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. In the series, 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.
- 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.
For the series:
- 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 Guy!:
- Clancy Brown is the Kurgan, who looks a lot like a goth Lex Luthor (once he shaves his head that is).
- Scott McNeil, in a rare live-action role, plays the sleazy boyfriend (who gets killed) of a friend of Richie's in a first season episode.
- He makes a second appearence a few seasons later in a flashback as one of Duncan's clansmen. He gets killed again.
- Joe Dawson is Inferno.
- Giles appeared at one point.
- The show had a continuing parade of singers—Joan Jett, Roger Daltrey, Nia Peeples, etc.
- In other words, yes, that is Tommy Walker fighting people with a sword.
- Campbell the Elder is Angus MacLeod.
- One episode from the series featured Jonathan Banks, (best known these days for playing Mike in Breaking Bad) as an Immortal lawman turned Bounty Hunter.
- It turns out that Bull was pretty handy with a sword.
- Marc Warren appeared in one episode.
- Zev Senesca tries to shoot the Kurgan after he defeats Sunda Kastigar, aka Captain Panaka.
- Sadly, Martok finally went off the deep end, necessitating a Mercy Kill.
- 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper appeared in one episode.
- 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:
- 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.
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.