Highlander

Episode Transcripts

 

SEASON ONE
Episode 1: The Gathering

Written by Dan Gordon
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Aired: Oct. 3, 1992
 
Transcript revised: 8-18-19

 

/ Episode Screencaps / Location photos /

 

Zzickle's Notes:

I don't own Highlander - if I did, I would've given Methos his own show! The contents of this transcript are taken directly from the episode (with the help of closed captions and the DVD script), to the best of my ability. Huge thanks to Andy Sloane and his exhaustive lists of Highlander shooting locations for assistance with my Locations List. His album for "The Gathering" can be found HERE. If you have any other location-related questions, you can email him at [karateusa at hotmail dot com].

If you want to post this transcript on your site, please let me know where it is going so I can visit it. Also, please post it with my name (Zzickle) and website (http://www.zzickle.com/) on it.

You are more than welcome to use these transcripts in your fanfiction stories, no notification required.

STARRING:

Duncan MacLeod - Adrian Paul
              the Highlander

Tessa Noel - Alexandra Vandernoot
              Duncan's girlfriend

Richie Ryan - Stan Kirsch
              street punk

GUEST STARS:

Connor MacLeod - Christopher Lambert
              Duncan's 'cousin'

Slan Quince - Richard Moll
              the K'Immie

CO-STARRING:

Sergeant Powell - Wendell Wright
              a detective

Locations List:*
0. Scenes on/near sets in Sound Stage 3 at Bridge Studios, Burnaby. [49.263257,-123.019589]
1. Outside antique store - Blood Alley Square [49.283085,-123.105154]
2. Police station exterior - Exterior of building at Bridge Studios, Burnaby [49.2635861,-123.018825]
3. Police station interior - 3700 2nd Avenue, Burnaby [49.268001,-123.022628]
4. Seacouver bridge - Granville Bridge [49.271963,-123.133907], from Burrard Bridge [49.275755,-123.135952]
5. Alley near antique store - Trounce Alley at Abbott St [49.283386,-123.106570]
6. Warehouse - Building across the street from the Bridge Studios, Burnaby [49.264177,-123.019311] (no longer there)
7. Dakota Territory / Pacific Northwest - Mount Seymour Provincial Park (exact coordinates unknown)
8. Shaman Island establishing shot - Seymour Lake at Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve [49.440593,-122.970735]
9. Soldier's Bridge - Burrard St Bridge [49.275435,-123.136611]
10. Streets of Seacouver - near Blood Alley: W Cordova [49.283028,-123.107110] to Abbott [49.283199,-123.106653] to Trounce Alley [49.283437,-123.106803]
11. Duncan's cabin - Mount Seymour Provincial Park [49.367768,-122.947607]
* Locations are in Vancouver unless otherwise indicated.
= link to location photos
= link to episode screencaps

Eurominutes: The full version of this episode runs 48 minutes, but for the domestic (US) market, this was cut shorter for commercials. "Eurominutes" are those 4-5 minutes that European fans got to see but US fans missed out on when the episodes originally aired. (Subsequent reruns on USANetwork and SciFi/Syfy may or may not adhere to the original domestic cut.) While official Eurominutes have not been confirmed for this episode, the following cuts *are* marked:

~Bolded - SciFi channel, 2000 only
~Bolded - SciFi channel, both 2000 & 2008

 
NOTE: Based on the 'Final Shooting Script', this episode had a number of changes - Richie's name was originally Cole Ryan, Duncan was nearly 500 (not 400) years old, and Kate Kendall (who later became Randi McFarland) had several scenes. For 'script' scenes not present in the actual episode, click on the 'CUT' links throughout the transcript. (Affected transcript lines are <bracketed>.)

Another note: This episode was written in quite a different order than what aired. Follow the numbers preceding the scenes for the script order. In the script, act breaks follow 3, 8, & 12 (4 acts, no teaser or tag).

[Voice-over by Duncan MacLeod]
I am Duncan MacLeod, born four hundred years ago in the Highlands of Scotland. I am Immortal, and I am not alone. For centuries, we have waited for the time of the Gathering, when the stroke of a sword and the fall of a head will release the power of the Quickening. In the end, there can be only one.

OPENING CREDITS

TEASER

3. Antique store, night 0

[RR approaches closed store.1 Upstairs, Tessa & DM are... busy.]

RR - [sneaks down side alley, cuts hole in window glass, disables alarm, opens window, & climbs inside] Check it out. One night only, everything must go.

 

3. Loft apartment - living room, night 0

DM - [senses 'buzz'] I feel something.

Tessa - I hope so.

DM - No. Someone's here.

Tessa - I didn't hear anything.

DM - [pulls sword from under coffee table] Neither did I.

Tessa - Mac.
 

ACT ONE

3. Establishing shot: antique store, night 1
 

3. Inside antique store, night 0

Tessa - Duncan, be careful.

RR - [takes sword out of case] En garde, you fool! Wssst. [makes swishy noise]

DM - I am Duncan MacLeod... of the clan MacLeod... and you are dead.

RR - Uh... dead? Whoa, heheh. Geez, I ripped off a couple of cups and a bowl; I'm sorry, all right? Here -- take 'em. They're all in the bag. I'll pay for the window. It's over. Okay?

DM - It's over when I cut off your head.

RR - Cut off my head?!? You don't think that's a little extreme for petty theft? Hey dude, chill. Your insurance will cover it.

Tessa - Mac, he's just a boy.

RR - You know what? You should call the police. In fact, I tell you what, I'll call them myself. Got a phone?

DM - There's someone...

[Slan, yelling, crashes through skylight.]

RR - Whoa! I'm on like "America's Funniest Home Videos", right?

Slan - MacLeod! I'm Slan Quince and I've come for your head.

RR - This is very uncool, guys.

Slan - [to Tessa] We haven't been properly introduced, but you'll get to know me, my dear.

Tessa - Mac!

DM - Did you come to fight or talk?

CM - [appears in doorway] He's not gonna fight you, Duncan... not until he's made you suffer... until he's destroyed everything you love in this world... until you don't know whether you want to live or die. That's your way, right, Slan?

DM - Connor, what are you doing here?

CM - Headhunting. Sorry, Duncan, but this one's mine.

RR - Man, these guys are out there. [heads for open window]

CM - [to DM] Let the boy go.

Slan - My challenge was to Duncan MacLeod, not you, whoever you are.

CM - I'm Connor MacLeod -- same clan, different vintage.

Slan - Ah, yes. You! [Both MacLeods raise their swords.] Haa! Not two against one. Tsk tsk tsk tsk.

CM - Thanks, Slan. I know the rules. You and me. Now.

[CM & Slan begin to fight, but are interrupted by police sirens.]

Slan - [as sirens get louder] It sounds to me like we're about to have company, gentlemen. I just wanted to meet the charming lady of the house. Ha ha. Until we meet again! [Slan breaks front store window with the hilt of his sword & jumps through.]

CM - [to DM] Heh heh heh. You look good.

 

4. Metropolitan Police Station, next morning 2

[DM pulls up outside, parks, enters building.]

 

4. Inside Metropolitan Police Station 3

RR - [shown into room & handed envelope containing his belongings] All right, this puppy is gonna walk.

CUT

<DM - [enters station] I was asked to come in and identify a boy who broke into my store last night.

Powell - Richie Ryan?

DM - If that's his name, yeah.>

Powell - Look, I don't understand. We caught this kid. We can make a good case against him, but not if you don't press charges.

DM - Sorry. No charges.

Powell - Look, let me tell you something. This punk is trying to get off the hook by saying he DIDN'T break in. That he heard a disturbance, looked inside. He saw three men with drawn swords having it out.

DM - [laughs] Did he also see a guy in a bat costume and a long cape?

Powell - Okay. [laughs] Anyway. Now he had jewelry from your shop in his pocket when we nabbed him running from the scene. We've got him dead-to-rights.

DM - Sorry. Can I talk to him before you let him go?

Powell - You're sort of a 'Father Flannagan, there's no such thing as a bad boy,' kinda guy, aren't you? Look, let me set you straight on something. You talk, he walks. He hasn't learned a thing. This boy needs to do a little time in juvie to straighten him out. Next month, he turns eighteen. His next visit here? Oh, he gets processed through as an adult. He gets sent to the big house where the cons will pass him around for dessert. Think about it. Come on. [takes DM to RR] This gentleman would like to talk to you. Now you give me one excuse to bust your butt while you're still here and you'll do ten on the taxpayers' money, punk. Got it?

RR - Oh, yes sir, Sergeant Powell, I certainly do, sir.

Powell - He's all yours. [leaves]

RR - Honestly, sir, I really do appreciate this second chance you're going to give me to become a useful member of society.

DM - If I let you out of here, I do not want anyone coming around asking about your little fantasies. That is the deal.

RR - Fantasies? Oh, you mean like the one where you and the Knights of the Round Table were, uh, wheee tseee tseeee tseee tseee, right? [imitating swordfight] Never saw a thing. Just, uh, made it all up. Hmpf. I know, I'm fast. All my teachers said so. Fast, but lazy. My lips are sealed. Word of honor. Besides, who'd I tell, ya know?
 

ACT TWO

2. Establishing shot: Seacouver bridge 4
 

2. Loft apartment - living room 0

[Queen - "Who Wants to Live Forever" instrumental]

Tessa - So, you liberated this wine from Napoleon's own cellar, I suppose?

DM - No, this wine's only a little bit older than you are. Happy birthday. [hands Tessa a small box]

Tessa - Oh. [kisses DM, opens box] Oh, Mac! You're crazy.

DM - Just something I picked up during the French Revolution. [puts bracelet on Tessa's wrist]

Tessa - From now on, I only celebrate un-birthdays... like the Mad Hatter.

DM - You're beautiful.

Tessa - Ha. I'm a year older.

DM - And still beautiful.

Tessa - When we met, you were the "older man."

DM - [laughs] Much.

Tessa - I mean, now... now we look the same age. Soon...

DM - Come here. Tessa, you're the most wonderful woman I've known in my entire life.

Tessa - All four hundred years?

DM - I'm not four hundred. I won't be four hundred for... another four months.

Tessa - The problem is, even when you are four hundred, or four hundred and twenty, you'll still look thirty-five. It makes me sick.

DM - Good skin runs in my family. There's nothing I can do about it.

Tessa - From now on, every year you'll look at me and see someone who looks older and older than you, while you stay the same. And it'll just be a matter of time...

DM - No, it won't.

Tessa - ...until you want someone else.

DM - No.

Tessa - Or maybe I will.

DM - You'll want someone younger? Not exactly hard to find.

Tessa - No. Maybe I'll want someone I can grow old with.

DM - You know I've wanted the same thing -- to grow old with you.

Tessa - Mac, I know there have been others... other loves. After a century or two... do you learn how to cope?

DM - Cope? With the loss? Hm? No matter how many years go by, or how many times you say goodbye to those you care most about, when they leave, you...

Tessa - Die?

DM - Yes. When they die, you're naked and alone. Why don't we stop thinking about what's going to happen when I'm four hundred and twenty or four hundred and forty or... [kisses Tessa] . . . and think about what's going to happen... later on tonight.

Tessa - And what's going to happen tonight? [They continue to kiss.]

 

1. Alley outside antique store 1

[Slan, in parked car, watches Tessa walk down alley & into antique store, then sees CM.]

Slan - Well, well, look who's here. [revs engine] Ciao, baby! [laughs & drives off]5

 

5. Antique store - workshop 0

[DM senses 'buzz', goes over to Tessa.]

Tessa - [stops grinding on piece of metal] Is there someone here?

DM - Someone with a long lifeline. [unlocks back door, sword in hand, then sees CM looking in]

CM - [enters] Hi.

DM - Tessa, you've already met Connor MacLeod.

CM - I'm, uh, a friend of Duncan's from the old neighborhood.

 

11. Duncan's warehouse 6

[CM & DM fencing.]

CUT

CM - A mere pinprick.

DM - By my count, you look more like a pincushion!

[More fighting, laughing.]

DM - You know Slan is mine.

CM - You sure you can handle him? Come on. [holds out hand]

DM - [helps CM up] No problem.

[More fighting.]

CM - Slan is mine.

DM - Protecting Tessa is MY job.

[They both laugh.]

CM - Good to see you.
 

ACT THREE

6. Loft apartment - kitchen 0

Tessa - You're sure you wouldn't rather use a sword, Connor?

CM - I take it that, uh, what you saw last night was... new? New.

CUT

DM - Yes, as a matter of fact, it is quite new for Tessa. CUT

Tessa - How long have you two known each other? Are you related?

DM - We're clansmen. When I was growing up, there was a legend in my clan about a strange man in my grandfather's time who was killed in battle and then miraculously revived.

CM - Everyone thought it was witchcraft.

DM - I thought it was an old wives' tale. Until one day...

Tessa - I know. Someone killed you, but you didn't die.

CM - And then I found him, well, you know, the way someone found me.

DM - Connor taught me everything I needed to know to survive as an Immortal. The rules. The tactics needed to win.

CM - As once someone taught me.

Tessa - Win what?!? Why does this Slan person want Duncan? Please, don't say anything in front of the lady! Let me just go in the next room and crochet while you have cigars and brandy and talk about beheadings!

DM - I told Tessa some of it. I thought I was out of it. She didn't need to know all the rules.

CM - You're not out of it anymore! "There can be only one." Remember that rule?

Tessa - One what? One of you? Only one Immortal left in the end? Is that it? And what does the winner get?

CM - The last one will have the power of all the Immortals who ever lived -- enough power to rule this planet forever. If someone like Slan is that last one, mankind will suffer an eternity of darkness from which it will never recover.

Tessa - And you didn't think this was important enough to mention?

CUT

DM - It's nothing new.

Tessa - It is for me.

CUT

CM - You can't stay out of the Game, Duncan. You've tried before.

DM - Damn it, Connor! It had nothing to do with the Game, and you know that.

 

6. Flashback - Dakota Territory, 1872 - Lakota tribe 7

[Queen - "Who Wants to Live Forever"

There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams
Yet slips away from us?
Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?]

DM - [crying] She knew the names of all the grasses... the wildflowers... the songs that told where her people came from, how they lived, what they believed in!

CM - I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

[Who wants to live forever?]

CM - [watching funeral pyre burn] Do you think we ever lived like this? Like a tribe?

[Who wants to live forever?]

CM - [continues] Together with a common language, a reason and a name for each living thing? Did we once belong somewhere -- a time and a place, however briefly?

[Who dares to know forever?]

8. CUT

8. Outside antique store 1

[DM pulls up in T-bird, feels 'buzz', enters store cautiously.]

 

8. Antique store - workshop 0

DM - [over sound of grinder] Tessa?

Slan - [stops grinding] Hi, hon. Want to see what I've been working on? [Tessa, sitting in chair tied & gagged, cries out as Slan removes the cloth draped over her.] I think the face could use a little work, don't you? [holds grinder near Tessa's face. DM steps forward.] Uh-uh! Ha ha ha. Not too close. Drop it. Drop it! [Tessa continues making muffled noises.]

DM - [flips sword around & cuts power cord to grinder] You came for me. [They fight.]

Slan - [puts sword to Tessa's neck. Tessa screams.] You know what some wags call me? Slan the Cat, because I like to play with my victims first. Ah-ah-ah-ah. Don't spoil the fun! Be a good boy, and I'll leave her alive... this time. I want you to think about it now. I bet you're thinking about it right now, aren't ya?

[They exchange a few more blows. Slan knocks DM down & leaves.]

Slan - Ta-ta for now, kids.
 

ACT FOUR

9. Establishing shot: Antique store 1
 

9. Antique store - office 0

DM - You want to talk?

<Tessa - If I wanted to talk, I suppose I'd be talking. CUT I'm an artist. I'm supposed to have this tremendous imagination. But who could imagine this? Mac, I want to leave.>

DM - I think it's for the best, Tessa.

Tessa - Is that what you think?

DM - Is WHAT what I think?

Tessa - That I'm leaving you.

DM - Yes, that's what I think.

Tessa - You'd think in four hundred years, a person would learn how to listen.

DM - Well, that's what you said.

Tessa - I meant *I* want to leave -- not you, but this place. Here. The two of us. THAT'S what I meant. But maybe, that's not what you wanted to hear. Let's go. We could be in Paris by tomorrow.

DM - You think he couldn't find us in Paris? Tessa, Slan won't give up. You'll have to leave.

Tessa - What?

DM - There's no way you could have known what this was going to be like.

Tessa - Well, I have an idea now. So, what has this been for you -- this past dozen years? Was it like a summer fling? R & R? "Sorry darling, back to the wars, you know." Damn you! Damn your Gathering! Damn your whole race!

DM - I'm not your enemy, you know.

Tessa - No. An enemy could never hurt so much.

9. CUT

7. Establishing shot: Shaman Island 8

7. Flashback - Pacific Northwest, 1872 - Shaman Island 7 CUT

CM - Hey... I know you loved her, but you can't keep them from dying. They all do. Men kill men. We kill each other.

DM - I don't care who does the killing. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the endless mindless fighting. I'm tired of death.

CM - You can't quit.

DM - I didn't ask you for permission, Connor.

CM - I know why you chose this place. It's holy ground.

DM - That's right. And I did ask permission of the old ones to build my cabin here.

CM - No Immortal can fight here... ever. You'll always be safe.

DM - Glad you approve. Connor, the battle between good and evil can do without me for a while.

CM - Maybe, but you can't stay out of it forever.

DM - No, not forever, but for a while.

CM - They'll find you.

DM - Eventually.

 

10. Duncan's warehouse 6

[CM & DM are fighting. RR watches through a broken window.]

[Queen - "Princes of the Universe"

Here we are
We're the princes of the universe
Here we belong
Fighting for survival
We've come to be the rulers of your world

I am immortal
I have inside me blood of kings
Yeah
I have no rival
No man can be my equal
Take me to the future of your world
Yeah!!]

 

12. Antique store - workshop 0

CM - So, how do you feel, old man?

DM - Fifty years younger than you do. [to Tessa] What's wrong?

Tessa - Slan called.

DM - What did he say?

Tessa - He'll be on Soldier's Bridge tonight.

DM - That's not all, is it?

Tessa - When he's finished with you, he'll be back for me.

 

13.    [later]

CM - [watching DM sharpen his sword] You know, I've been thinking. Why are you smiling? 'Cause I've been thinking?

DM - Uh-huh.

CM - [laughing] Well, anyway, as long as I can remember knowing you...

DM - Oh, not again.

CM - Excuse me?

DM - You heard me.

CM - You don't know what I'm going to say. As long as I remember knowing you, you've had all the fun and most of the good women.

DM - Lately.

CM - Lately?

DM - That's what I said.

CM - What are you talking about?

DM - Well, I seem to remember that girl in London. The red-head.

CM - Ha!

DM - Healthy girl.

CM - Come on, that was almost a hundred and sixty years ago.

DM - That's what I said -- lately.

CM - You know what your problem is? You live in the past.

DM - I don't have a problem.

CM - Yes, you do.

DM - No, I don't.

CM - Yes. You do.

DM - No, I don't. Stop arguing with me.

CM - I'm not arguing.

DM - Yes, you are.

CM - No. It's conversation.

DM - It's conversation? Well, end of conversation!

CM - Oh, easy way out, huh?

DM - Uh-huh.

CM - Yeah, the usual. Duncan?

DM - [turns] What?

CM - [knocks him unconscious] End of conversation.

Tessa - Mac!

CM - He was arguing. Don't worry. He's gonna be okay.

Tessa - You don't have to go either.

CM - We don't have a choice. I hope to see you again.

 

13. Soldier's Bridge, sunset 9

[Slan is waiting.]

 

13. Outside antique store, night 1

RR - [hiding behind car, sees CM come out of store] Damn. Sir Lancelot. [As CM starts the car, RR hides in the trunk.]

 

13. Antique store - workshop, night 0

DM - [waking up] Oh...

Tessa - Mac. Mac?

DM - Where is he?

Tessa - Where do you think?

DM - Oh, ohh. [stands up]

Tessa - I know you have to go. Tell me, does anyone, anywhere, know why? Just why?

DM - Tessa, I won't be back, even if I win.

Tessa - After twelve years, is it that simple for you?

DM - Of course not! But you didn't know...

Tessa - I do now!

DM - It will happen again!

Tessa - I don't care!

DM - Tessa. I love you.

 

13. Soldier's Bridge, night 9

CM - [wearing beige trench coat & white sneakers!] Don't look so disappointed, Slan. When was the last time you had such an enthusiastic opponent?

Slan - Maybe you're right. This could be fun. [puts on protective mask]

CM - [swishes sword, laughs] Still worried about that pretty face of yours?

Slan - Just protecting my most valuable asset.

[CM & Slan start fighting.]

RR - [watching from shadows] Oh man, these guys should sell tickets. CUT

 

13. Streets of Seacouver, night 10

[DM drives quickly toward Soldier's Bridge.]

 

13. Soldier's Bridge, night 9

[CM cuts Slan's face.]

Slan - Aaaaaaaah! Aaaaaaaah! [pulls off mask]

[Fight continues. Slan shoots CM with a barb from the handle of his sword. CM falls over edge of bridge into the water.]

Slan - Bye-bye.

DM - [walks onto bridge] Slan! It's over now. [They fight.] Your cutting is slow, Slan, Come on! [Fighting continues.]

Slan - Aaaaaaaaaah [charges DM, gets sliced across abdomen, falls to his knees] Finish it, Highlander.

DM - There can be only one. [beheads Slan, takes Quickening, then looks up & sees RR watching]

RR - Whoa. Chill, man. Just... just pretend I'm not here.

[DM jumps off bridge into river.]

CUT

13. Soldier's Bridge, next morning 9

[DM pulls CM out of river.]

CM - Go for it. That's it. [DM pulls projectile from CM's chest.] Aaah, oh, God!

DM - I know this won't come as a surprise, but you'll live.

CM - I should have known it -- you're never on time. Slan?

DM - I handled it.

CM - As I said, you have all the fun and most of the good women.

DM - Connor, I'm not going back to Tessa. I cannot put her through this again.

CM - I understand, but she won't. [sees RR trying to hide in grass by bridge] What about the boy? He'll need watching.

DM - I know. I will.

 

13. Loft apartment - living room 0

Tessa - [hears noise] Mac? Duncan, is that you? [runs down to workshop, opens door to alley] Connor, are you alright?

CM - Yeah, I'm okay. Don't worry.

Tessa - Where is Mac?

CM - He's alive, and Slan won't be calling you anymore.

Tessa - Connor, where did Mac go?

CM - He didn't tell me. But I can guess.

Tessa - Where?

CM - Do you really want to know? [Tessa nods.]
 

TAG

13. Establishing shot: island 8
 

13. Duncan's cabin 11

Tessa - I tried to call you, but... [runs to DM, kisses him] I love you. I love you.

DM - It hasn't ended. You know that. It won't end until...

CM - We don't know when it's going to end. We never do. But while we're here... living in this time, in this place... some of us... the lucky few..;. will still have all the fun. And?

CM & DM - [together] All the good women.

CM - [laughs] Listen, I gotta go. The Old Ones are whispering that, uh, you want to be alone.

DM - You're welcome to stay.

CM - Goodbye, Tessa.

Tessa - Will I...?

CM - I hope so. Duncan...

DM - Connor. [CM leaves.]

Tessa - You didn't say goodbye?

DM - Never do.

 

End of "The Gathering"

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