Western Animation: Highlander: The Animated Series
Seven centuries have passed since the world was plunged into darkness...A cartoon based on the Cult Classic film The Highlander taking place in a post apocalyptic wasteland seven hundred years after a giant asteroid devastated Earth (with a little help from fallout caused by nuclear missiles deployed in a failed attempt to stop it). After "The Great Catastrophe", as it came to be called, the world's immortals banded together to restore the world to its former state. Unfortunately they were betrayed by the evil Immortal known as Lord Kortan, who decided he'd rather the world stay a miserable ruin because it'd be easier to conquer and rule that way and because the other immortals, now known as Jettetorsnote , took a mystical oath that prevented them from killing another immortal they were powerless to stop him. Didn't really think that one through.Kortan kills the protagonist of the first movie, Connor McLeod, and proceeds to hoard the last of Earth's science and technology for himself in his walled fortress city of Mogonda, which he rules with an iron fist. Now, only the newly awakened immortal Quentin McLeod, born after the others took the oath, can stop Kortan and restore Earth to her former glory. To do this he'll need to track down the other immortals and gain their knowledge and skills. Fortunately for them, a side effect of the oath allows them to perform The Quickening by holding their sword with Quentin instead of getting their heads cut off, though it does cause them to lose their immortality.The series started in 1994 and lasted for two seasons. There were a total of 40 episodes. Notably, this series does not share continuity with any other version of The Highlander. While most sequels and spinoffs, though usually unrelated to each other, at least nominally follow on from the continuity of the first film, in this series Connor dies before the show even starts without ever attaining "The Prize" while Ramirez, conversely, survives and becomes The Obi-Wan to the main character.
This series provides examples of:
- After the End: Yup. Is there a future Highlander story where the world hasn't been completely destroyed?
- Armor Is Useless: The hunters' armored uniforms routinely do nothing to keep them from being knocked out by blows to the head or staggered by punches to the stomach.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Anomas, giant radioactive ants bred by Lord Kortan.
- Big "NO!": Kortan emits a bizarrely strangled sounding Big No after Quentin MacLeod is stabbed by one of his henchmen, which activates Quentin's immortality.
- Book Burning: One episode features a rogue Hunter who tries to carve out his own empire and decides the best way to keep his people in line would be to restrict their access to knowledge. It should come as no surprise that his number is 451.
- Brave Scot: Naturally. In addition to the title character, there's also the people of the Clan Dundee, who raised him. Oddly, while the Dundee speak with Scottish accents, Quentin himself sounds Canadian (maybe he's from Nova Scotia).
- But What About the Astronauts?: Done twice. Once with a space station crew who'd been in suspended animation since before the asteroid impact and later an immortal who'd been exploring outer space by himself for the past 700 years returns to Earth.
- Cargo Cult: The Iron City Raiders, who worship the world's last Browning heavy machine gun, which they refer to as "The Brown".
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Quentin does this on two occasions, first when he gets a hold of an ancient machine gun and then when Yoshoda, the Jettetor of Combat gives him his own army to lead as a Secret Test of Character.
- Faceless Goons: The Hunters. The few who get any characterization, like Arak's right hand man Mer and the rogue Hunter Four Five One have Custom Uniforms that show off the lower half of their faces.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Horse of a Different Color: Quentin and Ramirez ride armless, featherless dinosaur-like creatures called Gavors. The Dundees have beasts of burden called Gorans that look like horned sauropods. Hunters are sometimes seen riding giant iguanas when they're not driving tanks, possibly a Shout-Out to the 1990s Star Wars re-release.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Lots of strange new animals have been created by nuclear fallout, including giant ants. Aveted, however by Promethos, Jettetor of Atomic Power, who is a hideously deformed mass of tumors due to being constantly exposed to radiation and not being able to die from it. Then again, there's also a tribe of mutant Arabs with blue skin and webbed hands.
- Kill It with Fire: Some of the Hunters wield flamethrowers. Ramirez is also fond of homemade incendiary grenades.
- Mad Bomber: "King" Melvyn the Magnificent.
- Mooks: The Hunters. Likely based on Dune's Sardaukar, as they are all descended from the inmates of an old world penal colony.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Gaul is a mutant with the face of an orangutan, the body of a small, fuzzy centaur and the ears of a rabbit.
- Morality Pet: Clyde is usually the only thing that stops Quentin from going over the deep end when he starts turning to the dark side.
- Mythology Gag: Various characters repeatedly refer to Lost Technology from the old world as "a kind of magic".
- Psychopathic Manchild: Malone.
- Reading Is Cool Aesop: The episode in which the aptly-named Hunter Four Five One appears, naturally. Unsurprisingly, most people born after the great catastrophe are illiterate and Quentin only learns how to read by absorbing the knowledge of another immortal, though he promises to teach Clyde.
- Sadist Teacher: Ramirez takes advantage of the fact Quentin is immortal to pull some truly nasty ordeals on him while training him, like setting him on fire or knocking him off the top of a 20 story electrical tower.
- Small Annoying Creature: Gaul, Quentin and Clyde's pet mutant.
- Also, Clyde.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: In at least one episode it's played up how if you're immortal, you can't drown. You can even talk underwater.
- You Are Number Six: The Hunters all have numbers instead of names; being promoted to a command position actually seems to carry with it the privilege of having an individual name. Amusingly the aforementioned book burning megalomaniac rogue hunter keeps referring to himself as Four Five One even after parting ways with Lord Kortan.
- The Worf Effect: Connnor MacLeod shows up in a flashback, just for the sake of showing that Kortan's even tougher than he is.