During the third season of “Highlander: The Series,” Methos (and with him, Peter Wingfield) was introduced to fans. Being over 5000 years old, he brought new
depth and scope to the world of immortals and particularly to Duncan’s world. As David Abramowitz (head writer for the show)
said so eloquently, "Methos was great fun because we thought, rather than playing him as the old sage, we thought about someone who had been through the old sage
moment and through the irony moment and through all those moments in his life for every couple hundred years and now he comes to this conclusion that - I have to say what
Methos' philosophy was. It was "Shit happens" - and deal with it, and survive. That's what Methos was about."
Recently Peter Wingfield reprised his role in the 2000 movie Endgame and his enduring popularity with fans was noted by Producers Bill Panzer and Peter S. Davis. They decided to further explore the possibilities of the character with an animated online series that is available at www.themethoschronicles.net. What follows is an interview with Joshua Davis, the
writer and producer of “The Methos Chronicles.”
Lyria: How did this animated Internet Series
come into being?
Davis: It was really the fan’s idea. We've been aware over the past few years that the fans are very interested in Methos. I don't know where the first actual mention of the term “Methos
Chronicles” came from. I wouldn't be surprised if it came from the fandom. So we've been watching this, and watching the interest in Peter and Methos in general
grow over the years and we finally decided that the best way to pursue it would be to do an experiment and that's what this is.
Lyria: How long did it take to develop the
Davis: It was very quick and that's the beauty of it. The
reason we chose to work in this medium is because we have so much control over it. I wrote it in October, recorded with Peter at the end of October and we
started animating in November. We worked hard for three months and then did another month of going back over what we had and
fine tuning it.
Lyria: Where was the animation done?
Davis: It’s all done within our offices in Los Angeles. We brought in an animator from Germany
and an animator from New York, people I recruited based on their previous work. Those were the traditional animators and then our flash animator was from Oregon.
Lyria: How difficult was the process?
Davis: Well, the program we are using to do the animation and to create the flash files was released
basically in November; it was a 1.0 program and at the time we were doing our revisions it had gone to 22.214.171.124 which we were
ecstatic about. For us, that was a big deal because they fixed some of the problems we were having. So this is something that really hasn't been done in this way before.
Lyria: Did this cause problems during
Davis: Given that we were using a brand new program and that this medium for entertainment- the Internet
- is so new, we had to learn how to constantly adapt the process. Generally it was exciting;
it was only frustrating when we were up at 4 in the morning trying to get the computers to stop crashing.
Lyria: What will fans have to do to view the
Davis: They’ll have to have a computer and a modem. Preferably
they’ll have at least a 56k modem, if not DSL or a cable modem. Any modem will work, it will just mean that it will take
longer to download the episodes. And the faster the processor, the better. Once
they log on to www.themethoschronicles.net they’ll be able to follow the download directions from there. Each episode will
take between 5 to 10 minutes on a 56k modem - depending on your connect rate, but it is downloaded to your hard drive as opposed to streaming mediums which often pause
during play and becomes choppy or distorted on older, slower systems. With the program residing on your computer once download
is complete, it allows your computer to access the animation at real time - or as close to that as your processor allows. So
just about everybody should be able to view the Series.
Lyria: How much of Methos is revealed in this
Davis: So much of his character in the TV show was hidden and enigmatic and we definitely want to stay
with that but this Series allows us to look a little closer into aspects of his life and see if it’s a good storyline to pursue. For me. the most personally
intriguing thing about his character is the ability to see history through one continuous character. For instance, every time
you turn on the news you see something about the Arab/Israeli conflict. Wouldn't it be amazing to see what Methos has to say about that, having seen it from it's
beginnings, if indeed he had? Wouldn't it be interesting to know about some of these conflicts that had spanned the generations seen through the eyes of someone who
had lived through each generation? So this story is just the beginning, in my mind, of what can be done.
Lyria: How does this project fit into the larger
world of Highlander?
Davis: I certainly see Methos as a long term project. As to how
we progress with this depends on the response and how people like it. My personal conception of it is quite grand. I see this as being an incubator for Methos ideas, Methos
storylines, a way for us to develop so much of his history, because there is so much room. As I said earlier, I view it as a
Methos experiment to gauge and test ideas that might possibly lead to a live action show. It is something I believe strongly in
and work towards on a daily basis. But it’s important to remember that this is not television.
We had to work within the constraints of the Internet and these new programs we were using. So it has to viewed that
Lyria: What can Methos and Highlander fans in
general do to help?
Davis: The fate of Methos and future developments is, of course, in their active hands. Even at this early stage, it’s been very exciting for me to see the level of commentary and involvement that fans have engaged in
on The Methos Chronicles bulletin board. We all want the best for this character and, from my point of view, this is the first
step towards setting Methos up in a leading role. So the more support we have, the more we can do in the future. It’s one step at a time. But what I think is cool about it is that we don’t have to
wait years and years for a movie or another TV series. If the fans like this, this could become an exciting weekly Highlander
occurrence on the web, helping to prove to others in Hollywood that Methos deserves all the attention we pay him.
Lyria: Anything else you’d like to say?
Davis: Give my best to the fans.
“The Methos Chronicles” can be viewed at www.themethoschronicles.net. We will keep you up to date on the progress of the
project and hope that it will be an enjoyable adventure for all Highlander and Methos fans alike.
To view the official press release click here