Legend of the Seeker: Series Premiere C

Legend of the Seeker

Iím not a huge fan of Goodkindís Sword of Truth series so I wasnít expecting much from Legend of the Seeker the television series. Conversely, not being a fan of the original material, I had thought that that would have left me more open-minded about the direction that the producers had decided to take with this new series and not upset at how the original premise had been ruined. As it turns out, not being a fan of the books didnít help me enjoy Legend of the Seeker one bit.

The story, for those that arenít familiar with it, tells of a simple woodsman by the name of Richard Cypher, played by Craig Horner. After rescuing a beautiful young woman named Kahlan (Bridget Regan) who is being chased by a group of assassins, he finds his own life is in danger, and that of everyone in the land. Because, well, thatís usually how these stories work out. Kahlan is searching for the true Seeker. There hadnít been one in hundreds of years. With the help of a crazy old Wizard friend (think Obi-Wan Kenobi), they discover that Richard is the Seeker that she has been, well, seeking, and that his destiny is to destroy the evil tyrant Darken Rahl who seeks to control all the lands.

As I said, Iím not a huge fan of the books, so I wasnít expecting to be on the edge of my seat. I knew that Legend of the Seeker was from same people behind Xena and Hercules (Sam Raimi) so I knew it would be kind of corny, but hopefully, like Xena, it would have a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek. Unfortunately, while there was plenty of cheesiness, there was very little fun to be had with the series. Even the wizard Zedís antics were toned down. How is that even possible? The series just seemed to take itself a little too seriously. Certainly thereís a lot to get through in these first couple of episodes, but while there was plenty of slow motion fight scenes, there wasnít much character development. Speaking of those fight scenes, anyone whoís read the books will be familiar with the fact that there is plenty of torture, sex and bloodshed in these books. Donít assume that there will be any of that in this series. While there was occasionally a bloody sword, with the amount of hack and slash going on, I doubt if even a drop of blood was spilled. This does not bode well for fans of Mistress Denna. One wonders what kind of neutered character she will become in this series.

Like Xena and Hercules (and of course LOTR) Legend of the Seeker is shot in New Zealand. They certainly make use of some gorgeous locations, and many viewers will recognize certain members of the cast from Lord of the Rings and other movies. Craig Parker who portrays Darken Rahl also played Haldir in LOTR. Unfortunately, you may not guess it from this performance, which isnít to say that heís bad in the role, but more that the character doesnít bring anything new as far as bad guys go (although Darken Rahl wasnít that impressive in the books either). And why, oh why, does every character in this series have an American accent (or American with strong hints of Kiwi) except the bad guy? Nooo, he has to have an English accent. Getting a little tired of the whole making the bad guy have an English accent, Hollywood!

As for the rest of the cast, they do well enough with what they have to work with. Craig Horner is the weakest of the main cast, but thatís as much to do with bad writing as it is to do with the actor. As you would expect, the writing is very muddled, and therefore most fans of the book will hate it. The story is just very predictable and dumbed down, which in some ways is a relief when you have all the complicated storytelling of shows like Lost, but on the other hand, leaves the viewer with nothing to think about. My overall thoughts? I neither liked it nor hated it, which is probably the worst thing a series can do- it left me completely unaffected at all.

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