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Xena: Warrior Princess (TV Series 1995–2001) Poster

(1995–2001)

Trivia

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.
Lucy Lawless modeled Xena's famous war cry on the ululations of Arab women.
Gabrielle had a total of 7 regular outfits over the course of the series. Starting off with a Greek Farmgirl's dress in Season 1, Gabrielle would upgrade to 3 different Amazon outfits, a yellow two-piece Indian garment and two warrior bikini costumes.
Quentin Tarantino has stated to be a huge fan of this show.
Won Hitfix's first March Madness Heroes vs Villains in 2014. A highly contentious match-up between fandoms, Xena beat out the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman, Buffy, Dr. Who, Jack Bauer, and Walter White to take the title as champion.
Robert G. Tapert on why and how he picked Xena's weapon: "I had a book of ancient weapons and I saw this weird discus called the Chakram and I said let's give her this because it can return and we'll never have another character use it. John Schulian [series writer] said he hated it and said we should cut around it. I told him 'that weapon is the coolest thing I'd ever seen' - it's her signature piece".
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.
In 1996, while rehearsing a skit for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Lucy Lawless fractured her pelvis when she was thrown clear from her horse. As a result, several episodes of Season 2 had to be edited to accommodate her recovery. Some of them were changed so Lucy could have a very slight appearance (in one episode she only appears as archive footage), and they created some brand new episodes.
Gabrielle's fighting style was a mix of martial arts, kickboxing and acrobatics. Her two trademark weapons - the fighting staff and the sais - are both part of a Japanese fighting style known as Okinawan Kobudo.
Karl Urban was originally intended to reprise his role as Cupid during the "Twilight of the Gods" storyarc in Season 5, but was unable to return due to filming "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy as the character Eomer. Karl Urban eventually returned in Season 6 as his equally popular character Julius Caesar. When asked about the fate of Cupid at a convention, Karl replied that he remained at Mount Olympus with Aphrodite and Ares - the only two surviving Greek Gods.
Lucy Lawless donated her Xena costume to the Smithsonian in 2006.
In the episode "The Bitter Suite", the scenes, settings and costumes are based on pictures from tarot cards. Callisto is dressed as the fool, and one scene had Joxer as the hanged man.
The planet Eris which was discovered in 2005, was nicknamed Xena, after the heroine of the TV series, by the team that found it. Though it wasn't given the name officially, it's moon was named Dysnomia, after the Greek goddess of lawlessness which bares a similarity to the name of the actress that plays Xena, Lucy Lawless.
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.
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.
The Livia/Eve story arc was created to accommodate Lucy Lawless' pregnancy.
In a 2012 article by NBC News, Christian Science Monitor, it was revealed that the US military is developing Xena Warrior Princess style body armor for women.
Ranked #10 in TV Guide's thirty "Top Cult Shows Ever" (Friday, June 29, 2007).
In the end titles of almost every episode there are a few funny lines, known as "disclaimer", which usually end with "the production of this motion picture". They're related to the content of the episode. Several episodes in Season 1 have no disclaimer; from Season 2 onwards every episode gets one.
While she was auditioning for the role of Gabrielle, Renée O'Connor was standing on a chair reading the lines for Robert G. Tapert. Renee fell off the chair, which made Tapert remember her while he was casting.
The opening credits remained the same for the first five seasons, but they were changed for the sixth and last season.
Melinda Clarke, who played the amazon Velasca in Season 2, was originally up for the role of Xena but dropped out.
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There are two "The Simpsons" toy action figures of Xena/Lucy Lawless based on the 1999 Lucy Lawless' appearance in the "Treehouse of Horror X" special, "Desperately Xeeking Xena." The second one was released in 2014 as part of the 25 greatest guest stars series.
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Ranked #9 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (30 May 2004 issue).
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Zoe Bell joined the series in 1998 as Lucy Lawless's stunt double.
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In a 2005 Salon article titled "What we owe Xena," it highlighted how the show has become culturally significant.
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Xena is a warrior woman from ancient Greece. Lucy Lawless (Xena) would later play the Roman woman Lucretia in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand".
In a 2011 memoir at Alex Belth's Bronx Banter blog by one of Xena's creators, John Schulian, titled "From Ali to Xena" chapters 43, 44, 45 he describes how the character of Xena was created, and the success of casting Lucy Lawless.
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Kevin Smith who recurred in Xena for 32 episodes as Ares, God of War, passed away in a tragic accident in 2002.
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Most of the fighting scenes take place on dirt ground, to hide the place mats for the actors.
In season two, Xena's ratings soared past it's predecessor, 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys,' becoming the number one syndicated action show. It continued to lead Hercules every subsequent year both series aired.
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Michael Hurst who played Iolaus in 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys' directed six episodes.
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A Day in the Life (#2.15) came about because Rob Tapert wanted it make an episode which had as little action as possible giving Lucy Lawless (Xena) a chance to recover from her injury making it like a documentary. The story followed Xena and Gabrielle's mundane lifestyle to answer the question if there is a romantic relationship between them.
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Gabrielle's fate is never revealed.
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The shows first two seasons were shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. From the third episode of the third season onwards (the first two episodes were actually shot at the end of season 2), it was filmed in 16:9 widescreen.
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Sam Raimi is such a huge fan of Hong Kong cinema that the series was influenced by it. One such influence was Ching Siu-Tung's A Chinese Ghost Story (as can be seen in The Debt, Part 1). More influences can be detected if you browse the Xena + Hong Kong Connection site.
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Jennifer Sky, who auditioned for Gabrielle, but lost out to Renee O'Connor, would later star in the short-lived "Cleopatra 2525" created by Xena creators Rob Tapert and R.J. Stewart. Coincidentally, Gina Torres who played Hel in "Cleopatra 2525", played Cleopatra in "The King of Assassins" (#3.8), Which Josephine Davison briefly assumed the role in "Antony and Cleopatra" (#5.18).
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The series is a story warrior woman, Xena, that sets out to overcome her dark past by helping people. She is joined by bard, Gabrielle whom wants to become a warrior. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good. Their relationship is a prime focus of the show, and as the series progresses both characters evolve and grow.
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Several episodes from Season 4 were broadcast in a wrong order by the Spanish public national television.
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The three main female characters are: Xena (translates to "foreigner" in Greek), Gabrielle (translates to "messenger of God" in Jewish), and Callisto (translates to "very beautiful", again, in Greek).
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In the bathtub scene in A Day in the Life (#2.15). When Gabrielle turns to face Xena. Renee O'Connor could be glimpsed wearing a bathing suit, although Xena and Gabrielle are naked in the scene.
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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.
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Xena's horse Argo was played by Tilly. She did many of the close-up shots with Lucy Lawless. She also had a body double, Mac, whom was used in second unit in long shots. And she had a stunt double, Barbie, who did most of the tricks such as kicking and rearing.
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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.
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Renee O'Connor played 4 characters in the series: Gabrielle, Hope (3 times), Janice Covington, and Mattie (twice). This makes it a total of 7 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played three other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Sunny Day, The Executioner, and Deianeira(movie).
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Gina Varela, the actress who played Milda in Whose Gurkhan (#6.4) is of Greek and Kiwi heritage. The series is set in ancient Greece.
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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.
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Gabrielle evolves over the series. She changes from a naive young woman to bard to warrior. In Sins of the Past (#1.1) Gabrielle decides to join Xena on her adventures, so she can learn from Xena and also to fulfill her dream of becoming a warrior.
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The ending of Orphan of War (#2.1) which Xena says goodbye to Solan and doesn't tell Solan the truth that she is his mother was voted "One of the most saddest moments in Xena: Warrior Princess".
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In 2001. Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan did a photo shoot for a magazine. In one of the photos, Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan posed in their costumes as their characters Xena and Seven of Nine. Lucy Lawless is a month younger than Jeri Ryan and both "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Star Trek: Voyager" which both first aired in 1995, both ended in 2001.
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A "Xena" video game for PlayStation was released in 1999.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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