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Vol. 2, No. 10.

October 1995

Xena Warrior Spin Off

Transcript/Scan by MaryD

Xena: Warrior Princess follows Hercules into the treacherous ground of first-run syndication this fall

Beginning September 4, fans of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys will have another mythology-based series with a colon in its name to look forward to. Xena: Warrior Princess will follow the exploits of Hercules' most popular villainess-turned-heroine, played by New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless.

Though Xena was introduced as a side character on Hercules, executive producers Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi don't plan on having any future crossover between the two shows. Xena will have her own agenda, consisting primarily of wandering the Earth in hopes of proving she's forsaken her past evil ways. The likeably vicious heroine will be joined on her quest by Gabrielle, a young runaway, and Pan, a character described as "an acrobatic gymnast of the forest."

Fear not, friendsójust because Xena is forsaking her evil ways doesn't mean she'll be nice and sweet. Tapert promises the show will have as much action and excitement as its predecessor, Hercules, if not more. In particular, Tapert says Xena's martial arts abilities will allow him and Raimi to play around with the kind of wild action they've come to love in Hong Kong movies.

Xena only appeared on three episodes of Hercules, but the resulting ratings were high enough for the MCA bigwigs to decide to take a chance on the warrior princess. "Xena is a long story, all about ratings and budget," Tapert explains. "What it boils down to is Vanishing Son [a Universal martial arts series], which is a very good show in its own right, was probably not the proper show to follow directly on the heels of Hercules. The studio made a decision that they wanted to move forward with something more compatible. We had done one of the episodes with Xena, so we said, 'Hey, maybe we can do something with this.' "

Xena's series promises to exhibit a similar sense of humor and action to what is seen on Hercules, but her warlike past could lead to her being a tougher nut to crack than her male counterpart. "For Hercules, the world is very straightforward," Tapert says. "He knows that he's doing good in a situation. He goes in, he kicks butt, he kills the monster. Xena's in a slightly different position, because she's been a killer her whole life and now she's trying to get away from it. But she finds out that she constantly has to kill in order to protect all that she now finds decent."

Sure, it sounds ridiculously overbaked. But, as any fan of Hercules will tell you, that's probably a darned good sign.

óDan Vebber

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