Friday, 19 March 2010

Xena Warrior Princess: Chariots of War


This is the one where Xena befriends a Trojan refugee called Darius while recovering from an arrow wound, while Gabrielle falls for the guy who shot her.

I get the impression there's a fair bit of backstory from Hercules in this one - the 'bad guys' are keepers of the horses of Ares and Gabrielle's friend's older brother was killed at a peace meeting where Xena was present. It's a pretty good episode, not too predictable and some nice character stuff. I liked the scene showing Xena's combined discomfort and pleasure at putting on a pretty dress a lot, though, as is often the case in these shows, the dress wasn't actually quite pretty enough to create such a reaction (or maybe I was just spoiled because I'd just got back from seeing Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which is a bit like gorgeous-dress-porn).

Intriguingly, the warlords who are the 'bad guys' for most of the episode are wearing very Eastern-looking costumes, which look to me a bit like the pop-cultural view of Genghis Khan (though I know nothing at all about Genghis Khan so maybe that's just me). Except for the dreads the younger man wears, that is. I wasn't sure if they were supposed to come from a different place or area, geographically speaking, or if the different style was supposed to reflect that they were from a particular tribe, or if the costume designer just thought that look said 'bad guy'. The only real drawback, for me anyway, was that one of the victims of the attack was called Darius. Now, I am aware that Genghis Khan was not a Persian and has nothing to do with King Darius of Persia - but the vaguely eastern look given to these costumes gave me a distinct feeling that 'Darius' should be on their side. I'll be interested to see whether we see this look again, and which characters are wearing it.

It's a nice dress, just not that nice

The actual chariot sequence was quite fun too, though it was shot in one of those locations where I can't quite shake the expectation that a bunch of Orcs are about to come round the corner carrying Merry and Pippin, or possibly the White Witch with a broken wand, in a very bad mood...*

*Yes, I am aware that Xena predates both of these movies. But I saw the movies first.

5 comments:

  1. Hey! I love the new layout! I see you're having fun fiddling with it as well! ;o)

    I vaguely remember this episode... what's with always trying to make "warrior women" uncomfortable in dresses? This isn't the only time I've seen this (but can't remember the others right now).

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  2. oh, and I really like your "about me" tab, really interesting! :o)

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  3. Me again! :p

    Just came across this essay that seems right up your alley! Discusses several Classical references and elements during the five years of Angel... references to Wolfram and Heart as manipulating gods, Connor as Oedipus trying to kill his father and wed his "mother" (Cordelia). Makes for an interesting read!

    http://www.smartpopbooks.com/684

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  4. Thanks! Glad you like the layout and 'about me' (that took ages to write, I didn't know what to say!) and thanks for the link, the article looks really interesting.

    The dress thing is interesting - Joss Whedon has done a couple of episodes about women who don't usually get the chance to wear nice clothes enjoying wearing fancy dresses (Buffy and Kaylee) but both were let down by the fancy dresses being completely hideous (apparently, to Whedon's costume deisngers, feminine and prettty has to mean pink and frilly). On the other hand, there are women who don't like dresses, and I quite liked the idea of a very active women objecting to the idea of being put in a restrictive dress - I've often felt uncomfortable in skirts and dresses myself because they're restrictive and make it harder to run!

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  5. We have that dress in The Xena Museum & Athenaeum. Visit us on the web, facebook and twitter for it and the world's largest collection of wardrobe & props from the series Xena Warrior Princess.

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