Highlander: The Series (season 1)
|Highlander: The Series (season 1)|
DVD box set
|Country of origin||Multi-national co-production|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||October 3, 1992 – May 22, 1993|
The first season of the international fantasy series Highlander: The Series, part of the Highlander franchise, consisted of 22 episodes produced between 1992 and 1993, and began airing on October 3, 1992 in broadcast syndication. Highlander: The Series follows the adventures of Duncan MacLeod, a 400-year-old Immortal who can only die if he is beheaded; conflict inevitably finds him because he is part of the Game, an ongoing battle in which all Immortals have to fight and behead each other until only one is left. The season was released on DVD as a nine-disc boxed set on November 12, 2002 by Anchor Bay Entertainment. It is also available at the online video on demand service Hulu, a joint venture between NBC and Fox Broadcasting Company.
The French leading production company Gaumont Television bought the rights to the series to have it produced in syndication in America with a local crew, a ground-breaking move at the time. Highlander marked the first time a French production company was creatively involved in a show intended for the American market. The show was co-produced in syndication by international partners including Gaumont, RTL Plus (Germany), Rysher Distribution (United States), Reteitalia Productions (Italy), Amuse Video (Japan) and TF1 (France). The budget of the first season was US$26.1 million. Keith Samples, president of Rysher, stated that "about 75% of the guaranteed budget came from overseas sales." The remaining 25% came from United States sales and the producers retained the distribution rights, which allowed the show to produce $800,000 per episode only from international income, believed to be the top result of the 1992-1993 season. To secure an adequate share of European content, and as a result of the co-production agreement, each season was divided into two segments, the first segment was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (posing at the fictional location of Seacouver, Washington, United States), the second in Paris, France. The production of the first segment began in Vancouver on 13 July 1992, while the production of the second segment started in December 1992 in Paris and used the studios of French state production agency Société Française de Production (SFP) at Bry-sur-Marne near Paris.
The executive producers were Bill Panzer, Peter S. Davis, Gaumont Television president Christian Charret and Gaumont co-production chief Marla Ginsburg. Steven Maier, Sheryl Hardy and Guy Collins were co-executive producers. Kevin Droney and Philip John Taylor were supervising producers at the beginning of the season; from the seventh episode onwards, David Abramowitz became supervising producer instead of Taylor. The producers were Barry Rosen and Gary Goodman. Executives in charge of production were Marc du Pontavice and Denis Leroy. Scripts were contributed by both staff and freelance writers, Brian Clemens among the latter. Brent-Carl Clackson was line producer on the Vancouver segment, from episode one to thirteen. When production moved to Paris, Clackson was succeeded by Patrick Millet (with the title of production manager) for episodes fourteen to twenty-two. The regular directors were Thomas J. Wright, Jorge Montesi and Ray Austin. The fencing coach was Bob Anderson, who coined for himself the title of Master of Swords. Anderson choreographed the fights on the Vancouver segment then was succeeded by Peter Diamond, credited as second unit director and stunt coordinator on the Paris segment. The opening theme was "Princes of the Universe" from the 1986 album A Kind of Magic by Queen; incidental music was composed by Roger Bellon.
Three roles had star billing: Adrian Paul played Duncan MacLeod, Alexandra Vandernoot acted as MacLeod's French lover Tessa Noël, a mortal artist and sculptor, and Stan Kirsch portrayed young, quick-talking petty thief Richie Ryan. Amanda Wyss, who played ambitious and inquisitive journalist Randi McFarland, was only credited in the six episodes she appeared in.[note 1] The first episode, "The Gathering", features a guest appearance of Christopher Lambert, reprising his role as Connor MacLeod from the Highlander movies. Several recurring characters were also introduced this season, including Werner Stocker as Immortal monk Darius, Roland Gift as hedonistic killer Xavier St. Cloud, Elizabeth Gracen as international thief Amanda, Roger Daltrey as Immortal Hugh Fitzcairn and Peter Hudson as James Horton, the leader of the Hunters, a group of mortals who believe that Immortals must be eliminated.
The pilot episode "The Gathering" achieved a 3.4/7 rating, meaning that 3.4 percent of viewers aged 18 to 49 as well as 7 percent of all viewers watching television at the time saw the episode. The Hollywood Reporter qualified this as a "solid performance" and Samples commented that it "more than met the company's expectations." Samples also estimated that "the first season averaged a healthy 4 rating in domestic syndication and was strong in both men and women demos 18–49," while Charret felt the first season did "quite well." Rick Sanchez of IGN wrote that season one was "all about finding the show's footing" and "was pretty squarely mired in the movies that had come before and in the formula for making a weekly action series." It has been released on DVD in Region 1 on November 12, 2002 by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and in Region 2 on December 7, 2004.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.
|1||1||"The Gathering"||Thomas J. Wright||Dan Gordon||October 3, 1992||92102-1|
|Richie Ryan breaks into Duncan MacLeod and Tessa Noel's antique store, but his robbery is interrupted by the dramatic entrance of Immortals Slan Quince (Richard Moll) and Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). Witnessing them, Tessa realizes to her dismay that Duncan can be challenged and beheaded at any time. Duncan, knowing that he cannot flee the Game, expects her to leave him for her own safety. After Duncan saves Tessa from Quince, Connor fights Quince on a bridge, but falls over the railing. Duncan beheads Quince and leaves the town. Connor advises Duncan to "watch" Richie, and tells Tessa where Duncan is. Accepting the danger, Tessa reunites with Duncan.|
|2||2||"Innocent Man"||Jorge Montesi||Dan Gordon||October 10, 1992||92103-4|
|Immortal Lucas Desiree (Victor A. Young), an old friend of MacLeod, is beheaded by Sheriff Howard Crowley (John Novak), who frames homeless Vietnam war veteran Leo Atkins (Vincent Schiavelli) for the crime. When MacLeod comes to town to investigate the death, he realizes Leo is innocent and, with Richie's help, saves Leo from being lynched by the townspeople. MacLeod then fights and beheads Crowley.|
|3||3||"The Road Not Taken"||Thomas J. Wright||Terry Nelson||October 17, 1992||92108-3|
|Richie's friend Gary dies in a bank robbery. When MacLeod and Richie see his body at the hospital, they notice strange marks on Gary's forehead. MacLeod remembers those marks are an after-effect of the potion made by his immortal friend Kiem Sun (Soon-Tek Oh), which gives people enormous strength and makes them ignore pain. Kiem Sun tells MacLeod his potion has been stolen by his student Chou Lin (Dustin Nguyen). MacLeod finds Chou Lin and destroys the potion, which makes Kiem Sun so angry that he fights MacLeod. MacLeod defeats him and spares him.|
|4||4||"Bad Day in Building A"||Jorge Montesi||Kevin Droney||October 24, 1992||92107-6|
|MacLeod, Tessa and Richie are taken hostage in a court building by assassin Bryan Slade (Andrew Divoff). Duncan is knocked out. Slade kills MacLeod to blackmail the SWAT commando outside into giving them a helicopter to flee. While Tessa does her best to keep the hostages alive and Randi McFarland reports the event live outside, MacLeod revives and subdues Slade's men one by one. MacLeod finally kills Slade.|
|5||5||"Free Fall"||Thomas J. Wright||Philip John Taylor||October 31, 1992||92101-5|
|Immortal Felicia Martins (Joan Jett) is pursued by Immortal Devereux (Eli Gabay), whose wife and baby she had killed a century ago. In the present, she seduces Richie to obtain shelter and fencing lessons from MacLeod, pretending she is a young, newborn Immortal. Devereux finds Martins and she beheads him. Meanwhile, MacLeod discovers that a Coronelli map Martins has faked is two hundred years old. MacLeod fights Martins and spares her life.|
|6||6||"Deadly Medicine"||Ray Austin||Robert L. McCullough||November 7, 1992||92111-8|
|MacLeod is hit by a car and brought to the hospital. When Dr. Wilder (Joe Pantoliano) realizes that MacLeod walked out by himself, he captures him and locks him in his basement to find out why. MacLeod escapes but is so confused by the drugs Wilder gave him that he cannot remember the location of Wilder's house. Wilder kidnaps Randi McFarland, who was investigating MacLeod's disappearance. With Tessa's help, MacLeod finds Wilder's place and saves Randi. Wilder accidentally sets fire to his basement while fighting MacLeod and dies.|
|7||7||"Mountain Men"||Thomas J. Wright||Marie-Chantal Droney||November 14, 1992||92110-7|
|While photographing old petroglyphs in the mountains, Tessa is abducted by mountain men led by Immortal Caleb Cole (Marc Singer), who wants to marry her. MacLeod pursues them but must throw himself into a crevasse to escape Cole's henchmen. They bring MacLeod's sword back to their camp and Cole realizes MacLeod is Immortal when he sees it. Tessa instigates infighting among the kidnappers, buying MacLeod time to find her. MacLeod then fights and beheads Cole.|
|8||8||"Revenge is Sweet"||Ray Austin||Loraine Despres||November 21, 1992||92109-10|
|In 1988 (New Year's Eve to 1989), Immortal Walter Reinhardt (Christoph M. Ohrt) disappeared after losing a fight against MacLeod. In the present, Reinhardt's former lover Rebecca (Vanity) recognizes Reinhardt's sword in MacLeod's antique shop and begins stalking MacLeod. Reinhardt, who is still alive, manipulates Rebecca in order to make her believe that MacLeod has killed him, and kidnaps Richie to draw MacLeod into a fight. MacLeod beheads Reinhardt.|
|9||9||"The Sea Witch"||Thomas J. Wright||David Tynan||December 5, 1992||92112-9|
|A meeting between Richie's friend Nikki (Johannah Newmarch), her boyfriend and two drug dealers ends in a shooting and Nikki secretly keeps both the drugs and the money. MacLeod foils several attempts by the dealers to retrieve the stolen goods and discovers that their leader is Immortal Alexei Voshin (Stephen Macht), who had betrayed MacLeod in 1938. When Voshin discovers that MacLeod has destroyed the drug and protects Nikki, he challenges him. MacLeod fights Voshin, who is beheaded by his ship's propeller.|
|10||10||"Eyewitness"||Ray Austin||David Tynan||December 12, 1992||92115-12|
|Tessa witnesses the murder of artist Anne Wheeler (Diana Barrington) but police refuse to investigate because they found no body. Investigating the murder on their own, Tessa and MacLeod are targeted by the murderer, who MacLeod realizes is Immortal. Later, police discover Wheeler's body and put Tessa under protection, but a bomb is planted at the safe house and MacLeod saves Tessa from the explosion. MacLeod discovers that the murderer is Chief of Police Andrew Ballin (Tom Butler) fights him and beheads him.|
|11||11||"Family Tree"||Jorge Montesi||Kevin Droney||December 19, 1992||92106-2|
|Richie, now living with MacLeod and Tessa, tries to find his parents. MacLeod remembers that he was banished from his village in 1622 after suffering a deadly battle wound and awakening as an Immortal; his father had told him he was an orphan. Con man Joe Scanlon (J.E. Freeman) tells Richie he is his father. Richie half believes it and develops a close relationship with Scanlon until Scanlon steals a priceless pre-Columbian mask to repay his gambling debts. After MacLeod saves Scanlon and retrieves the mask, Richie helps Scanlon to disappear.|
|12||12||"See No Evil"||Thomas J. Wright||Brian Clemens||February 6, 1993||92114-11|
|Tessa's friend Natalie (Moira Walley-Beckett) is attacked by serial killer "the Scalper" (Dee McCafferty). MacLeod realizes the Scalper is imitating Immortal Marcus Korolus (J. G. Hertzler), who used to kill blonde women in 1925 until MacLeod beheaded him. MacLeod is the only one apart from the Scalper to know that Korolus used the Orpheum Theater as a base. MacLeod sets up a trap in which Tessa acts as a bait, but the Scalper foils their plan by attacking another woman. Tessa hits him with MacLeod's Thunderbird to stop him.|
|13||13||"Band of Brothers"||René Manzor||Marie-Chantal Droney||February 13, 1993||92118-13|
|Immortal Grayson (James Horan) is killing the protegees of his former teacher Darius (Werner Stocker) to make him leave Holy Ground and fight him. Darius asks MacLeod to protect his mortal student Victor Paulus (Earl Pastko) from Grayson, so MacLeod saves Paulus' life twice and meets Grayson. Realizing Grayson will not give up, MacLeod fights and beheads him. MacLeod then joins Tessa and Richie in Paris and they settle on a barge near Notre Dame.|
|14||14||"For Evil's Sake"||Ray Austin||David Abramowitz and Fabrice Ziolkowski||February 20, 1993||92117-14|
|Immortal Kuyler (Peter Howitt) makes his victims laugh so that they drop their guard and he can kill them. MacLeod, having seen Kuyler kill Baron Deschields in 1783, recognizes Kuyler's modus operandi when an old man is killed in a nearby café. MacLeod remembers how Kuyler caught him without his sword in 1980, resulting in MacLeod fleeing on a Bateau Mouche and meeting Tessa for the first time. MacLeod, knowing Kuyler's taste for absinthe, tracks him down, then fights and beheads him.|
|15||15||"For Tomorrow We Die"||Robin Davis||Philip John Taylor||February 27, 1993||92116-15|
|Immortal Xavier St. Cloud (Roland Gift) robs a jewelry using poison gas then confesses it to Darius to provoke him. Darius refuses to violate the privacy of the confession for Inspector LeBrun (Hugues Leforestier) and does not tell him about Xavier. When LeBrun mentions the gas, MacLeod remembers Xavier. In the meantime, Xavier lends an African sculpture to the exhibition Tessa is organizing and plants a bomb inside. During the opening party of the exhibition, MacLeod realizes where the sculpture comes from, discovers the bomb and disarms it. MacLeod then fights Xavier and severs his left hand, but Xavier escapes.|
|16||16||"The Beast Below"||Daniel Vigne||Marie-Chantal Droney||March 6, 1993||92123-16|
|Ursa (Christian Van Acker), a mentally deficient Immortal living under the Opera de Paris, loves singer Carolyn Lamb (Dee Dee Bridgewater); taking advantage of this, Carolyn makes Ursa kidnap backing vocalist Jenny (Fay Masterson) out of jealousy of her talent. MacLeod sets out in the catacombs of Paris, finds Ursa's hiding place, and frees Jenny. After MacLeod discovers that Ursa was manipulated by Carolyn, Carolyn provokes Ursa by telling him that MacLeod tried to kill her. Furious, Ursa fights MacLeod on the roof of the Opera, falls over the edge and dies. When Carolyn sees Ursa revive, she flees in terror and is hit by a car.|
|17||17||"Saving Grace"||Ray Austin||Elizabeth Baxter and Martin Broussellet||March 13, 1993||92120-17|
|Grace Chandel (Julia Stemberger) has been stalked by fellow Immortal Carlo Sendaro (Georges Corraface) ever since she left him decades ago. MacLeod, who had a romantic relationship with Grace in 1660, protects her; while Tessa is jealous of Grace at first, she soon befriends her. Sendaro refuses to accept that Grace does not love him anymore and kidnaps her. MacLeod frees Grace and fights Sendaro in the Paris Métro, where Sendaro is beheaded by a train.|
|18||18||"The Lady and the Tiger"||Robin Davis||Philip John Taylor||April 24, 1993||92121-18|
|Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) brings MacLeod to fellow Immortal Zachary Blaine (Jason Isaacs) in exchange for her life. Blaine attacks MacLeod but their fight is interrupted, so Blaine threatens to take Amanda's head instead. Amanda dissuades him by telling him of a priceless manuscript and offering him to assist her in stealing it. Meanwhile, MacLeod realizes Amanda and Blaine know each other, follows them and foils their robbery attempt. Blaine fights MacLeod but is beheaded by Amanda.|
|19||19||"Avenging Angel"||Paolo Barzman||Fabrice Ziolkowski||May 1, 1993||92122-20|
|Alfred Cahill (Martin Kemp) is stabbed by a prostitute, dies and awakes Immortal. Made insane by the shock of becoming Immortal, Cahill believes he has become God's avenging angel and starts killing prostitutes and people around them, including a client and the pimp of Tessa's friend Elaine Trent (Sandra Nelson). After Cahill threatens Tessa, MacLeod fights and beheads him.|
|20||20||"Eye of the Beholder"||Dennis Berry||Christian Bouveron and Lawrence Shore||May 8, 1993||92124-19|
|Immortal Gabriel Piton (Nigel Terry) kills his lover Cynthia (Rachel Palmieri) and replaces her with top model Myia (Katia Douvalian). Richie meets Myia in a cafe and falls in love with her. Richie is jealous of Piton and, after hearing about Cynthia's death, suspects that Piton killed her and investigates Piton's flat. Interrupted by Piton, Richie escapes, but Piton is suspicious and sends Richie to prison in retaliation. MacLeod decides to intervene and finds Piton about to kill Myia. MacLeod fights Piton and beheads him.|
|21||21||"Nowhere to Run"||Dennis Berry||David Abramowitz||May 8, 1993||92125-21|
|Mark Rothwood (Jason Riddington) rapes Lori Bellian (Marion Cotillard) while MacLeod, Tessa and Richie are visiting Mark's father Alan (Anthony Head). Lori's father, Immortal Everett Bellian (Peter Guinness) learns of the rape and reacts by besieging Rothwood's chateau with his mercenaries. MacLeod leads the defense of the chateau and foils their attack, but when Alan Rothwood goes out with his son to talk to Bellian, he is shot by one of Bellian's men. MacLeod fights Bellian, but they are interrupted by Mark, who is killed by Lori.|
|22||22||"The Hunters"||Paolo Barzman||Kevin Droney||May 22, 1993||92126-22|
|MacLeod and his friend, Immortal Hugh Fitzcairn (Roger Daltrey), find Darius beheaded in his chapel. They investigate his death, but the murderers kidnap Fitzcairn. MacLeod discovers that they are mortals called the Hunters and that they have a particular tattoo on their wrists. MacLeod finds a dilapidated old book in Darius' rectory and narrowly escapes capture, before following a Hunter to their headquarters. Their leader, James Horton (Peter Hudson), is about to guillotine Fitzcairn and manages to escape during the ensuing fight. MacLeod frees Fitzcairn and together with Tessa and Richie they disperse Darius' ashes in the Seine River.|
|Highlander: The Series Season One|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2|
|November 12, 2002||December 7, 2004|
- Wyss was also credited in the eighteenth episode, "The Lady and the Tiger", although she did not appear in it.
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