Nate's DVD Collection ~ Highlander: The Raven
In the later half of the 90's, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and La Femme Nikita were becoming money in the bank as strong female leads were being demanded. Adrian Paul, of Highlander wanted to branch away from a show about immortal beings who live in the modern world and are cataloged by a group of mortals.
And thus many episodes of season 6 were being used to test screen several different actresses for the role of the female lead in the new spin off of Highlander.
Finally the writer's remembered that they had a perfectly good female lead that had been a recurring character for the last five years and was a favorite among fans of the series the world over. And thus, Elizabeth Gracen reprised the role of Amanda Deriux, the immortal thief.
Joined by ex-cop Nick Wolfe, played by Paul Johansson, Amanda takes us through 22 episodes of sword fights, period flashbacks, and the trademark Quickenings. Alas there is one season of the Raven as creative differences among the crew and other off screen conflicts caused the series to crash and burn in the end.
Interestingly enough the pilot episode is titled “Reborn” whereas the final episode is titled, “Dead on Arrival.”
Patricia Gage, Hannes Jaenicke and Robert Cavanah costar.
Jim Byrnes reprises the role of Watcher Joe Dawson
Many guest stars who appeared on the show have gone on to bigger and better things, including Stephen Moyer of True Blood.
Disc 1: Audio/Video Commentary By Elizabeth Gracen and Don Paonessa
Disc 4: Audio/Video Commentary By Paul Johansson and Don Paonessa
Disc 6: Audio/Video Commentary By Elizabeth Gracen and Don Paonessa
Disc 8: Audio/Video Commentary By Paul Johansson, Don Paonessa, Elizabeth Gracen and George Mendeluk
Disc 9: CD Rom includes Scripts, Bios, Triva, Production Notes, and Story Boards.
Discs 1 through 8 also contain an eight part interview with the cast and crew.
What I Like About It
I still remember one afternoon before lunch, sitting in the student lounge at college and flipping through channels when I came across the last half of The Manipulator, having no real prior knowledge of Highlander, the movie or the series staring Adrian Paul. My introduction to Amanda Montrose was a sword fight and a Quickening. I was hooked from that moment.
It wasn't until a few years back when I finally added The Raven to my DVD collection that I got to watch this series in it's entirety. I've come to love the characters of Amanda and Nick. And now that I've watched the original series in it's entirety I get to play “Spot the Stock Footage”, or “Spot the Actor from Adrian Paul's Series”.
The Bloopers reel was very funny and it shows us how even though Gracen and Johansson had their difficulties off camera, they were still professional on screen.
What I Don't Like About It
The Interview featurette is basically six hours of Bill Panzer telling us why The Raven was so bad. It's like, “You dupes actually bought this. Now while I'm rolling in cash I'll tell you how stupid you were to spend it on us.”
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Should You Buy This DVD?
If you just want to check it out you may want to go to Netflix first. If you're a Highlander fan or you're shopping for someone who is into Highlander, or just enjoys sword fights and martial arts sessions this is a great gift.
Can My Kids Watch This?
Sword fights, guns firing, vehicles exploding. Pretty much a lot of modern day violence and the occasional beheading may not be appropriate for younger audiences. There are also scenes of implied nudity and sensuality.
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