'Legend - The Complete Series'
(Richard Dean Anderson, John de Lancie, Mark Adair-Rios, Jarrad Paul, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1995) 2016 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: Richard Dean Anderson (TV's MacGyver) steps into the irresistible and charming role of Ernest Pratt, a dime-store novelist who is living out the adventures of his fictional character Nicodemus Legend in the Old West. Co-starring John de Lancie (TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Janos Bartok a brilliant scientist, the duo teams up to fight for justice using Legend's celebrity and Bartok's outlandish inventions to make a real legend.
DVD Verdict: OK, from the off, those not in the know about this show should know that a) I had never heard of it either, and b) The "complete series" is actually only 12 episodes long! That said, sitting down to watch it in one whole binge afternoon/evening, I found it to be highly entertaining and a shame that it ended!
Ernest Pratt, a dime-store novelist in the old west, lives with his scientist friend Professor Janos Bartok in the small town of Sheridan, Colorado. The people of Sheridan mistakenly believe that Pratt--a drinker, gambler, and womanizer--is the audacious and pure hero of his novels, Nicodemus Legend. Bartok and his associate, Ramos, convince Pratt to assume the Legend persona while supplying him with Legend-like futuristic gadgets that they invent. Together, Bartok and the reluctant Pratt (as Legend), adventure throughout the west solving mysteries, capturing wrong-doers, and even making scientific discoveries.
Come on now, doesn't that all sound like the premise for an enormous amount of ludicrous fun?! It sure does and it sure did pan out that way, save for the fact TV audiences obviously didn't think so back in 1995, sadly. 'Legend' was funny, well written, an d had en mass of decent characters. Bartok was a great character, especially in his scenes with the German hunters. Ramos, with his indeterminately long Harvard stay, really went beyond the stereotypical "Mexican sidekick".
But it wasn't just the overall series that was both humorous and original. Richard Dean Anderson finally got to express his very own sense of humor; a talent he didn't really get to utilize on 'MacGyver'. Obviously, the powers that be at UPN didn't know what a great show they gave up, but it is now wonder that still today Anderson has said it was his favorite show.
Pity it never found an audience and subsequently joined the ranks of 'The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.' and 'Wild Wild West' - both sci-fi westerns that have gone too soon. For anyone who hasn't seen this delightful show, buy this DVD today - or, check out TVland who have shown it at least once in the past. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.