Xena: Warrior Princess (season 1)

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Xena: Warrior Princess (season 1)
Xena DVD 1.jpg
Season 1 DVD cover
StarringLucy Lawless
Country of originUSA
No. of episodes24
Release
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Original releaseSeptember 4, 1995 –
July 29, 1996
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2

The first season of the television series Xena: Warrior Princess commenced airing in the United States and Canada on September 4, 1995, concluded on July 29, 1996, and contained 24 episodes. It introduces Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor), the series co-star, beside Xena (Lucy Lawless), previously a secondary character in the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.[1] Gabrielle becomes Xena's greatest ally; her initial naiveté helps to balance Xena and assists her in recognizing and pursuing the "greater good."

The first season aired in the United States in syndication; reruns later ran on the USA Network. The season was released on DVD as a seven disc boxed set under the title of Xena: Warrior Princess: The Complete First Season on April 23, 2003 by Anchor Bay Entertainment.[2]

Production[edit]

Crew[edit]

The season was produced by Pacific Renaissance Pictures in partnership with Universal Studios[3] and was aired in first-run syndication in the U.S. The executive producers were Robert Tapert (series creator), with Sam Raimi and R. J. Stewart. The main staff writers were Tapert, Stewart and many others, as Steven L. Sears (co-executive producers), Terence Winter, Peter Allan Fields and Roy Thomas. Some of the first season's episodes were written or co-written by writers on a freelance basis. The regular directors throughout the season were Doug Lefler, Michael Levine, Charles Siebert, Jace Alexander, Josh Becker, John Cameron and Gary Jones. The theme music and opening sequence was composed by Joseph LoDuca.[4]

Cast[edit]

The initial season used many New Zealand natives like Jay Laga'aia in the cast. Willa O'Neill played the sister of Gabrielle, Lila. Only the name of Lucy Lawless appears in the opening sequence although Renée O'Connor also stars.

Danielle Cormack played Ephiny, an Amazon warrior, and Alison Bruce played Melosa, queen of the Amazons. The main actors of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst,[5] appeared during the season. Robert Trebor played Salmoneus, a friend of Hercules's famous for his "get rich quick" schemes. Kevin Tod Smith portrayed Ares in two episodes and in later seasons. The American actor Bruce Campbell portrayed Autolycus, the king of thieves, a main character in Hercules. Tim Thomerson played Meleager, a friend of Gabrielle and reformed drunk. Karl Urban played the biblic Mael, Karl also played Cupid and Julius Caesar in later seasons. Ted Raimi played Joxer and Hudson Leick played Callisto, both are idols of the series Fandom.

Numerous supporting characters have been given expansive and recurring appearances in the progressive storyline, including: Scott Garrison as Perdicas, Darien Takle as Cyrene, Tom Atkins as Atrius and Leslie Wing as Karis.

Reception[edit]

The pilot episode garnered 4.5 million viewers, ranked in No. 44 in U.S. syndicated rank, behind Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Based on its strong opening, Robert Tapert produced another 23 episodes of the same style and duration. Season episode No. 12 garnered 6.3 million viewers, and was ranked in No. 13 in U.S. syndicated rank, only behind of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The season was down on viewers on its last episode, that garnered 3.9 million viewers, again behind Hercules and Deep Space Nine.

The first season was released in another 27 countries between 1995 and 1996, eventually being seen in 105 countries.

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Sins of the Past"Doug LeflerStory by: Robert Tapert
Teleplay by: R.J. Stewart
September 4, 1995 (1995-09-04)
Xena returns to Amphipolis, the place she grew up, in order to try to make up for past sins. On the way, she saves the people of Potidaea from the warlord Draco; her actions attract the attention of a young girl called Gabrielle, who decides to follow Xena in the hopes of a more exciting life.
22"Chariots of War"Harley CokelissStory by: Josh Becker & Jack Perez
Teleplay by: Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
September 11, 1995 (1995-09-11)
While defending a small and peaceful settlement from a vicious warlord and his son, Xena is shot with an arrow. She is cared for by a local family while Gabrielle is left to defend herself in the local tavern, which is filled with thieves and cut-throats.
33"Dreamworker"Bruce Seth GreenSteven L. SearsSeptember 18, 1995 (1995-09-18)
When Manus (the High Priest of the Dream God Morpheus) kidnaps Gabrielle, Xena must face the demons of her past and enter the dream world to rescue her friend.
44"Cradle of Hope"Michael LevineTerence WinterSeptember 25, 1995 (1995-09-25)
Xena and Gabrielle go undercover after learning of a ransom put on an infant who is prophesied to one day take the throne from a powerful king.
55"The Path Not Taken"Stephen L. PoseyJulie ShermanOctober 2, 1995 (1995-10-02)

Xena is forced to pretend to be her old self, a money hungry warlord named Mezentius in order to save a young princess. However, along the way she is pushed to her limits when she discovers an old lover is working for an arms dealer.

It is in this episode that series lead Lucy Lawless first sings the dirge "Burial," whose music she composed herself.
66"The Reckoning"Charles SiebertPeter Allan FieldsOctober 16, 1995 (1995-10-16)
Xena is mistakenly put on trial for killing a group of townspeople, causing Ares, God of War (Kevin Tod Smith), to be delighted with a plan he has enacted.
77"The Titans"Eric BrevigR.J. StewartOctober 30, 1995 (1995-10-30)
Gabrielle reads an incantation from a script that releases three titans from being a stone tomb. She convinces them she is a Goddess and has them perform helpful tasks for a small village nearby; however, after they soon start to suspect her of lying, they turn on the town and threaten to destroy the town for good.
88"Prometheus"Stephen L. PoseyR.J. StewartNovember 6, 1995 (1995-11-06)
Xena and Hercules join forces to free Prometheus; however, his reprieve comes with a price...
99"Death in Chains"Charles SiebertStory by: Babs Greyhosky & Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
Teleplay by: Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
November 13, 1995 (1995-11-13)
When ailing King Sisyphus is visited by Celesta, Goddess of death, he holds her captive. Unable to hold her death candle, it quickly begins to melt away, and all of mankind is unable to die - even when fatally wounded. It is up to Xena and Gabrielle, with the help of a new friend, to rescue Celesta before the candle burns out.
1010"Hooves & Harlots"Jace AlexanderSteven L. SearsNovember 20, 1995 (1995-11-20)
Someone is trying to start a war between the Amazons and the centaurs, which Xena tries to prevent after a dying Amazon princess leaves Gabrielle her right of caste.
1111"The Black Wolf"Mario Di LeoAlan Jay GlueckmanJanuary 8, 1996 (1996-01-08)
King Xerxes arrests a group of villagers, demanding they surrender the mysterious "Black Wolf" and followers. Xena arranges to be arrested to help them escape.
1212"Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts"T.J. ScottStory by: Roy Thomas & Janis Hendler
Teleplay by: Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
January 15, 1996 (1996-01-15)
Xena and Gabrielle arrive to Troy during the Trojan War when the warrior princess is required by an old friend, Helen of Troy. While Xena tries to win the war, Gabrielle meets Perdicas, her ex-fiancé, who now works as a mercenary for Troy.
1313"Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards"Jace AlexanderR.J. Stewart & Steven L. SearsJanuary 22, 1996 (1996-01-22)
Gabrielle auditions to attend the Athens City Academy to train as a bard -- but others trying for the few open spots include Homer and Euripides.
1414"A Fistful of Dinars"Josh BeckerSteven L. Sears & R.J. StewartJanuary 29, 1996 (1996-01-29)
Xena and Gabrielle join two men of doubtful reputation (including Xena's ex-fiancé) in order to find the Treasure of the Sumerians and prevent the wrong hands from getting the most valuable.
1515"Warrior... Princess"Michael LevineBrenda LillyFebruary 5, 1996 (1996-02-05)

Someone is trying to kill Princess Diana, so Xena has to protect her. Since Xena and Diana are physically identical (because series lead Lucy Lawless acts out both in a dual role), they exchange their roles so Xena can discover who the killer is.

Note: This Princess Diana is not to be confused with Wonder Woman, whose real name is Princess Diana of Themiscyra and whose character voice Lucy provided in the 2008 animated cartoon Justice League: The New Frontier, even though with dyed-black hair, Lucy resembles the character.
1616"Mortal Beloved"Garth MaxwellR.J. StewartFebruary 12, 1996 (1996-02-12)
Xena's dead love Marcus appears on Earth to tell her the underworld has been taken over by mad Atyminius, who has confined the good souls to Tartarus and given evil the run of the Elysian Fields.
1717"The Royal Couple of Thieves"John CameronSteven L. SearsFebruary 19, 1996 (1996-02-19)
Xena drafts Autolycus (Bruce Campbell, one of Sam Raimi's partners in Pacific Renaissance Pictures) to steal back the property of some friends of hers, which turns out to be the Ark of the Covenant.
1818"The Prodigal"John T. KretchmerChris ManheimMarch 4, 1996 (1996-03-04)
After she and Xena are assaulted, Gabrielle asks herself if that is really the kind of life she wants to spend and returns to her village, Potadeia...which is going to be attacked.
1919"Altared States"Michael LevineChris ManheimApril 22, 1996 (1996-04-22)
Xena rescues a young boy on the run from his father, who wants to sacrifice him.
2020"Ties That Bind"Charles SiebertAdam Armus & Nora Kay FosterApril 29, 1996 (1996-04-29)
An old warrior claiming to be Xena's father complicates her rescue of a group of slaves.
2121"The Greater Good"Gary JonesSteven L. SearsMay 6, 1996 (1996-05-06)
Xena gets poisoned, and Gabrielle must take her place in fighting a warlord and protecting a village and the merchant Salmoneus (Robert Trebor), a.k.a. Lord Seltzer.
2222"Callisto"T.J. ScottR.J. StewartMay 13, 1996 (1996-05-13)
A blonde woman called Callisto (Hudson Leick) kills innocent people stating that she is Xena, Warrior Princess, and the real Xena and Gabrielle try to stop her. The two also meet, for the first time, a warrior-wannabe called Joxer (Ted Raimi).
2323"Death Mask"Stewart MainPeter Allan FieldsJune 3, 1996 (1996-06-03)
Xena finally confronts Cortese, the warlord who burned her village and turned her into a warrior.
2424"Is There a Doctor in the House?"T.J. ScottPatricia ManneyJuly 29, 1996 (1996-07-29)
When Xena and Gabrielle take a wounded and pregnant Ephiny to a healing temple in the middle of a civil war, Xena is forced to take over as healer when the priests would rather pray than act.

DVD release[edit]

The DVD release of season one was released by Anchor Bay Entertainment in the U.S. on September 23, 2003[6] after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The Complete First Season
Set details[7] Special features
  • 24 episodes
  • 1080 minutes
  • 7-disc set
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Languages:
  • Director and Actor Biographies
  • Series Trivia
  • Xena Chronicles
  • Season One Photo Gallery
  • Direct Access Screens
  • Xena Screensaver
Release dates
UK USA  Australia
June 6, 2006 April 23, 2003 October 12, 2005

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Warrior Princess". Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. March 13, 1995.
  2. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess- Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  3. ^ "Xena Full Summary". Star Pulse. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  4. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess – Original Television Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Prometheus". Xena: Warrior Princess. November 6, 1995.
  6. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess: Season One (1995)". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  7. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess – Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.

External links[edit]