Tessa Noël

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Tessa Noël
Highlander character
Tessa Noel.jpg
Portrayed by Alexandra Vandernoot
Born August 24, 1958[1]
Died October 23, 1993(1993-10-23) (aged 35)[1]
Appearances Highlander: The Series
Episodes "The Gathering" through "The Darkness"; "Counterfeit Part Two"; "To Be"; "Not To Be"

Tessa Noël is a fictional character in the television series Highlander: The Series, portrayed by Alexandra Vandernoot. A mortal artist and sculptor, Tessa is the French lover of the protagonist Immortal, Duncan MacLeod, played by Adrian Paul. Tessa is introduced in the pilot episode "The Gathering", first shown in 1992, and appears in all subsequent episodes until "The Darkness" (1993), the fourth episode of season two, in which she is killed. Vandernoot returned to the program for a number of guest appearances in the season two finale, "Counterfeit", broadcast in 1994, and the two-part series conclusion "To Be" / "Not To Be" (1998).

Tessa is MacLeod's mortal companion and bears the consequences of his immortality. These include her aging while he does not, the impossibility of having children together and the dangers of MacLeod's involvement in the Game, an ongoing battle in which all Immortals must behead each other until a single victor remains. Fully aware of this situation, Tessa stays with MacLeod, demonstrating her courage, understanding, generosity and compassion.

The first series of Highlander was a multi-national co-production including the French entertainment conglomerate Gaumont, which resulted in a French-speaking actor playing Tessa. Vandernoot had to adapt to the North American, fast-paced method of series production and worked with a dialect coach. Her performance was generally praised by reviewers, who especially praised the strong on-screen relationship that Vandernoot and Paul created between their characters. When Vandernoot decided to leave the show, her character was killed, leading to fierce protests among the show's audience and subsequently prompted the producers to have Vandernoot play an evil lookalike of Tessa in the episode "Counterfeit". Despite her return, Tessa's death influenced the rest of the series, making it more pessimistic, and creating a significant precedent; Tessa was the first main character of the series to die.

Story arc[edit]

Tessa about MacLeod: "I can't even imagine a life where we're not together."
A 400-years-old MacLeod about Tessa: "Tessa makes me feel so young. Every time I see her it's like the first time."

Highlander: The Series, season 2, episode 4, "The Darkness"[2]

Tessa Noël is a central character, who appeared in every episode of the first season of Highlander: The Series, and in the first four episodes of the second. After the character's death, she later returned for cameo appearances in the episodes "Counterfeit Part Two" in the second season, and "To Be" and "Not To Be", the sixth season's final two episodes.

Background[edit]

Tessa was born on August 28, 1958 in Lille, France.[1] When she was seven years old, she fell in love for the first time with then-nineteen-year-old Alan Rothwood (Anthony Head). Tessa recalls in "Nowhere To Run" that she was "heartbroken" when he completed his studies and left the country.[3] She remembered that at her first Christmas party in the ballroom of Alan's house, she "couldn't believe anything could be so beautiful."[3] Tessa mentions in "See No Evil" that she was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.[4]

Tessa's first encounter with MacLeod is shown in a flashback sequence in "For Evil's Sake". She had recently left the Sorbonne and was working as an artist and conducting tours of the River Seine in Paris.[5] In May 1980,[5] to escape Immortal Christoph Kuyler (Peter Howitt) who was trying to behead him, MacLeod jumped on a Bateau Mouche on which Tessa was working, and charmed her so that he could stay on board. Another flashback scene in the episode "Counterfeit Part Two" shows how MacLeod revealed his immortality to Tessa. On April 1, 1983,[1] MacLeod made Tessa shoot him in the chest with a pistol. After he revived, MacLeod revealed himself to be an Immortal who could not age or father children, but did not mention the Game. MacLeod expected Tessa to show disgust or fear, but instead Tessa expressed compassion and sadness for his loneliness.[6] As Tessa remains unaware of the Game, MacLeod occasionally fights other Immortals without her knowledge.[7]

Season one[edit]

When the series begins, Tessa and MacLeod have been in a relationship for twelve years and are the proprietors of an antiques store, "MacLeod and Noel's Antiques", in the fictional city of Seacouver, Washington, United States.[8] Immortals Slan Quince (Richard Moll) and Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) break into their store, making Tessa aware of the Game. When she learns of this ultimate battle of good and evil, in which Duncan MacLeod must behead or be beheaded, she sarcastically remarks; "And you didn't think it was important enough to mention."[9] When Quince threatens Tessa to distract MacLeod, she first wants to flee with MacLeod, who prepared for her departure and beheads Quince. Aware that other Immortals will challenge MacLeod, Tessa decides to stay with him. They also allow Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch), a quick-talking petty thief and street punk, to live with them because he was aware of MacLeod's immortality.[9]

"See No Evil" indicates that Tessa was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris

In "Eyewitness" (1993), Tessa witnesses the brutal murder of former artist Anne Wheeler (Diana Barrington), and reacts angrily when she realizes that the police will do nothing about it, saying: "I'm not hysterical, I don't see things, and I'm not looking for attention. I just want something to be done."[10] She decides to find the murderer on her own.[10] When MacLeod tells Tessa that she is stronger than Anne, and that if something happened to him she would be fine, Tessa retorts, "You only think so because it suits you."[10] The murderer is Chief Police Officer Andrew Ballin (Tom Butler) who is beheaded by MacLeod after Ballin failed to kill Tessa.

In "Band of Brothers" (1993), Tessa is chosen as the curator of a traveling exhibition entitled "An historical retrospective on sculpture and form", which is based in Paris, France. Meanwhile, Immortal Grayson (James Horan) is seeking Victor Paulus, a protegee of MacLeod's friend Darius (Werner Stocker). Tessa decides to leave to Paris before MacLeod fights Grayson and her parting words are: "Remember. Paris is our city. I'll be waiting for you". After MacLeod beheads Grayson, he, Tessa and Richie, live in a barge on the Seine near Notre Dame de Paris.[11]

In "Avenging Angel" (1993), MacLeod and Tessa search for information about newborn Immortal Alfred Cahill (Martin Kemp). Becoming Immortal has made Cahill insane; he believes he is an angel sent by God to free the world from sin. Cahill starts with the last prostitute he met, Tessa's old friend, Elaine Trent (Sandra Nelson). Tessa is angry to learn the fate of her intelligent, beautiful friend, but later realizes that she "[sounds] like her judge and jury."[12] MacLeod believes that the only way to stop Cahill is to behead him, despite Tessa's opinion that "Enlightened societies don't kill their insane. They treat them."[12] When Cahill comes to the barge looking for MacLeod and finds Tessa alone, Tessa diverts him by welcoming Cahill as a messenger of God. Later, she tells MacLeod with disgust, "I had to crawl inside his head... I had to think like him... I had to become like him."[12]

Season two[edit]

The first episode of the second season, "The Watchers" (1993), shows Tessa, MacLeod and Richie settling back to their antiques store in Seacouver and meeting the Watchers, a secret society that observes Immortals without interfering. In "The Darkness" (1993), Tessa meets a fortune teller named Greta (Traci Lords) who urges her to flee the city. This reminds MacLeod of another fortune teller, who, back in 1848, predicted that he would bury many women, but marries none. MacLeod impulsively asks Tessa to marry him, to which she agrees. The next day, Tessa is abducted by Pallin Wolf (Andrew Jackson), a renegade Watcher who wants to behead MacLeod. In the meantime, MacLeod tells Richie that he is getting married because of the thought of losing Tessa. Tessa holds her ground in front of Wolf and tries to escape, but Wolf brings her back to her cell. MacLeod finally finds them and kills Wolf, then sends Tessa home with Richie. On their way to the car, Tessa and Richie are shot dead by Marc Roszca (Travis MacDonald), a drug addict wanting their money. Richie's previously unknown immortality is revealed when he returns to life on the spot, but Tessa dies. MacLeod, devastated, leaves their home and sells the antique store.

"Eye For An Eye" (1993) shows the aftermath of Tessa's death. MacLeod tells Richie, "She was part of our lives, Richie. Never pretend she wasn't."[13] MacLeod also advises Richie to get used to her loss, because it "won't be the last time it happens to you."[13] Later, while MacLeod trains Richie roughly so that he can face Immortal Annie Devlin (Sheena Easton), Richie angrily tells MacLeod, "You can't get past it, Mac. I know. You've seen a lot of people die. But you had to be the hero, you sent us out to the car that night, you could have been there ...You look me in the eyes and you tell me you don't blame yourself for her death."[13] Some time later, MacLeod bitterly tells Devlin, "Nothing you do brings anyone back. Once they're dead... nothing."[13]

In the two-part finale to series two, "Counterfeit" (1994), James Horton (Peter Hudson), a renegade Watcher who believes all Immortals must be eliminated, uses killer Lisa Halle (Meilani Paul) to try and kill MacLeod. Lisa undergoes plastic surgery to resemble Tessa and therefore is played by Vandernoot from that point on. MacLeod meets Lisa just after he admitted to himself how much he missed Tessa, and he is stunned by her resemblance with Tessa. Despite knowing that Tessa is dead and cannot return, he eagerly pursues a relationship with Lisa. He eventually admits the truth when he discovers a scar on Lisa's jaw. Horton kills Lisa on Tessa's grave before being himself killed by MacLeod.[6]

"To Be" and "Not To Be" (1998), the series finale, respectively depict MacLeod dreaming of a world in which he was never born. Vandernoot reprises her role as Tessa, this time never having met MacLeod. Tessa leads an unsatisfactory life in which she has a husband and children, but is forced to sacrifice her art and sculpture. In this storyline she has an affair with MacLeod but feels she has betrayed her husband.[14]

Characteristics[edit]

"When we met, you were the 'older man'. ... Now... We look the same age. ... From now every year you'll look at me and see someone who looks older and older than you, while you stay the same. And it'll just be a matter of time ... until you want someone else. Or maybe I will. ... Maybe I'll want someone I can grow old with."

Tessa, in Highlander: The Series, pilot episode, "The Gathering"[9]

Relationship with MacLeod[edit]

Tessa, and Kirsch's character Richie, were designed as MacLeod's mortal companions and contacts.[15] Tessa and MacLeod are lovers and share deep feelings for each other. Adrian Paul commented that MacLeod spent twelve years with Tessa without wanting another relationship and that "...she was a very important part of his life".[16] Vandernoot thought that "...the relationship between Tessa and MacLeod was very deep because very soon, he told her about himself (...) because he trusted her, and I think trust is a very good definition of their relationship. She trusted him entirely and he trusted her."[17] Tessa is thus MacLeod's only mortal lover who knows of his immortality.[18]

However, executive producer Bill Panzer was intrigued by the idea that a mortal would want to spend their life with an Immortal, this choice having several drawbacks.[19] MacLeod does not age, while Tessa is mortal and will age. Despite their mutual wish, they know growing old together is impossible and this uneasy thought "...haunts them both, sometimes more than others."[20] As an Immortal, MacLeod is also sterile and Tessa resigns herself to having no children. "The Sea Witch" deals with Tessa's choice and its impact upon her life.[21] In this episode, Tessa becomes very fond of a four-year-old girl and muses; "For a while there, just for a few hours... I felt like she was mine. I liked how it felt. But, she's not... I have my own life and it's more than enough."[22] Panzer commented that "The Sea Witch" "...brings forth in a very powerful way what exactly [Tessa]'s giving up to be with MacLeod."[19]

Tessa occasionally meets MacLeod's previous Immortal lovers. In "The Lady and the Tiger", she immediately dislikes Amanda (played by Elizabeth Gracen)[23] and the script notes that "...sparks fly between the two women".[24] Although she quickly earns Amanda's respect,[24] Tessa feels like she has to compete with Amanda,[23] while Amanda comments that Tessa is "...quite refreshing in a gauche sort of way."[23] Gracen played Amanda's interaction with Tessa ambiguously and a little flirtatiously.[25] Tessa is usually jealous of MacLeod's past lovers, but acknowledges in "Saving Grace" that "...it would take me several lifetimes to find out everything in Duncan's past. I know there've been others, but I never thought I would meet one of them."[26]

In addition, Tessa shares with MacLeod the consequences of his involvement in the Game. She dislikes the Game and would like to escape from it with him, since she fears for his life.[9][27] According to Vandernoot, Tessa "...always thought that she [would] die before [MacLeod]", but when he told her about the Game during "The Gathering", "she [realised] that he [could] be killed", thus she avoided thinking about it.[28] Another consequence of the Game is that Tessa is sometimes exposed to danger from Immortals who want to use her to pressure MacLeod. Despite being captured by Quince in "The Gathering", by the time of "Band of Brothers", she is able to face Grayson: "If you think [MacLeod] will stand by, ...you have misjudged him terribly. So you'd better kill me, now, and be done with it." Grayson releases her and calls her "...a remarkable woman, well worth keeping alive."[11] Consequently, Tessa is fully aware of the risks of their relationship, but stays with MacLeod,[9] explaining in "Eyewitness" that "I know the risks I choose to take... I stay with you because I want to. I won't run. I'm not the little woman and I'll never be barefoot and pregnant. We all have things to face. This is mine."[10] However, she finds difficult to deal with her fears when MacLeod leaves to fight another Immortal.[29]

Character traits[edit]

Vandernoot found Tessa's personality "...very nice," "very understanding, generous, supportive."[17] MacLeod appreciates that Tessa always has a way of reminding him of his humanity.[6] In "For Evil's Sake", she tells a guilt-ridden MacLeod that "You may be Immortal, but you're not omnipotent... The world is not your responsibility."[27] Tessa often jokes about MacLeod's immortality, for example telling him in "For Tomorrow We Die" that the last time MacLeod "...wore a tuxedo was on the deck of the Titanic."[30]

"Counterfeit Part Two" was partially filmed at the Musee Rodin in Paris[31]

Tessa is able to empathise with others, feel as they do, think as they do and so become like them.[10][12] When MacLeod revealed his immortality to Tessa in "Counterfeit Part Two", she can show compassion instead of the fear or disgust he expects: "I was just thinking how lonely you must be. Your parents, your friends... having them all die."[6] Tessa is a very empathic and understanding character, for example, in "Saving Grace", she is jealous of MacLeod's former lover Grace; however, when MacLeod assures her that he no longer loves Grace, her response is simply that "...that's all that need to be said. She's your friend and she's been hurt. You'll help her. I'd expect you to do no less."[26]

Furthermore, Tessa demonstrates great courage, for example in "Mountain Men", where she is abducted by three mountain men led by Immortal Caleb Cole, who wants to marry her. Tessa refuses to submit and spreads doubt among them, resulting in Cole finally killing one of his own men before MacLeod rescues her. Reviewer Rob Lineberger of DVDVerdict.com commented that "...this episode shows the tough stuff Tessa is made of."[21] Tessa is a very selfless character, although it has, occasionally, been known to put her into rather sticky situations, for example, in the episode "See No Evil", Tessa's friend, Natalie, is attacked by serial killer Michael Tanovsky and Tessa uses herself as bait: "Nobody's watching over his next victim, Duncan... and she's going to die if you and I don't stop him."[4] Lineberger commented that "[in "See No Evil"], Tessa gets a taste for how Duncan's life must feel when she faces the killer."[21] She hits Tanovsky with her car, telling MacLeod "I thought ridding the world of evil would feel better than this."[4] Panzer comments that having Tessa stop the killer "...was kind of an unusual idea [in television in 1992], and this was the subject of a lot of meetings with [then-supervising producer] David Abramowitz, myself and the people from the various networks, domestic and foreign, who were involved."[32] Tessa has a reputation for speaking frankly and for refusing to tolerate any nonsense.[5] In "Innocent Man", when MacLeod refuses to take her where an evil Immortal is, she says, "I know why you don't want me there. You're afraid that what happened to Lucas [MacLeod's friend who has just been beheaded] could happen to you."[33] Tessa has no self-pity[34] and "...doesn't like euphemisms".[20] For example, in "For Tomorrow We Die", MacLeod calls her "contrary by nature"[30] Tessa parks her car without regard to interdictions,[35] can drive a speedboat,[26] is a poor chess player[36] and dislikes war.[3]

Employment and career[edit]

Tessa is a prominent professional artist. She organises exhibitions of her works[37] and sells a metallic sculpture to the City of Seacouver to adorn a park.[7] Tessa is often seen making art works and welding large pieces of metal together,[9] drawing[23] or using modelling clay.[22] She is also seen sketching people with whom she has problems.[12][23] Tessa believes that "...an artist should never grow complacent. Change is good,"[38] and fears the Paris art critics because "...they are the worst".[37]

Character concept and development[edit]

The second half of the first season was filmed in Paris

In the script of "The Gathering", Tessa is described as "...a beautiful, elegantly casual woman, artist, free spirit, and proprietor of the most unusual antique shop in the city."[39] The script of the episode "Saving Grace" says that she has grace and style.[40] Tessa is portrayed as a tall, thin woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. Because Highlander: The Series was an international co-production, the producers cast a French-speaking actor to play Tessa. Producer Gary Goodman explained that they wanted someone "...that would be appealing on a television screen... in the sense that you were comfortable with her accent and her character". They chose Belgian actress Alexandra Vandernoot because she "...was able to be exotic, pretty and not so unfamiliar to an American audience that she was accepted."[41]

Vandernoot recalled, "I think I was quite close to Tessa, she was very well written, very easy to play and I wish I was like that. I'm not sure I'd like that but... it's very nice, you know, to play a character with nice feelings and nice emotions."[17] Vandernoot had to adapt to the North American way of filming series and learn to work fast. She said that filming the series was "...exhausting but formative", and that filming in English was "challenging".[42] Vandernoot, who is a native French speaker, had a dialect coach.[43]

Vandernoot and Paul created a strong on-screen relationship between their characters. David Abramowitz, creative consultant from the second season onwards, said, "When I saw her and Adrian together, I thought that if I died, and there was a Mount Olympus, that the two of them would be standing together with thunderbolts around them. They were god-like. They were so beautiful and had such presence."[44] Paul said that he was "detached" from the fictional relationship between Tessa and MacLeod, but that "...it was a good relationship". Later, he said he "...was sad to see it go."[45]

Producer Barry Rosen said, "We were very lucky that [Vandernoot and Kirsch] were so human-grounded, so we could really play off of them and the way they looked at things that [Paul] went through. They were also able to get into real-life situations, romances, getting in trouble, jealousies and so on."[46] Although Vandernoot and Kirsch are three years apart in age (Vandernoot being the older of the two), on set Vandernoot treated Kirsch like a young boy, while Kirsch seemed to her like a younger brother because of his youthful appearance.[47]

Death[edit]

In 1993, Vandernoot wanted to leave the show because shooting Highlander was too demanding and required her to spend several months each year in Canada.[48] Vandernoot also wanted to spend more time with her family.[42] According to Abramowitz, a further, artistic, reason was that "...a small part of [Vandernoot] being a really strong actress wanted to play a more aggressive part in the show and sadly, the nature of the beast was that it couldn't happen and she made a decision."[49] Panzer said that creating interesting female characters in the Highlander franchise was often a challenge because the producers found it difficult to "...have the women be something other than a victim, a hostage, other things when [one is] dealing with an immortal hero."[50] Consequently, the creative staff needed to write Tessa out of the show but were restricted because of the character's strong relationship with MacLeod.[15] Associate Creative Consultant Gillian Horvath said that, "There was no way... to have a scene where she said, 'Okay, I'm going to go to Paris without you. Nice knowing you, MacLeod.'"[51] The writers decided that the only solution was for Tessa to die,[15] despite Abramowitz's feeling that her death was "...sad" and "...heartbreaking".[49]

Tessa's death occurs in the fourth episode of the second season; "The Darkness". The creative staff decided Tessa would die in a random carjacking incident. Tessa's death played no role in the episode's main storyline. It was not formulaic; the writers wanted to shock the audience.[45][51] Abramowitz said that "...it would have been easier to kill her off in the episode," but the writers "...wanted it to be a surprise and show how shocking [Tessa's death] was to [them]."[49] Horvath said that "...losing a loved one to a random act of violence isn't something that only happens to television action heroes or Immortals or people in another type of life, it happens in the real world too- totally unexpectedly, at a moment that makes no sense dramatically."[51] Tessa's death scene shows MacLeod kneeling next to Tessa and cuddling her, then Richie reviving and speaking with MacLeod.[52]

During the filming of the episode, however, no dialog was recorded. The final version of the episode shown in North America did not show Richie revive. The European version showed Richie reviving, but no dialog was present. This scene was later re-recorded in Paris in 1994 during the filming of the season finale "Counterfeit Part Two", this time including the dialog. However, this footage was not seen in the final version; the footage was eventually used in the season four episode "Leader of the Pack".[53]

Viewers' reception[edit]

"The Darkness" had the desired effect;[45] Lineberger wrote that "I was taken aback by the dark tone and emotional range generated by this episode. Highlander is a fantasy series, yet I cared about the characters as though I know them... Vandernoot gave Tessa such vitality and charm that her death left me reeling."[54] Abramowitz said that Tessa's death strongly angered many viewers,[49] and that "...people hated me for killing her."[55]

The audience became angrier still when in the following episode, "Eye For An Eye", MacLeod made love to Immortal Annie Devlin. Abramowitz explained the creative decision of his staff by saying that "...someone once told me that death was an aphrodisiac. It's a thing that pushes you to life and the greatest thing in life, that's 'seize life', is sex."[56] Lineberger wrote in his review of "Eye For An Eye", "This one caused an uproar— one I feel is justified. [Abramowitz] gave a defense (in my opinion a weak one) (...) I have a high tolerance for insensitive guy stuff, but this got to me. When Duncan rolled into Annie's arms, part of me smirked in appreciation of Duncan's magnetic charm. But the rest of me found his actions cruel to the viewers."[54] Abramowitz confirmed that "...the fans hated it. And the women wanted to string me up. I was a 'cad' and a 'card'..."[56] Paul also reported an angry reaction from the audience after the seventh episode, "The Return of Amanda", in which MacLeod sleeps with Amanda.[47]

Tessa's death was a turning point in Highlander: The Series. It marked the first time that a regular character died in the show; it would be followed by the deaths of Charlie DeSalvo and Richie Ryan. Horvath recalled that "...it changed the tone of the show. It made Highlander the show where you couldn't be positive that the characters were safe because they were in the credits."[51] Tessa's death also gave the show a pessimistic tone that influenced the remaining characters. Rosen explained that "...in the years that followed without her and with [Kirsch's character] becoming Immortal, (...) you had to play the show differently."[46] Lineberger said that "Richie and Duncan relate to each other differently from now on, and Duncan is bereft of much of his joy [and] moodier as well. Tessa is no longer around to lighten him."[54]

"Counterfeit"[edit]

A flashback in "For Evil's Sake" shows Tessa working on a Bateau Mouche like this one in Paris in 1980

Tessa remained extremely popular with the audience after her death, prompting the producers to develop the season two finale episode "Counterfeit" to bring her back.[57] According to Kirsch, Vandernoot did not realize her, or her character's, popularity before attending conventions.[43] Paul said that Vandernoot was surprised that her character had so much influence on the show and that her return was "...fun for her to do, especially to play a different character which was similar to Tessa but also had an evil intent to her."[58]

The "Counterfeit" story features the character Lisa undergoing plastic surgery to become Tessa's double. Lisa was played by Meilani Paul before the surgery and by Vandernoot after it. The producers wondered whether the story needed to explain the change in Lisa's voice, as she would be played by a different actor. They considered suggesting that her voice changed because of the surgery, then decided that Lisa would have voice training. After her operation, Lisa speaks with Vandernoot's voice when posing as Tessa, and with Meilani Paul's voice when the character was not acting. This was achieved using automated dialogue replacement during post-production.[59][60]

Adrian Paul said that Vandernoot portrayed Lisa as a smoker to mark her out as a different character from Tessa. Paul also said that his lovemaking scene with Vandernoot had to reflect the different relationship between MacLeod and Lisa from that between MacLeod and Tessa. According to Paul, Lisa was more like a temptress to MacLeod than was Tessa.[58] According to Panzer, the original script featured Horton sending Lisa to kill MacLeod on the latter's barge. After reading the draft script, Adrian Paul thought the idea of Lisa trying to kill MacLeod on Tessa's grave would have a more dramatic effect.[59]

Critical reception[edit]

Bill Panzer said that Tessa became popular with the program's audience.[50] Rob Lineberger called Tessa "...beautiful and spirited,"[21] and said that "...she is the perfect mortal foil for MacLeod's heavy concerns. She lightens and strengthens him."[21] Reviewer Abbie Bernstein of the Audio Video Revolution website wrote that Tessa was "...depicted not as a screechy, in-the-dark Lois Lane but rather as a woman who handles her lover’s supernatural aspects with remarkable pragmatism."[61] Berstein added that Tessa was "estimable"[62] and "...an unusually gutsy love interest (not to mention a refreshing sexually active heroine, as opposed to the coy 'sexual tension'-generating females who usually populate the genre)."[63] Other reviewers had a more negative opinion. Reviewer Gord Lacey of TVShowsOnDVD.com "...found it odd that everyone liked Tessa because [he] found her rather annoying."[64] Reviewer Doug Anderson of The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that Tessa was "...too arty and sympathetic to serve any purpose other than an emotional spur for the hero's vengeance."

Reviewer David M. Gutierrez, also of DVDVerdict.com, noted the "...strong on-screen chemistry between Tessa and MacLeod."[65] So did Lineberger: "One gets the feeling they have been together for years, though the series is fresh out of the box,"[21] and he added, "Together, they are a model couple. They have healthy banter, intense arguments, plenty of romance, and an easy comfort with each other."[21] Bernstein wrote; "Paul and Vandernoot are charming separately and together".[61] Joanne Ostrow of The Denver Post wrote that "Paul and Vandernoot don't look like typical American TV-style bimbos and hunks, and for good reason. They were cast to appeal internationally."[66]

Discussing Vandernoot's performance, Lineberger called her a "...gifted actor", saying that "...she has the poise, restraint, and grace to be both sensual and frustrated, accomplished yet vulnerable, mortal but aware of greater concerns."[21] John Goff of Variety noted that Vandernoot was "attractive"[67] and Anderson called her a "...Michelle Pfeiffer look-alike."[68]

Reviewing the episode "Counterfeit", Gutierrez wrote that "...despite the fact that the having an exact twin of Tessa's pop up is flatly ludicrous, it plays out due to MacLeod's desire to have Tessa back overriding his sense of reason. (...) Vandernoot likes the Tessa character quite a bit and gave me the impression she was sad to see her go," and that she "...looks like she enjoys playing the good/bad Lisa. Her triple performance as Tessa shows Vandernoot's range."[65] Kathie Huddleston of Scifi.com felt that "...a visit from Tessa in "Counterfeit", even an evil Tessa look-alike, is a welcome nod to a significant character from the first season, and it gave our boy Duncan a moment or two to reflect on his recent lost love."[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "The Gathering". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 1. Broadcast syndication., Bonus material, Article: "Tessa Noël", in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disk 1.
  2. ^ "The Darkness". Highlander: The Series. Season 2. Episode 4. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 2) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2003), disk 2.
  3. ^ a b c "Nowhere To Run". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 21. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 7.
  4. ^ a b c "See No Evil". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 11. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 4
  5. ^ a b c "For Evil's Sake". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 14. Broadcast syndication., Bonus material, Article: "1980, Paris, France", in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 5.
  6. ^ a b c d "Counterfeit Part Two". Highlander: The Series. Season 2. Episode 22. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 2) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2003), disk 7.
  7. ^ a b "Revenge is Sweet". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 10. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 4.
  8. ^ Name from "The Gathering". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 1. Syndication., Bonus Material, Article: "Richie Ryan", in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disk 1
  9. ^ a b c d e f "The Gathering". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 1. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disk 1.
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  14. ^ Episodes "To Be" and "Not To Be", in Highlander: The Series (season 6) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2005).
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  25. ^ Elizabeth Gracen, in Bernstein, Abbie (23 February 2005). "Highlander Worldwide Workshop: Adrian Paul and Elizabeth Gracen". Mania.com (Demand Media, Inc.). Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  26. ^ a b c "Saving Grace". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 17. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disk 6.
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  28. ^ Bonus material, Season 1 promo, in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 8.
  29. ^ "Turnabout". Highlander: The Series. Season 2. Episode 3. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 2) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2003), disk 1.
  30. ^ a b "For Tomorrow We Die". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 15. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 5.
  31. ^ "Counterfeit Part Two". Highlander: The Series. Season 2. Episode 22. Broadcast syndication., Final Shooting Script, p.1, in Highlander: The Series (season 2) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc., 2003), disk 8.
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  33. ^ "Innocent Man". Highlander: The Series. Season 1. Episode 4. Broadcast syndication., in Highlander: The Series (season 1) (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), disc 2.
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  42. ^ a b Destouches, Thomas (2005-11-02). "Alexandra Vandernoot parle de Carla Rubens". AlloCiné (in French). Retrieved 2008-10-24. "J'ai énormément appris sur Highlander, notamment à tourner vite. En plus on jouait en anglais donc c'était un challenge personnel. J'ai fait un peu plus de 30 épisodes et puis j'ai arrêté. Ça se tournait au Canada, pour la vie de famille ce n'était pas évident. J'en garde le souvenir d'un tournage éprouvant mais enrichissant." 
  43. ^ a b Stan Kirsch, in Highlander: Counterfeit, Bonus material, Audio commentary (DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2004).
  44. ^ David Abramowitz, in Russell, Maureen (1998). Highlander: The Complete Watcher's Guide. New York: Warner Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-446-67435-4. OCLC 38898097. 
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