Whoosh! Issue 53 - February 2001
Letters to the Editor

Page Two

An Interview with Robert Tapert

From: Linda Burtard
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001
Subject: whoosh article

I just finished reading your Whoosh article on Rob Tapert. In fact, I just realized it is the first thing I did in this new millennium. Well, that said, I am glad I started this next thousand years out this way. I loved the article. From the first time I saw a picture of Rob Tapert I felt a kinship. I know that sounds strange, but my soul said, "Hey friend, where have you been". Go figure. Some things are not explainable. So a long article is simply delightful.

Your insightful questions were what I wanted to know. I loved his answers, his honesty, his strength. I cannot imagine the frustration that can happen when trying to juggle writers, actors, weather, studio execs, fans, time schedules and money. You got him to cover all of that. I found the article fascinating.

I know you probably had a great time spending the day with Rob, but even so it entailed a lot of work on your part, what with the time to fly to NZ, traipse after RT, return home and then write your article. I just wanted you to know that this Xena fan appreciates your supreme efforts.

Well done. Thank you again.

Linda Burtard

From: Nina
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001
Subject: interview with RT

I really enjoyed reading your interview with Rob Tapert. Thank you so much for sharing all the great information and his viewpoints on the episodes.


From: Lynn Harper
Subject: Rob Tapert Interview
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001

Just wanted to thank you for the great interview with Rob Tapert. I've always suspected that the guy was only human and only wanted the best for XWP since it IS his defining achievement to date and major contribution to bill paying. Thanks for asking great questions in a respectful manner that elicited such honest responses from the guy.

I guess the only thing remaining that I'm curious about at this point is: given a chance to do it again, would RT change what happened in S5 ( he certainly implies he would) and how exactly, would he change things? Where would he take the show after S4, given a chance to go back and do it again...? We'll never know what XWP could have been if it had not been left to languish for a season without a driver familiar with the vehicle, but it sure would be fun to know where RT might have chosen to take it if he had another shot!

It was refreshing to read an unbiased account of a such an honest conversation with the creative force behind XWP. Thanks again. Oh, am I correct in assuming that Sam Raimi has been very minimally involved in the show since early on? Or does he just keep an incredibly low profile?


Bret Ryan Rudnick replied:

Thanks for your kind words about the interview. Glad you enjoyed it.

It's my understanding that Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are production partners dating from way back when they did work together. Now their work tends to be mutually exclusive from one another, even though they still share production credit. Sam Raimi had a contribution with the first episode or two of XENA but hasn't since then.

From: Laura J. Nielsen
Subject: Rob Tapert Interview
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001

Just a note to tell you how very much I enjoyed -- and learned from -- the Rob Tapert Interview in WHOOSH! You did a great job of graciously hitting on some "touchy" points, Bret... and I appreciate RT's very honest answers. In particular, your "What happened in Season 5?" and his response put to rest a lot of my feelings about that time in the show -- because I was so fed up with it by then that I didn't even watch the last half of that season.

I think both you and RT also did an excellent job of showing the fans the tremendous pressure that he's under. Altho some of it is his own making -- like having several shows in the works at once -- he has to balance a myriad of stressors: personally (with Lucy and her state of mind) and professionally (when a crew leaves for greener pastures)and how it ultimately affects what we see on the screen each week.

Kudos on this one, folks!


From: H. Goense
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001
Subject: tapert

just read your interview with Rob Tapert

I enjoyed it very much. it answered alot of good questions. thanks for sharing it

a xena fan, loved every episode

From: Betsy from Texas
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Hey, Y'all: That interview with Mr Tapert was quite illuminating! Bret did an outstanding job of asking questions many of us wanted to have answered (and revealing a bit of the man behind the myth). I really wish there *could* be a 7th season, for many reasons. Chief among them is that i'm afraid that once Tapert lets XWP ride off into the sunset, others will grab onto his wonderful creation (read: ideas) and we'll have a glut of pale imitations sent our way, to try to replace this utterly unique and ground-breaking show. Another reason that i will miss 'Xena' so, is far more personal. On September 5, 1995 my partner of 16 years took her own life. She was my very own warrior princess who ultimately couldn't overcome the demons of alcohol. She would have *loved* XWP, as i have... So, i guess you could say that, over the last five years, 'Xena' filled a void, of sorts. Mr Tapert has much to be proud of, in that he has touched many hearts, known and unknown to him. He has added much to this world, more perhaps, than he realizes. I, personally, credit his XWP creation with the inception/popularity of 'fan-fic'. It's mind boggling to me to see the amount of 'fan fic' out there in the ether, inspired by this one show! So much of it is quite Good (and some, even better!) These bards who "sing" so well for free have enriched and entertained me through their stories: as they take the X and G archetypes through adventures that TPTB never could, or would... *Their* creations will sustain me, in the absence of XWP. I say, "good on ya!", Mr Tapert, for what you *have* gifted us with. Maybe there's a spin-off lurking in that interesting brain of yours? But make it 'maintext' next time around, ok? Thanks for the 'vent (:

Sincerely, Betsy from Texas

Subject: Interview with Rob Tapert...
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001

Just wanted to drop you a line and congratulate you on a fine interview with Rob Tapert, it made for a very enjoyable read. Lots of good information in there, as well as Rob's viewpoints on key areas - I found the studio interference and test screening points especially interesting. For instance, there's Rob, having a great idea for a couple of eps, and then some studio guy says, "Put Xena with Ares" or "No more subtext, the demographic doesn't like it" - that's gotta be hard to deal with...

Nice question about season 5, too - "What were you thinking..." - ouch! I do agree with the question though, and it was nice to see Rob's honesty come through.

Anyhoo, I guess I'd better get back to work, but thanks once again for the interview, and d*mn, what are we going to do when S6 ends? Oh, I know - the TV movies!

Kind regards,
Michael Kingscott

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001
From: Jennifer Sharron
Subject: Interview with Rob Tapert

I thought that your interview with Rob Tapert was excellent - one of the best I've read. It was very insightful and hilarious, too. Kudos to you. Thank you for providing such a wonderful view of the Xenaverse.

From: Jennifer Davis
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001
Subject: An Interview with Rob Tapert

I wanted to write you and comment on your interview with Rob Tapert. First and foremost I want to thank you for doing the interview. As I really enjoyed reading it. I have always loved to listen to or read as the case may be, how the producers, etc., come up with some of the ideas that they do for the episodes. It is very interesting to me.

I have watched Xena from the get go, and have enjoyed it. Although there may have been one or two episodes that I didn't like, I however have like all of the characters that have been on Xena. Like Joxer for instance as well as Eve. I miss Callisto, but am glad that she got to be an Angel in the end. That was a part that really about made me cry when I seen that. The acting was so intense.

I like getting online and reading about the show, as well as I love reading some of the fan fiction out there, and Missy Good is a very favorite of mine. I am glad that they have asked her to do another episode, and can't wait to see it. But I do however agree with Rob in saying that some of the fans out there do over analyze things. As well as can be very mean. I hate to hear that Lucy and Renee got treated like they did, in reading some of the things that some of the fans write. There is a debate going on about that now, and it has upset some of the fans that truly like Lucy and Renee. Because we all know that without either one, Lucy or Renee that this show couldn't have been pulled off. I happen to be a fan of both Lucy and Renee. As well as the rest of the actors and actress that was on the show. But I don't think that Lucy or Renee will ever really know the impact that they truly have had on people. I realize that they are human beings just like you and I. But what makes them even better is that 'success' hasn't changed them. They aren't on any ego trips, and they all get along. That is very rarely heard of this day and time. As well as Lucy and Renee are two people who the 'chemistry' is there, as far as it comes across the screen and to find out that they really do get along in person, makes it even better.

Sorry this is so long. I just really wanted to thank you for a job well done. Please keep up the good work. Take care and may God continue to bless you and yours. I have also sent a letter in the past to Rob Tapert thanking him as well.

Jennifer Davis

From: Thelonius
Subject: Whoosh 52
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001

Congratulations to Bret Rudnick and Whoosh! on the interview with Rob Tapert in your 52nd issue - fascinating to read, and Bret still managed to find new topics to ask Rob that haven't been covered in other interviews lately.

I was amused by his 'Author's post-note', though - Bret knows fandom only too well, it seems.

From: Kim Holman
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2001
Subject: Interview with Rob Tapert

I felt compelled to write and tell you I really appreciated your interview. It was high quality, nicely informative, and very professional. You do good work. I've read other articles/interviews you've done. Seeing your name on an article, I can expect a well written, well rounded piece of work.

Thank you.

From: BookReader01
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001
Subject: An Interview with Robert Tapert

A fine job you did!

From: Virginia & Lourdes S.
Subject: Your Robert Tapert Interview
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001

We just dropped by to let you know that we enjoyed reading your interview on Robert Tapert. Thank you for finally deciding to ask for an interview. The interview was so interesting and awesome to read in addition to your well-chosen questions.

Thanks again for your time and effort.

Xena fans,
Virginia and Lourdes

From: Jasper Hedger
Subject: Rob Tapert interview, thank you.
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001

Just a note to say thank you for doing the interview, IMHO, now was the right time for it.

I also think you did a great job of it. Too many pieces nowadays are either puff-pieces or hatchet jobs. It came across that you liked and respected Mr. T. And why not? :-) But you didn't avoid asking the questions which us Xenites would like to be asked. e.g. Season 5.

Great job. And, again IMHO, one of the best Whoosh! articles ever.

All the best,

From: Marge Hunt
Date: Mon, 08 Jan 2001
Subject: [No Subject]

I read your interview with Rob Tapert - thanks a million. Finally something from the man himself about his vision and experience of Xena:WP. Great interview. In particular, you and Mr. Tapert touched on something I've been seeking since Destiny aired - About Mouth Music, I have searched Amazon.com looking for the likely piece that was played in the background for the sailing montage in Destiny. If it's not too much trouble -- can you help me - Which CD title is this music on?

Thanks from a fan -- also from the Inland Empire,
Marge Hunt

Bret Ryan Rudnick replied:

Thanks for the kind words about the interview.

The CD is called MOUTH MUSIC, by the group of the same name.

It is the tenth track of ten. The Gaelic lyrics are listed first, then a line-by-line translation in English. The song was, quoting from the liner notes, "Heard from Simon MacKenzie; collected by Rev. William Matheson. The song describes several points on the island of North Uist, which could be used as landmarks by sailors passing along the west coast. Vocal recorded in the Sculpture Department stairwell, Edinburgh College of Art.

Fraoch a Ronaigh, muran a Bhalaigh
Crois iar nan cliar, crois iar Sholais
Beinn Dubh Sholais, Aird a' Bhorrain

'S fhada bhuam Griminis, Lirinis, Cairinis

Fraoch a Ronaigh, muran a Bhalaigh
Crois iar nan cliar, crois iar Sholais
Beinn Dubh Sholais, Aird a' Bhorrain

Heather from Ronar, sea-bent from Vallay
Western cross of the clergy, western cross of Sollas
Black mountain of Sollas, Height of Morran

Far from me are Grimmish, Lirinis, Cairnish

Heather from Ronar, sea-bent from Vallay
Western cross of the clergy, western cross of Sollas
Black mountain of Sollas, Height of Morran

Joxer Corner

From: John Vasser
Subject: Joxer
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001


The XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS Series commands an almost universal watchership. Its devoted fans cross all the lines of gender, age, education and sexual preference. One of the prime characters that helped to accomplish this was Joxer.

At first, he was just there, like the bad guys or the rest of the scenery -- someone for Xena and Gabrielle to play off of -- a comedy relief. Gradually, he became a fixture. Frequently he was the buffoon, the stumblebum, but always he was the loyal comrade-in-arms. Accident prone, but unfailingly up-beat, he never ceases to believe he is "Joxer - The Mighty".

At the start of the Series there was resentment and disbelief expressed that a woman could be strong, could even want to exist without the protection of a man. This turned off some watchers because it went against their cultural programming. Women were supposed to be weak and afraid; men were supposed to be fearless and strong. However, many women were thrilled by the idea of strong, independent women and they tuned in to watch Xena kick ass. But it was the Joxer character that pulled in more of the disbeliveers as he demonstrated over and over that the male ego was no match for female competence.

Gradually Joxer and his relationship with Xena and Gabrielle began to seem normal. He accepted them for what they were, and that allowed the watching fans to do the same. Joxer even introduced political correctness in his discourse at times. For example, he corrected himself when he called them "girls", and then honored them by calling them "women". In the X-WP Series, viewers were seeing something approaching the "ascent of women" in Greece -- similar to what we experienced late in the 20th Century -- when women made some progress in gaining equality with men.

Joxer became a mirror for males, reflecting our worst and best traits. We flinched to see how juvenile and ignorant we appear when we treat women as sexual objects. Through him, we learned we could rise above our jungle programming when we used our intelligence to see women as fellow human beings with strength and smarts equal to any man's.

In life, Joxer worked for the "greater good". In the manner of his death, he demonstrated his "greater love" when he laid down his life for a friend.

John Vasser

Coming Out of the Closet

Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001
From: jan johnston
Subject: Whoosh!

This is probably my 10th attempt to write you or one of the other Whoosh! committee members. I've bailed out each time. You see, I'm...I'm a .... closet Xena fan!!!!!!!!! I can not believe I could ever be so obsessed about a TV show at MY age! I mean, I've been a Trekker for a long time, but have not felt as addicted as I have with XWP. And, your on-line e-zine has just encouraged it even more - HA! It did help to find out that I am not the only baby-boomer indulging my inner child!

I enjoy reading and exploring back editions of Whoosh! since I have really become an intense fan this past year. I have watched a lot of XWP episodes since the beginning, but was never able to watch on a regular basis. However, last season when I watched Fallen Angel, I was hooked! All of a sudden I was wondering what the heck had been going on through the other seasons - why Callisto was this demon, how X & G ended up dead [I knew they had died in other eps - just didn't realize how MANY times! Sheesh]. And then, I was hooked. I had to know what happened FROM THE BEGINNING.

It's a bummer to find out this is the last season. I'm sure I'll have my VHS tapes worn out by next year - they'd better hurry with DVD production .

Thanks for providing an outlet for people to express their fan obsessions.

In the closet no more,

From: Heather N. Ogden
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001

I don't usually proclaim my love for the TV show Xena Warrior Princess, but when I heard that it was being canceled I felt that I could not keep silent. I have been a *rabid* fan of the show since the three episode arc on Hercules the Legendary Journeys. For the first time on the small screen there was a hero that girls could look up to. No, she is not perfect, she has done things in her past that she is not proud of, (who hasn't) but she is trying to make up for her wrongdoings and fight for a more peaceful world. As the show progressed and I grew to love the characters Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer I looked forward to seeing them every week.

As someone who does not have a lot of family and no *real* friends I looked at the show as a post card from dear friends that dropped me a line weekly. I was there for the first of Gabrielle's doomed boyfriends, I was there when Callisto killed Perdicus, I was there when Xena killed Marcus. I cried along with Xena when Solan was killed, I watched with bated breath as Gabrielle placed the poison to her mouth. I laughed with them both as they splashed in the tub and slowly grew to think of them as family.

That is why when I found out that they were being canceled (BTW I was at work at the time goofing off on the internet) I cried. I felt that I was loosing 2 of my best friends.

This show has been more than a weekly escape from the world, it has been a weekly escape from my life. A life that has been at times just as rocky as the friendship of Xena and Gabrielle. The only thing that was consistent through those times was the show. I knew that no matter what on Sunday night at 10:30 after M.A.S.H. I would see the only friends that stuck through all of the hard times and never let me down.

I know I sound pathetic. I am 22 years old and I have posters and pictures of Xena and co. on my walls. I have framed photos of them in my living room. ( I don't even have the picture of my dad in a frame). I have every episode on tape in the boxed set. (still waiting for season 6 to be offered that way) I have the Xena Warrior Princess laptop case, ( I don't have a laptop) I have the sward letter opener, and a plethora of other Xena paraphernalia.

I just wanted TBTB to know ho much one little TV show has touched one little soul in this huge universe. I am immensely grateful to Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Ted Raimi, Kevin Smith(yummy), Hudson Leick and Bruce Campbell for the 6 years of great work. They have more fortitude than I do. I could never have paraded around in the BGSB or the leather bikini during the middle of winter. They worked in water hip deep with rotting cabbages floating around, They worked in the rain and the snow and only in the 5th season did they finally get coats (thanks to Lucy's pregnancy).

The relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is one that I have always wanted to have with a friend. The unconditional love, and support that they show each other is wonderful. Whether it be with a friend, lover or spouse it is something to aspire to.

I know I am not alone in my love of the show or my respect for all of those involved and that will be a great comfort in this dark time without the warrior princess.

Heather Ogden

Eli Corner

From: Dafydd Thomas
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2001
Subject: Re: letter to the editor


By their fruits shall they be known - Jesus Christ

Come, listen my men, while I tell you again the 5 unmistakable marks By which ye shall know, wheresoever ye go the warranted genuine Snarks - Lewis Carroll

If it waddles like a duck and it quacks like a duck - It's a duck. - Adam Weishaupt

I first realized the identity of Eli's One True God in 'Ides of March'. He said to Gabrielle "You must BECOME a vessel of perfect luuhve." This set the warning bells ringing. He was suggesting the Gabrielle's love for Xena wasn't perfect. Then I knew.

It was confirmed in 'the Way'. When he was explaining a god who never dared to show his face, he said "Have you ever seen Love or Friendship?" His tone of voice prompting the answer "No" as if Gabrielle hadn't already seen Love a million times shining in Xena's eyes

But now I hear people disputing the identity of Eli's One True God, so it is necessary to restate the case.

What are the 5 unmistakable marks of the One True God?

His priests talk about non-violence and peace: Anteus in 'Altared States', Khrafstar in 'the Deliverer', Aidan in 'Paradise Found', Najara in 'the Convert' and Eli all the time.

But non-violence is to be understood in its technical sense. To be precise, the sin is self-defence. 'Altared States' Mael and the Zealots feel justified in using violence against Xena and Gabrielle. 'The Convert' Joxer becomes the most evil man in the world for defending himself from the Slave-Trader, whereas it is OK for Najara to beat up Gabrielle and Xena on behalf of the Slave-Traders. 'It takes one to know one' Xena's friends are evil for defending her from the Bounty-Hunter, while the violence employed by the Bounty-Hunter and Discord represent the very soul of Righteousness itself. 'Fallen Angel' St. Michael, the underpants gnome orders Gab-in-Hell to murder Xena. And throughout Season 5, Gab-in-Hell always yells her battle cry "I believe everyone should have the right to worship as he wants." Before going on a killing spree and massacring all the heretics. Give that woman a book depository.

How does TOTG gain his power? Not difficult: by the violation of innocence. 'Altared States' sacrifice Icus. 'The Deliverer' destroy Gabrielle's blood-innocence. 'Paradise Found' suck the goodness out of people. 'The Way' destroy Gabrielle's soul.

What is TOTG's plan? Not difficult: the plan is three-fold.

A) The Devil-baby: Hope and Eve.
B) Destroy the Olympian Gods.
C) Destroy the World: Sacrifice 1 and 2 HTLJ 522 Michael summoned the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Jesus said "By their fruits they shall be known." I add "By their friends shall they be known." Callisto allied with Dahak to destroy the world in 'Maternal Instinct', 'Sacrifice' and 'Armageddon Now'. And now she is rewarded by being both the Blessed Virgin Mary of Elianity and Eve (also known as Damien 2).

Some people draw a distinction, arguing that Ares' alliance with TOTG isn't as whole-hearted and committed as his alliance with Dahak. But at the end of every episode Ares ALWAYS fought for TOTG against the Olympians. Gee, those were dramatic moments, we were so tense, wondering, desperately trying to guess which side he would chose - NOT! 'Seeds of Faith' Ares killed Eli. Oh yeah? Standard narrative format, James Bond, Conan the Barbarian, Girls wanna have Fun - kill the evil sorcerer, his castle explodes and the innocent women he has enslaved go free. Gab-in-Hell did not go free. She did not get her soul back. Therefore Eli ain't dead. Therefore the Ares killing him scene was a fake. That's logical Captain.

And has no-one noticed that Ares sports the regulation Eli disciple hair-cut? Gay Nazi Skinhead, just like Gab-in-Hell, Najara, Hera and evil Hercules in 'God fearing child'.

The Ares Xena Maintext - pukorama! Who ordered that? Agreed, Ares had always wanted sex with Xena (who wouldn't?) but why was he so obsessed with sex, sex, sex to the exclusion of all other thoughts throughout Season 5? Not difficult: Seasons 1-3 he had wanted Xena back - all of her. He wanted her prowess on the battlefield and he wanted her passion in the boudoir. All his plans were centered around making her fight for Evil again. Once Eli made Xena revert to an evil warlord with a PsychopaTHICK Psidekick, Ares' main plan was fulfilled, all he lacked was the sex.

Even so, why was he so driven, so obsessed with swything his own daughter, that this desire had become for him a Mission, a Holy Crusade? Not difficult: to redeem her from her sin. Xena had frequently broken the first great commandment of Elianity, self-defence and so she spent Season 5 murdering enough innocent peasants to wash her stains in their blood. But many of us fans, Ares included, believe she had been guilty against the second commandment of Elianity - Lesbian Love. 'Altared States' Mael says "It's an abomination!"

Lesbian SEX is OK in Elianity. Callisto begat Eve and that was fine. 'Purity' and 'Back in the Bottle' Xena says "P*ss off Gabby, I've got a new little friend." And goes off with Lao Ma's evil daughter and that was fine too. The sin is Lesbian LOVE. 'Seeds of Faith' Eli defines Luuhve as Fear and Loss and nothing at all to do with all the Joy, Compassion, Respect and such-like pinko commie stuff that Xena and Gabrielle used to share with each other.

They have sinned greatly and it is a Holy Mission of Righteousness to bring them back to the Way of Family Values. And of course all Lesbians can be cured, you know, all they need is to meet a Real Man.

Which leads on to 'Anthony and Cleopatra'. What was that all about? Why does Eli's plan require Xena prostitute princess? 'A Fistful of Dinars' Xena [became engaged to] Petracles, but then he lost interest as soon as he had had her...In 'Siege of Amphipolis' Ares had Xena, lost interest and sent her to service his Warlords. Don't say we never saw Ares and Xena at it, we never saw Xena and Gabrielle at it either.

'The Deliverer' 'the Bitter Suite' Dahak appears as tongues of fire. 'Motherhood' TOTG appears as tongues of fire. And indeed, the One True God of the Roman Catholic Church blesses the Spanish Inquisition, witch-burning, Jew-burning, scientist-burning.

By the 5 unmistakable mark: hypocritical talk about peace, the violation of innocence, the devil-baby, the plan to destroy the Gods and the World and by their friends shall they be known.

I paraphrase Adam Weishaupt If it waddles like a Dahak and it quacks like a Dahak - It's a Dahak.

Dafydd ap Thomas

Renaissance Pictures Mail

From: Will
Subject: Info
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001

Just wanted to say that I love your site...sadly even the spoilers...*L* Keep up the great work. A question..Do you know if Renaissance Pictures has a web site? Or at least an e-mail addy? Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks,


Kym Masera Taborn replies:

Renaissance Pictures has threatened to put up a website, but has not done so yet.

OZ Needs Merchandise!

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001
From: Leena
Subject: inquiry

As an aussie fan I find it very hard to find xena merchandise. All shops have stopped stocking xena and hercules over here, and getting it shipped over here is near impossible and also costly.

If there are any Aussie Xena fans out there, with unwanted xena and hercules merchandise I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me.

Or if you are interested in a RARE xena action figure 'xena conqueror of nations' with spelling mistake on box,(not many made with mistake) then I am willing to swap.

Many thanks

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