Xena, Gabrielle, King Lias and Princess Diana
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 1|
|Filming Dates||November-December 1995|
|Original Air-Date||5 February 1996|
|Written By||Brenda Lilly|
|Directed By||Michael Levine|
|Order in Series||15 of 134|
|Order in Season||15 of 24|
|Order in Franchise||48 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"A Fistful of Dinars"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Mortal Beloved"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Heedless Hearts"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Let the Games Begin"|
When Xena responds to a summon for help from King Lias, she is attacked moments after entering his castle by the vicious Timus, whom she overpowers. The King orders his men to go after the deadly intruder and explains to Xena that the attempt on her life was meant for his daughter Diana, whom someone is trying to kill before her impending wedding to Mineus of Liberium. When Diana enters the room, Xena is stunned to see that she looks so much like the princess, they could pass for identical twins.
Lias pleads with Xena to masquerade as his daughter in order to flush out the would-be assassins and she agrees to help. He tells her that he believes the killers are linked to Liberium's pro-slave faction, whose very existence is threatened by the uniting of the two kingdoms. Because of her uncanny resemblance to Diana, Xena is accepted without question by the princess' maidservant Tesa when she dons the princess' royal dress.
While the real Diana, now disguised as Xena, leaves the palace in search of Gabrielle, Xena meets Philemon, Diana's future brother-in-law, as well as begins to question him about Mineus, whom the real Diana has never even met. As they walk around the castle grounds, it is obvious that Philemon is himself smitten by Diana, whom he believes Xena to be. Suddenly, the two are attacked by a band of sword-wielding assassins. Philemon bravely resists and Xena also fights back, though he is too busy to see her in action. Meanwhile, Diana finds Gabrielle, who has a hard time believing she's not Xena. When she's finally convinced of Diana's identity, she agrees to give her some much-needed tips on how to behave like a real warrior princess.
That evening, as Xena prepares to appear as Diana at a grand reception for her fiance, she tells the King that the footprints of her attackers in the courtyard lead into the castle, rather than outside the gates. At the ball, Xena meets the pale and homely Mineus for the first time, a man very unlike his intelligent and attractive brother Philemon.
She plays the princess to the best of her ability while eyeing the guests carefully, looking for a traitor in their midst. She notices the elegantly dressed Glauce, the King's ambassador to Liberium, talking with the large and formidable Bromius, the King's top general. Suspicious of both, she responds to one of Glauce's toasts by pledging to end corruption in the kingdom and promising death to traitors. After letting him squirm for a few moments, she giggles, pretending her comments were just a joke. When Mineus asks her to play the harp, which the real Diana does brilliantly, Xena cleverly breaks the strings to avoid giving away her real identity.
Meanwhile, the incredibly sheltered Diana is getting a good look at life outside the castle walls, sleeping on the ground under the stars and sharing a meager meal of bread and cheese with Gabrielle and a hungry family. Back at the castle, Philemon has guessed that Xena is impersonating the princess and demands to know Diana's whereabouts.
Concerned for her safety, he finally admits his love for Diana. When still another attempt is made on Xena's life, she captures the assassin Timus and gets him to confess that his employer was Bromius. Bromius is later found hanged in his cell, however, as well as his death is labeled a suicide.
The King brings Diana back to the palace the next day and plans for the wedding to proceed as Xena leaves with Gabrielle. While Glauce, the real culprit, secretly plots to kill Diana once Xena is gone, Philemon realizes that Bromius was murdered and warns Diana that she's still in danger. She sends him off to Corinth to find Xena and bring her back. What he doesn't know, however, is that Xena and Diana have changed places again and when a last attempt is made on her life during the wedding ceremony, Xena reveals herself and defeats Glauce and his assassins in a fierce battle.
Meanwhile, Philemon confesses his love for Diana as he rides back with her to the castle, still believing she is Xena. Philemon is overjoyed when she reveals her true identity and in the end, it is their marriage that joins their two families.
Neither Xena nor her remarkably coincidental identical twin, Diana, were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
- Michael Levine (Director): “Somebody pointed out very astutely… [that] Lucy wasn’t playing two roles, she was playing four roles. She was Lucy as Xena, Xena as Princess Diana, Princess Diana, and Princess Diana as Xena. That was very true and I talked to Lucy early on about that. We had to know how she was going to be in each role. We needed Diana to be as far from Xena as we could get with out it being a caricature. Lucy tried out a few voices. It took her a little bit of time to find Diana, but she found it, she got it, and it was good.” (Whoosh! Interview – August 1997)
- Chakram Count: 1 (Diana throws it to show the children what it does.)
- Lucy Lawless had to play four characters instead of her normal one character for this episode. The obvious characters she had to play in this episode were Xena and Diana. But, the other two overlooked characters she played in this episode were Xena as Diana and Diana as Xena.
- This is the first Xenaverse episode with what will become a recurring theme: one of the big four (Hercules, Iolaus, Xena, Gabrielle) impersonating royalty.
Links and References
- Iain Rea as Philemon
- Norman Forsey as King Lias
- Latham Gaines as Mineus
- Patrick Smith as Glauce
- Michelle Huirama as Tesa
- Jason Hoyte as Timus
- Jonathon Acorn (credited as Jonathan Acorn) as Mirus
- Mia Lux (credited as Mia Koning) as Waif
|Season 1||Season 2 >>|
|#01||Sins of the Past||#09||Death in Chains||#17||The Royal Couple of Thieves|
|#02||Chariots of War||#10||Hooves and Harlots||#18||The Prodigal|
|#03||Dreamworker||#11||The Black Wolf||#19||Altared States|
|#04||Cradle of Hope||#12||Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts||#20||Ties That Bind|
|#05||The Path Not Taken||#13||Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards||#21||The Greater Good|
|#06||The Reckoning||#14||A Fistful of Dinars||#22||Callisto|
|#07||The Titans||#15||Warrior... Princess||#23||Death Mask|
|#08||Prometheus||#16||Mortal Beloved||#24||Is There a Doctor in the House?|