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The TV Column

Arkansan continues his fantasy on ABC’s Quest

By Michael Storey

This article was published August 7, 2014 at 2:14 a.m.


Little Rock native Jim Curry demonstrates his riding and spearchuckin’ skills on tonight’s episode of The Quest. The episode airs at 7 p.m. on ABC.

Did you tune in to see Little Rock native Jim Curry's debut on ABC's The Quest last week? Catch up with Curry and the fascinating new reality show tonight.

Curry, a proudly self-avowed, Harry Potter-loving geek and Muggle Quidditch champ, is a senior at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and living his fantasy world dream on the new competition series.

The Quest, a hybrid series billed as The Lord of the Rings meets The Amazing Race, combines totally immersive live action role playing with totally in-character extras, scripted adventures and challenges all set in Everealm, "an imaginative land of magic and malevolence." (It's actually filmed at Burg Kreuzenstein, a restored castle near Leobendorf in Lower Austria.)

Curry, one of 12 paladins hoping to assemble the Sunspear and save the realm from evil, survived the first round. His team placed second shooting bolts with a small catapult-type weapon called a scorpion. Curry takes to horseback with a spear when the adventure continues at 7 p.m. today.

The episode, "Tournament for the Queen," finds the remaining 11 paladins getting the ominous news that the evil, evil Verlox (Douglas Tait) and his evil, dark army are inching ever closer to Castle Saenctum's walls.

Verlox? Think Sauron meets Voldemort.

The paladins are called upon to display their warrior field skills under Queen Ralia's (Susanne Gschwendtner) scrutiny. On horseback tonight, the paladins must go through a number of tasks to prepare for battle. Alas, another paladin will be culled by the end of the show.

"Who," ABC teases breathlessly, "will crack under the pressure and be sent to the Fates? Who will be the next to be banished from Everealm?"

Hopefully it won't be the articulate and charismatic Curry, the game's youngest player at 22.

Cavett's Watergate. Want to feel really old? It has been 40 years since President Richard Nixon resigned. I was in graduate school and I swear it wasn't that long ago.

Dick Cavett's Watergate airs at 8 p.m. Friday on PBS and AETN. The legendary erudite host of The Dick Cavett Show (which ran in several incarnations from 1968 to 1986) uses archival clips and fresh interviews to tell the history of the infamous scandal that rocked the presidency.

By design, the documentary will air at the precise hour Nixon went on TV to announce his resignation four decades ago. It officially took effect on Aug. 9, 1974.

The special begins with the arrest of five men for breaking into and entering the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, and ends with Nixon's pardon by President Gerald R. Ford on Sept. 8, 1974.

The 77-year-old Cavett's new interviews are with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, former White House counsel John Dean, and Watergate historian Timothy Naftali.

They explain why Watergate had no effect on Nixon's re-election on Nov. 7, 1972, in one of the largest landslides in American political history.

Cavett, a self-avowed "Watergate junkie" will include excerpts from his 1972-74 interviews with just about every major figure involved in the scandal.

They include White House insiders John Ehrlichman, Alexander Haig, G. Gordon Liddy and Jeb Magruder, and members of the Senate Watergate Committee, including Howard Baker, Daniel Inouye, Herman Talmadge and Lowell Weicker.

Outlander. For lovers of period fantasy, cable's Starz network debuts this series at 8 p.m. Saturday. It follows Claire (Irish actress Caitriona Balfe), a British Army combat nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, who "falls through time" and is transported from 1945 back to 1743.

There she is kidnapped by a batch of Highlanders and eventually finds herself married to Jaime (Scottish-born Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior. Claire becomes immersed in "a passionate affair that tears her heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives."

Her life is also in danger as she struggles to survive in her new world and to return to her normal life and the husband she left behind.

Adapted from the popular novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series was filmed in Scotland and showcases the lush countryside as it combines romance, science fiction, history and adventure.

"People who are fans of the books are really going to love this," Balfe says in a Starz interview.

"People have loved these books in many countries," adds executive producer Ronald D. Moore. "And the landscape itself is a character in the show."

Outlander is rated TV-MA.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Weekend on 08/07/2014

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