He Is Heath Ledger, Hear Him 'Roar'

When I'm not catching up on Battlestar Galactica over the coming weeks, I'm gonna be checking out Roar, just released on DVD. This short-lived 1997 Fox series stars an 18-year-old Heath Ledger -- in his first role outside Australia -- as a Celtic prince in Dark Ages Ireland trying to save his nation from Romans, or evil wizards, or something. It's not as goofy as it sounds, if the snippets of the show I glimpsed recently during reruns on the Sci Fi Channel are any indication. It looks as if it takes its medieval stuff seriously; I didn't see any sign of Xena-style snark, at least. There's nothing wrong with Xena-style snark, but it's kinda cool to see the inherent drama of that era -- the massive political and social upheaval in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the sudden ascendency of the local tribes at the same time that Catholicism was beginning its own rampage across Europe -- dealt with in a way that doesn't make the whole endeavor feel like a Renaissance festival. Not that there isn't magic: the always fantastic Sebastian Roche plays, apparently, a "Roman soldier cursed with immortality," according to TVshowsOnDVD.com. Definitely sounds like my kinda thing.

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MaryAnn Johanson

author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride

minder of FlickFilosopher.com