Legend of the Seeker
The Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind
are easily in my top three favourite series of all time. As opposed to
some writers who constantly cash in on their creations without the love
from their first books, Goodkind continued to provide high quality
writing that really made you care for these intricate characters. With some
familiarity to the Lord of Rings, The Sword of Truth series not only
complimented the father of the original fantasy genre but truly added
something unique and modern which raised the bar in this field.
With a healthy
following of the series, Disney/ABC believed it to be fruitful to create
a TV series based on the first novel and with that said, Legend of the
Seeker has finally arrived on DVD in Australia. The creators of
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, Sam Raimi
and Robert Tapert are the masterminds behind this current series and as
opposed to the sometimes comedic episodes of these two cult hits, Legend
of the Seeker is a much more serious endeavour which thankfully follows
the first novel, Wizard's First Rule rather well. Dare I say almost
perfectly for this medium?
However in terms of continuity and flow, some elements of the novel have
been removed or changed in order for it to be more consistent with the
main story. The series revolves around Richard Cypher (Craig Horner), a
humble woodlands guide from the Westlands who is usurped to fight for a
cause he never knew existed and eventually discovers that he is part of
an ancient prophecy. Unbeknown to Richard, his grandfather is Zeddicus
Zu'l Zorander (Bruce Spence), a powerful wizard of the first order who
has erected a magical boundary to protect the Westlands from the magic
and more importantly, the armies of D'Hara.
The country next to the Westlands is the Midlands that ruled by the
beautiful and powerful Mother Confessors and to the East, lies the vile
country of D'Hara, ruled in tyranny by Darken Rahl (Craig Parker).
The series begins with Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) stealing an ancient
book called the book of Counted Shadows which contains the secrets of
power. Only the Seeker can read this book which will also help him in
defeating the strangehold of Darken Rahl. In his conquest, it will free
the people of D'Hara and end the threat of war to both the Westlands and the
Midlands. This prophecy talks of the first born male that will end the
rule of Darken Rahl and as a result, this villain has ensured that all first born
males of Rahl have been murdered.
During the first few episodes, the viewer
is indulged with the history of Kahlan who is actually a
Confessor, a holy protector of the midlands who has the ability to touch
men and make them do what she wishes. Unfortunately for Kahlan, when
Darken Rahl discovers that the Confessor has knowledge of this prophecy,
he sends out his men to murder her in order to ensure that the prophecy
As Kahlan crosses the boundary that protects the Westlands from the
Midlands, she meets Richard Cypher and discovers that he is the person
the prophecy mentions and is the legendary Seeker. Kahlan is also
shocked to discover that his grandfather Zed knew of this secret and did
not assist Richard in preparing for his role and from there, both Kahlan and Zed give
Richard a crash course on his powers and is given the Sword of Truth.
This magical sword ignites the powers of the Seeker within Richard and
together, Richard, Kahlan and Zed must find a way to end the reign of
Darkan Rahl before his madness spreads across the world.
Legend of the Seeker is a classic sword
sorcery TV series that contains action, drama and even romance. Watching
the relationship between Richard and Kahlan grow is a joy to watch as is
their budding romance which must never happen. Other highlights include
Bruce Spence as Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, the over top wizard and Craig
Parker as the nefarious Darken Rahl who at times goes over the top with
his character and is oozing with evil. But we cannot forget Jay Laga'aia
as the boundary ranger who is also drawn into this epic tale. Although
each episode is a standalone tale, there is a main theme that crosses
all episodes that leads to the reckoning at the end of the series.
Featuring 22 episodes, Legend of the Seeker
contains some fun deleted scenes, a featurette entitled "Forging the
Sword: Crafting a Legend" in relation to making this story come alive
and my favourites, audio commentaries and a great interview with Terry
Goodkind, entitled "Words of True: A Conversation with Terry Goodkind".
Running at a whopping 849 minutes, this is definitely a must have series
for those that enjoy this genre and best of all, the video and audio
quality is perfect for DVD.