The Gathering

HighlanderA common thief named Richie Ryan breaks into an antiques store and soon finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for: a man wielding a sword appears to protect the shop, introducing himself as Duncan MacLeod. Richie’s predicment gets even stranger as two more men appear, each brandishing their own swords – one says he has come for Duncan’s head, and the other claims to be Connor MacLeod, a relative of Duncan’s. Richie uses the confusion of what appears to be an impending swordfight to sneak away; Duncan’s girlfriend Tessa watches the proceedings with alarm as Connor and the other swordsman leave.

The following day, Connor returns, as does the other swordsman, Slan Quince – harrassing Tessa and Duncan. Where Richie was terrified by the crossing of swords, Tessa has reluctantly become accustomed to it – Duncan is an Immortal, a human being both cursed and blessed with the ability to survive any injury, even a fatal one, except for decapitation. When one Immortal beheads another, he gains the fallen Immortal’s experience and power in an explosive transfer called the Quickening. Both Duncan and Connor try to lay claim to Slan Quince, but Connor knocks Duncan out and takes the initiative. He meets Slan on a bridge elsewhere in the city, and though he wins the swordfight, Connor finds out the hard way that Slan has a secret weapon: a gun built into the hilt of his sword. As Richie watches, Connor plunges into the river beneath the bridge – and Duncan appears, ready to take up the fight. But even if he survives, Duncan has already pledged not to put Tessa any further through the ordeal of his Immortal struggle.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Dan Gordon
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Roger Bellon

HighlanderCast: Adrian Paul (Duncan McLeod), Alexandra Vandernoort (Tessa), Stan Kirsch (Richie), Christopher Lambert (Connor MacLeod), Richard Moll (Slan Quince), Wendell Wright (Sgt. Powell)

Notes: Until the fourth Highlander theatrical movie, which brought Duncan and other TV characters into the movie mythology, Connor’s appearance in the Highlander series pilot was the only definitive connecting tissue between the original movies and the series. This was the only episode in which a cast member from the movies appeared, though careful examination of the opening credits in the first season reveal at least one shot of Connor – not Duncan – experiencing a quickening from the original Highlander film.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Road Not Taken

HighlanderMoments after Tessa leaves for a trip to Paris, Richie receives bad news – an old friend of his has wound up in the hospital in critical condition. By the time MacLeod takes Richie to the hospital, his friend has died – and MacLeod spots unusual bruises on the dead boy’s temples, reminding him of the experiments of another Immortal, Kiem Sun, who was trying to perfect a way to control the minds of mortals. Eventually, Kiem Sun’s human guinea pigs would die in excruciating pain, their brains hemmorhaging and leaving similar bruises. MacLeod tracks down Kiem Sun, who admits that his mind-control potion still exists…and claims that one of his students has stolen it.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Terry Nelson
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Roger Bellon

HighlanderCast: Adrian Paul (Duncan McLeod), Alexandra Vandernoort (Tessa), Stan Kirsch (Richie), Soon-Teck Oh (Kiem Sun), Wendell Wright (Sgt. Powell), Christianne Hirt (Angie)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Family Tree

HighlanderRichie, trying to find out more about his parents, tries to steal orphanage records and gets himself arrested. MacLeod bails him out again, and Tessa gently suggests that maybe Richie’s family research would go better if he had help. Eventually, Richie follows the trail of clues to a run-down apartment, where a man named Joe Scanlon rudely brushes off his requests for information. Richie leaves a business card from Tessa’s shop with Scanlon and then leaves. Scanlon’s next visitor isn’t so pleasant – a loan shark’s thug has come to collect $50,000. The next day, Richie is surprised when Scanlon shows up, claiming to be Jack Ryan – his father.

MacLeod, suspicious as always, checks out Scanlon’s apartment for himself, and runs into the thug who had visited there the previous day. After following the thug back to the club where he works, MacLeod learns the truth – Scanlon is a third-rate gambler, deep into debt, who has only two days to come up with the money. But even after MacLeod tries to warn Richie that he’s being scammed, Richie may risk his life to help “Jack.”

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kevin Droney
directed by Jorge Montesi
music by Roger Bellon

Cast: Adrian Paul (Duncan McLeod), Alexandra Vandernoort (Tessa), Stan Kirsch (Richie), Peter DeLuise (Clinch), HighlanderJ.E. Freeman (Joe Scanlon), Tamsin Kelsey (Mrs. Gustavson), Matthew Walker (Ian MacLeod)

Notes: Speaking of the family tree, guest star Peter DeLuise is the son of Dom DeLuise and, like many of his brothers, built a career in showbiz in Vancouver (Highlander’s North American filming location and base of operations). Peter later went on to direct and write many episodes of the Stargate series and Jeremiah, including one of the final Stargate SG-1 episodes, titled Family Ties.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Darkness

HighlanderA militant Watcher, Pallin Wolf, traps Immortals by kidnapping their closest mortal friends – usually their lovers – and luring them to his house where he dons night-vision goggles and bests them in combat in a dark room. As Wolf beheads another victim, Duncan, Tessa and Richie are having a night on the town. Richie introduces them to a self-proclaimed psychic who reads Tessa’s palm and predicts doom. Remembering an incident in the distant past when a spurned lover cursed him never to marry, Duncan, shaken by the reading, proposes to Tessa out of the blue, and naturally she accepts. Duncan then sees that they are being watched, but fails to find the eavesdropper. The next day, a suspicious figure passes the store and Duncan takes off after him – which turns out to be just what Wolf wants, as he knocks Richie out and kidnaps Tessa. Duncan eventually tracks Wolf and Tessa down, but before that fateful night ends, Duncan’s life and Richie’s conception of death will never be the same again.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Christian Bouveron & Lawrence Shore
directed by Paolo Barzman
music by Roger Bellon

HighlanderCast: Adrian Paul (Duncan McLeod), Alexandra Vandernoort (Tessa), Stan Kirsch (Richie), Traci Lords (Greta), Andrew Jackson (Pallin Wolf), Frank C. Turner (Harry), Lisa Vultaggio (Carmen), Richard Lautsch (Roman), Kendall Cross (Michelle), Adrian Hughes (James), Travis MacDonald (Kid)

LogBook entry by Earl Green