From Stacey Robillard: The New Season
From Bret Rudnick: Not The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
From Stacey Robillard: The New Season
It has been a heck of a month in the Xenaverse, kids. Tapert and Company were not kidding when they said that they may lose some of their audience with these dark episodes. I think they were referring to the kids ... not their core audience, but that seems to be what has happened. Hard-core Nutballs leaving the fold. Personally, I do not get this at all. Hey, I'm as peeved as the next guy at some of the stuff that has happened. But that's what makes XWP such an amazing show. The writers, producers and actors are not sitting back and playing it safe. They are taking risks -- for better or for worse.
I've loved every episode so far this year (with the possible exception of KING OF ASSASSINS -- but I have a hard time considering that an XWP episode. More like the Joxer and Autolycus hour). I've bawled my eyes out (over Gabrielle's loss of blood innocence in THE DELIVERER), been slack-jawed in disbelief (Gabrielle's betrayal of Xena in THE DEBT), practically fallen off the couch laughing (basically all of BEEN THERE, DONE THAT). I was angry and disappointed at some of the choices made by both characters -- and TPTB. But that's the point, isn't it? That we care so much for this show and these characters that we feel we know them -- what they would or wouldn't do.
That seems to be the biggest complaint from fans. The Gabrielle wouldn't do that's and the Xena would never act that way's. It is the double-edged sword the Xenastaff have to live with. Fans, especially hard-core fans, who are so into the show -- they end up being alienated. I say lets give everyone the benefit of the doubt -- the staff and the fans. After all, we are after the same thing -- the continued growth and success of Xena: Warrior Princess.
On another front, I had the chance to watch an advanced copy of Hercules & Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus (one of the perks of being a video buyer). I have to say I was very disappointed. Fact is, Universal blew it. They had star support (Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Kevin Smith and Alexandra Tydings all voice their animated incarnations). They had a hot property. And what did they do? A half-assed rush job with extremely poor animation and a weak script. This is just my opinion, folks. I guess the real test will be what happens after January 6, 1998.
Finally, just a friendly reminder that DREAMWORKER is rumored to be the first season episode they will repeat during the December re-runs. Why is this such a big deal? Well, it's been 2 years since this episode was last shown and as many people will tell you (especially a certain Whoosh! Editor-in-Chief) all things XWP stem from this one episode. So if you've never seen this one, lets hope you get a chance. Besides, if the ratings are good enough maybe they'll play THE RECKONING again (the only other episode not seen since 1995).
Have a happy, healthy, safe Holiday Season. See you in 1998!
November 25, 1997
From Bret Rudnick: Not The Sincerest Form of Flattery
It was bound to happen. With the popularity of Xena: Warrior Princess there is now available for purchase the first unauthorised Xena book, titled Xena X-Posed by Nadine Crenshaw, published by Prima Publishing.
It took some nerve to collect information available for free, rearrange it, and bind it for sale. And that, in my opinion, is all this book does.
A major source for this book was Whoosh! and Xena Media Review, both published by Kym Taborn. The extensive bibliography does name those sources, but the author is very careless about proper attribution of original work throughout her "book".
At best, the author is careless much of the time in her attribution of the work of others, and in some cases, I believe she is downright plagiaristic. Here is one obvious example. The following is an excerpt (pages 95-96) from Crenshaw's book:
Kevin Smith told Whoosh!, 'It is amazing when the two women play each other. It is funny watching Hudson doing Lucy doing Xena, and then Lucy doing Hudson doing Callisto. It is extraordinary.' The way they moved their arms, walked, made gestures, spoke -- the two actresses had studied each other very well.Here is an excerpt from my interview with Kevin Smith published in Whoosh! months before Crenshaw's "book" was published:
SMITH:As you can see, Crenshaw used my words with very little alteration and presented them as her own. There are no quotation marks around my words and no attribution. In my opinion, this is plagiarism.
 Yes, it all happened around the time of the accident [October 8, 1997]. So consequently, we had to re-shoot the end of INTIMATE STRANGER (#31) to accommodate that, because originally at the end of INTIMATE STRANGER, Xena and Callisto switch back and all is fine. We see Callisto being sucked into the very bowels of Hell. But no, we did a quick re-shoot and a bit of a reshuffle. It is amazing when the two women play each other. It is funny watching Hudson doing Lucy doing Xena and then Lucy doing Hudson doing Callisto. It is extraordinary.
 I did notice in several scenes, especially the way they moved their arms, the way they walked, their gestures and speech, that they seemed to have studied and got each other down very well.
This is one obvious instance, and I have found others. And if this is true for my words and work, I can only imagine that this happened to others as well.
Although the quest for Xenabilia runs strong in many fans, I do hope that they will suppress the urge to reward theft and pass this book by. There are other books coming out soon that contain new material and are properly authorised or published with the knowledge and/or consent of those being cited.
Crenshaw never bothered to contact Whoosh! nor myself when she compiled her "book". After seeing my words in it, I can see why.
IAXS Executive Committee
November 13, 1997