Xena: Warrior Princess Out of the Box
In this issue: an eight-page Xena episode guide for Seasons One to Four, in the style of our regular Out of the Box coverage. Here's one each of the trio of highlights we've selected for each season.

Cast, crew, plotline and tx dates for all episodes to date are in the issue.
All Pics © Renaissance
selected from Cult Times Special #10
All highlights by Paul Spragg
SEASON ONE Cult Times Logo
Xena: into battle (Prometheus) Prometheus
The god Prometheus has been captured, and Xena is determined to set him free, as his gifts to Mankind of healing and fire will be lost while he is held, and her own wounds from a battle will not get better. However, whoever breaks the chains to release him will die.

A tremendous all-action romp as Hercules and Iolaus join Xena and Gabrielle in their quest, with both Herc and Xena trying to outwit each other to save the other from death, sneaking off on their own to get ahead of the game. Apart from some great fight scenes, there’s also a spot of romantic action as Hercules renews his relationship with Xena and Iolaus tries his luck with our favourite blonde bard.

SEASON TWO Cult Times Logo
Xena vs. The Horde (The Price) The Price
Whilst enjoying a quiet spot of fishing, Xena and Gabrielle discover a dead soldier. Recognizing the hallmarks of a vicious tribe called The Horde, Xena heads off with her companion, only to get a request to help a compound under siege overcome their attackers.

A totally different kind of episode which neatly balances Gabrielle’s compassion against Xena’s wartime tactics and ethics. In the end it’s a combination of these skills that saves the day, but it is really quite disturbing to see the more callous side of the old Xena emerging through necessity, when she has to play by The Horde’s rules to fight back. The ending is particularly effective, as Xena discovers that using Gabrielle’s ideas can work just as well as equal force.

SEASON THREE Cult Times Logo
Xena rides again (Bitter Suite) Bitter Suite
After recent traumas, Xena and Gabrielle’s friendship is in tatters. On the urging of Ares, Xena attempts to throw Gabrielle to her death, only for both of them to find themselves in a surreal world populated with images of people they know as they attempt to come to terms with their feelings.

Heralded as a masterpiece at the time of its first transmission, Bitter Suite is a one-of-a-kind Xena episode in that it’s a musical set in the land of Illusia. All the regulars get to join in in various guises, with help from some impressive special effects. This is a powerful emotional journey as two friends must see past their recent losses and regain what they have lost before their pain destroys both of them.

SEASON FOUR Cult Times Logo
Gabrielle but not from Takes One... See, we know really Takes One To Know One
Staying the night at an inn awaiting Gabrielle to celebrate her birthday, Xena and a collection of friends and family including Joxer, Autolycus and Xena’s mother awake to find a dead body. Could one of Xena’s friends actually be a murderer?

Setting an intriguing puzzle, it’s another different style for this episode as Xena turns detective to uncover a killer amongst the people she trusts most in the world. The answer when it comes is clever and satisfying, and the guest stars do a fine job in one of those unusual episodes that brings them all together. Of particular note is Meighan Desmond as Discord, appointed Goddess of Retribution, and all too keen to put an arrow through someone, regardless of guilt.

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