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|Index||18 reviews in total|
After watching episodes on tape, thanks to a friend who had taped them, I
want to know why Conan fans found this tv series so lame? Now, granted it
wasn't the novels, or as bloodly and dark as it should have been...but it
had monsters, women, warriors, killing, wizards, and Rolf did a great job
Conan the Cimmerian. Plus, unlike many syndie shows, had an actual
going through the season. Episodes like "Lair of the Beastmen" and "Al
Sohn-Bar" were nicely done fantasy stories, with a bit of everything. Some
episodes were not as worthy, but it was a fun series. Face it: Conan on
cable or free TV isn't going to be the Conan a hardcore Conan fan wants.
Until HBO can aquire a chance to produce a Conan tv series, the 1997/1998
"Conan: Adventurer" tv series is the best you'll get. And unless Threshold
produces a new tv series (which they have yet to do, after fighting hard
get the rights, etc) the Keller Conan series is all there will be.
Let me start off by saying that I am a big Conan fan. I enjoyed both of
the original movies, I've read many of the novels and own a decent
collection of comics. I didn't expect much from this series. As far as
I know, it was shot in Mexico and is, somewhat low budget. There are
kind of primitive (by today's standards) computer generated effects and
even computer generated establishing shots.
But, as has been said, Ralf Moeller is a good Conan. At 6'6" or so and 280+ lbs. he makes an impressive warrior. He has been in some of my favorite movies and had a very impressive bodybuilding career in the 80s (not as much in titles, but in achieving an impressive and imposing physique on such a large frame!) So, he is fun to watch on screen. Also, the supporting characters are strong in their roles. Also, there are some characters from the Conan novels such as Karela. Many of the stories are pretty good, some are mediocre (as with any series).
The only real complaint I have about this series is its limited shooting locations and generally (too obvious) low budget production values. When every episode takes place in the same forest, it begins to look repetitive. We watch fantasy movies/shows to be taken away to imaginary places and in a series, this means fresh and new places of adventure, not the same ones show after show. The props and sets are another complaint. i.e. many of the weapons used are obviously wood or plastic and have no sharpened edge of any kind. They really made this too obvious. Conan seems to be the only one with any kind of real sword. What? they couldn't get a BudK catalog and order a bunch of $50 swords? And, every village looks like the huts and houses were thrown together in five minutes. I used to make better forts than this as a kid! So, those are the elements that are less than convincing.
The boxed set is reasonably priced and a must have for Conan fanatics like myself. But, the casual fan may get bored quickly with the generic sets and low production values. As a side note, I notice that Teagan Clive has writing credit on this show- she is a long time writer for many muscle magazines and a bodybuilder in her own right. Also, Matthias Hues ( of "I come in Peace" fame) makes a guest role in perhaps the best episode in the collection- mostly because of his great performance. He lends a more authentic "barbarian" quality to the episode and chews the scenery well in this type of role.
I found the series to be very good for television. It has great action sequences and Ralf Moeller is a great Conan. I am sorry it didn't continue because I really liked all the characters, especially TJ Storm as the black warrior. The music also is terrific and very authentic sounding for a fantasy period of time.
Conan the television series was in my opinion every bit as good as the
books and the two 1980 movies. Ralph Moeller portrayed a hero that was
likable, smart and a natural leader with his friends. The show ended after
only one season, but it ended strong with an interesting season finale that
would have easily led into a second year.
For those who did not get the chance to see the show, Conan was joined
by his friends, the axe-weilding Vulkar, the mute staff-fighting Zzeben,
animal-spirit fighter Bayu, the thoughtful and wise dwarf Otli, and the
strong and beautiful female theif Karella. Their main goal for the first
year was to defeat the evil sorcerer Hissah Zul and the Skull he summoned
with red rubies for advice.
All of the actors and actresses deserve credit for putting genuine
effort into their characters. Jeremy Kemp was good as an evil sorcerer who
attacked Conan directly and at times through those who thought to gain his
favor. Otli was another character that was developed well.
I think the mark of any good show is if it leaves you wanting more and provides more interesting questions than answers. Conan the series delivered this. The three sorcerers who helped Conan defeat Hissah Zul clearly had their own motives for overthrowing the new king in time. There was the question of why Skull wanted to collect red rubies. A visit to the Black Kingdoms would have been interesting and it would have been interesting to see the details of Karella's army of archers. All things considered, Conan the series is a show that I will miss and would have enjoyed seeing a second season. I am glad to see Ralph Moeller's appearance in the movie Gladiator. I think he did a good job.
I couldn't agree more with the other poster. I found this show totally
enjoyable. The DVDs are well worth having. Unlike shows that started
out good and went downhill fast, like Xena, this one kept the tone
jaunty and fun throughout, as well as steering clear of silly
anachronisms. Conan's mostly exposed body is good eye candy for us
ladies, too. I wish there were more episodes.
The only things I got bored with were the talking skull and the somewhat one-dimensional bad guys. However, there were some strong women characters (and what a blast to see Mariette Hartley show up as the Queen in "Heir Apparent," season 1). The sidekicks were a little dull in some ways, I guess, but I give the show credit for using "misfits" (a dwarf, a mute, a chubby coward) in action roles and in giving them some dignity and respectability instead of turning them into comic relief in a degrading way (can you say "Joxer"?).
I also liked the lack of gore--maybe I'm a wimp but the Conan movies, though I love them (and the soundtrack is absolutely the greatest), were a little gory for my taste. I prefer to leave that stuff to the imagination. Speaking of the soundtrack, I bought that CD also and it is pretty good. Not exactly Basil Poledouris, but it's thoroughly listenable.
After seeing Ralf Moeller in Gladiator I ever so wanted to see him as
Conan. As much to my surprise I completely enjoyed his take on the
I went into this series with very little expectations, I didn't set my hopes to high so I wouldn't be let down. I must say I was very disappointed with the way the series started with less then quality script writing and lack of funding, but I always like to give a series a chance to develop, let the actors get comfortable with their characters and allow the writers to develop better stories and I am sure glad I did.
You won't find high quality fight scenes, big budget sets, or award winning scores but they give you a very enjoyable show to watch as long as you continue to watch it.
Ralf Moeller and Danny Woodburn give you such likable characters you have to tip your hat to them, as well as TJ Storm and Robert McRay.
I am sad to see that the series didn't continue and wasn't given a chance to grow. I think if the show was supported with better funding that this show could have had a better following and turned into something quite exceptional. As it is though the show is very enjoyable and worth the time.
It's low budget, and it's all in the forest. You can not really compare it with Arnold's movies. But Ralf is cool and Danny (the little guy) makes up for a lot ! And Zzeben and Bayu can not be missed. The thief compagnion woman Karella is an interesting returning aspect, not played bad at all. The special effects are not very terrible. They suffice for the stories. I watched an episode every day, and you see the actors (and maybe the writers) grow and improve. It's really very conveniant to watch during exercise. I would buy and watch a second season immediatelly. It's funny to see how they try to give Bayu a little more personality with later-added-in sound effects: growling animals and stuf. They shouldn't have bothered, but it's not very annoying. So please don't take it too serious and get yourself through the first few episodes. It will grow on you. In conclusion, here 's a reviewer waiting for the sequel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although this series is only loosely based on Robert E. Howard's
stories, and when comparing the two it feels as if the Walt Disney
Company was somehow involved, I cannot find any great fault with this
work. Ralf Moeller's height and musculature make his Conan an imposing
figure, TJ Storm and Robert McRay are fantastic as cohorts Bayu and
Zzeben (watch out for perfectly intelligible jokes in sign language),
Jeremy Kemp is a hoot as ever-brooding Hissah Zul, and when the series
reaches its final episode you wish there was more. I was sorry to see
The Skull That Talks vanish without getting to at least throw a blast
at Hissah--surely he had accumulated enough rubies to earn the power
My little grudge with this series has to do with the character Karella (portrayed by guest actress Aly Dunne). I had a story in the works featuring a character of the same name and similar physical attributes when this series came out. Imagine my dismay at having to chuck it! Still, I'm glad I sat down to watch this series: Dunne's Karella is enchanting, fiery, indomitable and more than a match for Moeller's Conan--on her very first appearance she catches the barbarian off guard, and it's quite believable! I also cheered when Karella is depicted as having chosen to remain independent over queening it beside Conan, despite her obvious crush on the Cimmerian. All in all, a very entertaining and satisfying series.
Seems like ever since "Hercules" and "Xena" became chart toppers in the
syndicated tv series market, a lot of imitators have come along. "Conan"
the tv series is one of them, which is a shame as it had so much going for
it, like instant name recognition.
First off, the producers need to get rid of the mute and the Viking sidekicks. "Conan" always has been his own man. Readers of the original "Conan" novels by Robert E. Howard know this. The books were always about Conan's fights against overwhelming odds by himself. He needs friends, but not these two, and not all the time. Let him keep the dwarf, but let Danny Woodburn provide a bit more comedy relief, and let a tall woman fall in love with the dwarf from time to time so that Danny can have that macho-man look on his face. It'd be a great opportunity for physical comedy. A dwarf Don Juan would be funny.
Second, let the female sidekick get more screen time. And change her costume. Save the leather corset for "Xena". Karella should show a belly button from time to time, instead. She's an ex-"Vogue" model, so let us see some trim tummy. We get to see Ralph's don't we?
Third, give the show more sizzle. Let the women be women. Let the female guest stars slip out of their leather outfits and into something more comfortable, such as Conan's arms, or a cool mountain stream, a field of flowers, a dark forest, or even a cold dungeon. A little titillation can go a long way. If the producers want to know how to pull off this act and get around the American censors, let them watch an episode of "Pacific Blue". The books were always about Conan defeating the evil ruler, saving the town, and bedding a fair maiden. It was formulaic, but it worked. So how about more fair maidens?
As for Ralph Moeller, he does a great job as "Conan": big muscles, big sword, limited vocabulary, just as Robert E. Howard had depicted him. And Danny Woodburn could be great with a format change.
Me, I'm still waiting for them to re-do the first dungeon scene from "Conan And The Sword Of Skelos". "Conan" fans will know what I'm talking about. I think that scene was the inspiration for the two "Barbarian Queen" movies, which reminds me: where is Lana Clarkson when we need her?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This series was disappointing on numerous levels, many of which were quite adequately covered by other reviewers. So, rather than dwelling on the obvious cheapness of the series, its apparent lack of writers or fight choreographers, and a soundtrack that, at my most generous, I could only describe as "medieval Yanni," I'm just going to dive head-first into what killed the series for me: it wasn't Conan. Oh sure, they had some loincloth-wearing bodybuilder with an impenetrable accent that everyone kept calling "Conan," but he bore little resemblance to Howard's original character. I recall one scene in particular in which "Conan," having vanquished some foes, raised his sword to the heavens and bellowed some nonsense about being the servant of Crom. Anyone who had ever even skimmed over Howard's stories would realize that this is NOT something that Conan would ever do; he frequently stated that it was useless to call on Crom, for he was a god who hated weaklings. Conan didn't serve Crom, nor did he worship Crom. He swore by him and otherwise made a very conscious effort not to attract his attention. Any idiot claiming to be a "servant of Crom" was more likely to get killed by a bolt of lightning than enjoy any kind of divine blessings. In addition, aside from the name of the titular character and periodic mentions of Cimmeria, there were practically no references to the incredibly detailed world Howard created. No supporting characters from the original stories were included (Karela is a character from the Robert Jordan pastiches, and Red Sonja is comic-book creation only loosely based on a non-Conan Howard character). Why do Conan fans put up with this kind of rubbish? The original material was almost exclusively short stories, with little or no connection aside from all being about Conan; they could have been adapted into television episodes easily. I can only come to one of two conclusions about this series' creators: that they thought they could do a better job with Conan than Robert E. Howard did (and failed miserably), or (more likely) they realized that by tacking Conan's name on their crappy series, they could trick some viewers into actually watching it.
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