The Types and Patterns of all Things Xena

The First and the Root.
From mine unfathomable Will
The universe hath its beginning.
In my boundless Wisdom
Are the types and patterns of all things.

"The Book of Tokens," by Paul Foster Case,
and quoted in "The Bitter Suite," season 3, of "Xena, Warrior Princess"

A television series faces unique pressures and challenges in presenting its story and themes year after year. A producer needs to be flexible yet consistent, and always one step ahead of the audience, not to mention a studio that has its own corporate agenda. The art form of telling a story under such circumstances has evolved to contend with these forces, and "Xena, Warrior Princess" is a particularly interesting case study of how to manage a complex story using a few deceptively simple techniques. These methods are rarely studied, and just as rarely talked about, outside of the tv profession. I have applied my own experiences and findings in this area while studying this show, and hope this will encourage similar studies of other deserving programs. The four volumes below will examine the structure, templates and influences that helped shaped the stories for "Xena" and "Hercules," as well as their various spin-offs.

Volume One is now complete:

"Free to be Euripides"
(vol. 1)
An introduction to the Xenaverse/Hercaverse's unified structure.

"The Two Troys"
(vol. 2)
More about the Greek influences used on "Xena" and "Hercules"

"Blood on the Screen"
(vol. 3)
An analysis of the cinematic references in "Xena" and "Hercules".

"The Center of the World"
(vol. 4)
The influence of ancient religious history on "Xena" and "Hercules"

Related Essays:

The Logic Of Xena
(Short on time? Read a brief summary of the "Types and Patterns" theory here")

"The Chobo Epiphany"
How "happy accidents" happen on "Xena"

"They Call The Wind Borias"
More examples of "happy accidents" that actually aren't!

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