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Warrior...Priestess...Tramp Reviewed

The Xena lookalikes idea has been well used,(some may say over-used) but while the episodes are still fun - as most of this one is - then I won`t mind. The very close similarity in titles between this and series 2`s Warrior..Princess..Tramp caused a little confusion for skim reading tv schedulers and video retailers.(Check your S2 box set carefully - you may well find your Warrior..Princess..Tramp tape actually contains a season 3 episode - this one!) It is therefore no surprise that Meg returns, and the new lookalike is a Priestess. A Hestian Priestess. A Hestian Virgin Priestess! Her name is Leah, and Lucy Lawless has yet more fun as this latest lookalike, the prudish, rather naive Hestian priestess. The episode begins really well with someone who we think is Xena confronting a warlord. Although there appears to be something wrong with the way she speaks, and there is definitely something wrong when she is tied to a stake and the bonfire lit! Gabrielle arrives to save her, thinking Xena is testing her, although she soon realizes that it is another lookalike. Conveniently, Meg just happens to be in the area, now running a bordello. The scheming baddie Bailius plans to get rid of the Hestians by getting Meg to pose as Leah and read a chant that will cause the young priestesses to commmit mass suicide. Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer are there to save the day though.

The idea is not original anymore, and the story about ridding the world of the Hestians was daft. There were enormous plot holes, and the baddie was a poor actor and a cardboard cut out character. However, this episode worked well for me because it was just so much fun - although the last ten minutes or so dragged. There were numerous quite filthy jokes and double entendres, giving the episode a `self-abuse` theme!

Joxer seems to work well in comedy episode, and the lookalike episodes especially. His musical arrival in Meg`s bordello is a hoot -look out for Jodie (Solari) Dorday as one of the girls. It was also nice to see Gabrielle saving Xena - OK,Leah - with a clever piece of trickery at the beginning. However, these episode stand or fall because of Lucy Lawless` ability to convince as a new character. Leah is wonderful! The opening scenes with her and Gabrielle, when she first meets Xena, and a hilarious campfire scene really make you think of her as a different character. The best compliment to Lucy Lawless is that you tend to think of them as three different actresses. You can usually tell who is who by the way Lucy carries herself; still and strong for Xena, shuffling feet and shifty eyes for Meg, a saintly look for Leah. Meg is said to be a favourite for Lucy, and she clearly enjoys the challenge. Meg posing as a priestess is funny. `So, come on, how many of you are REALLY virgins?` she asks! The bawdy humour continues as Leah encounters all sorts of combinations at Meg`s place. `Please let that be a petting zoo!` she says, as we hear a bleating noise behind one of the doors. A dig at the NZ lamb lovers perhaps?

Sadly, the actual story really is a dull one, lets hope that if there is another lookalike episode in the future, there is also a better plot. However, this one was a lot of fun, a far livlier script from Armus and Foster, great performances and good dirty jokes.

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