ORBzine - 2001.09 UK Television Review: "Roar"

ORBzine - Television Review - "Roar"

Roar [Season 1, Episode 1] Pilot
Shown 9th September 2001 [Sunday]

It is the year 400, Hollywood Standard Time. Apparently the Romans are poised to invade Ireland, and the Irish Kelts must unite to fight them. Heath Ledger [ Knight's Tale ] is a headstrong young noble, eager for adventure. His deadliest weapon is his accent, by which you will die laughing. Queen Diana [ Lisa Zane ] and her Roman henchman, Longinus, launch an attack on his family. Once the young hero(tm) has his quota of sacrificial lambs to motivate him, he sets up a small band of heroic rebels to bring justice and generally kick ass and have adventures and stuff. There's even an old sorceror guy who teaches him a kind of magic.

How original.

This is basically mini-Braveheart, and judging by this it's little wonder that Ledger was cast as Gibson's son in The Patriot. The only good thing is, the villainous Romans appear to be Christians. Also, keep a sharp eye out for Virginia Hey who plays Queen Una. Also, Keri Russell plays Claire.

[Season 1, Episode 2] Projector
Shown 16th September 2001 [Sunday]

Conor's fight with a babelicious female warrior called Vorgeen [ Gabrielle Fitzpatrick ] is interrupted by the arrival of a swarthy stranger called Quadras [Marc Gomes]. He sells a substance known as Atmos, apparently a version of Greek Fire. Conor buys the entire supply, three barrels full, but the eeeevil Longinus wants it too. And since Longinus can see the future, he invents lots of 20th Century weapons. One example is a portable cannon he calls the projector. The rebels compete against him in an arms race ...

The script actually tries to make the villains sympathetic. Diana wants to bring peace and civilisation to the Barbarians, while Longinus actually regrets killing unnecessarily and fears that his inventions could destroy the world. Longinus isn't greedy, he only wants salvation. And the final scene is an eye-opener.

[Season 1, Episode 3] Chosen, The
Shown 23rd September 2001 [Sunday]

Connor and his merry men discover that someone has killed a bunch of Shamans. The evil Queen(tm) captures a young boy shaman named Glass, in the hope he can lead them to the Spear of Destiny.


  • Ric Anderson .... CuRoi
  • Mark Fitzpatrick .... Sinsar
  • Desmond Kelly .... Furbaide
  • Wayne Pygram ( Farscape ) .... Goll
  • [Season 1, Episode 4] Banshee
    Shown 30th September 2001 [Sunday]

    The heroes make a mutual defence pact with another anti-Roman tribe, just as the Banshee wails to predict a death. The locals, led by the foolhardy Morvern, decide to kill the Banshee. They insist their new allies come along to help.

    The hunters only find a gorgeous 20-ish redhead. Morvern wants to kill her, but Connor takes her home instead. Morvern then tries to kill his former allies ...

    Longinus sets out to find the Banshee, to predict his own death. Diana is left to drink alone with the Captain of the Guard ...

  • Robert Carlton .... Morvern
  • Peter McCauley .... Culann
  • Keri Russell .... Claire
  • Brigid Conley Walsh .... Shannon (as Brigid Brannagh)
  • [Season 1, Episode 5] Doyle's Solution
    Shown 7th October 2001 [Sunday]

    Connor and his merry men meet up with a Jesus-looking hippy peacenick named Doyle. Like the pied piper, Doyle leads a bunch of children [mainly orphans], claiming he wants to give them a preaceful life.

    Is Doyle as much a sap as Eli in Xena: Warrior Princess ? Or will we have some refreshing cynicism?

    The Romans, regular series villains, don't appear in this episode. This gives more room for character development between Connor and Fergus. As a subplot, we get to find out about Fergus' daughter. The other two rebels, the girl and the black guy, get a couple of token scenes but nothing interesting.

  • Steven Grives .... Perdicals
  • Jeremy Trigatti .... Garth
  • [Season 1, Episode 6] Red Boot
    Shown 21st October 2001 [Sunday]

    Red Boot [Jason Carter - Babylon 5 ] appears on the scene, with an incredibly ugly bowl-cut. He is a Roman Centurion who wants to write the history of the Crucifixion. He gets the help of Longinus ...

    Liam discovers that the gorgeous ex-slave babe has been keeping secrets from him. She has a plot device, and Carter is after it. Diana and her new lover plan to take the McGuffin off Carter's hands, and claim the glory for themselves.

    [Season 1, Episode 7] Spear of Destiny, The
    Shown 27th October 2001 [Sunday]


  • Peter McCauley .... Brach
  • [Season 1, Episode 8] Eternal, The
    Shown 4th November 2001 [Sunday]

    Longinus is on the war-path. He vows to destroy Connor and his friends, and to brand everyone into his service. Connor remarks that Rome will never stand a chance against a United Ireland - very disturbing in its niaive politics. Especially since Longinus is the only one who could unite Ireland!

    Connor and his big bald sidekick are summoned to the Druid Temple, to meet the Druid King. He orders Connor to enter into a 2-year marriage with a novice Druid priestess. He ends up with Melissa George , who guest-starred in a previous episode.

  • Peter Bensley .... Alwyn
  • Jay Mannering .... Arn
  • [Season 1, Episode 9] Tash
    Shown April 2000 []
    Shown 11th November 2001 [Sunday]

    This show may be lumped in the same category as Xena: Warrior Princess and New Adventures of Robin Hood , but it has a far more serious edge. However, while the production values are far higher than those of the USA New Adventures of Robin Hood show [ Roar is filmed in Queensland and not Eastern Europe] it is still not of the high grade achieved by the 1980s UK show Robin of Sherwood.

    The plot is simple. In Ireland, 400CE, a small band of warriors face up to the evil Queen [Lisa Zane] and her Roman lover Longinus - who thrust the Spear of Destiny into the crucified Christ and has been cursed with eternal life.

    This episode Caitlin, the girlfriend of Conor [the hero], is possessed by the spirit of her dead sister.

  • Aash Aaron .... Severn
  • Rebecca Cartwright .... young Catlin
  • Iain Gardiner .... Satyrion
  • Brooke Harman .... Amalia
  • Damian Monk .... Faustus
  • [Season 1, Episode 10] Traps
    Shown May 2000 []
    Shown 18th November 2001 [Sunday]

    Connor and Fergus are lured to a remote island, where the locals force them to play The Most Dangerous Game. Yes, the guys [along with Fergus' daughter] are chased through a boobytrap-ridden forest at the behest of Longinus and Diana.

  • Grant Dodwell .... Cormac
  • Brenda Strong .... Megan
  • [Season 1, Episode 11] Daybreak
    Shown 25th November 2001 [Sunday]

    As continued from previous episodes, the Wicked Queen (tm) [ Lisa Zane ] has fallen out with her Immortal lover, the Roman Longinus. While she treks across the landscape with a trunk of clothes, Longinus leads a massive army consisting of 20 legionaires [really a motley bunch of thugs] against a village. The villagers, unlike real Iron Age farmers, are not prepared to defend their homes - they flee, and let the bandits - err, heroes - do it for them.


  • Neil Fitzpatrick .... Morgan
  • Tiriel Mora .... Brigg
  • Michela Noonan .... Edain
  • Susanna Thompson .... Gweneth
  • [Season 1, Episode 12] The Cage
    Shown 2nd December 2001 [Sunday]

    Diana plots her revenge.

  • Derek Amer .... Sekundus
  • Deborra-Lee Furness .... Agrona
  • Barry McEvoy .... Dunn
  • [Season 1, Episode 13] Sweet Brigit
    Shown 9th December 2001 [Sunday]

    Connor, Fergus and Fergus' daughter meet a young woman [ Melissa George ] who has some sort of magical powers. A rich young ruffian takes a liking to the lassie ...

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