For those of you who do not know, there is a famous film and TV franchise named “The Highlander“. It revolves around “immortals” who do not age and who take each other’s heads in the hope of becoming “The One”. The first movie was great, the rest generally sucked. However, the TV series is where actor Adrian Paul shined. He played “Duncan McCleod of the Clan MaCleod” (you have to say or write it that way).
As a teenager growing up in the 90’s there was no denying the awesomeness of “The Highalnder” played by Adrian Paul. He was the story’s protagonist; he got that mantle in some exposition in the first episode of the series from the film hero “Conor MacCleod of the Clan MaCleod”. Conor was the movies; Duncan was the series. Man, did the series redeem the franchise.
Duncan MacCleod was everything that I wanted to be. He was tall, dark, handsome, great with a sword, and even better with the ladies. He was James Bond with a blade. This franchise more than any, movie or series, put the katana on the map.
Duncan mainly used his katana but other blades are found in the Highlander universe as each immortal had a different dueling blade. These blades represented different cultures and eras in human history. None wielded them with more flare than Adrian Paul.
Dude lived on a boat part of the time and had a Euro-girlfriend. Actually he had several GF’s through the centuries. His best friend was “Methos” the oldest hominid alive as well as one of the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse. He had a sidekick named “Richie”, and if I could have, I would have sold a testicle to be that guy. Oh, and this Renaissance Man extraordinaire had Queen as his musical back up. Everything about this dude was cool.
And when an immortal took another immortal’s head (“The Quickening”). . . lightning and explosions ensued. It was basically a “brogasm”. If you could suspend reality, which I did, then The Highlander was the best fantasy going. Oh, and it was fantasy. For all the good that was the franchise, the sword play was some of the most unrealistic on screen. But, I did not know that at the time nor did I care.
What would Adrian Paul do? He would cut off somebody’s head and look good doing it. Unlike immortals, actor Adrian Paul ages. Wish him Happy Birthday. He turns 59 on Tuesday.