300: Rise of an Empire


Zero Dark Thirty

Red Dawn

For Greater Glory


Act of Valor

Red Tails

Combat Hospital

Battle: Los Angeles



9th Company

The Hurt Locker

House of Saddam

Che (Originally entitled Che Guevara)

Battle 360

Charlie Wilsonís War

Home of the Brave

Tears of the Sun

The Kingdom

Rescue Dawn

Band of Brothers

The Wind That Shakes the Barley


Letters from Iwo Jima

The Good Shepherd

Blood Diamond

Flags of Our Fathers


United 93

World Trade Center

Lord of War

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War




Shootout: D-Day: Fallujah


The Great Raid

Over There, FX Original Series


Crusade in the Pacific and Victory at Sea

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love

Dirty War


And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself

King Arthur

The Longest Day



The Alamo



We Were Soldiers

Sink the Bismarck

Submarines: Sharks of Steel

Master and Commander : The Far Side of the World

Warrior Queen - Masterpiece Theater

Gods and Generals

Blackhawk Down


Saving Private Ryan

Fail Safe

Enemy at the Gates

Hamburger Hill

The Conqueror

Tora, Tora, Tora

Pearl Harbor



Title:Warrior Queen - Masterpiece Theater
Release Dates:On PBS October 2003, DVD January 2004
Running Time:
Formats: TV, DVD
Starring:Alex Kingston
Directed By:
Produced By:
Written By:Andrew Davies
Reviewed By:Burke G Sheppard    Buy it at Amazon.com

Warrior Queen is a mixture of fact, fiction, mystical humbug, and thinly disguised commentary about the Middle East. This one hour movie, which aired on Masterpiece Theater Sunday October 12th, tells the story of Boudica, the Iceni Queen who led a revolt against Roman rule in 1st Century Britain. Unfortunately it tells it with little respect for historical fact, and incorporates enough Druidic magic into the plot to qualify as a sword and sorcery fantasy.

The story begins with Severus, the Roman ambassador, negotiating a treaty with Boudicaís husband Prasutagus, King of the Iceni. Prasutagus, against the advice of Boudica, agrees to a treaty making the Iceni a Roman client kingdom. Boudica becomes even more opposed to the treaty when Catus, the slimy Roman Procurator, insists that as a Roman client, the Iceni must send slaves to Rome.

Things rapidly go downhill from there. When Catus and a detachment of Roman soldiers are ambushed and robbed by Celtic children (?!) Nero, the emperorís nephew flies into a rage and accuses the Iceni of "harboring terrorists". He urges his dotty old uncle Claudius to "take them all out." Claudius refuses, telling Nero that "There will always be incidents. It is part of the peace process." However, Claudius dies during this conversation, and Nero, now emperor, resolves to conquer the Iceni.

Meanwhile back in Britain, Prasutagus has also died leaving Boudica in charge. When Roman soldiers abduct some Celtic girls to be slaves, Boudica demands their release. Catus has her flogged, and forces her to watch while her daughters are raped. (This scene is not easy to watch.) It is at this point that the movie veers into fantasy. A Druid named Magior works some ancient Celtic magic that causes a sword to come shooting up, hilt first, out of a lake, which he then hands to Boudica and proclaims "Behold Boudica! Queen of the Britons!". Magic is also used in a later battle with Roman troops led by Catus. When Boudica invokes the curse of her gods on the Romans a large Roman statue turns to face Catus and is then sinks into the earth. Whereupon Celtic children spring up out of the earth behind the Roman troops and attack them. (Celtic children also manage to break through a Roman battle line by crawling between the Romanís legs.) Near the end of the movie, Magior even turns a character invisible to enable them to escape.

The movie was shot in Rumania to save money. Even so, Warrior Queen was clearly filmed on a shoestring. But the real problem isnít the low budget, itís Andrew Daviesí script. The frequent use of modern speech, the magical silliness, and the obvious references to the Middle East peace process all work to undermine whatever impact this movie might have had. The idea that Claudius would have dismissed an attack on a Procurator with the words "there will always be incidents" is ridiculous. Roman emperors were not notably tolerant of incidents, especially when they involved attacks on Roman soldiers and Procurators, even slimy ones. In fact, they were even less tolerant than the Israelis, at whom the line is clearly aimed.

The acting is mostly good. Alex Kingston of ER stars as Boudica. Like Boudica herself she does her best in a lost cause. Her performance is the best thing about the movie. Steve John Shepherd, as Catus, looks, and acts, like the Master from the old Doctor Who show. Angus Wright, who plays Severus, bears a passing resemblance to Tony Blair.

Ultimately, Warrior Queen isnít really about the 1st century Celts or Romans, itís about 21st Century politically correct characters in an imaginary ancient world. It is available on DVD. So is Xena: Warrior Princess, which is more historically accurate, and a lot more entertaining.

Buy it at Amazon.com


Customer Feedback

Privacy Statement

© 1998 - 2017 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy