If the first season was about finding the show's footing, the second season of Highlander was all about perfection. Now, Anchor Bay returns to the spotlight with the complete second season of Highlander: The Series in an 8-disc DVD collection.
The show's first season ended with a semi-cliffhanger, leaving fans praying for a second season to fill in the blank. Well, their prayers were answered; the first episode, "The Watchers", picks up right where the first season finished. "The Watchers" introduced the secret band of men and women who record the Immortals' lives (hence the episode's title), the Watchers, who late become a key part of the series. Jim Byrnes makes his first appearance as series regular Joe Dawson here in what is definitely one of the greatest episodes of the series. But if you think that's great, there are even more masterful episodes in this pack: there were great single episodes like "Studies in Light", as well as two outstanding two-parters, "Unholy Alliance" and "Counterfeit", the season finale.
For season two, everything that was wrong with the first season was fixed here. There are much more interesting characters (Joe Dawson, James Horton, etc.), better swordfights and Quickenings; as well as a huge improvement in episode enjoyability. Season two also had the greatest amount of changes in Duncan's life; everytime you think it's all good, something horrible happens - but that just makes it more interesting, doesn't it? [8/10]
While the first season featured some slight grain, most of that has been cleared for season two. The episodes are presented in their original full frame format and look terrific. I can't find anything to complain about. [9/10]
The second Highlander remix is, like the first, presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. As you watch the opening sequence, hear the mystic sounds surround you, and then Queen's "Princes of the Universe" blast through the speakers, you can help but feel in heaven. Again, the music and speaking is occasionally unbalanced, but nothing as serious as in the first season. [9/10]
The second season of Highlander is no disappointment in the extras area. It again features the Watcher Chronicles, as well as interviews with the cast and crew. Especially interesting is the audio and video commentaries by Adrian Paul. There is also plenty of deleted/alternate scenes. Of note also is the enormous improvement in DVD design over the first season. The menus are awesome. [9/10]
I have to say, Anchor Bay has never once disappointed me. And now, with Highlander: Season 2, it remains that way. This DVD is even better than the first season - and I thought that DVD rocked!
OVERALL SCORE: [9/10]
THE SERIES: [8/10] Everything the first season was, and so much more.
THE VIDEO: [9/10] I haven't got a single complaint.
THE AUDIO: [9/10] The music and speech are now somewhat balanced. Another rockin' remix.
THE EXTRAS: [9/10] All the goodies from season one, as well as interviews and audio/video commentary from Adrian Paul. Excellent.
OVERALL SCORE: [9/10] Another outstanding DVD from Anchor Bay. Highlander has never been so good.
- Thomas Benton