Tessa Noël is a fictional character in the television series Highlander: The Series, portrayed by Alexandra Vandernoot. A mortal artist and sculptor, Tessa is the French lover of the protagonist Immortal, Duncan MacLeod, played by Adrian Paul. Tessa is introduced in the pilot episode "The Gathering", first shown in 1992, and appears in all subsequent episodes until "The Darkness" (1993), the fourth episode of season two, in which she is killed. Vandernoot returned to the program for a number of guest appearances in the season two finale, "Counterfeit", broadcast in 1994, and the two-part series conclusion "To Be" / "Not To Be" (1998).
Tessa is MacLeod's mortal companion and bears the consequences of his immortality. These include her aging while he does not, the impossibility of having children together and the dangers of MacLeod's involvement in the Game, an ongoing battle in which all Immortals must behead each other until a single victor remains. Fully aware of this situation, Tessa stays with MacLeod, demonstrating her courage, understanding, generosity and compassion.
The first series of Highlander was a multi-national co-production including the French entertainment conglomerate Gaumont, which resulted in a French-speaking actor playing Tessa. Vandernoot had to adapt to the North American, fast-paced method of series production and worked with a dialect coach. Her performance was generally praised by reviewers, who especially praised the strong on-screen relationship that Vandernoot and Paul created between their characters. When Vandernoot decided to leave the show, her character was killed, leading to fierce protests among the show's audience and subsequently prompted the producers to have Vandernoot play an evil lookalike of Tessa in the episode "Counterfeit". Despite her return, Tessa's death influenced the rest of the series, making it more pessimistic, and creating a significant precedent; Tessa was the first main character of the series to die.
Other articles related to "tessa":
... Bill Panzer said that Tessa became popular with the program's audience ... Rob Lineberger called Tessa "...beautiful and spirited," and said that "...she is the perfect mortal foil for MacLeod's heavy concerns ... Audio Video Revolution website wrote that Tessa was "...depicted not as a screechy, in-the-dark Lois Lane but rather as a woman who handles her lover’s supernatural aspects with remarkable ...