DVD REVIEW: Legend of the Seeker The Complete First Season
Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series come to life in live-action TV series...
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Fantasy fans who've been anxious to see Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth book series come to life can thank ABC Studios and producer Sam Raimi, who've brought at least much of the series' first book, Wizard's First Rule, to ABC in the TV series Legend of the Seeker.
While many die-hard fans of the book series have complained about the dissimilarities between the book and TV show (including the fact author/creator Terry Goodkind wasn't consulted during writing, casting, or directing), for fantasy fans who have yet to read the books or for those who have and can tolerate some changes, this is a decent fantasy series worth checking out.
The small screen burns bright with 22 episodes, which are now available on DVD. Legend of the Seeker follows the basic "hero story" of a young man - Richard Cypher - who must fulfill a 1,000-year-old prophecy by becoming the Seeker, a warrior destined to destroy the evil ruler of D'Hara named Darken Rahl. Though very Star Wars-ish in its composition, the show does a decent job of making the story its own. Cypher is of course joined on his journey by a wizard (and very Obi-Wan Kenobi-like character) named Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander (or Zedd for short) who acts as his mentor and guide as well as a warrior-woman "Confessor" named Kahlan Amnell who has committed to defending the Seeker with her life.
While each character is similar to those found in other fantasy/sci-fi stories, these characters do at least bring with them their own issues - including family deaths, guilt, lost loves, and more. Thankfully, the dynamic between the three plays the most important role in the series and the writers do a decent job developing their trio's friendships and loyalties along the way.
Though sometimes down right cheesy in its production, Legend of the Seeker provides plenty of good action and amazing special effects. In fact, I was started to see the quality of CGI, make up, and production value brought to life on the screen. Likewise, while the actors are relative unknowns, they do a good job of capturing the attitudes and motivations of our band of heroes. The rugged Craig Horner plays Richard Cypher, the beautiful Bridget Regan plays Kahlan Amnell, and the charming Bruce Spence plays Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander. Again, none of these actors are well known, but for fans of this series, they help bring to life the characters extremely well.
Besides all 22 episodes of the first season, Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season on DVD brings with it a variety of special features, including Forging the Sword: Crafting a Legend, a behind the scenes featurette that takes viewers to the set of the show in New Zealand to see how the show is directed, produced, designed, and made and Words of Truth: A Conversation With Terry Goodkind, which gives viewers a chance to see what the book series' creator has to say about his epic and its new life on the small screen. A number of audio commentaries with producers and actors on a number of episodes are also included. Eight deleted scenes are also included.
Overall, Legend of the Seeker delivers solid production value with impressive special effects (gotta love fantasy on TV!), decent acting, a well written plot, and even an award-winning score.
Rated TV-14 for language, violence and some situations, Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season is available on DVD now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess Horsley