 1930s||France|
|23||The Put Back||Idol from the Temple of Woot||Kuba, Africa 100 AD||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|24||Dagger of Death||Dagger of Kali||Temple of Kali, India 500 AD||Calcutta and Kashmir|
|25||Last of the Mochicas||Vessel believed to contain the Great Warrior Spirit of the Mochicas||South America 662 AD||Peruvian jungle|
|26||The Legend of the Lost||The Kai Nomata (lost tribe)||Vanuatu Islands 4800 BC||New Guinea|
|27||Fertile Ground||Idol of Lono||Hawaii 1779||Madagascar|
|28||Gypsy Jigsaw||Crown of the Roma people||Romania 1830||Bucharest, Romania|
|29||Three Rivers to Cross||Jade Empress||Three Rivers, China 1245 AD||Hong Kong and Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan, China|
|30||Roman Holiday||Caesar's breastplate||Rome 44 BC||Italy|
|31||Cross of Voodoo||Haitian Cross of Utu||Haiti, late 18th Century||New Orleans|
|32||Lost Contact||Sacrificial bowl||Burma 1824||Myanmar|
|33||The Reel Thing||Relics of Egyptian Pharaoh Amun II||Egypt 1516 BC||England|
|34||M.I.A.||Faberge egg||St. Petersburg, Russia 1886||New York City, several clips from other episodes|
|35||Out of the Past||Cleopatra's necklace||Egypt 30 BC||Alexandria, Egypt|
|36||Eyes of Toklamanee||Eyes of Toklamanee||Mississippi Valley 1605||St Louis|
|37||Run Sydney Run||Sword of Ateas||Ural Steppes, 339 BC||Russia|
|38||French Connection||Prophecy of Nostradamus||Church Of Cordiers Salon, 1600||France|
|39||Don't Go Into the Woods||Golden Falcon of Maribor||Carpathian Mountains 1711 AD||Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|40||Midnight Flight||Ruby-encrusted scepter of Gunther the Brave||Germania Circa 400 AD||Luxembourg and Paris|
|41||The Executioner's Mask||Executioner's Mask||Bourg, France 1789||Paris|
|42||The Royal Ring||Ring of Anne Boleyn||Tower of London 1536||London, Leeds, Kent, England|
|43||Set in Stone||Magical sword of St. Gabriel||Balaton, Hungary 1595|
|44||Deadline||First Christian Tau cross||Jerusalem 1099 AD||Paris|
|45||Wages of Sydney||Chinese dragon's egg||Quan Shu Fortress, Manchuria 1359||New York, USA and Quan Shu, China|
|46||Mr. Right||Bowl of Parvati||Bali, Indonesia 1459 AD||Singapore|
|47||Sydney at Ten||Egyptian necklace||St. Beatrice's School 20 years ago||Turkey|
|48||The Light of Truth||Light of Truth||Arabia 843 AD||Morocco|
|49||Treasure Island||The treasure of Treasure Island||The Spanish Main 1790||South Seas|
|50||Star of Nadir||Star of Nadir||Palace of the Talibs, Endostan 1423|
|51||Vampire's Kiss||Vampire Chalice||Czechoslovakia 1720 AD||Prague, Czech Republic and Târgovişte, Romania|
|52||Devil Doll||Cursed Aztec Devil Doll||Meso-America 1488 AD||Central America|
|53||Incognito||Lancet which causes anyone cut with it to gain incredible strength||New Guinea 1522 AD||Papua New Guinea, Lisbon, Portugal and Valletta, Malta|
|54||All Choked Up||Statue of Athena||Greece 800 BC||Skyros Island, Greece|
|55||Warlock of Nu Theta Phi||Wicca amulet||New England Colonies 1692 AD|
|56||Women Want to Know||Statue of Ganesha||Southeast Asia 1075 AD|
|57||Fire in the Sky||Extraterrestrial artifact||Pacific Northwest 1398 AD|
|58||Hunting with the Enemy||Ashes of Confucius||Cambodia 1952||Rayong Province, Thailand|
|59||Antianeiral||Belt of Hippolyte||Asia Minor 1200 BC||Istanbul, Turkey|
|60||Under the Ice||Anasazi mummy||Arctic Circle 1355 AD|
|61||Arthur's Cross||Cross of King Arthur||England 455 AD||Chepstow, Wales|
|62||Faux Fox||Crown jewels of Charles IV of Spain||Royal Palace, Madrid 1808||Seville, Spain|
|63||Pandora's Box||Pandora's Box||An-Najaf, Persia 422 AD|
|64||The Warlord||Kahina's Saddle||Bekkastan, 1401 AD|
|65||Fountain of Youth||Water from the Fountain of Youth||Pascus Florida, West Indies 1521||Seville, Spain and Cotswolds, England|
|66||So Shall it Be||Keys to Stonehenge||Stonehenge, England 121 AD||Bristol, England|
The "Trinity College" campus scenes were filmed at the St. George campus at the University of Toronto in Canada. Campus landmarks prominently featured throughout the series include Victoria College and the Soldier's Tower (directly adjacent to Hart House).
The "Antianeirai" episode ship scenes were filmed aboard HMCS Haida, the last Tribal Class destroyer in the world, when she was berthed at Ontario Place, in Toronto, Canada. For instance, the scene where Sydney finds the belt was filmed in the forward mess deck. All onboard signage was covered with Russian words. Haida has a red maple leaf on one of her funnels and this was covered with a "bird" design. Anything that would show the ship to be of Canadian, or "western" origin, was removed for the film shoot.
All seasons were filmed in widescreen 16:9 but mainly shown in pan and scan 4/3 as are most of Fireworks Entertainment productions from 2000. The widescreen versions of all seasons are available for viewing at Netflix in Nordics as of 2012.
Relic Hunter was broadcast in many countries around the world including:
- Belgium "Relic Hunter" (VT4)
- Estonia "Aardekütt" (Kanal 11)
- Slovenia "Lov za zakladom" (Kanal A)
- Georgia "რელიქვიების მაძიებელი" (GPB)
- Spain "Cazatesoros" (Telecinco)
- Galicia, Spain "Cazatesouros" (TVG)
- Brazil "Caçadora de Reliquias" (Rede Bandeirantes), (Rede Record), (Rede Mulher)
- Germany "Relic Hunter – Die Schatzjägerin" (Pro7, AXN, Kabel Eins)
- Greece "Sydney Fox Adventures" (Star Channel, Alter Channel)
- Austria "Relic Hunter – Die Schatzjägerin" (ATV+)
- Italy "Relic Hunter" (Italia 1)
- Sri Lanka "Relic Hunter" (ITN)
- France "Sydney Fox, l'aventurière" (M6, W9)
- Slovakia "Lovkyňa Tajomstiev" (Markíza, Joj)
- Hungary "Az elveszett ereklyék fosztogatói" (means: The Raiders Of The Lost Relics) (TV2 and now AXN)
- Latin America "Relic Hunter" (AXN)
- Sweden "Kultjägarna" (Kanal 5)
- Denmark "Relic Hunter" (Kanal 5)
- Finland "Aarteenmetsästäjä" (Nelonen, TV5/The Voice)
- India "Relic Hunter" (AXN)
- Israel "אוצרות מן העבר" (Treasures From the Past)(AXN and now HOT Zone)
- Czech Republic "Lovci pokladů" (Nova, Prima, AXN)
- Turkey "Gizem Avcısı" (Tv8 (Turkey), TRT,Olay TV )
- Bulgaria "Търсач на реликви" (AXN) и "Ловци на реликви" (TV7 and Super 7) - July 16, 2010
- Serbia "Ловац на благо" (FOX)
- Bosnia & Herzegovina "Lovac na blago" (FTV)
- Croatia "Pustolovine Sydney Fox" (NOVA)
- Romania "Vanatorii de comori"(AXN, TVR 2)
- Norway "Skattejegerne" (The treasure hunters) (TV Norge)
- Poland "Łowcy skarbów" (The treasure hunters) (TV4)/"Zagadki z przeszłości" (The Mysteries of the Past) (AXN)
- Russia "Охотники за древностями" (CTC)
- South Africa "Relic Hunter" (SABC)
- United Kingdom Sky1, Sky2, Sky3 "Relic Hunter"
- Ukraine "Мисливці за старовиною" (ICTV)
- Portugal "A Caçadora de Reliquias" (Sony Entertainment Television)
- Vietnam "Truy tìm cổ vật" (Finding Treasures) HTV7
- Netherlands "Relic Hunter" Yorin
Alliance Home Entertainment has released all three seasons of Relic Hunter on DVD in Region 1 (Canada only), for the very first time.
In Region 4, Warner Home Video released season 1 on DVD in Australia in two volume sets in 2005, these sets are now out of print. Madman Entertainment subsequently acquired the rights and released the second season on DVD in 2006 and the third season in 2010. A complete Season 1 box set was released by Madman on February 2, 2011.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Dates|
|Region 1 (CAN)||Region 4|
|Season 1||22||April 20, 2010||February 2, 2011|
|Season 2||22||May 18, 2010||June 21, 2006|
|Season 3||22||June 8, 2010||June 2, 2010|