GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY 1 BY Beth the Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 BY Beth the Cavert
COMMENTARY 3 BY Bonnie Tryonoviech
COMMENTARY 4 BY MartM9241
COMMENTARY 5 BY John Wignall
COMMENTARY 6 BY Beboman
COMMENTARY 7 BY Vanessa Suen
COMMENTARY 8 BY Philip Teo
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Shelley Edwards (Cyane)
Renee Kelly ?
Selma Blair (Utma/Cyane)
Karl Urban (Kor)
Monica Mcswain (Olan)
Story by Rob Tapert and RJ Stewat
Teleplay by RJ Stewart and George Strayton and Tom O'Neill
Directed by Paul Grinder (non-Amazon High parts) and Michael Hurst (Amazon High parts)
ON AN ALL NEW XENA....
(Xena and Gab walk through the Amazon village with Eve)
Cyane: It's time to avenge our fallen sisters!
THE AMAZON NATION FACES A DARK FUTURE....
(Xena walks among the Amazons and the corpses of the dead)
Gabrielle: I won't let this tribe go to war.
(The ancient Amazons chase horses with the Utma Cyane)
Gabrielle: Revenge is not justice.
NOW, SURVIVAL LIES IN THE SECRETS OF THEIR PAST....
(Yakut's ghost appears and reaches out to Xena. She summons the Utma Dagger, which Xena takes)
AND XENA HOLDS THE KEY.
Xena: If you won't listen to me, listen to your ancestors.
(Xena lifts the Dagger to the sky)
BUT IS SHE TOO LATE?
(Cyane brandishes a knife)
Cyane: Nothing will prevent us from fulfilling our duty!
(Xena and Gabrielle look bewildered)
ON AN ALL NEW XENA!
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena and Gabrielle travel to the Amazon village to make Eve an Amazon princess and discover that it's up to them to prevent unnecessary bloodshed in a vengeful war. LogLine
Xena and Gabrielle must prevent an Amazon war against the Samite nomads. UTV
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 03/13/00
An AA average of 2.9
Top 20 Syndicated Shows plus genre rankings:RANK PROGRAM NAME DISTRIBUTOR RATING AUDIENCE 1 WHEEL OF FORTUNE-SYN KIN 11.0 11,043,000 2 JEOPARDY KIN 9.2 9,278,000 3 JUDGE JUDY (AT) PRM 6.7 6,766,000 4 OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT) KIN 6.4 6,422,000 5 FRIENDS-SYN (AT) WB 6.1 6,111,000 6 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT PRM 5.8 5,835,000 7 SEINFELD CTS 5.7 5,702,000 8 FRASIER-SYN (AT) PRM 5.2 5,287,000 9 DREW CAREY (AT) WB 4.2 4,232,000 10 HOLLYWOOD SQUARES KIN 4.1 4,146,000 11 JERRY SPRINGER (AT) STD 4.0 4,069,000 12 JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT) PRM 4.0 4,013,000 13 X-FILES-SYN (AT) 2/T 3.8 3,863,000 14 LIVE-REGIS & KATHIE LEE BV 3.8 3,797,000 15 ROSIE O'DONNELL SHOW WB 3.7 3,686,000 15 EXTRA WB 3.6 3,603,000 17 SEINFELD-WKND CTS 3.4 3,455,000 18 MAURY (AT) STD 3.4 3,454,000 19 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN(AT) BVC 3.3 3,342,000 19 SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL (AT) STD 3.1 3,138,000 21 STARGATE SG-1 MGM 3.1 3,120,000 22 DIVORCE COURT (AT) 2/T 3.1 3,092,000 23 MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW PRM 3.0 3,072,000 24 XENA STD 2.9 2,953,000 25 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD PRM 2.9 2,938,000VIP 2.7
Back2Back (Cleo/Jack) 2.6
Baywatch Hawaii 2.3
Lost World 2.2
Earth Final Conflict/Beastmaster 2.1
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
In a voice over, Gabrielle says she is telling the story of Eve's initiation into an Amazon tribe, and of an Amazon rebirth.
Xena, Gabrielle, and Eve walk along talking. They are heading to the Amazon village. Gabrielle says she wants to give Eve her right of caste. Xena is a bit dubious; she says she has known violence and bloodshed and doesn't want Eve to know such things. But Gabrielle tells here, "Xena, we're all family. I love her like my own daughter." And Xena says if that's how you really feel, then we'll do it.
They enter an Amazon village. Dead bodies on funeral pyres are all over. The Amazons are now led by a woman named Cyane. She says there was a fierce battle with the Semite nomads. Xena looks at the bodies on the pyres and sees that Yakut is among the dead. Yakut's spirit speaks to Xena and gives her a vision of fighting and bloodshed. Gabrielle comes to Xena and asks if she is okay.
Xena, Gabrielle and Eve watch the Amazons as they prepare to mourn. Xena tells Gabrielle she saw Yakut's spirit. Cyane comes to Gabrielle and gives her a necklace. She tells Gabrielle Amarice was killed, too. The necklace has a new bead on it for Eve. Gabrielle says the right of caste initiation should go on so that new life can be brought into a tribe which has just suffered great losses. However, Xena cannot be present at the initiation because she is not an Amazon. Gabrielle must also be coronated as queen in order to give the right of caste to Eve.
Yakut speaks to Xena and tells her to dress as a shamanness. She tells Xena she did not complete her mission in life, and she can't cross over to the Amazon land of the dead. She says the Amazons are in danger. The keys to their rescue lie in the past.
Gabrielle dances in the moonlight, performing an Amazon ritual. There are visions of the legendary Amazon, Sam (played by Danielle Cormack), beating up a great many men. She goes to a shaman and asks him to bring the Utma, a leader from the future, to her people. A woman in present day garb appears. Men attack. The woman screams a lot. But her courage was real, somebody says. The old Amazon tribe (who do not call themselves Amazons) catch horses. The utma (her name is Cyane, I think), rides a horse. The old tribe bow to the utma because no one has ridden a horse before. They eat them. The utma says you don't eat horses, you ride them.
Gabrielle continues dancing/swaying. Someone talks about the family united in sisterhood. More visions of the utma, who is dancing with the Amazons. She is initiated with blood, as is Gabrielle. More "visions" of the old Amazons fighting men. Gabrielle sees the old Amazons give the utma a "spirit kiss", and the present-day Amazons do the same to Gabrielle. The present Cyane says now it's time to go kill off the rest of the nomads in order to avenge Yakut's death. Gabrielle says the battle is over; the Amazons won. She says there is no need for vengeance. She says the right of caste ceremony will proceed.
Xena talks to Yakut's spirit. Yakut retrieves the utma dagger, which will give Xena images from the past so forgotten lessons can be learned. There is an energy exchange as Xena gets the spirit dagger from Yakut. Xena lifts the dagger.
Sam challenges the utma to a foot race. While racing, the utma falls into a rapidly flowing river. She is pulled from the water by a caveman. He kisses her. Sam comes in and attacks the man. Sam and the man fight. When Sam goes to kill the man, the utma stops her, and Sam accuses her of taking the side of the man.
Yakut tells Xena that information had been lost to her tribe. Xena says Sam was blinded by hatred and blood lust. Yakut says the blood lust is ingrained in their culture, and even new sisters are bathed in it. Xena says "Eve!"
Gabrielle watches as the initiation for Eve begins. The Amazons start to slit the throat of a horse, and Gabrielle says "No!" Xena's chakram flies in and knocks the knife from an Amazon's hand. Gabrielle apologies to Xena, saying she did not know the tribe initiated women with blood. Her tribe did not do that to her, she reminds Xena. Xena says the women must listen to their ancestors. She lifts the dagger.
Utma and another old Amazon are attacked and captured by men. The man who rescued the utma from the river is told to kill her. She cries. The man doesn't kill her. Sam and other Amazons attack and save utma and the other Amazon. The utma and the man who didn't kill her exchange looks. Someone says Sam's heart was hard. The utma learns Sam saw her father killed.
Gabrielle says she will not let the tribe go to war. The present-day Cyane says they're going to war anyway. Yakut tells Xena to stop them. Cyane pulls a knife on Xena and tells her to get out of the way. Xena says she understands the desire for vengeance, but killing won't bring back the dead. She says if the Amazons spill blood in Yakut's name, they doom her for eternity. Cyane says Yakut took an arrow meant for her. Xena raises the dagger.
The man tribe has tied up the fellow who wouldn't kill the utma. They see Amazons, and attack. Other Amazons on horses, led by the utma, attack to save the others. Lots of fighting. The utma beats up many men. An Amazon's throat is slit. Sam kills many men. One man goes to kill the tied up fellow, and the utma knocks him down and unties the good man. The other guy gets up and goes to kill the utma, but Sam kills him first. The fighting ends. Sam wants to go after the men and kill the remaining ones, but the tribe leader says no. It's over. Sam rides off. The utma holds the good guy, she tells him to go to his people and show them a better way. He walks off.
The present-day Amazons wonder how they strayed so far from the good intentions of their ancestors. Xena says they are supposed to fight to save lives. Gabrielle says it is time for new traditions. There is lots of dancing. Flashes of the old Amazons dancing. The old Amazon leader tells her people they will live without men, and they will forever be called Amazons, which is what the utma initially called them. More dancing.
The present day Amazons dance. Eve receives Gabrielle's right of caste. She is baptized with water. Yakut's spirit returns and thanks Xena for saving her and her people. More dancing. Gabrielle's voice says the Amazons learned to temper might with mercy, thanks to the innocence of a child and the wisdom of Xena.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
For those who aren't up on scuttlebutt, this clip episode was pieced together from clips from a totally different show. The footage is from the pilot of a series called Amazon High, which apparently is never going to see the light of day on its own. Which explains a lot about this highly strange episode that was really two shows in one: one very boring Xena episode, and one darned interesting series pilot.
I'll talk about the Xena episode first: this was one long exercise in Xeus Ex Machina. Need to put a soul at rest? Do a little grimacing and reach your hand out for a magic stick. It's hard to make standing in one spot look like suspenseful struggle and victory.
After the magic stick has been gained, it's now the solution to all problems. Need to solve the amazons' bloodlust? Hold up the magic stick. Want to convince them that you're worthy of respect? Hold up the magic stick. Want to find out how the episode ends? Hold up the magic stick. This was NOT one of Xena and Gabrielle's most productive episodes. Gab's speech at the end said the Thunderdome Amazons changed because of the innocence of Eve and the wisdom of Xena. Bull puckey. It was because of the Xeus Ex Machina.
Being an amazon is quickly becoming an even more deadly XenaVerse profession than being a kid. Yakut is toast, Otere is still not heard from, and Amarice has bitten the big one, too. It was touching to see the necklace from Them Bones Them Bones returned to Gabrielle, and I liked that Amarice added the bead for Eve. Very cute. Although I was kind of hoping that they would tell Xena and Gabrielle that all they had left of Amarice was her cloven pixie hat. That would have been painfully funny.
I've been really trying not to be confused by all these amazon tribes running around. I just kinda figured each tribe did things their own way. But Gabrielle is taking her "rightful" place as the Thunderdome Amazons' queen? Since when? Nobody's shown any interest in her up until now.
Goofy cross-tribalism aside, it's perfect that Gabrielle is making her adoption of Eve official by passing on her rite of caste. Nice touch.
Nifty effect of the blood constantly running down ghost Yakut's face.
Now, about the Amazon High flashbacks to the proto-Amazons: I was reeeally worried when the first clip showed this Buffy- ish chick show up out of nowhere and start screaming her head off. They never did explain why a teen from the present showed up in ancient amazon territory, but at least she stopped screaming. (And Samsara neatly took care of that problem.)
That was an awesome cast they had for that show. I liked pretty much everybody in the clips we saw: the teen, the amazons, good ol' Ephiny as a twisted and angry amazon, and our pal Karl Urban as a cute cannibal (ew!) in bearskins.
So the origin of the amazons, in a nutshell, is that cannibals ate off all the menfolk in their tribe. To honor their memories, they would forever be a tribe of women (problems with procreation remain unaddressed). And in a nicely XenaVers-ian move, the amazons were so named because of a modern-day chick who had heard of the amazons. Nothing like a good paradox to wrap up your time travel story.
Is it just me, or did the amazon dancing improve in this episode? There were some pretty nifty moves in both halves of this show. And the Buffy/Utma/Cyane/whatever shook a mean leg on her own, too.
There's about three dozen consistency problems between the Xena half of this episode, the pilot episode half, and the past episodes with the Thunderdome Amazons. I'm not even gonna try to list them all. It was a game attempt to use some good footage that apparently had nothing better to do. If that footage had been rotten, I'd be highly put out. As it is, I won't complain that I got the chance to see it.
Both of the horse scenes were rockin'! The music was kind of the amazon equivalent of the battle music from The Debt. Line of the episode goes to Buffy/Utma/Cyane for her horrified "You're not supposed to eat horses!" And the world's first cavalry charge was done with just the right amount of hanging-on-for-dear-life looks from the proto- amazons.
This commentary is by Beth Cavert.
Life Blood: Clan of the Cave Boy: 2001 - An Amazon Odyssey
The Three Fates are sitting on Mt. Olympus sewing a patchwork quilt.
In unison: "Xena Warrior Plotless blunder. Banished stories from the scripts. Pieced together random thoughts. A patch from here. A patch from there."
Fate 1: A bone
Fate 2: a horse
Fate 3: a "spirit kiss"
Gabrielle, Xena, baby Eve, Argo and Horse are walking along the road chatting pleasantly together. It is the last scene that makes any sense.
They walk into a village of Amazons. There is dancing. They see a vision. It is the olden days.
Primitive Amazons summon an Amazon From the Future who teaches them "Amazons rule!" and that horses are not billboards or food. It is Darryl Hannah. She teaches the Amazons to ride the horse and then she finds fur bearing cave guys and teaches them English.
A Rite of Cast happens and former cast members appear as more cave guys.
Xena holds up a bone. The Amazon orchestra plays 'Thus Spake Zarathustra" and "The Blue Danube." Xena throws the bone up into the air. It twirls in slow motion. It lands on the head of a bad Amazon. She sees the light and becomes more evolved.
Voice over: "And that is how Xena and Eve saved the Amazons."
The Three Fates shaking their heads: "Without the Bard there is no story. A warrior/queen, now bathed in glory. Without her scroll, no pen in hand, there is no ...
Fate 2: middle
Fate 3: end
They are doomed to wander, lost in scripts of patchwork, scraps and ragged bits. We Three Fates call the Muse to hear us and bring back true kindred spirits."
This commentary is by Bonnie Tryonoviech.
I had heard in advance that this was a clip show of sorts, using scenes from the never-aired pilot of Amazon High, so my expectations were a little low. I figured, though, that just about anything would be better than the previous show, Married With Fishsticks. Even a show filled with scenes from a failed pilot, containing characters I didn't know, or particularly care about, would be an improvement.
That said, Lifeblood did exceed my expectations. Once I got over the fact that it used way too much of the Amazon High footage, I pretty much enjoyed it. It might have been easier and less pretentious of the producers to just announce at the start, "This week, in place of Xena:Warrior Princess we proudly present Amazon High." Although, I thought the wraparound plot wasn't bad. I liked the idea of how the origin of this branch of the Amazon Nation holds lessons for the current tribe.
Another thing - I did not find myself annoyed at the end of the episode, like I did with MWF, as well as Punchlines and Eternal Bonds. My intelligence as a loyal fan was not insulted as it was with those episodes. But that's another story.
Don't get me wrong - Lifeblood is not a classic. I haven't counted, but I'll bet that, minute for minute, there was more AH footage than XWP footage. And if not, it sure seemed that way.
I can forgive the occasional Xena-lite episode. But it is difficult if the show is Xena-and Gab-lite. Plus, there have been way too many "lite" episodes this season. Yes, I know why, and I would love to see the season 5 TPTB had planned before Lucy Lawless got pregnant, in season 6. But as for the rest of this season, Lucy's back full-strength, RJ Stewart is back, Orci and Kurtzman are gone - I have a good feeling about the next 7 shows. Call me an optimist.
Strange as it may seem, Lifeblood seems to point in the right direction. Maybe it was the Amazons. Could have been Eve gurgling after the sai she was playing with fell to the ground. Perhaps it was Danielle Cormack as the great warrior Samsara, or Karl Urban's foofy hair. The lack of a certain guest star we've seen way too much of lately? The cool ritual music? The fact that Xena And Gabrielle acted like a team when they needed to? Maybe it was a tranced-out Gabrielle dancing in that blue light.
Whatever, all these added together made Lifeblood fairly enjoyable. They certainly went a long way toward overcoming the many and extended AH clips. The more I think about it, the overuse of those clips was really the only thing keeps me from giving the show a bigger thumbs up.
Speaking of those clips, I'm sure I was not the only one who thought "Cleopatra clone" when Blue Sweater Girl (the Utma, the original Cyane) transported into the scene. I actually said to my friend, "watch, she's gonna scream." Well, who wouldn't? Your day begins with you walking to school and ends with you getting smacked by a fierce female warrior after almost getting chopped up by white-faced cannibals. It would certainly give me pause. At least Cyane only screamed once, and not as piercingly as Cleo.
So, all in all, Lifeblood showed some ambition - we have the origins of the Amazon nation, Gabrielle as story teller and leader, an adorable little baby, and the novelty of Danielle Cormack and Karl Urban in different roles. Oh yeah, and Gabrielle dancing in that blue light...
It dawned on me several days after watching this episode that Xena and Gabrielle did not have to fight baddies once. Neither one of them raised a fist, sword, sai, pie, or diaper this entire show. All the fighting took place in the flashbacks. Is this a first?
The current crop of writers and directors really don't seem to know how to write (and direct) interactions between Gabrielle and Xena. The opening conversation about giving Eve the Amazon right of caste is just the latest in a series of expository chats that don't sound like our heroes. It sounds too much like Hercules/Iolaus chit chat. Here's hoping for a patented RJ Stewart fireside chat, very soon.
Yakut was never one for the direct approach. She makes Xena dress in the shamaness robes to bring a sacred dagger back from some netherland, to show the Amazons their true history, thus helping them learn that revenge is not justice. Seems a little convoluted. But then, remember in Them Bones, Them Bones, it took Yakut nearly half the episode to fess up to Xena that she had raided Alti's final resting place, which had caused their current dilemma.
If the current Amazon tribe was to learn that "revenge is not justice," how do the bad guys know that? At least in the flashbacks, Cyane told the cute cannibal to go and teach his people "a better way." That's not going to happen now. I was reminded of Hooves and Harlots, where at least the Centaur Phantes could personally vouch for how fairly he was ultimately treated.
If they had combined the flashbacks from Punchlines (the clip show with actual clips from Xena:Warrior Princess) with the storyline from Lifeblood, now that could have been quite the episode.
This commentary is by MartM9241.
Lifeblood wasn't that great of a Xena episode - not compared to classics like A DAY IN THE LIFE, A GOOD DAY, IDES OF MARCH, BETWEEN THE LINES, DESTINY/QUEST, and the like. But at the same time, it was definitely watchable, and did hold my interest (however little of it remains at this point) throughout. My advice: watch this if you're totally bored and have nothing else to do.1. I found the transitions from the Amazon High show to the Xena ep kinda jarring at first, and they didn't make much sense. But on my second viewing of the episode they did. I must admit that Amazon High looked very very interesting, and had the potential to become another Action Pack classic. Whoever pulled the plug on this thing should be ashamed of themselves (or dragged out into the street and shot). Come on! TPTB [the powers that be] are telling us that JOAT [JACK OF ALL TRADES] is more worthy of being aired than AMAZON HIGH? A show that's boring, makes no sense, and has nothing but sex jokes is better than an action packed, women empowering, meaningful show? Yeah right!! Gee whiz PTB, why not ditch JOAT and let Cleo (which has potential) and AH take over the HTLJ timeslot. Guess we can't ditch the sex jokes huh??? Tapert wouldn't want that.So the final word on Lifeblood is: its not Xena, but its better than nothing.
2. I think Karl Urban (the dude who played Caesar and Cupid) was in AH. This is really my one complaint about that show. How on earth could Karl be deregulated from worthy and significant roles in Xena and Hercules as Caesar and Cupid to "Ugh-Ugh Man" in AH? Karl looked sooo out of place. As a matter of fact, he looked totally STONED. Was he smoking something while this ep was being filmed?? Sure looked like it (especially at the end when Cyane let him go). Watch him exit that scene. I think Karl was trying to find a bathroom, then he remembered he was still on set. Darn the luck! :)
3. I don't understand the logic behind the Amazons giving up men. I thought it was made clear in episodes like Hooves and Harlots that Amazons lived apart from men cuz they didn't get any respect or equal rights. How does banishing men from the tribe help the AH Amazons? You're telling me they gave up on men cuz they were sad that the ones they had died?? That makes no sense! Why not just mourn the loss of the men, and then go out and find new ones. That's what a lot of widows do. TPTB are essentially turning the Amazons into a bunch of .... uh .... is there a term for widows who choose not to remarry? Cuz that's what these amazons basically are. And since when were Amazons dedicated to doing "good deeds"?? They were dedicated to "womens' empowerment". What happened to that?
4. Would someone please explain to me how Cyane traveled back in time?
5. Would someone please explain to me why Gab said that Eve was responsible for changing the Amazon ways, when it was Xena who did all the work while Eve pooped in her diaper and sucked her thumb??
6. Would someone tell me why the rite of caste wasn't being given out by Gab at her will instead of on a deathbed where its suppose to be given? For that matter, how is Gab queen of the Siberian Amazons? She's queen of the GREEK AMAZONS!!! Helloooooooooooooooooo!!! Writers need to watch previous episodes!!! And for that matter, why are there so many Siberian Amazons? I thought Xena killed off most of them in ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE II.
7. Why was Yakut's soul bleeding??? Cuz she died in blood?? If that's the case then why didn't Alti's soul have a huge hole in it during BETWEEN THE LINES and THEM BONES THEM BONES from being impaled on that tree in ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE II? Why didn't Xena and Gab's spirits bear the crucifixion marks from IDES OF MARCH? Doesn't make sense.
8. Believe it or not i saw the relationship in Lifeblood. Not much - more like table scraps. But I'm not above groveling for the scraps of meat i once dined on. I'm taking this and running with it. It was good to see both Xena and Gab talk to the amazons together and try to convince them to give up bloodlust and hate and embrace love (ok maybe not LOVE, but close). And it was also nice to see them close to each other and acknowledging each other during the initiation ceremony for Eve. Another good sign was that Xena didn't bite Gabs head off for almost initiating Eve in a blood ritual. I can imagine the conversation now:Xena (runs in and snatches Eve from Gab)Given what I know about season 5, I was expecting that verbal exchange or something like it. Thankfully that didn't happen (which to me was an INCREDIBLY good sign). I wont say I'm totally satisfied though. I need more than tablescraps to know the relationship is ok. I'll have to see Kindred Spirits to know for sure, as I think that is gonna be the last relationship episode of the season.
Gab: Xena, I'm sorry. I didn't want Eve to be initiated this way
Xena: You sure are sorry! This is MY daughter!! How dare you try to initiate her in a blood ceremony! Why aren't you thinking!
Gab: Xena I was...
Xena: HUSH!!! Not one word out of you! (Storms out of the room with Eve)
9. Why did I feel like I was watching an episode of Soul Train every time the Amazons started dancing?
10. If Yakut was the leader of the Siberian Amazons in TBTB and up til we found her dead in LB, why didn't she take the name "Cyane"? I thought all amazon leaders were called that? Furthermore, why wasn't the original Cyane made leader of her tribe in the closing moments of the AH clips? I thought she became the leader.
This commentary is by John Wignall.
Lifeblood - or What are we going to do with all this expensive footage?
Was there a point to this ep? Somewhere between the warrior princess preaching Gabby's old peace love an groovieness stuff and the flashbacks to Amazon 90210, It got lost.
Anyway, we open with a voiceover, either this is supposed to be one of Gabby's scrolls, or TPTB figured that the ep needed a little help with structure. (No prizes for guessing which one) Seems this is a story about amazons and stuff. Well there's a bright point. We can look forward to scantily clad extras.
So the girrlz are walking along, leading Argo and the HorseWithNoName. (Is Gabby going through a desert soon?) Gabby's going to give Eve her right of caste. I'm not sure how this works, when last we saw Gabby's tribe, she left Chilappa in charge, but apparently that wasn't the caste, so how can she rule if she's not royalty? OTOH, if Eve has the rite, or right, or wrong, or whatever, does that mean Gab is no longer royalty, or can it be given any time she feels like it? I don't know about anyone else, but amazon law makes my head hurt. Xena's babbling on about more of the old violence bad peace good stuff. I'm waiting for some old fashioned butt kicking. Gabs calls Xena 'family' again, but it's just not as romantic as it once was. I guess even the greatest relationships lose the spark eventually.
When they get to the amazons, I'm confused again. There are no familiar faces, and they're wearing way to much to be Gabrielle's tribe. They're also wearing less than the ewok'zons usually do. Could it be summer in Siberia? They've got a bunch of bodies on pyres, and are talking about getting revenge on someone. Xena doesn't bother saying hi to the mourners, or any of that girly stuff like being polite to them, she just walks past and gets a good look at the corpses. Finally a familiar face! Yakko is one of the stiffs. (No mention of Cheri Oteri, so I'm guessing they had a fight and she moved out.)
Gabby is chatting with the mourners, and finds out that a bunch of guys named Sam attacked, so the amazons put their shamaness in charge of fighting them off. (Kinda like having Billy Graham deal with those pesky Iraqis.)
The pyres are fired up, and the dead amazon music plays, while Lucy emotes. All of a sudden Yakko's ghost sits up, and wacks Xena right between the breastplate with a ball of fire. (Safety tip kids, if spiritual apparitions throw fire balls at you, it's usually a good idea to dodge) Xena sees clips from a failed spinoff, with scantily clad babes, and these, like, totally groady guys in facepaint. Gabby catches her thinking about the babes and shakes her by the shoulder, and we fade to the opening credits.
On our return, X&G are sitting on the porch, and Xena mentions that Yakko is still in da house. Gabs takes this pretty much in stride, after all, restless spirits are in the job description. The agro-zon wanders up, and introduces herself. She's calling herself Cyane, just like Vicky Pratt did. Seems that's the traditional name of an amazon leader. (Although I've never heard Gabby called that) I gotta figure that makes amazon history really, really confusing. She also breaks the news that Keebler bought it. You'd have thought they could get Jen to stop by long enough to be shot on one of the pyres or something. [shrug] The agro-zon gives Gabby her necklace back, seems that Keebler added a bead for Eve. (The whole ep having been foretold by Yakko, in between troop movements.) Xe's not sure if this is the right time for a party, but Gabs is ready for some fun. So they go off to.. um, no. Xena can't come 'cause she didn't join their secret club. So she sends her newborn daughter off with Gabby to partake in a mysterious amazon ritual. As they walk off, and Xena pretends not to be checking out Gab's butt, (No really, take a look at her expression in the next scene) the agro-zon mentions that Gab has to become queen in order to pass on her write of cast. I'm thinking this is all pretty complicated for something that was gasped out on a battlefield last time we saw it.
Xena, after an admiring sigh, is interrupted by Yakko, who wants her to get her Shamaness gear on, and come see her. Naturally, Xena, being the trusting sort, does just as she's told. In the temple yurt (which is rather roomy when you think about it) she finds Yakko's horny hat and stuff. While she's admiring the beadwork, Yakko zaps in behind her. She's in this spooky blue monochrome, so you can tell she's dead. (Either that or the lighting guy screwed up while they were filming her apparition scenes) She explains that she died without fulfilling her reason for being. (Don'cha just love it when they get into the predestined stuff? [retch]) She wants Xe to help her out, but they cut away before she explains it.
It's a full moon, and Gab is standing in a spotlight, while the agro- zon calls her a cup, and offers to fill her up. (nudge-nudge, wink- wink) She's gonna tell her about the bad old days, when cannibals killed the amazon's men. Um . I think this is just a smile and nod point. There's more scantily clad extra's dancing, (although it's not all that scanty), and we finally get some fighting.
A couple of amazon types are taking on a whole bunch of big guys with facepaint. They fight, asses are kicked, one of the baddies pulls out a bone dagger that looks a lot like the rib used on Zeus, and holds it up in the pre-stabbing posture so beloved of bad guys everywhere. One of the amazons, the one with the leopard skin top, knocks it out of his hand and catches it, in the manner beloved of good guys everywhere. Her buddy tells her to run away, so she does, leaving her friend to take on all comers. She runs across half of Greece, finally coming to an old native guy. (Although he looks more native to North America than Greece.) He uses the bone to cast a spell, and some chick wearing jeans pops in. The baddies show up and the chickie freaks, but the amazon saves her butt, and fights 'em all. When she finishes, she slaps the airhead to get her to shut up. It's all a little weird.
Quick flash of Gabby, then the old time amazons are having a round up. Lots of running and slam cuts. Horses, amazons, twentieth century girl, horses again. Repeat as necessary to fill screen time. Eventually they get a couple of ropes on one of the horses, and the valley girl runs up and mounts it. She doesn't stay on long, but the amazons seem pretty impressed. They do this thing with holding their hands up, and bowing their heads, and kneel before her. Seems that the idea of riding horses hadn't occurred to them, they were just looking for some tasty horsemeat. For trying to ride dinner, and letting it get away, they decide to bring her into the tribe. Apparently this proves that she's the 'Utma', and they're going to make her a cha'chalmak.
The ceremony is kinda weird too, while the head amazon (or cha'chalmak if you prefer) natters on about family and their community, the various amazons writhe and strut like dancers at a really, really sleazy club. Valley girl is pretty into it, in fact she's slutting it up better than any of 'em. They get jealous or something, 'cause they grab her and put her on the altar, then bring out the knife. Just when ya think she's toast, they cut her arm. Oh, and the other amazons cut Gabby's arm too. They both get some blood on their hand, and stare at it. Slam cut to a battle. Amazons and the cannibals in the facepaint. It doesn't make much sense in this context. But hey, the ceremony is over, and the amazons all blow Gabby a kiss. (Another of those smile and nod things) In the past, the valley girl, who I take it is the original Cyane, is getting kisses blown at her too, but they're doing it as they walk in the door. Shots of moons, Gab is pretty blissed out when the agro- zon mentions that she's going to lead them in their quest for vengeance. That kinda brings Gab down, she's not much into vengeance. (Could'a fooled me this season) They argue a bit about it, without resolving anything, and get ready for the rite of caste ceremony.
Meanwhile, in the temple yurt, Xena and Yakko are rummaging through the sacred bric-a-brac. They want to accomplish something to do with the past, and there's some sort of dagger with a name that I didn't catch which will do what they want. (I do know that it's not another dagger of Helios) It's in the netherworld, which is next to the spirit world, which isn't the physical realm, but Yakko and Xena working together can somehow get it to them. They do some CGI stuff and presto, the bone dagger from the flashback. This somehow brings them into another flashback. (I don't try to understand this stuff, I'm much happier that way)
Valley Girl, and the amazon with the leopard skin are going to have a friendly little race. Valley girl, being the Utma or whatever, naturally cheats. They run and run, and come to a river. They jump it, but Valley girl doesn't quite make it. She ends up in the drink, being swept downstream. She's saved by one of the cannibals, who instead of killing her and eating her immediately, takes her back to a cave. You can tell he's not really evil because instead of being groady like the others, he's a pretty boy. She introduces herself, he pulls her into his arms and kisses her. Just when I'm about to puke, leopard chick runs in yelling and tackles pretty boy. They fight, and just when leopard chick is about to deliver the coup de grace, valley girl kicks her. Pretty boy gets away as the amazons run in, and Leopard chick decides that Valley girl has to die.
Back to Xena and Yakko. They're talking about the importance of blind hatred and vengeance to amazon culture. Yakko mentions that new sisters are bathed in blood when they join the tribe. Xena immediately realizes what a problem that's going to be come bath time and runs off to stop the ceremony. (What happened to little Miss freedom of religion?)
Back at the ceremony, which for some reason isn't happening in the religious yurt, they've got a horse painted with various arcane symbols, and Gabby declares her intentions. (No, not toward Xena, toward Eve) The agro-zon declares Eve their sister, and a couple of amazons with a bowl go over to the horse. This is where the audience is supposed to be yelling at Gab, but I just couldn't work up a whole lot of enthusiasm just then. When the agro-zon mentions blood, Gab's still clueless, the amazon with the bowl holds it under the horse's jugular, still nothing, the other amazon pulls her knife and hold's it to the horse's throat. Finally Gab picks up on what's happening, and says "No". But it's kinda quiet and wishy-washy, so we fade to commercial.
When we get back, there's a whole lot of establishing shots. Gab, the horse, the knife, the horse whinnies, stuff meant to build dramatic tension. Just about when that gets really boring, a chakram knocks the knife out of the amazon's hand, and Xena makes her entrance. Naturally, the agro-zon isn't too happy. How would your average catholic feel if some guy charged in and smacked the sacred wine out of the priest's hands just as he's administering communion? Xena tells them that generations of ceremony and tradition are wrong, and that she'll prove it, by holding this bone up in the air. (Doesn't she usually explain this sort of thing by kicking someone's butt?) Gabby hides Eve's face, as someone turns on a strobe light, and we cut back to the past.
Valley girl and her buddy are jumped by a bunch of the ugly guys, they run, but get caught. The chief ugly guy walks up and acts menacing. Quick cut back to the agro-zon for some voice over, and we're back to the chief ugly. He grabs a knife, and hands it to pretty boy. He grabs valley girl, and is about to cut her throat, but she looks up at him looking helpless and cute. ('cause we all know that's the best way for women to defend themselves.) Chief ugly over enunciates, and pretty boy has a dilemma. Hungry tho he is, she's just so darned cute. He doesn't really go anywhere with it, the old time amazons attack, and he kinda sits there looking stunned while valley girl wriggles away from him. Rescue complete, the amazons high tail it. Another glimpse of agro-zon and another voice over, and the old time amazons are in a cave. Touching moment, leopard girl is messed up about her father. Yadda, yadda.
Back to Xena. She stops holding the bone up, just as one of the amazons comes in. Those guys named Sam are leaving, so the amazons gotta attack quick. The amazons are all for that, but Gabs doesn't want them going off killing a bunch of people. (She prefers to let Xena handle all the killing) Xena tries to talk them out of it, but the agro-zon pulls a knife on her. Fade to commercial.
We're back, and Xena is still talking. (Why doesn't she do some butt kicking?) Now she's getting creepy about Yakko walking among us still and stuff. More touching stuff, this time about Yakko and the agro-zon. (I guess she hooked up with her after things fell apart with Cheri Oteri) Xena holds the dagger up again, and the strobe light is back, time for more flashback.
Seems pretty boy is no longer so popular with the ugly guys, they've got him roped to a log. They're setting up an ambush of a bunch of amazons. They run in a'hootin and a'hollerin, but the amazons just stand there, waiting for them. When they get to 'em, instead of killing them and chowing down, they just stand there confused. (Stupid, stupid, stupid) Suddenly, a bunch more amazons come 'round the bend riding horses, and yelling warcries, mostly stuff about "Amazons rool!!". Somehow valley girl has not only taught them all to ride, well enough to go into combat on horseback, but come up with tack for all of them. (Robbing me of a chance to go on about the importance of stirrups to mounted combat) Big battle scene, the amazons are pretty obviously getting the best of it, pretty boy is wandering around on the fringes, and gets nailed by a mounted amazon. Leopard girl takes out the guy who killed her father. Chief ugly, decides that his tribe being decimated is of secondary importance, and goes off to finish pretty boy. Valley girl jumps on him, and unties pretty boy, who still looks stunned. As they're having a moment, chief ugly gets up and is about to ice valley girl, when leopard girl rides up and does for him but good. (I think it would've been better if he'd spit blood rather than just saliva, but I'm kinda sick) The battle is over, their tending to the wounded, the remaining uglies are running away. Leopard girl wants to hunt the uglies down, but she's the only one. She's kinda psycho, I like her. Valley girl tells pretty boy to go, lead his people, and show them a better way. (I'm not sure if she means eating horses, or dirt, 'cause there doesn't seem to be much else to eat around there)
And that's the end of the flashback. Everybody is standing around with their eyes closed, looking beatific. Apparently these flashbacks have convinced the fierce warrior society of the amazons to become hippies. On the bright side, they haven't given up the scantily clad dancers, the next morning they've got the dancers going, and so do the old time amazons. The flashbacks are coming fast and furious now, as the director draws parallels. (Like we hadn't picked up on that already.) Everybody's happy, and dancing, and we get to hear everybody's favorite amazon music. (I used to drive my co-worker crazy with a screensaver that played that.) Oh and we find out that the reason amazons don't have men in their tribe isn't that they don't like men, on the contrary, it's all in honor of the men who they lost lo those many years ago. That's right, they're really just straight women who are honoring the memory of their dear departed men. Nothing for guys to feel threatened by. This is apparently when they decide to call themselves amazons. (Not sure who they thought 'rool'ed earlier, but that's not important.) Eve get's christened, in nice clean water, and is now an amazon princess. Yakko appears again, but in full color, so you know she's at peace, and she flies up into the sky. Everybody's happy, more dancing, and a closing voiceover, then roll credits.
This isn't going to make my favorite episode list, but I've seen worse. It was mostly an ep that missed by a bit. [shrug] Next week the amazons sentence Jox to death. Maybe that'll be more interesting.
This commentary is by Beboman.
* Okay guys, for a "Xena and Gabrielle Light" episode, this episode was a very interesting show. It was one of those shows that you have to see a few times just to get the jist of it.
* The premise of having to go to the future to bring someone back to the past to fix the present was interesting and very well carried out, considering this was a mixture of two totally different shows.
* I do have to say that Michael Hurst did a good job at merging the two shows.
* It was great to see Danielle Cormack again. I really wished the show "Amazon High" would have taken off. It looked like it would have been a great show. The photography in this show was very good, especially those sections that were taped for "Amazon High".
* It was sad to see Yakut go. I will miss her. But as we all know, nothing is final in the Xenaverse, especially death, so hopefully we will see Yakut again.
* The idea of Gabrielle giving Eve her right of caste was just great. To be able to bring these two shows together in a logical way, was extremely interesting. It was amazing to see how they blended. Even the difference in filming made this interweaving of the two shows outstanding. The very fast pace of the section from the past compared to the slower pace of the section from the present made the show entertaining and interesting to watch.
* Loved the reaction of Utma/Cyane when she found out the Amazons eat the horses. I think it would have been close to my own reaction at the same discovery.
* The fight scenes were very well done. They were very different from what we are accustomed to seeing. This was something else that gave us a good glimpse at what life might have been like for the Amazon in a pre-Xena time.
* A few things bothered me a bit about this show. First and foremost, it was the attitude of the new Cyane toward Xena. Didn't she realize who Xena was? What was this, "The ceremony is just for Amazons and you are not an Amazon, Xena." Didn't she realize that the Amazon nation, especially the Northern Amazons, would not exist if it had not been for Xena? (Of course, this would be after she became a good person and returned to help them.) That whole attitude thing toward Xena really rubbed me the wrong way.
* I really did not like the acting of the new Cyane. There was something missing, as if she was not all there. She seemed way too content and her anger did not come across very believable.
* If the question is, did I liked the show, I would say yes, I did. But I would have liked to see the whole pilot of "Amazon High". The show really seemed very promising.
This commentary is by Vanessa Suen.
By the end of Lifeblood, I was curled up in a ball and whimpering incoherently. I know that this episode had the same effect on many people, but I was whimpering in a mostly good way. But bear with me as I explain why there was some pained whimpers in there as well.
Let me say straight off, that as a Xena episode, Lifeblood rated a solid 'pretty crappy' in my book. Not only was there very little Xena and Gabrielle (aside from one amusing raised eyebrow exchange as Cyane Mk. III said that she had taken on the traditional name of the tribal leader) but there was also very little Xena *or* Gabrielle. When the most memorable scene from Xena consists of her holding a sacred horn above her head and Gabs' one impressive moment was when she was blue and swaying in the moonlight, you know you're going to get a lot of unhappy viewers.
As for the continuity... well, there was none. I thought it was fairly clear that Gabrielle gave up her Queenhood at the end of Endgame to Chilapa (who didn't extend the offer to remain only as Gabrielle's Regent, as Ephiny had done) yet Cyane said that Gabrielle's rightful place was as their Queen. Ok... although it's not true, I can accept an Amazon saying that in Greece, but in Anatolia? Not only is she not Anatolian, but I don't recall that tribe showing much interest in Gabrielle before. And while I really liked the whole Lost Boys thing that Otere and Yakut and the rest had going on in Adventures in the Sin Trade, they always seemed like a bunch of kids having to rough it out in the wilderness, rather than as Amazons. Cyane's declaration that Yakut was 'the greatest amongst them' was a little jarring, especially when you look at the impressive lineage of noble Amazon Queens throughout the show; Alison Bruce as Melosa, Vicky Pratt as Cyane, Danielle Cormack as Ephiny. And speaking of good ol' Eph, was I the only one who was waiting for Gabrielle to say (Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction style) "Gee, that Samsara really looks like Ephiny!" when she woke up from her blue moonlit OD?
They didn't just screw up continuity in XWP real time, but the whole reason given as to why the flashback scenes were spliced in was pretty iffy. If - as it was implied through that alone and angry on horseback scene - Samsara left the Amazons before they ever became Amazons, why is it *her* legacy of bloodlust and vengeance that remains? So did the original Cyane leave anything at all, aside from a pretty name to be handed down through the generations? (Certainly the idea of the cavalry charge seemed to pass the Amazons by.) Nor have we seen much bloodlust and vengeance in the depiction of the Amazons on Xena thus far. As the first Amazon to appear on Xena, Terreis made an impression with her quiet philosophy on men and women. Melosa made her own choice not to take her revenge out on Krykus for the death of Terreis in Hooves and Harlots. When Gabrielle protested that 'revenge isn't justice' I immediately thought of Ephiny saying the exact same thing to a grieving father in the Hercules' episode, Sky High. And Vicky Pratt's Cyane stated fairly unequivocally what the Amazon Way was in AITST - 'to live for each other, not ourselves' - not exactly the scenes of murder and mayhem that Cyane in Lifeblood pointed out. Perhaps it would have made more sense if they depicted the Amazons coming full-circle, having followed the original Cyane's pacifist ways and only now finding themselves lost in Samsara's way of revenge and hatred, with Xena/Gab/Eve having to play the role of the new Utma. But I forget, this is RenPics... sense?! Bah! Who needs it?
And while Gabrielle's voice-overs at the beginning and end were a nice reminder of the Xena Scrolls and a time when she wasn't just a warrior, it also struck a discordant chord. So the Amazons were saved by the wisdom of Xena? Didn't she also kill all the leaders of the very same tribe ten years ago, leaving the Anatolian Amazons as nothing more than a group of children doing their best just to survive? Please TPTB, this is my impassioned plea to kill off the Amazon Nation before you reduce them to... well, what you reduce them to in Kindred Spirits.
It was probably for this reason why I found Lifeblood so memorable. As someone who became a Xena fan through the idea of the Amazons, I was forced to compare how RenPics depict the current state of the Amazon Nation to how it had been in other seasons. And especially with the stark juxtaposition to what it was in Amazon High. It was the Amazon High clips - in and of themselves - that made me go all fetal and whimper about what could have been.
I know that Amazon High was redeveloped into Cleopatra 2525, and the basic elements - the focus on three distinct female characters, the girl out of her time, a non-reliance on male roles - are all still there. But it's also very different. Cleo is a fun show, the plot, scenes and costumes are totally fantastical, and the actors look like they're struggling to keep a straight face much of the time. From the brief clips that we got of Amazon High, the feel is much weightier. Perhaps it is to do with the caliber of acting. Gina Torres is always impeccable, while Vicky Pratt and Jennifer Sky are improving in leaps and bounds. But Claudia Black and Danielle Cormack... when they're on, those two are like forces of nature. I can't think of two better actors to portray strong, noble, female characters and early Amazon archetypes, who would have appealed equally to men and women. Selma Blair was also - surprisingly - very charismatic in the clueless teen role, and much more restrained than Jennifer Sky in 2525AD. I'm a big Cleo advocate, but I know that it's pure visual candy. Amazon High, which was purported to be about the formation of the Amazon Nation (RenPic's version tm.) could have really meant something in a time when the gender debate is still so relevant to our society.
From the clips that we saw in Lifeblood, Amazon High did have its problems if it were to continue as a series. Foremost, the premise probably had nowhere to go, based on the story presented in the pilot. Cyane banished the threat of the cannibalistic bad guys with the words 'Go. Teach your people a better way.' Samsara's battle with her dark side would have been a good thread that continued throughout the series, but if she had returned to a life with the Amazons, it couldn't have been something that a show was built on. Could the whole series be about the daily goings-on in an early Amazon village? I think so, if they had good enough writers and if they decided to make Amazon High a character driven piece. They had the actors who are more than accomplished enough to carry it.
On the production side of things, Michael Hurst (who directed the pilot) has mentioned that they've had several problems that came from shooting a two-hour show in twenty-eight days. I guess we got the good bits in Lifeblood then. All the talk was that Amazon High was a Buffy-clone that was specifically meant to be aimed at a teen audience. But that would have been clearly the wrong way to go. Still a teen myself, and a definite Buffy fan, I know that a lot of my peers enjoy the show on a more base level that comes from the love/sex/relationships factor between the characters. When the Chieftess declared that they would take no more menfolk into their tribe, that factor was effectively canceled in Amazon High (it would be amazing, but I'm not naive enough to think that any studio would purchase a show that had a homosexual community as its backdrop. That's why the cynic in me can accept that they had the Amazons form with sword-wielding-nuns in mind rather than out of any spirit of female empowerment.) TPTB could have done better marketing the show to adults; appealing to women with Danielle Cormack and Claudia Black as strong female role models who aren't out-of-touch icons of perfection, and picking up the male market with the eye candy factor and the David E. Kelley opinion that all men love to fantasize about beautiful women, um, together. The young teen population - who bought into Girl Power - would have come with the affinity that they saw through the role of Cyane, and Selma Blair's portrayal of her.
If it was handled correctly, and marketed to the right audience Amazon High should have been something very, very special. This is one viewer who's definitely lamenting the loss of what could have been.
This commentary is by Philip Teo.
I know that Yakut can fight as an amazon, but in "Them Bones, Them Bones", we learn that Yakut has become the shamaness. Does a shamaness fight? If not, why did Yakut lead the amazons in battle? And isn't it such appropriate timing that Xena and Gabrielle arrive at the village just when Yakut needed Xena's help?
I really don't get it why was it so important for Yakut to show Xena visions of the past of the amazons, and why that particular tribe? And is Samsara a key character?
Seeing Danielle Cormack back was great, though she did not return as Ephiny. Her character here, Samsara reminded me a little of the original Ephiny, when she first appeared in "Hooves and Harlots", headstrong and determined. Why was summoning a utma from the future vital? How did Cyane help the amazons in battle?
Seeing Karl Urban back was great too, he was really convincing as a blur but yet dashing tribesman. After seeing him as Caesar for so long, it was a refreshing change to see him play another character.
When I saw Claudia Black play the leader of the amazon tribe, I kept wondering where I saw her back. It was then I recalled she played the role of Cassandra on Hercules. Claudia here was quite convincing as a stern amazon leader but yet filled with understanding.
I feel that Lucy got it off easy this episode, basically doing nothing but talking and raising the utma dagger. When can we see Lucy in action again?
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
02-11-00. This looks like the episode which will be constructed mostly out of AMAZON HIGH clips.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Watch Eve when Gabrielle and Xena learn about Amarice's fate. Eve plucks up one of Gab's sais, drops it in a classic baby game of "I throw it, you bring it," and gives a hilarious laugh. That's called stealing the scene, kiddo.
The melodrama of the horse sacrifice was marvelously ruined by Eve's look of worry. Uhhh, Eve? That's still called stealing the scene.
HOW funny is it that Karl Urban, who so recently tacked our gals onto crosses as Caesar, was getting a death march with a crossbeam a la crucifixion BC? Since this was done for an entirely different show, I guess it wasn't intentional, but it was sure amusing to watch. Paybacks are a b*tch!
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
03-29-00. From P + I Gent. AMAZON means *moon-maiden* - nothing to do with cutting off the breast - some misogynist guy made that up. hence Gab Dancing in the Moonlight! For more information go to http://www.geocities.com/lucath/goddess.html and http://members.xoom.com/daxlaw/myths.html.
03-18-00. From Lee Whiteside. "Life Blood" followed in the tradition of the original Star Trek's "Menagerie" episode in making use of an unaired pilot. In this case, it was the pilot movie made for "Amazon High", in which a present day high school student goes back in time to the early days of the Amazons. The movie was filmed back in late 1997 and was directed by Michael Hurst but never did get picked up for a series or even aired as a movie of the week. Info known about it has been sketchy and the only cast mentioned had been the main players, Danielle Cormack, Salma Blair, and Karl Urban, all of which had made appearances on Xena or Hercules (or both).
One other actress that appeared in the pilot is now known more for her work as Aeryn Sun on Farscape. She has appeared in a couple of Hercules episodes but I hadn't run across much mention of her having taken part in Amazon High.
The footage from the pilot is worked into the Xena wrap-around story as images sent to Xena and the Amazons from when the Amazons took on their name. It also explains some of the Amazon continuity that has seemed strange within Xena and Hercules.
03-18-00. From Eric. The names of certain characters from the Amazon High story have significant meaning.
Danielle Cormack's character, the warrior Samsara, is named from the Hindu concept of the cycle of continuous rebirth which every Hindu hopes to escape one day.
The name and title Utma is also a clever play on the word Atma, in Hinduism the Sanskrit word for 'soul', probably because the Utma girl Cyane was associated with the creation of the first Amazons. The dagger of Utma could also be seen as a 'soul dagger' which shows the history of others.
Click here to read a transcript of LIFEBLOOD.
Shelley Edwards' acting biography.