DVD Extras


Episodes 8-14


3x08: Obsession

Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - [walks up to front door & knocks.] Jill here?
Ginny - No. I don't know where she is. [tries to shut the door]
Keogh - We had a little misunderstanding. I need to talk to her.
Ginny - Well, I told you, she's not here. Don't you get it? My sister doesn't want any part of you.

Bill Panzer (Executive Producer):

Trying to tell a story about obsession and to get it emotionally right, as opposed to just intellectually right, I think requires everybody involved -- especially the director in whose hands the play finally lies -- everybody involved needs to have experienced obsession.

Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - Jill, wait! [runs to car]
Jill - [closes & locks car door] No! Get away!
Keogh - [through closed window] Jill, please! I just want to talk. [Jill starts ignition. Keogh steps in front of the car. Jill stomps on the accelerator.] Jill! [is hit by car, falls to the ground as Jill drives away]

He needs to understand this pull, this urge, this demon that you have in you that you can't control.

Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - Sweetheart, I'm glad you came by. I went by the church this morning, and I talked to Pastor Reaves. We're all set for Sunday.
Jill - Get away from me!
RR - Hey, David! What's up, man?
Keogh - It's wedding jitters. I had them myself.


Gillian Horvath (Executive Script Coordinator):

I think it did explore the psychology of a stalker, I think from a somewhat uncomfortable point of view, in that it was from the point of view of the stalker.

Clip from "Obsession":
Jill - Don't! You're not listening to me, David!
RR - David, let's take it easy. [Keogh elbows him hard in the belly.] Ugh!

He was our -- not our hero, but he was our guest star, whose story we heard, and so it was somewhat of a frightening look into his psyche and the reasons that he became obsessed with this woman.

Clip from "Obsession":
DM - You can't force her to marry you.
Keogh - You don't know that. She's not your wife.
DM - She's not yours either, David.

From his point of view, his behavior made sense, even though we as observers could tell that he was very scary.


Donna Lettow (Script Coordinator):

I don't think it's completely unrealistic. Those men, those obsessive men, are out there, and how much scarier is it that he's going to be out there forever?

Clip from "Obsession":
Jill - He's never going to stop. Never. He's going to keep following me. You know this. There's only one thing that can stop him, and you know it.

It's such a hard decision on Jill's part, the girlfriend, to actually go to someone and beg them to kill the boyfriend. But she's right -- restraining orders don't work.


Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - Guess that was about a year ago now. She practically had to drag me out of that workshop.

Gillian Horvath:

In "Obsession", the character of David was actually modeled on a real craftsman named Sam Maloof, who is a woodworker whose rocking chairs are so prized, the waiting list is longer than Sam Maloof's life is likely to be.

Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - [as DM examines rocking chair] So what do you think?
DM - Well, you always were a master craftsman. It's great. [sits in chair]
Keogh - I've got a little workshop upstate. Special orders only. You know, there's a six-month waiting list for those rockers.

I had read an article about him and I loved the idea of this craftsman, someone who, in the case of an Immortal, could have centuries to hone his skills. It wasn't as large a part of the script as it was in my original conception, but you can still see it there, that he is still a woodworker who, in theory at least, people prize his work. A real Sam Maloof rocking chair has a beauty to it that the prop we were able to get for the episode does not emulate, but...


Clip from "Obsession":
[Townspeople are dancing a square dance accompanied by fiddles & other instruments. DM & Sarah are partnered together.]

Gillian Horvath:

I'm not sure this is one of our more successful flashbacks. I'm not sure I really buy Duncan's behavior in the flashback. It was designed to be a parallel to David's behavior in the present.

Clip from "Obsession":
DM - Have I told you how happy you make me?
Sarah - In the past two months, about a half a dozen times, but I don't remember. You'd better tell me again.
DM - I'm serious.


Donna Lettow:

I think the fact that there's two extra minutes of square dancing... and maybe that's part of the problem as well. You know, the editorial people would know better than I, but there didn't seem to be much to cut away. You know, there's a lot of extra fluff in there that in better episodes, things are tightened, things are better paced.

Clip from "Obsession":
DM - Come with me. I left the newspaper. We can be together.
Sarah - It's over.
DM - No, it's not.
Henry - You heard her. Now go.


Gillian Horvath:

I think Duncan had been too well established at that point, and it's hard to believe he really was that far off his rocker in that flashback.


Donna Lettow:

Part of the difficulty may have been that the whole emotional story was really between two guest stars.

Clip from "Obsession":
Keogh - I can't help being who I am...

Our guys were there to intervene, but until the very end, when Duncan and David are fighting, they're not really emotionally involved or attached.


Gillian Horvath:

We always think every script is perfect, and then when the dailies come back and the final edit of the show comes back, if it doesn't live up to how good we thought it was going to be, it's always a question of, was there something off in the guest casting, did the director not get where we were trying to go with it, or maybe it wasn't as good a script as we thought. That happens sometimes.

Clip from "Obsession":
DM - That's it.
Keogh - [lunges forward] I've got you! [Jill screams, loses her balance, falls off the ledge.] Jill! [looks over railing at Jill's body on the sidewalk below]


Bill Panzer:

Would it have been better? Was the problem in the script? Was the problem in the casting? You know, who knows. Was the problem in the concept? Certainly, heaven forbid, not.

3x09: Shadows

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - [sees figure at end of corridor] I'm Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Who are you? [Figure walks through doorway, out of sight.] Who are you?

David Abramowitz (Creative Consultant):

One of the difficulties in doing 'Highlander' is we found that episodes that -- without Immortals didn't work as well, because it's like Superman taking on some guy who's robbing a bank. It doesn't work. The hero is judged up against the ferocity of the villain. So we wanted to create some sort of story where it wasn't just the guy is the best swordsman in the western world, or the guy is the best swordsman in China, or the guy is the best swordsman in Hoboken. We wanted to do a story where someone else could use something else for an edge. And so we figured on layering the story in a way that played on Duncan's profound sense of his own personal guilt. Guilt that he'd survived and other people have died, guilt for the mistakes that he's made over all of these years. So we created a bad guy who had a great sense of psychology and Freud and all of these things... and a little bit of Jung... and who could deal with symbols and deal with long-forgotten memories and bring them out.

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - [examining statue of hooded figure] You're saying this is a racial memory? Something we all share?
Garrick - [flipping through old book] That's what Carl Jung called it. I saw them all, MacLeod. The hacks, the butchers. Finally Freud and Jung. Anyone who could help me.

So the idea was to do a story where MacLeod was facing an Immortal that he believed to be an illusion and a dream. And then create an Immortal that Duncan could go to as a shrink, who would say, "The best way to defeat the Immortal who is in your dreams is to deny his existence." It's kind of like, um, the best trick the devil had, was to convince everyone that he doesn't exist.

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - How do I stop it?
Garrick - You realize it comes from your mind... That it's an illusion.

So we took that premise and thought, 'Okay. Here you have an Immortal who knows he can't defeat MacLeod in a fair fight. But the rules of the Game says he has to approach MacLeod and beat him one-on-one with a sword. So we needed to create something that Duncan would deny the Immortal's, this Immortal's existence. So we slowly tried to drive Duncan crazy, and then send him to a shrink that said to him, "Only if -- the only way you can defeat these bad dreams is by denying the existence of the illusion."

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - But it's so damn real! It just keeps coming.
Garrick - It's only real if you make it real.

So Duncan sees the illusion, finally, and believes that it's an illusion, but it turns out to be real. And it's only through chance that he realizes that this is real and defends and saves his life.

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - [as hooded figure raises its sword, sees the gold ring on the figure's hand] Garrick?
[As the figure swings the sword, DM ducks and falls back. The figure lowers the hood, revealing that DM was right -- it is Garrick.]

It plays on his own sense of guilt -- guilt for all the characters who died, and he lived. Guilt because he couldn't save his clan, because he is Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod and he is the clan leader. And yet he couldn't save his clan, um, so he carries all of that with him.

We just wanted to create a different kind of villain, you know, to make it more interesting. It gets old week after week after week after week, having the 'best gun in town' come to town, so I thought this would be interesting. Also, it gave us an opportunity for different visuals, a different look on the show, and play a little darker.


Clip from "Shadows":
DM - [into phone] I'm getting a handle on it, Anne. You can stop worrying.
Anne - [into phone] I tried that. Didn't work. [on phone] Good night.
DM - [into phone] Good night.

David Tynan (Exec. Script Consultant / Writer):

Anne Lindsey was an interesting character on the show. Her relationship with MacLeod was developing, and, you know, she was peripherally involved in his life. Essentially, I think, you know, as writers we always wanted to have a strong love interest for MacLeod. Tessa was dead at this point. MacLeod had been having adventures. But Anne Lindsey was kind of a counterweight to him -- she saved lives; she was a doctor, so she really had a different role in life, and she did not know about MacLeod's immortality.

Clip from "Shadows":
Anne - Why don't I go home and get changed, and maybe you can pick me up in about an hour.
DM - Okay.
Anne - And, Duncan, you would tell me if there's something really wrong, wouldn't you?
DM - Why wouldn't I?

At the same time, there were some on-screen sparks between the two, but I think the audience really wanted -- and I think we understood that -- really wanted this relationship to either go somewhere or not. And I think we felt it was too early to, you know, to bring Anne into the fold or to let her know about MacLeod being immortal. At this point, she didn't realize that he was an Immortal at all.

I think in writing an on-screen romance between your lead character and someone else, or your lead characters, you can always write great scenes, but when the actors get in the room, I think that spark, that spark of attaction is either there or it isn't, and there's not much you can do about it. And probably in a sense, as good as the actors are, not a lot the actors can do about it. That is, it's a very real thing, a very natural thing. And I think by then some of us sensed that there wasn't a real on-screen attraction between these two characters, between MacLeod and Dr. Anne Lindsey. I think some of the fans were very disappointed that Anne eventually left the show, that that character eventually went off, but I think in some ways MacLeod would be tied down when he had a relationship, a strong love interest, as he had with Tessa, and I think we were very leery of tying him down that way.

Clip from "Shadows":
DM - Anne, I know you care, but I need a chance to work this out on my own.

I think in some ways it structured that show, that particular episode, "Shadows". Anne Lindsey couldn't really learn MacLeod's secret or that would have drawn her further into his world, so we had to make a decision, I think, as to whether or not she was going to learn who and what MacLeod really was or stay on the outside. So throughout the episode, you feel that tension of these two characters.

Clip from "Shadows":
Anne - I ran a search on your medical records, and guess what? There aren't any. So what, are you going to tell me you've got great genes?
DM - You shouldn't have done that, Anne.

You feel the frustration that MacLeod feels, as well, because if he brings Anne into his world, he's afraid she'll be in danger. He really doesn't want Anne to learn about what's going on, and he keeps her at a distance. He keeps her at arm's length throughout the piece, and I think you can feel that throughout the episode. And in the end, he makes the decision not to tell her what's happening with him.

Clip from "Shadows":
Anne - [hands over DM's spare elevator key as "Moonlight Sonata" plays] I'll call you.


Clip from "Shadows":
[Dream figure swings for the killing blow. DM wakes with a gasp.]
Anne - Duncan!
[DM jumps out of bed & looks around wildly, breathing heavily.]

F. Braun McAsh (Sword Master):

Now, "Shadows" was interesting because, first of all, I'm the only "Immortal" to have ever killed MacLeod, albeit in a dream sequence. The whole idea of "Shadows" being a nightmare image rather than a real opponent was kind of interesting to play with, because I got to double the role of the Shadow.

"Shadows" was the only episode that we had five swordfights in one episode, and on a seven-day shooting schedule, that's quite a bit. We actually shot a fight on day one, and on day two, and so on and so forth.

The Shadow costume, because it's replicating the image of this statue, was a black gown that went almost all the way to the ground, because it had to cover you right down to your ankle-bones. It had long, hanging sleeves, what are called tippets. And then it had a hood that went over and in front of the face, under which I wore a fencing mask that was blacked out, so there's no preipheral vision whatsoever. It's sort of like a horse with blinders. You can't see anything at all. I had to have the sleeves sewn shut because the swinging moves of the sword would actually have the sleeves swinging around the cross-hilt of the sword and catching it and arresting it halfway through a move and whatnot. So I'm fighting the costume. I can't even bend my knees, because as soon as I do, the next step will step on the inside of the hem and I'll walk up the inside of my own costume.

So I did four of the fight scenes involving the Shadow, and as luck would have it, I was also a bit ill, so all of the fights that were done in the dojo, which were the longest, most complex fights, I was running a fever of 102. normally, wearing all of this nonsense under the lights of the studio and whatnot, so between takes I would just pass out on this gym mat that they had laid down for me.

One of the things about the episode which was also interesting was because for the longest time, you don't know whether it IS a real person or a nightmare image, and I went with the idea of -- nightmare images repeat themselves, so I thought, 'How are we going to get five swordfights' -- and a kata, a beautiful, beautiful sword kata' -- if you'll notice, ends at the exact spot it started out from, as katas are supposed to do. Adrian did it beautifully -- 'How are we going to get five swordfights into one episode?' I mean, I -- as an actor, I take as long to learn fights as any other actor, even thought I've choreographed them. So the idea of nightmare images repeating themselves, I thought, 'well, perfectly legitimate -- we'll use the same phrase again and again and again in each fight scene' and see if anybody picks up on the fact that it's just like a video image looping.

The other thing was because it's unrealistic, the cadence to the fight is not the way a normal human would fight, which is totally nonsyncopated -- bam, bu-bam, bu-bu-bu bu-bam, bu-bam -- like this, almost like a musical bar. It's just wham, wham, wham, like this, and what I was trying to reproduce was the feeling of an accelerated human heartbeat, just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, as you would if you were in the throes of a nightmare.

So, in a way, it was a very interesting thing to do, being 'reality, nonreality, which is which' sort of thing until the last scene where Mac realizes because of the ring on the glove, that it is actually Garrick this time, and of course, at the very end, he's also under the influence of sleeping drugs, so in the last fight scene, MacLeod is a little bit whacked out. Then, at the very end, we thought, 'well, let's have some fun with this,' so we did the shot of the taking of the head from the PoV of the head. And we had this special camera rig hooked up with two handles, so the operator grasped it sort of like this [crosses his arms in front of his chest], looking at MacLeod as he delivered the decapitating blow, and then the camera operator did 'whoomp whoomp whoomp' [rotates / uncrosses arms], so you sort of had the PoV of the head coming off the body, flipping over once and landing sideways on the rug, which was a little bit grotesque in an interesting sort of way, but we thought, 'What the heck. Play with it.'


David Tynan:

In "Shadows", we had shot the episode, or a large part of the episode's flashback, out at Fantasy Gardens in Vancouver, which stood in for London in the 1600s. And in that particular flashback, MacLeod's friend, played by Garwin Sanford, another Immortal, is going to be burned at the stake, because they think he's a witch. We had dozens of extras. They were in great character; they did a fabulous job. We had these peasants jumping up and down and screaming 'Burn him, burn him, burn him!' When it came time for a break and for lunch, our extras went over to the lunch wagon and found that Jackie Chan, who was shooting "Rumble in the Bronx" in another part of Fantasy Gardens, another part of this location, had had -- his extras had gone for lunch and had taken OUR extras' food. So our extras weren't in any mood to fool around, and they're about ready to burn Jackie Chan's crew, I think, at the stake at that point.

Clip from "Shadows":
Garrick - [holding burning torch, yelling] MacLeod!

3x10: Blackmail

Clip from "Blackmail":
Lattimore - [reaches into his bag for some coins] For your troubles. You've more than earned it.
Matlin - Oh, no. No, that's not necessary.
Kurlow - [strangles Lattimore from behind] Didn't you mean to say, "It's not enough"?
Matlin - [tosses packet of letters aside] Goes without saying. [takes Lattimore's coin bag from his pocket]
Kurlow - [drops Lattimore's body] These mortals... they die so easily.

Anthony DeLongis (Actor):

It was, uh -- we had lured a young gentleman, you know, who happened to have some money in his pocket, out into the country where we proceeded to murder him, and MacLeod's friend happened to stumble by, because we'd set the body on fire. We really weren't nice, but -- And we chose that as a propitious opportunity to put some papers that would be incriminating on his body so he would be accused of our crime and we could get away scot free. And then, of course, you know, Duncan, to save his friend, he confesses to the crime that he didn't do either, and I get to be there to witness the hanging. Until he accosts us later in the forest near the maze, where we fight for the first time.


Bill Panzer (Executive Producer):

We tried to avoid, although it proved to be impossible, having sort of the Immortal of the Week.


Gillian Horvath (Executive Script Coordinator):

We were going for the "Strangers on a Train" effect, where this guy gets MacLeod into a position where he's done him a favor against MacLeod's will and now he's trying to get MacLeod to do HIM a favor. And I think the episode lost focus because we did need to have an evil Immortal.


Bill Panzer:

The "Strangers on a Train", if you will, concept that, 'okay, you know, you kill this person and I'll kill that person and nobody'll ever know because nobody knows that we have a connection to these people' is a fascinating idea that has run its course in films and television and novels for quite a long time.

Clip from "Blackmail":
Robert - You want the tape, it's yours. All you have to do is perform a certain service for me, which shouldn't be too difficult for a man of your obvious talents.
DM - What would that be?
Robert - I want you to kill my wife.

And to me, that was the most interesting part, was that MacLeod got forced into a situation, at least initially, that -- over which he had very little, if no control.

Clip from "Blackmail":
Robert - It's perfect. It's a win-win situation. I get what I want, and you get what you want.

Gillian Horvath:

Actually, I enjoy this episode a lot. It's not one of our outstanding memorable episodes that everybody puts on their 'best of' list, but I think that it has a charm of being one Highlander's straightforward episodes, in which MacLeod gets trapped into a situation that -- I like it when he's in a somewhat humorous situation, and so he's reacting with exasperation. I think that's a thing he does charmingly -- but then in the end, there's real evil to fight, and he puts it down.


Bill Panzer:

One of the more interesting things for me was always when Immortals were forced to interact with mortals, and they did not choose to do so.

Clip from "Blackmail":
Robert - Okay, now I am an eyewitness. And let's say I go to my friend, the D.A., and he starts digging around. Now what do you think is gonna happen?

Gillian Horvath:

The story with the lawyer was meant to be a new approach, and it's really the story with Kurlow which winds up sort of taking over, because it occupies the flashback. It's the more boring of the two stories, and yet it somehow becomes the center of the episode.


Anthony DeLongis

It was a lot of fun. It was kind of interesting. This was one of the few times in my career where I haven't had to read for a role. I was cast out of Toronto; I was up in Toronto at the time. And my abilities and my experience and resume got me the role, so I flew just almost directly from Toronto to Vancouver. I think I read the script on the plane. And we went straight to wardrobe.

Clip from "Blackmail":
Kurlow - Don't you think you'd better get out of town before someone sees you're alive?
DM - As soon as I have your head.

Gillian Horvath:

We'd gone through a period where the bad guys were not Immortals and there was no swordfight and no Quickening, and that didn't work for the show. So we had to serve two masters. Our main antagonist of the week was meant to be Robert Waverly, but we needed to have Kurlow in the story so that we could end with a swordfight, and this one's a great one.


F. Braun McAsh (Sword Master):

One of the things that when I'm choreographing a fight I'm very aware of is that I'm making choices about the character, because the moves and what a character does do and what he doesn't do, which is sometimes more important, have to be reflective of not only the scene, you know, what the character is doing in his own mind in the fight and whatnot. So I'm basically providing the subtext in the moves of the choreography that the actor would normally do himself for his lines. So every time I choreograph a fight for another actor, especially if I'm not able to work with that other actor prior to rehearsing or if I don't know the other actor at all, which in the case of 'Highlander' was ninety percent of the time, I'm very aware that I am making artistic desicions for that actor that would not necessarily be his or hers.

Clip from "Blackmail":
Kurlow - I'm here now.
[They face each other, swords drawn.]

Anthony DeLongis

We showed up on the set, and as always there wasn't really enough time to do what we had hoped to be able to do. Braun had sketched out, you know, he had some stuff down on paper, but by that point we had gotten to know each other. He was welcoming my input, both because of my experience and ability, and because I was playing the character.


F. Braun McAsh:

One of the aspects of that fight was, because I was working, for the first time, with Tony DeLongis, I was now working with a guest star who had a tremendous amount of sword experience himself. As a matter of fact, Tony is, of course, a fight choreographer in his own right, and a really good one, too.


Gillian Horvath:

When we were filming "Blackmail", we got the call from Vancouver in the writers' office saying, "This guy's a great swordfighter. Can we change the ending of the episode so that he doesn't die? So the character can come back, be something of a recurring villain, we can have some more great swordfights?"


F. Braun McAsh:

With Tony, I had this wonderful experience of being able to work directly with him to evolve the swordfights because I could trust him and he could trust me. So I would put the sword up and say, "How would you respond to this?" He would respond, and then say, "Well, what's open on me? How would you respond to that?" And he would respond, and we would basically just play with each other and evolved the fight between the two of us, just like we did in "Duende". So that is a rare priviledge, to be able to do that.


Anthony DeLongis

As Braun likes to put it, he hates when he has to play both parts all the time. This way we used his sort of scenario or his template, and then we evolved things that I could bring my knowledge to it and Adrian would have his input as well.


F. Braun McAsh:

Tony will bring moves to a fight scene that I might not have considered or that in the odd case I don't even know myself, because as a fight choreographer I am very aware of how much I DON'T know still. It also ensured that the fight was more character-based. And of course, Adrian will change the occasional move himself, not just because I move differently than him, but because who knows the character of MacLeod better? "Blackmail" -- it was the first time I was able to work with an actor who was so expert with the sword that we were able to collaborate with the choreography, rather than just my doing the fight and saying, "Here are the moves. Can you do them? And how much do we have to tweak them so that you can?"


Anthony DeLongis

In this particular instance, we decided the fight would start in the living room and then move through the glass house and then -- and climax out at the pool. What he did inform me of, though, when we were first starting was the special effects guys have already rigged this television and this bookcase, so this furniture must die. And so part of our choreography, not only -- you're always trying to reveal character and drive the story forward, otherwise it's just kind of a lot of gymnastics and fancy moves -- we also had to kill this furniture, because it had been paid for and rigged.


F. Braun McAsh:

This was a fight that took two days to film because of its length and complexity, but I think artistically it was a much more satisfying experience, both for myself as a choreographer, and I think for the overall visual of the fight, because so many other elements were brought to it that would not, under normal circumstances, have been available to us.


Gillian Horvath:

The truth was, the character of Kurlow was not interesting enough to us to leave him alive and bring him back. He was a pretty stock evil Immortal. So David Abramowitz answered Adrian Paul. He said, "Let's bring him back with a different mustache, a different look, a different accent, and have the same actor play a different character. And we put his name on a list that we had in the kitchen, of actors that we were planning to have on the show. It had Michael Praed on it, it had David Gegenhuber from 'Earth 2', it had, uh, it had Adam Ant on it, who we actually tried to get on the show more than once. We also had a list in the kitchen that we called the 'hot list', which was a list of lines that we never wanted to hear on the show again. We never wanted to put them in a script again. We had "I don't think so." We had "It's what we do." We had "It's who we are." And we tried to avoid letting Duncan say those things because they had become the cliches of the show.


Clip from "Blackmail":
Joe - If anybody asks you about that videotape--
Barbara - What tape?
Joe - Well, the one with--
Barbara - [feigning innocence] I don't know anything else about a tape.
Joe - If you want to hang on for a minute, I'll, uh, I'll give you a ride wherever you want to go.
Barbara - Okay.
Joe - Be right with you.

Gillian Horvath:

What happens if they're almost discovered... We have sort of as a standard response: most mortals who discover immortality, a Watcher comes along and recruits them to the Watcher cause, which I sort of suspect is what happened with Waverly's wife when the episode was over, was that Joe came along and said, "I got a job for you, now that you know the truth."

3x11: Vendetta

Clip from "Vendetta":
[DM exits elevator, hears Benny talking.]
Benny - [off screen] Hey, look, take it easy. I'm not after anybody's head or anything.
RR - [off screen] Then you can leave a card. We'll get back to you.
Benny - [off screen] Yeah, me and Mac, we go back a long way. We're like that. [still off screen, presumably crosses his fingers to indicate a close bond. DM tries to sneak past without being seen.] Hey, MacLeod!
DM - [turns toward office] Benny!
Benny - In the flesh!

Adrian Paul (Actor):

"Vendetta" was one of those shows that allowed him to actually be a little lighter in certain aspects.

Clip from "Vendetta":
Benny - Well, I guess he doesn't want you hanging out with a small-time hustler, you know, who's had his fingers in bootlegging, bookmaking, blackmail... Am I missing somthing here or what, Mac?
DM - Yeah, how about the part where you manage to lose money in every scam?
Benny - Well, okay.

It wasn't my favorite show, "Vendetta", but it was fun to see a slightly lighter side to Mac.

Clip from "Vendetta":
Benny - This is a bus ticket!
DM - Yeah. Bon voyage. Hasta la vista. Write when you get work.

There were certain things that worked. I mean, I loved the dancing aspect in it.

Clip from "Vendetta":
Peggy - So what is it that you do, Mister--?
DM - MacLeod. Duncan MacLeod. I'm in antiques.
Peggy - Uh-huh? [as they continue dancing] Well, uh, Duncan MacLeod, that's not too shabby...
DM - Thank you.
Peggy - For an antique.
[DM laughs, continues dancing, spins her around, dips her.]

That was fun to do. I mean, I think there were some good characters in it. It just somehow missed the mark. I'm not sure why, but it wasn't my favorite. I just don't think it had the heart that some of the other episodes had, even though they were light. I mean, if you look at some of the Roger Daltrey ones, they had some very strong relationships, and this one was a little disjointed.


Clip from "Vendetta":
Anne - This guy is very different. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get to the bottom of him.

David Tynan (Executive Script Consultant / Writer):

Anne Lindsey couldn't really learn MacLeod's secret or that would have drawn her further into his world, so we had to make a decision, I think, as to whether or not she was going to learn who and what MacLeod really was or stay on the outside.

Clip from "Vendetta":
DM - You're pushing, Anne.
Anne - I am not pushing.
DM - You're not going to push, right?
Anne - Right. Right. Of course, if I was going to ask a question, it'd be something a lot more interesting, like, "How come you don't have any scars?"

And you feel that tension of these two characters, of Anne trying to figure out what's going on with MacLeod and why he's acting so mysteriously, and MacLeod trying to hide the fact that he's Immortal.

Clip from "Vendetta":
[Sal pulls out a gun. DM pushes Anne down & kicks the gun out of Sal's hand. Sal takes off running.]
DM - [runs back to check on Anne] Are you okay?
Anne - I'm fine. I'm fine. And I am "not pushing" as hard as I can.


Bill Panzer (Executive Producer):

This is "Vendetta". This was a script that could have gone in a couple of directions. It could have gone as a -- as it did go, as kind of a comedy.

Clip from "Vendetta":
DM - [sighs] All right.
Benny - Mac, you're a lifesaver! [grabs DM in a hug] I love ya, Mac! Thank you so much! I love ya!
DM - [pushes Benny away] Don't overdo it, Benny.
Benny - Yeah. Okay. One more. [moves to hug him again] Just--
DM - No, no, no more.
Benny - Okay. Fine.
DM - Sit down.
Benny - What's with the rocks, Mac?
DM - I like rocks.
Benny - Try art.

Or it probably could have been played, with pretty much the same dialogue and situations, as kind of a Thirties melodrama.

Clip from "Vendetta":
Joey - Just what do you think you're doing, pal?
DM - Dancing.
Joey - With my girl?
DM - Well, if she's your girl, maybe you should dance with her.
Joey - Maybe you should stay out of what ain't your business!
DM - Careful, boy.

Adrian Paul

It was a period piece. It was very stylized, which wasn't kind of what we'd played before, but it was an interesting idea.


Bill Panzer:

Thirties melodrama probably plays best in the Thirties. And I think that George Mendeluk's idea to kind of broaden it out a little bit, take advantage of the comedic nature of the actor, was probably a good call on his part.

Clip from "Vendetta":
Benny - Oh, that was beautiful, Mac. That was beautiful. That was beautiful. Listen, Mac. The kick -- the "papoom" thing -- that was fantastic, Mac.
DM - [glowering] You have some explaining to do.
Benny - Listen, Mac--
DM - [opens passenger door] Get in the car.
Benny - Mac, I was gonna help you out, but my shoulder got banged on the thing--
DM - Get in.
Benny - --and I had to cover the bat thing. Mac, I had them lined up. I was gonna give them the Curly thing on the truck. [jabs his fingers at DM, ala 'The Three Stooges']
DM - In the car.
Benny - Mac, I'm not good with this stuff. Mac... [gets into car]
DM - In the car. [closes door]

Adrian Paul

Yeah, it did feel a little cartoony. I think it was possibly, um, directed that way. "Vendetta" was a -- was supposed to be a little darker than it was, and it came off a little slapstick.

3x12: They Also Serve

Clip from "They Also Serve":
Joe - Rule number one: A Watcher and an Immortal can't be friends.
DM - Come on, Joe. You don't have to choose.
Joe - Don't I? I took an oath... and I broke it. And the Watchers have been around for a long time. What gives me the right to say, "I'll do this my way"?
DM - Because you're a man...

Adrian Paul (Actor):

Talking about the Watchers in general, I think it was a great idea to have somebody who is what the audience is, you know, in a way, is very interesting, because then you ask the questions that the audience would ask, from the show's standpoint. So I think it's a great device and we were able to utilize it very, very well throughout the length of the series.

And "They Also Serve" had, you know, some interesting questions to it. We had Barry Pepper in it, who has now gone on to do, you know, huge things, which is great, and it also had a very interesting relationship between immortality and humanity.

Clip from "They Also Serve":
Rita - [stands, picks up iron from table, quickly swings it at his head. Christian grabs her wrist to stop her, revealing the Watcher tattoo there.]
Christian - I'm ready.


Stephen Geaghan (Production Designer):

The first problem that we had with that show was Mongolia. We would always try to find a different environment for MacLeod in these flashbacks, utilizing what we had regionally here. They wanted to do China. I think that was what had been talked about, and I'm thinking, 'We can do China, but only limited.' "What about Outer Mongolia?" and they said, "Can you do that?" And I said, "Yeah, yeah, I've got a place in mind." So we went down to an area called Delta and looked at some of the flatlands that were essentially right on the water, and in the vista you had distant mountains and something that looked desert, if it was a nice bright, calm day -- when in fact it was water on the Strait of Juan de Fuca looking toward the San Juan islands. And this was also a flood plain. Well, we took a look at the tide tables and figured out that, yeah, we could do Mongolia here. So what we did was we got in a mess of little, sort of, ponies and dressed up the people as Mongolians, and I built yurts. I built a village of yurts. Thankfully we made the yurts very light, because all they are is just bent sticks of wood covered in canvas, because as the day changed and got to late afternoon, the tide would come in, and we have to get the crew to lift up the yurts like dead turtles and carry them along the flood plain to slightly higher ground, and so this village would move several time during the day to keep from getting inundated.

It was a very interesting shoot. The sunset was very beautiful, and we had bonfires, and it was one of our more successful, very alien, environments.


Christina McQuarrie (Costume Designer):

It's a lot of research, and I remember coming up with some wonderful visuals, but there was a lot of historical accuracy. I mean, it wasn't sort of winging off in a sort of a totally odd direction, so you know, I mean, that's how you do create the feeling for the time and that. Because a lot of people do know what samurai looked like and they do know what 1880s western North America looks like, so you are kind of aiming for something that's at least acceptable to the eye. If it creates the right feeling, I mean, that's what you're hoping for. I mean, how you go about it is... magic? [laughs]

Well, we did it in seven days because we focused on the very sort of few important pieces that perhaps we could not find or that we wanted to make very special for the show, so you'd focus on building them from scratch, yes, you know, with finding materials and finding pieces that will kind of work together. There were the more rustic costumes, which had raw silks, and did dying and quilting as I remember, we did at that point. And then there was the robes that he wore and the woman wore.


Stephen Geaghan:

An interesting side light to doing villages and these environments was that by year three, maybe year four of the show, we had discovered that no environment anywhere in the world that MacLeod had traveled actually really got bigger than twenty feet across. And we're thinking, 'This is really interesting. I wonder why this is.' And we realized, much to our amazement, that that was the area that a single fire could heat at its maximum. It condensed the size of our sets. So we knew we never had to make anything bigger than sixteen feet across for an ancient environment.


Christina McQuarrie:

If you can find the elements of a particular period, it kind of draws you into that period. You know, it kind of takes the viewer down a period path that certainly created a beautiful feel for the show.

3x13: Blind Faith

Gillian Horvath (Executive Script Coordinator):

The original common story line of the 'Highlander' series, going back to the first season, was that Duncan would run into an old enemy and he would kill him by the end of the episode. In season two we developed something of a twist on that where he would run into an old friend and realize that the friend had turned evil and reluctantly have to kill him. And the "Blind Faith" episode is a reverse twist on that, in which he's run into an old enemy and realized the enemy is no longer evil, and he has to NOT kill him.

Clip from "Blind Faith":
Kirin - MacLeod. It's been a long time.
DM - Too long.What are you doing here?
Kirin - Thinking. Praying. These people need me. I help them.
DM - Where's the profit in it?
Kirin - I'm not the man I was.

Bill Panzer (Executive Producer):

The concept that somebody who was truly a bad person and did bad things -- not one crazy weekend in college, but for centuries -- and then after a long absence -- and you witness these things -- and then after a long absence, this person appears again, only this time they're a spiritual healer, they're a force for good. Your first reaction has got to be, "This is a load of crap." And for us to overcome that in our short lives is probably easier than for MacLeod to have seen this -- these major atrocities. It would be like, I don't know, is it easy to forgive Hitler if suddenly he was Mother Teresa? Suddenly this guy is now a good guy, and MacLeod has to make a choice as to whether his redemption is really true.

Clip from "Blind Faith":
DM - Hello, we need your chopper.
Kage - [turns] How nice to see you, MacLeod.
DM - Kage, what are you doing here?
Kage - I export goods.
DM - Heroin.
Kage - Well, it's a living. I see you're still playing the Saint of Lost Causes, huh?
DM - We need your chopper.
Kage - It's filled.
DM - The Khmer Rouge will be here any moment. You know what they'll do to these children.
Kage - Sorry. I'd like to help you out, but any more weight and she won't be able to get off the ground.
DM - Then unload it!
Kage - Sorry, no can do. You're just going to have to understand.

Is he really a reformed character? And because he was a bad guy for several hundred years, does that mean that MacLeod should kill him for the past, as opposed to giving him a chance to atone and to do good stuff for the next few hundred years? We filmed two different endings, and we thought that the idea of the possibility of redemption, the possibility of doing good, was the kind of thing that MacLeod would choose.


David Abramowitz (Creative Consultant):

The idea of "Blind Faith" was one of my most favorite. I thought the episode was pretty good, and I thought it was acted well. Um, I could have broken the story a little better, and made it a little more exciting, but the core of the story was wonderful. It was: Is redemption possible?

Clip from "Blind Faith":
Kirin - People like us have had so much life. We've done so many things. Imagine how much we could teach them.
DM - About money? And murder?
Kirin - About redemption and forgiveness.
DM - And you're the expert.

At its best, 'Highlander' answered these questions in a, um, action-adventure kind of way. And we didn't want to -- I don't know, to tell you the truth, whether redemption is possible. It depends on the day. It depends on who I'm pissed at and who I'm not pissed at. If it's someone -- if it's an executive from the studio who's giving me notes, and I don't like them, I would say redemption is NOT possible; they should burn in hell. But, if it's someone who likes the script, and they've only p***ed on my work yesterday but they like the work today, then I figure, 'Okay, you know, they don't have to burn in hell. They can be redeemed.' But you know, the truth is, this was one of the great questions -- this is one of the great questions of the age. And whether of not redemption is possible in all instances, I don't know. Part of the story came from -- I study Talmud, on occasion, and there was a part during Passover where there's a line in the Passover Haggadah, which is the book of Passover, that tells a story that said 'God hardened Pharoah's heart.' And that always troubled me, because I said, "You know, why is God stacking the deck? If Pharoah wants to let the Jewish people go, why is he stopping him here? You know? Why isn't he being fair here?" And then someone very wise once said to me, "There are some sins that are irredeemable." You know, and depending on my day and my mood, I believe that, and other times I don't. Which is why at the end of the episode, Duncan lets Kirin live but doesn't forgive him, because I don't even think Duncan knows. He can only react as a man only can react and says, "Listen, I'm still pissed at you, I don't want to be your friend, but I won't judge you," because I don't think Duncan knows how.

Clip from "Blind Faith":
Joe - Okay, he's not the same person... But I don't see how twenty years of doing good deeds begins to cover his tab.
DM - Yeah, well, maybe it doesn't, but I'm not going to be the one to decide.
Joe - Well, if you're not, then who is? You know what he was. Who better than you to judge him?

I think Duncan truly believed that Kirin was redeemed in some way. That doesn't mean -- just because you're redeemed doesn't mean you're not guilty, doesn't mean you don't have to pay for what you did, you know? If you're a nice guy now, and you're an a**hole yesterday, you're still an a**hole to some people. Or you may have changed, but it doesn't matter.

Clip from "Blind Faith":
DM - Fight me! Come on!
Kirin - Do as you must.
DM - [turns away with a frustrated cry, turns back] Then I will. I will! [charges at Kirin but at the last minute pulls his blow to the side]

Gillian Horvath:

Why doesn't he kill him? I think because it really is the reverse of realizing that a good man is now harming the world, that all his years of being a good man don't count if he's now doing damage to other people. And I think that in this episode, the flip side is true -- or that's how Duncan sees it -- that if a person is now ameliorating the state of the world and helping people, then all their years of being evil aren't what matters. What matters is their effect on the future.

Clip from "Blind Faith":
Kirin - I really wanted to do good, MacLeod.
DM - I know.
Kirin - Maybe someday we'll meet again. Who knows, we might even be friends. [He holds out his hand. After a pause, DM shakes it.]
DM - You'd better get going. [Kirin starts walking down road.]

Bill Panzer:

Well, at some point you just have to take it on blind faith.

3x14: Song of the Executioner

Clip from "Song of the Executioner":
[Two men in monks' robes move through the monastery corridors to the front door, where a knocking is heard above the sounds of a thunderstorm.]

Stephen Geaghan (Production Designer):

The saga of "Song of the Executioner" started off with reading the script and determining that there was a tremendous amount of material in a medieval European monastery. And our budgets were limited, but there was some flex in them. And in talking with Bill Panzer, he said, "Can you do this? And what will it take to make sure that this is going to be an authentic look for a medieval monastery?" And I did some square footage estimates and came up with a figure that Bill found acceptable. At that point, then I was stuck with that figure and had to make it work. So what I did was we designed a fairly sizeable space with a colonnade down one side, and the colonnade had intervening areas that we would plug with wild walls -- double-sided wild walls -- and they would come in and out. We had other cubicles that could fit in.


Adrian Paul ("The Highlander"):

That set was -- I was very surprised when they did it, because for them to build a set as elaborate as that, which was also able to be used in several different ways...


Stephen Geaghan:

And this whole area had to become the entry to the abbey, several different hallways, the church, the dining room--

Clip from "Song of the Executioner":
Timon - ...a visitor here, like you.

--a scriptorium, a side chapel--

Clip from "Song of the Executioner":
Timon - ...women?
DM - Aye.

--and there was one other set -- oh, there was a bedroom, or a couple of bedrooms that were side by side. And we did this by very carefully organizing the changeovers with the first assistant director, to make sure that as one thing was shot, and we were approaching a lunch hour or a night changeover, that's when we would do it. So that there was a tremendous amount of pressure on the shooting crew to make their days, so we could make our changeovers happen. That was pretty much how it sort of evolved.

But the actual structure -- we did our research, looked for a standard, reproducible, medieval hexagonal column that could be easily manufactured. The more you get involved in doing compound, complex curves and pendentives for support, we knew we couldn't afford it. But we could build massive amounts of walls and structure if they stayed in essentially two dimensions and right angles, and that's what we did. So we cheated our curves by using simple, cost-effective materials like large, soft foam were laid on and carved, so we could get our -- we still had right angles, but we also got our dimensional look with fairly cost-effective materials.


Adrian Paul:

Oh, the monastery was an awesome set that they built. I was very surprised, actually, because it was very -- it was a very large production, and -- which we actually kept and used later on in "Homeland".


Stephen Geaghan:

Scale plays a very strong part in all of this. We tend to look -- as creatures, we look horizontally. The wider you make something, the deeper you make something -- it's a lot more forgiving. Something like Duncan's dojo is very deep and very wide. Rarely do we ever see the ceiling. But it has a tremendous volume to it, even though it's not a big space. The same thing happened in this monastery that we built, where we had a tremendous amount of width. We only went up so far, and then the supporting structure stopped at about twelve feet, so we never actually saw above that. Where the camera was going to shoot off it, we hung tapestries down. That was our cheat, which allowed us to have a structure that was only built halfway and still look, as far as the mind was concerned, the eye was concerned, as if it was a full, dimensional, high, medieval structure.


Adrian Paul:

Oh, I think having a story line that went straight through several episodes was one of my favorite things about 'Highlander'. I actually wanted to push for more two-part episodes and ones that had more story content like that. The only problem is, is that with a syndicated series, they were always shown out of sequence, so sometimes you would have the latter one being shown before the original story line had been already told. But I thought it was a good idea, that "Song of the Executioner" was a strong concept, and I think it set the grounds for the relationship between MacLeod and Kalas for the rest of the season.


Clip from "Song of the Executioner":
DM - Why didn't you call? [Paul gives him a look.] Oh, of course... no telephones. I want you to meet Anne Lindsey. [turns to Anne] Anne, meet a man who doesn't believe in the twentieth century.
Paul - [takes her hand] Oh, I believe in it. I just haven't quite arrived yet.
Anne - Oh, there's no hurry.

David Tynan (Executive Script Consultant / Writer):

Well, "Song of the Executioner" represented what was really sort of a trilogy of shows that focused on the relationship between MacLeod and Dr. Anne Lindsey. In "Shadows", that relationship was kind of obviously at a loggerheads as MacLeod could not tell her what was happening in his life. And in "Song of the Executioner", at the end of the piece, Anne Lindsey actually sees MacLeod die. He falls from an overhead balcony to avoid the sword of the Immortal, Kalas, lands on the seats, breaks his neck, and she's a doctor -- she examines him; she knows he's dead. The reason we took that turn is I think we had to find a way to get MacLeod away from Anne -- and over to Paris, to start with. The other thing was we needed to take that relationship to another level. So rather than just end it, which I think was on our minds as, you know, writers and producers on the show, we thought we would have MacLeod die, then have him reveal his Immortality to her in the next episode. And once that had happened, draw her into that dangerous world, and then have her decide to leave it.


Adrian Paul:

Well, I think Dr. Anne was a, um -- it was a great concept, I just don't think it worked quite as well as the Tessa/MacLeod relationship. The idea of setting MacLeod up with somebody that saves life where he was taking lives was a really interesting idea. It just somehow didn't quite hit its mark as a chemistry between the two characters. I think having MacLeod die in front of her caused him an obstacle, which was great to try and overcome, because he did feel something for her and he -- to put that obstacle in front of him then gave us much more willingness to see what happened between them later on. So to see him die in that way was kind of interesting, to see what was going to happen in the future -- whether he actually was going to be brought back to her, or she was going to be brought back to him or back into his life. It was something that we were hoping that the fans would want to see.

I think sometimes what happens -- you can like a person offscreen, you can have a great time with them or whatever, but sometimes it's what is in the soul and what is inside somebody, whether you have a connection with them or whether there is some sort of chemistry between you -- whether it's good or bad, whether you have an animosity towards them or a love towards them, there is something that is happening between you. And that, I think, is something that is intangible in anybody that you talk to and that -- you can't tell until you actually get it on screen to see whether that's actually working or not.


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