"Queen of Swords"
by Ian Atkins
Xposé Special #13
5 October 2000
'A slender woman with a quick sword and a hankie on her head'
If you're looking for someone to fight opperssion, then look no
further, for Tessa Alvarado is swashbuckling in your area. Ian Atkins
examines the quality of his blade.
What with Xena, Witchblade and Highlander: The
Raven, you can barely moved at present for women with great
lumps of metal in their hands looking to cut you to pieces. Filmed
on location in a passionate, romantic, exciting Spanish setting,
new show Queen of Swords presents the latest female blade-wielder
to swash her buckle when no one's looking, in the form of sultry
Maria lives an artistocratic lifestyle in 19th Century California,
where Colonel Luis Montoya is ruling over the peasant population
with his iron fist, and the oppressed masses aren't going to take
that lying down any more. The heroic Queen of Swords (fires of righteousness
burning deep within her breast) begins to right back as their champion,
a slender woman with a quick sword and a hankie on her head, righting
wrongs, battling for justice, and no doubt causing fat guards to
stumble around with their pants round their ankles. Yes, think Zorro
with a bigger pair of maracas and you won't be far off in this new
series, premiering in October from some of the people behind shows
such as Highlander: The Raven, Due South, Robocop:
Prime Directives and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. Of
course, Maria is this masked (hankied?) figure, living not
one, not two, but three different lives as part of her mission to
rid California of tyranny. Presumably just in time for the film
and TV industries to take over.
Newcomer Tessie Santiago plays the mysterious, black-clad Queen
of Swords, as well as aristocratic Maria Teresa Alvarado (flames
of contempt flaring deep within her dimples) and young peasant
woman Tessa (sparks of... er... extreme irritation flashing deep
within her dark eyes). She's ably supported by, amongst others,
English Doctor Robert Helm, played by Peter Wingfield; no
stranger to a sword himself, as he played Methos, the oldest Immortal
in both Highlander: The Series and recent movie Highlander:
Endgame. Hidden away in the credits is executive producer Simon
MacCorkindale, who older readers might remember from the morphtastic
detective show Manimal, but who's since been busy as both
an actor and a producer. With its dusky Spanish (sorry, Californian)
women, it's energetic sword-fighting, it's evil oppressors and its
central mistress of disguise, the show harks back to simpler times.
Whether it can carve a name for itself amongst this year's more
complex shows remains to be seen.