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Week of June 18, 2001

"Long-lost" Halliwell sister found. Actress Rose McGowan will be joining the cast of the WB's Charmed this fall as the "long lost sister" of Phoebe and Piper Halliwell. McGowan will replace Shannen Doherty, who departed the show at the end of its third season, and rumor has it she hit the exit about as amicably as she left the other series which made her a star, Beverly Hills 90210. Source: Associated Press

Segal takes charge at Tribune. The man who single-handedly shepherded Doctor Who from the doldrums of cancellation through the production of the controversial one-off 1996 TV movie on Fox now has a new job. Philip Segal is the new head of scripted entertainment at Tribune Entertainment, the company responsible for production of such popular genre series as Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda. Source: Outpost Gallifrey

Reliving the Dominion Wars. Set in the timeframe around the sixth and seventh seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Simon & Schuster Interactive's new strategy game, Star Trek: Dominion Wars, gives players the opportunity to command Federation, Klingon, Cardassian and Jem'Hadar ships in an effort to free (or enslave) the Alpha Quadrant. Online multiplayer options are available, as is the ability to import custom ships and characters from Starship Creator 2.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Dominion Wars

Loaded for Behr. Can't Behr the suspense? Never fear - if you're wondering where former Star Trek: Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr went, he's taken up an executive producer job on the new Jason Alexander sitcom "Bob Patterson" (on which Alexander himself is also serving as an executive producer). The show will premiere this fall on ABC. Source: Electronic Media Online

Earth: Final Conflict going too far for fans? Fans of the syndicated series Earth: Final Conflict are up in arms over the latest round of casting changes to befall the show as it prepares to begin shooting its fifth and final season. Leni Parker, one of the last remaining original cast members, will not be seen in the new season; there's no word on whether or not the character of Da'an will be recast. Also, Anita La Selva will be reduced to a few occasional guest appearances as Zo'or. Perhaps most shocking and confusing of all is the rumored departure of Robert Leeshock, who was cast in the lead role in the second season after the somewhat hasty exit of original lead Kevin Kilner. Now it is being said that Kilner will return in the role of William Boone for season five, though no explanation for that character's resurrection have been revealed as yet. Original cast member Lisa Howard (Lili) was somewhat unceremoniously replaced during her maternity leave two years ago, and Richard Chevallou (Augur) was reduced to a mere handful of guest appearances in the fourth season. And what do the fans think of all this? To put it charitably, they're pissed. The Sci-Fi Channel, which has picked up the rerun rights to E:FC, has been receiving pleas from fans hoping that the network will eventually take over production of new episodes as well, restoring the cast and storyline that had built up in the second, third and fourth seasons. The late Gene Roddenberry could not be reached for comment on these latest changes to the show based on a series outline he wrote in the 1970s, though fans are sure to be holding seances based on the latest round of changes. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Who radio pilot finally hits the air - online. Having failed to garner enough interest in his pilot episode for a new Doctor Who radio series, producer Dan Freedman has taken his ball and gone home - sort of. BBC Online has shown enough interest in the pilot, Death Comes To Time, to schedule a webcast for July 13th. BBC Online has hinted that the success of the webcast could result in Freedman being given the means to complete the story with cast members Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Jacqueline (Blake's 7) Pearce. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Nunan departing UPN. UPN's executive vice president of entertainment, Tom Nunan, is leaving the network. Nunan has overseen such UPN series as Star Trek: Voyager, and has greenlighted more recent shows like Seven Days, Mercy Point and Level 9. The network has yet to announce a replacement for that position. Source: Studio Briefing

Dapol ceases production of Doctor Who action figures. As we reported in March, Dapol - the makers of the nifty 3 3/4" action figures based on the BBC's Doctor Who for the past 13 years - have elected to concentrate on a new line of 4" non-moving statues. A recent update on Dapol's web site now confirms something else we suspected: production and sales of the original action figures will end very soon, and the original action figures will become collectors' items. The new range of Doctor Who inaction figures will be launched in July. Source: Dapol

Cinescape Magazine folds. Cinescape Magazine, which was established several years ago as an alternative to Starlog and the Larry Flynt-published Sci-Fi Universe, has gone under - for the time being. Fandom Inc., which has published the magazine since 2000, is seeking a buyer for Cinescape and its handful of licensed magazines attached to such genre properties as Buffy and X-Files. Cinescape's web site has gone dark, phones have been disconnected, and the entire staff has been laid off, though the publisher is still holding out hope that someone will buy the magazine and resurrect it. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Godzilla vs. your stomach. A toy company in Tokyo has unleashed Godzilla in grocery stores! Their new product, Godzilla Meat, is actually canned corned beef with labels bearing pictures of the king of the monsters. The somewhat pricey canned meat goes on sale in October, and according to the Associated Press, a company spokesperson claims that consumers will become powerful by eating Godzilla Meat - "like Popeye and his can of spinach." Uh...right. For more musings on the nature of Godzilla - whether edible or otherwise - see Robert Parson's fine analysis in the Article Archive. (Oh, one more thing - sorry, Godzilla doesn't look like anyone's trying to bring Godzilla Meat to store shelves outside of Japan.) Source: Associated Press

More seasonal joy: The Simpsons to be released on DVD. D'oh! September will see the release of the entire first season of The Simpsons on DVD. Since that first season was a dark horse midseason replacement, it only had 13 episodes - so 20th Century Fox Home Video is sweetening the pot for fans by including all of Matt Groening's original Simpsons shorts as seen in the Tracy Ullman show, along with an entire episode which has never seen the light of day and some supplemental goodies as well. The second season may hit stores before the end of the year, and plans after that are to release two full-season box sets per year. Source: Associated Press

The Wind Done Gone finally sees print. After much legal gnashing of teeth, Alice Randall's novel The Wind Done Gone, a semi-parody of Margaret Mitchell's immortal Gone With The Wind as told from the slaves' point of view, is set to arrive in stores soon after a cease-and-desist order was overturned by an appeals judge. Whether or not the book is actually any good is still unknown, but the legal wrangling over The Wind Done Gone is setting some important precedents for how far a parody of an existing work is allowed to go - and one wonders if the profile of this case would be quite so high were it spoofing a less high-visibility work.

The Wind Done Gone

Who could have guessed that a character created on Hercules to help promote another series and was only to be featured in three episodes would lead to the creation of a series on the character and last six years? But that's what happened when New Zealand born actress Lucy Lawless took over the role of Xena after the actress who was to play the part was too sick to make the nearly twenty hour flight to New Zealand where Hercules was filmed. Now after six years of fighting warlords and gods, with her companion Gabrielle at her side, the two are hanging up their weapons.

Having tuned in from the beginning of the series, I will miss watching new adventures with the Warrior Princess and the Battling Bard. Executive Producer/Creator Rob Tapert has said that he'd like to make a movie with the character of Xena. Hopefully that will come to pass, but in the meantime fans will have to make do with tapes of episodes, re-runs on Oxygen, Xenafests, fan fic and looking out for the latest projects from Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor.

Battle on, Xena!

Mary Terrell
Xena: Warrior Princess LogBook author

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