A Century of Calumny (04-15)
Renaissance Pictures Looks At The Middle East (16-19)
Jews In Xena (20-21)
Dancing In The Desert (22-23)
A Persian Episode (24-26)
Two Cleopatra Episodes (27-28)
Two Najara Episodes (29-30)
GURKHAN and Sexual Slavery (31-37)
LEGACY and Lawrence (38-49)
Middle Easterners In Xena: Warrior Princess
and Other Renaissance Pictures Series
You can find in almost any crowd scene in
Xena: Warrior Princess representatives of many different ethnic groups
 Multiculturalism was one of the hallmarks of Xena: Warrior Princess. The stories ranged from Greece to Britain, India, Central Asia, China, and Japan. All human groups were presented favorably - with one exception, which this article will discuss.
 No one in Xena, not even the villains, seems to harbor racial or ethnic bigotry. Perhaps the most memorable story featuring unreasoning prejudice, IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? (24/124), concerns hatred between two Greek groups, the Mitoans and Thessalians, rather than two different ethnic groups. When the producers wanted to comment on prejudice, they often had a story about a non-human group, the centaurs, or a battle-of-the-sexes story about Amazons.
 The single exception to Xena's policy of respect for ethnic groups is the series' treatment of non-Jewish Middle Easterners. In this respect, Xena continued a long tradition of prejudice by American entertainment media.
A Century of Calumny
Reel Bad Arabs by Jack Shaheen
 Arab American scholar Jack Shaheen's 2001 book Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies A People received excellent reviews ("meticulous ... passionate ... highly recommended" in Library Journal; "a piercing laser of fairness and sanity" according to the Los Angeles Times) but has certainly not attracted as much attention as it should. Shaheen, Professor of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University, documents stereotyping and demonization of Arabs in American and European films from the silent movies to the turn of the century.
 The earliest American silent films exhibited prejudice against many minorities -- Jews, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Anti-Semitism disappeared for the most part in the 1920s when the major studios, many founded by Jews, drove out of business most of the dozens of small studios which had made early anti-Semitic silent films. Hollywood hostility against Asians continued until the 1940s and filmed bigotry against African Americans and Hispanics continued into the 1950s. Shaheen finds that vilification of Arabs has continued unabated for a century.
 The book examines about 900 films. Shaheen identifies 12 films as "the best", another 51 as "recommended", and 63 as "the worst". This leaves about 780 films that are not recommended but are not among the very worst offenders. Some of the "best" films are little-known: Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (West Germany, 1974), Beyond The Walls (Israel, 1984), The Black Tent (Britain, 1956), Cup Final (Israel, 1992), Gambit (U.S., 1966), King Richard And The Crusades (U.S., 1954), Lion Of The Desert (Britain-Libya, 1981), Madame Rosa (France, 1977), Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (U.S., 1991), The Thief Of Bagdad (U.S., 1924), The 13th Warrior (U.S., 1999), and Three Kings (U.S, 1999).
 Some of the better-known of the 51 "recommended" films are The Battle Of Algiers (Italy-Algeria, 1965), Ben Hur (1959), Caesar And Cleopatra (1946), Cleopatra (1934 and 1963 versions), Five Graves To Cairo (1943), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1974), La Haine (France, 1995), Hanna K. (France, 1983), Khartoum (1966), The Long Kiss Goodbye (1996), The Message (International, 1976), Party Girl (1995), Princess Tam Tam (1935), and Sahara (1943).
 The best-known of the 63 "worst" films include Back To The Future (1985), The Black Stallion (1979), The Black Stallion Returns (1983), Cast A Giant Shadow (1966), Delta Force (1986), Exodus (1960), Ishtar (1987), Jewel Of The Nile (1985), Navy Seals (1990), Network (1976), Protocol (1984), Rollover (1982), Rules Of Engagement (2000), Sahara (1983), Son Of The Pink Panther (1993), Sphinx (1981), and True Lies (1994).
 Well known films which are not recommended but are not among the "worst" include Disney's Aladdin (1992), Black Sunday (1977), Casablanca (1942), The Crusades (1935), El Cid (1961), Flight Of The Phoenix (1966), Gallipoli (1981), Gladiator (2000), Independence Day (1996), King Of Kings (1961), Land Of The Pharaohs (1955), Lawrence Of Arabia (1962), The Long Ships (1964), The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2001), Nighthawks (1981), Patton (1970), Prince Of Egypt (1998), Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) and its sequel Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989), Reds (1981), The Robe (1953), The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad (1968), The Sheik (1921) and its sequel Son Of The Sheik (1926), The Siege (1998), Solomon And Sheba (1959), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Stargate (1994), The Ten Commandments (1923 and 1956 versions), Thief Of Bagdad (1940), The Wind And The Lion (1975), and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). Shaheen was one of several Arab Americans invited by Dreamworks to see an early print of Prince Of Egypt; he describes Dreamworks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg's angry reaction to his criticism of the film.
 What Shaheen is driving at can perhaps best be seen by noting some of the insults hurled at movie Arabs, collected by Shaheen in an appendix. Arabs in films have been called "animals", "bandits", "barbarians", "brown devils", "buffoons", "butchers", "camel jockeys", "cutthroats", "devils", "dirty, filthy swine", "dogs", "fanatic tribesmen", "filthy Arabs", "filthy butchers", "filthy, groveling pig", "filthy swine", "half-breed dog", "hashish-maddened horde", "heathen", "horrid brute", "hyena", "jackal", "mad dog", "maggots", "man-eating dark savages", "medieval fanatics", "mongrels", "nitwits", "pinhead potentate", "poisonous snake", "prowling Bedouins", "raghead", "rats", "riff-raff", "roaches", "sand fleas", "savages", "scavengers", "scum", "scum of the earth", "sneaky Arabs", "swine", "terrorists", "towel head", "treacherous dog", "walking bedsheets", "wild tribes", and "yellow heathen". Other epithets are too obscene to repeat here.
 Shaheen believes that the situation is getting worst rather than better. Of the 63 "best" and "recommended" films 8 were made in the 1920s, 6 in the 1930s, 8 in the 40s, 6 in the 50s, 10 in the 60s, 7 in the 70s, 7 in the 80s, and 11 in the 1990s. Of the 63 "worst" films, 2 were made in the 1920s, 3 in the 30s, none in the 40s, 4 in the 50s, 5 in the 60s, 6 in the 70s, 26 in the 80s, 17 in the 90s, and one in the year 2000.
 If Shaheen is correct, it should be noted that the period when Jews dominated the major Hollywood studios, from the 1920s to the 1950s, saw less vitriolic attacks on Arabs than more recent times, when Jews were not dominant in Hollywood. For instance, Shaheen finds several of the Arabian Nights films of the 1950s relatively acceptable. Many of them were made by Jewish producers and directors and even one Jewish star, Tony Curtis (The Prince Who Was A Thief, 1951; Son Of Ali Baba, 1952).
 Two of the most famous films that Shaheen disapproves of are The Sheik (1921) and Lawrence Of Arabia (1962). The Sheik, which made Rudolph Valentino into a star, was an early example of Hollywood's obsession with Arabs as sexual predators and is therefore relevant to my discussion of WHO'S GURKHAN below. Handsome young Sheikh Ahmed kidnaps virginal English girl Diana (Agnes Ayres) and informs her "When an Arab sees a woman he wants, he takes her." She attempts suicide; he relents. Eventually they fall in love. At one point Diana learns that Ahmed is not actually an Arab but half-English and half-Spanish. Thus the film suggests that Ahmed's willingness to kidnap and rape is a result of his Arab upbringing, while his reformation (and his subsequent acceptability as a partner for the English girl) comes from his European heritage.
 Lawrence Of Arabia bears more than a passing resemblance to the Xena episode LEGACY, as we will see. The film suggests that the Arabs of World War I could not have won their war with the Turks, or could not even cooperate with each other, had it not been for the efforts of a lone English officer. Shaheen particularly notes the famous line spoken by Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) to Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif), "So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they remain a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous and cruel, as you are."
 As can be seen from the lists above, Shaheen includes films about ancient Egyptians as well as medieval and modern Arabs. He omits films about Muslims outside the Middle East, such as Northwest Frontier (aka Flame Over India, 1959) which sneered at Indian Muslims. By coincidence a new film which attacks non-Arab Muslims has a connection with Xena. Tears Of The Sun (2003), that casts Nigerian Muslims as villains, was to have co-starred Kevin Smith.
Renaissance Pictures Looks At The Middle East
Falafel, is he Middle Eastern or not? Only his writer knows for sure.
 Xena and Hercules are set in the ancient world, up to the First Century C.E. At that time, no one was a Muslim and Arabs were found only in Arabia. Theoretically it is possible that no character in Xena and Hercules is an Arab. However, for the purposes of this article, I will examine how the series portrayed all Middle Eastern characters not identified as Jews. I hypothesize that Renaissance Pictures followed Arab stereotypes in portraying all Middle Easterners, just as Shaheen found that Hollywood treated ancient people of the Middle East as if they were Arabs.
 A key character in Hercules' treatment of Middle Easterners is Falafel, played in several episodes by Paul Norell. The character was named after a Middle Eastern food and was a crude stereotype: buck-toothed, swarthy, and untrustworthy. I recall that in one Hecules episode, Hercules and Iolaus agree that it would be unwise to buy food being sold by Falafel. Someone who sells unclean food is of course disgusting. Like Salmoneus, Falafel is a small businessman, but in comparison with Salmoneus, he is much less charming, less intelligent, and less hygienic. We laugh with Salmoneus: we laugh at Falafel.
 GENIES AND GRECIANS AND GEEKS, OH MY! (H85/504) is the Hecules episode most clearly derived from the Arabian Nights. A heavy-built, malicious genie bedevils long-suffering Salmoneus and Autolycus. The episode makes fun of traditional Arabian Nights tales, which were the basis for some of the films Shaheen found most acceptable.
 Jack Of All Trades was set in a very fanciful East Indies in about 1803. An episode involves a villainous Arab ruler who bullies his many wives. Bruce Campbell's Jack is threatened with castration and fights with a eunuch. At the end of the episode the king asks his rebellious chief wife to forgive him and return to him. She refuses and departs. In The Sheik (1921) Arab sexual predators are denounced as a threat to Western women. In Jack Of All Trades it is Arab women who are the victims of male bullying.
Jews In Xena
Xena had lived among the Jews when she recuperated from battle wounds
 Jews first appear in Xena briefly in THE ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (17/117). Their first major appearance is in ALTARED STATES (19/119), which is also the first episode about monotheism and the first to feature deliberate suggestions of lesbian "subtext". In the episode, based on the Abraham story, everyone except Xena and Gabrielle is Jewish. Therefore, both the villains and the virtuous people are Jews. In most Xena episodes the good people are saved by Xena and Gabrielle but in this story the endangered boy Ikus is saved by the direct intervention of God, a signal that the producers respected the tradition that the Jews were a holy people who were protected by God. The episode also credits the Jews as the first monotheists, responsible for an important change in the world that will echo throughout the whole series.
 Except for the villains in ALTARED STATES, Jews are shown in a positive light in all the episodes in which they appear. In GIANT KILLER (27/203), Dagon, a Philistine leader, pretends to want peace with the Jews ("You don't know what lengths I've gone to try and work with them in a peaceful way") but plans to attack and destroy them. This mirrors the Israeli nationalist appraisal of the Palestinian Authority.
Dancing In The Desert
Footloose in the Middle East....somewhere
 The most acceptable Xena episode about Middle Easterners who are not identified as Jews is A TALE OF TWO MUSES (74/406), remembered mainly as the first dance episode and for the return of the much-despised Tara. Just as in ALTARED STATES everyone except Xena and Gabrielle is Jewish, in MUSES everyone except Xena, Gabrielle, Tara and Autolycus are desert people. In ALTARED STATES both the good people and the villains are Jewish; in MUSES both the virtuous people and the villains are Middle Easterners.
 Xena's multiculturalism was often shown by romantic and sexual encounters between people of different groups, such as Xena and Marcus, Ephiny and the centaur Phantes, or Gabrielle's puppy love for the Jewish hero David in GIANT KILLER. MUSES features the only positive view in the series of romance between a Middle Eastern man and a woman of another group (Tara is presumably Greek).
A Persian Episode
It was a bad day for the Persians,
when they met their first warrior princess
 In his book, Shaheen includes films about the ancient and medieval Persians. He notes a poll which showed that most Americans believe that Iranians (formerly the Persians) are Arabs and finds that most Hollywood films treated Persians in the same contemptuous way as Arabs. Xena treated the Persians in one popular episode, ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313).
 Xena says that the Persians are "the most ruthless army ever to take up weapons". More ruthless than whom? Caesar? Callisto? It seems uncalled for to identify the Persians as the worst villains in the series.
 With Gabrielle sidelined, Xena single-handedly defeated and drove off two hundred Persians in perhaps the most famous and certainly the most ridiculous fight scene in the series. It was an insult to the viewers but of course also an insult to the Persians. They are thorough villains and are defeated by a lone hero.
Two Cleopatra Episodes
In a long standing Xena tradition,
Cleopatra finds time to bathe
 In THE KING OF ASSASSINS (54/308) and ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA (108/518) Cleopatra is shown first as black, to accommodate Gina Torres, then as white, to accommodate Lucy Lawless. Fans certainly didn't complain about either characterization. The real Cleopatra was Macedonian.
 Both episodes deal with Cleopatra and her court, not ordinary people. The court includes both people who are loyal to Cleopatra and villains who betray her. ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA makes the important point that the powerful Egyptian fleet was a major factor in the crisis between Octavian and Mark Antony. At the end of the episode Xena makes the bizarre remark that now "the Egyptian people might, for the first time, choose their next great leader". This had nothing to do with real history. After Octavian's victory, Egypt became a Roman province and remained one for centuries.
Two Najara Episodes
Najara thought Xena could be replaced in Gabrielle's life
 Najara can be identified as a Middle Eastern villain because of her costume and because the "jinn", the spirits who advise her, are based on the djinns of the Arabian Nights (called "genies" in Western versions). In CRUSADER (76/408) Najara is a typical warlord villain, though more charismatic and better acted than most. In THE CONVERT (86/418) she is depicted as insane.
 In CHAKRAM magazine (no. 6, p. 20), R.J. Stewart says that Najara was based on Joan of Arc and (p. 21) that the episode was titled CRUSADER because Najara's fanaticism was "a very crusader-like attitude". The producers cast Najara as a representative of all religious fanatics, including Christians, but they still portrayed her as a Middle Eastern villain.
GURKHAN and Sexual Slavery
Xena gets treated badly by Gurkhan
 WHO'S GURKHAN? (116/605) and LEGACY (117/605) are set in North Africa, presumably in the First Century C.E. The people of North Africa at the time were neither Arab nor Muslim, but both episodes rely on the stereotypes of Hollywood depictions of Arab traditional societies.
 Sometime soon after the first year of Xena I saw an article (I cannot recall where) in which Lucy Lawless said that she had objected to Rob Tapert about something that had offended her in the first season and that Tapert had promised never to do it again. She did not say what she had found objectionable and I haven't found an explanation, but I suspect she may have disliked certain scenes from CRADLE OF HOPE (04/104). A woman tells Xena and Gabrielle that she and other women dance for the villain Nemos, who "chooses" one of them for his pleasure. Xena dances, is of course chosen, meets Nemos in the bedroom, leads him on, then knocks him out.
 If Tapert promised not to repeat such scenes of sexual servitude, he forgot his promise when he made GURKHAN. As in the Jack Of All Trades episode, Arabs are blamed for mistreatment of women, but here the picture is much more revolting than in the comedy series. The episode is an epitome of bondage and sexual slavery, with women characters auctioned, put in a harem, threatened, tortured, and condemned to death.
 All the male North African characters seen are evil, with the possible exception of the man who picked his nose at the slave auction. (If they aren't evil they're merely disgusting.) Gurkhan is as evil as any villain in the series, but much less interesting than Callisto or Ares. He is so evil that even Gabrielle hates him and wants him dead. Since Gabrielle is the conscience of the whole series, that settles it.
 Some of the women victims may be North African, while others are definitely foreigners. Any of the women who are North African would be the only good North Africans in the episode, but the story emphasizes Gurkhan as an international collector of women Slaves: a threat to women everywhere. The scene in which Gurkhan, already in bed with Xena, says to Gabrielle "Join us, little one", is much more decadent than the scene from CRADLE mentioned above.
 The prolonged scene of Xena being tortured by the North Africans struck many fans as the most brutal and dispiriting scene in the series. Some compared it with the fight scene in THE WAY (84/416), in which Xena's arms were momentarily cut off. But the WAY scene was less prolonged than the GURKHAN torture scene and was a fight scene in which Xena, assisted by supernatural forces, fought back and won, while in the GURKHAN scene Xena was helpless.
 GURKHAN was the subject of the Creation Entertainment "making of" film Xena: Warrior Princess-Behind The Scenes, released on two videos included in the fourth and fifth Xena Fan Club membership kits. In the first segment of the video (in Kit 4) production designer Rob Gillies shows the viewer a book he consulted in designing the accoutrements for the episode, a book titled ORIENTALISM IN ART. Costume designer Jane Holland adds, "We looked at a lot of Orientalist reference paintings." The Orientalist art movement was based on stereotypes of Middle Eastern decadence, as documented in Edward Said's 1978 book ORIENTALISM. Gillies says that Orientalism, like GURKHAN, reflected Europeans' "obsession" with harem life.
LEGACY And Lawrence
Gabrielle finds herself up to her neck in trouble
 GURKHAN showed us only bad North Africans. LEGACY gave us the good North Africans. GURKHAN demonized North African villains. LEGACY stereotyped the North Africans who deserved Xena's and Gabrielle's help.
 The episode has several similarities with LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. In both an idealistic outsider (Lawrence and Gabrielle) goes to the desert in a time of war. The desert people are revolting against a ruthless empire (the Turks in LAWRENCE; the Romans in LEGACY) and are losing. The rebels cannot win because they constantly fight each other. They depend on an outsider (Lawrence; Xena) to unite them and lead them.
 In both stories a murder leads to demand for an execution, which threatens to destroy the rebels' unity and cost them the war. In the film, Lawrence leads two Arab tribes who traditionally fight each other on a difficult desert march. After crossing a large waterless area they find that one man has fallen from his horse and been left behind. The Arabs say that anyone who goes after him will die in the desert but Lawrence insists on trying. Miraculously he finds the man alive and brings him to safety. That night Lawrence is told that a man of one tribe has killed a member of the other tribe. The murderer must be executed, but no man of his tribe will kill him and if the victim's tribe kills him his tribe will desert. To solve the impasse, Lawrence agrees to execute the man himself. Then he finds that the killer is the man he saved from the desert.
 In LEGACY Gabrielle mistakenly kills Korah, son of Tazere, leader of the tribe uneasily allied to Kahina's people. Tazere demands Gabrielle's death or he will desert with his tribe. Xena cannot save Gabrielle (until the last moment) without losing the alliance and the war.
 Arabs object to Lawrence Of Arabia because it gives Western audiences the impression that the Arabs could never have had any success against the Turks without Lawrence. In the same way, LEGACY makes clear that the North Africans could not have beaten the Romans without Xena. Xena says that "the desert is a powerful ally," implying that the North Africans would be incapable of winning without that supposed advantage. (Actually the desert is a bad place to fight, in contrast with hills or jungles, because there is no place to hide. Often after a desert battle the defeated force is exterminated because it can't get away.)
 When Xena and Gabrielle first meet the North Africans, two groups are fighting each other, as is their habit. The two Greek women drive off the winning side, thus establishing their vast superiority over North African fighters. Incredibly, Kahina and her group are indignant at being saved and threaten to attack their deliverers. When they find out that the legendary Xena has come to them, they actually bow to her, as if worshipping her. This is known as the "at your throat or at your feet" syndrome, the idea that Arabs display either irrational belligerence or groveling subservience.
 After Xena and Gabrielle join Kahina's people, they are offered both food that they find disgusting and sex with homely, gap-toothed men, which they evade by pleading a chastity vow. Kahina smiles eagerly as she proffers both unwelcome gifts. These people are so disgusting they don't even know they're disgusting.
 Later the heroes visit Tazere, whose son Korah (referred to as "desert boy" by fans who couldn't be bothered to remember his name) is a fan of Gabrielle. He actually washes her feet, a gesture of traditional subservience. Gabrielle is a little offended by this, murmuring "if you must" when he asks permission.
 After Gabrielle mistakenly kills Korah, her idealism in volunteering to die instead of an innocent Roman is contrasted with Tazere's insistence on traditional revenge. The method of execution chosen is the most horrific and frightening imaginable. Gabrielle is buried up to her neck in sand and is to be ridden over by horsemen. Just as the torture scene in GURKHAN was the worst thing that ever happened to Xena in the series, this near-execution is the most horrifying thing that ever happened to Gabrielle. (The scene was a copy of a scene in an old Hollywood film, Bagdad (1949), in which three men are buried up to their necks and killed by horsemen's lances. Bagdad starred Maureen O'Hara, Hollywood's outstanding fighting woman star before Xena. Shaheen puts Bagdad in his largest group, of not recommended but not "the worst" films. Happily, Shaheen does recommend another of O'Hara's harem films, Flame Of Araby (1951). O'Hara's best fighting costume film was At Sword's Point (1952), a musketeer film.)
 Kahina is named after the Kahina, a Berber queen who opposed the Arab, Muslim invasion of North Africa in the late Eight Century. The Kahina was anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and may have been Jewish. We cannot guess whether it was these factors that caused screenwriter Melissa Good and Tapert to borrow her name, or simply the fact that she was a North African woman military leader.
 At the end of the episode, Gabrielle and Tazere are reconciled and forgive each other. This scene is given considerable resonance by Rawiri Paratene's dignified performance. This is the only dignity allowed for the North Africans after two episodes of sexual bondage, torture, selling of women, disgusting food, offers of disgusting sex, irrational feuding, military incompetence and vicious revenge. No other ethnic group was ever treated with such disrespect in Xena.
 I do not intend to criticize Melissa Good, queen of fan fiction authors. I enjoyed her other episode, COMING HOME (113/601). She was working to order and the responsibility for the two North African episodes lies with Rob Tapert, as does the malicious depiction of Middle Easterners in other episodes of Xena and the other Renaissance Pictures series. In its treatment of this group, Xena was no worst than hundreds of other Hollywood productions. Nor was it any better.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. Pantheon, 1978.
Shaheen, Jack G. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies A People. Oliver Branch Press, 2001.
Xena Warrior Princess: Behind The Scenes. Creation Entertainment, 2001. Two videocassettes, in Xena Fan Club membership kits 4 and 5.
Michael Klossner, Joan of Arc and Gabrielle: Two Chaste, Fighting Peasant Girl Saints. WHOOSH #41 (February 2000)
Michael Klossner, Kahina Queen of the Berbers. WHOOSH #85 (January 2004)
Michael Klossner, An Index To Robert Weisbrot's Xena: Warrior Princess: The Official Guide to the Xenaverse. WHOOSH #22 (July 1998)
Michael Klossner, An Index To Nikki Stafford's Lucy Lawless And Renee O'Connor: Warrior Stars Of Xena. WHOOSH #24 (September 1998)
Michael Klossner, Index to The Chakram No. 1-4. WHOOSH #27 (December 1998)
Michael Klossner, Index to the Chakram No. 1-5. WHOOSH #29 (February 1999)
Michael Klossner, Whoosh! Subject Index - By Issue
Michael Klossner, Whoosh! Author/Title Index
Michael Klossner, Whoosh! Subject Index - By Issue
Michael Klossner, Whoosh! Episode Guide: Xena/Hercules Writers And Directors By Alphabetical Order.
Michael Klossner, Whoosh! XENA Magazine Index
I was the right age to enjoy the children's swashbuckler series of the first decade of TV - Robin Hood, Zorro, and half a dozen others. These have remained among my favorite TV nostalgia memories. The genre died on TV, as in the movies, but I am delighted that there have been three excellent, up-to-date sword series in the 1980s and 90s: Robin Of Sherwood, the Sharpe series of TV films starring Sean Bean, and Xena.
I have written The Europe of 1500-1815 in Film and Television (2002) and chapters annotating the best books and magazines on genre films and TV in four books, all edited by Neil Barron: Fantasy Literature (1989), Horror Literature (1989), Anatomy of Wonder 4 (1995, covering SF) and Fantasy and Horror Literature (1999).
Although a mere Yankee transplant, I work as a librarian at the Arkansas State Library. I contribute to the Chakram, as "Boeotian."
Favorite episode: A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214)
Favorite line: Xena to Salmoneus: "Make sure you keep amusing me". THE GAUNTLET (H12/112)
First episode seen: CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102)
Least favorite episode: THE BITTER SUITE (58/312)