Highlander: The Raven (TV Series 1998–1999) Poster

(1998–1999)

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Pretty good show
johnnycage1031 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Considering I'm disagreeing with just about everyone here, let me start off by saying that I do understand the problems that all the other reviewers here had with this show. I'm one of those (perhaps rare) individuals who disliked every one of the Highlander movies (thought Endgame was an insult to the first show), as they were much too fake and just plain non-entertaining, but then absolutely loved the Highlander TV shows. The first one with Adrian Paul had characters who were walking around as if they were always on an endorphin high, which was a delight to watch as the audience knew a huge secret about these immortals that most of the mortal characters in the episode weren't informed of. So even watching the immortals, good and bad, interacting with mortals who didn't know who they were was a joy. The flashbacks were great, as was the actors' acting ability, the dialogue, fight scenes and distinct villains. The first show was great until the very last season, when it was painfully obvious that the writers were running out of ideas (The Haunting one was especially bad), but overall, definitely one of the best shows I ever had the pleasure of seeing. Then came The Raven, which quickly was obvious that this show wasn't as good as the predecessor. The writing wasn't as good, and some episodes were clearly not well done. That much I'm in agreement with everyone else here. But I would ask other viewers to also try to see the positive aspects that H:TR had. For starters, the chemistry between Amanda and detective Wolf was easily the best that I've ever seen on a film or movie. I'm not sure why exactly, but these two were just perfect together, in both dialogue, thought processes and acting, even better than Amanda and Duncan were. *******SPOILERS********** Then, I think that the writers here were trying to bring the world of immortals to deal with the point of view of a mortal, ie, Wolf, thus where we saw a mortal protagonist taking the heads of two immortals in the only season that this show was alive, the first by shooting at glass that decapitated his foe and the second (a very well-done episode) where Wolf used a sword to decapitate the immortal who was killing people for their organs. That was basically the act of allowing a mortal to interact with immortals as their equal for the first time, instead of always running to a friendly immortal to do his bidding when another immortal was a villain who needed to be dealt with (ala Joe Dawson with Duncan). Here, a mortal took charge. There were other episodes that were truly gems to watch, the best being the one where Amanda had robbed a soldier during WW1 and inadvertently caused the deaths of 120 of his `brothers', as that character stated in such a charming way. The one with father Liam and his doubts about his centuries-long faith in the priesthood was also a very good one, with Amanda baiting him to place himself between her sword and the woman journalist she pretended to wish to kill. The very first episode where Wolf's former partner had placed herself in between Amanda and a bullet, whereas basically leaving Amanda's facial expression almost screaming out `WHAT DID YOU DO?!' because she knew it was a sacrifice done for nothing, also leading her to possibly reconsider her values because someone who was dedicated to stopping her when she was a thief was still placing herself in harm's way to protect her life. And, last but not least, the last episode where we found out that Wolf himself was an immortal now, and the science of immortality was clearly explained, at least to me, when he confronted Amanda about it. Just too bad we never got to see a second season to this cool show, thus allowing detective Wolf to be an immortal himself. But this will always be one of my favorite shows. Not as good as the great first Highlander, Buffy, Angel and Fastlane (rest in peace also), but definitely one that was a joy to see every Saturday afternoon.

Thank you for reading, and remember to keep working out and stay safe:)
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Highlander's Amanda branches to her new show
raven_010 October 1998
Amanda(Elizabeth Gracen) goes from being a re-occuring guest, to a new show all about her. She is 1,000 years old, an immortal, tring to help an ex-cop, Nick (Paul Johanson) protect the innocent. She is trying to get rid of her thieving ways, but sometimes, old habits die hard. Along the way she runs into a few bad immortals and ends their immortality. It has Action, Sci-fi Fantasy like stuff, Comedy, and every now and then a touch of Romance. But Nick and Amanda aren't really a couple, just yet. I think because he's by the book kinda person and she does her own thing. But you know what they said about opposites. They attract.
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Open your mind, and you won't be disappointed
The_Music_Infected21 July 2005
I just bought The Raven, and haven't exactly got through it all yet, but I am really enjoying it so far. I know that many Highlander fans are going to start watching it with a closed mind. "No Duncan and too much Amanda", some might say. I find it refreshing to see through the eyes of another immortal more than once, (although I'd prefer Methos). But still, if you start watching The Raven, knowing that it's a different perspective with different scenarios because of different lifestyles, instead of expecting the same immortal business that we got from Duncan, then you'll find it enjoyable. Yea, the show has got some rough edges, and a couple questionable moments, but if you can look past them, then you'll have a good time watching The Raven.
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5/10
Almost worthy of your attention - but not
sarastro78 December 2004
I'm a huge Highlander fan, so naturally I had to watch this show - well, some of it, anyway. "The Raven" has two major shortcomings. It would be worthwhile if it just had one, but two of them sadly ruins its whole appeal.

Firstly, it has dull stories. Not as dull as they could be, but just not very inspired or exciting. The thing is, Elizabeth Gracen could have saved it just by her looks. She is very, very good-looking; I find her enormously appealing. A sexy lead actress can make a mediocre show well worth watching.

But that's the second shortcoming: they ruined her looks. Gracen looks fabulous with dark hair, and the more of it the better. So naturally they not only cut her hair as short as humanly possible; they also bleached it a blinding white.

Sorry, but that just makes her uninteresting to look at. And as she goes, so goes the show.

If you want good Elizabeth Gracen action, go back a see the final season of the Highlander TV series. Now *there's* some eye candy for a red-blooded Highlander aficionado.

Still, if I stumbled across the DVD set very cheaply, I wouldn't rule out purchasing it, if no one was looking... :-)

Rating: 5 out of 10.
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Lots of wasted potential
Pope-123 October 1999
Being a huge fan of the original series, it's pretty much required that I watch this one as well. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to it's predecessor's quality. Elizabeth Gracen reprises her role of Amanda, the 1200 y/o immortal. Gracen is one of those actresses you either absolutely love, or absolutely hate. I happen to be one of the former, so it's a shame to see her going to waste like this.

The storylines are thin at best. Basically they consist of, "Bad thing happens. Bad immortal from Amanda's past behind it. Amanda runs around for an hour, then kills said immortal." Not exactly groundbreaking stuff. To make up for the stories, you'd expect them to at least play up the action and have some fun with it (a la V.I.P.). However, they go in just the opposite direction and take it too seriously.

Paul Johansson plays Nick Wolfe, who is just as benign as his character's name. He's one of those cookie cutter sydie-action actors: about 6' tall, overly athletic, abnormally above average looks, abnormally below average acting ability. When Amanda is on the screen you want the scenes to last forever. When Nick is the lead, you cringe and hope for a quick death.

The show could use a major rewrite, possibly putting the focus more on Amanda's past. A character who has seen the last 1200 years gives you lots of potential settings. As for a quick & dirty rating using imdb's 10 star system, I'd give this a 5 for now.
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Yuck Yuck Yuck
Kalah29 March 1999
This show is totally lacking. Amanda was never a character that could hold her own when she appeared in the original Highlander series. She almost always hid behind the man to do her fighting. She was never a strong character. And they pushed what ever "Sex appeal" she had so far that it was to the point you thought..."Why? She's not that great. GOD!!" And it carries on to this series. When she goes through the quickening, instead of an intense almost painful looking thing we've come to expect from the old series and movies, she makes it look like a modern dance. Again "Nick" Does a lot of the fighting...the acting is terrible, the plots are thinner than a toothpick, and the camera work is a shame. And why is it still called Highlander? She's not from the Highlands of Scotland!! This show gets a 1 out of 10 (Only for effort.)
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View of the previous critiques
Heinz5726 July 1999
> Mostly the weakness of the show as it stands is a given. > Amanda, Ms. Gracen, makes the whole thing watchable for those that have a > thing for her. Which isn't hard... . > Her white hair, criticised by another reviewer, gives her, in my opinion, an > exotic sexiness which she carries well. And which on someone over 1,000 > thousand years old should be expected. Just kidding. > Some more exciting characters for her to play opposite, who generate some > real sparks, would definitely help. >
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Yes and No
edmund_132 January 2003
Highlander the Raven was a bad show but I wouldn't blame the character of Amanda for it. First the name was bad because A) there was no Highlander in it) and b) since when was she known as The Raven? then yes Amanda was a character of questionable morals who wasn't as powerful a fighter as most of the imortals but she's survived. The question is "Why?" and the answer is not that she ran to Duncan for help. finding out how she survived all these years on her own would have made a good show. The problem was the lame hook her up with a mortal cop story line. That was what made the show bad. Notice the same thing is killing Birds of Prey right now ironically a female driven show with a woman who reminds us of Catwoman in the lead role. Anyone ever notice that Buffy is a hit show and she doesn't need to run to a big strong man to defeat her enemies.
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Not even close to Original
Damien-822 December 1998
First I must say that I love Elizabeth Gracen acting in general and the way she portrays Amanda is great. But after watching this series I must say she should get an Oscar for holding this show afloat. First the writing is not even close to the standard of the original and I think that she just had more on screen chemistry with Adrian Paul. One of the things people loved to see the sparks fly between Amanda and Duncan. Not Amanda and Nick.

Paul Johansson plays a cop turned sort of renegade after his female partner is killed trying to save Amanda. Then in such he loses his job and now works with Amanda tracking down bad guys.

While Elizabeth Gracen still performs well with what limited talent around her this show is not that good. In all truth it borders on being simply bad. Nick (Paul) is not a eye drawing character and you spend most of your time trying to wait until he leaves. The story lines don't make a lot of sense and the only thing that is semi decent is the flashbacks dealing with Amanda (Elizabeth)

What the producers of the show should have done is when the new series of movies are made Elizabeth should be written into those. Hopefully Paul will be taken out of the show and the writers can try and take this show in a new direction. Concentrating more on the character Amanda.
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It's just a little different.
R.Nash1 March 1999
Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) has her own show. Cool. Great. The more recent episodes are MUCH better than the first few because the producers/writers have stopped trying to make her co-star..the star! There is a certain chemistry between the actors, which is great. We (as fans) just need to remind the writers that,"HEY! We know the "rules" of immortals" and the constant interference by Nick(Paul Johannsen)Wolfe are ANNOYING to us. But keep up the show.Thanks. Oh, Ms. Gracen looks better as a brunette (the blonde hair makes her look older).
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A poor attempt at a cult classic.
jacgrunge7 August 2000
I feel that this show was a poor attempt at a cult classic on behalf of the producers. One of the beauties of syndication is that if you get cancelled at all, you can usually at least finish out the season. If you've ever seen the Highlander catalog, some of the more popular products are boxed sets by season of the original series. I think that was the sole purpose of this series: keep it on for a season, just long enough to be a boxed set. Make money. Well, the joke's on them, good luck getting anyone to buy!
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Very sad
Morson17 August 2003
..OK, who's idea was it to take the WEAKEST character from the main series - maybe not in background history (and I don't care about her low morals) but, simply put, strength?

We're talking a series where people have to kill each other to survive with a bloody sword, and she got her ass kicked by just about every Immortal on the original show. Even Methos incapacitated her while trying to convince her not to fight him! That's like one step from beating her blind folded.

Annoying character that can't fight her way out of a wet paper bag, and gave up her only steady thing of thieving.. brilliant!
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3/10
Not worth the time to watch.
rrtaft-001624 June 2019
I was expecting the series to get off to a good start since much of the crew was coming off the previous series, but it starts out rough around the edges like many first seasons.

The fight scenes early on are boring and not worthy of a 1200 year old immortal. They improve through the season as she shows lots of kicks and flips in her fighting style. However, she loses the majority of her battles, only to be saved by sheer luck or interference. It's hard to believe she's 1200 years old with that many close calls.

Amanda's character starts out as a thief, but after hanging around an ex-cop, she not only learns to behave herself, but starts standing up for what is right. It's like she morphs from Amanda to a female version of Duncan, fighting evil immortals only because they are evil. I think this is the biggest disappointment, instead of exploring her original character more, they altered her. While they try to incorporate why she's changing in the story, it doesn't explain why all flashbacks suddenly become good girl flashbacks. I don't think there was a single circus flashback...and she LOVES the circus. It just doesn't feel like it's the same Amanda from the first series.

Another annoyance is the use of major actors from the previous series in this one. For instance, both 'Charlie' and 'Chronos' actors appear to play different roles, as well as other lesser actors.

I've watched the original series 4 or 5 times over the past 2 decades, I finally got around to watching this one. I won't be watching it again.
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3/10
The producers should have asked some "Highlander" fans and would have known, this series is doomed from the beginning
t_atzmueller15 February 2012
"Highlander"-fans are a special breed of people: they worship the original 1986 movie and never get tired of telling people that "there should only have been one" and that everything that followed the original film – TV-series, kids shows, animes, even – were complete manure; then they'll go off to buy tickets for the sequel, muttering that this is likely to be the worst "Highlander" ever.

"The Raven" is one exception in this rule – a good percentage of "Highlander"-fans didn't even bother with this one. Not only was "The Raven" a stereotypical TV-show with a supernatural twist but the fans saw one major flaw: Elizabeth Gracen, alias Amanda Darieux alias The Raven.

That's not to say that Gracen is a bad actress, her skills being quiet adequate for TV; it had more to do with "Highlander"-canon. It had been an unwritten law, that they're only male immortals. This had less to do with chauvinism than the fact that the original "Highlander" was one of the purest 'boys-only' films there was, where any female actress was a damsel in distress, to be saved by the hero or raped by the villain.

Need I mention, that the episodes of "Highlander – The Series" starring Amanda Darieux were among the most unpopular episodes? They could have taken (almost) any other character – even the villainous ones – and made a series more interesting than "The Raven". Imagine if there would have been a "Star Trek" spin-off around the character of Wesley Crusher and you might get the idea.

Take it from a fan – I've got virtually everything "Highlander" standing in my movie collection. Even the malodorous "Highlander: The Source"; but it shames me not that "The Raven" isn't standing there.

3 points from 10 I'll give it – not exactly sure for what, though.
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10/10
Amazing 10/10
carolwasef-182-21989727 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have never experienced such an indescribable experience. Amanda was a great fatal woman! Claudia is a Literal *spoiler alert* fatal woman (she died) Basil is amazing(both the herb and the character), but Amanda's cloak really stole the show. Amanda's fashion sense was outstanding, really ahead of her time. Lucy was low key the hottest character. Nick was a total creep, he needed to lay off the coffee, imagine the diarrhea. The only thing more subtle than the time fluctuations was Nick's flirting over a dead body. No words can describe the inspirational effects this show had on me. I do not ship Amandick we do ship Lucil (Lucy & Basil) Their chemistry was off the charts! We are a group of 50 yr old women who binged watched the entire series in one day!! It was that good!
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4/10
Kind of lame
JoeB1317 June 2009
Elizabeth Ward Gracen, who will probably only be remembered as one of Bill Clinton's "bimbo eruptions" (they have pills for that now!) is probably the weakest element of this show. It really continues the tired formula of the Highlander Series- The hero immortal encounters another immortal with flashbacks about the last time they met, but there is some conflict, and there is a sword fight at the end where you have a cheap special effects sequence.

Then you have the character of Nick Wolf. Basically, your typical unshaven 90's hero, with the typical "Sexual tension" storyline. (Seriously, why do you Hollywood types think sexual tension is more interesting than sex.) This was a joint Canadian/French production, so half the series takes place in Vancouver imitating New York, and the other half is in Paris... Just like Highlander did.
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Sequel of a sequel = almost never a good idea
amag815 July 2000
It should have stopped after the original series. Building a sequel upon a sequel seldom turns out good, and "The Raven" is an example of this. Let the Highlander name rest now, it was good, anything else is just redundant.
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