[personal profile] michael_gothard
Warrior Queen was a short historical drama series about Queen Boudicca’s struggle against the Roman occupation. Michael Gothard plays her tribe’s Druid priest Volthan. The Romans have been trying to wipe out the Druids, who were a major thorn in their side, so Volthan has his own reasons for encouraging Boudicca not to give in to their increasingly unreasonable demands for tribute.

Michael is once again cast as a religious leader – some might say ‘fanatic.’ His physical abilities are under-used in this series, where most of the fight scenes are portrayed by still photography. However, he does have some poignant scenes, notably one where he learns of a massacre of his fellow Druids.

The first of the six half-hour episodes aired on Monday 20 Feb 1978.

Patti Love also stars as one of Boudicca’s daughters, Tasca. She had earlier appeared in the minor role of Gladwyn in the ‘Arthur of the Britons’ episode, ‘Rolf the Preacher.’

Researcher Aileen McClintock wrote to some of Michael Gothard’s fellow actors, including Siân Phillips, who played Boudicca, but they could not really tell her anything on the grounds that Michael kept ‘himself to himself’ and didn’t really mix with fellow actors.

Another actor from that series, Darien Angadi, who played Kuno, hanged himself, in 1984.


Greg Jameson on Entertainment Focus

Warrior Queen is shot almost entirely on location, which benefits the production in providing a sense of realism and space … Especially commendable is the innovative use of still photography to depict battle scenes – though they should have gone the whole hog as the choreographed fight sequences are woefully unconvincing.

Interestingly, there’s plenty of blood and direct violence that ends up on screen, including a Druid sacrifice of a bird. Burnt skulls and nightmarish sequences suggest Warrior Queen was aimed at an adult audience.

… The costumes for the tribe of Iceni and the druid Volthan (the late Michael Gothard, probably best remembered as a sidekick baddie in the Bond movie For Your Eyes Only) make a good fist at historical accuracy, though they are predictably far too clean …
In visuals and performances, Warrior Queen is very close to open-air theatre, and completely alien to any drama that may appear contemporarily on the airwaves. Whilst it may not be slick and entirely convincing, Warrior Queen nevertheless unravels a good yarn over two and a half hours of television without patronising the viewer, and assuming a basic working knowledge of Roman history …

The overall verdict is that Warrior Queen is a solid if slightly overambitious serial. What it loses in production values it makes up for in the stellar cast. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable curiosity from the late 1970s, and a decent if flawed stab at bringing a Roman historical drama to the screen.

Full review.

Movie Mail

A spectacular six-part series that brings to life the valiant yet doomed attempt by Boudicca, the widowed Queen of the Iceni tribe of East Anglia, to wrest power from the Romans in first-century Britain. Produced by Ruth Boswell (Timeslip, Tightrope, Shadows), Warrior Queen stars Siân Phillips as the fearless Celtic queen, Nigel Hawthorne as Catus Decianus, the rapacious Roman Procurator, and Michael Gothard as Druid priest Volthan.

Full review.

IMDB entry
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