Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Legend of the Seeker The Complete First Season|
Actors: Craig Horner, Bruce Spence, Craig Parker, Bridget Regan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Explore a world of fantasy and mythology in the unforgettable epic adventure LEGEND OF THE SEEKER. There's fun to be had in the sword-and-sorcery action sequences and magical effects, says Matt Roush of TV Guide. Take a co... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
With the sword of truth
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the record, I am not a fan of Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" fantasy series, so I didn't really expect to enjoy the TV adaptation.
But to my surprise, "The Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season" turned out to be a surprisingly solid fantasy adventure series, with plenty of swords, monsters, lush New Zelaand scenery, sorcery and a likable young Prophesied Hero. It has some cheesy genre cliches at the beginning, but quickly evolves into a good-hearted, action-packed series.
Young woodsman Richard Cypher (Craig Horner) rushes to help a Confessor woman who's being attacked by D'Haran soldiers -- and promptly finds himself accused of being her accomplice, and hunted by the D'Harans (who have made it through a magical barrier than cuts off the Westlands). When he goes to get help from the eccentric wizard Zed ("He's crazy! He talks to his chickens!"), he encounters the beautiful Confessor Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) once again.
The big reveal from Zed and Kahlan: Richard is a prophesied hero called a Seeker, who must use a magical sword to defeat the evil overlord Darken Rahl (Craig Parker). When his life is ripped apart by murder and treachery, Richard reluctantly accepts his destiny, and sets off across the Midlands with Kahlan and Zed.
Unfortunately the Midlands have plenty of problems as well -- cruel D'Haran soldiers, Mord-Sith, magical maps, a boy who can read minds, some inconvenient magic shape-changing, the birth of a forbidden male Confessor, a string of impossible murders (including one seemingly committed by Richard), a malevolent wizard who is trying to create new Confessors, corruption in the Westlands, a plague created by Rahl, and a visit to the haunted tomb of an ancient Seeker bent on possessing Richard's body.
In the course of their travels, the trio also learn that Rahl is searching for the Boxes of Orden, which can give ultimate power to the one who owns all three. Richard and his friends struggle to keep the magical boxes hidden, but a terrible mistake threatens to derail the Seeker's quest.
It's not necessary to be a fan of Goodkind's books to appreciate "Legend of the Seeker" -- it's only loosely based on Goodkind's first doorstopper, and quite a few things are changed. Fortunately the TV show has plenty of merits on its own -- the lush scenery porn of New Zealand, intricate story arcs and standalone adventures, and plenty of swords'n'sorcery. You almost forget sometimes that it's yet another story about a prophecied hero.
Each episode has plenty of action, usually involving Richard's acrobatic sword fights with D'Haran soldiers, and some fun magical twists (a talking doll). The writers also deftly avoid the Ye Olde Fantasye trap by penning dialogue that is breezy, straightforward and frequently amusing ("Remember, before chopping off the head, make sure the body is dead lest the head grow back." "What lesson is THAT?" "Not a lesson, just something I once read in a cookbook").
It does have some flaws, however -- the first two episodes are bogged down in genre cliches (Richard becoming a master swordsman overnight), cheesy moments (Richard's sword being struck by LIGHTNING?), and too much slow-motion. Fortunately things even out after the beginning of the series.
Craig Horner is absolutely perfect for the role, especially since Destined Heroes tend to be rather boring. Instead he perfectly portrays a down-to-earth goodness and kindness, which is tempered from innocence to maturity as the season winds on. But he brilliantly pulls off Richard's darker moments, including a horrendous Mord-Sith "training" session that leaves Richard broken, twitching and doe-eyed. He's also ridiculously gorgeous, and the directors take full advantage of that (the whole bridge-building scene).
And Horner has amazing chemistry with Regan, who does a great job as a strong, butt-kicking woman who can enslave anyone with a touch. Bruce Spence does a wonderfully eccentric, lanky old wizard who frequently batters Richard with life lessons, and Parker makes a surprisingly human Evil Overlord, whose cruelty and manipulations are revealed to be an obsessive desire for "harmony." Doesn't stop him from being deliciously hateable, though.
"Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season" is wobbly at first, but soon becomes a well-acted fantasy series that stands on its own apart from Goodkind's fantasy novels. Definitely a good show, and promises to become better."
A treat for fantasy fans.
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 08/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Legend of the Seeker" is the latest fantasy television series produced by the legendary Sam Raimi -whose contributions to the genre include Hercules The Legendary Journeys and it's sister show Xena Warrior Princess. While those shows were rather light-hearted romps, this one takes the material a little more seriously and is based on a series of novels written by Terry Goodkind. It begins with a pair of women in white being chased by soldiers. A local farmboy stumbles upon the second mysterious beauty after the first falls and decides to help her. The result of the meeting will be life-changing to say the least. The show's very strong mythology states that The Seeker is a man born unot a generation who is destined to rid the Midland realms of tyranny. Our heroic farmboy, Richard, is that Seeker. The woman he rescued is Kahlan, a Confessor whose power enables her to see through dishonesty and enslave people to her will through love. They are led by the mandatory wizard - in this case named Zeddicus- and the three set out together to end the rule of Darken Rahl, whose D'Haran armies threaten to dominate the Midlands and crush it's people under his boot. Not the most orignal setup, but the end result is effective and entertaining.
While "Legend of the Seeker" has a lot of fantasy elements like magic, prophecies, and the occasional monster it never relies upon these elements. The strength lies within the individual stories and the characters within those stories. The rest is just window-dressing. The smooth trickery and lies of Rahl, the earnestness of Richard, the sorrow of Kahlan, the wisdom of Zedd, and the way these elements interact with the fully-realized world they inhabit makes every story come to life. The characters are easy to care about and the situations they encounter leave a lot of room for grey area moralizing. In one such story, the heroes encounter a group of Confessors led by the head of the order. In that time, Kahlan's sister gives birth to a rarity: a male Confessor. The women immediately begin making preparations to drown the child since only female Confessors are allowed to live due to the history of the males of the order turning to evil. This puts the pure-hearted Richard at odds with his allies and the result is just brilliant, thought-provoking television. Another episode features a twist on the classic werewolf tale in the form of a king who makes a deal with a witch that he may become a monster at night to protect his kingdom from the D'Haran invasion. But when the war is halted and the beast begins feeding on his own subjects, what is a king to do? Time travel and seeing/altering the future are also explored as is the very meaning of being a hero. Does one stop to help the helpless against hopeless odds, or should the primary goal remain the focus; treat the cause or the symptom? In this show, either choice yields consequences.
The chemistry between the cast is outstanding here. Bridget Regan and Craig Horner as the two leads have palpable heat between them form their very first scene together. The story both ducks and embraces the usual cliche of two people who love each other pretending they don't for the sake of tension by tossing in the tidbit that a Confessor in ecstasy becomes unable to control her power and will unwittingly enslave the one she is with and they will henceforth be only able to think about her at all times. Such a thing would naturally hamstring the Seeker's ability to defend the realm so the very attraction that keeps them so close is also a very dangerous thing. This makes the sexual tension much more interesting storywise. Honestly, I'd be Ms. Regan's love slave happily; Midlands be damned. Bruce Spence as Zeddicus seems to be channeling Christopher Loyd in "Back to the Future" at times, but one can't really deny his charm. Each episode typically features several bit players and/or recurring characters who leave a large impression as well. I'm partial to the Mord'Sith, myslef. They're an all-female unit of dominatrix-inspired inquisitors under Rahl who wield magical torure devices and kick all kinds of ass. Then there's the sweet innocence of Jennsen, who is known as "the pristinely ungifted one" because of the fact that magic has no effect on her whatsoever. This makes her both a useful tool and a liability to both sides of the good-versus-evil fight. But is she too naive to tell which side is which? I could go on and on about all the little wrinkles that make this show great.
This first season has been one I thoroughly enjoyed. It may not be the most epic or original thing on television, but it filled a gaping television void and after 22 solid-to-outstanding episodes the season came to a fitting conclusion while leaving me wanting more and offering a slight promise of things to come without leaving any loose ends. Thankfully, the show has been renewed for a second season. Time will tell whether Raimi has lost his touch as a director, but as a television producer this is his strongest work. As a fan of the genre, I am well-pleased by "Legend of the Seeker" and I highly doubt you'll feel any different.
A few words
Matt | New Jersey, USA | 07/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1.) "Legend of the Seeker" will come to Blu-Ray eventually. At the Comic Con panel yesterday, producers said a Blu-Ray set won't be released until after prices drop (they mentioned this will happen around winter/Christmastime). You can check the official Terry Goodkind board for more specific details. So for those of you who plan on rating this show negatively solely because of this, don't bother.
2.) The show and the books are not the same. Some of the changes have been for the worse; I was disappointed that Kahlan went from the daughter of a queen to an orphan with a rough life. The Box of Orden storyline could have been handled with more care as well. On the other hand, the writers seemed to have done away with the Star Wars-esque reveal at the end of Book 1. A wise move on their part as the show would have felt too much like a medieval version of the Star Wars saga.
3.) The production values have been consistently impressive. The cinematography and art direction are some of the best I've seen on TV to date. At times it almost feels like I'm watching a movie instead of a TV show.
4.) I love the cast. Bridget Regan (Kahlan) is the most gifted performer, managing to credibly portray Kahlan as a strong warrior capable of warmth and kindness. And although she currently has appeared in only two episodes, Jessica Marais (Denna) is the show's greatest villain. She can accomplish so much with just a quick look and low voice.
So if you're looking for a fun genre series with good characters and sharp special effects, you should try "Legend of the Seeker". The first few episodes can be tedious, but by Episode 7 everyone steps up to the plate and manages to create one of the most entertaining fantasy series in recent years.
I haven't read the novels but I will say that after watching
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 10/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1994, Terry Goodkind would embark on the beginning of his novels known as "The Sword of Truth". With over 25 million copies of his books sold worldwide, many enjoyed the story of the adventures of three individuals: Richard Cypher, Kahland Amnell and Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander on their quest to end the tyranny of their work caused by Darken Rahl.
14 years and eleven novels later, plans for a syndicated television series loosely based on the books would become reality and would include the name of Executive Producer Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man" and "Evil Dead" films), Robert Tapert ("Xena: Warrior Princess"), Joshua Donen ("Underneath", "The Quick and the Dead"), Josh Shiban ("The X-Files", "Enterprise"), Kenneth Biller ("Six Degrees", "Smallville", "Dark Angel, "Star Trek: Voyager") and co-executive produced by Stephen Tolkin ("Summerland").
Because TV syndication requires a story for each episode, there is only so much that could be attributed to the book in 40-45 minutes of television. So, creatively there are differences from the television show and the book and thus the episodes are loosely based on the series.
The story of "Legend of Seeker" takes place in three main provinces: Westland, The Midlands and D'Hara. The Westlands is separated from the Midlands due to a magical boundary in order to prevent magic from entering the Westland. In D'Hara, the evil Darken Rahl uses his black magic to cause fear within his people and has amassed a great army but now he wants more power and wants to expand his domination into the midlands. Darken Rahl has sent his men after two Confessors who have stolen a book.
During these dark times, one can hope that an long-old tale of a prophecy comes true. Those who are familiar with the prophecy hope that one day, a person known as the Seeker will eliminate the tyranny of D'Hara and free those who have lived under oppression and tyranny due to Darken Rahl's leadership. But with no Seeker having appeared, many feel that the prophecy is just a myth.
For Darken Rahl, he feels known one can stop him because he eliminated all the first born sons in a village where the Seeker was to be born. So, for over two decades, he has lived comfortable...that is until now.
When two Confessors (a group of women who have magical powers who oversee the welfare of the people in the Midlands) try to escape Darken Rahl's army, they escape from D'Hara into the Midlands where they go and search for a wizard named Zeddicus "Zedd" Zu'l Zorander who is supposed to be training the Seeker.
One of the Confessors named Khalan Amnell was able to successfully make it through the boundary but was still chased by a few men of Darken Rahl's army. As she was surrounded by the men, a young man named Richard Cypher manages to save her in the process. While Khalan leaves Richard to find Zed and the Seeker, the two are then encountered by Richard in which it is revealed that Richard is in fact the Seeker.
Throughout the first season of the series, we get to see Richard, Khalan and Zedd go through village to village in order to escape from Darken Rahl but to also fight against those who are oppressed by him and let people know that the prophecy of the Seeker is true. Along the way, the three help people in need and help to rid of Darken Rahl's control in those villages.
But as the three protagonists fight for the common folk, we see how powerful Darken Rahl is and the people he has working for him. But at the same time, through the courage of Richard, Khalan and Zedd, the word about the Seeker and how he stands against Darken Rahl starts to spread throughout the three provinces.
The main characters in the first season of "Legend of the Seeker" are:
Richard Cypher (played by Craig Horner, "Blue Water High", "H20: Just Add Water" and "Monarch Cove") - Richard is learning to be the Seeker. Throughout his adventure, he learns a lot about himself and the people in the land and wanting to help them. He's a kind-hearted man who will fight evil. He is attracted to the Confessor Kahlan and is the main protagonist of the series.
Kahlan Amnell (played by Bridget Regan, "The Black Donnellys") - A Confessor who's mission is to protect the Seeker. A Confessor can help those who confess and inside, they know the truth. When she touches a person, she can control them by making them confess and briefly taking over their body and making them do whatever she wants. She has pride in her work as a Confessor and is kind-hearted but she's also developing feelings towards Richard, which she knows that as a Confessor, she is unable to love someone else or else she will end up stripping out his soul. So, she tries her best to keep her emotions in check, no matter how difficult it may be for her.
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander (played by Bruce Spense, "Bullpit!", "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith") - The powerful wizard who is a member of the First Order that is still alive. He has not trained the Seeker but now, knowing his duty is to protect and train him, he is willing to sacrifice his life in order to make sure The Seeker defeats Darken Rahl.
Recurring Characters in the first season of "Legend of the Seeker":
Darken Rahl (Played by Craig Parker, "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans", "Power Rangers Ninja Storm", "Diplomatic Immunity") - The main antagonist of the series. A ruthless tyrant who rules D'Hara with an iron fist and now wants to rule the Midlands.
Dell "Chase" Brandstone (played by Jay Laga'aia, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith", "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones", "Xena: Warrior Princess) - The head of the Councilor's Guards in Hartland. A good friend of Richard and the first person close to him that believes in him as a Seeker. A family man who is a warrior but also has a kind heart.
Michael Cypher (played by David de Lautour, "Power Rangers: Jungle Fury", "What I Like About You", "Being Eve") - The brother of Richard who thinks Richard killed their father and has sided with bad magicians. He is also the Councilor in Hartland.
Denna (Jessica Marais, "Packed to the Rafters") - The ruthless Mord'Sith who was the first to torture (train) Richard but learns that no matter how she hurts him, he still feels pity on her and makes her wonder how this man is so different from other men she has tortured.
Shota (Danielle Cormack, "The Cult") - Has an unknown relationship with Zedd. A powerful sorceress that Zedd does not trust but her reasoning of wanting to assist the Seeker is not known.
Dennee Amnell (Tania Nolan, "Go Girls", "The Hot House") - The younger sister of Kahlan. Was thought to be dead but she may be alive.
Here is a listing of the episodes with a brief, spoiler-less summary of "Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season":
* EPISODE 1 - Prophecy - Darken Rahl sends his soldiers led by Fane to capture two Confessors who have escaped D'Hara and to get back a book. One of the confessor's named Kahlan searches for a wizard named Zedd and the Seeker.
* EPISODE 2- Destiny - Richard Cypher, Kahlan and Zedd try to fight off Fane and Darken Rahl's soldiers who are trying to destroy the boundary.
* EPISODE 3- Bounty - With a bounty on the Seeker, a map maker has created a magical map that details where the Seeker is located.
* EPISODE 4 - Brennidon - Richard goes to the hometown where he was originally born and try to find out if his mother is still alive.
* EPISODE 5 - Listener - Darken Rahl's army are trying to bring a boy who has the power of a Listener (the last one died 700 years ago), a power that one can read a person's thoughts. Richard, Kahlan and Zedd try to get the boy away from Darken Rahl.
* EPISODE 6 - Elixir - Richard, Kahlan and Zedd visit a town where someone is peddling magic on the street and giving people the opportunity to experience magic on their own.
* EPISODE 7 - Identity - The sorceress Shota sees in her visions that the Seeker will be killed in three days. So, she uses a spell by switching the bodies of Richard and a man named Griff without Richard knowing.
* EPISODE 8 - Denna - The seeker is captured by the Mord'Sith, Denna. The Mord'Sith are women who are known by using "training" (torture) in order to make a man subservient and do whatever they want.
* EPISODE 9 - Puppeteer - With Darken Rahl going after the third Box of Orden (which will allow him complete magical power) to become popular, Zedd comes up with a trick in order to get the third box before Darken Rahl gets it.
* EPISODE 10 - Sacrifice - The three meet the Mother Confessor and the remaining and living Confessors. Kahlan learns that her sister may still be alive.
* EPISODE 11 - Confession - Murder takes place in the city and the Kahlan's power may have sent the wrong man to his death.
* EPISODE 12 - Home - Darken Rahl uses the wizard Giller to put Richard in a dreamlike state and try to tell reveal where the third Box of Orden is located.
* EPISODE 13 - Revenant - Zed, Richard and Kahlan try to hide the third Box of Orden in the tomb of the past seeker Kieran. But the spirit of Kieran seems to be alive and hiss spirit seems to be evil.
* EPISODE 14 - Hartland - When Richard and Kahlan return to the Hartland, they realize that the whole area is now under D'Haran control.
* EPISODE 15 - Conversion - Darken Rahl's wizard Giller is experimenting on ancient magic on Rahl's prisoners. But it appears that his experiments on Chase's wife Emma, may have unleashed a power of the Confessor.
* EPISODE 16 - Bloodline - Zedd hides the third Box of Orden and reunites with Richard and Kahlan in D'Hara. And a return of the Mord'Sith, Denna.
* EPISODE 17 - Deception - Richard and Khalan return to the Midlands to aid rebels who are fighting against D'Hara.
* EPISODE 18 - Mirror - Thieves plot to steal Richard's Sword of Truth.
* EPISODE 19 - Cursed - The sorceress Shota uses magic on King Gregor to become a beast known as Calthrop during the Sunset in order to protect his kingdom. But loses control and now becomes a threat to his own kingdom.
* EPISODE 20 - Sanctuary - Richard, Kahlan and Zedd visit a library to find the only copy of the "Book of Counted Shadows" but where is it hidden?
* EPISODE 21 - Fever - Darken Rahl's army raids a village where Jenssen is living and beat her to the point that she loses her memory and brainwashes her into thinking the Seeker is evil.
* EPISODE 22 - Reckoning - Richard has managed to obtain all three Boxes of Orden but what happens when he puts them together? Especially when the Mord'Sith Cara tries to interfere with Richard's plans and takes both of them 58 years into the future where Khalan has given birth to a son who becomes the new tyrant in the future.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season" is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1) - Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions and all I can say is how wonderful this series looks. With the series filmed in New Zealand, the look and feel of this new world is so lush and vibrant, I was really amazed by its high production value, it's costume and set design as well.
"Legend of the Seeker" is an impressive series with production that you would more than likely see on movies but to see it each week on television, let alone a syndicated televisions show (especially during today's worldwide economic recession and the studio financial cutbacks) is amazing. All I can say, is that I hope this series gets the High Definition treatment and is released on Blu-ray because the series looks absolutely beautiful.
As for the audio, the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and there is a good amount of action in the series, especially the clanging of the swords, Zedd's fire blasts, the series definitely uses a good amount of sound effects during the action sequences. With that being said, the series is definitely more dialogue driven and thus, you hear mostly everything through the front and center channels. I preferred setting my receiver setting on stereo on all channels but for the most part, dialogue and also the Celtic music is clear and understandable.
Subtitles are provided in English SDH, French and Spanish.
"Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Seasons" comes with the following special features:
* Audio Commentary for "Prophecy" by Executive Producer Ken Biller, Co-Executive Producer Stephen Tolkin, actors Craig Parker (who plays Richard) and Bridget Regan (who plays Kahlan).
* Audio Commentary for "Destiny" by Executive Producer Ken Biller, Co-Executive Producer Stephen Tolkin, actors Craig Parker (who plays Richard) and Bridget Regan (who plays Kahlan).
* Audio Commentary for "Denna" by actors Craig Parker (who plays Richard) and Jessica Marais (who plays Mord'Sith Denna).
* Audio Commentary for "Puppeteer" by actors Craig Parker (who plays Richard) and Bruce Spense (who plays Zed).
* Forging The Sword: Crafting a Legend - (16:23) Craig Horner takes us behind-the-scenes to the making of "Legend of the Seeker" in New Zealand. Interview with Mark Beesley (Director) who directed the pilot and how they will make this show different than other similar style of shows. And also the Executive Producers who discuss how the talent were cast and filming in New Zealand, horse training, fight choreography, set and costume design and how they would bring the fantasy world to life.
* Words of Truth: A Conversation with Terry Goodkind - (13:35) An interview with Terry Goodkind, the creator of "The Sword of Truth" novels and his wife Jerri Goodkind. Terry shows us his world and what he's passionate about. His passion for art, making violins and more. Also, how "The Sword of Truth" was created and being relentless.
* Deleted Scenes -A total of eight deleted scenes: What Does Adie See?, Confessor to the Seeker?, Benedict's Plight, Using Pain, Richard's Training, Night Confessions & Promises, Memories Are Slippery Things and This is the Truth
Every decade, syndicated television has its rare share of gems that truly shine on television. In the 80s, there was `Star Trek: The Next Generation', in the 90s there was `Xena: Warrior Princess' and now, I have to say that `Legend of the Seeker' must be put on that list. It's hard to believe that this series is not shown throughout the USA but for those who have been curious about the series and have heard the rave reviews, this is one series that is truly fantastic and definitely worth watching!
This was a series that from the moment I started watching, I was instantly hooked and it was like a marathon of "Legend of the Seeker" weekend because I enjoyed it so much. From the first episode, what caught my interest was the fact that it was shot in New Zealand. The shots were absolutely beautiful and the whole concept of the Seeker, the Confessor, the Wizard and this tyrannical dark ruler was actually fascinating to me and I found that each of the talent casted for their roles were absolutely perfect.
I should emphasize that before watching this series, I haven't read any of Terry Goodkind's novels and I am familiar with disgruntled fans who were hoping the novels would receive a Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings film adaptation and also upset about the fact that the series is "loosely" based on the novels. But for what the writers and crew had to work with, I happened to find each episode so captivating, beautiful and just so addicting.
It's one thing to watch the adventures of Richard, Kahlan and Zedd but when you see the Mord'sith character, you start to see how the series is a bit derivative to films like "Star Wars" and also Biblical stories and action sequences that are reminiscent to "Matrix" and "300. But since I'm a fan of those stories, those little moments that are integrated into each episode, I personally wasn't disappointed by any of that. The writers managed to keep each storyline quite fresh and entertaining that I felt that with each episode, you got something different each time.
"Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season" has definitely made me a fan but I do find it surprising that even 'til now, the nearest airing of this syndicated show is nearly 200-miles away (the official website has a zip code tracker to show you watch channel the show airs) and that is disappointing. But for now, for anyone who has been curious about this show, this complete first season on DVD is definitely worth owning. I enjoyed this series so much that I am hoping to hear it gets a High Definition transfer because the series looks quite beautiful. But overall, among the many television shows that are airing on the networks and cable networks, it's nice to hear that there is a rare gem that exists in syndication.
"Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season" is highly recommended!"