"Dramatic License"


Adrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod)
Stan Kirsch (Richie Ryan)
Jim Byrnes as Joe Dawson


Elizabeth Gracen
Alastair Duncan (Terence Coventry)
Sandra Bernhard as Carolyn Marsh

Written by Michael O'Mahony and Sasha Reins
Directed by Peter Ellis
Production No. 96505-93
Full Credits

Table of Contents:

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An idyllic forest setting, filled with mist and green leaves. A harp plays as the scene moves to show Duncan MacLeod sitting in a gazebo, a white rose in his hand. He's wearing a flowing white shirt and kilt, and he stares in front of him, dreamily quoting love poetry, holding the rose to his nose. He starts up as he hears a scream, and a moment later Roxanne runs up to him.

Duncan: "What is wrong, fair lass?"

Roxanne begs him to save her from a monster, Conventry, and Duncan vows to protect her. They are soon interrupted by Terrence Coventry himsefl, a rather grubby man with a bruised and dirty face. He accuses Duncan of stealing Roxanne away from him. Duncan is intent on championing the lady, and he and Terrence begin to fight. The dialogue is very dramatic, and the fight is hopelessly theatrical, with behind-the-back parries, fancy wrist-work, and much leaping in and around the gazebo. At one point Duncan even sits down in a chair and parries Terrence's blows from there. He then stands on the chair and does that trick of standing on the back and letting it fall. He tosses his sword in the air, grabs a handy vine and swings away from Terrence onto a rock, does a backflip over Terrence's head, lands, and catches his sword as it comes down. But Terrence eventually manages to take Roxanne hostage, and demands that Duncan drop his sword. Duncan does so, and we then hear the voice of Carolyn Marsh narrating over the scene.

Carolyn: "Roxanne hoped that the stranger would somehow save her, but with the brutish Coventry's blade at her throat, all soon was lost. Then suddenly..."

A purple mist swirls over the scene, and we cut to a bookstore, where copies of a romance novel are on display in a window. We hear Amanda saying impatiently, "And...?" She's in an audience of women, listening to Carolyn Marsh as she reads from her novel, Blade of the MacLeods. But Carolyn tells her that she'll just "have to buy the book." Leave with Amanda standing next to a life-sized cutout of the book's cover, the hero on which bears a striking resemblence to Duncan . . .

Act One Back to Top

Duncan is in the loft, trying to fix the kitchen sink. Amanda comes in, laden with shopping bags, complaining that she's maxed out all her credit cards.

Duncan: "Everything except your library card."

Amanda: "Speaking of books . . . "

She pulls out a copy of Blade of the MacLeods and begins to read to him, describing "the dark eyes," the "muscles as hard as the highland hills that formed them", the "mane of flowing hair . . ."

Duncan: "Must be Fabio."

Amanda reads further as Duncan continues to fiddle with the sink, talking about "this barbarian, this smoky-eyed Scot." Duncan reaches for the faucet to test the sink. "This Duncan MacLeod." The water starts spewing everywhere as Duncan sputters, "What?!"

Cut to Terrence, slouched on his sofa, reading about the "conniving swine" Coventry.

Terrence slaps the book shut and bellows: "Gerald!"

When the servant appears, he orders him to find out who edited "this miserable piece of dreck" and to find him the author. "You're going to pay," he mutters, ripping the author's picture from the back cover and tearing it to pieces.

Cut to Amanda and Duncan in the dojo, Duncan reading Blade of the MacLeods in horror as he and Amanda go into his office. Amanda says she thought he might have written it, except that she met the author. Duncan denies even knowing her, saying that he'd never tell a mortal all about his life.

Amanda: "You have before."

Duncan: "Yeah, but not some romance novelist."

Starts reading from the book, about the heroine's breath coming in labored gasps "as he crushed his lips to hers. Her hands reached for his kilt, where they found his..." Duncan's voice trails off, and he starts grinning. Amanda snatches the book from him.

Amanda: "I didn't read that!" Reads and grins. "Oh, so it's a little purple...the prose, I mean."

Duncan grabs the book back and slaps it down on the desk, complaining that that wasn't even close to what happened . . .

Flashback England, 1786 Back to Top

Duncan voiceover: "I'd been riding so long I was starting to smell like my horse."

A woman comes running out of the trees (past the gazebo that was the setting for the teaser! :)), crying for help. She goes up to Duncan, who seems appreciative of the way she clings to him. He asks what the problem is, and she points out Terrence as he rides up. Duncan gets an "oh, no, not again," look on his face as he gets the buzz from Terrence, but listens as the woman explains that Terrence tried to take advantage of her.

Duncan (leering): "It's a little late for that, is it not?"

Nevertheless, when Terrence approaches Duncan tells him that the "um, lady" is under his protection. Terrence says that the affair is between him and the woman, but Duncan refuses to abandon her. Terrence draws his sword, and Duncan wearily follows suit.

Duncan: "I do not wish to fight you, but I will to protect what's left of the lady's honor."

The woman leads the horse away from the fight as they begin. Terrence tells Duncan that he's been duped, that she's "nothing but a common thief, a barmaid who stole my purse."

Duncan: "Where's your proof?"

Terrence, parrying and turning the parry into a gesture with his sword: "There."

Duncan turns to see the woman getting on his horse and riding off.

Terrence: "See how chivalry is rewarded?" As he collects his own horse, he adds to Duncan that "I'd buy you an ale to drown your sorrows, but she stole every penny I had."

Duncan: "At least you have a horse." He goes on to say that if Terrence will give him a ride to the next town, "I'll buy the ale. We can discuss the death of chivalry."

They ride off together.

Present Day Back to Top

Carolyn walks into the dojo, much to Amanda's disgust. She and Duncan go out, and Carolyn looks him over.

Carolyn: "Just tell me you're Duncan MacLeod."

Duncan: "Okay, I'm Duncan MacLeod."

She puts her hands on his chest, saying he's perfect, just perfect. Amanda is looking on, and Carolyn wrinkles her nose, saying that "something smells funny."

Amanda: "it's probably lust."

She tells Duncan who Carolyn is. Carolyn pretends not to remember her, and tells Duncan they have a lot to discuss, and that it would be "so much easier to do it over a drink." She starts to walk away, tugging Duncan by the arm. Amanda grabs the other arm and hauls back, suggesting that they "all just sit and talk." A brief tug of war ensues, but they all three end up leaving together.

Duncan: "Please, ladies. I can walk . . ."

They go to Joe's (no Joe in this ep, though :( ). Duncan tells Carolyn that her books are "quite imaginative." Carolyn says she got her idea because "Duncan MacLeod is real," that for 400 years the name has been popping up in legends all over the world, always the hero, protecting the weak. She says she finally decided that the legend existed because "man needs heroes."

Amanda, relieved: "So you don't think this guy actually exists."

Carolyn: "Are you nuts? He'd have to be immortal."

Duncan and Amanda laugh feebly. Carolyn explains her plan to write a series of books, all set in different time periods, but that to make the gimmick work she needs "today's Duncan MacLeod. That's where you come in."

Duncan smiles: "That's where I get out."

Gets up. Carolyn tries to persuade him, saying that if he won't cooperate maybe she needs to do a little research on him, find out more about him. Duncan asks what it will take to get her off his back, and she says she wants him to come to a party her publisher is having. Duncan agrees to do "one party, one time. No publicity, no press, no pictures. That's the deal."

At the party. Duncan is surrounded by women, trying to extricate himself from their attentions. He finally succeeds, and finds Amanda. She accuses him of secretly enjoying all the attention, and he tells her not to be ridiculous, even as his head turns to watch a pair of young ladies walk by . . .

Duncan: "But I guess I'll have to live with it."

Meanwhile, Carolyn and her publicist, Tim, are discussing Duncan.

Carolyn: "He's a gold mine."

Tim: "Oh, he's gorgeous that's what he is." (Almost in tears, now) "Cameron (?) is going to love him."

Carolyn: "He's coming over."

Tim: "Be still, my beating heart."

Tim is introduced to Duncan, and Amanda takes the chance to ask Carolyn if she uncovered any "archtypal women" in her research on Duncan. Carolyn says there was just one, in Turkey. Amanda looks pleased.

Carolyn: "But she was just a cheap whore and a thief."

Duncan chokes on his champagne. Amanda is looking daggers, but she's distracted as they sense another immortal. Duncan and Amanda excuse themselves and go outside, where they run into Terrence.

Duncan, swaggering just a bit (no, honest! :)): Are you here for me?

Terrence, crushingly: "Don't flatter yourself. No, I'm here for her."

Looks at Carolyn.

Act Two Back to Top

Picks up where Act one left off. Duncan says he should be the one with the complaint, since it's his name on the cover.

Terrence: "I'm the pig with the mole on my face. A hairy mole. Do you see a mole?!" Goes to Duncan. "Do I dress like a pig?"

Duncan says not to worry, the book will be forgotten in a few months. Terrence says that easy for him, he's not portrayed as a spineless coward.

Amanda: "You think that's bad. She called me a cheap whore and a thief!"

Terrence looks at Duncan, who shrugs.

Amanda, glaring: "I was never cheap."

Duncan says that whatever she's done, they can't kill a defenseless mortal.

Amanda: "Says who?"

Realizing he's outnumbered, Duncan scuttles inside, leaving Terrence and Amanda to discuss Carolyn's future, which if they have any say will include breaking her writing arm, poison, big rocks, or, as Amanda suggests, "a stake through the heart."

Duncan finds Carolyn inside and persuades her to leave with him. Terrence tries to pursue, but Duncan thwarts him by pointing him out to the security guards as a man who tried to steal his wallet. While they frisk him, Duncan makes good his retreat.

At the dojo, Carolyn is explaining how Duncan is "every woman's sexual fantasy."

Duncan: "I'd really love to meet him."

Duncan asks her what she's learned.

Carolyn: "When he turns up, he's a chieftain's son, raised to lead a highland clan"

("Bonny Portmore" starts playing). Scenes from "Homeland" start showing, with Carolyn narrating as she describes his tragic love for Debra Campbell, and the death of Duncan's cousin over her.

Carolyn: "He killed his own cousin, the boy he'd grown up with."

Fade back to Duncan's face, looking pained but holding it in (very sad! :~().

Carolyn: "It wasn't to be. The tragic part is, she died anyway."

Fade back to the scene of Debra's own death.

Carolyn: "All the love in his heart couldn't save her."

Scene of Duncan riding away.

Carolyn: "They say he's wandered the world ever since," Carolyn finishes as we fade back to Duncan. He smiles tightly.

Duncan: "Yeah,"

He walks away. Carolyn grabs him and pushes him down on the couch, babbling about the pain he must have suffered. "I would do anything for that man!" she says, throwing herself on top of him and kissing him, Duncan waving his hands ineffectually in the air. This is the scene that greets Amanda's eyes as she comes up the elevator.

Amanda: "Well, yippee-ki-yay. The rodeo's in town."

Carolyn: "Didn't you ever learn to knock?"

Amanda: "Oh, you'd be surprised what I've learnt. Want me to show you?"

Duncan tries to explain that this isn't what she thinks, but Amanda isn't buying any. She tells Duncan she needs $30 for the cab from the party, and Duncan leaves to pay it, telling her, "Don't...just don't." He goes downstairs and pays off the cabbie, then who should enter but Terrence, staggering unsteadily into the dojo. He demands to know where Carolyn is, and accuses Duncan of sleeping with her. Duncan denies it, but Terrence starts quoting from the book.

Terrence: "'As Duncan's lips crushed her to him, her hands went to his...britches--'"

Duncan: "Kilt."

Terrence stares a moment: "Bastard!"

Turns away, then hauls off and punches Duncan, so drunk he spins completely around afterward. He straightens himself up with dignity and says, "Don't get between us again," before weaving gently away. Duncan runs back up (the elevator is gone) and finds that Carolyn has just left (on the elevator), so he runs back down to intercept her. He tries to persuade Carolyn to stay, then senses Terrence again and hustles her out the back door as Terrence begins calling for her. Duncan starts doing pushups, and is hard at them when Terrence staggers into the dojo again. Duncan sits up, breathing hard legitimately now, and tells Terrence she isn't there and to go home. Terrence sits on the bench next to him, saying he won't forget this, then passes into a drunken slumber on Duncan's shoulder. Duncan pushes him off, and flees.

Act Three Back to Top

Amanda and Duncan are in bed, Duncan asleep while Amanda reads Blade of the MacLeods. As she reads, she begins to imagine that she is the heroine . . .

Fade to a candlelit, silk-hung bedroom, where Amanda (with "silken blond tresses") is lying in a tangle of bedclothes with Duncan. "Tell me," she gasps, "Am I just another conquest for you?"

Duncan swears that "no woman could ever match you."

Amanda: "Then take me."

The "Hallelujah Chorus" begins to play (wonderful! :)) as they wrestle on the bed, throwing themselves on each other with theatrical gasps and moans, until finally Duncan roars, shaking his head wildly, then collapses on her . . .

. . . as Amanda is distracted from her musings by the real Duncan's snores. She glares, then shuts the book and leans over, trailing a finger down his shoulder.

Amanda: "Duncan?"

He keeps on snoring. She pinches his nose to make him stop, and he bats her hand away grumpily, not even waking up. Disgusted, Amanda picks up the book again . . .

The next morning, Duncan shows up at the bookstore where Carolyn and Tim wait. He tells Carolyn they have to talk, and starts pressing her about Terrence. She finally admits that "we were an item," but says not anymore.

Duncan: "Oh, so you made him the villian in your book just to get back at him."

Carolyn says she doesn't want to talk about it, that she doesn't need advice from a "cover model." She asks Duncan if he's going to do the publicity gig or not.

Duncan, smiling: "Not."

Tim: "Well, who's going to wear the kilt?"

Duncan turning and spreading his arms dramatically: "Mel Gibson."

At Joe's, Duncan and Amanda are finishing lunch. Duncan is explaining that he went to try to stop Carolyn from doing this to Terrence, and to him.

Amanda: "What? Making you a hero? That's a problem?"

Duncan: "She tried to get me to wear a kilt."

Amanda, interested: "Really? I--I like you in a kilt. You've got nice legs."

But Duncan says he through with it.

At the book signing, Carolyn is busily autographing, then Terrence turns up as the next in line.

Carolyn: "In case you haven't noticed, I'm busy."

Terrence: "I know, sticking knives in my back."

Carolyn: "I have a right to make a living."

Terrence: "Not like this. You can't do this to me." Turns abruptly to the others in line and demands, "Do you see a mole?!"

Carolyn grabs the book and opens it.

Carolyn: "Here let me write something. 'Dear Terrence, Screw you.'"

She tells him to take a hike, but instead he throws her over his shoulder and leaves, to the applause of the spectators.

Back at Joe's, the waiter brings Duncan's credit card and the bill for him to sign. As he does so, Amanda asks, "Now, if you thought Terence was that mad, why did you leave?"

Duncan: "Well, she made me mad. And it was turning into a circus."

Amanda: "Riight. So, she pisses you off, and you leave her to the wolves." She goes on to wonder what the "real" Duncan would have done.

Duncan: "I am the real Duncan MacLeod."

Amanda brushes it off, saying it really wouldn't bother her if Terrence did kill Carolyn. Duncan looks pained, and we hear an echo of Terrence's voice, saying "I'm here for her..."

Duncan groans, "Aw, no," and leaves.

Amanda calls after him, then spies his credit card still lying on the table.

Amanda: "I think when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping."

She leaves.

Duncan goes to the bookstore and finds out what happened from Tim, who's nearly sobbing.

Tim: "It was incredibly romantic!"

Duncan finds out that it was Terrence who took Carolyn, and leaves.

Act Four Back to Top

Terrence and Carolyn are walking through a park, arguing about the book. Terrence asks why she's doing it, and Carolyn says they should just call it quits. She accuses Terrence of only being interested in the book, and he responds by inviting her to dinner.

Carolyn: "What, so your servants can hold me down and you put a knife through my heart?"

Terrence swears it will be just the two of them, that he'll cook.

Carolyn: "All by yourself? And then we'll sit around for the next five hours while you tell me what a hero you've been?"

Terrence: "You talk. I'll listen." He begs her to say yes.

Carolyn: "Maybe."

In a clothing shop, Amanda is trying on a diaphanous, flowing white dress (Just an observation, but personally I agree with the folks over on alt.tv.highlander who say that the thing is hideous. Blech!). As she's admiring herself in the mirror, Carolyn emerges from the dressing room, wearing the exact same dress. Carolyn recovers first.

Carolyn: "I think Duncan will like this, don't you?"

Amanda: "I think he'll love it. On me."

They snipe a little more, and Amanda finally suggests that Carolyn forget Duncan, telling her she's "way out of your league. He and I go back a long way."

Carolyn: "And to think I wasn't going to bring age into this."

Amanda: "Listen, you garden-variety slug. You think you're going to turn MacLeod into your fantasy lover, with you as the damsel in distress? Get real. Just look at you. You're not even close. You never will be."

Carolyn: "How dare you!" Bursts into tears and runs into the dressing room.

Amanda is pleased at first, but a few seconds later she begins to feel bad. She goes to Carolyn and persuades her to come out, wiping at her eyes with the hem of the dress. The saleslady gulps.

Saleslady: "That's a $5,000 dress."

Amanda looks at the dress in shock, then recovers.

Amanda: "Put it in on my card." She departs with Carolyn.

Carolyn and Amanda take a walk, and bit by bit Amanda drags the story out of her. Carolyn admits that there's a man, but she swears that she hates him. She says Amanda was right, that she's out of her league. Amanda says there must be plenty of guys that would love to be book covers for Carolyn Marsh.

Carolyn: "Carol Ann Marshak. From Newark, NJ. Carolyn Marsh is the kind of name publishers like, because it's classy and elegant, like you."

Amanda says she had her fooled, and Carolyn retorts sure, "if I lived a few hundred years like you I could get it right." It turns out that Terrence told her all about immortals, and all the stories that she put into her book. She met him and fell in love with him, but when he told her about his immortality, she realized that he'd lived "with princesses and queens" and that he would live forever. "And me, I'm just going to get old and fat." So, she left him first, and wrote the book because she wanted to hurt him, to make him angry.

Amanda: "Well congratulations, it worked. If he doesn't kill you he's gonna . . ."

Stops as she realizes where Duncan has gone . . .

Duncan goes to Terrence's house, and finds him in the kitchen, busily ruining dinner. He asks where Carolyn is, and Terrence tells him she's on her way. He starts spicing the pot he's been tasting, picking up the salt and starting to measure a teaspoon as Duncan says he won't leave Carolyn alone with him.

Terrence (turning and still letting the salt pour over the spoon and into the pot): "Always the hero. Sounds like you're starting to believe your own publicity. What are you planning to do, be the lady's champion on a white charger?"

Duncan pokes him with the turkey leg he's tasting: "If I have to." Looks at the leg, which is a bit charred. "Not a very good cook are you?"

Terrence: "How dare you, sir!" Picks up a wooden spoon and strikes an en garde pose.

Duncan: "Are you nuts?" Duncan strikes the spoon aside with the turkey leg. They fence thusly through the house into the entryway, where Duncan tosses the leg at Terrence, who ducks.

Terrence: "Missed!" he crows.

Duncan whips out his sword and whacks off the spoon: "No, I didn't."

Terrence tosses the spoon aside and takes off his apron, grabbing his sword from the umbrella stand. They begin to fence, chasing each other around the foyer (with its handy table with three candles on it, which are needless to say sliced neatly in two during the course of the battle! ;)). As they engage again, they sense another immortal, and both men turn their parries into neat circles which put their swords behind their backs as Carolyn and Amanda come in.

Duncan: "Ah, Carolyn, we were just..."

Carolyn: "...fighting over me? How romantic!"

Duncan: "No."

Terrence: "Yes!"

Duncan: "Yes?" They begin to fight again.

Terrence: "You won't have her."

Duncan: "I don't want her!"

Terrence: "Then why are you here?"

Duncan: "I'm trying to keep her away from you."

Terrence stabs at him, misses and pierces a chair, which Duncan tips over, sending him to the floor still hanging onto the hilt.

Terrence: "What kind of hero are you! Coming between a man and his wife."

Duncan: "She's your wife?!"

Terrence: "Like you didn't know."

Duncan: "I didn't!"

Amanda: "He didn't!"

Terrence: "You didn't?"

Carolyn: "He didn't!"

Duncan: "I wouldn't!"

Duncan jumps up as Terrence slashes, lands in the chair and parries from there as Terrence jumps on the coffee table in his stead. Duncan cuts at his feet, Terrence jumps, Duncan pushes the table from under him. "So why did you leave me?" Terrence demands of Carolyn as he continues to fight.

Amanda: "Because she loves you, you big dope!"

Terrence and Duncan: "What?!"

Carolyn says it's true, and Duncan says "I give up," in disgust. Amanda tells Terrence he swept her off her feet, that Carolyn felt that he was too good to be true. With Amanda as a wistful spectator, Terrence speaks to Carolyn.

Terrence: "Those stories I told . . . I told them to you because I trusted you, because I wanted you to know me. Those people, those places, they were my life. But you, you are my life."

Carolyn: "Oh, Terrence."

She kisses him and they sink down to the floor.

Duncan: "Let's get out of here before this gets embarassing."

Amanda: "Why can't you be more like this?"

Duncan: "Because I'd get arrested. That's a nice dress. Where'd you get that?"

Amanda: "I, uh, charged it."

Duncan, getting suspicious: "On what, your library card? Amanda..." Chases her outside.

Duncan and Amanda go walking along the lakeshore, talking ("Bonny Portmore" playing in the bkground). Amanda tells him he will always be "a big Boy Scout."

Duncan: "That's why you love me." Kisses her.

Amanda: "So, do we love each other?"

Duncan starts walking again: "In our own way."

Amanda: "And what way is that?"

Duncan: "Amanda, you know this conversation never turns out well."

Amanda asks what doesn't turn out well, and Duncan says when they "try to dissect what we are."

Amanda: "You sound just like a man."

Duncan: "I am a man."

Duncan gets her to sit down with him. He says what they have is very special, it's just not mortal love. He asks her how long she could see them spending together, every hour, every day.

Amanda: "What, you mean until one of us kills the other."

Duncan: "Exactly my point."

Amanda gets up: "All a girl wants is a little romance, to be swept off her feet every now and then."

Duncan gets up and rushes over, catching her up in his arms.

Duncan: "I do love you, Amanda."

Tag Back to Top

Amanda is reading Blade of the MacLeods, as she reads Duncan is following along with the prose in his own way...;)

Amanda, reading: "'His hands caressed the nape of her neck, hands that had killed, hands that could wield the mightiest sword, yet now they were at her service, gentle, strong hands, tracing the delicate line of her hair, down her throat, gently slipping her gown from one creamy shoulder. Her breath quickened as his mouth approached the newly bared flesh.'"

Duncan: "Put the book down."

Amanda: "But it's just getting good."

Duncan: "I can do better..."

They sink down onto the bed as the camera pans to the book, and the "Hallelujah Chorus" plays a few notes before we fade to credits.

(I'm just going to give up apologizing for these things being long. Brevity just doesn't seem to be my style...;))

Until "Money No Object"...


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Disclaimer: All the dialogue, characters, situations, and darn near everything else belong to a bunch of fine and talented folks at Rysher Entertainment and Panzer/Davis, and in particular the dialogue belongs to the credited writer of this episode. Me, I just wrote the rest down in my own words, which belong to me, but the episode itself was made by the aforementioned people and is owned by them. This humble synopsis isn't meant to infringe on their rights, and I'm sure as heck not making any money from doing these.

Everything not belonging to Rysher, et al, ©Copyright 1997 by Jinjifore

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Last Rev: H71 [ 1 Jul 97 ]