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REVIEWS  807 - Queen Maeve's Grave

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Review: Episode 807 Queen Maeve's Grave
by: 41 Cyg

Rating:  8.0

I'm giving this episode an 8.0 (1 to 10 scale). The story is well told and compelling. The Roman scenes were a little weak and I took off a couple of tenths for that, but the Irish scenes were particularly good and that added the tenths back. I also liked the interactions of Xena and Gabrielle, both with each other and with the townsfolk at the port. It felt very believable

Teaser: Paulinus mentions 80,000 Roman citizens slaughtered. Is it a coincidence that 80,000 Iceni were killed in the climactic battle (mentioned in act II, scene 23)? Also, there were probably not many Roman citizens in Britain at this time. The Britons were Roman subjects. Roman citizenship was an honor that had to be granted to those who were not born in the city or of a Roman family. Citizenship carried certain privileges, including a right to appeal a legal decision directly to the emperor.

The Apostle Paul was of Antioch, whose citizens had been granted Roman citizenship and so was able to go directly to Rome to appeal the Judean governor's sentence of imprisonment at about this time. Other early Christians, not being citizens, could not do this.

Act I: I liked Gabrielle's bargaining with the horse trader. I'll bet they both figured they'd come out ahead. When the Romans are at Doublin (scene 16), it sounds like there is only one legion there (`What is left of the Roman legion..'), but a few lines further on there are legionary eagles, implying more than one, since each legion had only one eagle.

Act II: Ch'in (China) is almost three times as far from Greece as Hibernia (Ireland), not `as far... as', as Xena says. Even without accurate maps, she would know the trip east would take a lot longer than the trip west.

Act III: (Scene 7) The description of the stars Ethne sees on the eve of the battle is very accurate. If you go out on a clear evening in early November (A dark sky and a low northern horizon would help too,) you can see the bears (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), Taurus and Orion in the positions described. I would expect nothing less of an ancient astrologer, but it is rare for a modern writer to get these details right.

Act IV: I wonder if Ethne will return. She seems to be a good candidate to succeed Callisto and Alti.

One more general comment before I end. Karen has depicted Ireland very well (and so have the artists, for that matter). The words seem to contain the Irish spirit, both in the land and in the people. I liked the Gaelic passages, too, especially the invocation of the seeing scene. I don't understand Gaelic, but in reading the words, I could almost hear the lilt and beauty in their sound.






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