Relic Hunter

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Relic Hunter
RelicHunterTitle.JPG
GenreMystery
Fantasy
Action
Adventure
Created byGil Grant
StarringTia Carrere
Christien Anholt
Lindy Booth
Tanja Reichert
Composer(s)Donald Quan
Country of originCanada/France Co-Production 1-2 series
Canada/United Kingdom Co-Production 3rd series
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes66 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jay Firestone
Adam Haight
Simon MacCorkindale
Running time43 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelfirst-run syndication (1999-2002)
Original runSeptember 20, 1999 – May 20, 2002
 
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Relic Hunter
RelicHunterTitle.JPG
GenreMystery
Fantasy
Action
Adventure
Created byGil Grant
StarringTia Carrere
Christien Anholt
Lindy Booth
Tanja Reichert
Composer(s)Donald Quan
Country of originCanada/France Co-Production 1-2 series
Canada/United Kingdom Co-Production 3rd series
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes66 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jay Firestone
Adam Haight
Simon MacCorkindale
Running time43 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelfirst-run syndication (1999-2002)
Original runSeptember 20, 1999 – May 20, 2002

Relic Hunter is an anglophone Canadian television series, starring Tia Carrere and Christien Anholt.[1] Actress Lindy Booth also starred for the first two seasons; Tanja Reichert replaced her for the third. It was inspired by the success of the video game Tomb Raider.

It centers around Sydney Fox who is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting "relic hunter", looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the descendants of the original owner. She is aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money. The series includes fantasy and science fiction elements, with many of the relics featured having genuine supernatural powers or being pieces of unusually advanced technology.

It ran for three seasons in the U.S. between 1999 and 2002 after fulfilling its initial three-season, 66-episode contract, from which it was not renewed. In both Ireland and the United Kingdom, it is aired on Sky1 and subsidiary channels, while in Canada, it is aired on CityTV and Space, CTV's sister network A-Channel and recently Showcase. The series was shot in the Toronto area, explaining Carrere's frequent attendance in courtside seats at Toronto Raptors games during the time.

Overview and themes[edit]

Relic Hunter follows the globe-trotting adventures of unorthodox American archaeologist Sydney Fox (Tia Carrere), and her more reserved British assistant Nigel Bailey (Christien Anholt). They are assisted at their "home base", a generic American university identified only as Trinity College, by ditzy student secretary Claudia (Lindy Booth), the spoiled and fashion-conscious daughter of one of the college's major donors. The character of Claudia was replaced in the third season by Karen Petrushky (Tanja Reichert), who is closer to the standard "sexy secretary" stereotype but with a facility for predicaments of a bureaucratic nature.

At the beginning of each episode, there is a short flashback in which a relic or artifact is used or abused in its original time before being lost, stolen or hidden. The show cuts to Trinity College in the present day, where Sydney and Nigel are asked to find the relic by some person or agency such as a museum, private collector (in disguise) or government. Most episodes feature the duo traveling around the globe, hunting for clues in order to find the artifact. Complications abound, often with rival relic hunters getting involved, generally giving Sydney a chance to show off her martial arts prowess. It is then up to Sydney and Nigel to seize the relic and ensure it ends up in the proper hands (such as the rightful owners or a suitable museum). Each episode ends with a scene at Trinity College explaining what has happened to the relic.

The plots in Relic Hunter usually take a grain of historical information and are dramatized in order to fit in with the story. There are, however, some historical errors on the show. For example, the episode "Devil Doll" mentioned Cuzco as an Aztec city but Cuzco was an Inca. Also "Gypsy Jigsaw" features some goofs: though the action takes place in Romania, the plate number of the taxi is not Romanian, the name of the places have no any resemblance with any Romanian place, and the Romanians in that episode talk with a rather Slavic accent than Romanian one. (Romanian is a Latin language and not a Slavic one.)

Nigel shows an artifact to Sydney.

Many episodes feature comic moments interlaced with the action. Sydney also knows how to hold her own in a fight and Carrere is often involved in many fights and stunts in the show. The show also exploits the sexual tension between Sydney and Nigel, including one episode in which they went undercover in a nudist colony. Sydney is also frequently seen wearing skimpy clothing, with lots of cleavage and tight-fitting shorts; this was a major aspect of the series.

Cast and characters[edit]

Relic Hunter featured four starring roles throughout its run. The two protagonists of the series, Sydney Fox and Nigel Bailey are the only characters to appear in all 66 episodes of the series.

There were also a number of recurring characters in the series, as listed below:

Relics featured in the series[edit]

The following table lists the relics featured in each episode, together with the time and location of the flashback sequence and any other locations used in the episode.

Episode titleRelicFlashback detailsOther locations
1Buddha's BowlBuddha's alms bowlNepal 523 BCHong Kong
2Smoking GunAl Capone's diamond-encrusted gunChicago 1930United States
3The Headless NunRemains of Sister EvangelineNova Scotia 17th centuryCanada
4Flag DayPioneer's Bear Flag of CaliforniaCalifornia 1846United States
5Thank You Very MuchLost guitar of Elvis PresleyGermany 1960Germany
6Diamond in the RoughMagical Glove of former baseball great Jimmy JonesboroFenway Park, Boston 1946United States
7TransformationParacelsus scrollsSalzburg, Austria 1946Peru
8Etched in StoneTreasure of legendary Viking Jann the BoldNorthumbrian Coast 935 ADSweden
9The Book of LoveCasanova's Book of LoveCasanova's Hideaway, Italy 1749Italy
10The Myth of the MazeMinotaur's MazeAthens 3000 BCGreece
11Irish Crown AffairLost crown of the last King of IrelandIreland 1000 ADDublin
12The Emperor's BrideCoffin of the bride of a Chinese EmperorHuang River, China 1000 BCAlaska
13Afterlife and DeathDiamond of Thutmose IIIEgypt 1425 BCAmsterdam
14Nine LivesStatue of the cat goddess MafdetEgypt 1895New York
15Affaire de CoeurRings that belonged to lovers, Callum and ElenaScotland 1430Scotland
16A Vanishing ArtScepter of the Kingdom of HungaryBudapest 1897Atlantic City
17A Good YearCrown jewels of FranceParis 1792France
18The Last KnightTemplar Grand Master's swordParis, circa 1300France
19Love LetterRecords proving a secret marriage on the eve of the French RevolutionVillage South of Paris 1789France
20PossessedZeus' sacred sundialLibya 14th centuryBrussels
21Nothing but the TruthRuby Chalice of TruthThe Barbary Coast 1534Paris
22Memories of MontmartreA tiara known as the Heart of EuropeMoulin Rouge 1930sFrance
23The Put BackIdol from the Temple of WootKuba, Africa 100 ADDemocratic Republic of the Congo
24Dagger of DeathDagger of KaliTemple of Kali, India 500 ADCalcutta and Kashmir
25Last of the MochicasVessel believed to contain the Great Warrior Spirit of the MochicasSouth America 662 ADPeruvian jungle
26The Legend of the LostThe Kai Nomata (lost tribe)Vanuatu Islands 4800 BCNew Guinea
27Fertile GroundIdol of LonoHawaii 1779Madagascar
28Gypsy JigsawCrown of the Romani peopleRomania 1830Bucharest, Romania
29Three Rivers to CrossJade EmpressThree Rivers, China 1245 ADHong Kong and Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan, China
30Roman HolidayCaesar's breastplateRome 44 BCItaly
31Cross of VoodooHaitian Cross of UtuHaiti, late 18th CenturyNew Orleans
32Lost ContactSacrificial bowlBurma 1824Myanmar
33The Reel ThingRelics of Egyptian Pharaoh Amun IIEgypt 1516 BCEngland
34M.I.A.Faberge eggSt. Petersburg, Russia 1886New York City, several clips from other episodes
35Out of the PastCleopatra's necklaceEgypt 30 BCAlexandria, Egypt
36Eyes of ToklamaneeEyes of ToklamaneeMississippi Valley 1605St Louis
37Run Sydney RunSword of AteasUral Steppes, 339 BCRussia
38French ConnectionProphecy of NostradamusChurch Of Cordiers Salon, 1600France
39Don't Go Into the WoodsGolden Falcon of MariborCarpathian Mountains 1711 ADLjubljana, Slovenia
40Midnight FlightRuby-encrusted scepter of Gunther the BraveGermania Circa 400 ADLuxembourg and Paris
41The Executioner's MaskExecutioner's MaskBourg, France 1789Paris
42The Royal RingRing of Anne BoleynTower of London 1536London, Leeds, Kent, England
43Set in StoneMagical sword of St. GabrielBalaton, Hungary 1595
44DeadlineFirst Christian Tau crossJerusalem 1099 ADParis
45Wages of SydneyChinese dragon's eggQuan Shu Fortress, Manchuria 1359New York, USA and Quan Shu, China
46Mr. RightBowl of ParvatiBali, Indonesia 1459 ADSingapore
47Sydney at TenEgyptian necklaceSt. Beatrice's School 20 years agoTurkey
48The Light of TruthLight of TruthArabia 843 ADMorocco
49Treasure IslandThe treasure of Treasure IslandThe Spanish Main 1790South Seas
50Star of NadirStar of NadirPalace of the Talibs, Endostan 1423
51Vampire's KissVampire ChaliceCzechoslovakia 1720 ADPrague, Czech Republic and Târgovişte, Romania
52Devil DollCursed Aztec Devil DollMeso-America 1488 ADCentral America
53IncognitoLancet which causes anyone cut with it to gain incredible strengthNew Guinea 1522 ADPapua New Guinea, Lisbon, Portugal and Valletta, Malta
54All Choked UpStatue of AthenaGreece 800 BCSkyros Island, Greece
55Warlock of Nu Theta PhiWicca amuletNew England Colonies 1692 AD
56Women Want to KnowStatue of GaneshaSoutheast Asia 1075 AD
57Fire in the SkyExtraterrestrial artifactPacific Northwest 1398 AD
58Hunting with the EnemyAshes of ConfuciusCambodia 1952Rayong Province, Thailand
59AntianeiralBelt of HippolyteAsia Minor 1200 BCIstanbul, Turkey
60Under the IceAnasazi mummyArctic Circle 1355 AD
61Arthur's CrossCross of King ArthurEngland 455 ADChepstow, Wales
62Faux FoxCrown jewels of Charles IV of SpainRoyal Palace, Madrid 1808Seville, Spain
63Pandora's BoxPandora's BoxAn-Najaf, Persia 422 AD
64The WarlordKahina's SaddleBekkastan, 1401 AD
65Fountain of YouthWater from the Fountain of YouthPascus Florida, West Indies 1521Seville, Spain and Cotswolds, England
66So Shall it BeKeys to StonehengeStonehenge, England 121 ADBristol, England

Production[edit]

The "Trinity College" campus scenes were filmed at the St. George campus at the University of Toronto in Canada. Campus landmarks prominently featured throughout the series include Victoria College and the Soldier's Tower (directly adjacent to Hart House).

The "Antianeirai" episode ship scenes were filmed aboard HMCS Haida, the last Tribal Class destroyer in the world, when she was berthed at Ontario Place, in Toronto, Canada. For instance, the scene where Sydney finds the belt was filmed in the forward mess deck. All onboard signage was covered with Russian words. Haida has a red maple leaf on one of her funnels and this was covered with a "bird" design. Anything that would show the ship to be of Canadian, or "western" origin, was removed for the film shoot.

All seasons were filmed in widescreen 16:9 but mainly shown in pan and scan 4/3 as are most of Fireworks Entertainment productions from 2000. The widescreen versions of all seasons are available for viewing at Netflix in Nordics as of 2012.

International distribution[edit]

Relic Hunter was broadcast in many countries around the world including:

DVD releases[edit]

Alliance Home Entertainment has released all three seasons of Relic Hunter on DVD in Region 1 (Canada only), for the very first time.

In Region 4, Warner Home Video released season 1 on DVD in Australia in two volume sets in 2005, these sets are now out of print. Madman Entertainment subsequently acquired the rights and released the second season on DVD in 2006 and the third season in 2010. A complete Season 1 box set was released by Madman on February 2, 2011.

DVD NameEp#Release Dates
Region 1 (CAN)Region 4
Season 122April 20, 2010February 2, 2011
Season 222May 18, 2010June 21, 2006
Season 322June 8, 2010June 2, 2010

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]