History Files

HIGHLANDER:
THE SERIES

 

Filmed almost entirely in Vancouver (which doubled as the United States) and Paris, the small-screen spin-off of Russell Mulchahy's monster movie was a curious cocktail. Leading man Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod was striking - a handsome, imposing figure from an undetermined cultural background, complete with a mixed accent that contained elements of American, English and Irish - and he seemed the perfect actor to portray an Immortal. Born in 1959 and raised in Britain, Paul travelled around Europe as a dancer and model for six years before moving to Los Angeles, and he had a regular role in Season Two of War of the Worlds. His associates, however, betrayed the series' financial backers.

The appearance in the first episode of Conner MacLeod, with Christopher Lambert slipping effortlessly back into the role, was a bonus that helped kick things off. He turns up to help out Duncan, who is a fellow Highlander; "same clan, different vintage," as Conner points out. Duncan was born to the Clan MacLeod some fifty years after Conner's time, and remembered the stories from his grandfather of the young man who was mortally wounded in battle only to return to full health. Conner found and helped Duncan discover his full potential in much the same way as Ramirez helped Conner. In the second series, to introduce more variety into the formula, semi-regulars Joe Dawson and Charlie DeSalvo were introduced. Dawson was one of the Watchers of the Season Two opening episode, and provided help and information when needed.

The stories were fairly routine for the most part, with only occasional high points, and quite often the actors themselves (Adrian Paul could often be included here), delivered wooden or hammy performances, but Paul produced a likeable character which the audience could warm to. The programme found a niche for itself, but the only recognisable names from the film version, apart from Christopher Lambert's usually charismatic appearance in the first episode, were those of Gregory Widen, the original Highlander writer, and Peter S Davis and William Panzer, who masterminded the production of the first film.

In Britain, the video release of the first half dozen episodes predated the premier satellite screening by two months, as the vagaries of an increasingly broadening multimedia market made programme purchase ever more uncertain. The programme finally made it to terrestrial tv on Monday 3rd September 1996, but, denied a network screening, it was placed at 11.40pm on Carlton alone. It’s appearances have been patchy ever since.

 


REGULAR CAST

Duncan MacLeod Adrian Paul
Tessa Noël Alexandra Vandernoot (Seasons 1-2)
Richie Ryan
Stan Kirsch (Seasons 1-4)
Joe Dawson
Jim Byrnes (Season 2 Onwards)
Charlie DeSalvo
Philip Akin (Seasons 2-3 US Only)
Moris
Michel Modo (Seasons 2-3 Paris Only)
Dr Ann Lindsey
Lisa Howard (Season 3 Only)

 


Based on the Character Created by: Gregory Widen
Executive Producers: Peter S Davis,
  William
Panzer, Christian Charret
 
and Marla Ginsberg
Co-Executive Producers: Steven Maier,
  Sheryl
Hardy and Guy Collins
 
(All Season 1 Only), Nicolas Clermont
 
(Season 2 On)
Producers: Gary Goodman and Barry 
  Rosen
(Season 1), Ken Gord (Season 2
  On)
Supervising Producers: Kevin Droney
 
and Philip John Taylor (Eps 1-11),
  David Abramowitz (Ep 12 On)
Associate Producer (Season 2 On): Marc
  du
Pontavice (Season 2-3), David Tynan
 
(Season 4)
Creative Consultant (Season 2 On):
  David Abramowitz
Theme Music: Queen
Incidental Music: Roger Bellon

All details are trademarked and copyrighted by their respective producers. All character and location names are also copyright. No infringement of any copyright is intended.
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