Tributes to Kevin Smith
18th February 2002
There is a lovely tribute from Lucy Lawless on the NZOOM site, a video clip from the Holmes tv show where Lucy pays tribute to her XENA co-star. It's very touching, I transcribed it here
View the clip here
The latest news reports are focussing on the delays in getting news about how Kevin died. Also that the Chinese New Year was holding up getting a death certificate, so his body has net yet been taken back to New Zealand for the funeral.
NZ Herald - Feb 18
The NZ Stuff web site has opened a book of condolence that you can sign.
XTRA msn reports on a NZ government minister paying tribute to Kevin and also on the funeral arrangements being on hold.
Creation Entertainment have a very nice tribute page up, and report that already they have raised $25,000 for Kevin's family.
Meanwhile, plans are afoot for a proper trust fund for Kevin's wife, Sue and his three sons. Lucy Lawless and Michael Hurst are both getting involved along with Kevin's agent, to organise an official fund for the donations already received. The Xena Fan Club page has more details on this.
Kevin Smith Information
17th February 2002
A video clip on the NZOOM web site reports on Kevin's death and includes a segment from the Pasadena convention where Michael Hurst is interviewed.(Real Media File)
See that clip here
There is also a video clip on the reaction in New Zealand to Kevin's death on the XTRAMSN web site that coincidentally includes an interview with Michael Hurst's wife Jennifer Ward-Lealand.(Windows Media Player)
See that clip here
NZ Herald Article on reactions from colleagues around the world
There is still no other actual information about the circumstances surrounding Kevin Smith's death, but the online XENA fandom has been getting organised about how fan might like to show their appreciation for Kevin and support for his young family. Go to MaryDs Kevin Smith In Memorium Page for all the details available, or post on this thread in the Xenaville Message Board
Kevin Smith Dead!!
16th February 2002
Terrible news for all XENA fans, as it was reported in the New Zealand Herald that the wonderful Kevin Smith, known and loved as Ares on XENA and HERCULES has died in China after the fall that was reported recently.
Read the news story on the NZ Herald site
A tragedy in so many ways - Kevin leaves a wife and three young sons - he also had movie stardom beckoning with a film role alongside Bruce Willis lined up. However, as ANYONE who met him will say, he was just an incredibly lovely guy. Kevin was a huge part of the success of XENA, and was a very fine actor.
February 15 - Kiwi News..
Just a couple of links to stories in the New Zealand news. Most worrying of all is this new report that Kevin Smith's life "hangs in the balance" after his accident in China. Reports are sketchy, and hopefully more positive news will come to light soon.
Another Kiwi newspaper story you might want to look at is a review of Lucy Lawless' appearance in The Vagina Monologues in the New Zealand Herald.
February 14 - Xena Book News
How Xena Changed Our Lives: True Stories by Fans for Fans edited by Nikki Stafford
Due out in April 2002, Pre-Order NOW at Amazon.co.uk or at Amazon.com
Here's one to look out for. Nikki Stafford, author of one of the best XENA books, "Lucy Lawless & Renee O'Connor: Warrior Stars of Xena " has a new one where she tells the fans stories! You can preorder these right now.
Read more details on the BOOKS page
Kevin Smith Injured...
14th February 2002
It has been reported that popular New Zealand actor Kevin Smith - better known as Ares to XENA fans - has been injured in a fall in China. Apparently Kevin fell on the set - although not while filming - sustaining "serious head injuries" that have left him hospitalized. In a statement released by his agent, Robert Bruce, Kevin's injuries are not said to be life threatening, but his wife and parents have flown to China to be with him. A statement from Kevin's wife is expected when she returns to New Zealand.
Kevin was filming the movie, "Warriors of Virtue 2" in China, and was preparing to work alongside Bruce Willis in an upcoming action movie.
Read more on this at this NZ MSN news site
February 13 - Xenaverse News
CONGRATULATIONS to former XENA costume designer Ngila Dickson, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on The Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring. All those years making warrior outfits obviously paid off!
The Season 2 DVD box set part 1 was released in the UK this week. The first 11 episodes of season 2 are available on 3 discs with once again the only extras being a rather pathetic picture gallery. Still, its DVD quality at least.
Talking of DVDs, the A Friend in Need DVD which is due out on March 26th is available to order from all online DVD retailers, the best deal for fans being via the Canadian DVD Box Office, where you can get the DVD for $15.30 with free postage worldwide!(Thats just £10.11 for UK fans).
For those of you off to the Pasadena XENA convention, have a great time, and if anyone wants to send me a report, just click right here! And have fun...
Any Kiwi fans out there, if you get to see Lucy Lawless in The Vagina Monologues (opening February 14th) and would like to tell us all about it, do email me. And also, have fun!
February 5 - Xenaverse News Updates
The video/DVD rush is about to begin! For UK fans, next Monday sees the release of the Season 2 DVD box set, with S5 video set 2 soon. Check out the Blackstar Xena Zone
Also possibly of interest to UK fans who are wary about ordering from overseas, the excellent UK based DVD site Play247.com has the A Friend in Need DVD availble for £14.99 delivered.(And another variation on the DVD cover...) Don't forget, March 26th is the date for that DVD release in the US.
Meanwhile, MaryDs site has some lovely screengrabs from Lucy Lawless' recent appearance on ET. Great shots of Lucy, her kids Daisy and Julius and a few of Danielle Cormack (better known as Ephiny to XENA fans) who is in The Vagina Monolgues with Lucy - and is by all accounts a fantastic stage actress!
See the screengrabs
On the magazine front, there is an interview with Karl Urban in this month's Dreamwatch magazine - mainly about Lord of the Rings but also Xena. SFX magazine (the one with the XENA eps top ten) also has an interview with William Gregory Lee, but Xena gets barely a mention - its manily Dark Angel stuff.
February 4 - Lucy's Loss..
Lucy Lawless was on Entertainment Tonight and she spoke about a miscarriage she suffered after the end of filming on XENA, and health scares with her current pregnancy. Lucy and husband Rob Tapert (or Robert G Tapper as the ET site calls him..) are expecting the arrival of a little warrior prince or princess in April. After the loss of the first baby, Lucy and Rob then had worries about this child, but thankfully all seems to be fine. The ET site has more on this and a video clip you can download.
Visit the ET site here
Magazine Scans - January 31
A couple of magazines have some XENA information right now. The genre magazine SFX featured readers choices of the top ten episodes for a whole stack of Sci Fi and Fantasy shows including all the Star Treks, Babylon 5, Buffy, Angel, Farscape, X Files, Stargate, and of course, Hercules and Xena. You might not agree with the selections (there are no Season 6 episodes in there..), but The Bitter Suite is their top choice. The Hercules top ten is interesting in that lots of the episodes are crossovers, or ones featuring XENA actors, the top Herc ep being Yes Virginia, there is a Hercules
See the scans here
The magazine for subscribers to the UK Sky TV channel, had a Top 10 Action Heroines feature this month. While Buffy topped the charts, Xena was in there are number 6.
See the scan and mini article right here.
Xenaverse News - January 30
Lucy Lawless performed at another charity concert in New Zealand, for the Starship Hospital that she supports. There are photos of Lucy looking fab at the Sword and Staff website
There is more on the A Friend in Need DVD on MaryDs site, with a scan of an advert from a video retailers magazine. Intriguing way of selling the show to video retailers (Rabid fan base.... - their bold text!)
See a scan of the advert here
News from Sharon at Creation about Xena Fan Club Kit #5, they expect to start shipping them in about 3 weeks time. For UKers, that'll probably mean a couple of months for us. There was also a note for non US fans who ordered XENA calendars and are still waiting...
"the temp worker we had typing in the calendar orders over Christmas put the first line of 116 overseas addresses in a field that doesn't show up on the label! So we're printing out a new set of labels today and resending them tomorrow "
UK video and Magazine Updates
Blackstar, the UK based online video and DVD retailer have a whole stack of new XENA products listed, some rather odd sounding. The Season 5 video box set part 2 now has a February 26th release date, so the next item to look out for is the Season 2 DVD box set due on on February 11th. After Universal Playback's cock ups with the S1 DVD pack, lets hope all is ok.
You can preorder the Season 2 DVD box set part 2 as well, and that is due for release on March 18th.
Most intriguing are two Season 6 items. According to the Blackstar site, you can but Season 6 on DVD and VHS on April 1st. Hope that date isn't telling us something.....
You can preorder all thes items directly through the above links....
Lucy News - January 27
The Kiwi Attic web site has scans of some articles featuring Lucy Lawless as she prepares to appear in The Vagina Monologues in Auckland, New Zealand alongside Danielle Cormack. There is also this photo of a VERY pregnant looking Lucy! Any that baby isn't due for another 3 months!
See the scans on the Kiwi Attic site
January 21 - Xenaverse News
The cover for the XENA DVD is on the DVD Express web site now. Click on the small picture on the left to see a bigger version.
Anyone going to the Creation Pasadena Convention in February should keep an eye on the Creation web site. More guest keep being added all the time. Impressive line up now, with Michael Hurst joining Renee O'Connor in the Saturday evening cabaret. Latest additions include Alexis Arquette, writers Steven Sears and Katherine Fugate, and Lucy Lawless' sister Josie Ryan is appearing in the cabaret. See the Creation site for details.
Some New Zealand magazines have articles on Lucy. See the Kiwi Attic site for scans and ordering of New Idea Mag, while the NZ Sunday News reported that Danielle Cormack would be joining Lucy in the play, The Vagina Monologues in February.
Hot News on the A Friend in Need DVD!!
17th January 2002
Received an email with some EXTREMELY intriguing details on the forthcoming A Friend in Need DVD release in March. It is from a video retailers trade magazine. Apparently the DVD will include the 17 minutes extra footage aired by OXYGEN TV, 30 minutes of Behind the Scenes stuff, and most intriguing of all, a "tweaked" ending
"I knew it would make them cry, but I didn't know it would make them hate the series they'd loved," Tapert said of the finale...
Tapert said the video version, which originally aired on cable's Oxygen
network, is fleshed out with 17 additional minutes to better tell the story. It also contains a "tweaked" ending for "those fans left so desolate." The DVD includes 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews with Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor.
There is also the excellent news that USA plans to release the entire final season in a single package this year, and confirmation that you can buy DVD AND VHS versions of A Friend in Need, due for release on March 26th. WOO HOO!
13th January 2002
I did a feature a few months back about XENA actors who looked like other stars. Now you can check out part 2 of Spitting Image with more spookily identical celebs..Take a look and tell me I'm wrong..
Read the feature right here