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Featured TV on DVD Review: Legend of the Seeker: Season Two

October 7th, 2010

Legend of the Seeker: Season Two - Buy from Amazon

The Legend of the Seeker was a syndicated Sword & Sorcerer TV show that was produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, the same people who brought us Hercules and Xena. For this type of show, that's a pretty good pedigree. However, despite this, it had a couple issues during its first season before it was canceled at the end of the second. Did it suffer from a sophomore slump creatively, or was it a victim of a fickle public.

The Show

First a recap of season one...

There are two worlds: Westland and Midlands. The Midlands is a land of magic ruled by an evil man, Darken Rahl, who is the "Earthly" representative of The Keeper, the ruler of the underworld. There is a prophecy that states one day a young man, the Seeker, will find the Sword of Truth, use it to destroy Darken Rahl, and end his reign. So he uses his armies, especially the Mord'Sith, an order of ruthless warrior women, to try and find any potential Seeker who might fulfill the prophecy.

This is where Richard Rahl comes in. He is the Seeker, but to protect him a wizard named Zedd takes him to Westland, a land without magic. There he is to train the boy to become a great warrior, so when the time is right, he will be able to lead an army to destroy Darken. However, he decides against that. He questions why this young boy should be forced to give up his childhood just because a prophecy says he will need to fight a great evil later on.

So when one of the the forces of good from Midlands, Kahlan Amnell, finally comes to retrieve the last Seeker, she is greatly disappointed.

Throughout season one, Richard, Kahlan, and Zedd must travel throughout Midlands looking for information on the Sword of Truth, looking for allies, training for the final fight, and defeating whatever evil forces Darken sends their way.

In the end, and these are obviously major spoilers, a group of Mord'Sith, led by Cara, is sent to kill Richard. But after a strange confluence of magic, Richard and Cara are propelled in the future, where Cara sees that Darken intends to betray the Mord'Sith as soon as Richard is defeated. After that, Cara helps defeat Darken.

Which leads us to season two... since it is impossible to discuss this without spoilers, you might want to skip right to the extras.

Ready? Good.

After the defeat of Darken, it is revealed that Darken isn't exactly dead. His body is dead, but since he was in the service of the Keeper of the Underworld, his spirit is still going and he will still be of use to his master. In fact, his death was all part of The Keeper's plan, as when he was killed, the magic released created a tear in the veil that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, and the Keeper plans to use that tear to invade the land of the living and take over. However, in order to do this, he will need the help of the Mord'Sith, but, Cara, the leader, is the one who betrayed him, so she must be eliminated first.

Meanwhile, Richard, Kahlan, and Zedd find out about the tear and surmise the Keeper's plan and now know what they must do. They must find the item that first sealed the veil between the world of the living and the world of the end, the Stone of Tears. Joining them for this quest is Cara, but they also have a number of allies along the way, as well as more than a few enemies.

First the good news, Tabrett Bethell is excellent as Cara and I'm glad she was included as part of the group. There's something about this type of character I really like. It's not just the redemption story, which is obviously a key, but also she adds a bit more levity to the show, as there's a bit of a culture clash from going from Mord'Sith to being one of the good guys.

There are also a lot of great guest stars this year, including Charisma Carpenter, Jolene Blalock, Keisha Castle-Hughes, John Rhys-Davies, while the voice of The Keeper was provided by William Morgan Sheppard, who played Blank Reg in Max Headroom.

On the other hand, the overall storyarc feels a little stretched out and the season starts to drag about halfway through, before really picking up in the end. Additionally, there are still too much use of slow motion during the more dramatic fight scenes.

The Extras

All of the extras are found on disc five, starting with a 10-minute featurette on Cara / Tabrett Bethell and how the character / actress evolved over the season. Under the Underworld is a 9-minute look at the design for the world of the dead. Finally, there are six deleted / extended scenes with a total running time of ten minutes. That's hardly a huge amount, but since the show was canceled, it's acceptable.

The Verdict

I think Legend of the Seeker was showing real signs of improving by the end of Season Two, which makes it more disappointing to know there won't be a season three, which at this pace would have been the breakout year. If you are a fan of the show, then it is worth picking up. If you've never seen the show, give it a rental, but start with season one. And if you thought season one was only marginal, I think you'll probably enjoy this season a little more.

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