GUEST STARS, CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
COMMENTARY 1 by Beth Gaynor
COMMENTARY 2 by Carmen Carter
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TOO FAR
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
John McKee (Lord Menos)
Norman Fairley (Lord Lycost)
Marek Summich (Edos)
Norman Forsey (Casca)
Rodney Cooke (Man #1)
Campbell Rousselle (Man #2)
Neill Duncan (Perion)
John Glass (Tius)
Mary Woodward (Altara)
John Smythe (Apothecary)
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Edited by Robert Field
Directed by Andrew Merrifield
WHAT IF TOMORROW NEVER CAME?
Xena: Rise and shine everybody, rise and shine.
Xena: The day is repeating itself.
Gabrielle: But today hasn't happened yet.
Xena: Well, it happened to me.
ONLY XENA CAN JUMP START THE CLOCK.
Gabrielle: So you're saying that today is actually yesterday for you but for us today is today because we can't remember that yesterday is today, right?
BUT TIME IS NOT ON HER SIDE.
Xena: Don't try and stop me.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.
BATTLE ON, XENA.
TV GUIDE PROMO
Xena realizes her day is repeating itself so she can break a cycle of death that hinges on two lovers' warring families.
Shades of Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day"; Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer get mixed up with two feuding families on a day that repeats itself over and over again.
Xena becomes puzzled when the same disturbing events occur over and over again.
Xena knows there is a reason why she and her companions must relive a certain day; now she must find it.
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
1st RELEASE: 10-06-97
An AA average of 5.6
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) XENA 7th at 5.6
(2) STDS9 9th at 5.2 ("Rocks and Shoals" 126/602)
(3) EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT 10th at 4.9 ("Decision" 01/101)
(4) HERCULES 11th at 4.8 ("Hero's Heart" 61/402)
(5) WALKER 13th at 4.5
(6) NYPD BLUE 21st at 3.8
2nd RELEASE: 12-01-97
An AA average of
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) X-FILES 6th at 7.1 ("Ice" 08)
(2) XENA 13th at 5.6
(3) HERCULES 15th at 5.1 ("Hero's Heart" 61/402)
(4) WALKER 18th at 4.7 (Dunno)
(5) STAR TREK DS9 20th at 4.6 ("Simple Investigation" 515R)
(6) NYPD BLUE 21st at 4.5
(6) PENASCOLA 3.8 (beats me!)
(7) TEAM KNIGHT RIDER 2.6 ("Iron Maiden" 09/109)
This synopsis is by Bluesong.
The show opens with Xena waking to the cry of a rooster and Joxer entering the barn they are all sleeping in. Joxer has a hat full of goose eggs he found for their breakfast. Unfortunately the stableman drops a horseshoe into Joxer's hat and splatters the eggs all over him. Shortly thereafter Joxer intervenes in a fight between two townsmen and he is stabbed through the heart. He dies in Gabrielle's arms, and they burn his body. Gabrielle is sad. She lies down in the woods with Xena, who pulls her close and says, "Sleep now. It'll hurt less in the morning."
Xena wakes to find herself back in the stable. Joxer appears. Xena is confused because she remembers what happened but no one else does. She keeps Joxer away from the sword fighting, but then Argo is killed because someone else dies. Xena wakes again in the stable, keeps Joxer away from the sword fight, and then Gabrielle is stabbed and killed. Xena pulls her close and tells Joxer it will be alright.
The next morning Xena wakes and tentatively pokes the hay to see if Gabrielle is sleeping there. When she finds her friend still alive Xena pulls her up and hugs her close. Joxer comes in, sees them, and yells "group hug!" He joins in the hug until Xena pushes him away.
Xena tries a variety of methods to keep the day from happening all over again, including killing the rooster. She keeps people from dying, etc., but nothing seems to work. She allows all three of them to be killed; she awakes the next morning to the same circumstances. One morning Joxer enters and she throws her chakram into his chest, much to Gabrielle's dismay.
Each day Xena has to explain again to Gabrielle and Joxer what has happened and that they cannot remember. She finally decides she has to end a feud in the town, so she visits the doctor, the midwife, and anyone else who might have some dirt on the people in the town, and settles the feud.
The rooster crows and she's still stuck in the same day. She has a bit of a lunatic fit and then decides she's missed something small. She recalls the doctor saying that a vial of nightsbane is missing -- lethal stuff. She figures out who has it and learns that it's a Romeo and Juliet situation -- two young lovers from feuding families, and the girl drank the nightsbane after sunrise. Cupid gave the young man a wish, and he wished tomorrow would never come so his girl would not die. The wish would last until a champion could keep the girl from dying and end the family feud. But the girl's house was on the other end of town from the stables, and Xena could not get there fast enough to stop the girl from drinking the lethal potion.
Finally Xena spent a day sizing up the town, getting her angles right, while everyone fought to the death around her. Of course the next morning they were all up and doing the exact same thing as yesterday. But as soon as the rooster crowed Xena threw her chakram, and it raced all over the city until it finally reached the girl and cracked the vial before she drank it. She then made peace with the families again, as she had done before on previous days, and hoped for the best.
The next morning started out the same way, but Joxer brought turnips, and Xena knew things were different.
Commentary by Beth Gaynor.
OK, that's it, this show is now getting dangerous: XWP nearly killed me this week. When Xena sat bolt upright and buried her chakram in Joxer's chest, then contentedly went back to sleep with her thumb in her mouth while Gabrielle stammered incoherently in horror, I thought I was going to have to call the paramedics. My sides are still aching.
Mind you, I'm not a Joxer-hater. I'm a rise-and-shine hater, and did feel some triumph on that count. But even funnier was how perfect it was for Xena to decide, just once in all those days, to kill 'em off, let the gods sort 'em out, and take a day off. Getting skewered by arrows the day before will do that to you.
We've had a lot of dramatic episodes start off with a light comedy scene, so I suppose we're due for a comedy to start off with some nice drama. Joxer's death was potently done. His bloody head in Gabrielle's arms and her tears by the funeral pyre were near-exact duplicates to Perdicus' death and funeral scenes. Xena's sympathy -- and her own sadness for Joxer -- were touching, too.
MAJOR subtext alerts! Xena and Gabrielle fall asleep in each other's arms, Xena juggles turnips in front of Gabrielle's chest while she talks about seizing the day, and when Xena finds Gabrielle alive the morning after her death, she pulls her into a rough and tumble embrace that gets burst into by Joxer's arrival. For around a full season now, I've been waiting for some character to cock his or her head to the side, look at Xena and Gabrielle, and mutter "I wonder if they... nah!" I thought for just a second there that the time had arrived, but Joxer is far too innocent and eager for such an idea to even cross his mind. His "group hug!" conclusion instead was priceless.
The best, though, was the hickey alert. Xena's sidelong glance and Gabrielle's studious examination of the side of the road were classic.
To give equal air to the subtext-con view, there are, as always, plenty of alternate explanations: Gabrielle needed enormous comfort, Xena was very glad to see Gabrielle still alive, and maybe the hickey reactions were disbelief at the ridiculousness of the idea or memories of that guy in the tavern last night who was the source of said mark. The debate can rage unabated without any ground gained by either camp, but it sure is fun to watch a gasoline can get thrown into the fire.
The greatest chakram throw in history! By my count, the chakram caromed 30 times through the town. The round killing thing gets to see a lot of action this episode -- besides offing Joxer and travelling throughout the village, it also gets to slaughter livestock.
"Maybe it's the rooster." "Kurraaa kwa kurrrra-BAH!"
The golden nuggets of this episode, though, were the reactions, especially Gabrielle's responses as Xena rages through the day. The blank look of stupified fury on her face when Xena leaves her and Joxer tied up; and her amazement in the barn, with her hands resting quietly on her knees while Xena rants incoherently, are fantastic. I also adored Xena's temper tantrum, complete with leg kicks and Yosemite Sam-style cursing.
Joxer quote of the episode: "Hey, if you need a big goose egg, I'm your man."
Xena showed remarkable restraint in this episode. I expected her to go ballistic after Joxer's death, and when they killed Argo, I was waiting for her to level the village and burn it all to the ground. For an episode with a high violence count, surprisingly little of it was caused by our Warrior Princess.
But while Xena's b*tt-kicking was kept to a minimum, Gabrielle's battle skills shone when Xena was calmly measuring out her chakram shot. Gabrielle got disarmed (by her best buddy) and still managed to keep the raging villager at bay before finally getting her staff back to finish pasting him. Way to go, Gab! Even an extra gets some good fight time: did you see that peasant girl beat the stuffing out of the nobleman? As Xena said with such pride, "Good girl!"
One beef with the episode: WHAT was up with the final day repeating one last time? Or I assume that was what happened: Xena fixed the day, then it repeated one last time, a bit different, with all the problems fixed. Confused the heck out of me. At first, when Joxer came in and Gabrielle popped up, I thought they were playing a really vicious joke on Xena, but it turned out that they didn't have a clue. Shouldn't the next morning have just been... the next morning? No barn, no breakfast, no rise-and-shine?
The episode ended on an awfully sitcom-y note, with a shared belly laugh between the stars, but since it included the amazing sight of Xena participating in the belly laugh, I'll forgive it happily. Just don't make it a habit, guys, please.
Next week: The Dirty Half-Dozen . I haven't heard much at all about this episode, but I notice that Ares is back again. If nothing else, the episode wins fashion points for those majorly cool cloaks Xena and Gabrielle are wearing!
Commentary by Carmen Carter.
Yes!!! Kudos to Hilary J. Baden for one of the funniest XWP episodes of the series! Clever, witty, beautifully paced -- with a tight script like this, how can you possibly lose? To my surprise, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT jumped right into my Top Ten List.
Although the basic premise was taken from GROUNDHOG DAY, the script deftly crafts the plot to Xena's character, and makes good use of both Gabrielle and Joxer and their importance in Xena's life. First and foremost, however, this is quintessential Xena. Challenged by a dilemma, she focuses all her manic energy to solving the equation that eludes her day by day. This is the Xena I've missed all summer, and LL brings her to life with a confidence and verve that were missing from THE FURIES.
The episode starts with a stark, almost dark quality, with Joxer's death and Gabrielle's reaction to it. Then, gradually, the inexorable toll of days shifts the tone of Xena's situation from drama to broad comedy. Fortunately, the comedy is handled with a greater control and consistency than was present in such slapstick episodes as "Comedy of Eros." In BT,DT, humor enchances the central plot without turning the story into a outright farce. High marks go to the director for that feat.
With material like this, it's no wonder the actors don't make a misstep. LL positively shines as Xena, with Renee O'Connor and Ted Raimi offering solid supporting roles. In fact, this was probably Raimi's best performance as Joxer. If Joxer was always used to this good effect, I'd have no problems with the character (a *few* times a season, mind you).
And then there were those wonderful sororal moments! A virtual cornucopia of sisterly scenes of Xena and Gabrielle doing what comes naturally between two women friends....
All in all, I'm a happy camper tonight.
WHIMPERS, MURMURS, AND A LOVE GONE TO FAR
05-22-98. From Sal_Fan. There was a Sinbad mention in "Been There, Done That" The male lover said something to the effect that, in order to break the spell, he needed to find a hero: Maybe Hercules, or even Sinbad.
12-30-97. From the Valley Forge Con 10/04/97: BEEN THERE, along with A DAY IN THE LIFE, are Renee O'Connor's favorite episodes to date. She said that filming BEEN THERE was "a lot of fun".
11-16-97. Regarding the similarities between Xena's observance that Joxer would walk through broken stuff for Gabrielle and Lucy Lawless' comments about Liz Friedman in an interview, our very own Ephany (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote on 11-13-97: "Well that was me who asked that question [to Liz Friedman at the San Francisco Con on 10-18-97 about the quote] and Liz said that *she* had nothing to do with that line, that Lucy adlibbed it on the set." So there you have it. It was not written in but contributed by Lucy Lawless.
11-16-97. Wondering about that sign in BEEN THERE DONE THAT? So did Petra de Jong (email@example.com), who wrote on 11/11/97: "That signboard with the two bulls on it -- it keeps changing through the episode, mirroring what's going on in the episode. The first time we see it, in the teaser, we see the two bulls, calmly facing each other. They seem to be lying/sitting. This reflects the 'everything is normal' mood in town. We don't know yet what's going to happen. Then, after the introduction, when Xena finds out that the day is repeating itself, we again see the signboard but this time the bulls are standing on their legs, facing off, steam from their noses, as if readying for the attack. It seems that the bulls are a symbol for the two rivaling houses: ready to fight each other. It really reflects the 'explosive' atmosphere; only one accident can make it all explode, in other words, will start the fight. Then, the third and last time we see the sign, it is after this big fight (when Xena's measuring all the angles and so on), so when the houses are at full-out 'war'. The bulls on the sign are actually attacking each other, mirroring what happened on the square. I don't know if anyone else noticed this but I just love little details like that. Another reason why I love this show."
Looks like TPTB have gone back to the original idea of showing a couple of comedies before jumping into the heavy drama. This episode is being promoted as an homage to GROUNDHOG DAY. Xena gets into a repeating cycle of events and she has to figure out how to get out of it by manipulating the events which happen to her. Most everyone gets killed in this episode (including the rooster!) at one point or another, as Xena constantly experiments with how NOT to get anyone killed (e.g., if she saves Joxer, Gabrielle dies; if she saves Gabrielle, Argo dies; if she saves Argo, someone else dies; etc) and to get the next day to be a different day. This is thought by many of the crew to be the most humorous episode yet of XWP. Renee O'connor cited this episode as one of her favorites at the October 1997 Valley Forge Xena Convention.
In a WHOOSH! interview (issue #13), Bernadette Joyce, the co-ordinating producer of XWP said, "We have got a show called BEEN THERE, DONE THAT and one shot has 21 chakram hits." So, get ready for some hi-falutin' chakram action in BTDT!
Rumors: XWP meets GROUNDHOG DAY or a STAR TREK TEMPORAL LOOP...you decide! The kill ratio is pretty high but what does death really mean in the Xenaverse? DIDDLY SQUAT!!! I don't know about you, but I bet Joxer getting offed will appear on many music videos of the future! This will definitely be a "Get as many friends to watch with you in one room" episode, and DON'T forget the popcorn.
From Chris Clogston's Sacramento Con Report: "The final slide was a teaser. It showed an unconscious Gabrielle with her head in Joxer's lap. The distressed looks on Joxer's and Xena's (who is crouched nearby) faces indicated trouble. Brad merely said that in this scene, Gabrielle is dead. The name of the episode is BEEN THERE, DONE THAT."
Xena killing Joxer
The intense chakram calculations and delivery
Xena's heartfelt reunion with Gabrielle after Xena realizes the Gabster is not dead.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
06-09-98. From KSZoneW. The fountain in "Been There" was also seen in HTLJ's "Surprise" and "My Fair Cupcake".
06-09-98. From KSZoneW. Hermia and the rooster crowing reminded me of HTLJ's "My Little Cupcake" with the rooster crew and the mention of Hermia.
02-01-98. From Bret: Apparently, when you go to the shop to buy poison, it all comes in the same vial. Note that the vial of poison Hermia uses to kill herself (several times) is the same as that used by Gabrielle in MATERNAL INSTINCTS.
12-07-97. From Linzie16@aol.com. When Xena is trying to figure out what she is missing, Gabrielle and Joxer are sitting there dumb-founded. Xena understands that she is 'missing somthing small' and runs off to figure it out. The camera shoots to Gabrielle and Joxer still sitting there. The horse in the background shows that that sceen was in slow motion for he slowly bends down to eat.
From Bret! Near the end of the episode, Joxer gets smacked by a barn door and gets knocked down. He's supposed to stay down, but watch carefully in the lower left of the screen as the actor's shadow gets up and moves away.
Click here to read a transcript of BEEN THERE DONE THAT .
The rooster was not harmed during the production of this motion picture, although his feathers were severely ruffled. However, a little gel and mousse straightened out the mess.
The following WHOOSH! articles discuss this episode:
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