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11 August 2007 @ 06:15 pm
Highlander Revisited  

Following the advice of trusted experts kathyh and selenak, I began my admittedly several years belated viewing of Highlander's season two right with 'The Watchers'. Episode 2x01, first DVD of the set. My first impression:



There's a pleasant 1990s flair about the whole thing which I had not expected. The set design, the clothes, the cars and also the series' theme song by Queen were like the proverbial blast from the past.

While the exposition, due to it's heavy recycling of older, Darius-related scenes, felt somewhat clunky, the introduction of watcher Joe Dawson, this episode's secret star, was handled superbly. Maybe this is just hindsight speaking, but I got the impression that this very first encounter between Joe and Duncan was like an overture to the theme of complex loyalties and instinctive personal trust which would later dominate their entire relationship.

I also was rather impressed by how natural Joe's disability was depicted, not as main characterizing feature, but rather as just one aspect among many. So I wonder whether the actor (Jim Byrnes, gorgeous and talented man, real life amputee, for those of you who don't know) might have had a say in this portrayal.

cavendish and I later pondered on whether today's TV shows with their apparent fixation on youth and physical perfection would ever make such an unusual but brilliant casting decision.

As for Horton: Cold-blooded and creepy, just as I had remembered him.

Oh, and I fear I rather enjoyed the sub-plot featuring Richie and Tessa despite its apparent silliness. One really would expect these guys to carry cell phones to be able to reach Duncan whenever they need to. After all, The X-Files, which even during their early years so heavily relied on cell phones as plot advancing gimmicks, began filming in the very same year.

 
 
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Selena: DuncanAmanda - Kathyhselenak on August 11th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
the introduction of watcher Joe Dawson, this episode's secret star, was handled superbly

That was my impression, too, though I saw The Watchers much later as well (I think during a repetition when I had already seen most of the rest of the show). I wonder whether first time, err, watchers doubted him, not knowing whether he was good or bad anymore than Duncan did?

I also was rather impressed by how natural Joe's disability was depicted, not as main characterizing feature, but rather as just one aspect among many. So I wonder whether the actor (Jim Byrnes, gorgeous and talented man, real life amputee, for those of you who don't know) might have had a say in this portrayal.

That was always one of my favourite things about Highlander; Joe was never "cast member whose character is about being disabled" but himself, who among many other things was a disabled man. Now I know Jim Byrnes played in Wiseguy before HL, and if they hired him based on that, they might have written the role specifically for him. Otoh, if Joe was written without Byrnes in mind, then Joe's disability was simply a product of the casting, which might also explain why from the get go it wasn't a focus point.

Cell phones: err, the X-Files had a better budget? *g*

Horton: was, I think, the best of the human (non-immortal) villains the show produced.

Cavendishcavendish on August 11th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
>There's a pleasant 1990s flair about the whole thing which I had not expected. The set design, the clothes, the cars and also the series' theme song by Queen were like the proverbial blast from the past.

Very much so; although the "blast from the past" feeling hit me more with things like "Shogun" or "Onedin Line". And it did not come as such a surprise, having seen most of the first season lately.

Anyhow Joe Dawson has always been on of my favorite Characters in the series.
Kathyh: Kathyh Joe lurkerkathyh on August 11th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
I also was rather impressed by how natural Joe's disability was depicted, not as main characterizing feature, but rather as just one aspect among many.

Yes, that was one of the many things that Highlander did so well. I think I'm right in saying that when an episode did make an issue of it much later on they asked Jim Byrnes if he was OK about it before they did it.

One really would expect these guys to carry cell phones to be able to reach Duncan whenever they need to.

I always used to think that about Buffy too, but they didn't admit the existence of cell phones until even later.