Season 1 Episode 1

Birth of a Legend

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 18, 1995 on UPN
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Birth of a Legend

In the late 1800s, writer Ernest Pratt has created a dashing literary hero, Nicodemus Legend, as the main character in his series of dime novels, set in the untamed West. Unfortunately, people in the town of Sheridan, Colorado, end up confusing the gambling, womanizing, drink-loving, writer with his own literary creation. With the help of his new friends, Bartok, an inventor and his assistant, Ramos, a brilliant scientist who is a descendant of Aztec royalty, will Pratt be forced to assume the persona of Nicodemus Legend?


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  • Richard Dean Anderson, wild west and comedy? Yes, please! (spoilers)

    I have just watched the first episode of "Legend" (after 7 seasons of "MacGyver" and 10 seasons of "Stargate SG-1") and I'm so surprised!

    First of all - it's great! We meet Ernest Pratt - a nineteenth century novelist living in San Francisco, who likes to drink. He created Nicodemus Legend - a superhero of the Wild West, and a main protagonist of Pratt's succesful series of books. Unfortunately, his last book wasn't so well-recieved and Pratt has some problems with his publisher.

    Later, Pratt learns that someone in Colorado is impersonating Nicodemus Legend and everybody thinks that it's Pratt. So, Pratt goes to Colorado, where he learns that "Nicodemus Legend" moved the river in order to help some poor villagers. He also learns that it's really professor Bartok, who moved the river using ultra sounds with one of his many inventions.

    To make a long story short - Pratt have to assume Legend's persona to save himself as well as the villagers.

    Great acting, a lot of humor, great idea! And it only lasted for 9 episodes, can't believe it...moreless
Douglas Rowe

Douglas Rowe

Sheriff Sam Moats

Guest Star

Katherine Moffat

Katherine Moffat

Katherine Sullivan

Guest Star

Tim Thomerson

Tim Thomerson

John Wesley Coe

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Pratt: I never eat on an empty stomach.

      Chinese man: (to Pratt, speaking Chinese)
      Pratt: Yes, I am taller in real life.
      Chinese man's son: My father says he's looking forward to your performance.

      Pratt: I just can't assume the identity of Nicodemus Legend!
      Professor Bartok: Why not?
      Pratt: Because, we're nothing alike. He leaps wide canyons, runs like a deer, swims like a spawning salmon. Except for the spawning part I can't do anything of that.

    • Pratt: I am not, nor will I ever be, a man who disturbs livestock!

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode aired as a 2-hour premiere.

    • This was the first television series in which Richard Dean Anderson was able to display his comedic talent.

    • CREDITS:

      Peter Schrum is credited as Pete Schrum
      Bob Sorenson is credited as Bob Sorrenson

    • Other Crew:

      A: Visual Effects by
      Adam Buckner .... visual effects coordinator
      Adam Howard .... visual effects animator
      Richard Kidd .... digital artist
      Tom Raycove .... digital compositor
      Thomas Schelesny .... computer graphic artist
      Mitch Suskin .... visual effects supervisor

      B: Others
      Mark Braun .... first assistant camera: second unit
      Robin Bursey .... accounting assistant
      Ray Daniels III .... assistant editor
      Glen Holland .... set electrician
      Joel Jaspan .... dolly grip
      Jay Kemp .... best boy electric
      Jay Kemp .... gaffer: second unit
      Antonia King .... assistant to producers
      Marc Margulies .... first assistant camera
      Karen Mattingly .... script supervisor
      Randy Paik .... steadicam first assistant camera
      Richard Rodono .... assistant editor
      Larissa Supplitt .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
      Robert Van Apeldoorn .... transportation
      Douglas Arnold .... grip (uncredited)
      Mark R. Leins .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)


    • Photo of Tesla
      The scene where Legend meets Bartok for the same time is a recreation of a famous photo of Nicola Tesla's laboratory, with a man sitting behind Tesla Coils.

    • Nicola Tesla
      It is quite obvious that Bartok is a reference to the brilliant physicist, engineer and inventor, Nicola Tesla. Tesla was an Eastern European and his expertise was in electricity and magnetism. There are more similarities: Tesla actually worked under Thomas Edison and like the fictional Bartok, he was basically taken advantage of by Edison. A famous Tesla invention, the Tesla Coil, is similar to the lightning rods that Bartok has all over his lab.