Roar (TV Series 1997– ) Poster

(1997– )

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Another show with potential assassinated by its own network
balkaster16 May 2004
geoffw (see below) is quite right about what happened to this show: poor network marketing support (complicated by network interference with the concept). The Christian Right had nothing to do with its cancellation, and the individual who suggested that is out of touch with the facts.

The fact is that this was another wonderfully original and well-developed concept from Shawn Cassidy (who also created 'American Gothic', among others) that was mis-marketed by FOX. Apparently FOX wanted to grab some of the riches generated by camp sword and sorcery shows like 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and 'Xena: Warrior Princess'. They gave Roar very little marketing support (I remember vague promos showing people in leather armor that gave no idea what the show was about), and what little support they did give it implied it was a Hercules/Xena clone. It wasn't. When the wrong audience tuned in and rejected it, FOX started moving it all over the schedule, again without proper marketing support. They also applied pressure to the producers to dumb it down and make it more like Hercules/Xena. Watch a marathon on Sci-Fi sometime, and you will notice the following network-inspired trends:

1) The importance of Conor's struggle to unite the Irish clans diminishes. By the middle of the series, his efforts in this regard are only described in throwaway dialog and aren't seen on screen. These efforts should have provided the meat of the series. What table scraps we do get imply that the mission was effortless, which it certainly would not have been (clan rivalries historically prevented the Irish from uniting for the common good, which is how the English got a foothold centuries later). We frequently see Conor and Fergus travelling aimlessly about doing good deeds (instead of raising a resistance against the Romans) ala Hercules and Iolaus.

2) The importance of Conor's war band withers over the course of the series, until finally they don't even appear -- even though they are still credited as regular characters. By midway through the show's run, we usually see Conor and Fergus travelling alone, despite the fact that Conor is an important king who should be regarded as a deadly enemy by the Romans.

2) Vera Farmiga's costume becomes smaller and smaller, until the introduction of Melissa George as Molly, after which the character of Caitlin is rarely seen at all. Obviously a misguided attempt to "sex it up", and when the writers couldn't distort the Conor-Caitlin relationship enough to permit romance, they introduced a new love interest.

3) Originally intensely dramatic, with tragic loves, murky intrigues, murders and double-crosses, by mid-run it had become a campy adventure comedy.

4) The character of Longinus was a well-crafted and mysterious villain with tons of potential. Unfortunately, with the tone of the show shifting, he simply wasn't silly enough, so they unsuitably disposed of the character (it violated the integrity of the character to have him fall victim to such a plot) and made the ridiculously camp Diana the sole villain.

This could have been a great show, and it didn't hurt that the cast is actually quite competent. But I suspect that -- after the failure of 'American Gothic' -- Cassidy was willing to do anything to keep his new masters happy. Unfortunately it diminished his vision, and killed the show.

Ultimately, Roar became indistinguishable from the ilk of Hercules/Zena, but because the characters weren't designed to be camp it couldn't compete with that class of show. Had FOX left well enough alone and helped it to find the RIGHT audience, we would at the very least have a great short-lived series to collect on home video. Now, we don't even have that.
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Well thought out
rok-318 June 1999
I first saw this show about a year ago. They aired the whole season over here, because as it was set in Ireland, it saved our networks lots of time and money,and made them look good.

It mixed a good amount of historical detail with myth, and plenty of swords and sorcery. It also was completely devoid of stereotypical irish stuff like leprechauns and dodgy accents (because half of the cast were from NewZealand). This made it appeal to everyone here as well. It was also full of kick ass battles and warrior babes, with some classy characters, and a great villain in the form of Sébastian roche (the peacemaker, merlin) as the Roman Centurion who tortured christ on the cross, and was cursed with immortality. It really was a good story, and should be brought back as soon as possible!
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A promising beginning allowed to die on the vine
aynnepm17 February 2005
I saw this show when it first came on and I applauded the original line they were taking. I loved the depiction of the struggle against the encroachment of the Roman troupes.

By the end, with the serious dumbing down they committed I only lamented the end of the original promise. I'd love to find a DVD copy of what little there was. FOX blew this one seriously with the tacky shift in focus and the lack of support. I've never completely understood why they couldn't expand on the relationship between Kat and Connor. There was a deep feeling of respect between them and during that time in history, pagan and Christian, if they came to an understanding between them intermarried easily enough. Especially in the early days of Christian introduction to the Celtic tribes. Molly was a distraction, an interesting character but a distraction from the relationship of Kat and Connor. Disappointing in the lack of development of either relationship.

I'd like to thank SciFi for giving me a chance to see it once in a while again.
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Why, oh why?
gwenbaggins31 August 2000
I accidently taped Roar one day and having nothing else to watch, decided to give it a go. It was one of the best TV shows I have EVER seen. It was funny and so well written, and the fact that Ledger is so good just added to it's perfection. And then - GONE!!! When I saw Ledger a few months later in "10 Things I hate about you" I knew then and there that (a) Ledger would not be doing his Conor thing again and (b) without Ledger as Conor, there was no Roar. So, again we were given the taste of near-perfect entertainment to only have it ripped away from us.
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Rarity that made watching TV great!
arasiriel27 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ROAR was a rarity in TV viewing. Hands down. Not only did you have a period piece, but it was a period piece with a soul that beat through out it. In reading one review I saw mentioned about lack of character development. Well, they didn't have much chance for it after being shut down after only 8 episodes being aired (in the USA). Yes some episodes were campy and others were down right tear wrenching. But there was no doubt from the beginning this show marched to the beat of a different drum from other shows like Xena and Hercules which invaded the scene at the same time. Perhaps it was the lack of marketing promise since the whole pulse of the show was spiritual rather than "fun" and action hero figure inducing. Or it could have been the 1 million an episode that FOX couldn't take on. Perhaps it was a little of both. The one thing I do know it wasn't the audience rating which remained pretty high for a summer first run. Today, it has a cult following all over the globe, repeats are aired on the SciFi channel all the time. It was just now released on DVD (though disappointed they left out all of Loreena McKennitt's songs and they don't have the episodes in their right order *grrrrr!* but still just as magical). If you love Celtic myths and legends, a show which is spiritual (including Druidic and Christian beliefs that merge), you love action and adventure and you want to view a show that makes you FEEL something... makes you laugh and cry (sometimes at the same time) get the DVD. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
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One of the best Tv. series I've ever seen
Spider-3615 July 1999
When the series ran during the summer of 1997, I watched every single episode. Each episode was full of history, excitement, good writing and most importantly, drama. These things are sorely missing from poorly done series like Hercules or Xena, whose only appeal is the size of Sorbo's muscles or Lawless' chest, respectively. Unfortunately, T.V. producers would rather make idiotic shows like "Worlds Most Dangerous/Funniest/Stupidest/home videos" or maybe just another ripoff of Melrose Place (Thank God that's gone!) Roar must be brought back !!
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Agree we need to see more Roar!
cazheartlight24 April 2005
Completely agree with other comment here about this great series, Roar. When it first showed I was absolutely blown away by the then fairly unknown Heath Ledger, aside from being easy on the eye he was a fabulous young actor and every week I wanted more Roar. This show had it all, brilliant acting, wonderful cinematography and directing, great cast, exciting story lines, passion, intrigue, fighting and magic - what more could they possibly want? At a time when Zena and Hercules were getting huge ratings Roar should definitely have been a winner. When it suddenly disappeared from the screen "disappointed" did not cover it - years later I spotted it's name slotted at midnight in the TV guide for two weeks running - so I taped it - only to get late night shopping instead! It never showed that I could see. Obviously Heath Ledger is too big a name now if the series continued but there are plenty of other great young actors who might attempt to fill his shoes as "Conor" - or simply rerunning the series would be big ratings now he is who he is. Maybe I just miss his Irish accent?
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What happened to Roar?
bgood2624 April 2003
Before he became a household name and invaded the dreams of almost every teenaged girl in North America, Heath Ledger starred in a little known action adventure series called "Roar."

I remember singing "Roar"'s praises when Fox first premiered it as a summer fill-in six years ago. It was a daring show--an action adventure series which took place in Celtic Ireland in the 5th century CE (1200 years before Shakespeare) starring a cast of unknowns. The story lines were great: a reluctant hero fulfill his destiny by uniting clans against the Romans. It lasted maybe eight or ten episodes, but it was a smart, imaginative, entertaining drama.

(I watched an episode on Sci-Fi last night, trying to figure out where I know Sebastian Roche (Longinus, the immortal) from. He played heavy metal star C-Square in an episode of "Law & Order.")
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Can I get a kickass?
swingkid102718 June 2000
Could this show just BE anymore kickin'? I loved it!!! It was sooo cool. I cried when I found out that it was cancelled. EVIL FOX! Why did I like it?

Well, first I've always been drawn to Celtic mythology and this surpassed my expectations in using it. The acting was great, the music kicked, and the writing was so great I can't believe it. Why do shows like this ALWAYS get cancelled???
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NOT Boring
DireWolf-422 December 2004
If one sits to watch 5 straight hours of anything, it might get boring. But taken an hour at a time, this was a tremendous series. The scenery and music are great, the story lines are interesting, and 7 years later it is fun to see what these actors looked like back in the day.

I am glad that Sci Fi is re-showing the series. I will record (TiVo) it when it airs, but watch an hour at a time during the winter rerun season.

And I think I will create my own set of DVDs of the series -- too bad FOX Network. I would have paid you a lot of money for DVDs of this series.
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Great show that could have gone somewhere
skyanimal22 May 2005
In the wake of Braveheart, and with Hercules becoming the juggernaut of New Zealand B-rated show entertainment, Roar came out with some hype and fanfare, appealing to fantasy/history buffs out there. Roar featured warriors, Romans, druids, and early Christians. Some supernatural stuff is featured, but it is small and only figures in some of the plots.

The majority of the show focuses on young Connor, forced to become the leader of a tribe, fighting against Roman encroachment and the problems of being a leader. Heath Ledger, young and fresh, fills these big shoes quite well. The acting all around is superb, many of the characters unique (for their day) and stand outs. As you watch the show, Lisa Zane and Sebastian Roche become some of the most fascinating characters and you almost want to see more of their tortured, bizarre lives.

The show has some faults. How a black man ends up in Ireland can throw some people off, but he is quickly and succintly explained away, and his race never figures into any of the episode plots. Gun powder is mentioned in one episode (one too many). A few episodes are a little cheesy, but can be tolerated.

Overall, a great show, great episodes, great use of a shoe-string budget to keep the episodes going. When you compare this show to others like "Lost World" and "Beastmaster," you wonder why those continued on and this show didn't. The show pretty much started out with a story arc, which could have hurt it; other shows of this genre usually have episodic plots, or maybe they sold the show to the wrong people.
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OK fare
lcopela15 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
When I heard than deceased Heath Ledger was in this series, I intentionally looked it up online. It wasn't until watching the 2nd and 3rd episodes that I realized why I didn't watch it. From an historical standpoint, the premise is utterly flawed both with regards to inventions ( gun powder ) as well as traditions of the Druids. If they would have stuck to a more believable plot sequence, embellished it with 5th century magic, it may have gone someplace. The actors were superb for what they had to work with and the youthful Ledger showed the promise that would blossom prior to his untimely death. All in all, it was better than Zena or Hercules which was of the same period. However, it lacked substance and the characters remained rather stilted.
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The Bomb
temair-13 May 2006
This show was fabulous. I am an Irish Studies MA degree holder and while some things they did I know were not 'period' or authentic it really held my interest. I too was sooo disappointed when this show disappeared. I only know one other person that actually watched it and that was my ex and he watched it with me! He too, Irish Studies Major.

Heath Ledger was amazing and the writing was great. I would go on to see Xena and Hecules and mistakes Raimi for being involved in Roar. Perhaps other directors went on to work for him, I don't know. But it was great.

I have always kept an ear to the ground hoping that it would run somewhere in re-runs and never heard anything. It would be nice to hear something but probably syndication might be expensive with Ledger now? Who knows.
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Wishing for More
sharkinthesalsa4 December 2001
I was facinated by this series. I found the premise well-thought out and for the life of me I can't understand why public response wasn't stronger. I think now that Heath Ledger has done some major motion pictures in the Us they should run Roar again and see if it catches on; even if they never make any more episodes I really think all the people who worked on this show deserve a second chance. Perhaps the timeing wasn't right the first time but re-running it is an idea with serious merit.

I'm not for sure how many episodes there were since I used to tape the shows and watch them again and again. If there was a way to see the Roar again I would do it.
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It deserve a remake!
yanvazquez5 September 2019
Good luck finding someone as good as Ledger. But it will be a more interesting competition to a GOT or Vikings. I think characters like the father, Connor and Caitlyn can be bring back to life again with more technology and making more emphasis on the plot from the beginning. Leaving alone the theme of the end of the season.
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Hooray for Yahoo Auctions...
staci_marie_199824 April 2001
The only way I was able to see this series. (Well, 8 episodes, anyway, I'm still looking for someone who's selling a tape with all 13 on it) As was, I sat in my room all day and watched the series all the way through.. *WOW*. I haven't loved a show this much since Quantum Leap. And of course, both aren't being made anymore. :-P The plot line was original and highly entertaining, I loved the dialogue, and the people who acted in this show brought the characters to life superbly. I *really* wish more episodes had been made.
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i was in utter disbelief
Tori-1218 October 1999
roar was a show that made me run to the television. you could not pry me away from the set until that hour was over. i am grateful for the few tapes i made of roar before it was cancelled.

i will never understand why genius is sometimes stifled.
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One of many great shows canceled by Fox
klchu23 January 2007
It's really sad when you think of how much potentially great television has been canceled by Fox TV.

It's easy to just think of Roar as some Dungeons and Dragons clone, but it was really so much more. Regardless of the genre of any television show, it's the characters that make or break a show, and Roar had some great characters. My two favorites where John Saint Ryan's Fergus and Sebastian Roche's Longinus. These are two really good actors who just don't get enough real work.

Had Roar been able to stay true to its epic story roots, with Conor trying to reunite Ireland, then this could have been a great show.
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Easier to watch paint dry.
Lollipop459823 December 2005
This is not the worst show I have ever seen. The dialog wasn't terrible, there are no fight scenes to screw up, the plot is never complicated enough to go wrong. The thing is that the show is so unambitious its hard to figure out why they made it at all. The subject matter we have all seen before. It shows up all the time even though I'm not sure there is much historical evidence for it. Irish-Good. Roman-bad. If you took Braveheart and pretended the English were Romans, and stretched it out to several months you would probably have the exact same thing.

The cast is reasonably attractive, and the actors are obviously talented as we find out later when they use their abilities in later and better work. Other then that..well, you have to be somewhat dramatic to to act out drama.
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fubared120 May 2004
Also incredibly stupid, badly acted and written and directed (in one episode we spend an eternity watching someone stare at a spear), and in general a piece of crap not worthy of one viewing. I watched 5 episodes of this. BIG MISTAKE!!! Don't bother with this junk. The only thing worth seeing is Heath Ledger with his shirt off. I can see why this was canceled so quickly. This might have been a good premise on the page, but it was ruined very quickly. The so-called 'Christian' moral majority didn't destroy this, the bad writers did. I guess Shaun had the hots for Heath and figured this might be a good way to get into bed with him. Otherwise I can't see any point to this. So unless you too have the hots for Mr. Ledger, don't bother wasting your time.
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It is a very good show and should be aired more.
ndenney13 February 2006
I started watching the show Roar last summer when I was flipping through T.V. channels. Once I came occurs it, I couldn't stop watching! Sure, some of the plot is a little cheesy, and the special effects aren't the best, but hey people, it was made in 1997. It is about a man named Conner (who is really hot BTW) and his friend Fergus trying to unite the tribes. It also has some really good music, great characters, and lets not forget cute Conner. So if you haven't watched the show, turn your t.v. to the Sci Fi channel and give it a shot! You won't be sorry. It may seem a little dorky at first, but once you have seen a few episodes, I guaranty you will like it. Who doesn't like a show packed with sword fighting action in it?
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Copies Needed!
madcelt-21 January 2006
This was an excellent TV series. Fox should be shot for killing such an original series! That said, if there is anyone out there who has all the series on video, please comment here. I'll be checking back once a week. Thanks. Too bad Fox won't sell the series. They'd make many off of it me thinks, eh? For those of you who didn't get a chance to see this excellent Celtic masterpiece, it was about a Celtic chieftain, who, whilst trying to unite the Irish Celts, to fight off the invading Romans, (a hard enough job in itself), must also keep the Celtic way of life from dying. In this series, Christian from Roam are invading, trying to wipe out paganism, thus murdering the great Celtic civilization in the last Celtic stronghold - Ireland! (too bad they succeeded!) Mad Celt. I want a copy of the entire series. Any information on obtaining it would be grateful. Thanks.

Mad Celt.
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This show is one of the best!
kokojie2 December 2005
This show is one of the best!

Especially the earlier episodes, full of drama and history.

it was almost like a movie! Actors are really good at acting, plus they are really good looking too!

This was pure elegance! too bad it got canceled, I was so sad.

I was so into the show, I taped the later episodes, too bad I did not tape the earlier episodes, which are really the better episodes of the show.

Is this show available on DVD? I would really like to see it again!! Where can I get it? well, if you haven't seen it yet, go see it
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This was a great show...why did they cancel it?
antha_a24 September 2005
Conor, a Celtic prince trying to unite the tribes. Every character in this show was unique and well-acted. This was the first time, I believe, American audiences saw Heath Ledger. He was an unknown at the time and had this unbelievably cool character. Honestly, though, Fergus and little Goloss were my favorites. Sci-Fi plays the episodes here and there (all of them--not all were shown in its original run), but a DVD would be great. Also, Kerri Russell is in the very first episode as Claire, before she became known as Felicity and cut off her hair. The premise was great, Ledger looks hot in his Celtic garb. It's worth watching, if you can stand the idea that there will never be more than 13 episodes to watch. Loved this show so much and was so crestfallen when it was canceled. FOX sucks!
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The Sad Death of Another Good Show ..
deviousfate29 June 2005
When Roar first came out on TV, I adored it. I watched it every time it was on with my mom and was disappointed when the series ended. They claimed it was only a season finale, but never brought it back. It's been years now .. and .. I'm still waiting!!! Heath Ledger got his start on this show as the cute blonde haired Celtic prince. No one knew who he was back then, and when I first saw adds for '10 Things..' I started screaming that Conor was gonna be in a movie. Absolutely adorable, and the accent is always a plus.

This show didn't deserve to be cut from the line-up. It was a good show, and more people watched it than FOX thought. Good thing Sci-Fi has picked up it's reruns. I now have the entire season on VHS to watch whenever I want.

Maybe FOX will wise up and try again. Even if they can't get Heath to play the lead, they might be able to get someone worthy of filling his shoes. Though we might not like it at first .. to have the show back with someone just as gorgeous and just as good .. would be fine by me! Bring back Roar!!! And quit canceling the shows that are actually worth watching!!
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