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Highlander Trivia

50 Frequently Asked Questions about the Highlander Television Series!


Welcome! Over the years, I’ve noticed that people ask many of the same questions. I thought it might help to list fifty of the most frequently asked questions that get asked about the series, and answer them. If you don’t see your question listed, feel free to contact me.

Almost All You Wanted to Know About the Series Before You Ask…

1.What is that music that plays in that episode where Duncan goes home to Scotland?

*The episode is Homeland and the music is a traditional Irish folksong called Bonny Portmore which is about the deforestation of Ireland by the British. The modern arrangement was recorded by Loreena McKennitt and is on her CD The Visit. That arrangement was used in the film Highlander III. For the series, music producer Roger Bellon used McKennitt’s arrangement but hired singer Laura Creamer to record it. The song was also used in Endgame, as recorded by Jennifer McNeal.

2. How come in that episode with Felicia that Duncan says that his katana was given to him by a fellow clansman?

*The episode Freefall was one of the first episodes written and the first one filmed. At that time, it was thought that Duncan using Connor's katana would be a passing of the torch (er sword). By Season Three, it was decided that Duncan’s getting the sword from a mortal teacher in Japan would be far more powerful. The Samurai tells the true story of the Koto katana and why it means so much to Duncan. Most of us just say that Duncan considers Hideo Koto a “clansman” or member of his “family”.

3.What is the year of Duncan's T-Bird?

*1964 (and it's dark blue, not black) the license plate is 827-KEG

*Other car facts: In Paris he drove a late-60's model, black Citroen in Seasons 1-5 and in Season 6 drove a Range Rover.

4. What happens to the Quickening if a mortal beheads an Immortal? And can an Immortal get a Quickening any other way than beheading an Immortal?

*A) The Quickening vanishes or is not released. Most subscribe to the latter view. That way, mortals don’t see what is happening. In The Raven episode Bloodlines, Nick sees Morgan Kenworthy's quickening, but this seems to be an aberration. Some say it is because he is pre-immortal or because Amanda is in the area although not close enough to actually receive it.

*B) If a mortal beheads an Immortal and another Immortal is close enough the Quickening will go to the Immortal. Again, this happens in The Raven when Nick beheads Dr. Julian Heller in the epsisode The Ex-Files.

*C) If an immortal is beheaded by another force, and another immortal is close by, the Quickening goes to the immortal. Examples are in The Sea Witch where Alexi Voshin is beheaded by a boat’s propeller and in Saving Grace and The Innocent where a passing train beheads an immortal.

5. Didn't Richie come close to losing his head to Duncan once before Archangel?

*Sort of. In Shadows Duncan thinks he's seeing Death and goes after the apparition but stops when he realizes it's Richie. Another time, while under the influence of the Dark Quickening in Something Wicked, Duncan defeats Richie and is preparing to strike off his head when Joe intervenes with a pistol shot.

6. Where exactly is Seacouver?

*It's a fictional city supposedly between Vancouver, Canada and Seattle, Washington (hence Seacouver) so fictionwise it would be somewhere along the Strait of Juan De Fuca or the Puget Sound in Washington.

7. Duncan's barge! Where is it? Why does it change names and locations?

*The address of the barge, where it was usually parked for filming with Notre Dame de Paris in the background was at the Quai de la Tournelles as mentioned specifically in the episode Unholy Alliance, part two. A map of Paris calls lists the location as Quai de la Tournettes. In addition, the barge changed locations during Season Three due to flooding in Paris. It was moved back to the original location in later seasons.
*The barge rented by the production company for the first few seasons was Nobile. During Season Four, the barge was damaged in an explosion, set by the immortal Kassim. Duncan took it to be worked on. When the series continued for Season Five, a different barge called Amadeus was used for filming. While basically the same, there were a few minor differences. Fans usually just say that Duncan re-named his barge after the fire and explosion.

8. Which episode does (Darius, Tessa, Richie, Fitzcairn) die in?

*Darius died in Season One’s finale, The Hunters. Tessa died in Season Two’s The Darkness. Fitz died in Season Three’s Starcrossed and Richie died in Season Five’s finale, Archangel.

9. Why wasn't Connor in more episodes?

* Christopher Lambert does not do television as a rule. He agreed that there should be a series and Connor MacLeod was the original name of the main character of the series… thus the initial similarities in the two characters. After Lambert didn’t want to do the series and because there were still films being made with the Connor character, it was decided to have the series focus on another MacLeod. Lambert agreed to do the pilot and pass the torch. They were only able to afford him for three days of filming. Lambert declined to do any future episodes and may have had it in his contract that his likeness could not be used in any other episodes.

10. What song played when (Tessa, Richie, Darius, Fitz) died?

* Tessa—Dust in the Wind, Kansas; Richie—Twelve Questions, Jim Byrnes. As for Darius and Fitz, there was nothing vocal selected, just instrumentals by Roger Bellon, the show’s music producer. Bellon’s music for the show is available on two CDs.

11. "When did Richie first get his bike?"

*There wasn't actually an episode where Richie got his bike, but it first started appearing sometime near the middle of Season One, most notably in See No Evil, before they went to Paris. He also had it in Paris in Season One’s The Hunters.

12. Didn’t Duncan have an earring in some episodes?

*Adrian Paul liked the earring as a part of the character and wore it in The Gathering. Evidently not universally liked by the production team, it was not seen again until Season Four’s Deliverance for present day scenes. It was occasionally seen in flashbacks.

13. Where can I purchase Duncan’s hair clips/leather coat?

*Both were merchandise originally offered through the site’s store. While the hair clips are no longer available, a few of the coats might remain. Click on the Official Site address and check out the store. If what you are looking for is not there, you might try Ebay as items sometimes turn up there. The same goes for other items like the swords, tapes, DVDs, CDs, and the Highlander card game.

14. How'd they make Duncan's hair short for the flashbacks?

* They used a skullcap over his long hair and then a short wig. In Season One, Adrian Paul’s actual hair was too short for the look they wanted and hair extensions were used throughout the season. By the start of Season Two, Paul’s hair was long enough so that hair extensions were no longer needed. That is why his hair looks different in Season One. His decision to cut his hair for Season Six was personal. His hair was thinning as he’d left it long for several years and his barber/stylist recommended that he cut it. His cutting it was added to the series to make it part of his mourning the death and loss of Richie Ryan.

15. What's the difference between the Special Edition DVDs and the regular ones I can get anywhere? Where can I get the SE ones?

*The Best of Highlander Collection is a collection of twelve episodes that the production staff and actors voted on as an essential collection for anyone just getting into the series. By watching those episodes first, someone would get the highlights of the show. Some fans do not necessarily agree with the episodes chosen. Each of the episodes has special behind-the-scenes commentary as well as a featurette with F. Braun McAsh and Anthony DeLongis on how they staged the fights.

*Note: McAsh joined the show in Season Three as its swordmaster. Bob Anderson, best known for choreographing the fights in Star Wars, did the first two seasons’ fights. DeLongis assisted McAsh and was featured in two episodes, Blackmail and Duende. McAsh is also seen in two episodes, most notably in The Modern Prometheus as Hans Kershner (Kirschner).

This collection is available from the Highlander on-line store. Please note that currently, the on-line store only ships merchandise to the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Currently the sets are not available in anything but Region One for DVD. Some VHS copies are still available. Season One was recently released in France for Region Two.

16. If immortals can heal rapidly, how come Kalas' voice didn't?

*The original film made a great deal about the Kurgan’s neck wound, courtesy of Ramirez in 1541. It was decided that necks were a weakness of immortals and the one place that didn’t heal properly. Thus, if wounded in the neck but not beheaded, the scars and damage remained.

17. Why didn’t Xavier’s hand grow back?

*Most believe that if a an immortal is wounded, he/she will heal. The one exception besides the neck, is if a limb is amputated. Some members suggest that had Xavier been able to hold his severed hand to his stump before the stump healed, it might have re-attached. Others suggest that given time, the limb might finally regenerate. In either case, Xavier did not have that option.

18. What's the deal with all the K names?

*The films had used Kurgan, Katana, and Kane, and at first, the series attempted to go in other directions. Eventually most of the villains (known as k-immes) had names that began with a K or with a K sound as represented by “C” or “Q”.

19. Are Duncan and Connor supposed to be related?

* They are both supposed to have been members of the Clan MacLeod that lived in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. There is likely no blood relation between them though. Connor was born in 1518 and died his first death in 1536, Duncan was born in 1592 and died his first death in 1622. He was found by Connor in 1625 and finally trained.

20. Can immortals have children?

*In a word… no. It is mentioned in the series episode Line of Fire that in the thousands of years that records have been kept, there never have been any children born to either immortals, or to them while they were still pre-immortal. Some fan fiction writers have devised scenarios where this might happen.

21. Where do immortals come from? Are they the children of two other immortals?

* This is one of the main questions that fans ask. The first film suggested that immortals were just born different. The series suggested that all immortals were foundlings, even if they were unaware of it. While theories exist in fan fiction and in discussions, until something is shown or explained in a future film, it remains one of the mysteries of the franchise.

22. Didn't they mention there was some kind of penalty for killing on Holyground? Like a disaster or something?

*Again, this is a hotly debated topic. The first film mentioned that it was “tradition” that no immortal would break. When Kane engaged Connor in combat on Holy Ground in Highlander III (the Buddhist shrine), the earth began to tremble. The series suggested that two immortals supposedly had fought on holy ground in Pompeii in 79 C.E. shortly before Mt. Vesuvius exploded. In Endgame, Jacob Kell kills the immortals housed in Sanctuary. Early versions of the film led the viewer to believe this was on holy ground. These references were removed, but that only begged the question: why would an immortal allow this if not on holy ground?

23. Who's the oldest immortal?

*Methos is the oldest living immortal now known. His first memory is from about 5000 years ago. He may be older. He was not, however, the first immortal. The unnamed one Darius killed in 410 C.E. at the gates of Paris was supposed to have been the oldest immortal then alive. (NOTE: Rebecca Neason's Shadow of Obsession novel gives him the name Emrys.) Again, there may have been older immortals, but they’re all dead now.

*In the latest live-action film, The Source, we meet two immortals older than Methos. One is the Elder and the other is the Guardian. They are at least 10,000 years old according to that story.

24. If there are two immortals present when a third is beheaded, do they share the Quickening?

*No, the quickening goes only to the one who is closest. If two quickenings go off simultaneously, the episode Revelation 6:8 shows that there might be some sort of connection between the two, but nothing has ever been confirmed.

25. Are the Watchers good guys or bad guys?

*Most are good guys. Their byline is that they watch, record, but never interfere. They keep the history of the immortals and are like the viewer. They are mortals who watch. Over the years, there were some “bad” ones, most notably the faction led by James Horton which has been dubbed “The Hunters” after the episode in which they were introduced.

26. What happens if a pre-immortal dies of natural causes like old age?

*They die and their immortality is not triggered.

27. Aren't immortals aliens from Zeist?

*Actually… no. The Zeist explanation that was used in HL2 was pretty much rejected by fans. As a result, in the later films and the series, Zeist in not mentioned. However, when people ask where the immortals hid their swords… we tend to say… the Zeist pocket. Zeist has become among the fans a by-word for something that is bigger on the inside or which has magical properties.

28. Have they ever said what 'the Prize' is?

*The Prize as explained inthe first Highlander film was the ability to be 'one' with everything, to know everyone’s thoughts, to be able to grow old and have children. However, in Series continuity, the Prize could be something else entirely. We don't know for certain, other than it will give the 'winner' immense power. Some suggest that the Prize is different things to different immortals.

29. Where is the best place to buy the dvds the offical store or XYZ?

*Best Buy usually has the best retail prices and their copies are said to contain some extra content. Several on-line sites also have extremely good buys, and some have free shipping.

30. How do you spell…?

*When writing about or asking questions about the characters, it helps to spell their names correctly.
A) There is no "t" in Richie. Richie is short for Richard, there's no 't' in that either.

B) It’s MacLeod, not McCloud. One's Scottish, one's Irish. Our Highlanders are Scottish.

C) It’s Connor not Conner.

31. What *exactly* is a quickening?

*A quickening is the combined power and knowledge of another immortal.

32. How does a dark or light quickening occur? Does it have something to do with the amount of heads taken (the one taking the head,) or by how powerful the immortal is (the one whose head is taken)?

*The “dark quickening” was a thing of myth, and Methos said they were very rare. The one shown in the series occurs when a good immortal (Coltec) killed too many bad immortals, and because he also tended to take on the evil of the world and cleanse men’s souls. Overwhelmed by the darkness, he became evil. When Duncan killed him, he was overwhelmed as he also had killed a large number of evil immortals in the previous three and one half seasons. He overcame the darkness by getting in touch with his core identity of “Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod” and fighting himself on the spirit plane.

*The “light” quickening is a name given for what evidently happened to the Goth general Darius when he killed the oldest of all immortals at the gates of Paris. After doing so, he threw down his sword, disbanded his army and thereafter tried from holy ground to be an agent of peace.

*In both cases, the events that triggered these phenomena were extreme. “Dark” or “light” quickenings would not happen often.

33. How is the series connected to the movies?

*They are connected by the character of Connor MacLeod, Duncan’s kinsman and teacher. However, in the series continuity, Connor killed the Kurgan, but did not win the prize as there were still several hundred immortals around, and more still coming into existence. The film Endgame is also set in the series continuity.

34. Did Duncan realize that Richie was a pre-immortal when he took him in?

*Yes. In The Gathering he feels Richie before he senses Connor or Slan; And as he's pulling Connor from the sound Connor says, "What about the boy? You know he'll need watching." And Duncan says, "I know."

35. Why is Season 6 so short? Why are Methos and Amanda in the opening credits and only appear in a few episodes? What's with the immortal babes?

*At first there was to be no Season Six. When funding finally was announced, Adrian Paul was working on Endgame and said he’d only be available for half the season or eleven episodes. Peter Wingfield, Jim Byrnes, and Elizabeth Gracen were contracted to fill out the season. However, Peter and Elizabeth had other commitments that prevented them from being available for filming until November 1998. The series began filming in Paris in the summer and the producers had been approached about doing a spin-off series, which would center on a female immortal. A number of “spec” scripts for the new series were filmed as episodes to fill out the season. But, funding was again cut and only thirteen episodes were filmed. Duncan does not appear at all in two of the episodes, Two of Hearts and Indiscretions (which does feature both Peter Wingfield and Jim Byrnes). Indiscretions was the last episode filmed for the series, but was shown before the finale two-parter, To Be and Not To Be.

36. Where do the bullets which an Immortal is shot with go when he revives?

*No one really knows. There are several theories. One is that they decompose and are absorbed into the system, another is that they are pushed out of the wound, or eliminated in waste products (Can we say ewwwwwwww?)

37. Who invented the Watchers and when?

* Joe says in Indiscretions that the Watchers were formed sometime in the general vicinity of 2000 B.C.E, or 4000 years ago. Someone saw the Sumerian king Gilgamesh come back from the dead. Some think that Methos might have been instrumental in the founding of the group, but this is fan speculation.

38. Why did the writers kill Darius?

*The actor who portrayed Darius, Werner Stocker, was hospitalized as filming on The Hunters was set to begin. The show was supposed to have featured his character greatly, perhaps in flashback. Unable to fulfill his duties, he was hastily written to have died in the episode. The same week that episode first aired in May 1993, he died of a brain tumor. He was 38. There are some that say his character would have died in the episode anyway, and others who say he would not have died, but that the character of Hugh Fitzcairn would have. Head writer David Abramowitz stayed up all night before filming began to rewrite the episode to feature more of Fitz.

39. Have any other Highlander actors died?

*Yes, several. Myles Ferguson who portrayed the immortal child Kenny was killed in a car crash when he was 19. Brion James who portrayed John Durgan/Armand Thorne died a few years ago. Recently, Vincent Schiavelli who was Vietnam War veteran Leo in An Innocent Man died. From the films, Sheila Gish (Rachel Ellenstain), Mako (Nakano) and Peter Diamond (Fasil) have died.

40. Did the actor who played Joe Dawson really lose his legs and how?

*Jim Byrnes, who played Joe Dawson is a double amputee as a result of a car accident. He was helping to push a stalled car when he was hit by an oncoming one and his legs were crushed. Jim is an incredibly gifted blues singer and has released several albums including That River which won a Juno award (Canada's equivalent of a Grammy). He also appeared as the character Lifeguard/Uncle Mike in the series Wiseguy which ran on CBS in the late 80's. The prosthetic limbs you see in the temptation scene with Ahriman in Armageddon are Jim's. The restored legs were the result of editing with a another actor.

41. I'm confused. The episode Revelation 6:8 is called the 100th episode, but I taped all of them and never missed a one. It's number 99. So what gives?

*Each episode as it was filmed was given a number. Revelation 6:8 was the 100th episode filmed, but ended up being the 99th one aired. Two episodes were initially filmed as part of the 22 episode package of Season Four... they were Double Jeopardy and One Minute to Midnight.

One Minute to Midnight was held over the summer to be the opening episode of Season Five but Double Jeopardy could not be aired until after the story-line returned to Paris in mid-season. Thus it aired after Revelation 6:8 and other episodes which completed that arc were shown.

If you purchase the VHS or DVD series collections, these two episodes are placed correctly with Season Four rather than with Season Five.

I've often felt that another reason to hold Double Jeapoary until the following year had to do with the overall story arc after the dark quickening that showed DM reluctant to actually take another immortal's head. By Season Five he no longer was reluctant to do so.

42. What was the classical music Claudia Jardine played on the piano during the episode Timeless?

ClaudeDebussy's Clair de Lune, (By the Light of the Moon).

43. Have we ever seen in the series or movies an immortal take the head of a pre-immortal?

*While several times we saw pre-immortals killed by immortals (i.e. Kagen by Tarsis in Reasonable Doubt) we have not seen a pre-immortal beheaded. Perhaps the quickening is inert and doesn't manifest unless the immortality is first triggered.

44. Who is the current most powerful immortal? And how do you decide how powerful an immortal is? Do you base it on the number of quickenings he has had?

*In Endgame, power was determined by the number of quickenings any immortal received. In the series, the more powerful immortals were usually portrayed as those who remained in the game and continued to practice and improve themselves. The quality of quickenings as opposed to the quanity also seemed to factor in to whether or not an immortal was powerful.

Personally I think that on any given day, any immortal can defeat any other if one fights "the good fight" and/or one is very lucky.

45. Does Methos have more quickenings than Duncan? How many does Methos have total?

*While no one knows for certain how many Methos has had, after all he was a myth for most of his life and hidden from the Watchers, he has likely taken more than Duncan. Even factoring in the two hundred years he was not in the game, he still survived 4800 years in the game. Even if he only took one head every ten years, that would still be more than Duncan's total as mentioned in Endgame.

46. How come in the episode where the Doctor kidnaps Duncan and takes a biopsy test (cuts a hunk of Duncan's skin off), Duncan is seen healing almost immediatly, but in Endgame, at the end in the final fight, he has to tie up the wound on his leg? (It doesn't heal immediatly.)

*In Deadly Medicine, the cut appeared little more than a scratch. Perhaps it didn't take so long to heal because it was so minor. In fights, it does seem to take longer, but then blood loss is something an immortal fighting for his life doesn't want to chance. Perhaps Duncan bound his leg as a precaution. Also, sword wounds are far more severe than scratches.

*In truth, the amount of time it takes to heal often depended on the dictates of the script and the choice of the director for the sake of drama.

47. Is Connor ever mentioned in the series besides in The Gathering?

*Yes. He is mentioned by name in such episodes as Prodigal Son , The Fighter, Run for Your Life and Archangel. He only appears in The Gathering though.

48. Who in the series was Duncan's toughest immortal opponent?

*Ask ten different fans and you will likely get ten different answers. In Season One, his hardest fought fight was likely with Grayson. As the series went on, and depending on the skill of the guest star, fights became ever more elaborate and intense. Others who make this list are Xavier St. Cloud, Nicholas Ward, Lyman Kurlow, Kalas, Haresh Clay, Kronos and Otavio Consone.

49. What was the name of the Season/Episode which had the evil immortal child?

*The immortal child was named Kenneth or Kenny. He was over eight hundred years old and was first trained by Amanda to use his "innocent" face to survive in the game. He first appeared in Season Three's The Lamb and then returned in Season Four's Reunion. He managed to survive both times and as far as we know, he's still out there.

*The actor portraying Kenny, Myles Ferguson, was noticeably older and more mature in Season Four. Amanda even joked about his older appearance in the episode. Likely this prevented any additional scripts revolving around him, but the character is a favorite in fan fiction. On a sad note, Myles Ferguson was killed in an auto accident after the series ended.

50. How come Connor trys to hide his identity (i.e. Russell Nash) but Duncan does not?

*Duncan was set up to be a man with honor who did not believe in subterfuge or in hiding who he was. He lived with his name "out there" and introduced himself to all manner of immortals without fear. He believed that was the honorable way of meeting his opponents.

*In the episode Homeland, in response to Duncan saying that his father banished him and he has no rights, Duncan's mother tells him he is "Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod and let no man tell ya different."

*In Connor's case, he was physically banished and the clan as a whole turned their backs on him. He believed it was necessary to "hide his special gift" so that he could inherit property and live as different men, living many secret lives, throughout the ages.

*For a film, it is possible to have a character hide under an assumed name. In television, it was thought that it would be too confusing for viewers if Duncan's name kept changing from week to week. His refrain of who he is whenever he fights did get old. Even Methos, who was able to successfully be both Adam Pierson and Methos without confusing anyone, knew better than to give out his true name to just anyone, especially when he met an opponent.

Please Note: This is a work in progress. If you have additional questions, or see mistakes, ommissions, or have corrections, let me know by email and I will edit them in. ~elle

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In the end, all shall be one

In the end, all shall be one.