Highlander – The Raven
Sound: B- Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
After overdoing it with several Highlander feature
films, for which another has been greenlighted at the time of this posting, and
a TV series that seemed to go on forever with no point, the franchise owners
could not help themselves to try and find more ways to make money on the
not-so-evergreen franchise. Highlander
– The Raven (1999) is the failed, belated, unrelated spin-off that offers
the first female immortal lead with her own adventures.
Elizabeth Gracen is actually more pleasant and interesting
than expected, though her look on the show should have the producers sending
royalty checks to either Susan Powder or Annie Lennox. Once you get used to that, give or take running
out and buying the Eurythmics Greatest Hits DVD, the show very nearly
becomes bad TV so bad you have to watch.
Instead, it never realizes its potential in being freed form the
pretensions of being a direct part of the rest of the franchise. As Amanda Derieux, because those French
names always indicate secrets of sophisticated fighting and immortality, she
meets the usual police dork who has no life and might make it fun. Too bad she cannot save the show.
The episodes are as follows, with audio commentary track
denoted by an *:
5) So Shall
10) Passion Play
11) The Devil You Know*
12) A Matter Of Time
13) The French Connection
14) The Rogue
16) The Frame*
17) Love & Death
18) Thick As Thieves
19) The Manipulator
20) The Ex-Files
21) War & Peace
22) Dead On Arrival*
I will not say the show lives up to its last episode’s
title from the outset, but overall, this is the show that is the biggest missed
opportunity of all the entire Highlander franchise. If more care was taken, this could have been
the most important work since Sean Connery himself was landed for the initial
feature films. Gracen could still surface
somewhere else and be a big hit, which would show just how much of a mistaken
miss the producers of this show turned up.
Maybe next time.
The letterboxed 16 X 9 image is a disappointment, not only
for not being anamorphically enhanced, but also because of the haziness that
makes it look like it was shot on video.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds is the other
highlight of the set, sounding good and outdoing the picture. Extras include interview featurette on the
first 8 DVDs, photo gallery on DVD 1, bloopers on DVD 8 and an all DVD-ROM in
DVD 9, including scripts you can print out, trivia, biography information,
production notes and storyboards. If
you like the show, you’ll get more than the episodes.
- Nicholas Sheffo