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General Rumors about XWP Archive
DECEMBER 1997


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These babies cover December 1997...that's why we call it an ARCHIVE!

Last update: 04-01-98



12-17-97. When Hudson Leick was down under shooting HTLJ's "Yes Virginia There is a Hercules", playing a producer named Liz no less, she was asked to stick around for two more Herk episodes! Perhaps we can look forward to Hercules switching bodies with Callisto? Hey!!! It worked with Xena!

12-17-97. As reported in ZENtertainment #89: "TV GUIDE reports ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT's Julie Moran will guest star, and sing, on a musical episode of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS that will air next February. She'll play a friend of Gabrielle's who welcomes Gaby home to her native village." As most HCNB's know by now, this episode is BITTER SUITE, and ET has already aired their two episodes covering Moran's experiences.

12-17-97. As reported in ZENtertainment #89: "UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Home Video will release YOUNG HERCULES, a new live-action movie featuring pre-LEGENDARY JOURNEYS adventures, on February 17th, 100 days before its broadcast on TV." Outtakes from the movie were used in HTLJ's 4th season episode "Regrets I've Had a Few". There is buzz that more material will be taken from "Young Hercules" later on in Herk's 4th season. Also, the news is that Young Herk is still looking for a buyer for broadcasting. So, if you need a half-hour original first-run strip show for youngsters, just call Renaissance Pictures. They are waiting for you!

12-17-97. From an interview with R.J. Stewart that took place on July 3, 1997:

WW: What is XENA's dark past?

RJ: The details of the back story, we continue to create. A lot of it we're exploring next season. I'm not gonna tell you anything about that.

WW: No sneak previews?

RJ: No, but I will say that an important part of it takes place in China. We're doing XENA goes to China, and we got a great actress, Jacqueline Kim, to play her mentor.

WW: What about incorporating time travel?

RJ: One idea that I had for a while is with a villain named Callisto. I've played with the idea that Callisto escapes from the ancient world into New York.

WW. Modern day New York?

RJ: Yeah, and XENA has to chase her there, but we haven't gotten to that. That would be fifth season when we're out of ideas. (Laughter)...

WW: Is the character XENA striving or searching for something?

RJ: We decided not to give her a specific goal, you know, like 'the-one-arm-man' in the The Fugitive. She's a knight errant looking for places to do good and people to help. She lives her life as a service to others to redeem herself for all the terrible things that she's done in the past.

WW: Is she aware of her path?

RJ: Oh yeah. XENA 'is' searching for something, she's searching for peace, and yet she's resigned that she's never going to get that. She could never just give up everything and go live in the mountains someplace, because the things that she's done in the past require her to keep getting out there and trying to do good. What makes our show unique and HERCULES to a certain extent to, is that our characters are just there to help people. They're not hired guns. They're not marshals. They don't have an agenda. What makes XENA an exciting character to write is that she feels driven to help people because of the bad things she's done in the past.

WWDo these past ghosts come up in certain episodes?

RJ: Oh yeah, very serious ghosts.

WW: In your opinion, what is the mass appeal about XENA. Is it the mythology, the woman lead?

RJ: An article I read the other day asked 'Is XENA a guy show? Is XENA a girl show? Is XENA a gay show? Is XENA a kids show... We appeal to so many different sorts of people. I have no idea why we're successful; who the hell knows. But I know what I do and what we do and hopefully that makes it successful. The simplest answer is Lucy Lawless. She's a great star and a wonderful actress. You can't underestimate that. Also the uniqueness of having a woman warrior. I always wanted to do a woman hero.

WW: Is it hard for you to write a woman hero?

RJ: I don't think so. It's hard to write any good character. But I don't think it's any harder to write a female hero. I think it's easier in some ways. Not that I want to diminish our great efforts, but you can do things with a female character, that would be old hat with a male character, but suddenly you do it with a female character and it looks fresh and different. I'm passionately in love with the Gabrielle and XENA characters. I want to protect them and nurse them and I want audiences to understand them. I'm also conscious of the broad appeal we have; I never want to get too specific.

WW: Do you read your fan e-mail?
RJ: I didn't for the longest time, but I interviewed recently for a fan magazine called "Whoosh," which is [named after] the sound that the weapons in Xena make when they swing. It's a XENA fan magazine. In it a woman wrote a critical review of my work. At the end of the article was the e-mail address of the author. So I sent her e-mail. This lady has a love/hate relationship with me, you know loved my work, hated my work. She called me an Agent of Evil, which I thought was really funny. So I e-mailed her and signed it, 'Your Ever Loving Agent of Evil.' She and I have had a pretty funny correspondence.

WW: Do you ever go specifically online to look for what audiences are saying about XENA?

RJ: I don't look for it. When I discovered Whooosh Magazine, I stumbled on a whole bunch of it. I found this 'Rate-A-XENA' page where the fans rate the episodes. It's kind of fun. But just to keep it in perspective, "Rate-A-XENA' gets about 400 fans voting. They're 400 great fans. I wouldn't want to ever lose them, but let's face it, they could all ascend to heaven in the same day and it wouldn't hurt our ratings. You can't take it too seriously. The woman that I correspond with, the one that calls me the Agent of Evil, she's very funny and I enjoy the correspondence, but we don't talk much about the show. We created the show and we've run it for two years without taking that feedback very seriously. There's another guy on the show, STEVE SEARS (supervising producer), who's really into net. He keeps me informed as to what's going on on the net. I kind of get a kick out of it when I hear that they're lynching me. When they love me, I like that too.

WW: It's great if you can get immediate feedback.

RJ: Yeah. Although, it is not great if you make the immediate feedback a part of your day. It can be a distraction. It's fun if you say once a week "I'm bored. I want to know what the feedback on the net is."...

WW: Is XENA accepting unsolicited scripts?

RJ: No. We have pretty limited freelance opportunities. This season we'll give out maybe two more assignments at the end of the year. We're pretty filled up right now. It's not that we don't use a fair amount of freelancers. We have me and two other writers on staff. Plus we have two freelancers we use quite a bit. One of the painful things about getting really good freelancers is that if they're really good, they don't stay freelancers very long and somebody hires them. One of our aces last year was a writer named Paul Coyle, who got hired by HERCULES. He was writing XENA episodes and the producer (ROB TAPERT is the Producer for both shows) says, "Oh, this guy is good for HERCULES." Rob does a real good job of balancing it out....



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