The Modern Prometheus
Series Highlander: The Series
Season Five
Episode 19
Protagonist Duncan MacLeod
Friends Joe Dawson
Enemies Byron
Set In Paris, France
Flashbacks 1816, Switzerland
Previous Story Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Following Story Archangel
Written by James Thorpe
Directed by Adrian Paul
Produced by Ken Gord
Broadcast On May 12, 1997
Running Time 60 min.
Production Code 96517-105

Plot SynopsisEdit

Lord Byron, once one of the most scandalous poets of the 19th Century, is a rock star in the late 20th century. Methos had been his friend and mentor when the poet's suicide in 1815 triggered his immortality.  His unrestrained life leads him to seduce another immortal's wife and his first challenge, one he isn't quite ready for. By fighting dirty, he manages to win though he was killed in the process and the quickening which hit him while he was still dead was witnessed by Mary Shelley inspiring her book, 'Frankenstein'.

When Byron, whose debauchery and drug abuse have only increased with time, lures an up-and-coming musician Mike Paladini under Joe Dawson's tutelage into a fatal binge, Dawson's musical protégé overdosed leading to his untimely death. Methos very reluctantly realizes that his former pupil is beyond hope, and MacLeod fights Byron to the death.




It's interesting to note that during the 1816 flashbacks in this episode, Methos is called nothing but Doc or Doctor. In reality, there was a doctor on hand that summer, Byron's personal physician John Polidori, whose contribution the 'ghost story' contest proposed by Byron was The Vampyre, which would become the first published modern vampire story. It is possible that the implication is that Polidori was yet another of Methos' aliases of over the millennia.

Story NotesEdit

All of Byron's music in episode is provided by Marcus Testory's then band M.E.L.T. Marcus Testory played Caspian in "Comes a Horseman" and "Revelation 6:8".

MacLeod and Methos seem at their most uncomfortable together in this episode since the revelation of Methos' past.


This plot line was remarkably similar to Studies in Light, in which the jaded Immortal, Gregor, a friend of MacLeod's, was also a self destructive fatalist and cynic. MacLeod has far less patience with Byron's nihilism than Gregor's, perhaps because Byron was Methos' old friend and not his own, the latter escapes MacLeod with his head, Byron, does not. Another reason could be that Gregor hadn't caused the death of mortals so far.

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