Even if Creation Entertainment’s “Xena:Warrior Princess Convention” ended its 20 year reign Feb 20-22 in Burbank, in the aftermath the show’s devotees are already planning future reunions such as a Xena Retreat in 2016. The convention was 5,000 strong in 1995 for the cult TV show that was placed #10 of all time by TV Guide in 2007. This was six years after its last episode in a six series run (1995-2001).
Judging by the completely sold out at Xena Con last weekend (seats for only 500) where many delegates were newbies, the fandom of “X:WP” is committed to live on. Major characters are still household names : Xena (Lucy Lawless), sidekick and Bard Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor), foes such as Calisto (Hudson Leick) and Alti (Claire Stansfield) , and friends such as Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings) and Cleopatra (Gina Torres).
Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor thanked their fans for their loyalty twenty years after the show first aired. Lawless who is active in Greenpeace is a special recurring guest star in the supernatural drama “Salem”. She was featured in the award winning Australian thriller mini series “The Code” last year and won awards for her role as Lucretia in “Spartacus, War of the Damned” (2010-2012) . O’Connor is featured in the leading role as Carrie in “Last Chance” to be released later this year.
Many of the other “X:WP” characters are involved in new productions such as Eve (Adrienne Wilkinson) who plays Levy Devonshire on Pretty The Series and will appear in Star Trek: Renegade to be released later this year. Wilkinson appeared at Xena Con on Feb 22. Cyane who appeared on Feb 21 (Victoria Pratt) can be seen on Heartland as Casey McMurtry.
The “Creation Entertainment” “X:WP” conventions featured a large amount of autograph signing and photo ops with the characters. The best parts of the convention were when the characters spoke with the audience, such as the popular anecdotes and standup of Hudson Leick (Calisto), which was not to be missed. Also of great interest was the costume contest. The day of that event, fans could wander around among their favorites: Eve, Cyan, The Furies, Aphrodite, Ares, many Gabrielle and Xena’s, Hope, and Joxer. Tie ins to the show were part of the exhibition hall with “X: WP” vintage dolls and toys, comix, t-shirts and jewelry.
There is a visible LGBT community at the conventions as the characters on “X:WP” were role models for gender equality and strong women who could fight for themselves. The convention placed signs in the entries that discrimination of any kind would not be tolerated and guests who did not respect this could be asked to leave.