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Friday, 27 May 2016

Highlander - the Fandom that Dragged Me Online #FanFridays 19

Greetings and welcome to my blog for another Fan Friday. Today I have chosen a fandom which started  my whole online life and which still holds a special place in my heart.

Highlander - the Fandom that Dragged Me Online

Now Highlander actually started way back in 1986 with the original film and the original Highlander:

I saw this movie on VHS and let's just say it made an impression. I love the movie, I love the music and I really, really hoped there would be a sequel.

The main premise is that there are Immortals among us. People who can only be killed by removing their head from their shoulders. If done by another Immortal, the winner takes the losers Quickening, their life force, and gains in power. All Immortals fight with swords and their only refuge is holy ground, where none of them will fight. They are all waiting for the Gathering, where they will be drawn together and one of them will win the prize. They all know that:
There Can Be Only One

Let's just say, when I got my wish about a sequel I was not impressed. Sorry, but I think all the movies that aren't the original one should disappear and never be seen again :).

However, then in 1992 came Highlander: the Series. I first saw this during one of my summers as a student apprentice in Stevenage and, I have to admit, I was also unimpressed. Trust me when I say, do not judge this series on the first few eps of season 1 - they are not the greatest. It improves enormously once the action moves to Paris and the writers seem to get a clue (half of each season was filmed in Vancouver and half in Paris).

Luckily for me I gave it another try a little later and, this time, I was not disappointed.

Highlander: the Series gave us

Now Duncan is Connor's cousin, although actually they aren't blood because all Immortals are foundlings, but they come from the same Scottish Clan. Duncan is just a little younger than Connor.

Duncan's (or Mac to many of his friends) sword of choice is a katana, just like Connor's and he gets through Kimmies (bad immortals - so called because so many of them had names beginning with K or a hard C sound :)) like there's no tomorrow. At the beginning of the series they keep going on about the Gathering, but, since there are six seasons, it seems to be taking an awfully long time.

In season 1 and 2 he is involved with the lovely Tessa Noel (Alexandra Vandernoot). She is an artist and together they run an antique shop in the city of Seacouver (the setting for all the Canadian made episodes).

They also take in waif and stray Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch) after he breaks into their shop and sees Duncan and then Connor go at a bad Immortal.

During season 2 Richie turns out to always have been a pre-Immortal, another reason Duncan took him in, and when he is killed becomes Immortal like Duncan. Duncan then becomes his mentor.

Through the series we also meet Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes), a mortal who is part of an organisation called the Watchers. They make it their business to record the goings on of Immortals, but never interfere. That goes out the window with Joe and Duncan, however.

And then there is Methos (Peter Wingfield) a legend even among Immortals. Supposedly the oldest living of them all he had been around at least 5000 years and even he doesn't remember his origins. The character was originally only supposed to be around for a couple of episodes, but he was so popular they kept bringing him back.

Of course no list of Immortals would ever be complete without Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen). Another fan favourite, Amanda is a thief and opportunist who knows how to survive.

When Highlander finished the producers wanted a spin off and after spending the entirety of season six (also know to many as season sux - some of us hated it so much we wrote our own version - Highlander the Fanfic Season - be warned the site is very old - all hand-coded by me) parading a bunch of female Immortal candidates across the screen. they actually listened to the fans and gave Amanda her own show.

Highlander: The Raven was awesome, but, unfortunately only had one season. In it Amanda gets a new blond hairdo and finds that even she can be convinced to use her skills to help people rather than just herself. Especially when she is falling in love with a cop.

Amanda had two sidekicks for the series:

Nick Wolfe (Paul Johansson), a cop who becomes a PI, after stumbling into the world of Immortals.

Lucy Becker (Patricia Gage) a mortal Amanda has known a long time and who is her closest friend.

Together they get involved with everything from simple theft to international terrorism and put the worlds to rights.

Highlander is the show that dragged me online. I may have been doing a Computer Systems Engineering degree, but I didn't really go online, not until I joined Highlander fandom. Back then most of the fandom consisted of three mailing list:
  • The main list HIGHLA-L
  • The fiction list HLFIC-L
  • The slash fiction list (it was back when male/male stories were too shocking to possibly have on the main fiction list)
We then added to this with the Richie list as well because there were those of us who thought he was the best character and some of the writers and some of the fans really hated him, so we needed our own space.

I have life long friends thanks to Highlander fandom. We did a quick calculation on how long we'd all known each other the other week and all blanched at how long it had been :). I was a Trekkie before I was a Highlander fan, but this is the fandom that launched my online presence and my fanfic writing. 

It's also where my fanfic pseudonym comes from (Beren) - I had a character called Berengaria in a Highlander fic and when I couldn't get my real name on a Harry Potter website, that's the pseud I picked :).

What was your first online fandom? Do you still remember it with joy or shudder at the thought? :) Do you still have friends from that fandom? Have you ever seen Highlander?


  1. It may be hard to believe, but I have never seen any Highlander shows. And I actually have never really been part of any fandom either. I suppose I was past the age for fandom by the time the internet came into my life. ;)
    Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    1. Never seen Highlander?! :) It was a fun show, but these days it is relegated to the Horror Channel on UK TV at least :)

      I've never regretted being in fandom - it can be such fun. However, a lot of fandom these days is on Tumblr, which I kind of hate as a medium, which I find sad.

  2. loved the tv show. methos is soooo my favorite character. smart ass and shy at the same time. heck, he was rider on the pale horse, aka death. with his other three friends, he terrorized the way ancient world with his bad self.

    but i still have my ghost hunt (kyia star fanfiction.net, curse of lust, dancing queen) stories loved. and kagome/sesshomaru pairings from dokuga (inuyasha).

    1. So many people loved Methos and he was a great character. I wish the Methos and Joe ep had been in any season but season 6, because I still refuse to watch any of that season :). The show jumped the shark in a very big way with the whole Ahriman bit.

      Yay for old fanfic :D

  3. Loved the original film, and Queen's music was brilliant - Who Wants to Live Forever.

    But disappointed with sequels/spinoffs, although I do remember some good episodes and actors. Can always watch anyway.

    1. The original film is a true classic. I think the series found it's own niche once it stopped trying to be the movie, but the sequel movies are all really, really dodgy :) The only one that was close to any good was #3 and that's only because it's mostly a remake of #1


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