Xena: Warrior Princess
The Complete Illustrated Companion

Author: K. Stoddard Hayes
Titan Books
RRP 14.99
ISBN 1 84023 622 1
Available now

This is the only comprehensive, fully-authorised guide to all six series of the action adventure show, and contains a complete episode guide, plus character and behind-the-scenes information as well as details of
Xena fandom...

Fans of the show will be outraged at this official companion. I didn't understand who it was aimed at. No casual reader will be interested and the true fans will not understand what the point of it is.

Companions' are supposed to give a synopses for each episode and then go on to, at the very least, explain a few behind the scenes bits of knowledge. All K. Stoddard Hayes seems to have done is copy out the TV listings page entry for each episode synopsis and er... that's it. Oops, sorry he also reprints one quote per episode and a disclaimer. There is a behind the scenes chapter and fandom chapter and a few other bits that could have been interesting but nothing with the main listings (which by the way are crammed two to a page). For the majority of the book you can actually pick up more information from watching the episodes.

I can't seriously believe that any official channel sanctioned this. Who on earth gave it the Xena production thumbs up.

Sure, it deserves extra points for cramming all six seasons under one cover, but when it is done as badly as this it seems a little pointless. Oh, and the repro on the back cover is also appalling with the image displayed out of focus.

Oh dear!

Nick Smithson


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