Xena: Warrior Princess - Season One
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Make way for one of the fiercest and most dynamic woman warriors to ever grace the TV screen as all 24 Season One episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess come to DVD. Lucy Lawless is Xena: a smart, tough, and fearless fighter who travels the dangerous roads of Ancient Greece defending the innocent from the forces of darkness and seeking redemption for her cruel misdeeds of the past. Along for the adventures is her devoted friend Gabrielle (Renée O’Connor), a compassionate girl who hopes to be a warrior one day, and other legendary figures, including the formidable Hercules (guest star Kevin Sorbo). Combining impressive displays of mythology, fantasy, and martial arts, it’s an iconic show that set the bar for all female action heroes.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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. When her underlings thought that made her soft she broke from them, and began an epic quest for redemption. Soon after this she met Gabrielle, a young villager whose community is raided. With ambitions exceeding her small town's reach Gabrielle decides to follow Xena on her travels.
Xena is a mythic hero. Lacking the godly strength of Hercules, she nevertheless matches him in battle by virtue of superhuman agility. Plus, as she says, "I have many skills" -- including tactics, strategy, eastern martial arts, horsemanship, medicine, and singing. Xena is at the top of her form when we first see her. In sharp contrast to this we watch Gabrielle as she transforms from quick-witted but unsophisticated villager to wannabe bard to reluctant warrior.
Lucy Lawless got an early entry into the Hercules/Xena universe; she played Lysia in "Hercules and the Amazon Women", the very first of the movies that preceded the "Hercules" series. In fact this earlier role was a strike against her when trying out for the part of Xena in the "Hercules" series. But hair dye, boots with lifts, and skin bronzer transformed Lucy Lawless (5' 10 1/2", light brown hair, pale skin) to Xena (6' tall, brown-black hair, olive complexion). Add in a passable American accent, and this native New Zealander carried off the role of an Americanized Greek mythic hero with aplomb. When you see Xena riding at the gallop or trading blows with a foe that's really Lucy Lawless; when Xena is tumbling through the air it's a stunt performer.
Renee O'Connor also got an early start; she played an earlier version of Deianeira, Hercules' wife, in "Hercules and the Lost Kingdom", the second Hercules movie, before landing the role of Gabrielle. In the first season of X:WP O'Connor is listed as "also starring", after the title; only Lawless gets "starring" billing.
Various continuing characters from "Hercules" appear in Season One of X:WP:
- Kevin Smith as Ares, God of War
- Kevin Sorbo as Hercules
- Michael Hurst as Iolaus (Hercules' sidekick); also as Charon
- Robert Trebor as Salmoneus, mercurial merchant
- Bruce Campbell as Autolycus, King of Thieves
- Erik Thomson as Hades, God of the Underworld
Season One of Xena introduced a number of new faces that would become familiar:
- Danielle Cormack as Ephiny, Amazon warrior
- Paul Norell as Falafel, food stand vendor
- Karl Urban, who would appear again in seasons 2+ as Julius Caesar
- Hudson Leick as Callisto, nemesis extraordinaire
- Ted Raimi as Joxer, bumbling would-be warrior
More notable one-shot guest stars from Season One included:
- Kate Hodge as Celesta, Goddess of Death
- Galyn G"rg as Helen of Troy
- Tim Thomerson as Meleager the Mighty
- Peter McCauley as Talmodeus
Season One of X:WP was shot on 16mm film to keep production costs down, so the DVD video transfer is no better than you'd expect. The audio is quite a bit better, including outstanding music by Joseph LoDuca. The Xena theme, in particular, is a wonderful mix of bouzouki, french horns, and strings to mix traditional Greek sounds with the stirring European classical melodies we've come to associate with inspirational themes.
The 7-disc Season One collection is remarkable mostly for what it DOESN'T have. There are NO extras in the Season One DVDs AT ALL. Each of the 24 episodes is 44 minutes 15 seconds or less. There are no DVD or CC captions. There are no extra chapter stops; each episode has 5 or 6 chapters. The 7th disc is a CD-ROM, with rather unremarkable content. There are no printed guides in the set.
6 DVDs, with 4 episodes each; 24 total episodes
- Cast & Director bios
- "Scrolls" - episode cast lists, guest stars ("mortals" and "gods"), search through the scrolls text
- Season One trivia game
Xena: Warrior Princess is a fun, butt-kicking action series. It's a shame that the DVD collection of Season One is both low on extra content and high on price.
Thought I might just share this so that users may know about the differences.
The two DVD compared are the new release DVD by Universal Pictures and the out of print Anchor Bay release. These two DVDs were tested using a full HD TV (like it's really going to matter anyway).
Well, to be honest, I can't really see any major difference. Okay, there's a bit of differences. The universal release is much brighter than the anchor bay release; they also added some blur effects. For some scenes, the blurriness and brightness seems to make it lot better and it looks appropriate; however, most of the time, the anchor bay release seemed much more defined and real. As for the graininess, it's pretty much the same.
When it comes to DVD menus, the anchor bay release is a lot better. The universal release showed only the logo and went straight to the menu. Conversely, the anchor bay release had this intro before revealing the menu. The menu of the universal release was just a still picture of Xena, similar to the one on the cover. The anchor bay one has motion pictures in the background and cool effects. One of the best things about the universal menu is the ability to play all, aside from that, nothing really fancy at all.
The winner for this category can be debated. For me, the universal release wins. Yes, the universal pictures has no behind the scenes or any video or audio commentary, neither did the anchor bay. The anchor provided pictures and a CD that had character bios and a screensaver. But the best thing about the universal pictures release is subtitles. Yep, that's right, Xena finally has subtitles!
Anchor Bay wins this category. I really love the cool book style the anchor bay release has. The universal pictures is just a standard DVD case; although, the pictures on it are good. The disks of the anchor bay release has pictures on it, but the universal release only had a few printings and showed more metal. This category can also be debated. Some people, like me, likes the whole fancy aesthetic book style kind of thing and some people like simplicity and portability.
I can't really compare the audio, because as one plays, I completely forget about the other. I think that's everything. Have fun shopping.
Most recent customer reviews
Either a ripoff or a major screw-up.