Welcome to another Xena Thursday! Today, we’re continuing our chronological coverage of every single episode of Xena: Warrior Princess — both the episodes that I have previously highlighted AND the episodes I’ve yet to feature. Complementing my thoughts are the thoughts of those who worked on the series: mostly actors, writers, directors, and producers. I have done months of research for the acquisition of the quotes you’ll see over these next 67 weeks (as there are 134 episodes and I’ll be covering two episodes per week). They come from a variety of sources, including the original special feature-laden DVD releases, The Chakram Official Newsletters, both the Topps and Titans Official Xena Magazines, the fan kits, and other assorted print and video interviews. So in addition to sharing my thoughts, these posts will also contain information and musings from the Xenites that matter most — the ones who brought this exciting series to the small screen.
77. Season 4, Episode 9: “Past Imperfect” (Aired: 01/04/99 | Filmed: 08/28 – 09/08/98)
Xena has a series of flashbacks in which she recalls military exploits from her evil past—which echo the strategies attackers are using on a town she’s defending.
Written by Steven L. Sears | Directed by Garth Maxwell | Production No. V0609
I featured this episode as one of the 18 honorable mentions that narrowly (emphasis on narrowly) missed inclusion on my list of the 60 best episodes. Read my thoughts here.
CAST & CREW COMMENTARY:
Marton Csokas (Actor, Borias): “I liked the story. Garth Maxwell directed [this] and did a fine job. The crew were very professional and created a great atmosphere to work in. Garth Maxwell just kept pushing us to get the best performances. There were really no boundaries or limits… [I remember] there was a fight scene with Dagnine and Borias. We kept on going backwards and forwards out of sequence. So I had to keep changing makeup, taking off blood and such and putting it back on. It was very quick and I loved it. It seems like so long ago we did that, almost a year. I really enjoyed working with all those people.” (Whoosh! Interview – June 1999)
Lucy Lawless (Actor, Xena): “You know, Borias, I think, was the one that got away, in a way. He was the one person that loved [Xena] when she was so unlovable, and she just used him [and] abused him. I think he saw her potential, but in the end, she was far more of a warlord than he was. She was the real deal.” (“The Debt (I)” Interviews w/ Cast & Crew – Season Three DVD Set)
Steven L. Sears (Writer/Producer): “Rob wanted to reshoot [Xena leaving Solan] so that we could give a better effect of war in the background. When it was done, it didn’t so much succeed at that, but it did have more continuity within the particular episode. I wish we could have combined them, as I think the older one had some great moments. Costuming prevented us, though.” (AOL Chat – February 1999)
Here are scans of an interview that writer Steven L. Sears gave on “Past Imperfect” for The Chakram Newsletter: #27.
*You can find deleted scenes from “Past Imperfect” on several of the Xena fan kits and read a transcription of some of the missing stuff here: transcription of missing material from XWP409
78. Season 4, Episode 10: “The Key To The Kingdom” (Aired: 01/11/99 | Filmed: 04/20 – 04/28/98)
Joxer, Autolycus, and Xena-lookalike Meg team up to search for a lost crown. At least that’s what Meg and Joxer tell Autolycus.
Written by Eric Morris | Directed by Bruce Campbell | Production No. V0602
I featured this episode as one of the eight worst episodes of the entire series. Read my thoughts here.
CAST & CREW COMMENTARY:
Bruce Campbell (Director/Actor, Autolycus): “[This] is known as one of the sh**tiest Xena episodes. No, they don’t like it. For some reason, [Ted] and I have made two [sic] episodes of Xena [together] and they’re known as what I call ‘dumbell episodes.’ I’ve got no problem with that. What happens is that some of the Xena fans are, ‘’Well, wait a second. Why isn’t she dealing with important social issues? Why are you dealing with that stupid baby?”… I saw a book, there’s a Xena book with like the ten worst episodes and I saw [this episode on there].” (Campbell & Raimi Interview – Season Four DVD Set)
Ted Raimi (Actor, Joxer): “I thought [this one] was funny. Some fans don’t like when Xena isn’t either in a love scene with Gabrielle or really kicking a** majorly throughout the episode… But for the fans that like comedy, [this is] a big juicy episode… I remember having a scene where I was alone briefly with the baby going, ‘Oh, baby,’ and you look at this stuffed dummy baby [and] it’s stuffed with sawdust… with the most ridiculous expression on its face. ” (Campbell & Raimi Interview – Season Four DVD Set)
Bruce Campbell (Director/Actor, Autolycus): “[In directing this episode I found that] Lucy is [a] more instinctive [actress]. She doesn’t like specific information, like if you’re doing a gag, she doesn’t want it explained to her. Just tell her what to do and she’ll do it in her own way. You’ve got to feel out her interpreting. As an actor, I get along very easily with her, she’s very professional. As a director, now you’re dealing with the show’s lead and you have to make sure you’re prepared because this is ‘their’ show.” (Starlog Magazine – March 1999)
Come back next Thursday for more Xena! And tune in tomorrow for another Pre-Code Film Friday!