Sort of like "Lord of the Rings" for tweens/teens, "Legend of the Seeker" is a syndicated series offered by ABC studios and produced by the pairing of Sam Raimi and Rob Talpert - while Raimi has gained great fame from the "Spider-Man" series, he has produced quite a few films and TV shows with Talpert, including "Army of Darkness", "Hercules" and "Xena".
While "Hercules" and "Xena" were known for being corny good fun, it's interesting to see the changes that the duo have made for "Seeker". While the previous shows from the producing duo seemed to use low-budget visual trickery to good effect, "Seeker" is far different: the series is sleek and elegant, with graceful cinematography, reasonably good (for a TV series) effects and more believable sets.
The series, which is based on the "Sword of Truth" novels by Terry Goodkind, focuses on Richard Cypher (Craig Horner), who lives an ordinary life until he finds himself defending Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan), a mysterious woman who he later finds out is a witch. She has come seeking ... well, the seeker. Richard, despite his protests after being presented with the truth, finally begins to come to terms that it is his destiny to defeat the all-powerful Darken Rahl (Craig Parker), who is looking to rule the land. While Richard doesn't seek trouble, it finds him and he's soon off, with a magical sword from the wizard Zedd (Bruce Spence) along for protection.
After a victorious season one, season two finds Richard, Kahlan, Zedd and Mord'Sith Cara (Tabrett Bethell) on a quest to find the ancient Stone of Tears. The Stone is needed to close a gap between the living and the dead. While the main goal is to close the veil that separates the two worlds, there are other small quests and battles that continue to make “Legend of the Seeker” as memorable as it is. Some of the more memorable moments include: when Cara reveals uncharacteristic emotions while on trial in “Broken,” in “Princess” Cara pretends to be a princess in order to help save Kahlan from execution, in “Resurrection” Mord'Sith Denna (Jessica Marai) returns with plans to take over Darken Rahl’s throne.
The writing and performances remain strong and consistent throughout. The addition of Cara to the group adds to the series as she provides some tension between Richard and Kahlan and must also prove that she’s loyal throughout. What makes the series so great, beyond the storytelling, is the depth and emotion of several storylines. There are such interesting moments of character like in the episode “Bound” when Richard must watch out for Kahlan’s enemy because only they can save Kahlan from a spell, and in “Touched” when a remaining confessor chooses to use her powers for her own needs after being locked away, and in the finale, “Tears” when choices have to be made that could affect everyone’s lives and relationships forever.
Season two continues to be epic with lots of battles, fights with the underworld, a quest for a magical stone, returning enemies, glimpses of love and happiness, and a series finale that does a nice job wrapping up the story and characters. It’s too bad that “Legend of the Seeker” was only on two seasons as it had a lot of heart and action to carry the series further. Still, the two seasons available are worth watching for fans old and new looking for a complete and memorable story.
The series does not venture too far out into unexpected territory; the series offers many of the elements from other similar sword-and-sorcery epics, including the wise old wizard (the Yoda/Gandalf figure.) The acting is charming and engaging, but falls a bit short of being remarkable in any way. Interestingly, whereas the "Xena" and "Hercules" shows were fun thanks to a goofy, rambling style, "Legend" actually works for the opposite reason: offering a moving score and very nice production values (the New Zealand locations look gorgeous), the series takes itself quite seriously - which allows one to overlook some of the show's lesser aspects.
Overall, this is a fine series that shows that producers Talpert and Raimi can still work together to produce solid entertainment for the small screen.
23 2-01 07/Nov/09 Marked
24 2-02 14/Nov/09 Baneling
25 2-03 21/Nov/09 Broken
26 2-04 28/Nov/09 Touched
27 2-05 05/Dec/09 Wizard
28 2-06 12/Dec/09 Fury
29 2-07 09/Jan/10 Resurrection
30 2-08 16/Jan/10 Light
31 2-09 23/Jan/10 Dark
32 2-10 30/Jan/10 Perdition
33 2-11 13/Feb/10 Torn
34 2-12 20/Feb/10 Hunger
35 2-13 27/Feb/10 Princess
36 2-14 20/Mar/10 Bound
37 2-15 27/Mar/10 Creator
38 2-16 10/Apr/10 Desecrated
39 2-17 17/Apr/10 Vengeance
40 2-18 24/Apr/10 Walter
41 2-19 01/May/10 Extinction
42 2-20 08/May/10 Eternity
43 2-21 15/May/10 Unbroken
44 2-22 22/May/10 Tears
VIDEO: "Legend of the Seeker" is presented by ABC Studios Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The show is given an excellent, first-rate presentation by the studio, as image quality remained consistently pleasing. Sharpness and detail remained quite good, as the picture looked rock solid throughout the show. The presentation only showed slight edge enhancement in a couple of scenes, with no other flaws seen. Colors looked deep and bold, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The show's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack offered quite pleasing audio quality, with surrounds delivering mild sound effects and ambience. Audio quality is excellent, with crisp dialogue and clear, well-recorded score.
EXTRAS: "Redemption of a Mord'Sith" featurette, "Under the Underworld" featurette and deleted scenes.
Final Thoughts:The series takes itself quite seriously - which allows one to overlook some of the show's lesser aspects like not venturing too far out into unexpected territory. Still, the two seasons available are worth watching for fans old and new looking for a complete and memorable story with lots of heart and action.