A simple lad unaware of his destiny lives out his life in the middle of nowhere. While he’s popped out his family are killed by an evil ruler’s henchmen. He is led by destiny and a hot chick in white to flee to safety. He meets an old wizard guy who gives him a magic sword and informs him that his family weren’t actually his family and that he has special powers and a role in life where he’s destined to fight for good.
Oh hang on, that’s the plot of Star Wars – let me consult my notes. Nope, my mistake, it’s also Legend of the Seeker’s plot.
Actually I’m being unfair here. It’s also the plot of a million things.
Legend of the Seeker is an epic new fantasy series that incongruously appears on the Sci Fi channel. (It isn’t Sci Fi!) That doesn’t really matter. While watching the pilot I spent the whole time thinking “Wow, it’s like everything I’ve seen before”. Being a fair-minded chap, however, I thought I’d give it a chance and watch a few other episodes. And I have to say, it got pretty good. It even gets quite dark at times. I’ve only seen the pilot and a few episodes but if you are into fantasy (and in this post LOTR world, that’s a lot of people) you will like this.
The series is based on a series of books called The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. This obviously means some saddoes are lamenting the slightest change from the worshipped text but as the author has been heavily involved in the script, it has shut a lot of them up. It also means some of the narrative is pretty compelling.
The cast, (as all good TV casts are,) are all pretty attractive. Except for the wizard fellow. The lead character, Richard Cypher, looks permanently baffled and angry but is pretty watchable. The lead lady, who’s a kind of magic nun called Kahlan, is very watchable in her tight white dress. The wizard fellow is played by a guy I have always liked and seen in a million movies and shows but always remember as the mental guy with the flying machine in the Mad Max movies.
The bad guy sounds vaguely English and the whole thing is filmed in New Zealand, so it really has all the necessary elements for success. New Zealand’s countryside must be riddled with attractive fantasy actors wandering around in the same way the Canada’s woods are full of rubberized humanoids.
The action isn’t quite up to Lord of the Rings standards but is watchable and fairly exciting. A little too much of the theatrical sword-clearly-missing the-body-and-sticking-out-the-other-side fighting style but there are some enjoyable enough sequences. He can even split arrows with his lightsaber. I mean sword.
In all, stick through the hackneyed plot of the pilot and you are in for an enjoyable series. Of course, I’ve only seen three episodes and it could be dire later but so far each episode has improved. If you like fantasy, I really can’t think of anything better on TV. I actually find myself looking forward to the next episode, which for someone whose job consists of watching TV for 12 hour stints, means it’s pretty damn watchable.