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Happy Canada Day!!!

Happy Canada Day to all of our friends up North! :)

My paternal grandmother was born on Prince Edward Island, so I've got some Canadian in me! ;)

I've also been on a Canadian kick since the Due South Archive was transferred to AO3 and I've been going through 154 records to reformat where I can, add tags, and break up the stories into chapters. I've been rereading the old stories and poems (I wrote a LOT of DS poetry!) and remembering the friends I made in that fandom, many of whom I'm still in contact with today.

The show aired on American TV from 1994-1996 and was revived for a 1998-1999 run. The show was quirky with subtle humor in the first two seasons, poking fun at Canadian and American stereotypes, and it became a hot fandom with the Benton Fraser/Ray Vecchio slash pairing. The show's subtext sometimes was more text! Ray bringing Benny home to meet his mother in the Pilot? Ray the only one to call him 'Benny'? Meeting in a closet at the Chicago Precinct to discuss strategy? Riiiight! Saving each other's lives? Dief (short for Diefenbaker), a deaf wolf who had saved Benny in the Yukon, welcoming Ray into the pack right away? I could go on and on! :)

The revival went on without David Marciano (Ray Vecchio), who was no longer available, so Callum Keith Rennie played Ray Kowalski as the new partner. Paul Gross (Benton Fraser) was given complete control (never give an actor complete control!). He wrote the scripts, starred in the show, and produced. The show's humor went from subtle to broad, and the tone was completely different. Kind of reminded me of the old '70s British SF series, Space: 1999, with Seasons 1 and 2 drastically different. Anyway, there are a lot of Fraser/Kowalski fans out there, but there are still Benny/Ray V. fans carrying the torch. The episodes, including the Pilot, can be found on YouTube.

Due South was one of the first fandoms to successfully straddle zines and on-line archives. During the show's first run, dozens of zines were published, not only in the U.S. but also Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Hundreds of stories were being uploaded to Hexwood (the old name for the DS Archive), and the show stayed hot for several years. I wrote the first Benny/Ray V. slash story (as Jeannie Marie) that appeared in a zine, The Straight And Narrow (the story title, not the zine title). :) In addition to the 154 stories and poems that I uploaded to Hexwood, I wrote dozens more for zines. A great creative time! :)

I also went to the DS con, RCW 139, in Toronto in '97, '98, and '99. I was the DMOB (David Marciano Oestregen Brigade) liaison to David Marciano in '98, and let me tell you, I've never seen more gorgeous green eyes! :) I continued DMOB duties in '99, but David was not a guest that year. I did bring Ray Doll in '98 and David got a big kick out of the knitted doll. :)

In '98, the Toronto Daily Mail published a story on slash fiction with Benny and Ray V. excerpts. I can only imagine what David thought reading the paper with his morning eggs! ;) But he's a very cool guy. Very courteous to the fans and a good sport, too.

I've finished 140 records and have 14 more to go! Whoo hoo! :)

This entry has been cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment on either entry as you wish. :)

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