For the Franchise:
- Fake Nationality: Christopher Lambert (American, raised French-speaking Swiss) plays Connor MacLeod (Scottish). Sean Connery (Scottish) plays Ramirez (ancient Egyptian pretending to be Spanish). Clancy Brown (American) plays the Kurgan (early Russian or Ukrainian). Adrian Paul (English of Greek parentage) plays Duncan MacLeod (Scottish). However, Lambert pulls off a decent Scottish accent for Connor's early days, then puts on a deliberately vague "layered" accent for the present-day scenes, having lived all over the place. Brown doesn't attempt a Russian accent.
- The Character Died with Him: Werner Stocker as Darius.
- Trope Namer: Highlander named the following tropes:
For the film:
- Box Office Bomb: The first movie only made $5-some million during its theatrical run (vs. a $16 million budget), but has since become a Cult Classic.
- Cast the Expert: Peter Diamond, who played Iman Fasil in the first film, was also the stunt coordinator.
- Doing It for the Art: The cast had such a good time doing the movie, they filmed additional scenes for free, detailing Macleod's relationship with his assistant.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Off camera, Clancy Brown (The Kurgan) is consistently cited by his coworkers to be the warmest, gentlest, most sensitive and kind-hearted man they have ever worked with. To the point that, after filming the scene where The Kurgan confronts MacLeod in the church, Brown actually appologized to the priest and nuns there for his character's dialouge for fear that he had offended them.
- Star-Making Role: The Kurgan for Clancy Brown.
- What Could Have Been: The original script for the first film was much darker, scarier and more violent than the film that got made, with the Kurgan originally known as The Knight and portrayed as a straight up serial killer. Other differences were that immortals actually could have children, with Connor actually shown attending the funeral of his oldest son and, according to Clancy Brown, more dialogue reflecting on the immortals long lives.
- A number of scenes were deleted from the first film, sadly lost due to a fire. Among them was a scene where the younger detective played by Jon Polito was shown encountering Connor and Kastagir in a bar and getting drunk with them, the Kurgan fighting and killing an Asian immortal security guard and a post-love making scene where Brenda got Connor to talk a little bit about his past.
- None other than Kurt Russell was initially cast for the role of Connor MacLeod. He turned it down because his then girlfriend, Goldie Hawn, advised him to.
For the series:
- Cast the Expert: Sword master F. Braum McAsh played Hans Kershner in "The Modern Prometheus" and actor/fight co-ordinator Anthony DeLongis appeared as Immortals Lymon Kurlow and Otavio Consone.
- Corpsing: In 'The Modern Prometheus', where Amanda goes to Methos's place and they talk. Peter replaced his line with a joke during one take, and Elizabeth Gracen had a ton of trouble getting through the scene straightfaced after that.
- Dawson Casting: Not so noticeable at first, but by the end of Richie's time on the show, Stan Kirsch was pushing thirty. Richie became Immortal at age nineteen.
- Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: Joe Dawson, Duncan MacLeod's Watcher, lost both of his legs below the knee in Vietnam. Jim Byrnes, the actor portraying Dawson, lost both legs beneath the knee in a car accident.
- Distracted by the Sexy: The director, during the Cassandra/Duncan love scene in "Prophecy". The blooper reel shows Tracy Scoggins finally saying loudly "If this goes on much longer, I'm going to need birth control!"
- Hey, It's That Place!: Camelot Castle is where the nobleman whose daughter Fitz was supposed to be protecting lived in 'Star Crossed'.
- Recycled: The Series
- Troubled Production: A spin-off was conceived in Season Seven after Paul left to pursue movies. There was internal pressure to keep the franchise going without any delays, despite the writers and producers being unsure of where to go from there. After testing out a revolving door of potential Highlanderettes — Paul was not contractually obligated to appear for the whole season, and thus six or seven episodes were dedicated to his replacement(s) — they finally settled on Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) to be "The Raven". Simple, right?
- Unbeknown to Bill Panzer or his staff, Elizabeth Gracen had quietly gone off the deep end, believing she was being hunted down by the CIA and President Clinton (with whom she claimed to have had an affair). To top it off, Gracen had a new "manager" whom she met in France: a older fellow who claimed to be an Ambassador/Mob boss/business magnate, but was actually some sort of delusional stalker.
- The music director kept missing his cues and went out drinking.
- The film crew handled the series in a regimented, somewhat generic style which prolonged shooting.
- To appeal to the European market, the French co-producers wanted Moonlighting-style light comedy. The showrunners wanted to stay true to the tone of Highlander.
- Amanda wasn't believable as a tortured antihero, and discovered that her frisky antics had accidentally led to the deaths of over a hundred people.
- The male co-star, Paul Johanssen (One Tree Hill) was gradually downgraded to Amanda's bumbling sidekick (aka Richie lite), to his dismay.
- Amanda's roommate, originally written as a girl in her twenties, was changed to an old matron so as not to upstage Gracen; this resulted in Amanda's apartment being decorated like a retirement home.
- The two leads detested each other, killing any romantic chemistry between the characters.
- What Could Have Been:
- When the series was first being developed, it was meant to be a direct sequel to the first film, with Adrian Paul taking over the role of Connor MacLeod. Adrian pragmatically asked to play his own character, fearing fans would unfavorably compare him to Christopher Lambert. It worked and Duncan MacLeod was created.
- In the series, Hugh Fitzcairn was supposed to die at the end of the episode "The Hunters", but the crew ended up liking the character (and Daltrey) too much to just have him killed off.
- Methos was slated to die after a single episode. The producers like what the character brought to the series and he became recurring.
- Michael York and David McCallum were considered for the role of Joe Dawson, who was originally named Ian Dawson.
- The character of Marcus Constantine was intended as a possible replacement for Darius who would advise Duncan and act as a mentor. The producers decided to use Methos in this capacity, and the character never reappeared.
- The writers considered having Rebecca Horne (Amanda's teacher) appear again near the end of the series, but the actress was unavailable.
- Actor Michael Praed was the first choice to play Steven Keane, as the producers wanted an actor who looked like he was capable of starring in his own action series.
- The writers have indicated that the original idea for Methos' past evil deeds was much less severe, "like he was the Sheriff of Nottingham, not that he was Satan in a blue mask." Peter Wingfield's performance is given credit for pushing them to go darker than they might have otherwise.
- The writers briefly considered having the character of Lymon Kurlow survive his encounter with Duncan out of a desire to continue working with actor/stuntman Anthony De Longis. It was eventually decided that Kurlow was not sufficiently interesting to become a recurring villain, and De Longis later returned as Otavio Consone.
- A spinoff starring Immortal FBI Special Agent Matthew McCormack (played by Eric McCormack) was discussed.
- Alastair Duncan auditioned for the role of Duncan, and later appeared as Terence Coventry in the episode "Dramatic License".
- Valentine Pelka auditioned for several roles prior to being cast as Kronos.
- In the original outline for "Timeless", Walter Graham was a much darker character, and was to be killed at the end of the episode.
- A final scene was filmed for Danny in "The Immortal Cimoli" that showed him deciding to Face Death with Dignity, but this was left out in favor of a more fearful reaction.
- In the commentary for "Comes A Horseman" Gillian Horvath mentions that, instead of Cassandra, it would have been possible to use the character of Ceirdwyn from "Take Back The Night", as she was a similar ancient Immortal whose word Duncan would take seriously. Also that, had Werner Stocker lived, even Darius would have been a possibility.
- You Look Familiar: Actors were recycled in guest roles several time. Example Callum Keith Rennie, who had a bit part in 'Eye For An Eye' and then was the Villain of the Week in 'The Innocent'.
For the film:
- Clancy Brown was highly allergic to the latex makeup for The Kurgan's neck wound in the first film; it gave him problems during filming.
- In his Reddit Q&A, Brown says that he was getting paid next to nothing for the film, so the director let him play Kurgan any way he wanted to at least let him have fun on set. This led to many of the character's over-the-top hammy mannerisms.
For the series:
- There are several Highlander scenes that were left-in goofs. At least two are at the end of eps, the one I reacall being "Prodigal Son". Adrian and Stan came out of character thinking the director should have already yelled 'cut'. There's also a scene later where Duncan and Amanda butt heads attempting to kiss, in "Easy Money" that was a goof left in.
- Peter Wingfield (Methos) began studying medicine before going into acting. Now, he's left acting to finish his schooling and become a medical doctor.
- The series main cast got annoyed by the director getting annoyed at them eating bananas on the set and telling them to quit it. So, they showed up with 'no banana' t-shirts once shortly after, with the typical red circle with a line through it over the fruit image. There's also a shot on the blooper reel of them eating bananas anyway, probably to tease him.
- A couple of bloopers were left in because they seemed to flow well with the ep, like Duncan and Amanda's head butt while trying to kiss in 'Money No Object', and Duncan and Richie breaking out in laughter at the end of one early episode.
- Singer Sheena Easton (Annie Devlin) had only one day to learn the choreography for her sword fight with Stan Kirsch.
- And neither Easton nor Kirsch had ever done swordplay before. To cover their inexperience, they staged the fight in an "impossible" location, the rocky steps outside a lighthouse. Miraculously, it works.