Whoosh! Issue 11 - August 1997

Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to ktaborn@lightspeed.net and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor".


Letters To The Editor


[Whoosh! No. 10 (July 1997), "An Interview with Kevin Smith", by Bret Ryan Rudnick )]

Mon, 30 Jun 1997
Subject: great interview!

Hi Bret,

Just a note to let you know that I think the interview you did with Kevin is great!! He's a wonderful guy, isn't he? Thanks for doing the interview.

BTW, while I was over there, I took some time to read through some other things. You guys are doing a great job over there.

Kevin Smith Official Fan Club

Bret Rudnick Responded:
Thanks for the note, and I'm glad you liked the interview. It was a delight to interview Kevin Smith. Even though he had already had a very long day and was about to take a 13-hour flight to begin work the next day, he was very generous with his time. I could tell from his voice the poor guy was pretty tired, but that didn't detract from his enthusiasm to talk about the show at all. What I found most interesting was the fact he understood his role so very well and remembered many of the episodes he was in by name, as well as some pretty minute details off the top of this head. Even some producers of the show I've talked to weren't as familiar with the programme. I'd really like to follow-up with him sometime later this year when his first "new season" Ares appearances have aired to get his thoughts on them publicly as well as share fan reaction.

Thu, 3 Jul 1997
Subject: WHOOSH #10


I have heard some great things about the on-line version. As a devoted 'Smithsonian' I thank you from the bottom of my heart for including him.

Rachel Grimm

Mon, 07 Jul 1997
Subject: Kudos on interview


Just wanted to drop you a note saying I really enjoyed reading your interview. I liked all the background questions you asked and the responses you received. I think interviews such as this really help the fans "get a feel" for the actors themselves, not just the characters they portray!! Many times we get a mindset on the actors ONLY in the parts they play on the series. Interviews such as this really force us to see them as people -- whether we may want to or not! I hope to see more of your interviews in the future!

Mark Blackmer

Editor Responded:
Other Bret Rudnick interviews in WHOOSH! are tentiavely scheduled as follows: In WHOOSH! #11: Michael Levine (director); in WHOOSH! #12: Danielle Cormack (actress, Ephiny) and Jodie Dorday (actress, Io and Solari); and WHOOSH! #13: Bernadette Joyce (co-ordinating producer) and Chris Ryan (actor, Vigilius).


[Whoosh! No. 10 (July 1997), "An Interview with Robert Field, Part 1 of 2", by Bret Ryan Rudnick )]

Tue, 08 Jul 1997
Subject: WHOOSH #10

Bret, Hi. I'm one of the newest members of IAXS. I thought I would comment on your latest work in WHOOSH!

I especially liked your unit shooting piece ["Interview with Robert Field], which was top notch in information and details concerning behind the scenes activities of XWP. You really delivered on this one.

Your interview with Kevin Smith is very entertaining as well, and I am impressed that you have contact with the artists and artisans who create the show. Two questions I have are: How do you set up the interviews and how do you even get the telephone numbers of these people? (not a trick question, I have no interest in calling them myself). The fact that you recently found yourself in the editing trailer of XWP bodes well for the future -- as you get known, you will get through more doors. Maybe soon you will find yourself in NZ having lunch with Ms. Lawless. Ya, I know, dream on.

As to your special essay on the Gabby rape business [only in the e-mail edition of Whoosh! #10, June 1997], I agree with you after all is said and done -- based on what has come before, there is no reason to expect that the show would pull a stunt like that. But it does seem as if Renaissance Pictures mishandled the affair badly.

As for me, I'm in the SF bay area in California. Although there has recently been some gratifying media coverage of XENA around here, I've found a grand total of two other persons who have a passion for the show, both women, but just persons I encounter every now and then. I find this frustrating. No one to talk to about the show. My wife is neutral -- she did find the XENA poster for me, and she and my son both sing Joxer's song (my evil influence), but she doesn't watch the show. I told her I was now an IAXS member, and she gave me that look, maybe you know the one. I don't know about you, but I don't reveal my passion for the show lest people dismiss it with a smirk. I don't even want to try to explain it to them. So the net has been filling a big void for me, keeping my interest high between episodes, and I find that Whoosh! is the best of it.

Lastly, Kym is posting (#11) a letter I wrote the other day concerning Deb McGhee's problems with Joxer. I guess I am somewhat of a Joxer apologist -- I like him because I think he represents the male viewing audience, and I go into more detail about this in the letter. He could be a solid character if only the writers would stop making him so sophomoric.

Ok, thanks, and keep up the good work!

Jim Gordon

Bret Rudnick Responded:
Thank you for you very kind words as regards WHOOSH! #10.

As I've said before in other places, the two real pillars of WHOOSH! are Kym Taborn and Betsy Book, without whom we would never have had a WHOOSH! in the first place. And it's important to also mention Cynthia, Tom, Rita, Debbie, Karen, Diane, and Chris who also work very hard to make WHOOSH! what it is and who help me whenever I need it. My name may be on the article, but it's really a WHOOSH! piece in general more than anything I contribute individually (which isn't that much).

Any compliments on the piece with Robert Field should really go primarily to Robert Field. He was very generous with his time, and very patiently answered my many questions.

As to how I set up the interviews -- there are two primary answers to this question. Some of the interviews are the result of a process of going through proper channels, either through actors' agents or through the official publicity firm for Renaissance Pictures. It took several weeks, actually, to set up our first interviews, because this can be a lengthy process. It was made a little easier for us because early on, we were made aware that some of the people who make the show knew of Whoosh! and liked the magazine. So from that standpoint, we already had a little "name recognition" and were something of a known quantity. It seemed like a natural progression to not only write about the show from an observer/fan point of view, but also to try to interview people who make the show as well. Since the focus of Whoosh! is, as ever, on the show itself, interviews tend to be first and foremost Xena: Warrior Princess centred. We are fortunate in that a diverse group from the show have spoken to us, so we also get a lot of information about many different aspects of what it takes to make the show, which I personally enjoy.

To answer the second half of the question, some interviews are the result of serendipity. Some of the people who work on the show are also Internet-savvy, and knowing this, I just asked 'em if I could interview them, and they graciously accepted. But however the means, the approach to interviews is always the same -- we try to ask questions we think fans would be interested in, and at the same time focus on the individual in question and all the skills, talent, and experience they bring to it.

I can't really add much to the Gabrielle/Rape story that hasn't already been said elsewhere -- and I don't think anyone could have summed it up better than Kym did in her editorial last month (Whoosh! #10, July 1997). As to the story itself, my opinions are best expressed in the essay I did for the e-mail edition. As to how RP in general handled the affair, I defer to Kym's opinion. Personally, I'm not really angry or upset with anyone about it. But I do believe that "mistakes were made" in handling the aftermath of the "leak," and I sincerely hope lessons were learnt as a result. We all make mistakes in doing our jobs and in our lives from time to time -- gods know I've made my share -- but let's hope all concerned learned from them and any future "leaks" or epiphanies will be better managed.

If you're in the SF Bay area and you like the show but have had trouble finding others of a similar sentiment, then stand by -- there will be a *huge* convention up your way in October. You can find out details from the people organising the event at: http://www.creationent.com/calendar.html

As regards Joxer -- I've said elsewhere I didn't like the guy at first, but I've warmed up to him especially after COMEDY OF EROS (#46). I suspect you are right in your observation that he may well indeed represent a certain portion of the male viewing audience. But male or female notwithstanding, I wonder how many people dislike him because they see a little Joxer inside themselves. We all know Xena has a "dark" side. I wonder how many of us, consciously or subconsciously, have a "Joxer" side?


Sunday, July 27, 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor


I've been a faithful follower of both the Xena:WP show and the Whoosh website from the beginning, and I just want to let you know how much I love the work that everyone has put into this site. I know that I personally love coming home in the evenings and taking a few hours to just relax and browse through some of the past and recent articles posted in Whoosh. Keep up the good work!

As an afterthought, I have some info for anyone that is interested about a recent evening talk show that had a socio/political look at the role of women in the 90's, and one of the major focuses was on Xena! It was featured on a show called Pamela Wallin Live. I can't remember the exact date it aired, but I was able to tape the majority of the show, and got the info at the end of the show on how to get a copy. You can call 1-416-205-6933, or write to:

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
P.O. Box 500, Station A
Toronto, ON M5W 1E6

I highly recommend this show, as it took an extensive look at the influences of the Xena tv show on the role of women today. They showed clips from the show, had a professor from an Ont. university, an author on women's rights/roles and a woman who produced a documentary on women and weapons (guns). Their discussion reminded me of many of the articles found right here on Whoosh. Hope this info is useful.

Thanks again. Keep up the great work.

Patti O'Byrne


[Whoosh! No. 10 (July 1997), The Curse of Baywatch, by Kym Masera Taborn ]

Mon, 28 Jul 1997
Subject: letter to the editor

Dear Editor and staff of Whoosh!

I like Whoosh! very much. I'm very impressed with its quality.

I was especially pleased to be acknowledged in No. 10, in the piece titled "The Curse of Baywatch." Kym Masera Taborn described a story I had written as "The first mainstream defense of 'Xena: Warrior Princess' from the pestilent 'Baywatch' association was in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ... " back in 1995. And later, she refers to my defense as "lofty."

Wow. Thanks.

I didn't know my column was the first "mainstream defense." That was nice to read, because those linking "Xena" to "Baywatch" obviously don't get it. Thanks for quoting the article. It made my day ... and then some.

But I think there's a deeper message that some people in the media and outside it, continue to miss. Programs such as "Xena" and "Hercules" (and the imitators that have sprouted up since) are feeding a very real hunger ... the yearning for myth that is an important part of any culture, but is lacking in this one. Mythology is the ultimate metaphor that gives deep meaning and dimension to our lives. Understand those patterns and how they manifest in our lives, we will understand ourselves and each other.

Like all of you, I am looking forward to another exciting and entertaining season of "Xena: Warrior Princess." And more issues of Whoosh! And to those of you who have the opportunity to attend one of the conventions, have a great time. I hope to be among you at some future occasion.

Again, my thanks and compliments to Kym and the staff of Whoosh!

Ellis Widner
Deputy Features Editor
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


[Whoosh! No. 10 (July 1997), "The Gabrielle Scrolls: Scroll 1", by Shelley Sullivan ]

Tue, 01 Jul 1997
Subject: the gabrielle scrolls

I just read scroll 1. It was great! It was the best thing I've read on Whoosh so far. Keep up the good work! I'm anxiously awaiting scroll 2.

I just wish I could write something more in-depth. My modem has a funny thing about only sending emails that are about three lines long and anything longer just completely freaks the thing out. [Editor: This e-mail was sent in parts]

I think you got into the character really well, especially the way Gab was in the beginning - more naive, nervous and eager to please - as opposed to the more mature Gab we see now. Great job!

Anita Miller

Fri, 4 Jul 1997
Subject: Gabrielle Scrolls


I just had to say the "Gabrielle Scrolls" in Whoosh! is outstanding! It is about time someone took that view. I can't wait to read part 2 (and the rest--I do hope there will be more). I really, really did enjoy reading the Gabrielle Scrolls article and look forward to the rest. I hope it runs through all of the show's adventures/episodes.

Finally, the focus is shifted back to the source of the Xena Scrolls--the 'Bard' herself. The timeline element is terrific, the best part. That way the 'hows and whys' of the growing friendship and development of mutual respect can be explained and understood. Now, although I do not consider myself a genius (well, maybe I do), I am however hopelessly hooked on Xena: Warrior Princess and have way to much time on my hands. I would like to join in the fun. I would like membership in IAXS.

Phyllis Schudde

Tue, 08 Jul 1997
Subject: RE Gabrielle Scrolls


After reading your article, I just had to write. If you should need any urging to continue on, just let me know! I was snickering and guffawing as I read on and on. You really hit some good serious chords too!

Eagerly awaiting Scroll Two

Mark Blackmer


[Whoosh! No. 10 (July 1997), "Editor's Note", by Kym Masera Taborn]

Thu, 3 Jul 1997
Subject: Re: Whoosh #10 Editorial

Dear Ms. Taborn:

I read the discussion about Mr. Tapert's inability to be direct about the Gabrielle's child and rape plot line. Personally, I think that Mr. Tapert has exercised poor judgment in regarding the people who use the internet. I base that on your editorial and Ms. Lawless' statements of why she was kicked off a Xena chat group. She said that Mr. Tapert thought it would be a great joke to sign on as 'Hercules' and 'diss' Xena. To many people, the internet does not have the same weight as print since it is too similar to a group conversation.

When Mr. Tapert says that everyone knows about Gabrielle's rape, I wonder by who he means everyone? Many of my friends who watch Xena, do not have internet access. My access is limited. We did not know about any rape. Sometimes, when you are so immersed in your writing and the people around you are equally immersed, you make assumptions that are untrue globally.

Personally, I think if effectively done, Gabrielle recovering from being raped could be a strong testament to her grit. As for having a child being a bad seed, it has been done too many times. How about having a child with disabilities? Raising a 'special child' would be more of a challenge. Emily Pearl Kingsley writes about this in her essay, "Welcome to Holland". ('Holland' being the place where such a parent 'lives'.)

Virginia Carper

Thu, 03 Jul 1997
Subject: Letter to Editor

Briefly, I was intrigued by the Editor's Note in the July issue, about rumors and counter-rumors connected with Renaissance Pictures.

It is interesting to see these issues play out in the forum of the Internet. While I no longer feel any attachment to my former days as a newspaper journalist, I do feel some wry satisfaction at what happens when the Internet deposes the gatekeepers and editors and lets individual users interact with news sources directly.

In other words, the maddening trial balloons and counter-rumors are just a Day in the Life for working journalists. But these interchanges and struggles for good information and clarity are hidden behind gates by conscientious editors. They try to filter out the newsgathering process and just present readers with "facts." But the process is usually pretty messy on their end too. One might feel some sympathy for them when their crediblity is besmirched. Just a little.

Don't get me wrong. I like what the Internet has done to depose editors and gatekeepers, to allow us to get directly to the source without having to go through journalist high priests. The curtain has been torn, we are in the Holiest of Holies, the access to newsmakers. And we are SURPRISED to find the sacred ground so ...MESSY?

Ah well, power to the people,
Effluvia: Warrior Sewage.

PS. I was in the Tapert chat, and I believe your original transcript is the correct one. Looks like somebody was playing editor after all.

Christine Boese

Tue, 1 Jul 1997
Subject: Letters to the editor

I enjoyed reading your editoral regarding the rape of Gabrielle. I truely hope that the rumor is untrue. I am one of those obsessed Xenites that have no life but Xena. I am also a major subtext fan, but the rumors that we will take anything is wrong. We love the show the way it is, but rape, no way. That would be the end for me and most of my friends here in a.t.x. [Usenet newsgroup alt.xena.tv]. Xena is the one show where we have been safe. I love your page and read it all the time. Thank you.


Sun, 13 Jul 1997
Subject: Letter To The Editor

I read your editorial in Whoosh #10 and agree with most of what you have said. There is one aspect not mentioned that I think has some bearing on the whole 'Gabrielle's Child' mess.

I must preface that I have been involved in various fandoms (original STAR TREK, STAR WARS and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) over the last 25 years. When I began, things were a lot *slower*. The fans either went to conventions where we discussed the show (and any rumors) or exchanged letters. The pace for XWP fans is so much faster that I strongly suspect the people at Renaissance Pictures are not used to or aware of how fast rumors can spread on the Internet. I certainly was amazed. People take as gospel everything they see.

There are no blueprints for any of these hit or cult shows such as Xena. Each one is different. I think the people at RP are feeling their way and it is quite understandable to me that they could have made such a gaffe. It appears to me many in charge are, like me, in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and are just getting wired (if at all). This certainly must have some bearing on the production company's response.

Finally, I would hope that the fans remember that nothing they have seen in the episodes already aired is as terrible as rumored. I remember being concerned when I first heard about the rumored rape. At the same time I felt that RP would not go that dark because they know, and have said, they cannot. The entire show has a much lighter touch than that. The quick loss of trust of the fans is most disturbing. I hope it is not permanent.

Vivian Sheffield

Thu, 17 Jul 1997
Subject: Gabrielle's "rape"?

I just happened to take the time and read the editor page from #10 - geez, what are these people thinking? Why is it that people seem so set on ruining anything that is really good? They obviously don't realize the amount of impact the fact or even rumor of such a plot on the show would have on the fans. Let's hope it isn't a critical mistake. Just venting the old indignation.

Matthew Steele


[Whoosh! No. 09 (June 1997), "R. J. Stewart: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", by Deb E McGhee ]

Fri, 4 Jul 1997
Subject: Rebutal to Deb McGee's Joxer

Deb E. McGee's article on R.J. Stewart (Whoosh #9) is quite provocative and raises many interesting points. Specifically, I would like to address her ongoing problem with the Joxer character, who she feels does not fit into the show. She describes Joxer as "idiotic, annoying, misguided and insensitive". I am not arguing that. In fact, there are more unflattering adjectives to add to the list of Joxer negatives, but still, I find him to be a useful and entertaining character. I have a feeling that has been developing about Joxer that is intuitive in nature, and in my gut seems right to me.

My personal spin on Joxer is that he is a metaphor for the male viewing audience -- Joxer as written is us -- the collective male Xena fandom. The most used adjective to describe Joxer is "Wannabe". Joxer is the embodiment of the male viewer's wannabe wish. Sure, we would rather identify with Hercules, Ares, or Julius Caesar, but if 99% of us guys were suddenly dropped into the Xena world, no doubt we would be more like Joxer than any other male characters.

Joxer is the 90's man -- he can't fight, but he acts like he can. He has big problems dealing with powerful women, so he puts on an the airs of bravado and worldliness. In short, Joxer acts like he is in control of his world, when in fact he is confused and continually assaulted by all manner of experiences he cannot deal with. He is us, men in the modern world, living our lives behind a facade of control and competence. So I see Joxer as serving a useful role -- providing us guys with a sympathetic character who reflects our own ambiguities and that indeed has shown growth in season two. And don't lose sight of Joxer's many positive attributes: he is unflaggingly optimistic, loyal, self sacrificing, kind, sensitive, and honorable.

Lastly, I agree with Ms. McGee that the character of Joxer has been written inconsistently from show to show and that this has served to undermine Joxer. The last episode of season two, A COMEDY OF EROS (#46), is encouraging because Joxer is portrayed in a (for the most part) good light, with a truly poignant ending scene. I hope Joxer is developed more along these positive lines in season three, and perhaps can even be given his moment as a hero.

Jim Gordon


[Whoosh! No. 08 (May 1997), "What the Heck is a Chakram, Anyway?", by Bret Ryan Rudnick ]

Wed, 16 Jul 1997
Subject: chakram

I really enjoyed your article about the origin of the chakram in Whoosh! I always find history and archaeology very interesting and I was pleased to discover that the chakram wasn't just another invention of the xenaverse. Keep it up!

I really enjoy Whoosh! I talk to my husband about the articles I read there all the time. He thinks I'm a mega-geek because I'm into the net, but when I find cheat codes for his Sony PlayStation or bring him stuff like "The Star Wars Drinking Game" he doesn't complain.

Publish more on Callisto!

Laura Hannum

Editor Responded:
Please note the interview with Hudson Leick in this month's issue. We live to serve!


Thu, 10 Jul 1997
Subject: Xena Ep. Guide/Air date Question

Hi Kym,

Great job on the Xena episode guide! I was wondering if you were responsible for the air dates as well? If so, great job again! I just started watching the show last summer and only caught a few of the first season episodes. I noticed that in the air dates, the last rerun is scheduled to be a first season episode. Do you know if there is any way we can request an episode to be rerun. I really want to see THE GREATER GOOD (#21) or IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (#24), both of which I've heard so much about but have never seen. If you know of anyone I could contact, that would be great. Keep up the great work.

Jamie E. Gorman

Editor Responded:
Yes, I am the keeper of the airdates. Thank you for your kind words on the episode guide. As to your other question, if there was a way fans could set the rerun schedule I can assure you THE TITANS (#07) would not have had four releases by now! Renaissance Pictures doesn't even set the re-run schedule, some wonks at Universal do. It is a rumor that the extra episode slot before the fourth season will be a first season episode. I would love to see DREAMWORKER (#04) re- broadcast, and there are some good odds on it being THE RECKONING (#06), since THE FURIES (#47) is an Ares intensive episode. However, at this point we have no idea what it will be...it might even be...gasp...THE TITANS (#07).

At this point it looks like the best bet for seeing first season episodes is to beg someone to dupe you copies, wait until the Fall of 1998 when the USA Channel starts stripping XWP, or wait until the episodes are released on videotape (I estimate 12 to 18 months). The Hercules Xena Trilogy is tentatively scheduled for a release within a year. After that, the other episodes should follow.


Sat, 26 Jul 97
Subject: Re: IAXS RP #180

Hi Kym --

Thanks for writing. And thanks for WRITING PAPERS.

I am very happy that you and your crew established IAXS and WHOOSH! I wrote to you some time telling you that I enjoyed WHOOSH! because it gave us all an opportunity to read (and write) material that expands our interest in XWP. After writing my articles (and getting them accepted ) it turns out that there is more to it than that.

You have provided a medium for people like me to focus our interests into *real* research -- research we probably would not have considered if it weren't for WHOOSH!

For example, my current project (Dream Archetypes in DESTINY) started out as an interest that had very little to do with DESTINY, and was only peripherally related to XWP. I had been reading some of Joseph Campbell's books on mythology. Campbell often referred to ideas that he said were based on the works of the analytic psychologist Dr. Carl Jung. I figured that, to get the most out of Campbell's work, I had better read what Jung had to say on the subject. I picked up one of Jung's book "Man and his Symbols" and started reading.

By the time I had finished the first chapters, I realized that much of the material could easily be related to the dream sequences in DESTINY. As I finished Jung's book, along with four or five others, I was amazed at how well the dream images - the symbols - in DESTINY fit Jung's study of the archetypes of the unconscious! That is when I decided to record my findings in the form of a research article for WHOOSH!

If you didn't provide an outlet for this kind of research, I doubt that I would have done much more than read Jung's "Symbols" and let it go at that. However, by providing WHOOSH! as a research medium, you got me to dive deeper into three of my interests: mythology, psychology, and XWP.

Keep up the good work -- and THANKS!

Richard LaFleur

Fri, 04 Jul 1997
Subject: Thanks!

We have just discovered and are enjoying your web pages on Xena. Very insightful and well written material. Please keep up the great work!

Ann Epperson

Tue, 08 Jul 1997
Subject: WHOOSH! #10

I hope someone tells you how appreciative they are for all the incredible work you do for all the frustrated Xenites with no outlet for their creativity. Whoosh, while maintaining its love for the show and all things Xena, is utterly judgementless towards all facets of our Xenaverse.

Laurie Sosna

Mon, 7 Jul 1997
Subject: WHOOSH! #10

Thanks...for the spirit and energy to keep pulling Whoosh! together each month. I really look forward to it and I am even trying to think up what my next contribution should be since I want to keep my membership in good standing.

Chris Wiatt

Tue, 08 Jul 1997
Subject: Whoosh! issue #10

I greatly respect the work which has gone into producing a quality periodical like Whoosh, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Matthew Steele

Sun, 13 Jul 1997
Subject: WHOOSH #10

Hi Kym

I am a devoted reader of Whoosh. Your articles are so interesting and the interviews they make me feel like I am there talking to them too. I love XENA and when I read how the show is put together and all the people you do not see that contribute so much to the show makes it even more enjoyable. Everytime I read Whoosh I think about when I met you at the Xenafest in New York and I feel connected. There are so many things about Whoosh that I want to say but there is not enough room here to say it. I will say until we meet again for now take care and continued good luck with Whoosh!


Return to Top Return to Index

Episode Guide FAQ Air Dates Encyclopedia Xenaica Membership Submission Back Issues