For some audiences, analyzing the shows is not enough in artwork and fan fiction they give television characters dimensions their producers never anticipated.
This article was originally written for MSNBC.com; it appeared here.
Dec. 3 The Internet newsgroup postings started right after the conclusion of Amor Fati, the second episode of The X-Files 1999 fall season. Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the characters played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, shared a tender embrace in the final scene, but their hug wasnt the main focus of discussion. Instead, viewers focused on a small continuity error: She changed her hair!
Indeed, Scully's hairstyle at the end of Amor Fati resembles the one currently worn by Anderson, but when the episode was filmed, the actress hadnt yet adopted the look. They must have reshot the ending, accused more than one attentive viewer.
By the time Amor Fati aired, TV Guide had already reported that in Millennium the seasons fourth episode Mulder and Scully would kiss. Fans assumed that if the conclusion of the earlier episode had been changed, the original script might hold clues about whether the writers were moving the pair closer to a romantic relationship.
A decade ago, most fans never would have learned how Amor Fati originally ended. Today, they have the Internet, where television fandom has gone from the province of a small group of devotees to a free-for-all in which anyone with a computer can participate. Fans in the know share and speculate in several different newsgroups, on web pages, on private e-mail lists, and in fan fiction where viewers write their own endings for episodes that havent even aired yet.
Mulder and Scully did finally kiss in the episode that aired on Fox last Sunday, but they seemed to spend far less time wondering what it meant than did X-Files fans.
Fans possess not simply borrowed remnants snatched from mass culture, but their own culture built from the raw materials the media provides, writes Henry Jenkins in Textual Poachers, his landmark study of fan creativity. Jenkins, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, insists that fans do not watch passively, but interact with the shows by participating in the social community of other fans. Hence, fandom is dependent on communication something made possible for increasing numbers of television viewers by the high speed and global reach of the Internet.
|Fan sites on the Net|
|||Fan fiction resource page|
|||Definitive guide to Trek fanfic|
|||Gossamer: X-Files fanfic|
|||Y-Life’s X-Files forum|
|||Logomancy’s Xena site|
|||Ultimate Buffy links page|
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