×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Queen of Swords

Senor Zorro, it took a few decades, but you finally have a fine female counterpart. Her name is Tessa Alvarado, a.k.a. the "Queen of Swords," and the action adventuress will be swashbuckling her way all over syndication this fall. The plotlines of this new series may rate high on the cornball scale, but the inviting Andalusian landscapes, the well-executed action sequences and the swift pace of the series could earn this newcomer a dedicated fan base in the months ahead.

With:
Tessa Alvarado - Tessie Santiago Marta - Paulina Galvez Col. Luis Montoya - Valentine Pelka Capt. Marcus Grisham - Anthony Lemke Dr. Robert Helm - Peter Wingfield Senora Vera Hidalgo - Elsa Pataky Don Hidalgo - Tacho Gonzalez

Senor Zorro, it took a few decades, but you finally have a fine female counterpart. Her name is Tessa Alvarado, a.k.a. the “Queen of Swords,” and the action adventuress will be swashbuckling her way all over syndication this fall. The plotlines of this new series may rate high on the cornball scale, but the inviting Andalusian landscapes, the well-executed action sequences and the swift pace of the series could earn this newcomer a dedicated fan base in the months ahead.

In the series opener, 19th-century Spanish aristocrat Tessa (Tessie Santiago) decides to pack her bags and go back to California, where she grew up. Accompanied by her Gypsy servant Marta (Paulina Galvez), who has a tendency to say things like “The dead don’t visit our dreams for nothing,” she arrives in the U.S. only to find out that her dad has been killed by the shady characters who run the town.

Before you can say Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tessa has decided to wrap her mom’s shawl around her face, jump on a majestic stallion and fight the bad guys with her quasi-supernatural fencing talents. This little corner of the world attracts a surprising large number of heavies: There’s the nasty Machiavellian dictator Colonel Montoya (Valentine Pelka), the mustachio-swirling mercenary Grisham (Anthony Lemke) and the shifty spy Vera (Elsa Pataky), and these are only the ones we meet in the first episode.

It’s only a matter of time before the town brainiacs will put two and two together and realize that Tessa and the speedy Queen of Swords are twins or something. But that’s just one of the regular pleasures of this type of Saturday matinee fare.

Among the show’s other guilty pleasures are Alwyn Kumst’s top-notch photography (those Spanish skies never looked bluer), Philip Stanger’s electric guitar-driven music, and Evelyne Correard Trompier’s costumes, not to mention Santiago’s modern California-girl-as-19th-century-Spanish-swordfighter line delivery. It’s also nice to see a strong-minded Latina headlining a regular series. It may not be primetime, but it’s still a landmark.

According to the colorful press kit, “the crimes against humanity, oppression and misery that surround Tessa choke her youthful idealism.” Something tells us Tessa will be choking week after week, but she’ll do it magnificently, gracefully and photogenically. And for sweeps, maybe we can have her duke it out with Xena.

Queen of Swords

Series; syndication; Mon. Oct. 2

Production: Filmed in Almeria, Spain, by Fireworks/Morena Films/Amy Intl. Prods. in association with Telefonica, and M6, distributed by Paramount Domestic TV in association with Mercury Entertainment. Executive producers, Jay Firestone, Adam Haight, David Abramowitz; producer, Ken Gord; director, Jon Cassar; writer, James Thorpe; director of photography, Alwyn Kumst C.S.C; production designer, Fernando Gonzalez; music, Philip Stanger; wardrobe designer, Evelyne Correard Trompier; supervising editor, T.C. Martin; "Behind the Mask" theme song performed by Jose Feliciano; special effects, Carlos Fernandez, Tomas Urban; art director, Carlos Suarez Bodelon; set decorator, Marta Agullo Laguna. 60 MIN.

Cast: Tessa Alvarado - Tessie Santiago Marta - Paulina Galvez Col. Luis Montoya - Valentine Pelka Capt. Marcus Grisham - Anthony Lemke Dr. Robert Helm - Peter Wingfield Senora Vera Hidalgo - Elsa Pataky Don Hidalgo - Tacho Gonzalez

More TV

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    WarnerMedia Pulls Out of Audience-Targeting Alliance Open A.P.

    WarnerMedia is going its own way when it comes to helping advertisers find specific groups of TV-watchers. The company, a founding member of the audience-targeting media alliance known as Open A.P., said Friday it would withdraw from the group, citing its desire to pursue its own strategy under owner AT&T. AT&T purchased Time Warner in [...]

  • BLESS THIS MESS - "The Chicken

    Listen: Lake Bell, Dax Shepard on Returning to Broadcast TV With 'Bless This Mess'

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s installment, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, chats with Lake Bell and Dax Shepard, stars of ABC’s “Bless This Mess,” which debuted on Monday. The show centers around a newly married couple, played by Bell and Shepard, who decide to ditch their shoebox New York City [...]

  • superstore renewed season 3

    'Superstore' Showrunner Justin Spitzer Steps Down as He, Gabe Miller, Jonathan Green Renew Overall Deals at UTV

    “Superstore” executive producers Justin Spitzer, Gabe Miller and Jonathan Green have all renewed their overall deals with Universal Television. In addition, Miller and Green will take over showrunner duties on “Superstore” while Spitzer — who also created the series — will shift to develop new projects for the studio beginning with the 2019-2020 season. “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content