In the Beginning.... there was The Film
My first memory of HIGHLANDER is July 1995. My best friend’s new boyfriend was a fan and brought the original movie over one night to make us watch it. From the get-go of sword fighting in Madison Square Garden’s parking garage, I couldn’t believe I was even wasting my time watching this fantasy. I didn’t know who Christopher Lambert was. Or who Connor MacLeod was. Let alone that there was actually an entire TV series based on this cult flick! My friend and I ended up catching a few of the television episodes in repeat probably, being summer. We didn’t see first off why this Highlander wasn’t the same guy. He was called Duncan instead of Connor. Oh well. Richie Ryan, the spunky sidekick was awfully cute. And there began my attraction to Highlander the Television Series. Stan Kirsch (1968-2020 Rest In Peace), of all people. I followed the Series to cable (USA channel) when my local syndication channel gave up. I came to love some particular episodes and still smile when Sci-Fi now airs some sentimental Methos-less episodes. (Yes, that IS possible)
Unfortunately, I changed my schedule over the weekends beginning of 1998. Highlander aired on Saturdays I think. But, of course, RAIN was away from cable television every Saturday. I didn’t get to see the final season!! I didn’t even KNOW it was Highlander’s final season!! Suddenly there is all this buzz about a spin-off starring Elizabeth Gracen’s Immortal Amanda. It aired on the local station. Saturdays at 6 pm. I hated it!! I stopped watching after 5 episodes or less. It went on without me for its total of 22 episodes. 1 season.
Rain became Richieless!! Utterly Highlanderless. I tried to watch Highlander 2: the Quickening. Bad idea. I still have no idea what happens. I haven’t seen it again and don’t want to. [UPDATE: I have now seen both H2: The Quickening and H2: Renegade Version. I’ll jump on board the theory that it was one of Connor’s Sanctuary dreams.] I finally saw Highlander 3: Final Dimension that I rented from the store. Kinda dumb, but watchable.
When does a Hobby become a Lifestyle?
Anyway. So, I was cruising through all my digital satellite stations this past spring (2000). And WHAT DO I SEE ON SCIFI??? HIGHLANDER!!! Every damn day at 11am central time. They were at the end of season 2 already. So I STILL don’t get to see Duncan kiss on Tessa. That is okay. Remember, I watched for Richie Ryan anyway. . .
I kept watching faithfully. Finally it seemed I may miss Friday and Monday. So I set up the VCR to tape those two. I watch them at my leisure the next week. This is a great idea, I think to myself. I’ll do this EVERY day. I end up taping AND watching everyday so I can re-watch episodes. One day this one special episode airs. It is entitled “Methos” about the oldest known Immortal. Interesting concept, I decide. I wasn’t taping that day though, only viewing. 11 - noon came and went. My day went ahead as usual. Sometime later I get excited to watch Kalas die on the Eiffel Tower. I decide without question to record these two episodes entitled “Finalé”. Lo and Behold! There’s that Methos character again. He’s witty. He and Joe make a good pair.
Weeks go by. I look forward to the episode entitled “Chivalry”. Richie gets a girlfriend named Kristin. She’s a baddie Immortal. But here is this Methos guy AGAIN! He just can’t stay out of Duncan’s life, can he? I watch the taped episode again, actually disbelieving MYSELF when I fast forward over the Richie parts to get to Methos’ speeches. What is going ON??
Two days later, “Timeless” airs. I jokingly call it the Methos Dating Seminar. Even though the main attention is given to Claudia Jardine, new Immortal piano virtuoso.
I go on to enjoy “Something Wicked”. Richie almost getting whacked doesn’t excite me as much as I’d hoped. Why? The next episode is “Deliverance”. Methos saves Duncan from himself and the Dark Quickening. This character deserves some research, I decide. I hit the search engines online. Methos is played by Peter Wingfield. So what? I like METHOS, not PETER. I download some pictures and wav files of Methos. Bookmark a few sites. Join egroups lists for both Richie and Methos. Comment to myself, now quite ironically, that this Methos guy has WAY too many fansites on the web.
I keep watching Highlander, and I keep getting more and more interested, like a horse with blinders on for this incredible 5000 year old man! I write my first fan fic. Short, has nothing to do with his actual character. But impulse drove me. I found out about Endgame the movie. I looked up Peter Wingfield at the Internet Movie DataBase. I see he’s been in a lot of TV shows. I seem to be missing alot of them that are still airing in reruns on various channels. Phoo-ey. I’ll have to keep my eyes open.
My boyfriend (1999-2006) knows I’m now addicted to The Series with a special fondness towards the ROG. He asks me when the Horsemen Episodes are gonna be on. I don’t know. What is a horseman? He just smiles and says quietly, “You’ll see. Tape them and let me watch with you.” Turns out, he’s been a fan of Highlander as well (Why didn’t he let me in on this cult secret sooner then??).
But why fixate on Methos?
I’m still trying to decide exactly WHY I like Methos so much. He doesn’ have the body of a god (relative to Duncan of course, who DOES), His hair is short and spikey and never lays right on his head (or in Finalé, blows all over feathered in the wind), He has a fairly prominent facial bone structure (ok, FINE, he has a large nose). I usually go for cute chubby faces (like Richie Ryan’s), Methos drinks too much (He’s not an alcoholic. He’s a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings!). He is overly pessimistic and cynical. He can’t decide if he will dress like a clown (Red pants in Finalé) or a corpse (Gray, drab, the remaining episodes).
I guess it just boils down to his incredibly silky accented Baritone voice, his dark dancing hazel eyes, his smooth stroll across the street or across the room, his inviting sprawl across Duncan’s bed, couch or Joe’s barstools, and how all the Highlander writers always gave Methos the best lines of script.
A Security Blanket of Methos Memorabilia
I kept all the VHS tapes that had Methos episodes on them. I hooked the two VCRs together so I could put them all on the same three tapes together. I liked being “forced” to watch each show YET AGAIN. PURE TORTURE! I even made cute little stick-em labels for the tape sides :)
I scoured eBay for anything I could buy. I purchased the official Highlander Convention in Anaheim video. Then I finally won the Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM in August. I bought the only Methos Highlander Novel, the Captive Soul as soon as I saw it in the store. They also had “Finalé” as the movie format with all those pesky Eurominutes. But it was expensive and I left it on the shelf. (I’ve gone back and bought it. Regrettably, they put in those scenes but take others out. Ick!)
I have a huge (to MY standard) website dedicated to Methos/Peter.
My days sometimes revolve around joyously bounding around the house because one more repeat of a Peter Wingfield series will be aired on my Television stations (Noah’s Ark, the Sentinel, Murder Most Horrid). Or a new series has been announced (Queen of Swords). Or Peter will guest star on another Canadian produced series (The Outer Limits, Stargate, First Wave). Not that I have SHOWTIME anyway. But can you believe the bum luck? I got a rare free preview weekend of Showtime one week before Peter’s Stargate-SG1 episode premeired in July.
I want to know if Sci Fi will ever bring back Highlander as a regularly showing series. This “SUMMER OF SCIFI” is really on my last nerve. 6 hours of a different crazy old series each weekday til WHO KNOWS when. (Although August 3, 2000 wasn’t so awful. — It was Methos Highlander Day. I got to tape “Methos” “The Modern Prometheus” and “Indiscretions”, my new fav episode). I’ll wait it out, believing, as Duncan deliriously does, in good always triumphing over evil. Highlander is beloved of SO MANY people. It shall always grace our airwaves Somewhere, Somehow.