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The Quickening

Revelation 6:8

Since these pictures are widely available on the net, I'll use them for (ahem) illustrative purposes....

Peter against a blue screen, brightly lit (so you can see that those "form-fitting" jeans are really navy blue, not black as they appear on TV screens), full-length head-to-feet view, wind machine blowing his shirt tight against his chest, sword in hand....

In motion, at various times crunched up as in the picture above or with arms spread as in the screen capture below (both of these pictures are from that blue-screen session), very tense — you could see the veins bulging on his arms. Peter said that his arms ached for days after that shooting and that's when he realized that when Adrian does his own quickenings, his look is very intense but his body is actually quite relaxed....

Lots of swaying and panting and moaning (some of which is in the final cut, heh heh) — about 10 minutes worth. There was no actual sound on the video but you could infer it from (ahem) facial expressions. Gillian said that throughout the whole clip Adrian, as the director of "Revelation 6:8," would have been giving Peter instructions — which, of course, brings up the point, just what exactly was Adrian saying?!? Oh to be a fly on that particular wall.... ;-)

The clip ended with a shot of about 15 seconds of Adrian doing his own "Revelation 6:8" quickening against the blue screen. The wind machine was either turned up 10 notches in Adrian's case or Adrian just has more hair to get blown (that's more hair to get blown, gutter minds! ;-)

And what was the audience reaction to all this, er, drama? Lots of laughter. Whether the laughter was because people found it hysterically funny or people were embarrassed (embarrassed to be watching such a thing in public and embarrassed for Peter), I don't know, but I suspect it was a bit of both — at least it was in my case.

And speaking of hysterically funny quickenings... at Anglicon Peter said that after Stan Kirsch filmed his quickening for "The Messenger," the guys in visual effects not only put together the "disco" quickening seen in the episode, but also another version in which Stan was superimposed over a clip of ocean waves, accompanied by Beach Boys music, so it looked like Richie was surfing!

Revelation 6:8

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The Jimmy Scene

Jimmy scene

In the Eurominutes after Duncan drives away in the T-bird, Methos throws his jacket in the Jimmy, stares after Duncan a long moment, then gets in the Jimmy, slams the door and rests his head on his arms on the steering wheel. These are some of the variations I remember in the outtakes:

  • In one of the takes the camera starts rolling before the scene actually starts and you can see Peter warming up and getting into character — closing eyes, deep breaths, etc.
  • In "Comes a Horseman" the scene starts with Methos speaking to Duncan where Duncan has his back against the truck, then Duncan grabs Methos and throws him up against the truck. In one of the outtakes, the reverse happens — the scene starts with Methos having his back against the truck and during the scene Methos throws Duncan up against the truck before saying the "I was Death... When mothers warned their children..." lines.
  • In some takes Methos' laugh sounds more giggly than in the final episode, in other takes more maniacal.
  • Either Methos grabs Duncan by the shoulders and shakes him violently or vice versa — I can't remember which it was — but the shaking is carried on repeatedly as lines are spoken.
  • The T-bird takes forever to get started — you hear the engine turning over several times — before Duncan drives away, which makes it sound like Duncan's car is a piece of junk!
  • The glass in the door breaks after Methos slams it. Peter starts giggling.
  • Methos starts to cry after resting his head on his arms (you see his shoulders shaking).

Unfortunately, while I remember that the order of lines spoken was changed, I don't remember any of the specific reorderings. In any case, it's impossible to show in text the different intonations, emphasis and rhythms that Adrian and Peter used speaking the lines in the different takes — and these were what made the biggest changes in the "flavor" of the different takes. For example, here are some variations on the "I was Death on a horse" line:

  • I was Death on a horse.
  • I was Death on a horse.
  • I was Death [laugh] on a horse.

In some takes Peter spoke slowly, placing emphasis on the line. In other takes, "I was Death on a horse" was tossed off nonchalantly as if he was saying "I had eggs for breakfast." And there were several shades in between.

I do remember that almost all of what was used in the final episode came from one particular take, which makes sense — since every take had a totally different "flavor," it would have been really difficult to integrate cuts from several takes into one smooth overall scene.

The scene took several hours to film and during the course of it the lighting changed from day to dusk. In post production, visual effects tried to balance out the exposure so the change in lighting is less noticible, but you can still tell in the final episode. Fortunately, because of the intensity of the scene, the focus is so much on the actors that this blooper is not as distracting as it would have been otherwise.

"Not To Be"

While filming the final scene in Highlander's final episode on Duncan's barge, another boat passed by on the Seine. The sound of a woman singing drifted through the barge's portholes. After this had gone on for several minutes, Peter finally said (paraphrase), "It's the fat lady."

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