Legend of the Seeker Review: Seeking Inspiration

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

LEGEND OF THE SEEKER Episode 1: Thursday 13th August, Sci Fi Channel UK, 8pm Alert Me

Apparently a seeker is not only a position in Quidditch and a song by The Who, but also a man from the Westlands who can vanquish the evil Lord Rahl.

Who knew?

Well quite a few people actually. This is Sam Raimi’s adaptation of the best-selling series by Terry Goodkind, but on this showing, Legend of the Seeker might just fall short of being legendary.

Nevertheless, our tale begins when humble woodsman, Richard Cypher, saves the life of a mystical lady who has been chased across the ‘boundary’ by the soldiers of the Midlands. Meanwhile, it turns out that their aptly named lord, Darken Rahl, is trying to subjugate just about everyone who has the misfortune to live in the area.

Unbeknownst to Richard, he is actually the long-awaited ‘seeker’ who can defeat Lord Rahl, and after the man he believes is his dying father sends him to find the wizard Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander, he is forced to accept his true identity and begin his training. Sound familiar?

Star Wars, King Arthur – even the Bible, they’re all in here, and you don’t have to look very hard to find them. In fact it’s quite difficult to avoid them.

So to save us going over old ground here’s a quick recap…

The Boundry: A magical barrier which separates peaceful Westland from evil Midlands.
Mystical lady: Kahlan Amnell – Richard’s sexy sidekick and protector.
Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander: One the stupidest names ever and the bane of spell-checks everywhere.
Subjugate: To make subservient; enslave.
The Force: A binding, metaphysical and ubiquitous power in the Star Wars universe.

Unfortunately, this series does not appear to boast the range of rich characters that other fantasy worlds before it have created, and although Craig Horner is an adequate lead, his plastic accent grates to such an extent that we actually start to wish he really was from the Midlands.

My initial feelings were that while his name would surely win any game of scrabble, Zeddicus was no Gandalf and Rahl was certainly no Voldemort. Unfortunately, the whole thing lacked atmosphere or the kind of symbolic separation between dark and light demonstrated so effortlessly by other proponents of the genre.

However by the end of the episode some pretty impressive action sequences began to grab my attention. The length of the series implies that there is much more to come, but while those more familiar with the source material will probably lap it up, I like my goodies gooder and my baddies much badder.

Sean Marland