Whoosh! Issue 15 - December 1997

Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to ktaborn@lightspeed.net and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor". All letters notated "to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited for brevity and or clarity.

Thoughts from Down Under
Hercules Addition to Episode Guide
Wondering about the Rape of Gabrielle
Scorecard on the Season Thus Far
On the Road at WarriorCon
XWP and Scream
Hudson Leick Interview
Update to Brunhilde's Daughters
THE DEBT's Debt to Hong Kong
Conan Fantasies
Closet Xena Watchers

Letters To The Editor

Thoughts from Down Under

Thu, 16 Oct 1997
Subject: Letter to the editor


This is an amazing site, I have spent over an hour just looking at everything! I also enjoyed the encyclopedia, even the alternate New Zealand pronunciation of the words!! It is pretty easy to spot a Kiwi accent from an Aussie accent, if only there was a way of telling Canadians from Americans!!

Its nice to see that Australia also makes the encyclopedia, although I wouldn't want to try to walk to New Zealand during low tide. If this was true it would only take 3 days to walk to America. I never knew about Gabrielle's "code" as to why she never fights with a sword, I just thought that it was an agreement between her and Xena for Xena to only give her enough skills to ensure her safety.

In Australia we are still seeing episodes from the first series. Two weekends before we saw THE GREATER GOOD which was a powerful episode. Even though it was a bit comical to see Gabi in Xena's costume, but seeing Gabi rushing in with all guns blazing to try and rescue Xena's body was very good. Renee really was fantastic during this fight scene, I almost thought she might pull it off, if only Xena's horse could have broken free!!!

It's interesting just to see the changes in Gabi over the first year. Early on she was fairly annoying, like a puppy and an new owner, but over the year she has completely changed.

In THE PRODIGAL, when Gabi freezes during a fight and she decides to return home to met her family for a break, it seemed to me that Xena would miss her the most, and the calming effect that she has on her. Gabrielle is for Xena a way of seeing the innocence in this world that has been drained away from Zena during her time as a warrior. If ever Gabrielle left Xena, I don't think that Xena would be able to keep on the side of good for very long. Sooner or later some part of Xena's past would return to overwhelm her. I'm not sure as to just what Gabrielle gets out of the relationship, apart from being with Xena to record her travels and adventures for her own storytelling. I guess that this is enough.

Having checked ahead in the episode guide to as far ahead as series three, I see that Gabrielle must finally face up to the dilemma of killing someone. Nuts, I won't get to see that story until late 1998 at the very least!

Last weekend here in Oz we saw a double episode of ORPHAN OF WAR, and CALLISTO. Wow what a villain! All that blond hair, and totally obsessed to the downfall of Xena. ORPHAN OF WAR was rated "G" , but CALLISTO was rated "PG" in Australia. This is the voiceover for next weeks IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE:

"She's been an angel of death
Now she's delivering the kiss of life!
Embrace the healing hands
of Dr Xena, Medicine Woman"

Mark Allen Sydney

P.S. There is one thing that you might like to add to the encyclopedia about Australia. We have beaten NZ in almost every sport over the past decade, from cricket to hockey to netball, but they whip us very time when we play Rugby Union, between the Australian Wallabies,and the New Zealand All Blacks.

Hercules Addition to Episode Guide

Fri, 17 Oct 1997
Subject: "Lovin every moment of it"

Ep. guide, encyclopedia, Laura Sue . . . gotta give ya more than snaps, people. What would the Xenaverse be w/o Whoosh!? Boring, that's what!!! I'm sssooo glad you decided to include Hercules episodes in the guide!!! I always wished he'd get an episode guide as good as Xena's!!! If you need any help with 4th season Herc commentaries or synopses I can help. I started this thing where I'm taping all episodes, and I love to write.


Editor Responded:
Thanks for your letter and your offer. We, indeed, are looking for help in bringing the Hercules section of the episode guide up to snuff. If you or anyone else reading this would like to help, please write to ktaborn@lightspeed.net for further information.


Tue, 21 Oct 1997
Subject: Letter To The Editor


This is in regards to the bath scene in A DAY IN THE LIFE. One quiet evening not too long ago, I turned on the TV to find ADITL playing as a rerun on WGN, out of Chicago. I have this episode recorded and have seen it many times before, but one more episode of XWP never hurts.

I was both surprised and displeased to see that someone had inserted a computerized pixel blur over the chests of Xena and Gabrielle during the bath scene. As if it is not obvious, I kept asking myself "Why did they do this on a rerun that had already been aired several times without the pixels?" It's not like it was some R-rated movie that had to be toned down -- it was made for TV. And it's not like other TV shows -- and even other XWP episodes -- do not show more in the way of cleavage or sexual situations than that scene.

The only thing that I could think of is that someone at the TV station had taken personal exception to the scene itself, because of who it involved -- the fact that they were two women, and the fact that there was even a slightly suggestive situation. I don't recall seeing any pixels on Hercules or Iolaus when they took that mud-bath together. I didn't see any on Ellen either. Hmmmmmmmm.


Wondering About the Rape of Gabrielle

Tue, 28 Oct 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Having now seeing THE DELIVERER and going back to read Steven Sears self-interview in issue 11 of Whoosh! [August 1997], I'm now wondering about his reaction that a large number of people see what happen to Gabrielle as rape. Even in his self-interview Mr. Sears included what he thought rape was, and to my amazement [stated] that it does not happen, but that's what happened to Gabrielle. I didn't see that the bard really had a choice when she was dragged screaming across the floor, then wisps of flames flow over her body ending with her having a forced pregnancy.

My main objection to is, I don't think that rape has any place in an entertainment medium, rape is not entertainment. Nor was the rape necessary for the show, what should have been a story about the lost of Gabrielle's blood innocence's was lost and the issue of rape and forced pregnancy has taken center stage, and again it just wasn't necessary! Dahok could so easily have been written as animating the body of the person Gabrielle killed, or forming a baby out of the blood dripping from the bards hands, thus showing even more the rise of evil from killing.

Again I wonder now that THE DELIVERER has aired, what is his reaction to a scene that he didn't see as rape, now is being talked about over the net as rape.


Scorecard on the Season Thus Far

Wednesday, November 05, 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

With all the news and rumors reported this summer concerning the third season of XWP, it looked as if we were going to be in for terrific run of episodes. The warning that it might be considered a "bumpy ride" due to dramatic crises and adult sensitive issues seemed controversial but not fatal to the series. After all we have had two seasons of "pushing the envelope" situations and it seemed as if the writers and producers as well as the actresses could successfully pull it off. I recall reading the idea was things change in life and they were going to try some changes with the characters. The series will become darker. This is an action adventure show, so we, the audience, should give it a try.

The show got darker but that doesn't bother me. I am more concerned with the sloppy editing, mistakes and inconsistencies which are prevalent this third season. They are a big disappointment to a promising and successful television series.

Here are some examples and I apologize in advance if any of these are smoothed over in future episodes and have a purpose. My goal is not venomous ridicule but to show why I have become disappointed after being a loyal Xena fan since the Hercules days.


The Furies were very toned down from Greek myth. Would these Furies strike fear in anyone? It is acceptable to take established characters and update them, but that is not the case here. Unlike naming characters in GABRIELLE'S HOPE banshees even though they didn't serve the same purpose as the Gaelic banshees, the Xenaverse Furies were supposed to perform the same function as the Greek deities, yet they were airheads instead of avengers.

It is mentioned Xena was seven years old when her father was killed. In TIES THAT BIND, Xena said her father left when she was very young. Age seven is old enough to have a memory of something like a father suddenly not being around. Also, Xena's older brother Toris should remember.


After Xena's chakram broke the vial of poison, breaking the spell repeating the day, events should have then progressed along. There should not have been a repeat of the rooster crowing and Joxer opening the door, even with turnips. They would have moved on that day and been miles away from that town by the morning of the turnips. Xena certainly wouldn't want to hear that rooster crow again and sleep in a place where they drop horseshoes.


How did Xena know where to retrieve her members of THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN? It seems a little contrived, especially prepared to save Darnell from an execution.

Xena had King Gregor attack Agathon's warriors as a diversion when Xena's band attacked the arsenal. Those warriors of Agathon are still out there with the metal armor and weapons because they didn't get blown up when the arsenal exploded. No mention was made of the battle, but one must infer Agathon's troops won. Why even have this battle mentioned, not shown or referred to again?

Who designed prisons with manholes in the cells? Or did Xena order this modification prior to her raid? Just what was it that was blown out shortly after Xena and the two convicts went down in the tube? Why couldn't anyone go out later?

The brand new metal pipe in the castle seems to serve no function but to capture warrior princesses coming in the window.

This episode seemed a remake of A FISTFUL OF DINARS and/or an A-Team B-script episode. It has predictable who-cares-about one-dimensional characters in a well worn action plot with unexplained elements such as why the chakram was not broken by this new metal, with no hint they would be explained later.


Xena's sword, broken in THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN, appears in the next episode THE DELIVERER without explanation.

How did Boadicea know Xena was coming north to aid her? Was it a prearranged signal? Seems doubtful.

The pits for hiding and ambushing the crucifiers seem impossible not to have been detected, or even dug without detection.

Ares scolds Xena for never following his advice, even when he was following Ares. Yet, in THE RECKONING, Xena told Ares she wondered what he looked like. That seems like she never met him before, including when she was in her "dark past". Then how did she get advice?

The first scenes of THE DELIVERER with the talk of a new metal Ares has, look like misplaced footage from THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN.

It seems sloppy to include two historical characters who were 100 years apart (Caesar and Boadicea). I know you done it in the first season IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? (Galen and Hippocrates), but that was first season and it seemed sloppy to me then even if Galen was more in the background. I am aware the historical incidents on the series occurred throughout thousands of years, but, to me, I can better accept them singularly.

The great battle between Caesar and Boadicea did not happen in this episode nor any mention of it in two subsequent episodes. The previews for this episode really promoted this battle and it seems forgotten. I can, however, come up with a solution which I doubt is intended. Xena returns too late to help Boadicea and her defeat is Xena letting her down a second time.


The chakram which went through the temple roof is now at Xena's side without explanation. Using another dramatic red herring like the broken sword is poor script writing in my book.

How did Xena know about the pierced-heart warriors and their castle? While Xena seems to know the legends of the area she was unaware of the sword-in-the-stone's significance.

How was Xena able to successfully fight the banshees in the castle when she couldn't when she first met them? How did she get her sword on her back when it was left on the castle floor when it fell out of her hand in the fight?

When and how did Gabrielle learn those equestrian skills?

It looked like Xena changed to her old costume and wearing her sword on her belt when she went up the mountain to chase Gabrielle. Why? Possible old film?

It seems the show has abandoned its historical basis (as convoluted as it was) with a mish-mash of jumbled and erroneously adapted world wide culture elements and conflicting timelines, becoming more fantasy based.

Don't get me wrong. I am a devout fan and have not jumped ship yet. The third season episodes are very exciting, but are a "house of cards" when one thinks about them. I am just concerned that it appears quality shows are being sacrificed to include "cool looking" scenes and exciting situations. I just want to express my disappointment and concern. Thank you.

Nick Nayko

On the Road at Warriorcon

[Whoosh! On the Road, "WarriorCon"]

Sat, 25 Oct 1997
Subject: On the Road- WarriorCon

I would just like to thank you for the great, in depth report of WarriorCon. I, unfortunately, was not able to attend. I am a die hard Karl Urban fan and was crushed when I heard he was going to be there yet I could not go.

Thanx again!


XWP and Scream

Wed, 29 Oct 1997
Subject: Whoosh!

I love Whoosh!. It's a very cool site, and I was glad to learn more about Renee O'Connor. My wife and I try to watch the show every Saturday. She's a bigger fan than I am, but it dawned on me recently that it's one of the only non-sports TV shows that I try to fit into my schedule.

Last night I watched the movie "Scream" for the first time. I loved it. In a way, the movie reminds me of XWP. Both shows genuinely bring out your emotions. Both are campy on one level and can be enjoyed as immensely amusing camp. But both are aware that they are genre dramas, and they enjoy winking at the audience and playing with the genre formulas, defying your expectations at times and embracing formula-driven plot twists at other times. On that level, HTLJ doesn't succeed as well as XWP.

I'm surprised I like XWP as much as I do. I dislike Star Trek, and trekkies bewilder and puzzle me. But some XWP fans seem similar to trekkies, and I understand their enthusiasm, so now I sorta understand trekkies' enthusiasm.

Keep up the good work.

Holden Lewis
Toledo, Ohio

Hudson Leick Interview

[Whoosh! No. 14 (November 1997), "An Interview with Hudson Leick", by Bret Ryan Rudnick]

Fri, 07 Nov 1997
Subject: Hello and thanks

Read [Bret Rudnick's] interview with Hudson in Whoosh! and found it to be very relaxed and very natural. Thanks for a great job on that. It is a shame you can't interview Renee and Lucy, because you would do a great job.

I read and agreed with [Bret Rudnick's] comments about exclusivity too [in the e-mail edition of Whoosh! #14, November 1997]. I wouldn't be too surprised to see this kind of thing happeneing elsewhere as Universal realizes thAt Xena is a moneymaker...


Sun, 09 Nov 1997
Subject: Interview with Hudson Leick

The interview with Hudson Leick by Bret Ryan Rudnick was beautifully done. It confirmed everything I have grown to respect so much about her, and what I thought I gleaned from her appearance in Detroit (the only time I saw the real 3D Heidi hot rod).

Thank you. I could go on and on about all I liked about what Mr. Rudnick offered to us, but I think I will let it stand as "Thank you".

Xena and Callisto Fan
Marty Slater, (Ill2) I love lucy too.

PS. Your statement reads "If you are affected, positively or negatively, by reading any article in Whoosh!, the editorial staff strongly encourages you to express your concerns to us through a letter to the editor". I want to be as positive as possible. It was Great.

Update to Brunhilde's Daughters

[Whoosh! No. 14 (November 1997), "Brunhilde's Daughters", by Brian Edward Lashmar]

Tue, 11 Nov 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Hi Kym:

Just as a follow up to Brunhilde's Daughters, the episode DIRTY HALF DOZEN seems to contain all of the elements of the "broken sword motif".

Agathon's weapon which I will call a boomerang-axe (for lack of a better name) defines Agathon as a warrior just as the chakram defines Xena as a warrior. We see the forging of Agathon's weapon and we see Agathon win divine favor. We then see Agathon lose that divine favor and in the showdown we see Xena break the boomerang-axe with the chakram and kill Agathon. Every element of the motif as laid out in "The Ring of the Nibelung" is in place in this episode.


Brian Lashmar

THE DEBT'S Debt to Hong Kong

Tue, 11 Nov 1997
Subject: Letter to the editor

Hello to all the Whoosh! staff

First I must congratulate you on your site. Your webzine is a prime example that a good website is more than a nicely laid out expression of some fan's personal interest. It must have substance and be continuously informative.

The staff should be well rewarded for all the obviously hard work they put into it.

In addition, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned it, but there is a key scene in the episode THE DEBT that is an homage to a famous fantasy film in Hong Kong. The scene where Xena is hiding in the tub is taken from the movie Chinese Ghost Story by Tsui Hark. This includes the exchange of breath incident. Only in the movie it is a man hiding in the tub.

Frank Hui

Conan Fantasies

Fri, 07 Nov 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Gee, your Xena website is interesting. I thought it was going to be some lesbian thing. Xena is very pretty, but let's face it...Conan could give her the spanking of her life.

James Eaton

HTML Coder's note:
Do you suppose this guy is a banker?

Closet Xena Watchers

[Whoosh! No. 14 (November 1997), "I am a Closet Xena Watcher", by Phyllis Schudde]

Subject: hello

Hi, my name is Cindy and I just got finished reading [Phyllis Schudde's "I Am a Closet Xena Watcher"] in Whoosh! #14 issue. I gotta say that I thought it was one of the best ones I've read so far. [It was] honest and [I] found that I could relate to some of the manifestos that [the article] went through. I couldn't stop laughing at some of them which was pretty embarrassing because I was reading it during work.

I think I'm a closet XWP fan too. None of the people that I know watch it so I really can't talk about the show with anyone. When I told them that I watch the show religiously, they give me this weird look and make fun of me. Thank the gods that they haven't given me a nickname because of it.

Cindy Medrano

P.S. I did the math. 36

Subject: Me Too!!

[Was Phyllis Schudde] at my house that first night last February?! That was my first show and I know exactly how [she has] felt since. I think the fishing scene and the bathtub scene did it for me. I've been back faithfully ever since.

[Ms. Schudde tells] my story in many ways: the merchandise hunts, midnight searches at Barnes and Nobles bookstore for new magazine stories, on my hands and knees for the last Xena paperback in the store, the home videotaped XenaFests, and I've even got a friend who's making swords for us and we're scheduled to take medieval sword fighting classes next semester at the junior college. I even wrestled a (much larger) co-worker/friend of mine for the only Xena CD I've ever seen! I now listen to it on high at work just to make her mad!

Thanks for the memories! Battle On! Be Well!


Subject: Nutcase Column

Enjoyed [Phyllis Schudde's] piece in this month's Whoosh! [#14, November 1997] -- [she described] a syndrome to which so many of us can relate. I live in north Florida and have yet to meet anyone else who confesses to watch Xena. Hope you have more success at spreading the word than I have. Thanks, and keep on plugging...Whoosh!.

Anne Morris

Subject: Your article

Hi...I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed [Phyllis Schudde's] article. I'm what you might call a XENAHOLIC, "Hi, my name is Angela, and I'm a Xenaholic." *Hi, Angela*. There should be a place where we can meet a openly discuss our obsession with the show. I have tried to get so many of my co-workers intrested in the show, I've actually have gotten 2 on-line friends into the show. I have sound bytes on my computer. Oh, the horror. Once again, thank you, thank you. Yours in Xena.

Angela Vidrio

Subject: Your Whoosh! article

I spent this morning "waking up", by reading [Phyliis Schudde's] article. What fun. I was laughing out loud throughout it. Especially after seeing an image of a Xenite out beating a tree with her "staff". Errrrr. Rake.

Thanks for such a fun!

Pat Tirabasso

Subject: Thanks for the Laugh..:-D

The article [Phyliis Schudde] wrote for Whoosh! was hysterical. My family and 99 percent of my friends think I am also a nutcase. My parents told me to get a life...the nerve. I reply. "I have a very nice life, thank you." I am just glad that Xena is part of it.

I couldn't wait for the new season to start. The reruns were a killer. I have watched all the episodes, how many times? LOL. I too didn't really get into it 'til the second half of the second season, and jeezzzz, I could have kicked myself for it. I have since got all of season 1 on tape and of course all of season 2. I think Xena is the best show to every hit the TV Airwaves.

I have been to 2 conventions and have seen Lucy in GREASE 5 times. I live close to NY. She is Great. My 5 year old son even got a kiss from her.

I have taken really great pics of her too! I was there when Renee' went to see her, that was exciting. Got cute pics of her too!!!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I sympathize with your dilemma.


Subject: Article in Whoosh!

I just finished reading [Phyllis Schudde's] article and I was totally giggling and laughing and identifying with what [she] wrote!!!!

I, too, am a closet Xena fan. I tried sharing my discovery with friends, only to be mocked and ridiculed!

I discovered Xena one night channel surfing sometime mid-second season. Didn't really get obsessed till this summer, now I'm spending time (like tonight 2 hrs so far) reading anything and everything about Xena, LL, ROC on the net, and I started taping this season's episodes. I guess my obsession hasn't reached [Schudde's] level, yet.

Through all my hours of surfing, I have just been a silent reader. [Schudde's] article was so great I was compelled to email you and let you know how much I enjoyed it!!!! It's nice to know that I'm not going crazy and that someone else out there is also doing the Xena eyebrow thing, thinking that "gee, that song is perfect for a Xena scene".

Battle on!

Agnes P. Coughlan

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