GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS by Bluesong
COMMENTARY by Beth Gaynor
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Ted Raimi (Joxer)
Macgregor Cameron (Balius)
Jodie Dorday (dancing and singing bordello chick #2)
Leah (Lucy Lawless)
Meg (Lucy Lawless)
Jan Hellriegel (Hestia)
Matty J. Ruys (Dexon)
Ted Clarke (Thoracles)
Tim Hosking (Burly Blacksmith)
Rob Sinkinson (Bystander/Drunk)
Fred Morton (Bordello girl #1)
Megan Nicol (Hestian #1)
Rachale Davies (Bordello girl #3)
Polly Baigent (Xena/Leah/Meg Body Doubles)
Bobbie McKay (Xena/Leah/Meg Body Doubles)
Written by Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Robert Ginty
SHE'S NOT THE WARRIOR PRINCESS
("Xena" draws a sword)
Xena: I come in peace.
(Throws sword on ground.)
BUT A VIRGIN PRIESTESS
(Xena and "Xena" face off.)
Xena: Praise Hestia!
SO WHY DOES SOMEONE WANT HER
Gabrielle (to "Xena" in blue dress): Can you look .... sexy?
Man: Get her!
BATTLE ON, XENA
TV GUIDE PROMO
Close-Up: Lucy Lawless isn't exactly suffering from a lack of exposure. People named her one of its 25 Most Intriguing People and TV GUIDE listed her among the Performers of the Year. What's more, the producers of Xena are making sure she gets even more exposure with this week's show, the first of several new episodes. Lawless is starring as the Warrior PA$Rincess and playing two Xena lookalikes. First, there's Leah, a pious priestess of the vrigin goddess Hestia. Leah's in trouble with bad guys at Hestia's temple, and Xena and Gabrielle want to help her. Complicating matters: a less-than-pious lookalike named Meg, the operator of a bordello.
A pious Xena lookalike named Leah is in danger, and Xena and gabrielle want to protect her, but complicating matters is Meg, another Xena lookalike who is anything but pious.
Xena: Warrior Princess, back with a batch of new episodes, gets mixed up with two lookalikes (one's a lady, the other a tramp) in a mistaken-identity brouhaha.
Can it be? A docile Xena is being burned at the stake.
An evil religious leader plots to destroy a rival sect led by a virgin priestess, who looks exactly like Xena, with the aid of another Xena look-alike.
A priestess and a lusty barmaid who look exactly like Xena teamp up with the warrior princess when Balius plots to destroy the Hestians.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 01-12-98
An AA average of --
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
X-FILES ("Genderbender" 14/114)
HERCULES ("If I Had a Hammer" 68/409)
STAR TREK DS9 ("Rocks and Shoals" 126R/602)
HIGHLANDER ("Justice" 114R/608)
THE OUTER LIMITS ("Bits of Love" 49R/306)
POLTERGEIST ("Silent Partner" 24/203)
FX ("Ritual" 29R/208)
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT ("The Scarecrow Returns" 12/112)
NIGHTMAN ("Constant Craving" 12/112)
TEAM KNIGHT RIDER (?)
HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS ("Honey, I'm Streakin'" 12/112)
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
In the beginning, "Xena" opts for peace and drops her sword before an evil man. He decides to burn her at the stake after she removes all her weapons, leaving her clad only in her leather shift. Gabrielle arrives and finds "Xena" tied to a stake. She pleads with her to release herself. When she doesn't, Gabrielle decides Xena is testing her because she has previously asked for more responsibility. So Gabrielle finds a way to put out the now- burning fire and cut Xena free. After they run, Gabrielle learns that she has saved not Xena, but Priestess Leah.
Gabrielle takes Leah to Xena, who waits for Gabrielle down the road. They learn that Leah had a message from Hestia to dress up like Xena. Xena is suspicious. Leah is horrified to find herself in the company of these wanton women who are not virgins. Gabrielle explains that she was married at the time, then turns to Xena. "Were you?" she asks.
Xena and Gabrielle take Leah to the temple, where they see Meg holding court and posing as the priestess. Later, when confronted by Xena, Meg says she doesn't know why the High Priest Bailey wants her acting as the priestess, but she was glad to do it. Meg now runs a tavern and brothel down the road. Gabrielle takes Leah away from the temple, deciding to hide her in the tavern. Enroute, Gabrielle tears Leah's clothes to make her look more "Meg-like." Leah talks to Gabrielle about becoming a virgin and knowing yourself. 'Believe me, if I have to go the rest of my life without companionship, knowing myself won't be a problem,'' Gabrielle replies.
Back at the temple, Xena looks for clues about Bailey's reasons for the impersonation plot. She finds out he really isn't a Hestian priest. Meg accidentally tells Bailey that Xena is in the temple and Leah is at the tavern.
Gabrielle and Leah make it to the tavern. Joxer (dressed in his garbage can clothing, not the outfit in King of Assassins) appears and the strumpets sing the "Joxer the Mighty" song. Gabrielle tells Joxer what is happening.
Xena, mistaken for the priestess by the Hestia virgins, has to listen to confessions. A man attacks her while she sits in the confessional. She gives him the "touch" and learns that she has been found out and that Leah is in danger.
Lea sees more than she wants to in the "den of filth" where she is hiding. In an effort to make things better, she has the strumpets sing virtuously and virginally. But guards come. Joxer, thinking Meg is in danger at the temple, goes to rescue her. He is captured. Xena and Meg arrive at the tavern. The strumpets subdue the guards (not by fighting).
Xena and Leah leave to go back to the temple. Bailey shows up at the tavern and kidnaps Meg so that the ceremony scheduled later will take place. Meg, acting as the priestess, is supposed to tell the Hestian virgins to drink wine which is poisoned. Leah tries to get into the temple but she is captured and put into the dungeon with Joxer. Actually, this is Xena, not Leah, and she frees Joxer. Meanwhile, the ceremony takes place and the virgins all collapse. Bailey tries to convince the watching public to change religions. But the virgins rise up and spit the wine out; the priestess conducting the service is really Leah, not Meg, and she gave them instructions in ancient Hestian language.
Xena, Gabrielle, and Meg fight the guards. Bailey takes Leah hostage. Xena stops him. Leah says she has learned that you don't have to be a virgin to be virtuous.
This commentary is by Beth Gaynor.
What do you get when you cross a Hestian Virgin with a brothel? A great excuse for forty minutes of wink-wink nudge-nudge jokes, if you're a Xena episode.
OK, first the bad news: this story stunk. It had holes you could drive busses through, and stood on a twig-thin leg. How did Meg get from being a cook in Lias's castle to owning a brothel? And what was up with Bailius's weak plan with the scroll? He didn't know the Hestian language, but got a Hestian scroll that instructed virgins to drink poison? He handed a scroll in an arcane language to an illiterate woman and didn't think until *afterward* that if she could read it, she must be the real priestess? Oy.
The good news? The jokes were funny enough that I wasn't worried about the story. This was a popcorn episode: pop a bowlful, make like a couch potato, and be careful of when you take a drink, or your cat may end up with Pepsi on her back. Don't try to engage the brain, and it won't complain.
This season has definitely been straying from the kiddie market. When we're not creating a wall of severed heads and exploring childbirth in painstaking detail, we're cracking wise about virginity and hickeys. This episode kept up the trend: line of the episode goes to Renee for her deadpan delivery of "If I have to go the rest of my life without companionship, knowing myself won't be a problem." Between that and the "sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands" advice for the virgin who's hung up on the summer squash, we have what I believe Ms Lawless would term a "wanking theme" for this episode. Mercy.
Once again, Lucy Lawless has just TOO much fun with character switching. It was great to see ol' Meg again. The string of reactions as Leah searches the brothel bedrooms are fabulous. "I hope that's a petting zoo... Oh, please let that be a petting zoo!"
More fun with lookalikes trying to impersonate lookalikes. The dead giveaway for Leah: the lisp. Meg and Xena never get that lisp once, and no matter who Leah tries to impersonate, the slurs slip through. Likewise, Meg's wide, rolling eyes are usually her signature (although Xena has been known to get that pretty close), and of course, Xena's many skills are her telltale sign. (I counted three "Hello/Hi Xena"s when she showed off what she could do.)
Gabrielle gets to kick some tail this episode - she does a great job of getting her and Leah out of the village and manages to wipe up quite a lot of baddies over the course of the show. (Nice board bouncing - I was tempted to give her an Animaniacs-style "boinsey, boinsey, boinsey!" soundtrack.)
Speaking of tail-kicking, where on earth did Meg learn to fight like that? I can understand a little tavern brawling, but she was taking on three soldiers at a time! Xena had serious body count competition from both the bard and the tramp. Even Bailius did a lot of hefty sword-swinging for a priest; that was the most trouble anyone's given Xena in a good while. Suddenly everybody's a warrior.
Apparently, Xena's armor, sword, and chakram are surprisingly easy to duplicate. Like in Warrior... Princess... Tramp, lookalikes have no problems getting that unusual outfit. Who would have thought that Xena buys off the rack?
Joxer reaches near-studliness a couple of times: having a bevy of women singing his praises behind him must do him good. He gets a nice melodramatic moment before he runs into a door, and has an impressively-delivered "unhand that virgin!" line before getting knocked cold with one punch. Ah, that's our Joxer. Did everyone catch his "woman I love" reference to Gabrielle? (Followed quickly by his ponderance of the possibilities if she took up work in a brothel - down, boy!)
XenaStaff's getting pretty good with the duplicate effects: lookalikes are flipping over lookalikes, the back of somebody's head really looks an awful lot like Lucy's, and the mixing effects to put three lookalikes side by side are being done very smoothly. I'm reasonably impressed.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
11-14-98. At the Burbank II Con (01/98), Danielle Cormack, Robert Trebor, and hudson Leick signed autographs as the first run HTLJ episode IF I HAD A HAMMER, and XWP episode WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP was screened on a stadium sized tv as the programs aired over KCOP LOS ANGELES.
09-28-97. At the NYC Convention 09-28-97, a clip from WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP was shown: Joxer singing a variation of his Joxer song while surrounded by bordello employees. One of the employees was Jodie Dorday!
09-16-97. On 09-16-97, Lucy Lawless appeared on a local NYC morning show GOOD DAY NEW YORK, and here's what she said about WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP:
Interviewer: Any changes in the TV show for the new season?
LL: Yeah. Yeah, there's a lot of, a lot of new stuff coming up. There's yet another character. So you know when I play triple characters? We've thrown another one into the mix. Um...it will be Warrior Priestess Tramp.
LL: She has a speech impediment.
09-01-97. Little information has been released about this one, but we can safely assume that the broad physical comedy used in WARRIOR...PRINCESS and WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP will be used and most likely magnified. Does this mean that every season will offer a multiple Xena episode? How long can they keep this running joke running? Maybe next year they will start multiple Gabrielle episodes? Stay tuned to find out.
08-01-97. Diana is left behind but that does not stop Xena and Meg from discovering YET ANOTHER Xena lookalike, who happens to be a Priestess. All I can say is that as running jokes go, THIS BETTER BE GOOD!
Highlights by Beth Gaynor.
"Heathens to the left of me, infidels to the right." Another X:WP campfire scene for the history books, this time as Leah tries to convert Xena and Gabrielle and expresses shock at their religious views and the astounding fact that they aren't virgins. Watch this scene twice: once for the primary dialogue, once for the reactions of Xena and Gabrielle as the other is getting buttonholed by Leah.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
Watch the... hem... ladies... of the tavern as they sing for Joxer and Leah. One of them is Jodie Dorday, who played the amazon Solari (the one that generously provided the lockpick for Autolycus in The Quest). She sits on the far right of the "Onward Virgin Soldiers" choir.
And speaking of those two songs, listen to the fanfare when "Joxer the Mighty" begins - it's "Onward Christian/Virgin Soldiers."
MORE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
02-08-99. From Asallese. Check out the cave scene, where Xena and Gabrielle are standing off to the side during the "virgin" discussion. Watch Xena's hand as she strokes her chin; looks to me like she's making another type of gesture, and it got past the censors.
11-14-98. From Bret Rudnick. Joxer is an observer of social phenomena. He invented the "Six degrees of separation" theory as he chats with a prison guard.
11-14-98. From Bret Rudnick. In the "use and re-use" department, one of the temple props (that looks like a giant enlargement of plant sex organs) prominently seen in the Hestian temple was also seen in an entirely different episode in COMEDY OF EROS. And the armois that was in Leah's bedchamber looked a lot like the same one Autolycus hid in in KING OF ASSASSINS.
Click here to read a transcript of WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP.
Despite another Xena lookalike, the gene pool (or rather gene puddle) was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.
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