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Dear Lila
Wow, is it really 10 years since I began my scrolls! Seems like only yesterday I was sitting at home with nothing to do but watch the vegetables. How is Perdicas by the way. Oops, forgot. Dead. Kind of like other people..who shall remain nameless! (You know who you are Xena, and I'm STILL waiting for you to come back!)
Anyway, I've met lots of great people along the way, and only some of them wanted to kill me. I think Xena had a way of bringing people together - sometimes violently, but always memorably!
Bye for now
Love
Gabs.

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Xenaville

28th May 2007 - 10 Years of Xenaville!!

Yes, it is Xenaville's 10th Birthday today! So here's a brief(-ish) history of Xenaville.

Sometime in Autumn 1996 I accidentally caught a Xena episode when there was nothing much else on. The episode was The Greater Good, and I was instantly hooked on the drama and the characters, and also the tone of the show. I love the humour and the action, and Lucy Lawless impressed me immediately with her uncompromising portrayal of a hero.
I was also getting into the internet big time, and had a site where I posted film reviews and had some Star Trek/X Files/La Femme Nikita stuff click here
Some nice bloke from Germany (ashamed to say I can't remember his name!) had designed a title picture for me, and he also did the original Xena one
Anyway, I had taught myself a bit of HTML and enjoyed designing web pages. I went on the hunt for Xena sites. Old fans might remember the original number one Xena site was Tom's Xena Page
And I downloaded sound clips and pictures and began the hunt for Xena episodes. This was pre-DVDs, video box sets etc, and I managed to get all the S1 eps I had missed from a girl called Annette on the Isle of Wight - think it was through the alt.tv.xena newsgroup.
Anyway, By the following spring, I was ready to start my own Xena page, and "My UK Xena Page" was born!
Also starting at that time was the UK mailing list Xenanet, and a host of other sites including MaryDs. However, one thing I noticed was that there was a lack of opinion around! Most sites seem to be news and pictures, while I wanted to know which episodes were the best and worst. The episode reviews were some of the first things I did, while most of the other pages on my first site (pictures, sounds) were largely pinched from others! I had someone contact me about a French version (Mon French Xena page) and in later years there was a Palm version of the episode guide too.
The Geocities site had a basic message board/chat feature and several of the old timers here first met up via that. Over the next few years, I added photos and convention reports from UK cons, fun pages like the pronunciation guide, Argo's Guide to Greece and quizzes. Some people contributed reviews of CDs and games, but the episode reviews were always all mine! UK TV kept editing the episodes very heavily, and I somehow got in touch with a lady called Joann in San Diego who used to tape episode and send them to me. I started up a video ring with the help of Ann, who went on to be a co-runner of the UK Xenafests with me. (We've just done our 17th? 18th? 19th? Xenafest.) We had about 20 people who would get unedited Xena eps well before UK tv aired them.
I think it was January 2000 when I had an email one day from a company called Fandom who wanted me to run their Xena site. I thought it was a con, but replied asking for details. It sounded too good to be true - a site that had areas covering all sorts of fandoms - Xena, X Men, Spider Man, Superman, Harry Potter, Pokemon, Simpsons, Trek etc. They were offering to PAY me to run the site, and put me in touch with the Trek guy who was also a Brit. What sold me is that he told me they had flown him out to LA the previous year. I got paid $500 a month and the name Xenaville - which had been in my mind for a while - came about. They had chatrooms and good message boards and claimed to make money through merchandising links. Not much was made I think..
Anyway, in July of 2000, I headed to the US for my very first international flight/trip. We were in Santa Monica (I went to the church where Lucy Lawless and Rob Tapert got married!) and the highlight was a trip to San Diego's Comic Con. Fandom had a stand there, where we met up with the guy who played Wesley Crusher, and more impressively, director Bryan Singer. I was hoping there might be a Xena connection, and indeed, there were rumours that Fandom might be involved with Creation (who run the Xena fan club.) Sadly, by Feb/March of 2001, the dot.com bubble burst, Fandom went out of business and my last cheque bounced!
I had added quite a lot of content for the Fandom site and fortunately didn't lose it, but I did have to rebuild Xenaville. Plus I now had to PAY for webhosting....Thanks to Laura and others, I eventually got the coding done for the pages and Xenaville.com was born. The first Xenaville page was much more graphics heavy than the current one, but after being charged quite a bit my web hosting site, I actively made the page duller and stopped touting for links! More traffic meant more for me to pay out!
At about this time, EZ boards were building up decent message boards and this board started up. In the early days there were about 5 or 6 forums and we were very busy in the last few years of the show, and for about a year or so after. A thriving community of friends built up, with regular voice chats on Saturday nights. I think for many many people, the main legacy of XENA and Xenaville will be the friendship they made thanks to the show, and the boom in the internet at about the same time.
In the last 4 or 5 years, Xena fandom has been quiet, with many of the old fans dropping away or moving on, but looking back on the 10 years of Xenaville, I have met so many wonderful people in the UK and around the world. How long the Xena fandom will stay active is debatable. We've been teased with the possibility of a Xena film since 2001. At some point, we'll stop hoping, but for now, fans still follow Lucy and Renee's careers and occasionally remind themselves about the show that brought them together with their Xena pals.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have contributed to the site in any way, to all who have posted to the message boards, sent me news or links, or emailed to say hello. Apart from one nasty trolling incident on here, pretty much all my experiences linked to XENA and Xenaville have been totally positive, and I am so glad I happened to switch over that fateful day in Autumn 1996. Thanks for your support and Battle On everyone!!

19th May 2007 - UK DVD News!

Now there's something I haven't typed in a while. UK DVD buyers, seasons 1 and 2 are being re-isued by Universal Playback on Monday 21st May, in nice new packaging, and according to the Universal Playback site, they might even have the season 1 episodes in the correct order this time! As ever with Universal Playback, there are zero extras, but if your DVD player can't handle region 1 DVDs, you might be interested. Plus it will be nice to see XENA back on the shelves in the shops! Complete seasons, on 6 discs, Amazon is selling them for 26.24 with free P&P.

Buy Season 1 and Season 2 from Amazon

15th May 2007 - Updated News Update!

Football Wives is no more! Lucy reports on her website the show was not picked up by ABC television.
Just a week to go until the next UK Xenafest. If you're interested, we welcome all Xenafans - check out the Fest Page and see you on 19th May in Walsall!
UK TV ALERT - According to the Sky TV Magazine, The Darkroom with Lucy Lawless is on the SciFi Channel on 23rd May at 10pm.
"Lucy Lawless and Greg Grunberg of Heroes fame star in this creepy horror. A troubled teen befriends an escaped mental patient, who is suffering visions of young women's gruesome deaths."

In other UK TV Lucy alerts, the absolute classic Simpsons episode, Treehouse of Horror X, which every Xena fan should see, is on Sky One on Thursday 31st May at 8.30pm. On a much crappier note, Lucy's Just Shoot Me guest spot is on Channel 4 at 8am on Tuesday 22nd May.

Want to see what Lucy's house in LA looks like? Apparently she's selling and the Real Estalker weblog - which features celebrity homes for sale - has details and photos. Guess it's a celebrity thing, but who REALLY needs 7 and a half bathrooms??? What is half a bathroom anyway?

Finally, Xenaville's 10th Birthday is approaching! 28th May 1997 was when it all began and we're still here 10 years later. Any comments or suggestions for appropriate birthday celebrations? Email me here

10th April 2007 - Zoe Bell in Grindhouse

Zoe Bell in GrindhouseFor American Xena fans, get along to see the Quentin Tarentino./Robert Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse. Echoing the Evil Dead movies, Rodriguez's cannibal zombie gorefest Planet Terror mixes truly disgusting images (in a slightly tongue in cheek way) with absurdly violent shootouts.
However, for Xena fans, it's Tarentino's Death Proof that is the draw as it stars out favourite stunt woman Zoe Bell, Lucy's stunt double for the last three years on the show. Zoe also doubled Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and anyone who has seen the brilliant Double Dare film knows what an engaging and likable person Zoe is. Here she is playing herself, but does have to do a fair bit of acting before we see her do what she does best, and she's great! Zoe is one of a group of girls homicidal maniac driver Kurt Russell goes after. We have a long scene of Zoe hanging onto the bonnet of a car while Russel tries to run them off the road. In a nicely feminist twist, the girls turn the tables and go after Kurt, ending with Zoe doing a Xena-like spinning head kick to finish him off!
If you're not a Tarentino fan or into pornographically violent splatter movies, you might not like this film. Anyhow, it's only the US that is getting this release. The rest of the world will be getting the films released separately. But it is really good to see the terrifically talented Zoe Bell getting some recognition. She'll be far too famous to return as Lucy's stunt double of that Xena movie ever gets made!
Read more about Grindhouse at the IMDB

What Would You Like to See Lucy Do Next?
Apart from the fabled Xena movie, what would you most like to see Lucy Lawless do in the next 12 months or so?

Football Wives series - sounds campy fun
More Battlestar Galactica - get D'Anna out of that box!
More singing - Lucy as a rockstar!
Something else.


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