Witchblade

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Name: Witchblade
Abbreviation(s): WB
Creator: Ralph Hemecker, Richard C. Okie, Marc Silvestri and Michael Turner
Date(s): 2001-2002
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Official WB site
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Contents

Sara Pezzini, a New York City Homicide detective, is destined to wear the Witchblade, a semi-sentient mystical gauntlet. It's a supernatural cop show! Based on the comic of the same name, it ran for two seasons on TNT.

The ending of the first season is known as "The Great Rewind".[1] Many fans felt disappointed by the second season; others were creeped out by the fact that it was canon that part of Irons' body was in a glass ball jar on display, and that Ian Nottingham was shown caressing said jar.

Interaction with TPTB

The show's fandom was supported by Warner Bros with an official "Bladewielders" e-mail list that also generated an official, weekly episode preview; a Bladewielders forum, and several Yahoo!Groups mailing lists, including the still-active Witchblade list. Additionally, the producers of the show set up a website, Talismaniac.com, which was the name of the Internet-based business run by Gabriel Bowman, and set up Cyberfaust.net, a website mentioned in the show. Both of these sites remained under construction during the run of the series, but it showed that the producers were aware of the fannish interaction with the show on the Internet.

Fannish interaction as a whole was small from the beginning. Some of the comic book fans were unhappy with the way both the Wielder and the Witchblade itself was shown on the show, as the Wielder in the comic is a busty female (something Yancy Butler is not), and when the Witchblade manifests in the comic, it tends to rip off all of the Wielder's clothing and replace it with very revealing, alien-like, warrior-maiden armor. As a result, some comic fans called for a boycott of the show on message boards. A small concession to said fans was made in one of the first season episodes, when a similar-style armor was produced for the episode, which only resulted in many of the TV fans being divided as to which was the better armor.

The series was notable for its use of techno music to underscore the various scenes. One fan started a site to track all of the songs used in the series, including the instrumentals, and was able to get other fans to contribute both song clips and help identify the music before receiving a cease-and-desist order, which halted the uploading of the song clips but did not diminish the fannish contribution.

Witchblade Fandom

Since the initial support for the show was from official sources, fanfic as a whole was initially strongly discouraged in order to prevent the producers from any possible "bad" fannish interactions. However, non-sanctioned lists developed, including a slash list that focused in on the Ian/Irons pairing. Ian Nottingham's devotion to his boss/adoptive father gave rise to Ian/Irons slash, the most significant pairing in the fandom. Some Sara/Jake and Sara/Gabriel fic exists as well, although the canon pairing of Sara with her eternally destined lover, Conchobar, is also popular.

The show continues to enjoy "small fandom" status with a fan-based web page, Bladetv.com. Most of the fannish web sites related to the show vanished off the net by 2005. Fanfiction.net lists 550 titles of fic for the show, the largest single archive of WB fanfic on the Internet.

A Witchblade convention, Convergence, was held in Canada [need date] for which a zine was produced.

Witchblade fans also helped raise $10,000 for for charity.

Taking a page from other fandoms, Witchblade Central Station crusaded to save the Witchblade show. The site had launched a petition for season 3 well before news came down that the TNT network was not going to be renewing the show. In light of that announcement the website took out an ad in Variety encouraging other networks to pick up the show and amped up their campaign to transition from e-efforts to traditional mail-in. The effort was not successful.

Fanfiction

Digitabulum Magae by MacGeorge is a Highlander crossover and one reviewer describes it as "the only fully developed Ian/Irons story I’ve found."[2]

References

  1. Near the end of the first season, the producers temporarily halted production in order to allow Yancy Butler to go into rehab for alcoholism for two months. There was some concern over whether or not the show could continue without its lead actress. Rumor held that part of the reason for the way the first season ended (with a reset of the entire year's events) was so that the writers could write a second season that didn't need the lead actress nearly as much in case she relapsed. Fans rallied with support for the actress and the production, sending emails of support.
  2. Media-cow.net: Fan Fiction and Video Recommendations, 13 June 2004. (Accessed 19 March 2011)
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