Here is the archive!!!
CONSIDER THIS A WARNING!
These babies cover July 1998 to August 1998...that's why we call it an ARCHIVE!
Last update: 09-29-98
08-23-98. More news on the FINS FEMME GEMS being the 'coming out" episode. Steven Sears denied this on the XENA NetForum 08-23-98. He wrote in part: "It was NEVER intended as a "coming out" episode. Here's what the major change was and why it ended up the way it did (inside scoop!): When Aphrodite cast her spell (in the original concept), Gabrielle was looking at Xena. Therefore, she was obsessed with Xena. Everytime Xena turned or moved, Gabrielle saw it in erotic tones (soft filter, slo-mo, etc.). Everything Xena said became innuendo to Gabrielle. And Gabrielle couldn't understand why she was feeling this way. Sounds cool, right? We thought so too. Unfortunately, two things hit us in the face. First of all (although it wasn't the first chronologically) the studio asked us to tone it down. Yes, they felt it was too blatant. Not to excuse their thinking, but they were right. We really went for the erotic jugular in this one. We felt it was a perfect way to explore that side and still have a safety net of the Aphrodite spell. The other problem, though, had to do exactly with that "safety net". Think about it. Gabrielle can only feel this way toward Xena when FORCED TO by a spell? And what is her reaction when it happens? CONFUSION, DISTRESS? What would that have told you about their realtionship? Quite simply, there was no way to end it ambiguously. So all things considered, we went back to the drawing board. I think it was Liz, maybe RJ, who came up with the Narcissus idea. That Gab would be obsessed with herself. And having read both stories, I can tell you that that one was a lot funnier."
So there you have it. It appears that it was just Josh Becker's own spin on it that it was a coming out episode. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Becker responds. We can now all resume our lives...
08-21-98. Yeah, I know. I have been lax, but, hey, it is summer. Josh Becker, the director of FISTFUL OF DINARS (one of my personal favorites, was my 2nd fave after DREAMWORKER until THE QUEST arrived), WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (where XWP homaged the classic French bedroom farce), FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (which is distinctive for its LACK of feminine hygiene jokes), BLIND FAITH (which was an interesting homage to DREAMWORKER), and FINS FEMMES AND GEMS (an episode no doubt doomed to be discussed for decades), has himself his very own website at http://www.beckerfilms.com. He has a spot on the site where you can ask him questions about what he has done and what he is doing AND HE ACTUALLY RESPONDS!!! What a concept. Apparently he is this very minute in New Zealand filming IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL. But before we lay a bombshell about SICKNESS, let's rewind and review a little tidbit that he mentioned about FINS FEMMES AND GEMS.
Are we sitting down? According to Josh Becker, the director of FINS FEMMES AND GEMS, FINS was to be the "coming out" episode for XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (like the puppy episode for ELLEN), but on the Friday before shooting was to start the script was pulled and REWRITTEN over the weekend. Filming commenced that Monday with a script which became the de-puppified aired episode. The only other previous script to be so radically changed was THE FURIES, where last minute changes excised where Ares admitted paternity to Xena.
And what news of IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL? Well, it looks like a scatological paradise for those inclined to that type of humor. I only hope that they put in something for those of us not so enthusiastic for the genre. As reported on Mr. Becker's page, Xena and Gabrielle get the runs real bad and fight over a bush (surely there must be more than one shrubbery in all of Greece???), while at the same time they have to keep the Scythians from taking over the world. Gabrielle also finds the time to throw-up on Joxer. There is always the hope that it will "come off" better than it appears on paper.
Another interesting item on the site is Mr. Becker's suspicion that there will be no romance between Joxer and Gabrielle because, as he wrote, "Since no one but Ted and I think he and Gaby are a good idea, I can reasonably assure you that they will not 'do it.'"
Becker also mentioned that he was a co-writer for SHARK ISLAND PRISON.
08-21-98. The status of the Joxer Factor! Ted Raimi was signed earlier this year to a 22 episode pay or play deal for the 4th season of XENA (and apparently has signed another one extending said contract to the year 2000). This meant that he would be paid for 22 episodes (an entire season) regardless of whether he was written out of the specific episode or tossed to the cutting room floor. This was a de facto move to make him a regular cast member. However, there have been no peepings of him being added to the opening credits. It looks like he might be listed as "Special Guest Star" when he appears. We are all on the edge of our seats waiting, you know. There was some conjecture that this pay or play number included appearences on HERCULES, YOUNG HERCULES, and a pilot, which would have successfully bumped him out of that of class of being a de facto XENA regular. The rumormill originally had him appearing in probably 19 or 20 episodes, with about 17 of them being XENA episodes. The rumormill now is saying that there will be even less of Joxer. Some pundits are now throwing around the number 11 as the total XENA appearances. I dunno. That seems a bit low, but who am I to criticize? Since he's on the payroll, they should use him in YOUNG HERCULES. They could probably use the help. We already know he will be reprising his writer character from YES VIRGINIA THERE IS A HERCULES in HTLJ'S FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US.
08-21-98. 08-13-98, Steven L. Sears, co-executive producer of XWP, dropped in on the regular Digital Worlds XENA chat on AoL, and he was quoted as stating, "It took us quite a while to come up with a new villain worthy of Xena this next year...." So there you have it, straight from the Centaur's mouth. A new villain. There are murmurings that this new villain will be female and WILL NOT be Hope. I am saddened. I was really looking forward to a recurring role for Hope, where she'd be revived by Daddy, only to be killed by Mommy whenever she'd appear. Sort of like a version of Kenny from South Park. They could even vary it by changing the family member who kills her...like Hope goes to Poteidaia and gets offed by Grandpa instead of Mommy, or goes to Athens and gets terminateed by Aunt Lila. The possibilites are endless!
08-21-98. The Problem with USA!!! And this one REALLY irks me, too. On August 3, 1998, the USA Cable Channel began to air XENA weekdays. On their site, they listed the episode order. The order was according to production number (which is, by the way, the industry standard). Many people were irked, and apparently they wrote letters. So many letters that suposedly as soon as USA is through with the first cycle of airing the episodes, they will from then on air them in original airing order. Unfortunately, the USA site no longer reveals episode names after 08-30-98. By that time they will be a couple of episodes shy from finishing the 1st season.
08-21-98. The 4th season of XENA will open with a two parter which will capture Xena's quest to be rejoined with her recently departed best-bud. There is talk that the teaser is worth the price of admission alone. It features Hades, a god who has definitely been under used in the past. Directed by TJ Scott, the characters will include Joxer, Borias, and some Amazons. The Amazons reportedly appear in full force later in the season in AMAZON REUNION.
08-21-98. Gabrielle FINALLY visits home in A FAMILY AFFAIR and meets more family than she was anticipating. To make matters worse, the folks don't take a shine to Xena, remembering her as the warlord their little girl ran away with three years prior. They also find out about their spawn of evil grandchild, Hope. Looks like a fun family reunion. Joxer is in this one as well.
08-21-98. KEY TO THE KINGDOM reunites Meg and Joxer, who enlist the help of Autolycus to save a baby. This time the homage is RAISING ARIZONA.
08-21-98. The gang comes across FOOTLOOSE in ancient Greece in the episode A TALE OF TWO MUSES. Autolycus and the ladies find a town where they punish dancing by whipping! What a drag! This episode was featured in an Entertainment Tonight report with Xena and Gabrielle frollicking around.
08-21-98. One of the themes for the 4th season will be the further development and exploration of Gabrielle's spiritual side. She will meet and interact with purported spiritually inspired people in several episodes, most notibly in PARADISE FOUND and CRUSADER. In PARADISE FOUND, Gabrielle finds that her paradise might be Xena's hell while in CRUSADER, she receives a lesson in the difference between zealousness and devotion.
08-21-98. The Horde returns in the episode DAUGHTER OF POMIRA which is also an homage to John Wayne's THE SEARCHERS. THE SEARCHER's was about the Duke searching for his long lost sister whom he was convinced had been kidnapped by Native Americans quite a few years back. In DAUGHTER, Gabrielle suspects the Horde of a similar kidnapping.
08-21-98. Caesar and Pompey finally part ways and bring the ensuing civil war to Greece in A GOOD DAY. Written by Steven L. Sears, it will be the first of two episodes in the 4th season featuring, Caesar, Julius Caesar. Caesar also reappears later on in the season in XENA AND CAESAR, and skips over to HERKland for (SUR)RENDER TO CAESAR on HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS.
08-21-98. Big rumblings that Kevin Sorbo is interested in going beyond a 5th season with HERCULES. Pundits predict that Sorbo will sign on for a 6th and 7th season later this year. This makes the pressure higher for XENA to take the plunge as well, even though they will be able to take up to a year and a half for their decision. Even considering the baby rumors, a 6th and 7th season for XENA makes good economic, political, and career sense for Lucy Lawless. It would allow her (1) to have as many babies as she wants (she's married to the boss, for goodness sake; they will have no problem writing around the pregnancies); (2) to have more than enough work locally in New Zealand (she will not have to worry about having to leave New Zealand in order to keep on a career track); and (3) to help the local economy by continuing the show (XENA is a major employer and tax source for New Zealand).
08-21-98. And what about the Herkster? It looks like the Sovereign will return in the 3-D episode. YES!!! XENA gets a full-blown musical and HERK gets cardboard filtered glasses. But, I bet it will be more fun. Hudson Leick may pop up as well as the Priestess Callisto in the same episode. What a lark that will be. Apparently they are still looking for a corporate tie in to market the 3-D glasses.
Dahak will make his presence felt in both XENA and HERCULES, and there is a rumor that he may even show himself anthropomorphically in HERK. Finally, we can see if Hope has any physical traits inherited from daddy, perhaps bad wigs run in the paternal side of the family?
While Herk is running amuck this coming season he will woo a Celtic demigod named Morrighan. Herk travels to Ireland and goes native by wearing some Celtic togs (after having his usual clothes TORN OFF...hmmmm) and dating a Celtic chick.
Herk and Caesar, Julius Caesar finally meet in their own episode, called (SUR)RENDER TO CAESAR. I wonder if they will compare notes on Xena?
After ditching Caesar, Julius Caesar, Herk travels to the Nothern Lands and meets the Norse gods, Loki and Thor in NORSE TO NORSEWEST. They share a warm beverage while comparing religions. This may be a pseudo-Halloween episode. While still in Scandanavia, Herk finds out that Valhalla is SOMEWHERE OVER RAINBOW BRIDGE.
Salmoneus has been written into two HERCULES episodes, and one XENA. Robert Trebor will return to play the part. In the XENA episode, Salmoneus and Joxer finally meet. In HERCULES' GENIES, GRECIANS' AND GREEKS, Trebor plays THREE different Salmoni as the result of a wayward wish to a genie. Autolycus joins him in his hi-jinks. Is this plethora of look-a-likes a way to save money on actors???? Robert Trebor will also reprise his role as a studio suit in FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US, and will direct a HERCULES episode as well. That makes his contribution a total of 5 episodes. Way to go, Bob.
FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US will be the sequel to last season's YES VIRGINIA THERE IS A HERCULES. The cast will reprise their represetnations of the show's writers, producers etc. Bruce Campbell will again play Robert Tapert, Hudson Leick will play Liz Friedman, and Ted Raimi, Michael Hurst, and Kevin Smith will play writers. A newcomer will be introduced: Renee O'Connor as Sunny Day, a camp counselor.
Hercules gets to weara variety of new clothes. I am sure his mother will be smiling from relief in the Elysian Fields.
Nebula makes it into at least three episodes: FAITH, DESCENT, and DARKNESS RISING. In FAITH she appears with her brother Gilgamesh. Herk's new girlfriend Morrighan joins her in DARKNESS RISING. In DARKNESS, Herk gets to wear leather without being the Sovereign. Ooo, boy.
We will see more non-divine characters who will recur. The Herkster visist Mesopotamia, as well. And...there will be a cross-over episode with Xena and Gabrielle...I should predict in November sweeps. Whew! That's it for Herk.
07-29-98. Oh...where to start? Let's start with YET ANOTHER fascinating homage episode. A TALE OF TWO MUSES has been filmed. It was directed by Michael Hurst, has Autolycus in it, and homages that great cinematic classic, FOOTLOOSE. FOOTLOOSE was a jewel in Kevin Bacon's crown. Let's hope they do justice to it. Bruce "Just call me Auto" Campbell has some set shots up at his webpage, click here to check them out. TALE is scheduled for airing 01/04/99.
07-29-98. Speaking of airing dates, the big question on the minds of most SCHEDULING afficianados is whether the 4th season will air 8 or 10 episodes in the first part of the season. First season the new episodes were bundled as 10 (with an insert of two of the HERK Xena trilogies stuffed in)-7-1-4-1-1. Second season was 8-1-7-6. Third season was 8-9-5. The third, BTW, was their less erratic grouping. I will predict an 8-8-6 season because I like order. There are rumors that the producers are going to be trying extra-specially hard to make the fourth season one of expanding ratings not shrinking...so perhaps this concern will turn into a subconscious desire to make the first runs more balanced in presentation. We can dream, can't we?
07-29-98. Robert Trebor just got back from New Zealand where he filmed the HERK episode, GENIES AND GRECIANS AND GEEKS, OH MY! The episode is directed by Bruce Campbell and it involves three nude dancing Salmoneuses...just kidding, I hope. It does feature a genie and three Salmoneuses, but I have no idea how clothed they are. Robert Trebor had a chance to visit a bit at the Southern California XenaFest IV on July 25, 1998 where he mingled with fans and offered an item for the auction. Next thing I knew, he was off to Europe to appear at a convention. GENIES is scheduled to air 11/16/98.
07-29-98. Bruce Campbell signed earlier this year to do 11 projects between XENA and HERK. What's the tally so far? Mr. Campbell has done seven out of the 11 so far. Three have aired (HERK's PORKULES, ONE FOWL DAY, and MY FAIR CUPCAKEE), and four are in the can (HERK'S JUST PASSING THROUGH and FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US; and XENA's KEY TO THE KINGDOM and TALE OF TWO MUSES). That leaves four more before he has to renegoitate. Also, one of these was to be a pilot with RenPic. We have not heard much about it other than it might involve piracy or pirates. Also, there is a rumor that Ted Raimi would be a significant character in it...but then again, it might just be wishful thinking.
07-29-98. Speaking of pilots, there is a PERSISTENT rumor that RenPic is trying to pitch to Hudson Leick a pilot as well, but as a new character and not associated with the Xenaverse...or at least as we know it (shuddering at the thought of AMAZON HIGH). Leick stated recently at a con appearance that she was going to return on XENA or HERK as Priestess Callisto, an alternative universe character. Since they established that for one character to be alive in an alt world, they must be alive in the corresponding mirror world, this could mean a way for Callisto to return to the real Xenaverse. Afterall, they can only kill off Hope so many times. Hee hee.
07-29-98. HERK's fourth season off-the-wall clip show YES VIRGINA, THERE IS A HERCULES, will have a sequel clip show in the upcoming season, and it will be named FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US. It is scheduled to air 01/04/99. The usual suspects will reprise their roles (Bruce Campbell IS Robert Tapert; Kevin Sorbo IS Kevin Sorbo; Hudson Leick IS Liz Friedman; Michael Hurst IS Paul Coyle; KEVIN SMITH is Jerry; Robert Trebor IS a suit; Lisa Chappell IS Melissa) and add Renee O'Connor to the hijinks. She will play Sunny Day, a camp counselor [On a really minor piece of trivia, it is mildly interesting to note that the actress Sunny Knox was to get the role of Gabrielle but refused it because she didn't want to leave her boyfriend in California...wow, just think of all the bad career moves made because someone did not want to leave their boyfriend!!!!]. Whereas VIRGINIA was about how the staff dealt with the crisis of a missing KEVIN SORBO, this time around the gang have to brainstorm on how to "spice" up the HERK show. Let's hope they do! Bruce Campbell will be directing.
07-29-98. Director Paul Lynch has been signed for directing duties with XENA. Now when they fly someone down to direct they have them film more than one show. The production has decided to try out more of the local talent directing and acting wise. Which is great since they have been down there long enough to know what kind of talent is down under. TJ Scott was re-drafted and he agreed to film the opening two-parter ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE. There is also rumors that he is filming a couple more than that. There is also news that TJ Scott is up to his normal high-jinks of shooting more film than any other mortal could, and that he is still obsessed with that unique camera technique which makes 90% of the viewers run for more dramanine. Ah, reminds me of the second season when they let Scott out of his cage. And to think, a year ago, GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN was my least favorite show because of that camera technique. How a year can make a difference...now I am nostalgic for it.
07-29-98. Marton Csonkas, the actor who played Khrafstar and Borias, has been signed for three episodes in the XENA fourth season. Rumor has it he will play Borias in all three and all in scripts written by Steven L. Sears. Borias will be in ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE I. It is unclear whether he will be in the second part. It seems, if he is, that appeareance will not comprise the second appearence of Csonkas (meaning he still appears in two more episodes). Rumor has it that these episodes will be throughout the season and that they will be a critical part of an overall arc for the 4th season. More rumors about that one of the other two episodes will be PAST IMPERFECT (a Sears script).
07-29-98. The really big news is the reworking of HERCULES for the 5th season. Looks like the Herkster will go dark. No real comedies until GENIES and after the break. Herk will be traveling about as he deals with this decline of the gods thang that seems to be haunting the Xena and Hercaverse. (Seems like Gabrielle will be going through a crisis of faith which will make her hit the road to expose herself to different peoples and different religions). There are rumors that Robert Tapert has made this a pet project and now that he's spending more time in New Zealand (I wonder why????), that he will be focusing directly on HERCULES and to make it as creative, fun, and interesting as it can be. The show needs some attention. Although the 4th season was mired by Sorbo's injury and a reliance upon bizarre comedies (PORKULES and ONE FOWL DAY, anyone?), the season ended on a very interesting note. The original HERCULES Action Pack movies were much more concerned about Hercules relationship with the gods and his frustration and dislike of their system. The end of the 4th season brought back that edge to Hercules. Okay, they had to kill his mother to do it (oh no! no more wall building), but I hope they take the ball and run with it. In many ways, HERCULES bested XENA several times, and now, perhaps, while XENA is going through her fugue, HERCULES can pick up the slack and start making us seem less geeky to outsiders about liking this franchise so much. BTW, the rumors of Michael Hurst leaving HERK is like the rumors of Renee O'Connor leaving XENA -- simply not true.