Legend Of The Seeker: The Complete Second Season
R1 - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (30th October 2010).
The Show

I’ve always had a place in my heart for shows with rambling, complicated mythologies and weird character connections that seem to jump around from episode to episode. The problem always comes in making these things accessible. The syndicated fantasy/sci-fi shows of the 90’s seemed to have a mastery of a rambling history and mythology that was somehow accessible with each episode through the hints of mythology that get mixed in with episodic content. The recent push towards serialized storylines has been amazing for telling these sort of complicated stories on television, but at the same time lacks a little bit of accessibility for outsiders, it’s not something tha you can just jump into. Walking this fine line is a huge tension between networks pushing for more viewers to be pulled in to each episode and keep the money flowing, while the creative side has a story to tell. It’s a fine line that few have walked well, and those shows are truly exceptional, but “The Legend of the Seeker: The Complete 2nd and Final Season” just doesn’t make it there.

Picking up after the death of Darken Rahl (Craig Parker), Richard (Craig Horner) discovers that he is actually the second son of Darken Rahl’s father and therefore the new heir apparent to the Rahl lineage. At the same time Rhal is building an underground army from hell to rise up against the world of the living and kill everyone there. In order to stop the keeper from rising up through a rift, Richard gets the band back together with Zedd (Bruce Spence) and Kahlan (Bridget Regan) to find the stone of tears to try and seal up the rift that threatens the world of the living. But of course, along the road they encounter other obstacles, including a new teammate in Cara Mason (Tabrett Bethell) who is supposed to help them against the evil forces they’re going to fight.

As far as improving from the first season however, the acting and writing of the show seems a bit worse. Somethin happened to Craig Horner’s delivery over the past season where he suddenly started believing that everything he said was more important or badass than it really is, rather than having the playful confidence of a Kevin Sorbo or Lucy Lawless that managed the character personality and ridiculous lines so well. Bruce Spence as Zedd is still fairly annoying and a little to much to deal with in most episodes, almost as if you can see in the back of his mind that he really wants to show Peter Jackson that he could have played Gandalf and that his scenes as the Mouth of Sauron shouldn’t have been cut.

They try to bring in a new audience in the opening scenes of the series, but it’s all so forced down your throat about how they got exactly where they are, it would have been easier to pull a 2 minute montage of the first season to get everyone on board. It mistakes the idea of a sprawling mythology with a complex and layered one, where naming some funky sounding name and telling the actors to put a dramatic spin on it means that you’ve added depth when in all reality it’s just over extending a fairly narrow universe that should be going for less sprawling stories and more enjoyable fun.

Really what I wanted out of this show was a new chance for Sam Raimi to enjoy himself with another syndicated fantasy show. Instead you get something that tries too hard to become a deeper fantasy series that is really beyond its reach. It’s not a terrible series, but it doesn’t have the spark that previous Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert shows seemed to capture. Part of it may be living in a post Peter Jackson fantasy world that strives for long journeys to an object that has the power to change the world, rather than a “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” (1995-1999) approach that brings more adventure to the table.

The second and final season ran for 22 episodes spread out across 5 discs:

- “Marked”
- “Baneling”
- “Broken”
- “Touched”
- “Wizard”
- “Fury”
- “Resurrection”
- “Light”
- “Dark”
- “Perdition”
- “Torn”
- “Hunger”
- “Process”
- “Bound”
- “Creator”
- “Desecrated”
- “Vengeance”
- “Walter”
- “Extinction”
- “Eternity”
- “Unbroken”
- “Tears”

Video

Presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the transfer of the show has a high resolution clarity that looks crisp and clean in its presentation, but at the same time helps to expose some of the fakery of the show. Mass composite or computer generated shots get easily revealed since the high definition cameras can reveal the dissonance between the cleaner looking shots and cartoonish graphics. Yet the graphics still show up surprisingly well for a dvd, with the cg graphics and some clolr levels and depth being the only real problems.

Audio

Similarly the English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track has elements of crispness and a good depth to it, yet there are some standout noises that are on the corny side. While there’s a crisp sound in some aspects, some of the artificial sounds get layered in oddly and have a different pop to them that throws you off as the show takes itself so seriously that you can’t have fun with the sounds like you would in a similarly hokey setting. Still, it’s a nice transfer and presents fairly well, despite these shortcomings.
There’s also English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish subtitles.

Extras

This set is fairly devoid of extras compared to the first season, with only two featurettes and a couple of deleted scenes added into the mix plus some bonus trailers.

DISC ONE:

Nothing here but a few bonus trailers, which are:

- “ABC on DVD and Blu-Ray” runs for 1 minute and 35 seconds.
- “Scrubs: The Complete Ninth Season” runs for 1 minute and 22 seconds.
- “Tron: Legacy” runs for 2 minutes and 21 seconds.

DISC TWO, THREE, & FOUR:

No special features on these discs.

DISC FIVE:

The first featurette is “The Redemption of a Mord’Sith: Meet Cara” runs for 10 minutes and 13 seconds. This featurette combines interviews with behind-the-scenes footage and clips from the show to discuss the addition of Cara to the show as a fourth series regular. They talk about the journey of the character and bringing in the actress to the show. It’s sort of a necessary featurette to deal with the new character and give the fans something to look at with their new cast member and some good behind-the-scenes looks.

“Under the Underworld” runs for 8 minutes and 41 seconds. It’s another more explanatory featurette that bridges the gap between the conception of the books and the series’ conceptions of the underworld. They deal with the mythology of the underworld, that was covered in the show, and how it contrasts with the books. It’s really something for bigger fans of the show and the books that wanted to see how the conception of the underworld evolved from the books into the visual portrayal of the show.

Finally are the deleted scenes, 6 in all, playable together or separately described below:

- “The Story of Panis” runs for 3 minutes and 53 seconds, which is an extended version of the Panis Rhal mythology dexcribed in the opening episode of the season.
- “The Mother Confessor’s Return” runs for 1 minute and 17 seconds, Kahlan talks about becoming the mother confessor while being dressed by her attendant who is a terrible actress.
- “Who’s Got First Watch?” runs for 54 seconds, Richard and Cara spar together to determine who gets first watch.
- “Walter’s Transformation” runs for 1 minute and 26 seconds, Walter’s appearance as Darken Rhal is a little off and he gets punched to set it back into place to make the appearance complete.
- “What Could Have Been” runs for 1 minute and 29 seconds, Zedd tells the rest of the gang about the world that was created by the bizzaro-universe spell that he cast, describing their lives.
- “The Importance of Death” runs for 1 minute and 14 seconds, Richard talks about the meaning of life and death.

Of course some more sneak peaks bonus trailers are for:

- “Castle: The Complete Second Season” runs for 36 seconds.
- “Flash Forward: The Complete First Season” runs for 1 minute and 19 seconds.
- “Lost: The Final Season” runs for 1 minute and 19 seconds.
- “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Sixth Season” runs for 1 minute and 6 seconds.
- “ABC: Great Stories Start Here” runs for 1 minute and 7 seconds.

Packaging

It’s put together in a 5-disc keep case housed in a cardboard slip-case.

Overall

The Show: C- Video: B- Audio: B Extras: C- Overall: C

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.