Monday, August 18, 2008

A New Highlander?

It seems that the Highlander is back, only this time he doesn't have a sword and he's a cop in New York. Or is it Forever Knight without the fangs?

The latest in a series of immortal adventurers is John Amsterdam, eponymous hero of New Amsterdam, a new series premiering tonight on Fox (Channel 5 in NYC). It seems this fellow saved the life of a Native American girl back in 1642 and was granted immortality as a reward. The further gimmick is that he has not left the colony he was living in at the time since then. That means he has seen the city now known as New York from its earliest days as a Dutch colony to today.

As a New Yorker and a history buff, I think this is a great opportunity to show the history of New York, which is fascinating, if not exactly glorious. I'm certain we will see flashbacks to Five Points since tho popularity of Gangs of New York, but I would love to see the 1950's of West Side Story, the late 1970's birth of Punk, the British occupation during the Revolution, and the corruption of Tammany Hall. It will also be interesting to see if they portray Robert Moses and the way he changed the face of the city.

Since this also reminds me of those other previous TV immortals, I am reminded how similar those two series, Highlander and Forever Knight, were Both had a centuries old immortal who fought agains injustce, had historical flashbacks, and a large car from the 1960's Both had a goofy sidekick and a female co-star in a profession not traditionally occupied by females. Both of these shows came out at the same time and as the years progressed, both wound up moving from one network to another, from one showing time to another, until eventually they died.

I wondered if the similarities were based on what the writers and producers thought the audience wanted, or if it is just a natural balance that such stories are supposed to have. Let's see what this show has, and hope that it does well.

Captain Zorikh

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