NZ Dominion Newspaper

31 March 2001

Many thanks to Kiwi Attic for the transcript

Xena's Kiwi odyssey: It's a wrap

A big cast and crew of 250 completed the goodbye episode of Xena: Warrior Princess in Auckland last night, marking the end of the hit television show in its sixth series.

The filming which began at 6pm, was to run till 6am today.  And though the last episode of the show is not secret to those working on the series, fans will have to wait till at least June to learn the answer to the question pressing on most of their minds - will the Warrior Princess live or die?  The rumour mill suggests the life of the leading character, played by lucy Lawless, is to end as the curtain closes on the series. 

The show has become iconic among gays for what has been described as a "wink-wink relationship" between Xena and her side-kick Gabrielle.

According to Studios USA's domestic television president Steve Rosenberg, the show has been an outstanding performer since its September 1995 debut, finishing No 1 among all first run syndicated dramas for the past four consecutive seasons.  He said the decision to end the show after the sixth series was in a bid to see the show "go out on top".

The character Xena first appeared on the companion series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, which was also filmed in New Zealand.  A spokeswoman for production company Pacific Renaissance Pictures, Sue May, said that after three episodes, during which Xena's character rated well, producers decided to create a spinoff series for Xena alone.  The company had spent $400 million in New Zealand making Hercules, Young Hercules and Xena.

New Zealand was chosen for the location because of its beauty, financial benefits and talent base, Ms May said.

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