Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 28th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Canada, 2000-2001
Directors: Michael John Bateman, Scott Summersgill, Ron Oliver
Cast: Lorenzo Lamas, Steve Braun, April Telek, Dominic Keating, Grace Park, Kira Clavell
DVD released: February 27th, 2007
Approximate running time: 960 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Image Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $49.99
17th century Japan Raphael Cain (Lorenzo Lamas) pledges vengeance against the demons that murdered his wife and abducted his daughter. Cain with the help of a young man named Goodwin (Steve Braun) start a crusade to rid the earth of all demons and reunite Cain with his daughter. Cain and Goodwin obtain immortality when they pledge a blood oath to destroy every demon they come in contact with. Flash forward to the twenty first century where Cain and Goodwin continue their fight against the demons. They are introduced to a woman named Sara Beckman (April Telek) who has invented a new machine that detects demons. The trio shortly there after decides to work together with Cain doing most of the dirty work, Sara using her research in the paranormal and Goodwin trying to do as little as possible.
On the surface many will write off “The Immortal” as a Highlander clone just because the lead character is Immortal and that he kills mostly with a sword. This is a gross oversight and selling short this series. Many series and movies have similarities which is bound to happen since every idea has already been used at least twice or more through the years. What sets apart a series or film from those that it is similar to is how the all those involved put their own creative spin on the material. Cain and Goodwin where not born Immortal they only became this way because of an oath they made. The series also dabbles a lot in fantasy/magical trickery like how Cain’s entire weaponry especially his sword only appears when he needs them. It doesn’t matter if you can see them on his person because they can appear at anytime.
One of the best things about this series is how the story takes place over several centuries and that complete episodes or brief flashbacks are often used to further the journey Cain and Goodwin have traveled. Also like all series there are a few episodes where one of three leads Cain, Goodwin or Sara are given the bulk to the story while the others only pop in every now and then. The locations used especially in the last few episodes really help sell the story with their authentic look. Most of the stories are engaging and entertaining with only handful of them like “Wicked, Wicked West”, “The Asylum”, “Wired” and “Happily Ever After” being the weakest ones in the series. My favorite episodes would be “Studio D”, “Learning Curve” and the final three episodes which rap the entire series up rather nicely.
The casting in series is well done and each actor chosen for their respective parts does an admirable job. In the lead role is Lorenzo Lamas who biggest success to date the Renegade T.V. series. His attire for Cain at times is reminiscent of the clothes he wore on “Renegade” including his long hair that he sports for this role. Lamas excels more in the action oriented moments then is the more dramatic or emotional moments. The character of Cain is willing to do anything he can to save another persons life and sometimes this leads to him being trapped. He has a Zen like inner peace that perfectly compliments his quiet exterior demeanor when he is not killing demons then his brutal side explodes.
His sidekick is a squire named Goodwin who is flawlessly played by Steve Braun. The character of Goodwin is fiercely loyal to Cain and yet when evil comes a knocking he is often the first one hide. The final member of the group Dr. Sara Beckman is played by April Telek who does a good job trying to portray that she is a scientist in the paranormal. What often happens in virtually all T.V. series is that they hire an attractive female sidekick and with “The Immortal” they have done it once again since Telek at times is not as convincing as the rest of the cast.
The villains in the series are highlighted by two main ones Mallos who is played deliriously by Dominic Keating and Kira Clavell as the ever so sadistic demon Vashista. Keating jumps in head first with his role as one of the more powerful demons that Cain will have to fight. He steals every moment his is in and without a doubt he gives the most memorable performance in the entire series. Kira Clavell other world beauty makes her a perfect choice as a demon seductress. Ultimately “The Immortal” is a fantastic that had so much potential to only get better with more seasons and despite their only being one season the end result of what is accomplished is impressive especially how they managed to wrap things up in the last few episodes.
The series ran for only one season and here is the complete episode rundown.
Episode 1: Demons of the Night: Part 1
Episode 2: Demons of the Night: Part 2
Episode 3: Half Way
Episode 4: Not So Dead
Episode 5: Wicked Wicked West
Episode 6: Prime Location
Episode 7: Studio D
Episode 8: Flight 666
Episode 9: Bride’s Kiss
Episode 10: The Hunted
Episode 11: Forest for the Trees
Episode 12: The Asylum
Episode 13: Learning Curve
Episode 14: The Good Squire
Episode 15: Wired
Episode 16: Replay
Episode 17: Spy vs. Spa
Episode 18: Happily Never After
Episode 19: Deja Vu
Episode 20: Reckoning: Part 1
Episode 21: Reckoning: Part 2
Episode 22: Kiyomi
The Immortal is presented in a full frame aspect ratio that preserves the series original aspect ratio. Colors look vibrant and nicely saturated with natural looking flesh tones. Details look crisp and background and foreground details look solid throughout. There is no noticeable damage to the source material and edge enhancement is kept to the minimum. Overall the transfer looks really good with no noticeable imperfections ot the source material.
This release comes with two audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo mixes. Both mixes are in English. The audio mix is clean and free of any unwanted noise. Dialog is razor sharp and music and effects sound robust through out.
This release comes with no bonus material not even a bio about or an interview with its star Lorenzo Lamas. Bonus material aside each episodes comes with chapter stops or there is a play all feature for each DVD which includes 3 to 4 episodes per disc. A DVD insert has been included that gives the title of each episode and their original air dates.
The Immortal is an interesting action/fantasy that most fans of these genres will appreciate, while Lorenzo Lamas fans will want to pick this oddity up ASAP to add to their ever growing collection of all things that are Lamas.
For more information about The Immortal visit Image Entertainment here.