Whoosh! Issue 55 - April 2001
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" to expedite the process. All letters received by the editor are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received after the 15th of the month may be reserved for a later issue.

Interview Issue
Those Darn Letters!
Someone Still Likes Us
Fan Debriefing
Hidden Captions
The Gabrielle Scrolls
The End is Nigh!

Letters To The Editor

Interview Issue

From: Sally Dye
Subject: Whoosh interviews
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001

I loved reading all the interviews with Xena production staff members. Thanks for taking the time do all the write-ups!

Sally Dye

From: Argo
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Love the All Bret, All the Time March issue! A nice behind the scenes peek at the people who help make XWP happen.

Who would have guessed that a sensitive new age interviewer was lurking behind that engineer veneer?

Nice job Bret.


From: Carla Capizzi
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001
Subject: Latest whoosh

Great issue -- I enjoyed getting to know the behind-the scenes folks who bring Xena into our homes every week. Thanks for the great job -- you really were a one-man show this issue!

I noticed you did the interviews in November. Is that a good time of the year to visit New Zealand and Australia? I hope to vacation there in a year or so.

Carla Capizzi

Thanks for the kind words about the issue. I can't speak about the best time to visit Australia -- I've never been. And as far as New Zealand goes I've only been to the greater Auckland area a few times, at various times of the year, and it's always been good. Personally, wherever I've travelled, anywhere in the world, I've always subscribed to the notion that any time you can go is the right time. There are advantages and disadvantages to any season.

Best regards,
Bret Rudnick

Those Darn Letters!

From: Suzett Perry
Subject: letter to the editor
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001

This letter is in response to Andrew Shaughnessy's letter to the editor regarding Anna Dooland's article "Are Xena and Gabrielle Together: An Issue Bigger Than Two Characters".

I would like to address this section, in particular, of his letter:

"On seeing the trailer for the episode, in which Xena leaned forward to kiss Gabrielle, her reaction was, "Wow! Finally a show that has lesbians!" My reaction on being told by my brother about an upcoming show called XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS was, "Wow! An adventure series with a tough female lead!" Which one of us, do you think, grasped the stick by the right end? I watch XWP for what it is, not what I want it to be. It is a fantasy drama series, not a political platform. I cannot help feeling that Ms. Dooland began watching for the wrong reason and, having done so, was bound to be disappointed."
Since when is being a lesbian a "political platform"? I have always assumed it was a matter of genetics, but now I am glad that you have cleared that up for us lesbians (or should I say "politicians"?). No doubt when Anna said "Wow! Finally a show that has lesbians!" she meant that she was happy to finally be represented in a positive way. i.e. the "tough female lead" that you refer to.

You criticize her for wanting to watch the show from a certain perspective and even have the audacity to say that she was watching for all the "wrong reasons". Do you actually have the arrogance to tell everyone which end of the stick is the right one? Are you privy to some special inside information?

Later in your letter, you say, "For me, part of XWP's appeal is that it leaves the viewers free to make up their own minds, instead of ramming one view or another down their throats." So, why are you trying to ram yours down everyone else's? You don't seem to be allowing the "subtext" audience the same "freedom" that you feel you should have.

I don't believe that anyone is calling you a homophobe because you don't agree that Gabrielle and Xena are "lovers". That's a very limited comment and a gross misinterpretation of reality.

Live from the campaign trail,
Suzett Perry

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001
From: Bram Reichbaum
Subject: My letter of 2/12/01

I stand corrected on the issue of subtext during Season One. I based my assumption on my own memory alone, not formal research, and on the fact that Gabby looked so frumpy during that first season.


Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001
From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Much as I appreciated Peter Norrish's letter in the March issue of WHOOSH!, I feel it necessary to offer a counter-argument to his criticism of two of my favourite episodes.

Firstly, FALLEN ANGEL. The writers of the Bible equipped their angels and demons with the weapons they knew of, i.e. swords and spears. God set cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24), and the archangel Michael is always represented as he appears in this episode, armed with a sword.

Secondly, ONE AGAINST AN ARMY. Some fans would simply reply, "Xena's the hero, of COURSE she's going to win!" That is a little simplistic, however, so I will have to elaborate. There are, in fact, a number of possible explanations:

1) BATTLE RAGE. The Viking berserkers were noted for their ability to kill men with a single blow, which seems to have been regarded as unusual. There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that Xena's ancestry is Celtic, and the Celts' battle rage was reputedly even more formidable than that of the Vikings. Such a state would not only have increased Xena's strength and sharpened her reflexes, but would also have allowed her to temporarily ignore wounds which might otherwise have incapacitated her long enough for the Persians to finish her off.

2) CONFINED SPACE. In open country, such a large number of opponents would have been able to overwhelm even Xena. In the confines of the barn, however, their numbers would have made it difficult to deploy effectively. Some of them may even have fallen victim to what can only be described as "friendly stab". Ten years after the battle of Marathon, the Spartans and their allies were able to delay a vastly superior Persian force for several days, mainly because the narrow pass at Thermopylae did not allow the Persians to utilise their numerical advantage.

3) POETIC LICENCE. Remember that these stories are purportedly based on the writings of Gabrielle. The Bard of Poteidaia may well have inflated the Persian numbers in order to make Xena look even more heroic. Such exaggeration may not even have been intentional, bearing in mind Gabrielle's semi-lucid state. There is every possibility that she was seeing double at times.

4) ALL OF THE ABOVE. This is the likeliest explanation. Take Xena's berserk fury defending the woman she loves, add the Persians' inability to deploy effectively and a little poetic licence from our favourite bard, and you have the finale to ONE AGAINST AN ARMY. Frankly, after the horrors of THE BITTER SUITE, it was a relief to see Xena mauling someone other than Gabrielle.

Someone Still Likes Us

Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001
Subject: Great Web Site!
From: Barney O'Neill

Thanks for WHOOSH!, as I have visited the Web site at least weekly since the original news of XWP's cancellation. Sorry to learn from your site that the TV movies also do not appear too likely at this point. Call me an optimist, but I'm still holding out hope that a spinoff such as "Gabrielle Amazon Queen" would be as welcome to Renee as "Captain Sulu, Master of Navigation" would have been to George Takei.

Would you consider adding to the Whoosh site a page keeping count, on all the series, of the number of times each character has been knocked out, with a slight description of each case? I think Gabrielle is going for the record for the women, with stiff competition from the sisters on "Charmed", beating out Buffy, Willow, Sydney Fox, Wonder Woman, Valery Irons, the Cleo women, Jeannie, Sheena, the Bionic Woman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl and Batgirl. Among the men, it has to be Batman and Robin, Jimmy Olsen, Jim West ("Wild Wild West"), Captain Kirk or Joxer. It may be interesting to see how the continuing series compete toward these scores week to week.

One "Xena" episode that I regret has been abandoned is "Sticks and Stones". I was hoping for a parody remake, with Lucy and Renee, of the "One Million Years B.C." fight scene between Raquel Welch and Martine Beswicke. As more dramatic battles go, I thought the "Path of Vengeance" match between Gabrielle and Varia was hard to surpass for excitement and choreography. I was also disappointed that a major storyline event such as Ares and Aphrodite getting their powers back occurred in a comedy episode. I love the Xena comedies (even "Married With Fishsticks") but when this story turn is referred to in later dramatic episodes, it will bring into mind the "TV talk show guy".

Also, I recall seeing on your site something about a video of the making of "Who's Gurkhan?" Can you give me information on how to purchase a copy?

Thanks for your attention, and for the enjoyment of your Web site.

Barney O'Neill
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hey, if any one sees something missing from WHOOSH! and they want to send it to us, PLEASE DO!

Kym Taborn

Fan Debriefing

Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001
From: Susan Barnes
Subject: Xena Obsession - still there!

Have any of you gotten into a panic about X:WP ending? I think today I'm having my first real case of it, and it's alarming. Panic and nostalgia all at once.

I dunno, maybe it's just my weird mood in general. I've been a bit moody lately as my life is seeming to be destined to make some big, major shifts this year in a lot of departments, and the anticipation is kinda stressing me out. I've also been more symptomatically pre-menstrual than usual this week, and it's also true that my Xena fixation has always been a bit cyclic - coming and going at fairly random intervals. In other words, there may be other reasons for my weirding out, but I *do* think a lot of it has to do with this furking show coming to an end! Yikes!

It's not that I've always liked the direction the show has taken - far from it, and I've been rather vocal at times in my dissent! However, something has kept me firmly rooted to the show, the fanfic, the internet lists and the Palace and the fests and cons and Xena Nights.....and all the friends I've made from this fandom, and all the bards I've worshipped. Here I sit in my Xenatized apartment, drinking from my Xena mug, writing to a Xena list - many members of whom I've had the good fortune to meet and enjoy tremendously, and several of whom are important friends, in my incredible apartment because of my Xena friends, and I can count the low points in my life over the past six years that watching Xena/being involved in Xena fandom has somehow gotten me through. I have all the eps taped (with a couple of messed up eps for various reasons) and I've seen them all except for King Con (couldn't bring myself to watch Xena flirt with a guy at that point in the series) and To Helicon, cos I seem to need to draw out these final eps and just slow down seeing the last ones. How many more are left? Six or seven? Ack!!!

So this weekend was the only one I get off this month, and may not have another off for a while. I've been exhausted lately - physically and mentally. And the *only* thing I wanted to do with this free weekend (besides sleep) was watch old XWP and read some fanfic. I'd never read any of Tonya Muir's stuff - which is an absolute delight! (what a loss to the world and the xenaverse!!!!) - and I'm *so happy* to have found some classic XWP fanfic to read that I'm enjoying. (Yes, I'm reading it off my Visor, AND - for those who expressed interest, yes, I am going through a set of AAA batteries about every 3 weeks -- but I'm afraid I can't get that excited about the cost or the landfill space, cos I am enjoying it so much!) Last night I cancelled a weekend trip with a friend to just stay at home - and read fanfic and watch old eps (as well as clean my house and sleep, as I said). Today I watched SINS OF THE PAST and DREAMWORKER and WARRIOR...PRINCESS and A DAY IN THE LIDE and Callisto and ONE AGAINST AN ARMY. Makes me want to cry cos they are SOOOO GOOD!!!! What an AMAZING show this has been!!!

For SIX FURKING YEARS this show and fandom have had a very important place in my life. I'll always relish every single moment of it. I can't even begin to imagine how much I'm going to miss it!!! Or what I'll do without it! Oh, yeah....I guess there is still tons of ff I have not read that I can peruse, but over time the pickings are sure to get kinda slim. I'm sure a few of the lists will go on for a while, but the Xena conversation is sure to get more and more minimal. I can watch all the eps over and over - good thing there's a lot of them! - but I already have many of them nearly memorized. (It will be nice when they all come out on DVD, fer sure.) There are still a lot of Whoosh articles I confess to not having read.... In other words, yeah, the demise will drag out, BUT it's definitely inevitable, baby, and I'm really feeling this today!!!

What is it that has made this show so great? Well - for me, three things. First, I can Soooooooooo identify with a character having terrible, terrible regrets. A show featuring a woman trying to make amends just stunned (and still stuns) me. Second, the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. This was the first time on any media I could see a relationship that, if not realistic, was one I admired and wanted to be able to believe in, greatly. Totally amazing. Third has been this incredible fandom we have here. Despite all the intrigue and bickering (*g*), I have really loved the Xena fans I've met - even the ones I don't like, if that makes any sense!

OK, enuf rambling. I dunno if I'm even saying anything comprehensible at all. But I am sad the show is going to truly be over, and today I'm having a helluva time accepting that.


Hidden Captions

Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001
From: Paige Siskin
Subject: March Whoosh

I've got to compliment the caption writer you've got. Some of the hidden captions are making me laugh out loud. Just a couple of the best:

Rents for $2000 a month in Los Angeles in Robert Gillies' interview.
Unlike the real thing, you don't have to clean up after it, also in RG's interview
Sometimes those hot peppers are just a little *too* hot in Simon Ambridge's interview

Just wanted to share.


The Gabrielle Scrolls,

Sullivan, Shelley. The Gabrielle Scrolls, Scroll One. WHOOSH #10 (07/97) Sullivan, Shelley. The Gabrielle Scrolls, Scroll 2. WHOOSH #11 (08/97)

Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001
From: Snarky
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Geoffrey Hill, a Blake's 7 & Xena fan, asked, sometime back in 1997:

"[...]but where has the 'Gabrielle Scrolls' gone? We were promised another one in October's issue."

[The Gabrielle Scrolls can be found by clicking on the different scrolls: Scroll One, and Scroll Two.

And you [Kym Taborn] replied:

"Thanks for writing Geoffrey and we got good news and bad news for you.

"As you remember, Whoosh began a clever and highly entertaining serial by Shelley Sullivan which approached looking at the episodes as aired from the perspective of Gabrielle. The conceit (or gimmick) was that they were the "notes" that Gabrielle took (kind of a 'dear diary' style) which would later be the basis for the 'Xena Scrolls'. We saw it as a creative way to review what had happened in the episodes. To us it was a derivatiive and quirky episode guide. However, someone and their lawyers begged to differ."

"I said there was good and bad news, didn't I? The good news is that there is something in the works (commercially) which hopefully will satisfy within you what the Gabrielle Scrolls did. Personally, my position is the more the better. The good stuff will naturally be sifted from the dregs, and life will go on. I am looking forward to the barrage of commercial materials which are being rumored and promoted as being 'in the pipeline'.

"The idea of the 'Xena Scrolls' is brilliant and as I have said in the past, and way before we ran the Gabrielle Scrolls, this idea does need to be mined.

"The bad news? The bad news is that Whoosh voluntarily decided to cease running the 'Gabrielle Scrolls' as a professional courtesy towards the team who are currently developing some projects which might have been or might not have been affected by our further running of that series."

First, may I belatedly echo the collective cry of "WAAAAHHHH!!!" that must inevitably have followed the receipt of this news? It's just that I read the two Scrolls (in the past few hours -- yes, now, in March 2001...Why are you looking at me funny? Stop it. I have a life. Really.) *before* the above, and I don't recall seeing anything similar in hard copy in the past few years, so now I...hunger...Well, given that, as John Nathan-Turner, producer of Doctor Who in the '80's, so (in?)famously put it, "the memory cheats", and also given that I'll be heading off to bed soon and won't have time to search further either in WHOOSH! or elsewhere online, could you give me a little update on the current status of the Gab Scrolls project? Or would that be the one currently with its own website? If the latter is correct, well, I _had_ wondered what that was about, when I first heard about it -- however, it appears, in that case, that I don't have the site bookmarked, and therefore my memory may be cheating again...HELP!

Confused, I remain,
Lola, called Snarky

The competing project was published and unfortunately I just moved so the book is somewhere in a box and I have forgotten the name. I do remember reading it and thinking what a pity they published that version instead of Shelley Sullivan's, which I still enjoy reading and found most clever amd entertaining.

Kym Taborn

The End is Nigh!

From: Ange
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001

As usual I've just read the last rumors regarding this 6th season of Xena. It's even more important now that it is the last one.

I won't say that I always agree with what's written on Whoosh, but for this last one, I had to say something. It's about the very last ep of Xena, Japan. The rumor says that maybe Ares and/or Joxer will be in it. It's not sure and sometimes the rumor says no. And you say you would prefer they were not in it, that it should be an ep only for Xena and Gaby.

My point is that we are A LOT of fans of Xena whose favorite character is not Xena or Gaby. I like them, yes, of course. But they would have been NOTHING without supporting characters like Ares, Callisto, Joxer or all the others. That episode will be the last one not only for the Xena/Gaby fans, but also for all the other fans too. I think that ALL, absolutely ALL the usual characters should be in it (even the evil Callisto who has a lot of admirers). By respect for the actors and by respect for the fans, all of them, who supported Xena all along.

In your comments, it would be nice not to forget us as you usually do.

Thanks in advance.
Best regards

I am very grateful to live in a country where everyone can express and hold their opinions freely regardless of what the perceived majority or minority opinions may be.

Kym Taborn

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