DESTINY

Director: Jon Cassar
Writer: James Thorpe

Regular cast:  
Tessie Santiago: Tessa Alvarado/Queen of Swords
Paulina Gálvez: Marta
Valentine Pelka: Col. Luis Ramirez Montoya
Anthony Lemke: Capt. Marcus Grisham
Elsa Pataky: Vera Hidalgo
Taco González: Don Hidalgo

Guest cast:
Antonio Mayans: Carlos
Enrique Rodríguez: Fernando
Teresa del Olmo: Rubia
Anthony de Longis: Torres
José Sancho: Don Alvarado
Jaime Palmer Colom: Corporal Leandro

The scene opens in 1817 Madrid in a sword fencing school. Tessa Alvarado, a young Spanish aristocrat, is in a match with the sword master. She is his prize pupil. As the match ends we learn Tessa is excited about the arrival of her father from California. When word comes it is not of his arrival but a letter with news of her father’s death. It's time to return home.

Tessa and Marta, her friend and servant, arrive in California to assume control of the family hacienda. Here they learn the country in the hands of Col. Luis Montoya and his henchman Capt. Grisham, who, we know, is the murderer of Tessa's father. Things go from bad to worse quickly upon her arrival. Her father's old manservant Carlos, who has resorted to robbery to feed his family, is captured and, in spite of all Tessa's efforts, executed. Tessa's attempts to assist Carlos' family come to nothing, Marta hears rumors that Tessa’s father was murdered, and Tessa is under threat of losing her home to Montoya's back taxes.

In despair of help from the dons or the authorities in Spain, when Carlos' son Fernando is arrested and imprisoned by Grisham, Tessa takes up arms as the Queen of Swords to free him. When Fernando is again captured and sentenced to death, Tessa again takes up her sword as the Queen to free him, challenging Montoya in the heart of the pueblo.

©2000 Gail Allan