The Highlander A-Z

Your definitive guide to the Highlander TV universe
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Foreign accents
One of Highlander's best qualities is the truly international nature of its cast. We've had Adrian Paul from England, Peter Wingfield from Wales, Dougray Scott from Scotland and Peter Firth from the People's Republic of Yorkshire. And that's just British actors!

One thing an actor has to be prepared to do is shift his or her accent depending on where their Immortal originally came from. The results of this have been decidedly mixed - no doubt helped by the example set in the Highlander movie, where Frenchman Christophe Lambert struggled with a Scottish accent and Scotsman Sean Connery didn't even bother to try and sound Egyptian - never mind Spanish.

The best example of a dodgy accent is Garwin Sandford's attempts with John Garrick's English accent (C9, 'Shadows'). Then again, Elizabeth Gracen's "French" accent, delivered when Amanda first becomes Immortal in the 9th Century, sounds distinctly Dick Van Dyke, which makes it Dodgy Cockney, not Dodgy Parisien.

Still, at least they made the effort. Many Brits don't even bother: Morgan D'Estaing (Marc Warren) is French and appears to have spent his entire life there. Which makes his Saaarf Lahndan (South London) accent all the more perplexing. Similarly, Gabriel Piton seems to have spent his entire 300-odd year existence in France, but sounds distinctly English.

Here's a quick list of those actors and actresses who have gamely taken on the accent, and my rather unfair rating (1-10) of how I perceive their efforts:

bulletAdrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod): Scottish accent - 9/10
bulletElizabeth Gracen (Amanda): French accent, via Dick Van Dyke - 0/10
bulletSheena Easton (Annie Devlin): Oirish delight - 6/10
bulletBruce Weitz (Thomas Sullivan): More oirish delight - 6/10
bulletJohn Pyper Ferguson (Brian Cullen): Supposedly Scottish, but sounds more Irish to me - 3/10
bulletMore to follow...

 


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  Text copyright 2007 Nick Peers, Images copyright Panzer/Davis