I loved this show. I loved the hero that didn't want to be a hero. The goofy town that couldn't see that he wasn't the perfect Nicodemus Legend. I loved that they paid homage to one of the greatest scientific minds ever through Johann Bartok. True most people probably didn't notice but hey the ones that did appreciated it. The show was fun, exciting, and at times touching. The characters were likable, the plots interesting. I thought it the best way to bring a western to modern television. It's a crying shame it got canceled. I'd watch it if it came back. At this point though, I'd settle for some DVDs.
MacGyver meets Brisco County Jr., Legend features Ernest Pratt, writer of the dime-novel series Nicodimas Legend, who meets a Hungarian scientist who has invented the creations he's imagined, and becomes the hero he writes about.
I saw John DeLancie (Jannos Bartoc) speak shortly after the cancelation of 'Legend', and I think he summed it up best. Legend was 'too good a show for the network it was on'. Legend debuted with a handfull of other shows when KCOP became UPN. If you remember any of those other shows, (and chances are you don't) you'll recall 'Marker', 'the Watcher', 'Platupus man', and other such 'classics' (and I say that sarcastically) lasted nearly as long as Legend did. Sadly, Legend had no place among that garbage, but was discarded as such, on a fledgling network that couldn't have marketed 'Seinfeld'. Legend tells the story of a reluctant hero, a dime novelist who gets roped into portraying the very hero he created. The style which this 'Nicodimas Legend' performs his heroism is through the latest technological advances, combining the Western Style with an almost Sci/Fi mentality. The genius of Legend is really 3-fold. The first part is the concept. Taking the old west and introducing technology to it gives it a new spin and makes the nearly extinct art form of the Western fresh and new. This has been done before, however, both with 'Wild Wild West' and 'Brisco County Jr.' For my tastes, Legend does this 'sci-fi/western' genre better because it doesn't go as far out there as, say, Brisco did, with motorcycles, magic orbs, and jet cars in the old west. Using electricity and steam to create these modern miracles is much more believable. The second part of Legends brilliance was in the writing. Writers from Star Trek, as well as Richard Dean Anderson, combined to bring a not only witty, but also engaging story to life. You care about the characters, and are certainly never bored. Emmy award material? Perhaps not, but certainly cult status. The third part that made Legend so good was the performance of the actors. Richard Dean Anderson was awesome, the same wise-cracking, sarcastic doubter than people came to love in StarGate SG1. John DeLancie is everything Star Trek fans come to know and love from Q, but instead of the comic, plays the straight man for a change (well, as close as he can get). In the end, Legend was a show that suffered not only from the time it came out, but also the network. A network that can't market itself and surrounds it's quality shows with garbage is destined to fail, and fail it did. Sadly, Legend had to be one of the shows in it's path. I sincerly hope a DVD comes out for this show, so it could perhaps achieve that 'cult' status, instead of fading into history.
This underappreciated show was set in the mold of the "Adventures of Brisco County, Jr; mostly in the stock characters of reluctant, but quirky hero; sexy damsels who are capable of saving themselves; and an eccentric cast of side kicks.
This show has the brilliant (most people just think he's crazy), Professor Janos Bartok, who is part inventor, part P.T. Barnum, who cooks up grand schemes to remake Pratt into an American hero.
It's harmless and amusing fun, which could have become quite a good show if UPN had given it half a chance, instead of the endless series of brainless teen comedies it churns out now.
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