As the series evolved, speculation was rife about the true nature of their relationship. Playful and provocative teasers in several of these episodes give this first season an unexpected erotic charge, as witness "Altared States," in which the two skinnydip, and later, a drugged Gabrielle, revived by Xena, looks upon her and gushes, "By the gods! You are beautiful." Other memorable episodes include "Callisto," which introduces the vengeful female warrior who would further bedevil Xena in seasons to come; "Prometheus," in which Kevin Sorbo guest stars as Hercules; "Chariots of War," in which Xena wears a dress (!), and "Warrior...Princess," in which Xena trades places with her look-alike, a Princess named--yes--Diana, who is the target of assassins. By the gods, Xena is an absolute hoot whose pleasures--stylized action sequences, cheesy special effects, tongue-in-cheek anachronistic dialogue--are anything but guilty ones. Clumsy packaging, lack of commentary, and less than pristine picture quality are minor drawbacks to this otherwise thrilling set. --Donald Liebenson
Episodes: Sins of the Past, Chariots of War, Dreamworker, Cradle of Hope, The Path Not Taken, The Reckoning, The Titans, Prometheus, Death in Chains, Hooves and Harlots, The Black Wolf, Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts, Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards, A Fist Full of Dinars, Warrior...Princess, Mortal Beloved, The Royal Couple of Thieves, The Prodigal, Altered States, Ties That Bind, The Greater Good, Callisto, Death Mask, Is There a Doctor in the House?
On the plus side you get loads more extras than the meagre Universal/Playback versions available on this side of the pond, but at least the Universal DVD's are watchable.
A great series and good package spoiled by very poor quality control.
If you don't recognize the above, you've been in a distant land since at least 1995, and this review isn't really for you. But you should buy this collection immediately, because you're in for an entirely novel treat.
Xena: Warrior Princess is a spin-off series from "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", which followed 5 "Action Pack" (don't ask) Hercules movies. The Hercules and Xena stories are revisionist tales of antiquity. Most of the names are right ("Hercules" instead of "Herakles", and the Roman "Cupid" instead of Greek "Eros" are notable exceptions), but anachronisms abound. We first see Xena sitting on her horse, complete with stirrups (1000 years before their invention) and saddle horn (2000 years early). Xena's sword is bronze, but steel implements abound in an era when Indian Wootz steel was a commodity valued above gold. The wet countryside of New Zealand doubles for the dry Mediterranean clime of Greece. And barbarian warriors look suspiciously like Maori. Obviously the emphasis is on entertainment rather than historical accuracy. It's a good thing, too, because the entertainment value is outstanding.
The premise of the series is that Xena was a teenager living in the Greek village of Amphipolis when it was attacked. She rallied her neighbors to mount a successful defense. Then she took the surrounding towns to have a defensive perimeter. One thing led to another, and Xena was a warlord terrorizing the countryside. But, true to her original intent, she spared defenseless women and children.Read more ›
First off, like previous reviews have stated, about half way through two of the episodes, the voices start to get out of hand and don't match the lip movements. If there are things I cannot stand it's bad dubbing. I don't think Anchor Bay should have any excuse for this "mishap".
Another thing, is the picture can get grainy in some parts, especially in some of the earlier episodes. But, in part, I do blame the type of film they were using during part of this season.
Lastly, there are no captions or subtitles. I was sitting here thinking "What the heck! This is the ONLY thing I own on VHS or DVD that does not have captions!" I'm grateful Anchor Bay released this, but my word, what were they thinking! I know several people who would have a fit over this one reason.
These are the type of things that are NOT easily ignorable. I've got every reason to get my money back from Best Buy until Anchor Bay releases newer editions with at least the voice problem fixed. Like I said, I'm grateful, but let's get it together, OK?
I can only hope that that Xena's Season Two will be improved and that Hercules' Season One is really worth my money.