Christa and I have talked about diving into TV for the Blog Collab but haven’t found a show that we could review after watching only 1 or 2 episodes. Until now. Enter the show Warrior Women, a History Channel-style series hosted by Lucy Lawless about the lives of real women warriors. Um, yes please.
Where to Watch:
The Uncondensed Version:
The misandry is strong in this one, with LL uttering lines about Boudica’s anger killing 75,000 and her unstoppable quest for vengeance. So it’s a bit like an episode of Xena but more based in fact. Er, sort of. And considerably more shots of Lucy Lawless just casually strolling around Stonehenge (and fucking leaning against it(!)—you’re part of the problem, Lucy Lawless).
Boudica is the Queen of the Iceni and lone ruler after her husband’s death. The Iceni had a complex society even though they are often portrayed as wild/uncivilized/all of the things empires call foreigners. Complications arise in the form of Romans, who are taking over the world and want to show everyone what complete control they have in Britain.
Romans have to do everything in a really sketchy way, obviously, so they call in all of these loans they had given to the Iceni—money that the Romans had given as a gift. The Romans are also definitely not ok with a woman ruler and severely underestimate the vengeance Boudica will rain down upon them (just go with it—this is seriously how the narration for this show was written). When the Romans arrive, they severely beat Boudica and rape her young daughters.
Following this outrage, Boudica is able to rally support to attack the capitol at the time, Colchester. Some of the other groups of Britons just really want to fucking destroy the Temple of Claudius in Colchester. The slaughter continues to London, where things get a bit less clear-cut and you may experience conflicting feelings. Or you’re just a sociopath, IDK. LL helpfully tells us that “dreams of utopia so often end in murder.”
Boudica and her army kill Romans and Britons alike, with many of those left behind the very young and -very old. One historian notes that Boudica wants to completely purge Briton of foreigners (rings a bell, eh), though I think that impulse makes a bit more sense when it’s the colonized trying to free themselves from their oppressors.
Everything leads up to a final battle, of course, which seems the Britons will win effortlessly. However, the Romans are just more organized and have a better military strategy. Ultimately, approximately 11,000 Romans defeat at least 100,000 Britons by sort of trapping and suffocating them. It’s all over for Boudica, who dies shortly after the battle.
4/5 Pink Panther Heads? Maybe? I don’t know how to rate this one.
It’s impossible not to talk about LL’s role in this. Her presence is really the highlight here as some of the battle reenactments are obviously just 20 people chanting loudly in a field. LL does a reasonable amount of narrating while riding around in a chariot, strolling through fields in a fucking leather trench coat, and getting blue face tats. She looks like your poli sci professor who is also a secret assassin. I really wish LL had also done the historical reenactments. New rule for this week/month/life = only watching TV with Lucy Lawless in it.
I appreciate that the view presented in this show is somewhat unbiased(ish), as the historians point out Boudica’s mission ultimately failed, plus she killed a lot of innocent Britons along the way. It makes me honestly glad I am not an actual woman warrior because it would be highly disturbing to really stab someone.