Richard Dean Anderson returns to series television in LEGEND, a lighthearted action-packed western adventure series set in the closing decades of the 19th century. Produced by T.L. Productions and Gekko Film Corp, and distributed by Paramount Network Television for UPN, LEGEND is the first series from executive producer Michael Piller since he co-created UPN's new hit series, Star Trek: Voyager, which broke ratings records when it helped launch the new network on January 16, 1995. LEGEND will premiere on Tuesday, April 18, with a two-hour special -- 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on UPN. The series will air in its regular time slot on Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning April 25.
Anderson stars as Ernest Pratt, a gambling, womanizing, hard-drinking writer who has created a dashing literary hero, Nicodemus Legend, the main character in a wildly imaginative series of dime novels set in the dangerous, untamed West. Pratt has created Legend in his own image, and all the novels are written in the first person. Because of this, many readers believe that Ernest Pratt is Nicodemus Legend. The irony is that while Pratt himself is something of a lost soul, he has created in Nicodemus Legend a romantic hero who embodies all the optimism and creative spirit of America in the 1870s.
In the premiere episode, Pratt learns that someone has been impersonating his literary creation, Nicodemus Legend. A warrant has been issued in Sheridan, Colorado for Legend's arrest on charges of malicious mischief, theft of water rights, and disturbing livestock. Noting that, "I am not, nor will I ever be, a man who disturbs livestock," Pratt travels to Sheridan to clear the name of his hero. In Sheridan, he meets the eccentric European scientist and inventer, Janos Bartok (portrayed by series co-star John de Lancie). Bartok is a great admirer of Pratt's clever Western tales, and has taken the liberty of "borrowing" the Legend persona in order to help the townspeople of Sheridan.
Pratt is cornered by the awkward situation and by Bartok's persistent efforts to convince him that he must take on Legend's identity. Bartok tells Pratt, "Your celebrity has the power to give our enemies pause. My science can increase that reputation. And together, we will create the real Legend." Pratt reluctantly agrees to assume the persona of his literay creation, Nicodemus Legend, and to live out the image he has created of an adventurous man dedicated to justice and science.
John de Lancie (the memorable nemesis "Q" in Star Trek: The Next Generation) co-stars as the Hungarian scientist and creative genius, Janos Bartok. Also co-starring is newcomer Mark Adair Rios as Huitzilopochtli Ramos, Bartok's brilliant yooung associate scientist who is descended from Aztec kings. Bob Balaban (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) portrays Harry Parver, the representative of Pratt's Eastern publishing company. Guest stars in the premiere, Birth of a Legend, include Stephanie Beacham as a ruthless land owner, and Tim Thomerson as a burnedout gunfighter.
Future episodes of LEGEND will feature many of the outlandish inventions which Bartok creates in his laboratory. Most of these inventions spring from Bartok's own visionary mind, a few are inspired by Pratt's novels, but they are all fascinating and many are well ahead of their time. LEGEND's audience will be treated to such creations as the first All-Terrain Vehicle, which Bartok has named the "Bartok Steam-Powered Town and Country Quadrovelocipede" (and which Pratt calls simply a "Land Rover"). Electro-fulminators (lightning bolt-transmitters) and a fully functioning pair of wings which enable Legend to reach normally inacessible places are just a few of the wonderful and useful inventions of Bartok.
The executive producers of LEGEND have combined experience in virtually all the television formats: half-hour comedies, one-hour detective stories, science fiction, and dramatic television movies. In addition to his current duties as the creator and executive producer of Star Trek: Voyager, Michael Piller also created and executive produced Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was executive producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Bill Dial's experience as a writer and producer includes Simon and Simon, and both the network and syndicated versions of WKRP in Cincinnati. Along with his six seasons as a producer on the ABC series MacGyver, Michael Greenburg has produced mini-series, television movies and feature films. Greenburg and Anderson formed Gekko Film Corp which has produced two MacGyver television movies. All this producing experience is invaluable on LEGEND, a show which combines action sequences with special effects, stunts, historic characters and setting, and high-tech optical effects, not to mention Richard Dean Anderson's previously untapped comedic talent.
Air Schedule & Synopsis information
Q & A With Richard Dean Anderson
Promo Run #1
Promo Run #2
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