Whoosh! Issue 70 - July 2002
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to letters@whoosh.org. All letters received by the editor are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received may be reserved for a later issue.

Why Xena Was Killed: Belated Thoughts On The Warrior Princess, Edward Albee And Ownership
One Year After Issue
Xena Dead? HA! I Think Not
In the Head of...
Kevin Smith Memorial Issue
Young Herk Lives -- Or Should!
And What About Those Cross-Over Episodes?
You Can't Keep a Good Amazon Down

Letters To The Editor

Why Xena Was Killed: Belated Thoughts On The Warrior Princess, Edward Albee And Ownership

From: Valerie A. Foster
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 3:18 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

To Whoosh and the Author [Heidi Antigone] of "Why Xena was Killed: Belated Thoughts on the Warrior Princess, Edward Albee, and Ownership", BRAVO! Although I am a movie fanatic, I've never actually seen the 1966 classic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I do know that Elizabeth Taylor did a stellar performance in that film.

That said, the article presented a very compelling theory. My thoughts, after having watched the entire Xena: Warrior Princess saga, is that with XWP, Rob Tapert was both arrogant and mediocre, but very very lucky. He played the Big Game lottery and scratched a winning ticket. That winning ticket was his wife's ambition and her amazing chemistry with her costar. Had nothing to do with him. However, most lottery winners get arrogant, greedy and materialistic, and squander their winnings within the first three years after receiving them. It took Tapert six years, but at least Lucy's still with him.

As for Lawless, I personally attribute a lot of her excellent acting to her pairing with Renee O'Connor. Lawless is a good stand-alone actress, but O'Connor seemed to subconsciously bring out the best in Lawless' acting (with the notable exception of Season Five), something that most others with whom she worked, on the show, were not able to achieve in as great a capacity.

In any event, Lawless may have a bright future in her husband's low budget slasher films and straight-to-video brood. Tapert didn't fair too shabbily by having his now "Primo" buddy, Spiderman Sam Raimi, negotiate a gig in Germany whereby Tapert can continue doing that which he most likely believes he does best, Evil Dead, its various incarnations and his Hong Kong "homages"... ad nauseam. Tapert knows that he can capitalize on Raimi's blooming popularity right now. Never mind that the real deal is that Raimi is involved in name only. He does no writing, no directing (and more than likely no financing) of anything from Senator International. He just gets to have his name attached to whatever comes out of it. That's good for Tapert, since audiences will be inclined to check out something with the Raimi name, just like his name was attached to Xena: Warrior Princess and he had absolutely nothing to do with it creatively either.

However, Tapert's new gig isn't a reward, in my opinion. It's recovery. After Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, at 47 and after 25 or so years in the business, Tapert should be producing prime-time US Network TV/Cable/Premium Cable stuff by now. SHOULD BE. I recently watched, for the first time, the film Alien Resurrection. I couldn't bring myself to go and see it when it was released back in 1997 because Alien 3 sucked so bad. Note to Rob Tapert: See what killing off your chief protagonist can do to your project? Anyway, Alien Resurrection RULED! Someone at Pacific Renaissance thought so too, as I noticed some eerie similarities of it in A FAMILY AFFAIR. Nonetheless, what I quickly noticed in the opening credits was that the writer of Alien Resurrection was Joss Whedon, the now chieftain of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, a show that recently made TV Guide's 50 best television series of all time. Given the character development and consistency of both Whedon projects, I wasn't surprised.

However, because Tapert fumbled the ball on Xena: Warrior Princess, the most violent TV show of all time, I suspect that he literally has no future in Hollywood. I could be completely wrong, of course, but even Sam Raimi isn't sticking his financial rear on the line. He's only letting Tapert borrow the Raimi name, as opposed to, uh, maintaining the now defunct Renaissance Pictures. The fact that Tapert had to rely on his younger, more established buddy to bail him out of his "jam" after relying on his much younger, more established wife's beauty as his six-year meal ticket has to be demoralizing. I would compare it to a guy who played for 15 years in the minors, but then gets into the majors for six years with the New York Yankees, only to be returned to the minors for letting an easy ball fly by him. Tapert's colossal ego must be taking a beating right now. Then again, maybe not.

As for A FRIEND IN NEED, everyone chooses to deal with it in their own way. Many have refused to watch it or watch it again, a few actually loved it, others dismissed it as not the legitimate ending, some accepted it under the premise that the saga continues in the various virtual seasons out there. I have and can watch A FRIEND IN NEED. I didn't hate the episode, per se. I just hated the ending. No big "duh" there. My disgust over A FRIEND IN NEED, as articulated in my August 2001 Whoosh article, "A Clue in Need", is not the episode itself, but Tapert's motivation behind the episode. You don't screw over the very people that made you rich... pure and simple. It's bad business. Tapert should have known that, being that he's a micro-manager/accountant by trade. Perhaps he has been arrogant and mediocre, but very very lucky in those departments as well.

One Year After Issue

From: Adriane online
Sent: Saturday, June 01, 2002 2:49 PM
Subject: Kudos! June Issue

Kudos! June Issue articles for Whoosh! Wonderfully diverse--and eloquent all. Thanks!

Xena Dead? HA! I Think Not

From: David Richards
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 8:20 AM
Subject: Letters to the Editor

I am an infrequent visitor to Whoosh for reasons that I will explain later, but having read your editorial this month on the first anniversary of the television series demise I thought I might pass on some words of encouragement.

First of all, nothing is dead and buried unless you allow it to be.

I happen to be a fan of Dr Who living in the UK. I have seen only the odd episode of Xena, and although I like the character I cannot say I have been an avid viewer. This is not by choice but as a result of the program being on terrestrial television over here at times when it was inconvenient for me to have watched it. However, there are some interesting parallels with Xena and Dr Who. For example:

a. Both have a very active fan base,
b. Fans of both programmes have created archives of facts and information about the characters and the episodes,
c. Fans of both programmes are tenacious advocates of the central character and the program format,
d. Both programmes are no longer in production,
e. Both programmes have fans and supporters that have survived beyond the demise of the programme itself and are still active.
So what am I getting at? Well, Dr Who ceased as a television program in 1983, nearly twenty years ago. The fans have not only kept the programme alive but have actively moved on from then, taking the character on through new adventures. Even now you can get hold of Dr Who Monthly, the magazine that leads the way in Dr Who fandom. You can also buy books that tell stories that have been designed to fit in between episodes of the television programmes. There are also books with new adventures taking the character beyond the end of the television series.

For me, nineteen years have passed since Dr Who was axed. For you it is only a year. Now is the difficult time for you. The producers of the program have dropped the baton; it lies in the dust waiting for another champion to take it up. The mistake is to stand there looking around for that champion. That champion is you, the fans of the program. Now is the time for you to take up the baton, to take the series, the character and all that it once was and carry it forward. But how?

The comic strip version of Dr Who began 1964. It is still alive today in Dr Who Monthly, thirty-eight years later. From this source, many fans and would be writers cut their teeth. Fans who only saw the program on video or as repeats on television became writers and artists, editors and publishers. From here came the lost adventures written by fans of particular versions of the good Doctor and his companions. These stories fitted into the past, but soon there were books taking the character forward. Even an abortive television movie that failed to bring back the series didn't stop the growth generated by the proactive fan base. Now there are CD audio dramas, with actors and actresses from the original series playing their parts once again.

None of this happens without effort. Be proactive. Seek the publishing rights to the character from the producers of the program, from the writers themselves; get their approval and support. You maybe surprised at the results. Get them to work with you. Ask if you can produce a comic strip version if none exists. If one already does, ask if it can be added to your website. Do you have a Fanzine that could be published monthly? If you have, add the comic strip to that. If you don't, start one. Seek input from your fans. There maybe fans in journalism and publishing, and in marketing. Get their help. Seek creative input too. Obtain stories to include in the fanzine or on the website. Build.

What I'm trying to say is that it isn't all over once the final credits fade out. Fans of Star Trek kept the series alive long enough to see its rebirth. For Dr Who fans that rebirth has never come, but many fans no longer care. They have the books, videos and audio dramas to keep them going. For some of the older fans there is more Dr Who available to them now than when the series itself was in production.

Some of the things I have mentioned above you may already be doing. As I said at the beginning, I am an infrequent visitor, so I am not up to date. So if you are doing any of these things, keep at it. They will bear fruit in the end. I found Whoosh because I also have a love for courageous women in lead roles. I write both contemporary and Science Fiction stories that feature women prominently, and it was while doing research for my latest story that I found an article on Amazon women in Whoosh. Since then I have popped back from time to time to see what's going on. My stories are at http://www.booksandstories.com. When I finish my latest story, which features the birth of the Amazons on Earth, I'll let you know.

At the heart of fandom is the love of the character and format of the programme and the sharing of that love with others. It can be a nice place to be, and it can carry you forward through many years. I watched Dr Who in 1963. As I write this a Dalek sits on a shelf opposite me. Next to it is a model of the Enterprise. The series and all the characters that went with it still occupy a part of my mind. It can be the same for you.

The first twenty years are the hardest.

David Richards

4th June 2002

From: Patrick Fenderson
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 4:34 PM
Subject: Xena Redux

I've been a Xena and Gabrielle fan since Season 1. I can't help but think that a show with this much potential, with an already established fan base, won't make a comeback in the future. Renee and Lucy won't reprise their roles, but two other kicka-- women would do. The only problem would be finding a setting as good as Europe in ancient times.

I keep thinking how Star Trek came back after so many years. Someone down the line will say to a studio, "I've got an idea - let's bring back Xena: Warrior Princess." Something this good has got to have another life.

In the Head of...

From: Donna
Sent: 06/03/02 9:48:51 AM Central Daylight Time

Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your interview with MaryD at the Whoosh site. Well done, Amy.

From: Susan Solomon
Sent: 06/05/02 9:07:53 AM Central Daylight Time

Your interview with Elizabeth Laidlaw has to be your best ever. What an interesting person! Thanks.

From: Sher
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002 4:56 PM
Subject: Re Inside the Head of MaryD

Sorry haven't said it before...THANKS for ITHOMD!!!!!! ENJOYED it soooooo much!

Kevin Smith Memorial Issue

From: Mary Sauers
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 7:41 PM
Subject: A Beautiful Tribute to a Beautiful Guy

What an outstanding issue April was. I can't thank you enough for dedicating Whoosh! to Kevin Smith that month, making it a wonderful memorial to a brilliant life that is gone too soon.

I was fortunate to see Kevin Smith a couple of times in this country and once in New Zealand and the one thing that just stands out in my mind so very clearly is how he truly made everyone he spoke with feel special. As handsome as he was on the outside, he was ten times more beautiful on the inside. It's little consolation to his family and friends, but he is someone many of us will remember with great fondness for the rest of our lives.

"For his family, friends and fans, he'll always be remembered as a gentle giant, a super hero with a super heart." - TV3 Broadcast (NZ)

That quote says it all.

Young Herk Lives -- Or Should!

From: Judith C. Ralph
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 10:03 AM
Subject: Young Hercules on video/DVD

I loved the Fox series Young Hercules, even though it only ran for one season. Is there any possibility that the entire series might be released on video or DVD? Is it possible that either Fox or some cable channel (like Sci Fi) might air it again? Since Kevin Smith's untimely death and since Ryan Gosling seems to be on his way to stardom, I think there's some interest for it.

At this time, there are no plans to release it on DVD. However, with Gosling's star rising, someone might get an idea to release his early TV work to an eager public. As to airing, who knows. It would be nice to see it again. It only had 50 half hour episodes made. Although under appreciated, it had a very easy-going and entertaining way about it. The humor was genuine and the characters actually started to develop. I found it way more satisfying than Power Rangers and those Tirna Nog kids.

And What About Those Cross-Over Episodes?

From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 2:27 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Well, it's all over. My last boxed set of Xena: Warrior Princess tapes arrived last week. I now own every episode in its uncut form - or do I? What about the crossover episodes from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys? XWP stories like A NECESSARY EVIL and SACRIFICE don't make much sense if you haven't seen SURPRISE and ARMAGEDDON NOW.

Isn't it about time someone at Universal-Playback had the bright idea of releasing a boxed set of HTLJ/XWP crossover episodes? It would be great for those Xena fans who would not otherwise buy Hercules tapes, and give us sad types something to look forward to in the post.

The set would comprise:

The Warrior Princess/The Gauntlet/Unchained Heart;

Surprise/Encounter/When a Man Loves a Woman/Judgement Day;

Stranger in a Strange Land/Armageddon Now, Parts 1 & 2.

Don't just sit there - contact Universal-Playback at communicate@unistudios.com and demand your rights! Today Universal, tomorrow the world! (Or at least the Fox Network).

Now that you have done all the work for them, Andrew, let's see if they take the bait!

You Can't Keep a Good Amazon Down

From: Michael Busch
Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002 9:01 PM
Subject: Home of the Amazon Confederacy of 3 Nations.

I am a historian who is publishing my almost 20 years of research. Much of it is now out. I have translated the Argonautica and made many discoveries by following up locations given in it. One of the locations I have found is the village of Temiscyria, home to the Amazon Nation.

This is not a come on to sell something. My work has cost me greatly and I ask for nothing in return but that if their is any real interest in the real original home of the Amazon that you will check out what I have found.

The descendants of the original Amazon still live in the same place as pointed out in the Argonautica.

Read my discoveries at http://www.geocities.com/stoahist/veda.html and http://www.geocities.com/stoahist/BellRock.html

I have not had a chance to read all of Mr. Busch's page, but I could have sworn I read that the Amazons are one of the three confederations that lived in Sault St. Marie, Michigan. It warms my heart to know that Michigan is once again in the forefront of history, or at least Internet history.

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