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Highlander: The Raven (July 18/05)

Following the success of Highlander: The Series, the producers tried something a little bit different and emerged with Highlander: The Raven in 1998. Instead of exclusively following the exploits of an Immortal - as was the case with Highlander: The Series - this new show revolved around the unlikely teaming of a grizzled ex-cop and an Immortal. The series didn't last more than one season, and the future seemed grim - until Anchor Bay Entertainment stepped in and released the entire show in one big box set.

Paul Johansson stars as Nick Wolfe, a dedicated detective who is - along with with his partner, Claudia Hoffman (Torri Higginson) - investigating a series of high-profile burglaries. As it turns out, an Immortal named Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) is behind the robberies - though Nick, of course, doesn't realize that she's barely human. He learns the hard way, though, when both Amanda and his partner take a bullet - but only Amanda survives. As a result of the shooting, Nick leaves the force in a huff and quickly becomes a down-on-his-luck alcoholic. Eventually, Nick and Amanda team up in an effort to stop rogue Immortals and the remainder of the series follows their adventures together.

It's not terribly difficult to see why Highlander: The Raven never took off; the show essentially abandons the sort of elements that made the previous series and all the movies so successful, choosing instead to take a less conventional route. And while all these episodes are entertaining enough, fans hoping for another by-the-book Highlander spin-off will surely be disappointed.

Still, Gracen and Johansson are effective in their roles, while a mid-season appearance from Jim Byrnes' Watcher certainly invigorates the proceedings. And then there's the bizarre finale, which raises far more questions than it answers and leaves the door wide open for a possible reunion movie...

 

About the DVD: Anchor Bay Entertainment and Davis-Panzer Productions present all 22 episodes of Highlander: The Raven with crisp letterboxed transfers. As expected, there are many bonus features to be found in this nine-disc set - including commentary tracks (on four episodes), a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary (where we learn, among other things, that Johansson and Gracen actually hated each other!), and much, much more.