I've been getting through the episode guide and commentaries, and lovin' every moment of it, but have a question. My impression in DREAM WORKER was that the leather-clad Xena beat the sans leather Xena to a pulp, not vice versa. Therefore Xena's discovery is that the old Xena is here to stay, as deeply as she may be buried, she is not gone. Did I miss something? Anyway, while I decide if I have time to explore a topic and thus deserve membership in IAXS, keep up the good work!
Mary Pavlovich aka Pippin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In her dreamscape, Xena is ultimately confronted by her doppelganger. She makes a statement to the effect that Morpheus was trying to make her kill and she refused (this, of course relates back to Morpheus' need to make the blood-innocent Gabrielle kill: Morpheus knows that Gabrielle is holding out because of her faith in Xena coming to the rescue, and also knows that if he tricks Xena into killing any of her past victims in the dreamscape, it will demoralize Xena to the point of neutralizing her long enough for Morpheus' minions to either trick or force Gabrielle into doing the deed, i.e, killing someone). However, Xena was relieved when her old self came back because (1) she was getting really angry; (2) if she had to kill anyone it would have to be her doppelganger not a previous victim; and (3) she was looking forward to cutting loose...and she does, with a vengence.
While Xena is working this all out and fighting with the doppelganger she discovers that the "old Xena" is THE KEY to getting through the door and leaving the Dream Passage. The sans-leather new and improved Xena then takes the evil Xena and swings her into the door. The old Xena is killed and the door opens and the new Xena enters the room intact and full-bodied, and ready, willing, and able to rescue the fair maiden Gabrielle.
The word key is used to mean two different things: the analogy to a key opening an actual door, and the key to Xena understanding her psyche, as you mentioned. DREAMWORKER was a peculiar show because it was so early in the series (third aired show of the first season). I see it as Xena working out that she can transcend her past in order to allow herself to make a friendship with Gabrielle. It was as if she could not allow herself any emotional committments at that time (remember her little speech with Darius in CHARIOTS OF WAR (#02), and her constantly trying to dump Gabrielle in SINS OF THE PAST (#01)). DREAMWORKER was the first episode to intimate at how special the friendship would become. Also, it is where Xena deals with her warriorself on a conscious level. She does the exact same thing with her idealised notions of "what would have happened had I stayed a happy little peasant" in REMEMBER NOTHING (#26).
After DREAMWORKER, everytime Xena takes a walk on the evil side it is always an unconscious act which is usually induced by some strong emotional stimuli (THE RECKONING (#06): being physically beaten and taunted by Ares; TIES THAT BIND (#20): being emotionally beaten and taunted by an undercover Ares; etc.). However, Xena is always resolute in her determination to keep on the moral path even though, she herself is obviously aware of the latent hypocracies that her of all people is making that distinction. That is also at the heart of her unresolved relationship with Callisto.
In SINS OF THE PAST, Xena was wanting to give up her warrior ways completely (burying her weapons) and also was suicidal (had Gabrielle not come around, Xena probably would have let the villagers do what ever they wanted to do to her). She was at rock bottom and suffering from overt guilt. In CHARIOTS OF WAR, Xena starts to come out of her depression, and sees Darius, his children, and his peaceful life as an alternative. This, of course, parallels what she finally deals with in REMEMBER NOTHING, and eventually rejects. But she cannot commit. She tells Darius that she has to work out some more things until she can "settle down". Then DREAMWORKER comes barrelling in. This is where she literally destroys the old Xena. After Xena wrestles with what she was, literally and figuratively, the new Xena disposes of the old, proving that the new Xena is not only stronger than the old Xena, but preferred by herself. Of course we all know the old Xena is always there, just waiting to sneak out when Xena is not looking. However, THAT Xena can only surface when the new Xena is in some type of unique stress. Therefore my conscious and sub-conscious observations.
After writing all that, I find we are actually talking about the same thing but in different ways. I agree with you. I have changed the episode guide to read that both Xenas beat each other to a pulp, which is more accurate than stating the sans leather Xena beat the leather Xena to pulp.
Thank you for your thoughtful letter.
TEN LITTLE WARLORDS Query
In the Pre-comment for Ten Little Warlords [in the WHOOSH On-Line Episode Guide] it is written "Is this a ploy to cover the fact that star Lucy Lawless is in recovery from injuries and allow the show to go on with Xena?"
This episode was filmed before Lucy was hurt.
Scott C (email@example.com)
It is true that TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (#32) was "filmed" before Ms. Lawless' injuries and this is also true for INTIMATE STRANGER (#31), but INTIMATE STRANGER had its ending reshot late October so Xena could stay in Callisto's body. THAT was what I was referring to. In the original script, Xena changed back into Xena. From the reports I have heard about the INTIMATE STRANGER airing this week, Xena remains in Callisto's body (because of release date requirements, I am writing this on the afternoon of the day I will be watching INTIMATE STRANGER in the evening, so I am dependent upon second-hand reports and WHOOSH's On-Line Episode Guide]. The next show will have to have Xena as Callisto in order to carry on any type of semblance of continuity.
My guess is that they re-filmed the first part of TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (#32) so Hudson Leick could be Xena and then have Xena switch back to Lawless' body at the end, using the originally filmed portion.
Steven L. Sears, the supervising producer, stated in an e-mail to a mailing list that they had to re-shoot several shows. Most of the ten in the can have been aired. What remains is XENA SCROLLS (which I have heard rumors that it was sent back for re-working BEFORE Lawless' accident), INTIMATE STRANGERS, and TEN LITTLE WARLORDS.
I obviously do not know for sure. I have no "in side information" and neither am I a psychic. This is all conjecture. That is why I posed my statement as a question and used the word "ploy".
Sister Xena Publication Asks for Support
Kym, I would like to ask for your assistance. We would like to promote the Newsletter [The Xenite Newsletter] on a wider scale. Could you help in this regard? Thank you.
[This originally appeared last month in the letter section but in abbreviated form. It now re-appears in its entirety]
No problem, Brette. I am proud to be a dues paying member of the Xenite Fan Club and Newsletter along with Rosie O'Donnell. I would like to remind readers that the Xenite Newsletter and Fan Club was featured on the Rosie O'Donnell show (summer of '96) where Rosie interviewed Lucy Lawless. Keep up the good work, Brette, and I hope your membership grows.
Take out that check book and sign up for the Xenite Newsletter at http://www.jetthead.com
Also, for those who have just got back from Space Station Mir, the Xenite Fanclub has been SANCTIONED by Lucy Lawless! Yup, folks, the Xenite Fan Club is now THE OFFICIAL LUCY LAWLESS FAN CLUB! To join, send your hard-earned $18 to THE LUCY LAWLESS FAN CLUB, P.O. Box 279, Pendleton, IN 46064 and tell them WHOOSH sent you! You will receive among other things, a quartlerly newsletter, an 8x10 glossy of Ms. Lawless, and a certificate attesting to your Xenahood.
Please note that the LUCY LAWLESS FAN CLUB, which publishes as its organization's newsletter the XENITE NEWSLETTER, is not associated in any capacity with the XENA FAN CLUB.
TOOTING OUR OWN HORNS: PRAISES FOR OUR SECOND ISSUE
Wanted to congratulate you on the impressive item that is Whoosh!
Dearcy (Liz Monroe) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Just a little note to say that I think Whoosh is great! Keep up the good work.
Martin John Hooper (M.HOOPER@UCLAN.AC.UK)
What can I say but that I'm both a big X:WP fan as well as most appreciative of the fine work you and others have done on IAXS. It's a great place to visit.
Since I do appreciate the existence and maintenance of such a site, I'd also like to contribute and do my bit to help keep it going....
Bret Rudnick (email@example.com)
Just discovered your 'net site this PM....Looks like fun reading.
My girls (7 and 10) make it a point each week to watch the latest Xena / Hercules / Sinbad episodes. Lots of talk about what is going on. I believe that they could pick worse role models than Xena and Gabrielle.
David Delgadillo (DTDelgadio@aol.com)
I love "Whoosh"...
...Thanks for your hard (and quality) work. The articles...are excellent, thought-provoking, and present interesting points of view that hadn't occurred to me before.
D. J. Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THANKS for ALL your work with WHOOSH!
Many thanks for your incredible work in bringing us Whoosh and the XMR and TWXN. They are great publications and fulfill what has become a surprisingly intense need in me to read everything that has to do with Xena.
Diane Silver (email@example.com)
"Whoosh" will be around a long, long time (it's amazingly well-done).
I received your e-mail and just wanted to thank you for the info. I went to the website for the previous issues and just wanted to tell you, that is the best website I have been to yet. (I'm new to the net, only been on for about two months). I couldn't believe the music!! The articles are just great. I hope everyone appreciates all the work you do for us Xena and Hercules fans.
I will be logging on again tomorrow to finish reading the rest of the articles. Again, thanks for the excellant info.
Arleen Schwemmer (QDVK57A@prodigy.com)
I am so thrilled with "Whoosh"!!!! It is fabulous! ...""Whoosh"" is the perfect companion to the world's greatest show!!! Kind of like the fine wine with which to savor the splendor of the dining experience known as Xena.
Susan L. Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for your kind letter. Please forward to me your address so I can refer you to a few institutions located locally which may be able to help you with your...problem.
First I'd like to say how much I enjoy the IAXS home page. It's great!
At the moment I'm getting dizzy of all the Xena sites around. This has to do with the fact that I've discovered Xena only 3 weeks ago, when German satellite network RTL+ started airing it (German dubbed :(). So now I'm surfing the web trying to get all sorts of Xena stuff (I'm glad there's so much of it)....
Petra de Jong (email@example.com)