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Lifeblood Reviewed

Xena, Gabrielle, Amazons and the unseen 'Amazon High' show.

A curious mixture of an episode that utilizes the unseen pilot film 'Amazon High'. This show was shot a few years ago as a possible spin off show. It was directed by Michael Hurst and featured the first Amazons. Into their midst comes a US high school girl who somehow travelled in time. The show and possible series would deal with the conflict between her and the Amazons. It was never picked up by the networks, and was dusted off to be used in this episode.

Xena and Gabrielle take Eve to the young tribe of Northern Amazons seen in 'Them Bones' and 'Sin Trade'. They are planning to have Eve been inducted into the tribe as Gabrielle wants to pass on her right of caste to Eve. When they arrive, they discover their friend Yakut is dead, killed in battle.

If its not enough to kill off another Amazon off screen, we also hear Amarice was killed too! In the Xenaverse, fans often joke about how no one stays dead, and indeed, Yakut`s spirit returns here and we even see Danielle Cormack again, but it is a bit of a shame the way soo many Amazons seem to be casually killed off!

Anyway, Xena sees Yakut`s spirit as Yakut is anxious about the tribe going to attack their enemies in retalliation for her death. She tells Xena that the Amazons need to learn from thier past, and here we get the Amazon High flashback.

These sections are actually by far the best bits of the episode. We start with a pretty savage fight between some warrior women and odd looking men. One of the women is familiar...its Ephiny!! Well, no it isn`t actually. Danielle Cormack plays Samsara, an angry warrior. All of the women are a bit desperate. Turns out their menfolk were killed and eaten by these savages! They pray for a saviour, or Utma, and round a campfire one night, she arives out of thin air. Selma Blair is Cyane, a modern day American girl. She shows them how to tame horses to ride and comes up against Samasara, who is less than impressed with her. Cyane also manages to make a peace between the tribe and the savages after she gets all cosy with one of them, Julius Caesar...sorry, Karl Urban! He has a bad haircut and just grunts mostly. This seems effective enough though as by the end of the flashback clips, Cyane has made peace and named the tribe Amazons.

The Xena/Gabrielle story is much duller. Gabrielle finds out about how to have Eve received into the tribe and the ceremony involves the sacrifice of a horse so she stops it. That is about it really, apart from Xena persuading the Amazons not to seek revenge.

This is a slightly confusing episode, inevitably, as the Amazon High sections, good as they were, do not fit perfectly into the episode. The story telling only really makes sense if you have an idea about the genesis of the episode. Not perfect really. It is also quite a contrast between the kinetic action of 'Amazon High' and the frankly rather dull Xena/Gabrielle story. It is not often you want to see LESS of them! The 'Amazon High' sections are beautifully shot, there are bone crunchingly realistic fight scenes - mainly involving bludgeoning weapons! It is a more lavish production - more ambitious and expensive than your average Xena episode. With the arrival of 'Cleopatra 2525' on a vaguely similar theme, there is no way Amazon High will emerge, but I would love to see the whole show sometime...



An episode of two halves... the Amazon High bits were wonderful, the Xena/Gabrielle bits were dull. I know quite a few people were confused by the story, but I enjoyed those Amazon bits so much, I rated it quite highly.

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