Photo by Universal Television
In September 15 1995, was released one of the most iconic epic shows of the 90’s, ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’. The show talks about Xena, a mighty warrior princess with a dark past, sets out to redeem herself. She is joined by small town bard, Gabrielle. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good against ruthless Warlords and Gods.
Stars: Lucy Lawless, Renée O’Connor, Ted Raimi
Creators: John Schulian, R.J. Stewart, Rob Tapert
To celebrate the 20th birthday, here are some of the curiosities about this show.
- Before her own series, Xena made her debut in a three-episode arc of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995). Vanessa Angel was the original choice to play her, but when the actress became too ill to fly to New Zealand to film, Lucy Lawless was cast instead.
- Sunny Doench was originally meant to play Gabrielle, but she didn’t want to leave her boyfriend in California so Renée O’Connor was chosen.
- Ranked #10 in TV Guide’s thirty “Top Cult Shows Ever” (Friday, June 29, 2007).
- In an interview given by Lucy Lawless in 2013, she admits regretting not having done a Xena movie when the show was at its highest moment of popularity.
- Michael Hurst who played Iolaus in ‘Hercules the Legendary Journeys’ directed six episodes.
- Lucy Lawless played 6 characters in the series: Xena, Princess Diana, Meg (5 times), Leah, Annie Day (twice), and Melinda Pappas. This makes it a total of 8 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played two other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Lysia (movie) and Lyla.
- Quentin Tarantino has stated to be a huge fan of this show.
- The majority of Gabrielle’s stunts and fight scenes was performed by Renee O’Connor herself, including the backflip from “The Abyss” where Gabrielle kicks a cannibal in the face mid-flight, which was done without any wirework.
- Much debate surrounded the possible lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, which the writers deliberately kept ambiguous. Since the demise of the show however, Lucy Lawless has stated that she believes the characters were romantically involved.
- Lucy Lawless donated her Xena costume to the Smithsonian in 2006.
- The show was originally set in Greece, but by the third season the show began to take place in Rome, Egypt, China, Japan, Siberia, Norway, North Africa and India. In addition to the Greek mythology, Hinduism and Christianity were also introduced through several story arcs.
- Lucy Lawless was pregnant during the fifth season and her pregnancy written into the series. In the episode God Fearing Child (#5.12), Xena gives birth to her daughter Eve. In real life, Lucy Lawless gave birth to her son, Julius, on October 16 1999.