Beauty and the Beast (TV)

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For the new television series of the same name see Beauty & the Beast (CW).
Fandom
Name: Beauty and the Beast
Abbreviation(s): BatB, B&B
Creator: created by Ron Koslow, the most prolific series writers were Ron Koslow, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and George R.R. Martin
Date(s): 1987-1990
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: IMDB, wikipedia
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Beauty and the Beast was a fantasy television series that ran on CBS from 1987 until 1990. The series offered an updated retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale: the romance between Catherine Chandler, a savvy assistant DA in New York (Beauty, played by Linda Hamilton), and Vincent, a lion-man (Beast, played by Ron Perlman) who lives in a secret Utopian community of social outcasts beneath New York City.

Many of the characters portrayed by Kevin Barnes, art is titled "Unity." The characters from left to right first row: Pascal, Mary, Father, Vincent Wells, Baby Jacob, Diana Bennett, Mouse with Arthur on his shoulder, Jamie. Second row: Elliot Burch, Catherine Chandler, and Joe Maxwell. The portrait appears in the 2017 e-zine Of Things That are Not but Should Be
one of many cartoons by B&B artist, P.S. Nim, this one is poking fun at the Central Park culvert in New York City (the entrance to the tunnels) and of various tropes in the show

The fan community was very active, writing and publishing fanzines, attending conventions, and, in the early days of online communication, creating mailing lists and bulletin boards.[1] In addition, the fandom has produced an extensive body of fanart (see Journeys (Beauty and the Beast calendar) for an overview of artists from the early 1990s). For a more comprehensive overview of fan writers and artists written by Jo Ann Baca in 2008, go here.[2]

Some dedicated fans of the show like to refer to themselves as Beasties.

See also Timeline of Beauty and the Beast (TV) Fandom.

Canon

The most prolific series writers were Ron Koslow, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and George R.R. Martin.

Because the cast changed in season 3, when Catherine Chandler died and new character Diana Bennett became the female lead, investigating Catherine's murder, there is a split between what is referred to in the fandom as "Classic Beauty and the Beast", i.e. stories with Vincent and Catherine (either set in the first two seasons or denialfic, specifically known as "She's Not Dead" or SND in the fandom), and S3 stories with Diana. The latter however is much less popular in fandom, both because the character death destroyed the main ship of Vincent/Catherine, but also because season 3 had only twelve episodes, so there was not time for the new configuration to grow on anyone. Also the network tried to attract the coveted "male viewer" so the tone had changed in S3 as well.

a Beauty and the Beast t-shirt, image of naked Vincent in chains and inscribed "Victim of CBS Beast Abuse". This was the art for Abode of the Beast, artist: Marilyn Cole

Characters

Ron Perlman, Vincent Wells, and a lion, the artist is Judy Ley, from Pipedreams v.2 n.5/6

Pairings

This fandom contains zero percent slash (a rarity). Almost all of the pairings are Vincent/Catherine with some Vincent/Diana.

Fandom

Fandom Topics and Discussion

Appeal of the Show

A fan in 1990 wrote: "[I like] B&B because it's a Gothic romance and a forbidden love, and these always seem more interesting to me." [3]

Another fan wrote in 1993: "First and foremost, I like it because it's the most romantic series I've ever seen on television. It's a nice change from the violence or silly wise-cracks of other shows. Another thing I like is that it refers to and quotes from literature, especially poetry. It assumes the viewer has the intelligence to appreciate the references, and not be annoyed or bored by them. One of my favorite scenes in the whole series is at the end of the first episode with Eliot Birch. When his empire has fallen down around him and they superimpose over a scene of him sitting in his office, the voice of Vincent reciting the poem Ozymandius (sp?), it is just so appropriate and symbolic. I also like the underground world, especially the character of Father. It's a nice to imagine a world where people help each other, and live by moral codes that sometimes aren't easy to find in the "real" world." [4]

"Ode to Beauty and the Beast" (1990):[5]

"Ode to Beauty and the Beast"
What has happened to the practical me.
Who accepted things sanely -- stayed as calm as could be?
I've watched others waiting for their "soap" every day.
Always thought they were foolish to care in this way.
Then into my life came Catherine and Vincent.
I fell madly in love -- like "that very instant."
Twas a love that engulfed me -- even tore me apart.
Those people are family, they live in my heart.
I've waited each week, for this one hour show.
Which came and was gone and I longed for it so.
No longer a sane one -- I've become quite obsessed.
A "B and B" follower like all of the rest.
Crisis after crisis, would there be a third season?
My desires are fanatical, they go beyond reason.
I treasure each episode, have remembered each line.
Their troubles involved me, all became mine.
Now that it's canceled, I'm constantly sad.
The show's not returning, I feel I've been had.
An optimist (usually), I have to keep hoping
For a miracle to happen, instead of first moping.
I'll settle for reruns, but I'm wishing for more.
I hope and I pray for a season's encore.
Stay well, my friends from below and above,
My life is enriched, because of your love." -- [E. E. Kerr]

From a fan in 2015:

Overall, Beauty and the Beast never found the perfect balance of its elements. It was at the mercy of constant executive meddling, frequent retools and overcorrections that never let it find and keep a consistent identity. The saving grace is that the writing staff remained mostly consistent, with the only major changes being the departures of David Peckinpah after season 1 (probably for the best, considering how he later screwed up Sliders) and Koslow after the season 3 premiere. Koslow aside, George R.R. Martin and the Gansa/Gordon duo remained the primary guiding voices throughout, so it did manage to maintain a degree of consistency despite its changes. (Including, I think, a change of venue. The first season seemed to be shot in New York for real, but the last two were made in LA. It gave it a less authentic feel.)

One thing that surprised me is how old this show felt. I don’t think of the ’80s as being that long ago, but it was nearly three decades, and the world was very different. There are no mobile phones and hardly any computers in the show. The DA’s office has some computer consoles off to the side, but no desktops, and Catherine writes her legal briefs in pencil on a yellow pad. They even have old-style phones with mechanical ringers, although they get upgraded later in the series. Many of the special effects are really dated as well. There’s gorgeous matte work by Illusion Arts and Effects Unlimited representing the tunnel world, but there are occasional some really bad-looking video chromakey mattes, and I mentioned the terrible-looking “lovemaking” montage. (But there is one cool video effect. In the second-season finale, when Vincent was losing control of himself, some of his point-of-view shots were distorted with the same kind of “howlround” effect used to create the original Doctor Who titles, resulting from the time-delayed feedback you get by pointing a video camera at its own monitor.) The rich orchestral music is also a vestige of an earlier era, albeit a far more welcome one.

[snipped]

Overall, Beauty and the Beast was a flawed show, but an intriguing one. In many ways, it was the classiest, most literate and cultured show of its era, though it had to contend with constant network pressures to be more conventional and lowbrow. It had a mostly really good cast (Linda Hamilton being the exception for me), and it was my introduction to multiple actors who went on to become SF or animation stalwarts, including Perlman, Jay, Avery, and Shimerman. (I’d heard Avery’s voice before, but never seen him in live action before this.) And it had mostly terrific production values, making it perhaps the most beautiful show of its day (which is why it really needs an HD upgrade). All in all, it was worth a revisit, even though it was a more flawed show than I remembered.[6]

A Fandom of Intense Fan Campaigns

The show suffered from a writers' strike. It also was one of the most divisive fandoms to be as fans fought a fan campaign to have a third season. After this third season became a reality, many fans were intensely angry about the change in casting and in the change in the show's tone.

This fan campaign was also pushed, at least initially, by the show's TPTB. It is very likely that these showrunners had no idea what they had ignited, and subsequently "scolded" fans for their intensity and persistence.

The Classic vs. Season 3 Split

For another example of a fandom that split over casting or production changes see the Ray Wars (Due South).

Finding examples of Season 3 character Diana Bennett is often difficult. Some fans refuse to even look at her image, which is presumably why this artist labeled the drawing "Study of Jo" after Jo Anderson, the actress who played Diana. Artist: Jamie.

When Catherine's character was written out of the show, fandom split between those who liked seasons 1 and 2 and those who liked (or at least tolerated) Season 3. Abbreviations multiplied: you were a "Classic" fan if you did not embrace the third season. You were a "S3" fan if you did. Season 3 fans would often refer to themselves as "All Seasons" fans because they felt "Third Season Fan" was misleading as it referred to a very small percentage of BATB fans: those who preferred the third season over the first two seasons.

Less positive terms for Classic fans included: 'Rabid Classic Fan', 'Militant Classic Fan', "die-hard Catherinite' and 'Nay-sayer'. Passions ran high and the level of animosity towards Season 3 stories was fierce.

Up until [season 3] things had been fine, but, when that third season came out, it became instant warfare. Instant warfare. If you dared say that you liked Diana— For example, I published an issue of a Beauty and the Beast zine after that came out, and I had a, like, three-page story which was just a Diana story? I had people send me back my flyer, which talked about this, torn to pieces. And, this didn't happen to me but it happened to Dovya, who also published a Beauty and the Beast zine at the time. She had the same situation happen, but someone—more than one person—tore the story out of the zine, ripped it up in pieces and sent it back to her. It's like, overreaction much? [7]

A zine publisher in 1989 had some challenges in sorting fans out:

While we welcome your comments on any published work of Destiny Press, we must ask you to refrain from writing your comments on the S#3 controversy to us. A fictionzine is neither an effective clearinghouse for fan opinion concerning the series, nor a useful forum for it. Yet we must have a way to code our mailing list so that those who would find even a flyer on Legend, for example, truly unwelcome, would not be sent one. There is only one practical way: Which SASE's you have on file with us will have to be sufficient indication of your preference. So due mainly to this Classic vs. S#3 factor, but partly also because of the rising costs of mass mailing flyers, we will have to limit all future zine announcements to only those who have sent an SASE for a specific publication.[8]

For much more, see Beauty and the Beast: The Classic vs. Season 3 Fandom Split.

A Fandom of Fanwork Boundaries

One of the writers was George R.R. Martin and in a 2014 interview he commented about his experience with the show:

... there were constant limitations. It wore me down. There were battles over censorship, how sexual things could be, whether a scene was too "politically charged," how violent things could be. Don't want to disturb anyone. We got into that fight on Beauty and the Beast. The Beast killed people. That was the point of the character. He was a beast. But CBS didn't want blood, or for the beast to kill people. They wanted us to show him picking up someone and throwing them across the room, and then they would get up and run away. Oh, my God, horrible monster! [Laughs] It was ludicrous. The character had to remain likable.[9]

In many ways, fanworks tend to be as safe and risk-adverse as the canon was. An almost complete lack of alternate sexualities and, aside from many fans' aversion to the character of Diana and the entire third season, there is a tendency for fans to be very well-behaved in their treatment of characters. Darkfic is light on the ground.

Even het stories that push the traditional romance narrative have not been well received by the fandom. (See the Black Cover fanzine). Likewise, stories that challenge the reality of the show have disturbed and upset readers For more, see The Bridge, published in Kaleidoscope #1. It is a story that presents Vincent and the Tunnels below as a hallucination that Catherine creates in order to cope with the trauma of her assault. A copy can be found here. The author discusses fans reactions to her story, which included accusations that she "destroyed the dream" in Winterfest Interview with Cynthia Hatch.

Majority Het & Gen

cover of the zine, Classic Beauty and the Beast

BATB is an almost exclusively a Het and Gen fandom. Because the TV show was firmly rooted in traditional romance storylines, fan fiction has been and remains primarily gen and het. The main pairing, far and away, is Vincent/Catherine.

Very, Very, Very Little Slash

A very, very small smattering of slash stories have been written, most of it in online multi-fandom archives. The fact that no slash appears in any of the Beauty and the Beast fan fiction archives or fanzines might indicate that the fandom was - and is - not receptive to slash fiction or slash writers.

Others have said that it is not that the fandom is not receptive to slash fiction, but rather that few fans want to read (or write) about non-canon pairings of any sort, given the strong character relationships in the show. The controversy over Vincent/Diana third season pairing stories lends this argument some weight. This fandom's receptiveness to slash was contradicted by a fan in 2014:

If there's anything I've learned in this fandom after nearly 20 years, it's that EVERY person in it has a slightly different "take" on B&B, coming from their own perspective as influenced by their gender, age, religious upbringing (or lack of one), politics, analysis of the show, view of the world, etc. There is much that many can agree about, but nearly nothing that we ALL agree about (and I'm not even talking about Classic/3S - I'm talking elemental things like who is the most important character to each fan, what part of B&B is the most appealing to the person, etc.). So...that said...I suggest that, as a writer, you should not struggle too hard with what you think would please other fans, with what's "allowable" or "right." Broadly, yes, there are some things it's probably not beneficial to write (we have very, very little slash in our fanfic, for instance, and I think that reflects the tastes of the overwhelming majority of our writers over the years, and probably of our readers too). But there's little that could be written that wouldn't appeal to some fans, even if not all fans. So my suggestion is to write what strikes you, what moves you - write to please yourself. If others like it, that's super! If not a whole lot of others like it...well, there's that individual perspective thing! [10]

A fan in 2006 described her dislike of slash fiction in other fandoms, stating it changed the relationship she saw on the screen, and in her head, to something she did not recognize. She then equated a same-sex relationship between two characters to the one between Catherine Chandler and Vincent Wells:

I adored [Beauty and the Beast] and was involved in the fandom, and read and wrote an exhausting amount of fan fic in that fandom, and many of the stories produced in that fandom finally broke that barrier and had Vincent and Catherine having sex. LOTS of them were first time stories and how they overcame the obstacles and what it all meant, considering that no one, even Vincent, was quite sure what he WAS. So in some ways it was like crossing the societal line and having two men have sex. Taboos and the like, I mean. Could Catherine justify having sex with a creature that might or might not be human? Could they have sex at all? Was he, well, built like men or was he something else? Etc. and so forth. And I was guilty of writing some of those stories myself. It WAS fascinating, and that's why I can see why people are interested in exploring similar themes in [in other fandoms] even if it isn't my cuppa tea. But in that fandom, too, after awhile, I realized I didn't like those stories as much as the ones where they didn't have sex and never had. Once they were a couple, also, that bond changed and you couldn't go back to the way it was before and it just lost something for me. [11]

Some examples of Beauty and the Beast slash fiction:

The Family Channel Controversies

See Beauty and the Beast and The Family Channel Controversies for more on censorship, editing, and moral decisions imposed upon the show in syndication.

The Starlog Coverage Controversy

The show did not get boosted for several years in the for-profit zine, Starlog, due to a falling out between CBS-TPTB and the editors of that zine about their coverage of Max Headroom. When a fan in June 1990 asked Starlog why the magazine did not have more coverage of "Beauty and the Beast," the editor of "Starlog" wrote:

The scarcity of "Beauty & the Beast" articles for a while was due to the type of uncooperative publicists who deep-sixed our Max Headroom coverage some years back. Cooperation was slow in coming because "Why should STARLOG do any more articles on 'Beauty & the Beast'? Hasn't your magazine done enough?" In semi-patient frustration, we waited out this attitude -- eventually by landing interviews with Tony Jay (#148), Jay Acovone (#152), Edward Albert (#153), and Ron Koslow (#154). [13]

The Topic of Persons of Color

From a fan in 1988:

My, wasn't that a depressing season opener? Yet another pair of black people bite the dust. I hope we see Rolli again under better circumstances. [14]

From a fan in 1991:

I wanted to deal with prejudism [sic] -- I had always felt that B&B glossed over that social evil too blithely. People screamed when they first saw Vincent, but nine times out of ten they were shown in the very next scene accepting him totally and completely. [...] B&B did not actually fully explore all the ramifications of prejudice... [15]

Comments in 1993 by George R.R. Martin, one of the show's writers:

Characters get killed off on a television show for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is dictated strictly by the storyline. That was the case with Cleon Manning. We were building the arc, getting Elliott in more and more trouble, taking away all his resources, his money, his empire. Building the jeopardy. Manning’s death was another way to screw up the tension. It had nothing to do with the actor, who was great, and it CERTAINLY had nothing to do with the character being black. Sometimes characters are killed -- or otherwise written out -- because of the actors who portray them, the death of Catherine Chandler being the obvious and notorious example. Catherine was killed because Linda insisted on leaving the show. Edie was another case partially along these lines. Ren Woods was simply not happy with her part, as it existed. She kept telling us she was tired of sitting at the computer and giving all the exposition on Cathy’s cases, the “shoe leather” as we called it. Well, the character she played had been created to do precisely that -- it was an economical way to get that necessary plot-advancing shoe leather across without having to have Cathy do it all herself.

[...]

One thing fans never take into account is the economics of television production. The economics of time and the economics of money. You only have so many scenes each week, and you only have so much money to pay your actors. The fans who are so vocal about how we should have kept Edie should realize that, if Ren had stayed with the show, there would have been less screen time for Jay Acovone [who portrayed Joe Maxwell], and less money to develop new recurring characters like Mouse, Pascal, and William.

[...]

Winslow was killed because Alex and Howard wanted a “significant death” for their quest script. All quests have a significant death, they argued. I argued against it -- I had invented the Winslow character, and I’d loved James Avery’s portrayal of him -- but I lost. It so happened that James Avery demanded a big raise just about the time this argument was taking place (unbeknownst to him), which may have sealed his fate. Incidentally, if Winslow had not been killed, Pascal probably would have been. It was _that_ close.

Isaac Stubbs was never killed and/or deliberately written out. We simply did not have any stories to tell that included him, but we kept trying. As late as the end of the second season, we still had a script in development that featured Isaac as the major guest star, but we could never quite make it work.

None of these characters was killed because they were black, and to suggest that this was the case was ludicrous. We were constantly trying to add new minority characters. Cleon Manning was a late second season addition. Rita Escobar, the young Hispanic woman in the DA’s office who worked with Cathy in some second season episodes like “Bluebird” and “Ashes, Ashes,” was actually portrayed by a young black actress. In the final episodes of the third season, when Joe Maxwell became D.A., we gave him a black secretary who we planned to build.

Again, though, you have only so much screen time and so much money, and you need to make hard choices.[16]

Fan Access to TPTB

See more at Beauty and the Beast Fans and TPTB.

The show's fans personally interacted with the actors and show runners in a variety ways. While this is not unique to this fandom, the amount and intensity of these relationships and expectations were especially strong.

Some examples of these interactions were attending cons, attending theatrical events that the actors appeared in, being present at celebrity appearances [17], touring the show set, and conducting interviews.

One fan's good fortune (and ability to leverage power) however, could lead to resentment among fellow fans. One newsletter editor in 1989 describes in great detail her personal tour of the set, and the dynamics she experienced:

We had been pledged to secrecy about our visit (since the set was indeed supposed to be “closed”). This turned into a test of intestinal fortitude while attending a con a couple of days before. Some of my friend's “friends” at the VQT (Viewers for Quality Television) convention had themselves been denied entry to the studio the previous week. They became suspicious, and then resentful, when it was realized that both Sheila and I were staying over after the con. They had put two and two together …and realized she hadn't added them into the equation. With that, things turned unbelievably sadistic. They told [Sheila] of a rumor circulating the fandom that she had been “stalking Ron Perlman while he had been back home in NYC.” She insisted it wasn't true – but was troubled that Ron might have heard and believed it. The thought of it ruined her weekend and made her more than a little trepidacious at meeting the man again. This, as I was to discover, was what the whole charade was designed to do. I will never forget the smiling glee displayed literally behind my friend's back as one of these women was supposedly attempting to comfort her. It's not comfortable for me to admit how shocked and ill-equipped witnessing this act of betrayal made me feel. [18]

Fandom Focus on Sponsors and The Nielsen Ratings

Fans of the show were intensely aware of the power of ratings, of viewership, and the reality of cold, hard numbers and how these things affected the viability and content of their show.

There was MUCH discussion regarding The Nielsen Ratings, and what they felt to be more accurate measurement of popularity, the Viewers for Quality Television.

See more at Beauty and the Beast Fandom and The Nielsen Ratings.

Vincent: The Perfect Man

... Vincent. Need I say more? Such a moving, soulful, sensitive, caring, character — Ron Perlman has made a legendary, mythic, and archetypal being live and breathe for us every week, so much so that, while I marvel at his skill and depth of his acting, I absolutely believe in Vincent as a reality. He's the perfect man! And if I hear one more journalist describe him as "the deformed man/beast" I am going to scream! Where are your eyes? Vincent is the most gorgeous man I've ever seen! Wouldn't you just love to play with that hair? Wouldn't you just love to be the recipient of one of those sumptuous hugs? Wouldn't you love to hear that voice whispering your name? [19]

A lot oh the articles about B&B that I've seen wonder why Vincent is so appealing to women, and end up concluding it's some deep, dark Freudian reason having something to do with the female equivalent oh the Oedipus complex. Phooey. In my book, romance and pure adoration do not equate to unfulfilled prepubescent sexual longings, and besides, I'm pretty sure I don't even have any oh the latter. Who wouldn't fall for a dude with a build like that, a penchant for wearing Terminally Romantic Shirts, and a voice oh that timbre reading Shakespearean sonnets? Get real. The whole thing looks pretty obvious to me. But then I'm still trying to figure out why anyone with more than two connected brain cells would want to have anything to do with Bruce Willis. [20]

Vincent’s sex appeal was the talk of the town when the show premiered, and it’s not hard to see why: he’s a furry Fabio, a leonine Lord Byron, a hunky guy with the wardrobe of a medieval prince and the hair of Jon Bon Jovi. He reads poetry for fun. He gives his devotion freely and completely and asks for nothing in return. In an era in which romance had perhaps become mundane, even perfunctory, Vincent was demonstrative, attentive and overt in his affections – a knight in shining armour who scales buildings in the name of love. He is the melding of the mythic and the mortal, the non-toxic ne plus ultra of masculinity. He is basically the physical embodiment of those Ryan Gosling ‘hey girl, I respect you’ memes. In other words, he’s kind of the Ideal Man.

Yes, he’s unrealistically perfect, but that kind of wish fulfilment is the axis on which this series turns – his ability to sense Catherine’s feelings and emotions without having to be told is arguably the most fantastical element in a show that features hot lion-men and sympathetic capitalists. He is quite literally attuned to her every need, and so one of the most complicated and essential aspects of a relationship – communication – is never really a struggle for them. Though he comes in beastly trappings kitted out with medieval notions of chivalry, the real fantasy of Vincent is that he is a man who truly sees Catherine for who she is, listens to her intently, respects her deeply, and always has time for her. The fairy tale of the show is building an emotionally-mature relationship with a person who loves and respects you. But mixed in with that is the impossibility of such a person existing in real life. Vincent’s love is unconditional and indelible and, in many ways, his unerring devotion is unattainable to mere mortals, as Linda Hamilton attests: part of his appeal stems from the fact that he isn’t constrained by the mundanity of modern life’s demands. Vincent is the fabulously-coiffed, anti-capitalist magical stud-muffin you can only find Fridays at 8pm on CBS. [21]

Vincent: The Beast

Vincent: Man? Or Beast?

See more of this topic at Vincent: More Beast or More Human? and Vincent: The Beast.

With respect to Vincent and Catherine's intimacy, I don't think we're dealing with an ethical issue as much as we are a term. Vincent is called a beast but he is not: a) an inferior animal, as opposed to man, b) a four-footed animal, especially if wild, c) a person of brutal nature or dirty habits. Nor is a person a beast because he resembles something less than human. Burn victims, fetuses are as human as any other human. On the other hand, anyone wanting to tie the knot with the likes of Freddy Kruger, be my guest. But refer back to definition "c" first. As the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone. So a stance against bestiality in the strict biblical sense simply is not relevant. There is no cut and dried right or wrong here. There are no rules or laws that apply, because Vincent is the only one.

And this story, we must keep in mind, is a fantasy. Make believe. In mythology, gods marry people, toads become princes. A reluctant vampire could fall in love in prime time without the censors going berserk; or a ghost or a mermaid or a fairy could, because we have no terms to condemn them. Even Star Trek's Captain Kirk, they say, was "married to his ship". So what would we accuse him of? Metallurgy?

If bestiality is the issue, then Catherine has already overstepped the bounds. She is in love with Vincent, she has wished she could marry him (in "China Moon"), she dreamt of kissing him, and she prefers him above all others. If we were going to be offended, surely we would have been by now. [22]

The Term: "Beasting-Out"

See more at Beasting-Out. The term "beasting-out" refers to Vincent Wells in full-on rage, becoming more beast than man, and acting in an uncontrollable way.

They can't improve it, and I think what they're going to do is try to "broaden the audience" by going back to a sort of INCREDIBLE BEAST type of thing, with Vincent "beasting out" three times an episode... [23]

One of the interesting aspects of this discussion is how MUCH do we want Vincent to be a beast? Let me resurrect the hypothetical "ruler" again. Some readers like the idea that Vincent is about as bestial as can be; they like to see him "beast-out." That's one end of the scale. Others have expressed a clear and definite preference that Vincent is truly 100% human -- he just "looks funny." [24]

Does Vincent Have a Tail?

See more of this topic at The Great Tail Debate.

I admit to having a problem with the tail, but I just don't dwell on that part! [25]

And I wasn't the least bit offended by the furry appendage. [26]

The only part I didn't like was about the tail. I don't believe he has a tail. If he did, that would take away from his human side completely, making him mostly beast, therefore the hope of C&V's dream would be destroyed.[27]

The Feline Vincent

See more at The Feline Vincent.

I received your new story yesterday and immediately sat down and read it ... I cringed a little at the descriptions of Vincent's feline behavior, but I think it's very plausible as how Vincent's beastial behavior would manifest itself. It draws intense emotion from the reader which is the best thing about a good story. [28]

Fan Activities

Zines

cover of the zine, All That Lights Upon Us

The Beauty and the Beast fanzine tradition was shaped by fans entering the community form other media fandoms:

".....a lot of the early Beauty and the Beast fanzine editors had come from other fandoms. And, there were a lot of brand new people in that fandom as well. This was their first fandom, this was the first time doing a zine, but they were still building on what had been established by other zine editors. I think some of the earliest Beauty and the Beast zines were from people from other fandoms. New people came in, took that as their model, and ran with it."[29]

Fanworks in the Beauty and the Beast fandom are almost one hundred percent het (much of it erotic, explicit and otherwise) and primarily Vincent/Catherine, with some Vincent/Diana, and its fanzines reflect these two pairings.

In 1989, several zine publishers started a project meant to assist sight-impaired fans. See The Eyes of Beauty Project.

One fan recalls on print zines:

I think BatB was one of the last primarily dead-tree fandoms. The internet was just getting started, and a few of us found online discussion groups or bulletin boards, but most of the fic was in print zines. X-Files fandom was just getting started, and that was the big crossover—there were a fair number of print zines, but the majority of XF fic was published online.

Back then, zines usually debuted at conventions, either the BatB cons themselves or MediaWest and Shore Leave and other multi-fandom cons. I will never forget the crazed horde that descended on the dealers’ room at the first Tunnelcon, which was in 1990, before most people had access to the internet. The convention was small, not even 500 people, I think, but holy shit. People were standing about five deep at every single table in the room for the first twenty minutes and cash was changing hands faster than you could spit.

We could hear the noise of the crowd before they opened the doors, and our table was all the way across the room from the entrance. It was the first fandom experience for a lot of us, and there were a lot of nervous looks flying around when the doors opened and everybody piled in. (I kinda know how Ron Perlman felt at South of Oz when the entire audience, as one, leaned forward in their seats when he first came on stage. He actually took a step back.)

One big difference with print zines is that there were a lot less abandoned WIPs. Editors sometimes published sequels over several issues, but usually even the long fic was complete in one issue, so we didn’t have to wait for updates and got to read the entire story in one go.

We wrote for love, but we didn’t write for free. Contributors usually got free copies of the zine their work appeared in, but paper and printing and half-tone images and cover stock and COMB BINDING oh dear Lord, all came out of the editors’ pockets, so we charged anywhere from $10 to $25 per zine, depending on how many pages we had to print and how much art there was. I always had a lot of art in my zines, but there were editors who stuck mostly to text because that kept their cost down. There were a couple that went for closer to $30, but they were close to 200 pages and art-heavy.

The down side of print zines was that even if the stories were complete, you still had to wait for new zines to come out. We were a pretty prolific fandom, but several months between issues was the norm, and sometimes it took a year. So conventions would come around and we’d buy as many zines as we could afford (or trade other publishers for).

A lot of people rationed the stories out, but I wasn’t usually good with that, so most of the stuff I bought, I ended up reading at the conventions or on the plane home. It wasn’t uncommon to see about lots of people in your field of view reading one zine or another in the lulls between con events. Most of us only got to talk to each other at cons, though, so there was a lot of socializing and catching up. Which, naturally, included a lot of, “Have you read X yet?!?!?!” kind of flailing and squeeing.

I never did get to a MediaWest, which was a multifandom con with a FRICKIN HUGE dealer’s room. People would save up all year for that one.

So the Olden Days was often feast or famine for fic, and you either had a whole lot at once or none for months most of the time.[30]

Zine Library

In 2011, during the relaunch of the Crystal Rose Lending Library, a fanzine lending library, the new librarians JoAnna Becca and Carol W attempted to identify the first Beauty and the Beast fanzine: "...but the answer wasn't clear-cut. Several zines were published in 1988, some with the month noted, most without. It was impossible to ascertain which zine was the absolute first."

Instead they suggested fans start with a series of the earliest fanzines, all published in 1988.[31]

Go here for a list of Beauty and the Beast fanzines on Fanlore (for a complete list see Category:Beauty and the Beast Zines. For other Beauty and the Beast fanzine listings see the Qfer, The Beauty & the Beast Buyer's Guide to Fanzines and The Beauty & the Beast Fictionzine Database.

Fan-Created and/or Marketed Merchandise

See Fandom and Profit.

This fandom was unique in the amount of fan-created and/or merchandise produced and sold. Beauty and the Beast fans created, and had the option to buy a vast variety of fan-created goods: candles, small stained glass windows, t-shirts, book bags, fannish dolls, rubber stamps, belt buckles, paper weights, buttons, letter openers, needlepoint pillows, and jewelry are just some examples.

It may be that the amount of fan-created merchandise that Beauty and the Beast fandom has led to so many restrictions by fans themselves against sharing and preserving BatB fanworks. While these restrictions were typical of the late 1980s (when the fandom first sprang into existence), BatB never moved towards the more free form communication methods typical of fandoms that are more rooted in the Internet era. For example, few BatB fans took part of the blogging migration in the 2000s and none have moved to tumblr in the 2010s. Both platforms are open to the public, do not require any vetting or screening in order to participate, and in the case of tumblr, the platforms encourage reblogging and sharing of content. Even when all commercial motivations are absent, both vetting and permission are required. For example, fandom history preservation may only be done with the permission of the original fans.[32]

In 2009, an attempt to create an online museum showcasing Beauty and the Beast memorabilia was met with resistance by some established members of the fandom. The 5-year long dispute is documented at the The Treasure Chambers Museum.

"October 30, 2009: The WFOL Candlemakers sent a letter to the Project members, expressing "concerns" and committed to their "concept" of a "museum" (the BBMD). They also claimed a right to use the term "museum" and any work done on one. They asked, in patronizing language, for a cease and desist of all work on the Project's museum site, then displaying 182 items, until it could be discussed."[33]

It is not surprising that this has led some fans to remark:

I find the Beauty and the Beast fandom, along with Darkover, and those old-school, original Trek offshoot universes to be mind-blowing in the level of control and rules. They fly in the face of what I envision fandom -- sharing, and flying, having conversations via creations, and thumbing ones' nose at dictatorships. [34]

Not all restrictions were by fans. In early 1991, the fandom was hit by some cease and desist letters from the show's creators, "Republic Pictures." See The Beauty and the Beast Cease and Desist Letters.

Sample Fan Created Merchandise

Awards

In the early 1990s, the fandom offered annual awards to fanzine writers, artists and publishers: Beauty and the Beast Fan Quality Awards. Voting was open to all of fandom and the awards were announced at various conventions. It is unclear whether awards are still being offered for either print or online fiction.

Conventions

See Beauty and the Beast Convention History and List of Beauty and the Beast Conventions
flyer for Distant Shore II convention held in Los Angeles, CA (2000)

Numerous conventions have been held over the years, both commercial and fan-organized. The first commercial convention was held June 18, 1988 in Los Angeles, with Ron Perlman and David Schwartz as guests of honor. [35] See photos and extracts from Perlman's Q & A here.

The first fan-run convention was TunnelCon held in 1990 in Las Vegas, NV.

In 2007, the fandom celebrated its 20th anniversary of the TV show at A Without Limits, a convention held in Culver City, CA (convention splashscreen is archived here). A convention was held held in 2010 in San Diego, CA and a promotional video was created to advertise the convention.[36]

The 2011 convention was held in New Orleans and on the 25th anniversary of the show, the 2012 convention will be held in Dallas, Texas with a proposed mirror convention held in the UK.

General Convention Info:

Ad for 2010 B&B Convention

Individual Conventions:

Creation Cons:

  • Creation's "very first" B&B convention: August 19-20, 1989 in San Jose, CA. Guests: Roy Dotrice, Howard Gordon (and 850 fans)
  • other cons, including Creation Cons are here

Annual Winterfest

Winterfest

Every year, fans still gather virtually to celebrate a week long "Winterfest" (a holiday celebrated on the show by the dwellers who lived beneath New York City).The site is offered in 4 languages.[38] During the festival, art and fan fiction is shared. It is organized by the Wintercandlemakers Committee, a group of fans made up of members from across the world.[39]

"The world above us is cold and gray; summer, a distant memory. Our world too has known its winters, so each year we begin this feast in darkness, as our world began in darkness.
Long before the city above us raised its towers to the sky, men sought shelter in these caverns. In those days these tunnels were dark places, and those who dwelt here dwelt in fear and isolation.
This was a land of lost hope, of twisted dreams, a land of despair, where the sounds of footsteps coming down a tunnel were the sounds of terror. Where men reached for knives and rocks and worse at the sound of other men's voices.
At last a few people learned to put aside their fear. And we began to trust each other, to help each other. Each of us grew stronger - those who took the help and those who gave it.
We are all part of one another: one family, one community. Sometimes we forget this, and so we meet here each year to give thanks to those who have helped us and to remember:
Even the greatest darkness is nothing, so long as we share the light. (Opening Words of Winterfest)[40]

Archives of previous Winterfests (2004-2008) can be found here

A fan remembers a live Winterfest ceremony: "It's great to read the words to the Winterfest opening again. I was a member of a local BatB fan club, and once attended a Winferfest celebration (I think they were held in January, after the usual Holiday parties were done with.) We all stood in a circle with the lights off, everyone with a candle. The words were spoken by the club leader, and as she went on, candle flames were passed from person to person, until by the end of the reading everone had a lit candle, and the room wasn't dark anymore. Very poetic and a great way to lead into the main business of the night-- the potluck dinner!" -- added 9-25-20.

Fan Clubs

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

For more examples, see List of Beauty and the Beast Fan Clubs.

Fanfiction

Fan Art

Fan Videos

Beauty and the Beast fanvids on videocassette, originally sold to raise funds for a charity

Like many fandoms of the 1990s, "Beauty and the Beast" has a music video community. However, like the rest of this fandom, their video creators rarely interact with the rest of media fandom and little is known about their works or video traditions.

These fanworks were generally not referred to as songvids or vids, as they were in other fandoms, but instead simply "music videos."

Fan videos have been a main feature the annual fan-run conventions for decades. Some Creation Cons also showed fan-made videos, some of them possibly without permission. See Creation Con Vid Shows and Contests.

More recent vidders showcase their videos on YouTube or their own websites.

See List of Beauty and the Beast Early Songvids.

A few examples of early VCR videos:

[The episode] No Way Down was the background for the first music video I ever made to the song 'Somewhere Out There'. It was the only episode used, and as a novice I did have a few "glitches" but still it was one of my best achievements. One of these days I hope to do more, but with the quality of music videos out there, and the fact that I only have consumer machines (not the fancy jog-shuttle- editing type) I can not match this quality no matter how good the idea is. It was good to see them replay 'My Boyfriend's Back' from South of Oz at TunnelCon III. [41]

At a 1990 convention in New York featuring actor Ron Perlman:

Before Ron came onstage, three very romantic, Vincent and Catherine music videos were presented —"Waiting for You" by Richard Marx & "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler, compiled by Kim Taylor, and "After All" by Peter Cetera & Cher, compiled by a Creation employee — which Ron watched from the back of the room. He then came to the front of the ballroom, dressed completely in black—as he quite often is! [42]

At the same event other fans wrote:

The music videos, particularly those by Kim Taylor, moved many during the several showings throughout the convention. I found myself unexpectedly sobbing during " Wind Beneath my Wings." I realized anew then,as I commented to a friend that nothing — NOTHING —can stand before the incredible power of the love of Vincent and Catherine. The events of Season Three are the merest forgettable shadows in the presence f that eternal bond. They have no power whatsoever."[43]

Because of the space problems, we were not able to do as much alternate programming as I would have liked (no panels, etc.),but we did have a video room at night, complete with an orgy of music-video-watching! Kim Taylor's versions of "Hungry Eyes", "29th Sonnet", and "Uptown Girl" and (my favorite) "Right Here, Waiting For You" were fantastic.[44]

Meta/Further Reading

Online

Beauty and the Beast fan interactions originally began offline and fannish activities and fan fiction were circulated in fanzines and newsletters. Gatherings were in person at conventions or via local fan clubs. Some of the activity has been archived online (see below). As fans moved into the Internet in the early 1990s, there was a gradual shift to online interactions; however fanzines and conventions continue to be produced up to the present. Some fan clubs are still active.

Snapshot of CABB
Screenshot of Chandler's B&B website

Websites:

Mailing lists

Entrance To BBTV Yahoo Mailing List by Sandy Chandler

Livejournal Communities

Other Resources

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

References

  1. ^ Bluebird Bulletin Board Archives.
  2. ^ reference link.
  3. ^ from an artist's bio in Forever and Always #2 (1990)
  4. ^ a comment by Betty in September 1993, from Of Love and Hope v.1 n.1
  5. ^ printed in Sherwood Tunnels #5, author is Elise E. Kerr
  6. ^ Revisiting the 1987 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TV series (spoilers) by Christopher L. Bennett: Written Worlds, Archived version, June 20, 2015
  7. ^ Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with CatalenaMara (accessed November 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "A Note to Readers" in Destiny #2
  9. ^ 'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview, Archived version April 23, 2014
  10. ^ from BBTV Tunnels Yahoo Mailing List (November 10, 2014)
  11. ^ from The Pits Mailing List, quoted anonymously (Oct 19, 2006)
  12. ^ WayBack Archive link to The Complete Kingdom of Slash.
  13. ^ from Starlog #154
  14. ^ from [Once Upon a Time... Is Now]] #6 (December 1988)
  15. ^ from a fan in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #30 (March 1991)
  16. ^ GRRM Discussion Posts 1993 to 1995 (Wed Mar 17, 1993)
  17. ^ Pipleline (September 1989)
  18. ^ from Pipeline (September 1989), see Pipeline
  19. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #1 (1988)
  20. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #1 (1988)
  21. ^ Once Upon a Time is Now: Looking Back at Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990) (2019)
  22. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #6 (1988)
  23. ^ from Passages #18 (August 1989)
  24. ^ from Tunneltalk (December 1990)
  25. ^ from Intertwined #4 (1990)
  26. ^ from Intertwined #4 (1990)
  27. ^ from Intertwined #4 (1990)
  28. ^ from Intertwined #4 (1990)
  29. ^ Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with CatalenaMara (accessed November 4, 2013.
  30. ^ Tumblr post by obsessionisaperfume, January 26, 2015
  31. ^ The Crystal Rose Lending Library: Open once again!, accessed October 1, 2011.
  32. ^ To achieve this goal some fandom members have set up a Lost Writers page and a Convention History page.As of 2014, all writers names have been removed and active outreach seems to have been put on hold.
  33. ^ About the TC Museum, Archived version
  34. ^ Anonymous email sent to Morgan Dawn on Sept 24, 2015, quoted with permission.
  35. ^ First Beauty and the Beast Convention
  36. ^ Promo vid for the 2010 Beauty and the Beast convention
  37. ^ Beauty and the Beast Convention History WebCite, accessed Feb 2, 2011.
  38. ^ Entry to the Winterfest Great Hall website.
  39. ^ 2009 Winterfest FAQ.
  40. ^ Opening Words of Winterfest.
  41. ^ From Of Love and Hope Vol 1 (1994).
  42. ^ Tunneltalk v.1 n.9 (1990)
  43. ^ Tunneltalk v.2 n.3 (1991)
  44. ^ Tunneltalk v.2 n.3 (1991)