Highlander: The Series – The Gathering

by Alan Rapp on March 19, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Highlander – The Gathering
  • wiki: link

“Damn you! Damn your Gathering! Damn your whole race!”

Highlander: The Series - The Gathering television review

Today’s Throwback Tuesday post takes us back to a man born in the Highlands of Scotland more than 400 years ago and a murderous game between sword-wielding immortals where there can be only one. A spin-off of the Highlander movie series, Highlander: The Series focuses on the adventures of Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul), the younger clansman of Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). “The Gathering” sets up the basic formula for the show’s First Season introducing Duncan, his girlfriend Tessa (Alexandra Vandernoot), and a young thief (Stan Kirsch) whose role will greatly expand over time. The show’s pilot episode also features Richard Moll as the evil immortal of the week, who targets not only Duncan but Tessa as well, and features Lambert in a guest-role passing the torch to Paul.

Season One has its growing pains, but “The Gathering” is a solid opening to the series which is easily more successful than the diminishing returns of the film series. As will become the custom of the show, the episode features flashacks to Duncan’s past including his time with Native Americans in the Old West as well as covering the basics on the rules of “the game” between the immortals (both for Tessa’s benefit and for the audience) where the sword-weilding warriors can only die by having their heads removed from their body allowing their killer to assume their power through the Quickening (an excuse to shoot lighting bolts and explosions off every episode).

Slan (Moll) is a pretty forgettable villain of the week who threatens Tessa’s life in an attempt to get under Duncan’s skin. More important is the sole appearance of Lambert on the show to reset the convoluted movie chronology back to something similar to the first film. Through the flashbacks we learn Duncan has attempted to leave “the game” on multiple occasions only to be pulled back into the fight by other immortals. Vandernoot steals a few moments here in Tessa’s missed feelings towards the dangers of Duncan’s world, aging without him, and yet being unable to leave him. Although she’ll ultimately meet a tragic end that will allow Duncan more freedom on the show, Paul and Vandernoot work well on-screen together and help cement this relationship which is core to the show’s First Season.

Previous post:

Next post: