LadyGhosts of TV Past

What I Watched Last Night: Highlander

Unlike my husband, my childhood TV viewing did not include Highlander. Now that it’s streaming on Netflix, he is re-watching it. And you know what? I dig it.

Adrian Paul as the Duncan MacCleod, with long black hair
(This isn’t from the episode I watched, but from a flashback in another episode. Dig that hair.)

Highlander: The Series, if you’re not already aware, concerns Duncan MacLeod, a 400-year-old immortal from the Scottish Highlands. There are immortals all over the world, but at the time featured in the TV show, they are drawn towards one another in “the gathering.” For whatever reason, there can be only one immortal left standing. The only way to kill an immortal is to cut off his/her head, and so there are a lot of sword fights. Also, Queen. Queen sings the theme song, and in the first movie (which features a different immortal character), there are a few other songs from the band. Can’t go wrong with a little Queen, I say.

Last night, we watched Season 2, Episode 10: Duncan investigates the death of a newspaper reporter and what it has to do with an immortal who has been after him. The final battle occurs at a closed amusement park. Sometimes I think the writers must have become bored and thought, “You know what would be kinda funny?” Fighting inside a carnival haunted house, apparently.

Adrian Paul 2009, with hair slicked up and wearing a jacket over a white hoodie
Still a good-looking dude. This photo is from 2009.

When immortals are near each other, they can sense it, and it’s always portrayed as this close-up pause with dramatic music. Every time, I think, “Spidey sense!” Also, some of the ’90s hair and clothes are hilarious. Duncan’s friend Richie always wears the dorkiest jeans, even by that decade’s standards, but I’ve grown to love Duncan’s billowy silk shirts. (They must give me middle school dance flashbacks or something.) And like Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First Class, he makes a turtleneck work. This episode had him in a V-neck white T-shirt, which I am all for, any time. Adrian Paul is a good-looking dude, there’s no getting around that.

So, yes, I may be watching this show for eye-candy reasons, and I make jokes about some of the more implausible plot lines, but the writing gets progressively better as we’ve watched so far. While I don’t have the nostalgic feelings for the show that my husband does, I do quite enjoy watching it with him. Are any other readers fans?

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

15 replies on “What I Watched Last Night: Highlander”

The first movie with Duncan and Connor wasn’t bad either. I think that’s Endgame? But The Source is one of the worst movies ever. Even if it managed to make me laugh for about three seconds when the big bad brought out the one thing everyone probably should have been wearing, neck armor.

I have very fond memories of watching this show as a preteen! It was one of my mom’s favorite shows, and we definitely bonded over it. I was a big fan of Richie, but there’s no denying that Duncan is pretty easy on the eyes, too! Now that I know it’s on Netflix, I might have to put it on my “must rewatch” list.

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