Highlander (TV series)

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Television series
German title Highlander
Original title Highlander
Country of production France , Canada
original language English
Year (s) 1992-1998
length 48 minutes
Episodes 119 in 6 seasons
genre Drama , fantasy
idea Gregory Widen
music Roger Bellon
First broadcast October 2, 1992 on TF1
first broadcast
March 2, 1993 on RTL Television

Highlander is a 1992 to 1998 produced French Canadian fantasy - television series that line the film Highlander - There can only be one oriented (1986). The series was broadcast in Germany from March 1993 to November 1995 on RTL (42 episodes) and from March 1996 to December 1999 on VOX (75 episodes).


In all seasons you hear an intro before each episode , which reads as follows for the first season:

I'm Duncan MacLeod, I was born 400 years ago in the Scottish Highlands . I am immortal and I am not alone. For centuries we have been waiting for the day of the meeting, when the sword will part the head from the shoulders and the victor will be pierced by eternal power. In the end there can only be one. "

In the first season, the intro is spoken by Duncan MacLeod. In seasons two and three by a stranger with slightly different text. From the fourth season until the end of the series, the opening credits are spoken by Joe Dawson the observer, with the text being slightly changed again.

Then the same song sounds as in the original film, " Princes Of The Universe " by the rock group Queen .


The main character is the 400-year-old Scot Duncan MacLeod , played by Adrian Paul . He belongs to the same Clan MacLeod from the Highlands as Connor MacLeod from the movie, but is a few decades younger. Connor ( Christopher Lambert ) makes an appearance in the pilot of the series, but does not appear again afterwards. The series also breaks with the film in that there are still a multitude of immortals.

Like Connor, Duncan is one of those immortals who don't age and can only be killed by cutting off their heads. Immortals can know one another when they get close enough; they feel the presence of another immortal. This is represented in the series by a sound and various cuts. If they are not friends, such an encounter is usually followed by a life and death sword fight. At the end of this, the winner absorbs the “energy” of the beheaded. The immortals have been dueling for thousands of years until one day only one of them is left. This will unite the power of all immortals and thus rule the world.

The content of the series is the life of Duncan and his mortal and immortal friends in Paris and a city in the USA in the 1990s. The series was shot in Vancouver, but is set in an American city similar to Seattle, which the producers call Seacouver.

Duncan is an antique dealer there . In later seasons he runs this business from his houseboat below Notre-Dame. In the United States, he ran a small martial arts studio for a long time, which he initially ran with his mortal friend Charlie DeSalvo, and later worked as a guest lecturer in history at the university. In almost every episode he meets other immortals; sometimes old friends and acquaintances, but mostly there is at least one immortal with whom he will fight a duel in the end.

The series also attracted fans through the numerous flashbacks that MacLeod repeatedly show in other epochs of history. The equipment of these flashbacks becomes more and more historically correct as the series progresses. Towards the end of the last two seasons, the viewer knows in detail about Duncan MacLeod's past life. Duncan MacLeod experiences various adventures and strokes of fate (for example the murder of his great love Tessa), which shape him and also make mistakes, but he always adheres to his principles, because only through these he was able to survive the struggles of the immortals. He's going through interesting changes and so develops into a pretty profound figure in the course of the series, as do the supporting characters.

Like all immortals, Duncan MacLeod has his personal sword for battle. The episode "The Samurai" tells how Duncan MacLeod receives his sword from a Japanese samurai in the 18th century who hides him and also teaches him kenjutsu . There is also a logic error here: In the series pilot, Duncan tells his girlfriend Tessa that he got the sword from Connor and that Connor - as told in the 1986 film - received the sword from his mentor Ramirez. Actor Adrian Paul learned better from season to season how to use various weapons, but above all the katana , and learned the basics of various martial arts in order to do justice to the martial aspect and ethics of Duncan MacLeod and to represent his skills realistically. So the fights get better and better quality from season to season. Thereby, unarmed and armed styles from various cultures mix, from Japanese Jiujitsu and Kenjutsu to Kendo and Bojutsu and Chinese Kung-Fu styles to European fencing styles, as well as boxing and wrestling . The training of his martial arts are an essential part of Duncan's life, he regularly practices various disciplines and exchanges with other immortals like Methos or mortal friends like Charlie DeSalvo. In the past, Duncan traveled by chance or planned to visit various martial arts teachers in Mongolia, Japan, China or Spain.

In various flashbacks that take place in Japan after Duncan's time, he often uses this katana for combat. In times before that, he used various contemporary weapons such as rapier and dagger, etc. The preferred weapon is then mostly the Scottish basket-hilt sword, also known as basket-hilt broadsword, which appears in various variants. In Season 4, Episode 1 Duncan returns to his home in the Scottish Highlands back and fight there with the Claymore his father against the evil immortals Karnwulf. Also a special fight with other weapons takes place in season 3, when he takes revenge for his murdered Indian family of choice and in between fights with the tomahawk and in the final battle with an Indian spear. Sometimes he also takes what is available at the moment, such as B. two Japanese short swords ( wakizashi ), a dagger u. Ä.

In the USA MacLeod always drives a black Thunderbird and now and then Tessa's white Mercedes , in France he drives an old Citroën , and later a green Land Rover .

The series is primarily about the fight of good against evil, in this case the fight with the sword is fought between immortals. Some episodes are strongly influenced by mysticism , such as the multi-part series about The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or The Demon . In several episodes, Duncan MacLeod even becomes angry because he had to kill a shaman in a fight, who in turn became evil himself by collecting the negative energies of evil immortals. This story, which is divided into several episodes, also shapes the relationship with MacLeod's pupil Richie, who has become immortal himself. When he accidentally kills this under demonic influence in the last few seasons, MacLeod renounces violence in penance and exchanges his katana for an Escrima stick . In the course of the last season he returns to the katana because he realizes through Joe Dawson and Methos that Richie's death was not his fault and that he cannot stay out of the game.

Prominent guest actors appear again and again in the series, for example Fine Young Cannibals singer Roland Gift or The Who legend Roger Daltrey or the German actors Christoph M. Ohrt and Julia Stemberger .

The six seasons of the series were shot in France and Canada , mostly in many authentic locations and with little studio work.

While the second and third Highlander films are not related to the series, the fourth film, Highlander Endgame, takes place in the series and not in the original film universe. After the pilot, Duncan and Connor MacLeod appear together again for the first time. Likewise, the last part of the Highlander films refers to the series Highlander - The Source of Immortality , where well-known characters such as Methos and Joe Dawson appear from the series.

There are two offshoots of the Highlander series.

  • On the one hand Raven - The Immortal , which is about the 1200-year-old thief Amanda. The series ran for only one season from 1998 to 1999.
  • There is also an animated series, Highlander . It ran for two seasons from 1994 to 1996.


The synchronization of the series was created at Neue Tonfilm München based on dialogue books by Andreas Pollak and Pierre Peters-Arnolds, directed by Rainer Gerlach.

role actor Voice actor
Duncan MacLeod Adrian Paul Jörg Hengstler
Richard "Richie" Ryan Stan Kirsch Philipp Moog
Tessa Noel Alexandra Vandernoot Marietta Meade (Season 2)

Bettina Weiß (Season 6)

Joe Dawson Jim Byrnes Joachim Höppner
Charlie DeSalvo Philip Akin Jan Odle
Maurice Michel Modo Mogens von Gadow
Anne Lindsey Lisa Howard Silke Matthias
Amanda Elizabeth Gracen Elisabeth Günther (Season 1–2)

Arianne Borbach (seasons 3–6)

Methos / Adam Pierson Peter Wingfield Gunnar Helm
Darius Werner Stocker Michael Schernthaner (season 1–2)

Reinhard Kuhnert (seasons 3–6)

Randi MacFarland Amanda Wyss
Hugh Fitzcairn Roger Daltrey Ekkehardt Belle (Seasons 1-2)

Patrick Winczewski (Seasons 3-4)

Bernd Vollbrecht (Season 4)

Rainer Doering (seasons 5–6)

Episode list

The watchers

The watchers are a secret group that knows of the existence of the immortals. The members have made it their task to observe the immortals and to document all their activities. The life of the immortals is documented in the chronicles of the watchers.

Every observer must take an oath before his first assignment . In this oath the observer swears that he will never interfere in the life of the immortals, keep the organization secret, and maintain no personal contact with immortals. After the vow, the new member is tattooed with the symbol of the observer on the inside of the wrist.

The headquarters of the observers is in the French capital Paris . Rebecca's crystal, the owner of which was said to become immortal, was also kept at headquarters.

The rule of not interfering in the affairs of the immortals has been disregarded several times by observers. James Horton, an observer and relative of Joe Dawson, despised the immortals so much that he was ready to destroy them. He gathered a number of observers behind him who shared his opinion and are ready to kill for it. This group, for example, beheaded Darius in his chapel .

Another interference is e.g. B. to send information to his protégé or order so that he or she has an advantage. The rule that there should be no contact between immortals and observers was broken, as was the case with the friendship between Duncan MacLeod and Joe Dawson, who first ran a bookstore and then a blues pub in the USA, and after its end the observers did in Paris that was the case. This friendship is Joe Dawson's undoing in the later seasons, the watchers want to liquidate him. But an immortal gypsy, who was friends with Duncan MacLeod, accidentally rescues Joe Dawson when he takes revenge on the observers, whom he confuses with the immortal enemies around James Horton.

Methos succeeds in infiltrating the observers under the name Adam Pierson. He uses the first name Adam as an allusion to being the first immortal, like Adam was the first human. Even an immortal cannot observe other immortals; instead, he is working on a chronicle of the oldest immortal, himself.

Interesting facts about immortality

The immortals are subject to a number of rules that govern their lives:

The most important rule is undoubtedly that there can only be one in the end.

Another rule forbids immortals to fight on holy ground, such as in churches and temples or in cemeteries and burial places, as this can have catastrophic effects. In the series it is implied that, for example, the eruption of Vesuvius and the associated sinking of Pompeii can be traced back to such a forbidden duel. However, this rule is overridden in the film Highlander Endgame, because here the villain Jacob Kell can kill other immortals on holy ground without this action having any consequences for him or the world.

Another rule is that there is always only one fight against one, and another immortal must not interfere in a fight that has already started. However, this rule is also overridden in the fourth Highlander film.

Logic of the series to the immortals

The origin of the immortals is not explained in the series. They are all foundlings . Immortals age completely normally until their first death. However, once they have crossed the threshold to immortality, they do not age any further. Immortality can only be triggered by a violent death, which means that if they die from disease or the like, they will not be resurrected. However, if they are murdered, they will reawaken as immortals shortly after their death. The only way to kill an immortal is to cut off its head. Immortals are unable to have children.

When two immortals approach each other, they can sense the presence of the other. Old and powerful immortals can also sense pre-immortals - those immortals who do not yet know about their immortality. Pre-immortals cannot sense immortals; they live as normal people until their first death.

The renewal

When an immortal is beheaded, his energy, also called essence, escapes. This essence contains the knowledge, experience and all renewals of the decapitated immortal. The winner of a duel between two immortals absorbs the essence of the decapitated person and can experience changes in character as a result. This process is called renewal. Strong gusts of wind and lightning are side effects of a renewal.

If an immortal is not killed by another immortal but has been beheaded by an accident or by the guillotine, its essence is lost. In later episodes of the series it is implied that the essence is not lost, but is distributed among near immortals. An example of this can be found in episode 09 of season 1. There the enemy dies from a ship's propeller. Another example can be found in episode 17 of season 1. There you can see how MacLeod's opponent Carlos Sendaro is briefly knocked down by a strong electric surge in a fight in a subway tunnel and beheaded by an approaching train. In both examples the essence is transferred to the nearby MacLeod.


Several novels have appeared in English. Some of these people from the series thematize. For example, Highlander: Shadow of Obsession describes Darius 'transition from warlord to peacemaker, Highlander: The Captive Soul describes Methos' past in ancient Egypt and Highlander: Scotland the Brave shows the former Irish freedom fighter Annie Devlin, with whom Richie Ryan had his first fight and which he had spared.


  • Peter Osteried: Highlander Chronicles . Hille: MPW Film Library 1999.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. German synchronous index | Series | Highlander. Retrieved December 29, 2018 .