Xena feature  
Xena - the Next Chapter    
selected from TV Zone #120
After battling gods and monsters, the warrior princess prepares for her biggest challenge... as revealed exclusively by producers RJ Stewart and Steve Sears, and director Doug Lefler
Warning! Feature contains major spoilers for Seasons Four and Five
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 here

It was a stunning cliff-hanger that Xena fans would not soon forget: a crippled warrior princess and her sidekick Gabrielle crucified and left for dead by the forces of Julius Caesar. How would our two heroines escape what appeared to be certain death? That answer would have to wait until the much-anticipated Fifth Season of Xena: Warrior Princess.

Although the aforementioned cliff-hanger may have taken viewers by surprise, the show’s producers knew from the very beginning how they planned to end season four.

“Two years ago,” explains executive producer RJ Stewart, who wrote that episode, Ides of March, “we were sitting in a bar in New York, and Rob Tapert said to me, ‘I want to end the fourth season with crucifying Xena and Gabrielle,’ so we knew for a long time that that’s where we were headed.

"Because we knew what the season-ender was going to be, we thought we’d might as well make it a theme for the whole season, because you don’t always know what’s going to happen at the end of the season. Sometimes it’s a last-minute idea, or something that evolves, but since this season was geared around it, we decided to make it a strength.”

Signs and Portents

The crucifixion scene was actually shown a number of times throughout the season starting with the fourth-season opener, Adventures in the Sin Trade, but viewers simply didn’t believe it could happen. According to co-executive producer Steve Sears, “We showed it to everybody, and basically said, ‘Here’s how it’s going to end,’ and everybody said, ‘oh no, they’re trying to trick us! I’ll bet I can come up with what’s really going to happen!’ but no, that’s exactly what happened.

“What we were saying was, here’s a possible ending to the season, it depends on what choices our characters make, but we were then saying, if they stay true to who they really are, they’ll die. If they choose not to be true to who they are, they might have lived, but they chose to be true to who they were.”

Joe Nazzaro
Have you seen our XENA coverage in these recent issues of TV Zone?
Five-page Lucy Lawless interview on Season Three, plus four page Alexandra Tydings (Aphrodite) interview
TV Zone # 109
Six-page effects exclusive on Xena and Hercules with Kevin Kutchaver •
TV Zone Special # 28 (100 issues celebration)
Illustrated Episode guide to Season One (2 parts, 4 pages each)
TV Zone # 98
TV Zone # 100
(both 1998 issues)
Five-page intro feature for new viewers
• TV Zone # 93 (1997 issue)
Please note: links are to details of each issue. Features are not necessarily on-line. If there is no issue link, please go to our online stores for more details

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All Xena images © Renaissance Films
Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 1999. Not for reproduction
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