Conor is the orphaned heir of one of the many tribal leaders of hopelessly divided Hibernia (ancient Ireland). With his faithful but unenthusiastic servant and protector Fergus he wanders trough the island, fighting injustice and aspiring to unite the druidic, yet internecine Celts in order to free the country from Roman rule. Most dangers and opponents he faces are largely or completely mythical, the most remarkable being Longinus, the eternally cursed but immortal, cruel and vindictive Roman centurion at Christ's crucifixion who forges evil alliances. Written by
In the wake of Braveheart, and with Hercules becoming the juggernaut of New Zealand B-rated show entertainment, Roar came out with some hype and fanfare, appealing to fantasy/history buffs out there. Roar featured warriors, Romans, druids, and early Christians. Some supernatural stuff is featured, but it is small and only figures in some of the plots.
The majority of the show focuses on young Connor, forced to become the leader of a tribe, fighting against Roman encroachment and the problems of being a leader. Heath Ledger, young and fresh, fills these big shoes quite well. The acting all around is superb, many of the characters unique (for their day) and stand outs. As you watch the show, Lisa Zane and Sebastian Roche become some of the most fascinating characters and you almost want to see more of their tortured, bizarre lives.
The show has some faults. How a black man ends up in Ireland can throw some people off, but he is quickly and succintly explained away, and his race never figures into any of the episode plots. Gun powder is mentioned in one episode (one too many). A few episodes are a little cheesy, but can be tolerated.
Overall, a great show, great episodes, great use of a shoe-string budget to keep the episodes going. When you compare this show to others like "Lost World" and "Beastmaster," you wonder why those continued on and this show didn't. The show pretty much started out with a story arc, which could have hurt it; other shows of this genre usually have episodic plots, or maybe they sold the show to the wrong people.
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