Xena: Warrior Princess: Season 1 (Deluxe Collector's Edition)
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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?
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
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
-- Packaging / Discs --
Xena: Warrior Princess - Season One is packaged in one of those standard sized cases capable of holding multiple discs. The previous release by Anchor Bay (AB) was one of those brick sized digi-packs where you had to unfold the entire thing to get to all the discs. The reverse side of the cover lists all the episdoes (by disc) and includes breif summaries. There is not mention of first air date for the episodes. The discs themselves are all single sided, double layered discs. The only artwork on the discs is the red outline of the chakram (the round throwing blade used by Xena) and the "Xena: Warrior Princess" logo.
-- Video Quality --
First of all, I'm watching the episodes on a 32" Vizio 720p HDTV. It's being played on a progressive scan DVD player at 480p.
I no longer have access to the AB release of Xena: Warrior Princess - Season One, and thus can't compare the video quality of that set to this new one. Based on my memory of last watching the AB release (which was quite a few years ago) I can say that the episodes on the Universal release don't look any worse. In some cases that look better.
The picture has grain, that's going to be unavoidable considering Xena: Warrior Princess - Season One was shot on 16mm film stock. It wasn't until halfway through the second season that the producers switched to 35mm film stock. I haven't noticed any of the compression artifacts or other problems that plauged the AB release of this season.Read more ›
"Nothing you can do can erase the shame you've brought onto your kinsmen," Xena's mother exclaims. "Probably not," Xena admits sadly, eyes dropping, "but I'm going to spend the right of my life trying." And does she ever! In one of her first attempts at being "good", the warrior princess lays eyes on Gabrielle, a spirited and selfless village girl who, after seeing Xena's heroics, wants to "join up with Xena" and "wants to be a warrior like her" As all fans know, Gabrielle is instrumental in reforming Xena by sharing her unconditional love & showing her how much good there is to be done. Xena, of course, has a renewed purpose & reason to live while gladly ready to die for Gab. Like most 1st seasons, the characters are a little shaky, the acting is new & unsual, & the plots are somewhat undefined & experimental & therefore not as soul pinching, action packed and heartpounding as the seasons that so bravely followed. Also, while X & G's relationship grew dramatically over the years, it was only "friendly" at this stage of the game. At least they wised up in the 2nd season.
Still, it holds a special place in the hearts of all Xena fans as the noble beginning of a timeless legend of pursuing the things that matter: love, sacrifice, the greater good, nobility, triumpth, loss, life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This show is a hoot. The film is not quite up to current standards but it's still fun to watch. I did not realize, back when it first aired, what a thinly disguised lesbian show... Read morePublished 2 months ago by JAS
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