I purchased this season set from the official Highlander site about a year ago. I paid MUCH MORE than Amazon is offering it for...but at the time there was no other way to get it.
This first season set contains what is commonly thought of by Highlander fans as the weakest set of episodes of any of the seasons. However, it does contain a few gems - "The Gathering" co-stars Christopher Lambert as "Connor MacLeod" in the only pairing of Duncan and Connor in the series run (until Highlander 4, of course). "For Tomorrow We Die" was another great episode with the first appearance of Xavier St. Cloud (Fine Young Cannibals' Roland Gift) and the season ending "The Hunters" (which introduced the watchers to the Highlander Universe).
The transfer is quite good - easily better than the VHS version and therefore the best you are going to get. Watchers' files are included on the discs which give you information on the immortals in each episode - kind of neat, but unless you have a very large TV, you may find it hard to read. The Highlander blooper reel and the behind the scenes initial promo video are also included with this set. There is also a feature that allows you to go directly to the quickening (if there was one) in an episode.
Also included was a CD-Rom of the entire first season's scripts.
As a completist, I would've gotten this season anyway, but I find that although there are some weak episodes here, most series start out this way (Star Trek The Next Generation) but get better as they progress. I am truly looking forward to seasons 2 and 3 and am hoping that they will be forthcoming sooner rather than later.
Well - maybe not that simple.
Highlander (also known as Highlander: The Series) began its television life in 1992. Ladies' man Adrian Paul (once considered for the role of James Bond) played 400-year-old Duncan MacLeod, part of a race of Immortals who lurk in society's shadows. You cannot kill them, and they will live forever - unless, of course, you grab your trusty sword and decapitate them.
The first season of Highlander was all about grabbing an audience, and allowing the show to find its footing. The show got off to a reasonable start with its premiere episode, "The Gathering" (which featured Christopher Lambert, star of the film series). Eventually, the show began to evolve from an oddball sci-fi actioner to a sci-fi/action drama with brains. One of the best things about the first season of the show is watching its evolution, which is wonderfully apparent throughout the 22 episodes. [7/10]
Anchor Bay is my favorite DVD manufacturer. Never before have I come across a bad A.B. DVD, and Highlander is, happily, not the first. The video isn't excellent - there is some grain around here, and the first episode is very dark - but its enough to make anyone happy. [7/10]
Anchor Bay has done a great job with the audio. It sounds great in surround speakers (Queen rocks better than ever, man!).
During the Quickenings, the effect of the scene is heightened by the booming surround. The 5.1 mix is great; my only complaint is that quite often Roger Bellon's score goes way above the speaking of the characters, which can become annoying.
As always, Anchor Bay meets my expectations. There is Watcher Chronicles for the true Immie fan (although the Watchers didn't actually feature in the show until the second season), as well as a feature that allows you to go straight to the Quickening in each episode. The final disc also includes an enjoyable Blooper Reel as well as scripts for all 22 episodes and a series promo. [9/10]
All in all, Highlander: The Series gets off to a great start on DVD thanks to Anchor Bay. Any Highlander fan will be completely satisfied. Great job, Anchor Bay!
THE SERIES: [7/10] Fine start to an outstanding show.
THE VIDEO: [7/10] Nice job. Some grain, but nothing too bothersome.
THE AUDIO: [8/10] Occasional unbalance, but a great 5.1 mix nonetheless.
THE EXTRAS: [9/10] Enough to satisfy the Immortal inside anyone and everyone!
OVERALL SCORE: [8/10] Highlander: The Series rocked 12 years ago, and now - thanks to Anchor Bay - it rocks again.
- Thomas Benton
There's 3 episodes per disk, except for the eighth disk, which has one episode, a blooper reel, and a behind the scenes featurette. The ninth disk is reserved for the scripts of each episode, which is a nice touch. I did wonder why they chose 3 episodes per disk, it's an unusual number, and they could have put four or five on a disk. I can only guess that they wanted a large number of disks to make it look impressive.
Each disk is pretty simple; there's no fancy introduction, just the Highlander logo with a still from each of the three episodes below it. A lightning bolt lets you select the episode, which takes you to the menu. The menu is a little confusing, but it gives you more shots from the episode so you can determine if you've seen it, or if you want to see it. One thing that's nice is the Watcher Chronicles. Even though there was little mention of the Watcher's in this season, there's a special screen detailing Watcher information, like the immortals and mortals involved in each episode, swords used, etc etc. It's kind of useful.
Another nice thing in the episode menu is the large Q that allows you to skip directly to the Quickening sequence, if there is one in that episode. This is great if you want to watch the fight scenes, or if you want to know when to look away if they make you squeamish.
There aren't a large amount of special features, but for the price and the number of disks it's a good deal. It also takes up a lot less space than the VHS tapes for the same season.
A DVD Review
The award winning television series based on the movie of the same name in which an immortal hero from the Highlands of Scotland... Read more