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Roar - The Complete Series
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Academy Award nominee Heath Ledger stars in Roar, one of the most captivating TV adventures ever! In the year 400 AD, only one man, Prince Conor (Ledger), can unite the long-suffering Celtic clans against the seductively lethal Roman Queen Diana and her evil wizard, Longinus. As Conor attempts to harness the magical power of the land called "The Roar," he is assisted by a ragtag group of fighters. Featuring all 13 magical episodes, including five never aired on network TV, this spectacular epic quest from executive producer and writer Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic, Invasion) is sure to enchant viewers everywhere!
- 13 episodes on 3 discs
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ROAR is about a Roman-era Celtic princeling of about 16 - named Connor - who is careless and self-absorbed (at least for a prince who isn't actually evil). He has an older brother who will be taking their father's place as the leader of their people. Because he knows he is not the heir, he doesn't concern himself with taking care of the people or learning to be a leader.
Then, on his brother's wedding day, a rival leader from a nearby "clan" shows up with all his warriors and kills off Connor's family and most of the people he knows.
After the obligatory grief and lessons, Connor's life becomes a quest to take care of his and other people and to stop the evil clans and the Romans from repressing and/or killing the defenseless.
The ROAR of the title is Connor's calling and the hope of a peaceful and prosperous future through the cooperation of all those who want it.
Well, that's how I saw it anyway.
There are terrific characters and some very inventive curses and primitive technology (like boobie-traps and various weapons). Also, there's the 100-year-old centurion who speared Jesus on the cross and his quest for the spear and its power.
Heath Ledger was wonderful in this show. It was very obvious that he had the qualities of someone who could be extremely successful as a movie star. He lived up to those expectations well.
John Saint Ryan as Fergus is the anchor of the cast. He keeps everyone on track and injects the wisdom and strategy Connor needs to succeed in his quest. Not to mention the protection he provides when Connor gets himself into tough situations.
Don't get me wrong, Connor can mostly take care of himself, but he is still a rash teenager who exhibits lapses in judgement.
Lisa Zane as Queen Diana and Sebastian Roach as Longinus are excellent additions as the most evil elements. Longinus is scary and keeps Diana pushing at her own evil envelope. Diana provides the bratty-but-sometimes-sympathetic spoiled woman who will do anything to earn her way back to Rome, where she can get a decent bath and live among "civilized" people.
Keri Russell as Clair is the love interest that drew Connor away from his family during the wedding feast. This saved his life, but of course he sees it as only a dereliction of his duty. Talk about Survivor Guilt! Clair's father was the leader who slaughtered Connor's family, so there's a conflict in what Connor should do about that particular sin. Clair isn't in the series a great deal, but her moments are good ones.
The other characters are a nice fit in the cast as well.
Please see ROAR at any chance you get. Then, when it's over, if you really loved it as I do, try reading the books. Most of them are original stories and are true to the purpose and people of the story. It's very easy to create mental images of the characters and places in the show while reading the books. I found it delightful.
It is interesting to see how the characters interact with each other and although the show was only on for a short amount of time (13 episodes). It left you wanting to know what happens with each of the people involved and whether Conor was able to unite the tribes and lead his people to victory. Its pretty decent in the action department and acting is cool as well. A nice but bittersweet trip down memory lane as Heath Ledger is no longer with us.
But Roar is something a little different from the norm and worthy of watching at some point.
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