"LEGEND OF THE SEEKER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Craig Horner as RICHARD CYPHER
Bridget Regan as KAHLAN AMNELL
Bruce Spence as ZEDDICUS ZU’L ZORANDER
Craig Parker as DARKEN RAHL
Studio: ABC Studios
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Years after the success of the “Xena: Warrior Princess” franchise, Sam Raimi returns to fantasy series television with “The Legend of the Seeker.” In this epic tale of swords and sorcery, a man chosen as The Seeker (Craig Horner) joins with a mysterious woman named Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) and a has-been wizard named Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Bruce Spence) as the world’s only hope of defeating the demonic sorcerer Darken Rahl. The Seeker uses magic, the Sword of Truth and the dangerous but powerful Book of Counted Shadows to battle Rahl for the survival of his people.
WHAT I LIKED
It’s been a while since there has been a solid fantasy television show available. The last time I can remember this happening was with “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” It’s nice to see one come around that takes itself seriously and capitalizes on the new generation of special effects. (Of course, if you’re a fan of the earlier “Stargate” series, you got your fix of medieval characters, but now those series are off the air.)
The cast is a strong one. Craig Horner works as the Seeker, playing the role in an approachable way, but still being nice eye candy for the women in the audience. Likewise, on the other side of the gender fence, Bridget Regan is quite fetching as Kahlan, and she fits the role as a powerful woman character. Finally, if you have a thing for creepy old dudes, you might like the eye candy provided by Bruce Spence, though I doubt there’s much of a following for that.
For syndicated television, this series looks pretty sharp. It doesn’t seem as low rent as other shows have that were in production about ten years ago, and the stories have some nice adventure from week to week. And while there are some more mature themes happening in the show, it can be decent entertainment for a family audience with older kids.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest problem with a series like this is dealing with the cheese element. While “The Legend of the Seeker” insulates itself relatively well, this sort of thing does creep in at times. Also, seeing that the show is shot in New Zealand, it’s hard to escape the “Power Rangers” feel it has, which seems more prevalent than the “Lord of the Rings” feel they were going for.
The DVD set includes all the episodes from the first season, along with commentary tracks on selected episodes.
The final disc includes a slate of deleted scenes, plus two featurettes. “Forging the Sword: Crafting a Legend” takes a look at the show behind the scenes on the New Zealand set. “Words of Truth: A Conversation with Terry Goodkind” includes interviews with the author of the original series, who is seems to have stepped right out of the local Renaissance Festival, but is still cool for the fans to see.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of fantasy television series.