My view of the ‘Xena’ fantasy-world.
Looking for inspiration on the ‘Xena’ front I thought it might help if I listed the various aspects of the TV series plot-lines with which I am less than enamoured and would therefore not pursue in story form. Characters and story-lines are often interwoven, so I shall just declare my preferences as I come to each in turn; though I may very well be forgetting some important points or people. The following describes what, I suppose, might be called my interpretation of the ‘Xena’ world—
Joxer— Oh alright, he can stay—but he’ll have to butch up. His original incarnation is simply too naive and useless for words. And if you think you’re going to see a lot of him, think again.
Virgil, Joxer’s son— No. No, absolutely. No.
Cyrene, Xena’s mother, and her peculiar demise— Never happened. In my universe she is alive and well.
Lila, Gabrielle’s sister— She really must buck up and stop allowing her daughter to be kidnapped and taken as a harem member for North African warlords, while her parents are slaughtered. Not that such an instance, in my view, ever actually occurred, either. She does eventually have a daughter Sarah, but this girl has a conventional life, never meeting Gurkhan.
Gurkhan— Never existed.
Xena must be much more accepting of the Amazons, as they of her. The back-story, of her earlier warlord deprivations against the Amazons, I choose to ignore and take as never having happened.
Xena’s back-story in Japa— Never happened, her only history is with Chin and Lao Ma.
The last two episodes and Xena’s demise— Never happened.
Xena being nasty to Gabrielle— The Warrior Princess is never, that’s never, physically nor mentally brutal to Gabrielle.
The Conqueror— There are those who enjoy this manifestation of Xena’s cruel aspect. I am not one of them. This twist of Fate in Xena’s life does not exist in my Xena-verse.
Musical episodes— Ha! Ha! Don’t talk to me about musical episodes!
Aphrodite— What a gal. I prefer her Valley-girl incarnation, especially in inter-actions with Gabrielle. And, of course, she’s always good for annoying Ares.
Ares— He can stay the way he is, though I’m not enraptured by his single-minded focus on destruction and war for its own sake. I’d prefer to tone his thinking and actions down somewhat.
Callisto— I’ve thought long and hard about this lady, and her ways. My conclusions are that I’d use her in stories—but only in her non-supernatural human form. The mad psycho, certainly—but not a semi-goddess.
Alti— I rather like her. But she would need to appear rarely, and then to some important purpose.
Gabrielle— I like Gabrielle’s naivety in her early association with Xena. This gives latitude for all sorts of humorous scenarios. But I much prefer the blonde toughened Amazon Queen, with her sais and positive attitude. It is this latter Gabrielle whom I most like to write about.
The Rift. Where Xena and Gabrielle famously fall out big-time— Never happened. (OK, OK, this is my imaginative response to dire problems. And I say it never happened, so there!).
Hope— Gabrielle never had that unfortunate meeting with Dahak, so this means her daughter never came on the scene either.
Solan— He does exist, but was never raised by centaurs; instead being sent to an old friend who lives on a remote Grecian farm.
Centaurs— There are no centaurs in my ‘Xena’ world.
Amazons— These exist in my Greece, and other parts of the world too. They are grouped together in tribes and associated bands with Queens as leaders. Gabrielle being the over-all leader of one of these larger groups of tribes.
Supernatural entities— I am reluctant to use these with any regularity. I prefer the actual physical world, with all its social problems, to activate and be the driving forces of my stories.
The Gods— They do exist in my ‘Xena’ world; though perhaps re-acting with humanity, and Xena and Gabrielle, rather less than in the TV series. I also acknowledge the existence of other Gods’ domains—the Norse Gods; Egyptian Gods; Chinese & Japanese Gods, etc.
25 year Ice-Tomb Gap— Rubbish. OK folks, we have a problem here. Xena and Gabrielle co-exist with Julius Caesar—who we all know was assassinated on the Ides of March 44 BC. Yet they also had intimate personal contact with Caligula, who kicked the old tin bucket in 41 AD. An 85 year time span—impressive! That’s not taking into account those early episodes where the gals met Homer and were present at the Siege of Troy! Yes, yes, the historical time-line in ‘Xena’ is a hopeless jumble. So what’s the answer? —
The Gods’ as Time Machines— The Gods, of whichever Pantheon happens to be currently operating, can send Xena and Gabrielle into different time periods at their will—problem solved.
The Indian Cycle; Dahak; and the Eli Cycle— None of these entities, persons, or prophets ever engaged with our heroines.
All Those Damn Crucifixions— Not one ever happened, or will happen. In my ‘Xena’ world neither Xena nor Gabrielle ever experienced, or will experience, this form of execution.
The End— If you’re thinking ‘Friend in Need’ here think again; go and wash your mouth out with Hudson’s Soap, and do try to be rational. The last we see of them, in reality in the TV series (I admit my imagination is working overtime here—so what?) is of them both trudging ankle-deep through the Egyptian desert sands trying to find the Bent Pyramid (don’t ask!). Gabrielle is determined to have her way, in that it bears south-south west; while Xena knows perfectly well (she’s almost certain) it bears sou’east by east, but try telling that to an Amazon! And so we leave the happy couple, bickering loudly as the sand gets in all those places it shouldn’t; while both gals are rapidly losing their tempers together. Ah, happy days!
On Convoy Patrol by Phineas Redux
The eighth in my on-going 'Mathews & Parker' series. Zena Mathews and Gabrielle Parker are requisitioned into going on a submarine patrol, complete with depth charges.