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A podcast looking at comics, pop culture, and how the two connect. Come for the history, stay for the swearing.

April 29, 2021

Issue 05: Highlander

There can be only one, but Highlander's had a surprising number of media adaptations and spin-offs over the years. We take a look at all of them and even get some behind-the-scenes gossip about the infamous comic book tie-in: Highlander 3030.


Episode Transcript


Episode 05 [00:00:00] Mike: It's fine. It's fine. I'm not bitter. Mike: Welcome to Tencent Takes, the podcast where we make comics trivia rain like dollar bills on Magic Mike night. My name is Mike Thompson and I am joined by my cohost, the mistress of mayhem herself, Jessika Frazer. Jessika: Muahahaha! It is I hello, Mike. Mike: Hello. If you're new to the podcast, we like to look at comic books in ways that are both fun and informative. We want to check out their coolest, weirdest and silliest moments, as well as examine how they've been woven into the larger fabric of pop culture and history. Today, we are traveling through time and talking about the 35 year legacy of one of the strongest cult franchises around, Highlander. But [00:01:00] before we do that, Jessika, what is one cool thing that you've watched or read lately? Jessika: My brother has some copies of classic Peanuts Comics, and it's so much fun. It's good, wholesome, fun. And Snoopy- related media always makes me nostalgic. And Mike you've mentioned before that we're in California in the San Francisco Bay area, but fun fact, I live right near Santa Rosa, which is the home of the Peanuts creator Charles Schultz when he was alive. So there's a museum there and an ice skating rink. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Which is super awesome And Snoopy on ice was huge when I was a kid. And that is definitely the place I also learned to ice skate. By the way, they throw a mean birthday party, just saying, not right this second. Not this second. [00:02:00] We should do it is what I'm saying. Mike: We should do it for ourselves. Jessika: No, that's what I'm saying. Oh, I don't have children. Mike: But we do. Jessika: Yes, they can come with us, like they're invited. Mike: I mean, are they? Jessika: Look at you hesitating. Mike: We took the kids to the Peanuts museum right before the lockdowns happened. that really Jessika: That's really lovely that's nice got to do that. Mike: There’s a lot of cool stuff to do. It's really interactive. It's also just a really fascinating experience because there's so much about the Peanuts during their, what 50 year run give or take. It may not have been that long. It may have been 30 or 40, but it was a long time, and I really dug it, like there was a lot of cool stuff, so yeah . And also the cool thing about Santa Rosa is they've also got all those Snoopy statues all over town too. Jessika: They do. Yeah. All the [00:03:00] Peanuts characters actually. Cause they, the Charlie Browns and the Lucy's now and the Woodstocks. Yeah they're all over the place. But that used to be something fun we could do as a scavenger hunt, and actually that's something you guys could still do even with the lockdown. Cause most of them are outside is just find that list of where all the Snoopy's or whatever character is and go find them all. Cause we did that at one point, like as an adult, obviously. Well, what about you, Mike? Mike: The complete opposite of something wholesome. Jessika: Perfect. Mike: We didn't actually have the kids for a few days. They were with their dad and we couldn't find anything new to watch. So, we wound up bingeing the entire series of Harley Quinn on HBO Max. Jessika: Oh, you’re ahead of me then. Damn you. Mike: This is my third time going through the series. We've just gotten to the point where we turned it on when we want to watch something that's kind of soothing in a way, even though it is not a soothing TV show. But I still am [00:04:00] having these full on belly laughs where I'm breathless at the end and it's just, it's so smart and funny and absolutely filthy with the violence. And then there are these moments of sweetness or genuine reflection, and it's just so damn refreshing. I was never much of a Harley fan, but this show and then the Birds of Prey movie really made me fall in love with that character. Also side note, Michael Ironside who played General Katana and Highlander II. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: He shows up in Harley Quinn doing the voice of Darkseid, which is a character he's been voicing since the nineties when he first started doing it for the Superman animated series. Jessika: Oh, damn. Mike: So, just a little bit of symmetry there. Mike: All right. So before we begin, I have to say that this episode wound up being a rabbit hole full of other rabbit holes that I kept going down. So, I want to give a little credit where it's due for a ton of my research. I really wound up leaning on two books: John Mosby's Fearful Symmetry [00:05:00]; and A Kind of Magic: The Making of Highlander by Jonathan Melville. Likewise, there's a YouTube series called Highlander heart hosted by Grant Kempster and Joe Dilworthand, and an associated Facebook community with the same name that were just invaluable for my crash course. And finally, I want to give special, thanks to Clinton Rawls, who runs Comics Royale, and Matt Kelly for taking the time to chat with me because they didn't have to, and they provided me with some really useful information for this episode. Jessika: Yeah, I'm super excited about what lies in store. What's really funny is I've actually, I feel like a kid before it test. Mike: Right? Jessika: like I'm a little nervous because I've been cramming so hard for this Mike: We both have. Jessika: No, you, especially you, especially like you should be much more nervous than me, Mike. No, I’m just kidding, please don't take that on. Oh, but yeah, no I'm super excited and really ready to talk about all of this stuff and learn more because I've just been consuming the media and the [00:06:00] comic books. But, you’re going to give me some back knowledge that's gonna blow my brain and I'm excited. Mike: Oh, well, I'll try to live up to that high expectation. Let's assume that you didn't know what the topic of this episode was. And if someone asked you what cult property from the 1980s. Spawned five movies, two TV series, a Saturday morning cartoon, an anime film, several video games, multiple tabletop games, audio plays, roughly a dozen novels, and four okay, technically six different comic books. What would your first answer be? Jessika: Oh, goodness. What's funny is probably not Highlander. I'd probably I would say like Batman, honestly, Mike: Yeah I would've gone with something along the lines of G.I. Joe. Jessika: Oh, yeah. Mike: Or some weird Saturday morning cartoon, something like that. I never would have guessed Highlander. I never would have assumed that. but it's just, it's really surprising to see how [00:07:00] much has been generated out of this initial movie. Were you fan of the movies or the show before we started bingeing everything for this episode? Jessika: So I was actually a fan of the show via my dad who had it on hadn't watched the films before, because I was born in 1986 fun fact. Mike: Right. Jessika: I was born when this thing was sent into the world. We both were at the same time, apparently. I didn't have that exact experience of growing up watching it, but he definitely had the TV show on in the nineties Mike: Okay. Jessika: So that was what I was familiar with and I loved it and I would run around chopping things; I'd be at work, I was actually like when I got older I'd be like, there can only be one, and I’d like have to like swipe at someone. Mike: It’s such an iconic line. Jessika: iIt is! it transcends. Absolutely. Mike: Yeah. I was pretty young when the movie came out and the show was how I became aware of it. And then when the show was airing, I was in high school. And then I became [00:08:00] aware that there was a movie that had inspired it. And so I was able to rent that when I was old enough to be trusted, to go rent movies on my own by my parents. Back when we couldn’t stream everything. Jessika: Oh my gosh. Mike: And there were rewind fees, Jessika: Oh, my gosh. Be kind rewind. Mike: Speaking of things from the eighties: it’s funny we'll talk about it later on, but the show really brought in, I think a lot of people that otherwise wouldn't have been fans. Before we start talking about the comic books, I really want to take a few minutes to talk about all the media and content that spun out of Highlander because it's a lot. And it was honestly in a couple of cases, really surprising. I didn't know about half of this stuff before I began researching for the episode, and then. Like I said, it was just constant rabbit holes that kept on leading me down more and more research paths. And it was really fun. But I want to talk about all this now. Jessika: Perfect. This is exactly what we're here for, and I think that people want to hear it too. [00:09:00] Mike: I hope so. Okay. So why don't you summarize Highlander? If you had to give an elevator pitch, Jessika: The film follows the past and present of Connor MacLeod, an immortal who is just one of many vying to be the sole victor in an age old battle, where in the end, there can only be one. Like very simply a lot more to it, but like how much of an elevator pitch. Mike: I think that's pretty simple. It's about an immortal who basically keeps on fighting his way through history and there's these really wonderful catch phrases that get us hooked. The movies got actually a really interesting origin story of its own. It was written by this guy named Gregory Widen when he was in his early twenties. That was when he wrote the initial screenplay. But he had already had a really interesting life up until then. He was one of the youngest paramedics in Laguna Beach at that point in [00:10:00] time. And then he went on to become a firefighter while he was still a teenager. By 1981, he'd also worked as a DJ and a broadcast engineer. And then he signed up for a screenwriting course at UCLA and he wrote this feature length script called Shadow Clan. And it would go through a number of changes before it became Highlander. But the core theme of an immortal warrior named Connor MacLeod wandering across the centuries is there. He wound up getting introduced to producers Bill Panzer, and Peter Davis who decided to option the film. And then they hired the screenwriters, Larry Ferguson and Peter Bellwood to rework the script into what we eventually had wind up in theaters. And once the movie was green-lit, they brought in Russell Mulcahey to direct it. And I vaguely knew that Mulcahey had been doing music videos before this, for the most part, he had one other cult movie ahead of time. It was a horror movie, I think, called Razorback. But I didn't realize which music videos he'd been making until I started doing all [00:11:00] this research. So I'm going to give you a small sampling and you're going to tell me if you've heard of these. Jessika: Okay. Sure sure sure. Mike: Okay. The Vapors “Turning Japanese”. Jessika: Uh, yeah. Mike: Yeah, okay. The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Jessika: Wow. Yes. Mike: Duran Duran Duran’s “Rio”. Jessika: Wow. Mike: And Elton John's “I'm Still Standing”. Jessika: Yeahwow. That's actually a variety of characters. Mike: Right? But also those all really iconic music videos. Like not only songs, but music, videos cause those were all in the very early days. And the dude's entire portfolio is just iconic. If you think about the music videos that really defined the genre Jessika: Yeah, sometimes you just got it, I guess. Huh? Mike: He has a lot of those music video elements. A lot of times in the movie, it feels like a music video, like when Brenda's being chased down the hall by the Kurgan and it's got all that dramatic lighting, or that opening shot where they're in the [00:12:00] wrestling match and you see the camera flying through everything. Jessika: Yes! Mike: That was wild. That was really unusual to see camera work like that back then. The movie was distributed by 20th century Fox. And I think at this point, We'd be more surprised of 20th century Fox did a good job of marketing weird and cool, because they really botched it. They wound up forcing cuts to the movie that created really weird plot holes because they didn't feel that audiences needed it or what would understand it, and they wanted to make it simpler, but it really made things more confusing. European audiences on the other hand, really embraced the film because they got a much better version. So case in point, I'm going to show you the two main posters for it. This is the American poster for the movie. Jessika: Mmhmm. Oh, wow, he’s scary. Wow wow wow, okay. Before I even say any of the words, what you first see is Connor [00:13:00] MacLeod, but it's this awful grainy picture of him. He looks like there's something wrong with his face, which he shouldn't necessarily. And he looks like he's about to murder someone. He's like glaring off into the distance. And at the top it says, Oh, it's in black and white, by the way. at the top it says, He fought his first battle on the Scottish Highlands in 1536, he will fight his greatest battle on the streets of New York city in 1986. His name is Connor MacLeod. He is immortal Highlander! Credits at the bottom, rated R, absolutely rated R. Mike: Also, I feel like featuring original songs by Queen does not get the billing that it should. Jessika: I agree. I jammed my way through that film and this just the whole series, [00:14:00] actually the whole franchise I jammed my way through. Mike: Yeah. And if you listen to the kind of Magic album that is basically the unofficial soundtrack to the movie, and it's so good I don't know how they got those perpetual rights to Princes of the Universe, did. Every time I hear that song, I get a little thrill up my spine. All right. So here's the poster though for the European release. Jessika: All right. So, Ooh, this is totally different. This is Whoa. This is way more exciting. Okay. First of all, it's full Color, my friends, right in the middle in red it says Highlander right under it “There can only be one” in yellow. Oh it's amazing. There's a little sticker at the bottom that says featuring original songs by queen. Look it, trying to sell it, I love it. And then there's Connor MacLeod in the center of the screen [00:15:00] dramatically head back eyes closed screaming his sword thrusts forward and behind him is the Kurgan, oh my gosh so good. It's so - Oh, and a backdrop of New York city. All in lights. It's beautiful. Mike: Yeah. It’s one of those things where basically, that documentary that we watched seduced by Argentina, they talk about that where they're just like 20th century Fox fucked us. Jessika: And I didn't realize how much until, because I did watch that as well. And I'm like how bad could it be? But I that's pretty bad. It's a pretty big difference. It's like watching, that'd be like going, expecting to see like psycho or something. Mike: Honestly, I keep on thinking of Firefly and Fox and how they just totally botched the marketing for that show and then the release, and issues with Joss Wheden aside. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: It’s one of those [00:16:00] things where again, it's a really beloved cult property with a really devoted fan base, even, 5 years after it was released, shit, almost 20. Jessika: And I do love Firefly, again, Whedon aside. Mike: I do too. Jessika: And it makes me a little sad think about it because it had so much potential. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Oh, it's so rough. It's rough to see. Mike: Yeah. What were your overall thoughts on the movie now that you've seen it because you hadn't seen it before this, correct? Jessika: No. I had only seen the TV show and probably rightfully so, because that was much less violent. I mean, much less graphically violent. They were still beheading motherfucker every episode, but, versus the film, which is like blood and like half a head and wow, there, it goes the head. But I actually really liked the movie. It was adventurous, it was thrilling and told a fairly cohesive and interesting storyline which unfortunately had an ending. But it still took us on an emotional journey. [00:17:00] Mike: Yeah, and I feel the same way. Jessika:: And how all the camp that I love from the 1980s and the special effects are just chefs, kiss love it. Mike: There is something so wonderful about the special effects from the 1980s, because they're so earnest all the time. And at the same time they look so cheesy by comparison now. Jessika: But you can tell they were trying so hard. It's almost like a little kid who's just learning to finger paint and they walk up and they're like, I did this thing. It's so good. You're like, it is really good. It's really good for where you're at. Mike: Yeah, exactly. Highlander is very much a quintessential eighties film to me, and there's both that nostalgia factor, but also it's a pretty tight little film. It doesn't really try to do anything too grandiose or too world-building because I don't think they expected to really make the sequels that they wound up doing. Which speaking of which we should discuss the sequels. [00:18:00] Mike: Like, I feel like you can’t discussion without talking about the sequels. And honestly the first time I ever heard of Highlander as a brand really was when I was visiting family in Texas And we were watching a Siskel & Ebert episode where they were thrashing Highlander II. Jessika: Dude, Siskel and Ebert I'm sure hated this. This does not surprise me in the least. Mike: I don't remember much about it, I just remember being like, oh Sean Connery's in a movie, well that's cool. Because my parents had raised me on all of the Sean Connery James Bond movies. Jessika: Yeah casting, come on. Why? Why? They had a French dude playing a Scottish guy and a Scottish guy playing a Spanish Egyptian guy. It's. Mike: I believe label was a Hispaniola Egyptian. They kinda darkened up Sean Connery a little bit too. I'm not sure. Jessika: It felt that way. I was just hoping he had just been under the tanning beds, but no, I think you're right. [00:19:00] Mike: Highlander II was definitely the most infamous of the sequels. And I mean a huge part of that is because it had such a batshit production and there’d been so many different versions of it. It was so bad that Russell Mulcahey reportedly walked out of the film premiere after only 15 minutes. There's this great documentary that you and I both watched on YouTube, it's split up into a bunch parts, but it was a documentary they made for the special edition of Highlander II. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: It was the third release of the movie that they put out because the first one was basically the bonding company for the films. Investors took over the production and assembly of the movie due to the fact that Argentina, where they were filming. And they had gone to Argentina because a, it was gorgeous, but B because it was supposedly going to be a third of the cost Jessika: Yeah. Mike: To make a movie there than it would elsewhere. Argentina’s economy collapsed and went through hyperinflation. And as a result, everything just went haywire. But they went back years later and they not only recut the [00:20:00] movie, but they refilled or added in certain scenes I think four or five years later. And then on top of that, they did the special edition a few years after that, where they redid the special effects. And I don't know it's kind of funny because it's not a bad movie now. It's not terrible. I feel it's an enjoyable film in its own way. But it's also funny where you watch that documentary and they're talking about the stuff that they're so proud of. Russell Mulcahey was talking about how proud he was of that love scene. I'm using this in quotes, love scene between Virginia Madsen and and Christopher Lambert where they just decided to do it up against the wall of an alley? Jessika: That’s always an interesting choice to me. Like you really cannot wait. Mike: Yeah. And then he was like, I thought that was a really hot scene. And I got to sit there and I'm like, I don't, I can't view this through the lens of, a 20 something guy in the 1990s. I don't know what my interpretation of it would have been then, [00:21:00] but watching it now watching it for the first time when I was in my twenties and the, in the early aughts, I just was like, this is weird and sorta dumb. And also they don't really have a lot of chemistry, but okay. Jessika: Yeah, it just kind of happens. They're just like, Oh, here you are. Mike: Yeah Right I don't know. At the same time it was cool to see they did all those really practical, special effects where they actually had them whipping around on the wires on like the weird flying skateboards and stuff. I thought that was cool. Jessika: I thought that was neat too. And how he was like, yeah, I actually got on top of the elevator and he was excited. Now he got on top of the elevator. Mike: And then they basically just dropped it down, like that's wild. So how about Highlander three? Jessika: Ahhh… Mike: Yeah, that’s kinda where I am Jessika: It’s very forgettable in my book. Mike: I feel like you could wipe it from the timeline and no one would care. Really, it felt like a retread of the first movie, but with the shittier villain in a way less interesting love story. honestly, it was a bummer because Mario [00:22:00] Van Peebles, the guy who plays that the illusionist I can't even remember his name. It was that forgettable. Jessika: Yeah, no, I can't either. Mike: Mario van Peebles is a really good actor and he's done a lot of really cool stuff. And it just, it felt like he was the NutraSweet version of the Kurgan Jessika: I like that. Yes. Yes. Mike: All of the mustache twirling, none of the substance. Jessika: It leaves a little bit of a weird taste in your mouth. Mike: Right. Splenda Kurgan! Moving on Highlander, Endgame. Jessika: What I do like about this film is that in both the TV series, as well as the film, there is the actual crossover. Connor shows up in Duncan's world and Duncan shows up in Connor's world and there is that continuity, which is good. And I do appreciate that because, before I got into this, I assumed that the character was interchangeable and we were just seeing different actors James [00:23:00] Bond situation. And when I went back and realized like, Oh no, he's his own character, they're blah, you know. Mike: I dunno I saw this in theaters I love the show and I appreciated that it felt like an attempt to merge the movies in the series and of the movies, I feel like this actually has the strongest action scenes. There's that bit where Adrian Paul faces off against Donnie Yen. And I was like, that's gotta be really cool to be able to sit there and show your kids much later in life: hey, I got to do a martial arts scene with Donnie Yen and he didn't kill me in the movie. that's pretty dope. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Again, it felt underwhelming. It just wasn't all that interesting. And also I spent years being mad at that movie because the trailer brought me into the theater expecting something way different than what we were going to get Jessika: Okay. And I don't know that I saw the trailer. Mike: It has, it has a bunch of scenes with Magic where Connor and Duncan jumped through a portal [00:24:00]. Jessika: What? Mike: And a sword gets thrown at Jacob Kell and he catches it midair. And then he does something else where he's holding a sphere where you see Connor's face screaming and then it shatters. Jessika: What’s with all this weird, extra scene stuff in these trailers. I don't understand. Mike: Yeah, it turns out that this hasn't, this has never really been officially confirmed, but reading between the lines yeah, it’s been confirmed. They basically filmed extra scenes just to make it more appealing for people. So they would show up to the theaters. Like they filmed scenes, effectively they filmed scenes just for the trailer the director when he was asked about it in Fearful Symmetry. He basically said, yeah, I know there was some stuff that they filmed for marketing afterwards, and I wasn't involved with that. And then I think it was Peter Davis that was asked about this for the book. And he basically said, Oh, this is a really standard practice. People, or accompanies [00:25:00] film stuff for for marketing purposes all the time. And that's where he left it. Jessika: Oh, okay. to know. Mike: I was really grumpy about that, but that said I've softened a little since then. Do we even want to talk about the Source? Cause I feel like that's something that we shouldn't talk about in polite company. Jessika: No pass. Mike: Okay. Jessika: It happened? Mike: It happened, it was a thing that happened that was going to be a trilogy. They were planning to make that into a trilogy of movies. Jessika: Ohh rough times. Mike: Oh it's real bad. I don't think you were able to watch this, but Highlander, the search for vengeance. It's the anime. Jessika: No, I couldn't find it. Mike: Yeah. It's not available for streaming and it really it's really a bummer because it's actually pretty good. I'm not quite sure how to qualify it because it's not a live action movie and it doesn't star Duncan or Connor, but it's a full length anime. It's a full length movie in its own right. It focuses on Colin MacLeod who he’s [00:26:00] an immortal, who's technically part of the MacLeod clan. He's born as a Roman Britain and then he's adopted into the MacLeod clan after he fights alongside them later on. They keep on doing this. They keep on going back to dystopian SciFutures, which I kinda like, Jessika: I love, bless their little hearts. Mike: Yeah. A lot of the story actually takes place in this post-apocalyptic 22nd century, New York. And I haven't seen this in about a decade because it's not available on streaming. I don't have the DVD anymore. I really should pick it up before it goes out of print. But the movie fucking slaps. It was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, he was really big in the nineties. He did Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust. He's known for really cool looking movies that are also really violent at the same time. Like you look at his characters and you're like, Oh yeah, no, they all look interchangeable because they're also similar one movie to another, Jessika: Oh, I see. Mike: But they're really cool. And the movie was written by David Abramowitz, who was the head writer [00:27:00] for the TV show. So it felt like a pretty legit Highlander story. Honestly, if we had to talk about this and ask which of these movies or the sequels were our favorites, I would probably say the Search for Vengeance. Because I loved it so much, but since that wasn't a theatrical release, we'll exclude that and you didn't get to watch it. Of the sequels, which did you enjoy most? Jessika: Mike, why don’t you go first. Mike: Okay. I'm a little torn, I guess I enjoyed Endgame mainly because it feels like part of he in quotes, real Highlander story, I guess it's the least terrible of the sequels. And it brought in my favorite characters. The final version of Highlander II, is I don't know. I don't hate it. It honestly feels like a cool dystopian cyberpunk story with some bizarre Highlander lore shoehorned in, but at the same time, it's not the worst thing I've ever watched. How about you? Jessika: Funny [00:28:00] enough, I was going to say Highlander II, but maybe just a bit more so if it were its own standalone movie and not try to be a part of the Highlander franchise. The idea of the shield is super interesting and I think they could have elaborated more on the lead-up and the resolution of that issue rather than having to also make it about the Immortals in their forever game. Mike: Yeah, I agree. How do you feel about moving onto the TV series? Jessika: Oh, I am pro. Mike: Okay. I personally feel like this is the property that sucks all the air out of the room when you're talking about Highlander. Jessika: Oh no. Mike: Yeah, I mentioned that this is how I really got introduced to the brand. I started watching it in high school, around season three, which was when it was really starting to get good. The first two seasons I feel were kind of when they were ironing out all the rough spots. But I wound up watching it through the end. So if you're listening to this podcast and you have never seen the [00:29:00] show Highlander, the series ran for six seasons, which is a good length of time for any TV show. And it followed the adventures of Duncan, who was another member of the MacLeod clan. He was a distant cousin of Connor. And the show bounced between Seacouver, which is a fictionalized version of Vancouver in Paris. And it basically retcon things so that the original movie didn't end with The Quickening, but that the battle between the Kurgan and Connor was it's implied, it was the start of The Gathering. That's my interpretation of it. Jessika: That was what I got too. Mike: Yeah. And Christopher Lambert, he shows up in the pilot to help set things up and get them moving. But I think that's the only time we ever really seen him on the show. Jessika: Correct. He's really just an intro. He's in that first episode only. Mike: You have rewatched it as a have I . We haven't watched the entire series all the way through, but we've watched a lot of episodes. Jessika: Correct. Mike: How do you feel [00:30:00] it measures up today? compared to that nostalgic view that we had before, Jessika: I had a lot of fun watching it, actually. definitely super cheesy. I don't love all of the characters I watched a lot of the first season, then I bounced around I think I did the top, like 25 on a list that you sent me. But Duncan’s just so codependent sometimes with his characters and it's like the one time the Tessa goes on a hike by herself, she gets kidnapped by an, a mortal and it’s like, oh my God, she can't even go on a fucking hike, are you joking me? And the one time he goes to the store by himself, he gets kidnapped and it's like, oh, come the fuck on you guys. Mike: Yeah, I feel like it generally holds up pretty well. It's a little uneven, but when it hits , it really hits. And it's a lot of fun. And considering that it was a relatively low budget show on basic cable in the early to mid-nineties, there's a lot of stuff that has aged way worse. [00:31:00] Jessika:: Absolutely. It exceeded my expectations on the rewatch, for sure. Mike: Yeah, and I have to say that one really cool thing about Highlander is it's got a really large female fan base. And I suspect that the show is really responsible for that. Jessika: I would agree. There's a few reasons. Mike: Are six of those reasons. Duncan's abs? Jessika: Like 10 of those reasons are all the times he gets surprised in a bathtub. I know I messaged you while I was watching them, because I was like Duncan got surprised in a bathtub again. Mike: I don't remember which episode it was, but there's one where he is surprised while he's in a bathrobe and he's got, it's not even tighty whities, it’s like a bikini brief, and watching that, I was just sitting there going, thank you for this gift. Thank you. Thank you for this visual treat that you have given us in the middle of my very boring work day. Jessika: It’s [00:32:00] also that there are such a wide variety of female characters. I would say, I\it’s not just the other female person he seeing or whatever, the love interest, there are other female Immortals and they a lot more frequently than they do in the films. I can't recall if they have any female immortals in the films. Mike: They do in Endgame. Jessika: Okay. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I thought there was, there were some in there, but that’s tailing into, I mean yeah. Mike: Yeah. And the Source had them too, but meh. Jessika: Oh yeah. Mike: I will say that the show was pretty good about writing pretty strong female characters, I felt. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: And we'll talk about Amanda in a little bit, but I have to say that I really liked how she was written and how Elizabeth Grayson played her through the original series and then her own afterwards. I dunno. I, what do you think is the sexiest thing about Duncan MacLeod? I'm curious. Jessika: He seems [00:33:00] really like trustworthy, but like and sexy trustworthy. It's like, he'd be the dude. I called if some guys were fucking with me. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: I kept on thinking about how there's this Tumblr post that's been going around the internet, regularly, and it's this discussion about which Disney men women find the sexiest guys always thinks it's Gaston. Jessika: Oh lord, why? Mike: It’s that male power fantasy thing where they're just like, oh no, like he's like really charming. And he's really muscly. And the counterargument from women is usually A no Gaston sucks and B we all like Roger from 101 Dalmatians. Jessika: Oh yeah. Roger. Mike: Which, Roger is very much my personal role model. The dude's a talented musician, he loves animals and he's got that great, a snark where he literally is trolling the villain when she comes to his house with a motherfucking trombone from upstairs [00:34:00]. And I think Duncan's a little like that. Like he's cultured and he's worldly and he's got this wicked sense of humor. And he's also the type of dude who has no problem reciting poetry in public or making his partner breakfast in bed. Jessika: Yeah, absolutely. Mike: So it just it was something that came to mind while I was rewatching all this stuff. Jessika: Yeah. just as like a wholesome guy. Mike: Right? Jessika: He always has good intentions. So that's actually what it feels like. He's always coming at things with good intentions. Mike: Yeah, and he's not perfect, but he's always trying to do the right thing, which I really appreciate. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: What was your favorite episode? Jessika: I went back and forth. I really like the Homeland episode, and like I said, I've really only watched a good chunk of most of season what I would say, and then so kind of bounced around, but season four, episode one. It was really sweet to see [00:35:00] Duncan take the obligatory trip back to his Homeland to pay respects. And it also had a good lesson in not judging a book by its cover as the main character assumes that Duncan is just an ancestry tourist, which was super interesting. She was super hating on it but I was like this is interesting instead of visiting what once was literally his home during formative years. So it was just such a wild thing to see her be like, what are you doing near those graves? And he can't really be like, they were my parents because you cannot even read them. They are so old. Mike: The funny thing is I didn't rewatch that episode during our refresher, but I remember watching that episode when I was about 15 or so. Because it's stuck out to me. Jessika: It’s really good. And of course, Duncan, he always has a good intention. The whole reason he went back was because he figured out that somebody had been [00:36:00] pilfering graves Mike: Yeah. Jessika: And he had to return what was in this grave. Mike: I know he's making the rest of us look bad. So mine is, it's unusual suspects. It's from season six, which I feel is actually pretty weak season overall. And it's this really silly one-off episode, starring Roger Daltry of the Who fame. He plays Hugh Fitzcairn, which is a character that he shows up in plays a couple of times throughout the series. And at this point in time in the story, he was dead, but it's a flashback to the 19 teens or 1920s. 1920s, because it ends with the stock market crash, but it's a take on the British country, house murder, mystery genre, and it's really fun. And it was just this really refreshing moment of levity after what I felt our run of really heavy, and in my opinion, not very good episodes. The end of season five and the beginning of season [00:37:00] six are all about Duncan confronting this demon named Aramon and it's weird and it's not very good. And I really don't enjoy it. This is all my opinion. I'm sure that I'm insulting some Highlander fan who absolutely loves this, but it's a fun episode in its own. And then it's a good moment after one that I didn't really enjoy. And so it's got that extra refreshing bonus. I just, I want to note, it's really funny to me how intertwined Highlander has always been with rock and roll and music in general, because they had Mulcahey who do it, doing all these music videos and stuff. And then they kept on having musicians show up as guest stars. I think it was there's a character named Xavier St. Cloud, I think who was played by one of the guys from, again, I think, Fine Young Cannibals? Jessika: Yeah, I think I actually watched that episode. Mike: I think he was using nerve gas to kill people. Jessika: Yes I did watch that episode. That was a wild one. Yeah. Mike: Yeah, and I think he shows up later on too. [00:38:00] I can't remember but anyway, I really appreciate that they gave Roger Daltry of all people, this character, and he just really had fun with it and they kept bringing him back. Jessika: Yeah. He was a good character every episode he was in my other favorites was the one where they had Mary Shelley and he was in that one too. I believe. Mike: I think so. Yeah. No, it was, the series was really fun, and I liked that we can sit there and pull all these episodes just from memory that we really liked. Jessika: Absolutely. Mike: So season six , they were trying to find a new actress who could carry her own Highlander show. And so they tested out a bunch of different actresses in season six and gave them either really strong guest appearances, or they were basically the main character for episodes. But they wound up not going with any of them. They went with Elizabeth Grayson and gave her the Raven where she reprised her roles Amanda. Did you watch any of that? Did you get a chance to? Jessika: I watched the [00:39:00] first and the last episode of season one, I can only find the first season. Is there only one? Mike: There’s only one season, it didn’t get picked up again. Jessika: Oh then there you go. Then I could have only, I know I was scratching my head. Worried about where else do I find this? Mike: Well, and it ends on a cliff-hanger. Jessika: Yeah, exactly. That's where I was like, let's go. Mike: It ends with Nick becoming immortal. Jessika: Oh, see, I didn't quite finish it. Cause I was hurriedly setting it up in the background. Mike: Yeah it was fine. I thought Elizabeth Grayson is really charming in that role, but at the same time, there wasn't a lot of chemistry initially between Amanda and Nick, I felt at the very beginning. Jessika: I agree, not in the first episode. Mike: By the end of the season, it was there, and I think they were also, as is the case with most shows first seasons, they were trying really hard to figure out what they wanted to do. And so originally it was a cop show with an immortal, which there are certainly worse pitches that I've heard. Jessika: Yeah. No, I agree. Mike: But yeah. sad that it didn't get to go further [00:40:00] Jessika: I'm tempted to go back and watch all of these things. I may have to do a pallet cleanse of something different. I may have to go back to my Marvel watching. Mike: On top of this, there was a Saturday morning cartoon called Highlander, the series or Highlander, the animated series, and it was set in the future. It's in a weird alternate timeline. It stars another MacLeod. It's fine It's a Saturday morning cartoon. I didn't even care enough to really go back and watch it because being that great. They did some interesting stuff. Like they brought Ramirez back if I remember, right. And then they also had a thing where instead of beheading other Immortals, the main character had an ability where he could be voluntarily given their power. Jessika: Oh. Mike: So he had all of their knowledge and power. And again, it’s again in a dystopian future where another immortal has taken over the world. Jessika: Wow. They just love their dystopian future. Mike: They really do. But yeah, it's fine. I think it's streaming on Amazon prime. I was just so focused on everything else that I didn't get a chance to go and [00:41:00] rewatch it. Jessika: Huh, good to know. Mike: We're going to go over all the other various pieces of media real quick. and then we've got one side tangent and then we're going to go through comic books, but. Jessika: I'm so excited. Mike: Books, Highlander wound up having a pretty substantial literary footprint. The original movie had the official novelization. There wasn't really anything after that until the show came out and then the show had 10 novels and an anthology and an official behind the scenes kind of book called the Watchers Guide and it's full of essays and interviews and photos. And since then, there've been a couple of non-fiction books, like Fearful Symmetry, which is about everything Highlander related. And it's almost like a textbook, but it's pretty good. And then there's also A Kind of Magic, which is more focused on making of the original movie. And those are both actually really good. I liked them a lot. They were really easy to read. [00:42:00] There were audio plays, which I keep on forgetting audio plays are a thing at this point, but it's by this company called Big Finish in the UK. They do tie-in audio dramas for television properties. Most famously they do Dr Who. They wound up doing two seasons of audio plays. The first had Adrian Paul reprise his role as Duncan and they take place after the series ended. And then also after the events of Endgame, you can't really find them anymore. Because they just, the license expired so they aren't selling them as far as I'm aware. Jessika: That's super interesting though. Dang. Mike: Yeah. And then the second season focuses on the four horsemen Immortals, remember Jessika: Okay. Mike: Do you remember them? Jessika: I sure do. Mike: Because we were talking about this a little bit, but it was all about Methos and the other guys that he hung out with when he was effectively, a comic book villain who would've if he’d had a mustache to twirl, he would have done it. Jessika: So quickly. Yes. Mike: I thought that was really interesting. There were a couple of people in the Highlander Heart [00:43:00] group who talked about it and they seem to really like them. I can't comment, but it was really neat. Games, this is the one that's really interesting. Highlander actually has been turned into a number of games over the years. There's a couple of tabletop games we're going to breeze through. So there was two different card games in a board game. One of the card games was released back in the nineties, it was a collectible card game. And this was right when Magic: The Gathering was really hot and everybody was trying to get in on that action. And then recently there's a new one called Highlander: The Duel. And it's a deck-building game where you play as Connor or the Kurgan going up against each other. And just a couple of years ago, there was a board game that got kick-started, it was in 2018 and it's this fast paced game for two to six players. The reviews across the web were pretty positive. And again, it's one of those things where it's Immortals battling for that mysterious prize. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: But it's cool. Jessika: Nice. Mike: I’m actually pretty surprised [00:44:00] we never got like a tabletop RPG because they are not precious about applying the license for Highlander to stuff. I'm amazed that nobody went to them and said, Hey, we can make this cool historical RPG where we sorta start having players wake up and then they have flashbacks or whatever. And Jessika: Yeah Oh that would have been cool Yeah Mike: Right? But yeah we never got anything like that which I was really I actually that was the one thing I expected and was surprised to see that we never got. Okay. So we're going to go into mini tangent with video games even though they aren't technically related to comics. The first game for Highlander was a 1986 tie-in release for home computers. It was a really simple fighting title. It wasn't well received. It was apparently pretty bad. So after that the animated series had a tie in called Highlander: Last of the MacLeods. It was released on the Atari Jaguar CD console. If you remember that. Do you remember the Atari Jaguar? Jessika: Oh my god, no. I don't. [00:45:00] Mike: It kinda got lost in the shuffle in the early to mid nineties of all the different consoles that were coming out. But you can find footage of this on YouTube and it's one of those early 3d games. And so it got a lot of praise for his exploration elements and animated video sequences, but it also got a lot of criticism for its controls in combat. After that there was actually going to be an MMO called Highlander, The Gathering. And it was in development by a French studio called Kalisto entertainment, which was honestly weird because Kalisto's catalog up until now were mostly middling single-player games. They'd gotten famous for a series called Nightmare Creatures, but they also did a Fifth Element racing game on PS2 that I had and was actually pretty fun. Anyway, Kalisto went bankrupt before the MMO could come out. Jessika: Oh! Mike: And none of the folks who, yeah, that's video games. Jessika: Fair enough. Mike: So they went bankrupt. The MMO hadn't come out yet. And the folks who wound up with the rights afterwards just decided to kill the project. There's [00:46:00] one other game. That's become the source of a lot of speculation. And it's only known as Highlander: The Game it basically came about because Davis Panzer productions that's, the guys who own the rights to Highlander, and SCI, which was this holding company that owned a bunch of video game groups. They decided to ink a deal, to make a Highlander game. They announced that they basically had done a partnership back in like 2004, 2005. And at the time SCI owned Eidos who was the publisher that gave us Tomb Raider. So they were a pretty big name. The game itself was formally announced by Eidos in 2008 and the development was being handled by another French developer called Widescreen Games. It was going to be an action role-playing game. It would star a new Immortal named Owen MacLeod. The story was going to be written again by David Abramowitz and that added some [00:47:00] serious legitimacy to the project for fans. Actually, why don’t you read the summary. Jessika: Would love to my pleasure. Summary: Owen is captured and enslaved by Romans who force him to compete as a gladiator. During this time, Owen dies only to come back to life. Methos, the oldest living immortal approaches Owen to be his mentor. He teaches Owen about the game and how he and other Immortals can only be slain by beheading. As with other immortal MacLeods Owen is pursued throughout his life by a nemesis. This enemy proves to be extremely powerful. One that Owen is unable to defeat Owen learns of a magical stone, fragments of which are scattered all over the world. Throughout the game, Owen embarks upon a quest to recover these fragments and restore the stone in an attempt to gain the power to overcome his foe. [00:48:00] So dramatic. I love it. Mike: What's Highlander without any drama? But that sounds rad right? Jessika: Oh, it sounds amazing. Mike: The game was announced with a trailer in 2008 that really only showed some of the environments from different eras and then it ended with an image of Owen, but it looked promising. And then there wasn't much else after a couple of years of pretty much nothing but radio silence, Eidos wound up canceling the game and that's where a lot of the speculation has started. There's not a lot of information on Highlander: The Game. I keep waiting for one of those gaming history YouTubers to get ahold of an old dev kit and then do a video with a build, but that hasn't happened yet. So really it's all kind of speculation and wishful thinking about what could have been. And it also seems like some of the details are getting muddied as time goes on. Like Fearful Symmetry talks about the game of it but they [00:49:00] have the segment. And again I want you to read this. Jessika: Sure sure. The gam was so far along in its development stages that segments including backdrops and some of the gameplay options were presented at a Highlander Worldwide event in Los Angeles 2006 and got a very positive reaction. The beautifully rendered backdrops were almost movie quality and included the likes of Pompei, a dark forest in the Highlands, New York, and Japan as gameplay locations and introduced us to another MacLeod, Owen, the same surname but a much earlier vintage. Mike: Yeah, so, I think Mosby is a little overly enthusiastic about all of this, and this is because I think Mosby doesn't have much familiarity with how game development works. It sounds like they had concept art on display and were discussing gameplay [00:50:00] rather than showcasing a build of the game. Concept art and design discussions are things that happen very early in game development. But if you're an outsider, looking in this stuff could easily be interpreted as things being much further along than they were. Jessika: Ah. Mike: Yeah. Now that said, I did work in video games for almost a decade, and a few of my coworkers were actually involved with Highlander the game. Jessika: What? Mike: Every one of them over the years has told me the cancellation was a mercy killing. And again, this is from multiple sources, so I'm not going to name or identify because, I don't want to make things awkward for them. But basically the game was garbage . It's not really surprising to hear cause widescreen never really made a good game, the best reception that any of their titles got was just kinda mixed. But earlier this week, I actually called one of my friends. Who'd been [00:51:00] attached to the project because I wanted to get more information about this game before we recorded. Jessika: We need to get you a new shovel, you dug so deep for this. Mike: With both hands. But, they confirmed what I've been hearing from other people the gameplay itself wasn't just bad. It was boring. The biggest problem was it didn't know what kind of a game it wanted to be. Basically, it was trying to do everything all at once. There were a bunch of traversal elements, which didn't really make a lot of sense. Like why would you climb a Manhattan skyscraper when you're a roided out dude with a sword? Couldn't you just take the elevator? Or I don't know the stairs? There was going to be a bunch of Magic elements in the gameplay, which, isn't really, that's not really a thing in Highlander. There's that fantasy element because we're talking about Immortals who can't die unless you cut off their heads, but generally Magic isn't a part of the accepted Canon. And then the combat, what they were aiming to do something like [00:52:00] God of war, which was really big at the time. But, it wasn't great. My friend also pointed out that Owen looked like a bodybuilder, but his fashion sense was from that industrial metal scene of the late nineties, which neither of those things really fits with the Highlander aesthetic because Adrian Paul was arguably the most in shape of the Highlander actors. But even that was, he was a dude who was like, yeah, I could achieve that if I was really good about my diet and then just worked out aggressively but not like Hugh Jackman does for his Wolverine roles. Jessika: Yeah, yeah. Mike: So I'm going to send you a screenshot of what Owen looked like in the key art the initial title it does. Jessika: What? It looks like Criss Angel. Mike: Right. And they're trying to recreate that iconic pose of The Quickening from the first movie that Connor does at the very end where he's getting raised up and, by the rails of Lightning, or the wires [00:53:00] of lightning. Jessika: Yeah, I get what they were trying to do. Mike: Yeah,I wanna know, what the fuck is up with those weird straps with rings that are going down his legs. Jessika: I don't really know, I was trying to figure that out myself. So just so that everyone can really get the picture that we're getting here and you'll, you might understand why it's taken me so long to describe it. I had to take it all in first. Mike: Yeah, it’s a ride. Jessika: It’s all very monochromatic. And the background is of course, a cut of the statue of Liberty, the backdrop of parts of New York that I'm sure aren't even next to each other, which is always funny. And then what is this? Is this the new guy, or is this supposed to be Duncan? Mike: Yeah, this is the new guy, Jessika: It’s Owen. Mike: Yeah. It's Owen. And then Connor and Duncan were supposed to appear, supposedly. I know Peter Wingfield was recording his lines for Methos. Jessika: Well, if they haven't killed off Methos that makes sense. And I don't know in the series if they have, and maybe Duncan makes [00:54:00] sense if he hasn't died yet, but. Mike: Yeah they can't kill off Methos, Methos was my first gay crush. Jessika: Yeah. He's. Slightly problematic in a couple episodes, but he's a great character overall. But he's very Chriss Angel, he's wearing like a trench coat and that has to be some sort of a lace undershirt or something. Mike: lAnd he’s got like a weird really, like baggy leather pants. Jessika: Yes. Which cannot be comfortable. It's doing this weird pooching thing in the front. Mike: Yeah, and then I think I saw another screenshot where it looks like he's wearing skater shoes tennis shoes as well. Jessika: Oh, Vans Off the Wall, man. Mike: Just once I want to see a MacLeod in the movies with a good fashion sense. Jessika: Yeah, I mentioned that I wanted to cosplay as Duncan, which overall would be a great idea. But then I was looking through his outfits and I'm like, what do I wear? Do I wear this weird white tank top with these like acid wash jeans [00:55:00] and a belt? Or is this the one where I'm wearing like five shirts and a long jacket? Is it that day? Mike: You know who he looks like that guy, Canus. Jessika: Yes! Yes, does. He has the lace shirt and everything. Mike: And the dog collar. Jessika: Oh my god, it was so funny. I told you, I think it was trying to be edgy. Mike: Yeah, and instead it comes off as really queer-coded. Jessika: It really does though. I know, my little queer brain was like bling. Mike: Yeah, It feels like they weren't really getting the essence of what Highlander actually was and who these guys were, because usually the Highlander characters are a little bit more believable and ordinary because that's the whole idea is that they're walking among us and we have no idea unless they tell us. Okay. On top of all this. So remember how I mentioned that trailer was just showcasing environments for the [00:56:00] game. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: There was a reason for that. The reason was that they couldn’t get the character models to work. Jessika: Oh! Mike: So the shot of Owen at the end it's actually just animated key art it's the same it's the same art that you just saw. It's that image. It was just slightly animated. And then they released a couple of screenshots for the game, but apparently they were really heavily photo-shopped well, beyond industry standards. So, it was one of those things where, this was a turd and it needed to be flushed. And it finally did. But Widescreen went under about a year after the game was formally announced. They were working on another big project and apparently that got taken away, and as a result, it just caused the studio to implode. By this point in time Square Enix the guys do all the final fantasy games had bought Eidos and they formally canceled it. We're not sure why exactly, my guess is that it was probably, they just looked at cost it would take to finish this game and then the [00:57:00] amount that it would need to sell in order to be profitable or to meet their sales expectations for it and they just thought it wasn't worth it. But yeah, my friend actually said they were embarrassed to work on it and they would have been fine even if it had been an average game, but it was just bad. Even one of those kind of middling average games, I think that would have been fine, that would have lived up to the Highlander bar. Finally, there's that Highlander game that spark unlimited was working on. I never even heard a whisper about this until. We watched that episode of Highlander Heart focusing on video games, and they brought Craig Allen on to talk about the project. Based on what we know now, I think this might be why Square Enix was holding onto the rights for another year after they shut down Highlander, the game, just because they had this other title, theoretically in development or very early development. Based on the footage that they have, it looks like they had at least done enough development work to put together a vertical slice that they could show for pitch [00:58:00] purposes and at conventions. But I thought it was really promising looking overall. What did you think? Jessika: I thought it did look really interesting the game play itself I did like the idea of having a female Highlander. That being said, they had this whole concept about what Craig Allen was calling beautiful damage. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: And it was this whole thing about, oh it was the first female Highlander and her looks go when she gets damaged, and that's her whole motivation is to stay pretty. And I just, that gave me a huge headache, and it of course was super male-gazey I mean, the game itself seemed that way. Mike: It was weird because I would love to see women and Highlander being built a little bit more like warriors, like a little bit more muscly, which would be in keeping with people who battle across the centuries. [00:59:00] They don't need to be super jacked like the Amazons in Wonder Woman, but making them look like stick thin suicide girl, punk rock chick from the late aughts. Didn't quite gel with me. I understood what he was talking about though, because that was the thing where they were starting to do permanent cosmetic damage in video games. That was something that was really big in the Batman Arkham games. Every time that you got knocked out, you'd come back and you'd have a little bit more of your outfit chipped apart. So, after a while Batman's looking pretty ragged and you realize maybe I'm not as good at this game as I think I am. Jessika: Yeah And the concept itself is really interesting It just I guess was the way it was phrased by this person. And it very much was he was so proud of the fact that it was the first Highlander female in a video game. And then everything was just like so incredibly sexist. I was excited that I wasn't Mike: We're also viewing it, with the lens of 2021 at this point. At that time, [01:00:00] that was before they had relaunched Tomb Raider, in 2013, 2014, where they made her much more realistic. She was still very fit, but she wasn't the Lara Croft that had generated a lot of criticism. I think possibly, I don't know, but I hope that it would have been marketed a bit differently if it had been done today. That said we also don't know exactly what it would look like as a final product. Jessika: Oh absolutely, yeah. Mike: It’s, I agree. It's a little bit problematic viewed through the current lens. At the same time, like a lot of the Highlander properties when it was being done, I think it was kind of just par for the course. Jessika: Yeah, fair enough. But, I did like the idea of having a female Highlander and having her have a whole story regardless of whether it's the first one to be completely [01:01:00] tragedy laden which was the other comment like her experience a ton of loss because she's female and experiences empathy unlike the male characters. Mike: I really didn't like that. Actually. I thought that was. I mean the, the whole thing where they were saying we wanted to focus on lifetimes of tragedy as opposed to enjoying multiple lives. And I'm like, that's the whole purpose of Highlander. That's what I really like is when you sit there and you watch them having fun and doing all this interesting stuff. Jessika: Women aren't allowed to have fun, Mike. Mike: Apparently. Jessika: We just have to have lives full of tragedy and pining for people that we've lost in our lives. Mike: Well, yeah. And we all know that the dudes don't have feelings, so we just, you know, go on and enjoy things. Jessika: That does suck that Hugh they don't give men the ability to have that capacity or give them the the credit to have that capacity. Mike: I will say, I am sorry that this one didn't get further along the development [01:02:00] stages, because it certainly seemed like it had a lot more promise than the title that was canceled right before it. Jessika: Yes, the gameplay itself looked more interesting, it looks more complex, it easier to navigate. What they were showing us was really intense. Mike: I really liked that whole idea of being able to view the environments in two different eras. It reminded me a lot of another Eidos game called legacy of Cain soul river, where there was a spiritual world and then a physical world. And you could flip back and forth between them, which was kind of cool. Jessika: Oh, that’s neat Mike: Yeah. I dug that. I liked the idea of exploring the same environment in two different areas. I thought that was really neat. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Let's move on to Comics. Jessika: Sounds great. Mike: Okay, so, I’m curious. When do you think that Highlander got big enough to get a comic book? Jessika: I don't know maybe late nineties Mike: 2006. Jessika: Wow [01:03:00] That's later than I had expected. Mike: Yeah. There wasn't a comic adaptation of the movie when it came out, which is weird, there wasn't one here in the States. Highlander Heart, in their YouTube podcast, noted there was a series of five newspaper comic strips that were published as part marketing promotion. The hosts weren't entirely certain if they're exclusive to Europe or not. I don't know. I haven't been able to really find much reference to it. After the movie came out, though there was a two-part comic adaptation in Argentina. It was published through El Tony Todo Color and El Tony Supercolor they were sibling comic anthology magazines, and here's the weird twist. It looks like this was an unlicensed adaptation. Jessika: Mmhm, interesting. Mike: So now we're going to take another side tangent. The important thing that you need to know is that Argentina had just come out of a brutal military dictatorship that came about as part of Operation Condor, which is this horrific program the United States was involved in. And it isn't really taught about in high school history, at least it [01:04:00] wasn't when I was going through high school and I went to a pretty good one. did you ever learn about that? I'm curious. Jessika: No, I did not. Mike: Okay I'm giving you an extremely TLDR read of this, but basically this was a program in the seventies and eighties when the US backed military dictatorships across South America. So our country helped these groups, kidnap, torture, rape murder, thousands of political opponents, like Argentina was especially brutal. There were literally death squads, hunting down political distance across the country. It was a really horrific time. I want you to read this summary of what was going on during that time, actually. Jessika: Give me the really fun stuff I see. Mike: Sorry. Jessika: No you're good. It is estimated that between - 9,000 and 30,000 that's a huge span. Mike: I know, it’s such a margin of error I don't understand. Jessika: Lack of record taking will get you there quick, I think. I'm going to start over, but we’ll leave that in. It is estimated that between [01:05:00] 9,000 and 30,000 people were killed or disappeared, many of whom were impossible to formally report due to the nature of state terrorism. The primary target, like in many other South American countries participating in Operation Condor, were communist guerrillas and sympathizers, but the target of Operation Condor also included students, militants trade, unionists, writers, journalists, I don't love this, artists, and any other citizens suspected of being left-wing activists - well take me the goddamn way away. Mike: Right. Jessika: Including Peronist guerillas. I don't love that. Mike: No it's really awful. And based on that list of targets, it's not surprising that there was a lot of media suppression during this time. Democracy returned to the country in ’83, and there was this explosion of art across the mediums. Argentine Comics [01:06:00] saw this Renaissance period. A lot of them though, weren't really licensed and let's be honest. It's not like there's an internet where IP owners could monitor stuff like this and shut it down when they learned about it. There was also this drastic comics increase in the area due to create or publishing Zines because the eighties was the decade where personal computers suddenly became commonplace and all of a sudden people could format and edit and print their own stuff. I'm doing some armchair speculation right now, but my guess is that IP and copyright law wasn't really a priority for the newly restored democratic government, especially in a market that was so suddenly flooded. Back to the comic and I'm sorry that we went down, this dark side road but it's important to have that context. Jessika: Yes, set the stage. Mike: So the comic was written by Hector Alba and it was illustrated by Ruben Meriggi, it's a pretty straightforward adaptation of the movie script, though Alba, he made the Kurgan the actual [01:07:00] son of the devil. Jessika: Yeah, that was an interesting spin. Mike: Yeah. And you look at the art and they were clearly trying to base it on what they saw in the movie, but it's a little loose and rushed. Jessika: Mmhm. Mike: The information about this comic is incredibly sparse. I found a reference to it in Fearful Symmetry, which, it implies that the comic’s a legit adaptation. And it also says that it's an Italian comic. So I'm not sure what his sources were for this, but, there's no trace of the comic online. I wound up stumbling across it on a site that was dedicated to translating non-English James Bond Comics. It's called Comics Royale. The guy behind the site his name is Clinton Rawls, and he's a college professor who specializes in film appreciation in history. So, I reached out to him on Facebook and we wound up chatting for awhile. And he told me that he basically stumbled across the Highlander issues of El Tony by accident. Exactly when the first issue came out, isn't really certain. Fearful Symmetry says it was released in ’86 as a promotional [01:08:00] item. There's no source cited for that. Clinton has a copy of the second issue and, he said it was from 1987, which lends credence to the theory that it was an unlicensed product created after some folks had viewed the movie, as opposed to a licensed comic that was based on the movie script and say set photos, ahead of release. And then Clinton told me this, and I'm giving you something else to read. That's actually a lot more fun than what we just went over. So Jessika: Perfect. Mike: It’s a pallet cleanser. Jessika: Great. I once found a Rambo III adaptation by the same publisher. It had some fun splash pages, and so I sent them to author David Morrell, Rambo's quote unquote father, as he refers to himself, he seemed surprised and said that he gave no permission for Rambo comics to be written. He thanked me for sending him the art, but said that the comic was made illegally. [01:09:00] Ooh! Someone wasn’t happy to receive that. Mike: Yeah, I mean. I don't know. I feel like if you're making Rambo money, maybe you'd be okay with some. I'd like to think that if I ever made it that big, I would be a little bit more forgiving with people doing stuff like that. But I don't know. I know it's this weird coincidence but I also thought it was really interesting how Argentina was responsible for the first Highlander comic even if it's probably not an official product. And then later on wound up being responsible for Highlander II. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Anyway. Jessika: Which that was an exciting thing. Talking about all the supplies they had to send up. One safety pin under lock and key. Mike: We're going to fast forward to 2006, which is when we get Dynamite's run. Dynamite was still a publisher in its infancy and had only been around for about a year or so. And so they were just putting out a ton of licensed books, like Battlestar Galactica, Army of Darkness Red [01:10:00] Sonia, and somehow they got the license to Highlander. So, all of the Dynamite books are written by Brandon jerboa. And he'd previously been doing GI Joe books before this the first series. The main series, the longest of the series. It's 12 issues. Well, I think it's 13 actually, cause there's a zero issue as well Jessika: Yeah, there’s a zero issue. Mike: It's one overall meta plot, but it's broken into a couple of different, big arcs. It starts off immediately after the movie it takes the TV shows approach to the mythology where Connor did defeat the Kurgan, but there wasn't that, it wasn't that final battle. There's still other Immortals around competing for the prize. And I really enjoyed these different arcs where it was a Connor and other Immortals friends. It was like the super immortal friends, Immortals dealing with a super soldier cult of the Kurgan’s followers, where somehow he wound up basically creating a bunch of Captain America lites in Russia in the [01:11:00] sixties. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Yeah. And then after that, there's the whole thing where Connor is struggling to keep the Kurgan’s personality from overwhelming him. And then finally the last arc was Duncan after the events of Endgame dealing with both the cults, and then also he's haunted by Connor in the same way. I thought that these were way stronger sequel storylines than the movies. Jessika: I agree. I think it really draws into, especially the idea of one of the personalities or even the existence of the other personalities within each of the Immortals, because we have the understanding that they're getting something out of this, that they're getting at least some sort of knowledge or power, but we’re never told what type of power. It's not like they're stronger, unless they work out. Other than being Immortal, what power are they getting? That's really not necessarily explained, but it's also not explained what goes [01:12:00] on with everyone that you have killed, what are you taking on? What is that? So, I liked the continuation of that and the idea that there could be this seed that just gets bigger and bigger you go on. Mike: Yeah, I agree. I thought it took some really cool ideas and ran with them. So, after that, there were a couple of other mini series. There was Highlander:Way of the Sword, which acts as direct prequel to the original film. And then there's the final Dynamite comic, which is like a two-issue mini-series, and that's Highlander Origins: Kurgan, which it fleshes out the franchise’s best known villain. It's fine. I view it the same way that I view that last Alien movie that came out where I'm like, I don't care what the official canon origin for this is because it’s not going to be as cool as anything that I can imagine. Jessika: That's sometimes the problem with these things, they get a build-up that they just cannot live up to. Mike: Yeah. But overall, I thought the Dynamite comics were really solid and there are a lot of fun. You can actually [01:13:00] buy the individual issues really cheap. The collected additions are weirdly expensive though, and you can't buy them digitally anymore, I don't think because they, again, the license has gone to a different publisher. If you're in the market for some solid Highlander stories and you've already watched all the movies and the TV shows, the comics are pretty good especially the Dynamite ones. Jessika: Yeah, I enjoyed them. Mike: Yeah. Are you ready to talk about Highlander 3030? Jessika: I'm so excited. Yeah. Mike: Highlander 3030. When I was learning about Highlander 3030, that was when I had the realization that it's not really a Highlander product unless there’s been a bunch of behind-the-scenes production drama. Jessika: That seems to be what's tracking at this point in time, based on documentary we watched. Mike: This was another comic that I didn't know about until I was doing some serious digging into this whole topic. Again, it's one of the things that's got a really quick blurb in Fearful Symmetry. It's barely referenced around the web. Bleeding [01:14:00] Cool still has the review for when they got sent a digital copy to check out and shit all over it. They were mean. Jessika: Oh, damn. Mike: Yeah. So when I was doing the digging, I found out the publisher Emerald Star Comics, was a small indie publisher out of Oklahoma. It looks like they were only distributing the comic on digital platforms like Comicsology and Drive-Thru Comics. And then they had eventual plans for a physical distribution, but that never happened as far as I can tell, because they had one of the last posts on their Facebook page is a post talking about how they didn't get picked up by Diamond Distributors for distribution, for comic shops and stuff. But, this was a comic that was released in 2015. And yeah, it's basically Duncan MacLeod in the way far future. And they got support from the Highlander brand. They got some actual shout outs from the Highlander Facebook group. [01:15:00] They had a competition where the fan who got the most votes was going to get to appear in the second or third issue. Folks who were really jazzed about this ahead of its release. And then it came out and the fan reaction to this book was not kind. And that was a shame. It was created by some very passionate fans who decided to swing for the fences and they wound up landing the license in the most unlikely of ways. I actually wound up tracking down the book's co-writer Matt Kelly over the weekend. And he told me this wild story about how a publisher in the middle of nowhere wound up getting the license to Highlander, Matt: So eventually the publisher pulled me aside on a phone call and was like, hey, look, we've got the Highlander license. And I was like, wait. Wait, what? Mike: Yeah, how, how did that happen? Like, do you know? Matt: So the story that he told me was that he reached out to them on LinkedIn. So as you may or may not know the company that owns the rights to Highlander, it's not Paramount. It's not Warner brothers, you know, it's [01:16:00] sort of like a mom and pop, uh. Mike: Yeah, it’s Davis Panzer productions, right? Matt: Davis Panzer productions. And they've just held onto it all these years. And he reached out to them on LinkedIn, and they were between licensees of the comic book and he pitched a wacky idea to them and they were like, yeah, go for it. Let's do it. Mike: Okay. But that's wild. Matt: So that's what happened, and I couldn't make it up. And there's a couple of other licensees that he was pursuing, but Highlander to me was like the big fish, because I was a massive, still am, massive Highlander fan. I discovered it at just the right time. It was like 15 when I first started watching Highlander, and I watched the movie, I thought it was amazing. It was like the first DVD I ever bought. I was staying up late to watch the show. And so he was like, hey, do you want to be the editor on this? I'm like, yeah. And then eventually he's like, you could be my co-writer, cause I'm so busy, I can't even write this thing. I was like, of course. Mike: How did you feel about it, by the way? [01:17:00] Basically that they just reached out to them on LinkedIn and got it? Jessika: To me, that is just, the power of asking. We talked about that earlier. I guess you just have to ask the question and the worst that can happen is they say no. Mike: Yeah tell you to hit the bricks. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: So Matt gave us a digital copy of the first issue to read through since it's not commercially available after Emerald Star shutting down. Jessika: Thanks, Matt! Mike: Yeah, thank you Matt Kelly, friend of the podcast. Jessika: Yeah, it was a, it was good. I actually really enjoyed it Mike: I did, too! Jessika: And especially like it, I was so bummed when it was like, oh, there was only one issue. I'm like, why? I know we're going this whole, like dystopian, whatever. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: But this was such a different swing of it than we've seen. The other ones went very dystopian New York and a dystopian that's a future that's near enough in our future to be pretty scary, but distant enough that it's not quite here yet. This one was like so distant in the future that, we weren't [01:18:00] even in the same plane. I mean it just, and I thought it was an interesting swing. I loved the concept. Mike: I Yeah. I thought it was a fun story. What did you think of the art? Jessika: I definitely related to some of those wonky face pictures. I just was. Some of them look pained to exist, and I'm like, I feel you, I get you at deep level. So, it was a little rough. Mike: Yeah. And that's what people criticize the most about it. And as Matt pointed out, this is because Dan Goodfellow, the artist, was actually forced to draw it in a totally different style than his own. Matt: We had a really cool artist who had this really awesome kind of scratchy European style. It felt like you were reading like something out of, you know, I mean, he was a Brit, I believe, something out of 2000 AD it kind of had that smell to it and it was so cool. And [01:19:00] so we were in the midst of production of it and the artists got sick and he couldn't do it. Mike: Oh man. Was that the artist who did the initial cover of that issue that you sent me? Matt: No, that was, that was a different part, just that was Robert Norton. And he was great. He, at the. if we had more time, Robert, I think should have been the main artist on the book. But our artist dropped out and the publisher called the next name that he had on the list and said, hey, can you fill in for the artist that dropped out? And he went to David's Panzer and said, you know, this is the deal. And they said, well, listen, It needs to look like the pitch you sends us. We don't want to look like anything else. So this poor guy had to draw the whole first issue and redrawn all the pages that had already been drawn, but in someone else's style. Mike: Ah,man. Matt: And that's kind of a, you know, that's not cool. So he was mimicking someone else who had a very [01:20:00] rough looking style. And it was this other artists’ own thing. And this poor fellow was stuck trying to do sort of like this rough style, but it just looked rough and it just, and you know, it wasn't gelling, but that's, that's what was asked. Mike: Oh, that sucks. Mike: After hearing that, I have to say that really sucks. Jessika: That's not great. Mike: I don't understand why Davis Panzer wouldn't let them do it in a new art style, especially if they could show the art style of Dan’s, but. Jessika: Clearly someone who didn't understand art at a core level, just expecting an artist to replicate a style. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Especially, a comic book artist, you get used to a certain way of drawing, of doing things. And having to be forced into a mold that you don't necessarily fit into. It's not going to work. Mike: No. Jessika: But it just seems like a not very well thought out decision on their part. Mike: Yeah, I agree. And the other thing is that Matt revealed that everyone who was working on stuff at Emerald [01:21:00] Star, they were basically working for free. The expected compensation would have come on the backend, if the books wound up taking off and on top of that, the license fee for Highlander and the lack of profit on the project, basically, that was what killed the imprint. That said, even though the book is more infamous than it's liked, Matt was still really glad that his name's on something Highlander associated, just because he loves the property so much. Matt: I am proud of the fact that I was able to brush up against something that meant a lot to me. And you know, those high school years when you've discovered something and you're like, this is awesome. Wow. And you just see the potential in it to be able to leave a mark on it in some degree is definitely worthwhile. And I'm really happy that I was able to, you know, put some words in Duncan's mouth, even if issue one wasn't the one that I worked too terribly on, but I did get to work on issue two. And it was drawn, just never published. So maybe someday [01:22:00] I'll put it on our website somewhere and let people enjoy it. But, um, yeah. Mike: I would be in the same position that he is, where it wouldn't matter that what I put out wasn't the hit that I'd hope for, the fact that I got to write something on a property that meant so much to me would have been more than enough. And I think he's got a really good perspective on that. Personally, I still can't believe that he was willing to talk to me. I'm really hoping that he releases that issue too, someday, you know, because he talked about the plot with me and you heard what he had planned. Jessika: Mmhm. Mike: And it sounds bonkers, but in the best kind of way. Jessika: Yes, yes. Mike: So I don't want to spoil the details for it here on the podcast, just in case he does end up sharing it with fans eventually, and I think that would be really fun for them to discover everything organically. I thought it was really rad, and I think that's where we're going to leave Highlander 3030. It was something really ambitious [01:23:00] that was planned out by really passionate fans, and it didn't wind up working out, but I liked it a lot more than I expected to. Finally, we got Highlander American dream, which came out in 2017 from IDW. Do you want to describe this one? Jessika: Sure, yeah. Well and this one we follow Connor MacLeod back and forth through, of course, cause they're always doing the time jumps, between the Civil War, the 1950s, and the 1980s as he deals with the toils of being an Immortal during a time of The Gathering, you know, the same story. Trying to both become the victor of the Immortals deadly game, as well as save those he loves. I like this one, Rachel's in this one a lot more, and at different points in her life, which. was great Mike: I feel like the Comics actually served Rachel a lot better than the movies. Jessika: Agreed She's just kind of a blip on the radar and honestly you can forget she's there quite easily, and I did a few times. Like, oh yeah, [01:24:00] Rachel. Mike: Connor's weird adopted son is way more important than Highlander III, and like gets more screen time, than Rachel does in all the other movies. Jessika: Yeah, I agree. Mike: Yeah I felt it was really different than a lot of the stuff . The best way I could describe it is that it felt like the mini series was doing an episode of the TV show, but starting Connor, it was a relatively small kind of self contained story. I liked the whole thing with the immortal being a serial killer, I thought that was kind of cool. And then he has his friend, who's a priest who shows up so he's got the cameo appearance. But it was fine it was solid I liked it. Jessika: Yeah I liked it too. Mike: Yeah, and that’s the last that we've seen of the Highlander Comics, at least for the time being. Jessika: Hey Mike what's next for Highlander? Mike: I’m so glad you asked. No, actually that's a good question. There's still an incredibly passionate community around the brand, even after all this time, I wound up joining the Highlander Heart [01:25:00] Facebook community, which has several thousand members. And I'm really floored at how strong it is. There's constant posts within it. And based on what I've seen is just this wonderful lack of toxicity there too. Like, you and I have been part of other geek groups that are really big and they're just awful. Like, after a while, like you and I left that one recently. Jessika: I going to say subsequently left. Mike: Where it was people that were just so mean to each other, because they were doing a lot of gate-keeping over who the real fans were. Jessika: And you know, I've said my spiel, just let people like things. Mike: Yeah Right this group has people who are constantly showing off their merchandise and displays or things that remind them of the brand or what they'd like to see if it comes back. And I'm not sure who's overseeing the Highlander brand now because both Bill Panzer and Peter Davis have died. Panzer wound up passing in 2007 in a weird freak ice skating accident. He basically fell and hit his head [01:26:00] and that did him in. And then Davis died in his sleep back in February, he was 79, he was an old man. Davis’ son, Josh has stepped into handle the producer duties on the new movie that they're making at Lionsgate. And speaking of the new movie, there's been a reboot or a remake of the original and development since 2008, it's wound up bouncing around a lot around Hollywood for a while, but, Chad Stahelski. He's the guy who directed all three John Wick movies, if you saw them. Jessika: Oh, I’ve seen the first one, yes. Mike: Yeah. They're all really good. They're a lot of fun. Like the action sequences only get stronger after the first one. The first one's action sequences are mind-blowing. So he signed onto that project in 2016, and then in June, 2020, he was still attached and he said the movie is in heavy development, I believe was his wording. They haven't cast the main character, but David Battista who played Drax, the destroyer was announced to play the Kurgan that was back in 2015. So I'm not sure [01:27:00] if he's still going to be in the movie but I'm hoping. Cause I really like him. Jessika: Yeah! Mike: Who would you cast as Connor or the Connor Stand-in? Jessika: Oh, who would I cast? You know who’d be really funny, is to put Channing Tatum. I just think that would be great but then spin it funny. Mike: Yeah. And we’re back to Magic Mike. Jessika: We are. We sure are. I think you may have planted that seed. Mike: I'm down with, I'm down with Channing Tatum. I can see that. Jessika: About you. Who would you choose though? Mike: I have to say, I have a deep and abiding love for Chris pine Jessika: Okay. Yes, we keep bringing up Mr. Pine on this podcast. Pine hit us up. Mike: Chris pine future friend of our podcast. Jessika: Yes, please. Mike: Future ex-husband of the podcast. Jessika: Make all of our dreams come true, why don't you? Mike: But I really like him as an actor. He's got that [01:28:00] athletic, but not unrealistic build, and he's a really good face actor and he's really funny when you give him the opportunities. And I think some of the best moments in Highlander are the moments of unexpected humor. Jessika: Yeah, okay I agree. You know what I think you're right too. Mike: I feel like there's no bad answer between our two options. Jessika: You know we should have both of them do a reading for us can really decide. So, why don't you guys get in touch with us. We'll make it happen for you. Mike: Yeah Chris pine and Channing Tatum hit us up. We'll make an exception for you, we’ll take your call. But anyway, I think a lot of what we're going to get with Highlander media is going to hinge on that remake. It's a pretty long in the tooth franchise at this point. And its fan base seems to be, yeah, around our age or older, but I think if we get this bad-ass action movie from the dude who created John Wick, that could resurrect the brand [01:29:00] and it could give us a lot of new media, like comics, games, TV shows, John Wick has gotten the same thing. I'm really hopeful about that. And I'd like to see the Highlander stories continue with a more modern sense of storytelling. I'd like to see more more diverse characters. I'd like to see, queer characters get introduced because we never got those in any of the movies or the TV shows that a couple of queer-coded characters, I think it was accidental that they were queer-coded. Jessika: I think they were trying to be edgy, yeah. Mike: Yeah. And I think Highlander is a brand that's poised for a comeback, and I'm really excited for what's on the horizon and I’m hoping that it doesn’t disappoint me, as it sometimes does with this brand. So we have gone back to the 1980s and come out on the other side. How do you feel about Highlander now? Jessika: It was a fun journey. Oh, love it even more. Love it even more. Yeah, I'll go back and I'll watch more of it. Give myself a little rest and [01:30:00] we'll go in refreshed and we'll watch even more Highlander, in a sequential order. actually form a plot line. Mike: So, now is the time of our show where we discuss Brain Wrinkles, which is that one thing that is comics or comics-related that has just been rattling around our heads for a little while. Jess, I’ve been talking for a bit, why don’t you kick us off? Jessika: I cannot stop thinking about a comic I read a couple of months ago and I own it, so I leaf through it every once in a while, but it's just stuck with me. I picked up issue one of DC Black Label, the Other History of the DC Universe, in thefirst issue. Mike: Oh yeah. Jessika: Yeah, it's so good. And I know I've talked to you about it before in previous conversations, but this first issue features the origin story of Jefferson Pierce, alias, Black Lightning. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: And what I love about this issue is that it not only follows [01:31:00] his character, his origin story, but we also see the DC universe through his lens. He grows up in a community with few resources, with crime and violence. Once he figured out his powers, he uses this for the good of the community, because he doesn't have the luxury of just being able to be the savior going after the big game, like Superman and Wonder Woman. And he makes a comment about that. He doesn't have that privilege of just being able to go be a hero and go save Metropolis. He has to make sure that his family can survive and that, his neighbor doesn't get shot in the street. He has to fight those villains. Mike: Have you ever watched the TV show? Jessika: I haven't no I haven't watched the TV show, yeah I’ll have to check it out Mike: I haven't watched it for a while but I remember it was really good. Jessika: Ooh okay, I appreciate good recommendations. He also discusses seeing other heroes of color and how they're pushed into the spotlight and they're used, and there's always somebody who's benefiting off [01:32:00] of them. It's not ever to their benefit. It’s just, they’re there for a purpose. They’re a tool and it's a really interesting read and I will definitely be heading out to Brian's Comics in Petaluma and picking up more issues of that. Cause it was a couple months ago, so I'm sure there's at least one more issue out by now. Mike: Yeah, probably. That’s rad. Yeah it's fun. What about you? Mike: So I'm going to break with tradition and I'm instead going to focus on something that's been rattling around my brain after I'd dug it up about a week ago while I was researching this episode. I want to share something with you. It's this interview with Peter Wingfield, he's the actor who played Methos and he was doing an interview for one of the many behind the-scenes features that they had for the DVD releases of Highlander. This is part of a larger piece about the character of Methos, and let's just watch. Voice of Peter Wingfield: I now look back at it [01:33:00] and it's changed my life so profoundly. I now live 5,000 miles away. I have a child who will grow up with an accent that is completely unrelated to my own at the bottom of a mountain where we will go snowboarding next to the ocean where the orcas swim by every year. My, my acting, my uh my craft is so, so totally altered by my by my work, my experience on Highlander, the places I've had to go with the character of Methos, I am, I'm profoundly changed by it. And it's this strange little show [01:34:00] about immortality. Jessika: He’s getting emotional. I love it. Mike: It’s so good. Voice of Peter Wingfield: Five years off. Jessika: I’m like, I'm getting emotional, but I'm an empath. Voice of Peter Wingfield: A show that will not die. Jessika: Yeah. Now he's got that right. That was really moving. Yeah. That really did touch him. Mike: Yeah, and I love that sentiment. It goes back to why I love this whole silly franchise. It seems like every time that you talk to a fan of Highlander, they tell you what the movies or the show meant to them. And it always feels like it was really pretty profound in each case. And I keep thinking about how that first Highlander comic was probably a bootleg that came about while an entire country was celebrating the return of artistic freedom after a generation of trauma. There's that same sense of enthusiasm surrounding the whole franchise. Like people will acknowledge the bad stuff, but they really just seem to focus on the positive. And, March 7th [01:35:00] this year was the original movies, 35th anniversary. And there's still this really passionate fan base surrounding what a created, one that's surprisingly active to be honest and, positive after a decade of very little new content. I think one of the coolest things about Highlander is that as Wingfield says, it just won't die it won't die because so many people love it so much warts and all, and to be honest, I wish other fandoms were like that. Mike: Thanks for listening to 10 cent takes. Accessibility is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website. Jessika: This episode was hosted by Jessika Frazer and Mike Thompson written by Mike Thompson and edited by Jessika Frazer. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound, [01:36:00] our credits and transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with a standard license from Premium Beat. Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who goes by @cut_thistles on Instagram. Mike: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to TencentTakes.com or shoot an email to Tencenttakes@gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter. The official podcast account is @tencenttakes. Jessia is @JessikawithaK and Jessika obviously has a K in it as well. And Mike is @vansau. Jessika: Stay safe out there. Mike: And support your local comic shop.

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