It’s been almost 26 years since the show fantasy show Xena: Warrior Princess debuted in the spring of 1995. With over 134 episodes over six seasons, we assume you have some favourites.
I was an avid watcher of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and vividly remember Xena’s (Lucy Lawless) first appearance on the show before she went solo. The character was evil, murderous, and had no mercy. In the episode, she tried causing a rift between Hercules and his best friend-sidekick Iolaus — and she almost succeeded — but once Hercules showed her the error of her ways and left her past life behind.
In the first episode of Xena: Warrior Princess itself — “Sins of the Past” — Xena buries her trusty sword and chakram with the intent of giving up violence for good. That lasted all of 20 minutes because she met Gabrielle (Renee O’ Connor) and saved her and her village from disaster. Soon after, Xena realised she could do some good in the world using her dangerous set of skills to set things right and she and Gabrielle embark on a journey across several continents and cultures.
There are so many good episodes across the seasons, so it may be hard to pick just one. My personal favourite episode is “A Necessary Evil” from season two. Xena and Gabrielle are on the run from the newly-crowned Amazonian god Velasca (Melina Clarke). Since the duo can’t defeat her independently, they recruit the immortal Callisto (Hudson Leick) for help (she wasn’t always immortal, but that’s another story).
Callisto is one of my all-time favourite villains. She stole the show every time she stepped on screen. Actress Hudson Leick was having a good time with the character, and her energy was palpable. I’m not going to give the whole episode away, but if you’re a fan, rewatch the episode. If you’re a newbie, also watch the episode. Have the special effects and fight choreography aged well? Absolutely not. But, if you’re brand new to the Xenaverse, you’re in for a good story with a high camp factor that tackles issues of war, violence, post-traumatic stress, and familial ties — you are in for a treat!