Retro Review: Highlander The Series: Season 2 – ‘The Watchers’

An awesome introduction for Joe Dawson and The Watchers

Synopsis: The presentation episode for “THE WATCHERS”; a mysterious society of individuals dedicated to watch and write down information about immortals (like Duncan), in theory, without ever bothering any of them or interfering.

Review: As a longtime fan of Highlander. It is only recently that I have been able to rewatch the series after having last viewed the show in the late 90s. So I thought it would be fun to review a couple of the episodes. So where better to start than episode one of season 2, which introduced the character of Joe Dawson and gave The Watchers a proper introduction.

Although for many the Highlander television series really only started to get going at episode 13 of the first season, which introduced Darius. It wasn’t really until Darius was murdered by a rogue group of Watchers at the close of the first season that the series really started to find it’s stride, and it was this first episode of season 2 that introduced them fully.

The Story

Duncan MacLeod is still grieving the loss of his friend Darius at the hands of James Horton and his rogue group of Watchers. The only thing Duncan has in order to try and track Horton down is a very old book, which is a chronicle of the immortals recorded several hundred years ago. On the back of the book is what appears to be a zip code, which leads MacLeod to believe that he can find the Watchers base of operations in the USA. So following up he returns home with Tess and Richie to get some justice for Darius.

The trail leads Mac to an old book store where he meets Joe Dawson. Initially, Mac doesn’t exactly trust Joe given that Joe’s boss Horton killed his friend. But he soon becomes aware that Joe isn’t in the know about Horton’s vendetta against Mac and the immortals in general.

The Acting

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind for Duncan MacLeod was a role tailor-made for Adrian Paul and this episode illustrates why. In this story, Mac is mad as hell and is absolutely determined to get to Horton. But his anger does not blind him to what a potential ally and friend that Joe maybe and as always Mac trys to do the honrouable thing when push comes to shove.

Jim Byrnes first scene as Joe Dawson is wonderfully played out, but it isn’t really until he is showing MacLeod the various records that The Watchers have kept over the centuries that the character really comes alive.

The out and out star of this episode though has to be Peter Hudson who is scarily cold and calculating as Horton. The scene where Mac confronts Horton at the party is wonderfully played out. The tension between Mac and the person that killed his friend builds nicely and it is Joe Dawson’s realization that Horton truly has lost the plot that really sells it.


This was a great introductory episode for the Watchers, which showed us their true purpose while also giving us a great introduction for Joe Dawson who would become a fan favorite as the series progressed. It also sees Mac get a little justice for Darius.

The episode closes out with a couple of Watchers still tracking MacLeod, but it is rather ambiguous as to whether they were some of the rogue faction working with Horton or if they were working for Dawson. It would take a while for The Watchers to be straightened out over the course of the series due to this being pretty much the first episode that delves into their mythology.


Highlander The Series: Season 2 - 'The Watchers'
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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