It is no secret that once I fall for a series – book, television, or movie – I fall hard and become devoted. A current TV devotion of mine (second only to Days of Our Lives) is Legend of the Seeker.
The show is based on a series by Terry Goodkind – The Sword of Truth novels. I hadn’t even heard of the books when I started watching last season but between seasons 1 and 2 (watch here), I read several of the novels. The books are quite different from the television show and comparatively better written, but that will come up in a later post.
An introduction to the series is in order.
Meet Richard Cypher – a woods guide until he is name the Seeker by the Mother Confessor and a Wizard of the First Order. He is destined to wield the Sword of Truth and defeat the tyrant Darken Rahl. (His brother!) Richard screwed up killing his brother/evil tyrant and causes a dangerous rift between the world of the living and the Underworld. He’s been trying to find the Stone of Tears to zip that rift right up but – as Cara often complains – many episodic miniature adventures crop up and Richard is constantly helping every farmer and distressed woman he passes by.
The first episode set up the tone of the show. I give you Exhibit A. Hello, Craig Horner.
Then he got scruffy in season 2, which is fine.
Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander – and yes, they say his full name often – is the Wizard of the First Order who names Richard as the Seeker. Richard grew up thinking Zed was just some nice old man who lived in his village. Nope, he’s a wizard! And his grandfather! These secrets just keep coming.
Zed, played by Bruce Spence, is ridiculously tall. He’s also well-cast. His face, a series of hills and valleys, is very expressive which enhances for the once-per-episode moment of pleasure/amusement, normally at the end when the danger has been averted.
Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) is the Mother Confessor and Richard’s love only they can never be together because her power to confess people (basically turning them into her slaves who will always tell her the truth) would be set lose if they did it. Then he’d only love her because her power made him love her. Bummer.
In Season 1, Kahlan was working the Mother Confessor angle a lot – not a lot of make-up, long white dress.
In Season 2, apparently she needed to be sexed up. She rarely dons the ever-important white dress. Her hair is darker and her eye make-up is darker. Darker is sexier in the Midlands, I suppose. Her new camo outfit is corseted, leather and slit up to there.
Love the thigh-high boots though. I guess the introduction of Cara wasn’t enough.
Cara (Tabrett Bethell) is a Mord-Sith, terrifying order of women Darken Rahl used to punish/torture/what-have-you his victims.
Cara ends up helping Richard defeat Rahl – not her choice – but comes to see Richard’s beliefs are true and swears her loyalty to him.
We get plenty of sexiness from Cara.
Maybe it’s because I read the books but Kahlan is a more noble character to me. Her warrior side is played up in the books as opposed to her boobs. Probably doesn’t matter much because any intended effect clearly didn’t work. (See end of post.)
And last but not least, Darken Rahl (you may recognize him from The Lord of the Rings) is the ever-present tyrant and all-around baddie that Richard fights. Since being killed by his own brother, Rahl works for the Keeper, ruler of the Underworld who wants to destroy the world of the living. He loves rocking the sleeveless tunic.
And he futzes with his hands a lot.
Part of my amusement with this show is how earnest it is. The marketing references everything as “epic.” The special effects like a blast of wizard fire are terrible but I’m not sure they truly know that. And the music swells with each horse cresting over the New Zealand hills. (Well, they got something right with the music – those horns!.)
ABC created the series specifically for syndication. They film in New Zealand for that everywhere and every time location that can only be found down under. The mostly Aussie and Kiwi actors play down their accents.
This is a STORY! about the SEEKER! and he must WIN! You know, or bad things will happen.
Oh, well. At least there is the hope for Kahlan as Wonder Woman. I actually don’t think that would be the worst idea in the world.