Thursday, February 5, 2009

Review: Poltergeist - The Legacy (1996-1999)

“Since the beginning of time, mankind has existed between the World of Light and the World of Darkness. Our secret society has been here forever, protecting others from the creatures who inhabit the shadows and the night. Know only to the initiated by our true name,…The Legacy.”

Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996-1999) was a Canadian/American horror television series that premiered on Showtime (seasons 1-3) and the Sci-Fi Channel (season 4). It spanned four seasons with a total of 88 episodes. Each episode was 60 minutes long.

The show chronicled the cases of a secret society called the Legacy whose origins dated back to the 6th century in medieval England. Their mission was to collect dangerous and ancient artifacts, solve paranormal problems, and protect humanity from supernatural evils. As centuries passed, the Legacy expanded around the world and established branches ("houses") staffed by small teams of paranormal specialists. This series primarily focused on the San Francisco branch.

Dr. Derek Rayne was the precept (head ruler) of the San Francisco house, a castle-like mansion on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. The other house members are ex-navy Seal Nick Boyle, researcher/psychic Alex Moreau, researcher/security Julia Walker, and priest Philip Callahan. Together, they investigated supernatural cases and tried to defend the world against evil and darkness. After the death of one of the members, psychiatrist Rachel Corrigan and her daughter, Kat, joined the Legacy.

The show was originally supposed to be a spin-off of the popular Poltergeist movie trilogy. I remembered watching this series on Showtime and I definitely became hooked. The Outer Limits (produced by the same creators of Poltergeist: The Legacy) was also in syndication during this time so there was audience of paranormal fans. I thought this series held a lot of potential because the storyline was clear, the character development was great, and the cases became more dangerous and complex. It seems there is a stronger fan base and demand for paranormal shows in the Canadian television market than the American television market. Luckily, Supernatural continues to bring high ratings.

If you have never had the chance to watch this series, I highly recommend it. This one is worth buying for your horror collection. The first season has already been released on DVD. It is unknown when the remaining three seasons will be distributed. I have included the opening scene of the series below.

Opening Scene (Season 1)

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