Chatterbox

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You may be looking for the Leonard Nimoy newsletter Chatter Boxes.

Zine
Title: Chatterbox (ChatterBox)
Publisher: Ritoma Productions, out of South Wales, Great Britain
Editor(s): Rita Davies and Gwen Lord
Type: letterzine
Date(s): April 1993-
Frequency:
Medium: print
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
External Links:
cover of an unknown 1993 issue, art by Su Abbott
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Chatterbox (also "ChatterBox") is a het and gen letterzine. It is subtitled "A Beauty and the Beast Letterzine."

The editors state: "We reserve the right to edit when necessary." [1]

There was published 6 times a year until 1998, then 4 times a year.

By the end of the first year, the letterzine had 123 subscribers.

Some Regular Features

  • sending a virtual bouquet (a short description) of flowers to fans in need of encouragement and/or thanking
  • Mary Page's charming descriptions of the herring gulls in her yard in Wales
  • chatty descriptions of the fan group, Garnet Cavern's, travel jaunts and adventures

Descriptions

The publisher wrote: "It is a fun zine and I can promise you a great read."

From the publisher's website:
Chatterbox is an A5 size zine. It's [sic] function is for members to comment on one anothers [sic] likes and dislikes of the episodes of B&B and to chatter about everyday things. We have a special feature each month about The Garnet Cavern one of the rare Caverns to still be productive. We have a colour cover by leading artists. And room permiting [sic] we will include a story. [2]
The letterzine also published a 1994 fan merchandise-for-purchase catalog.

Controversies

Issues in mid-1995 contained pointed remarks by at least one fan that other fans took as evidence of fanning rifts and divisions among fans about access, power, and fandom direction. This fan had also submitted a poem for publication that was revealed to have been done without the author's permission.

These divisions were complicated by fan feelings about the show's third season, as well as the split between two major fan clubs, Helper's Network UK ("H.N.U.K.") and Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber ("UK Chamber"). In August 1995, the editor addressed this conflict and apologized, saying she supported both clubs, and would not continue to print letters she felt were personal attacks. The August 1995 issue also contained a long open letter by Alison Whelan (chair of "Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber") which addressed fan support, or lack of it, regarding these comments.

The Famously Rumored Movie

Letterzines and many other venues of fan communication in this fandom had many, many references to, and hopes for, a Beauty and the Beast film, either on television or as a theatrical film.

There were many rumors and speculation that fans navigated regarding what many referred to as "our movie."

See The Rumored Koslow Beauty and the Beast Movie.

The Relaunch

The letterzine was first published in 1993; the February 1999 issue said the letterzine would be four times a year going forward. It's possible instead, that at that time, the letterzine went on hiatus. A relaunch occurred in 2001.

From the publisher's relaunch announcement:
When this Letterzine was conceived and born way back in 1993, it captured the very essence of Beauty and the Beast, giving fans worldwide a forum to talk about B&B. As the years passed Chatterbox continued to grow and develop. Now in 2001, Chatterbox has come of age as a top quality and very professional digest spiral-bound magazine. The new no.1 was launched in January this year with 58 pages full of letters, poetry, sightings, articles, episode reviews, word-search, items for sale, conventions... the list is endless. All this on beautiful 100gm parchment paper - I have been told this will be a special - each Valentine's issue. The June, September, December issues will be done on brilliant white satin 100gm/120gm paper. Each issue will be 50 plus pages. The June issue will be delight full of photos etc. [3]

1993 (1)

Chatterbox was published in April 1993.

The front cover is by Barbara Gipson and is a symbolic portrait of Vincent, and the centre page art is a medieval picture of Catherine seated on a while horse with Vincent standing at her side.

1993 (2)

Chatterbox was published in June 1993. The front cover is by Barbara Gipson.

1993 (3)

Chatterbox was published in August 1993

1993 (4)

Chatterbox was published in October 1993

1993 (5)

Chatterbox was published in December 1993.

February 1994 (6)

Chatterbox was published in February 1994 and contains 36 pages.

cover of February 1994
centerfold in February 1994, Pam Tuck
  • a short review of Only with Love #2, see that page
  • Catherine, poem by Ian Ridsdale

ub

February 1994 (6): Letter Excerpts

For Christmas my husband bought me a Vincent doll. When our family was gathered at my son's house opening presents, the whole room became quiet as I drew him from the packing material. They all said that the look on my face reflected the the meaning of gift giving.

"My Vincent" was lovingly handmade by Kerin Houseburg, a very avid Beauty and the Beast fan and an extremely talented artist. The hand-can/ed face with it's glistening blue eyes, beard-stubbed cheeks and chin and furred leathery-tipped nose is truly remarkable. And his wild tawny mane is very authentic looking. His lightly furred, claw-tipped hands are also hand carved wood.

Kerin has painstakingly reproduced Vincent's clothing from his black wool one-sleeved cloak, sweater vest, buckled leather belt, navy corduroy knee-patched pants, and furred boots down to the minute detail of the leather pouch around his neck. And yes, I looked inside the pouch and what did I find ~ a tiny ivory rose.

Vincent and I are now anxiously waiting for Kerin to create "Our Catherine". She will be wearing the dress from "Masques".

I would highly recommend investing in these magnificent creations by Kerin Houseburg.
Father is my favourite character (after Vincent). Maybe because of Roy's brilliant acting; maybe because Roy is such a wonderfully warm and witty man in real life; or maybe because I grew up without a father of my own, and often longed for someone like Jacob Wells to "be there" for me. Whatever my reasons, I think he's wonderful, and I hope he knows how much happiness his personal cards and cards bring to us, his admirers.
I have read various accounts in my fanzines about [the Tunnel] bathroom facilities, but would they realistically work? This one really has me stumped. I reckon I could endure all the hardships of living below, except this. Anyone got an answer? It really doesn't matter of course but it's certainly intriguing to think about it. I'll be watching for some ingenious 'Mouse-like' solutions.

I went home after school [where I teach] one day last week and waiting for me where the three VCR tapes of the Texas Convention. I really loved them, they are the best tapes of a Convention I have seen yet. They included everything instead of just clips of everything. So I get to see my son and I in a lot of the clips. My son, Dale, is in it as "Mouse" in the costume contests and receiving his award from Edward Albert. Also Dale and I playing "Beast Bingo". There are almost ten to fifteen minutes of Roy's question and answer time talking about my classes' drug project. He even read one of the children's letters from the booklet from my class last year. Is that unbelievable or what.

Then I got home another day after school that same week and I had a package from ARMIN SHIMERMAN. He sent five autographed photos and a very nice letter. I had given up on ever getting anything else from any of the stars this year. He had two pictures of himself as Pascal and three of himself as Quark.

[...]

Then as if that was not enough excitement when I home from school another night that same week, I had a card from Roy. If you join the British Roy Dotrice Fan Club, they send your birthday card to Roy and he writes on them and they send them to you. Isn't that neat. I really loved it. I am going to write to him and see if he might still respond to our class. I hope he will.
I want to really stress that if you have never gone to a convention you just really do not know what you are missing. This convention stuff has got to be the most incredible thing that I have every been involved with. I live, breath, and eat to go to these conventions every year. You really need to go to one of these every year to get revitalized again since the show is no longer on the air. I cannot say enough good things about these conventions. The friendship is just unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it in my life, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I have never been so excited to get home to check the mailbox as when I started getting involved with B&B It is just really truly something you have to be involved with to truly understand the warmth and friendships that are being developed all over the world!!
"Beauty and the Beast" - how can you explain to non-fans how much it means to us? People think we are crazy! Who cares? It changed my life for the good, and to have so many friends now. I'd like to think that I am a better person now for knowing Vincent - more tolerant, caring and loving. Looking at everything differently is another symptom of fandom too, isn't it? To see beauty in all things is calming and satisfying, don't you think? Before "Beauty and the Beast" it seemed to be all work my life was made up of. Nothing has changed in that I still have loads of work, but now I make time for my interests. I write stories, poetry and countless letters, and enjoy artwork, this re-awakening of old skills I thought I'd lost since childhood. I really enjoy sharing my penmanship with those that understand my feelings and appreciate my amateur efforts. Whenever I like I can lose myself in the Tunnels - never a day goes by when I don't think of Vincent many times. I can day dream whilst I'm working on mundane maters. It is much better dreaming of him than wondering what to cook for tea that night!
There I was the following Friday 8 p.m. and no B&B - I was inconsolable and angry. My darling hubby found my attitude highly amusing, especially when he found I'd cut out a tiny picture of V & C and put it by the side of my bedside table!
There is ample basis for the theory that not only Season Three of "Beauty and the Beast", but also Season Two, and at least one episode of Season One, might be attributable to a dream Vincent is having. Nightmare might be a better term for it. Small hints to this effect abound, such as people and things which pop mysteriously in and out of Vincent and Catherine's lives: Edie, who disappears to be replaced briefly by someone who looks and sounds like Joan Rivers in a dark wig, and then more permanently by Rita Escabar; Jenny Aronsen who metamorphosis from a slightly acerbic, tall, Nordic blonde ("A Happy Life") into a vivacious, petite Jewish brunette; Tom Gunther, who changes from dark, handsome and mildly arrogant ("Once Upon A Time In The City of New York...") to blond, pretty and just plain mean ("Remember Love"); the porcelain rose, which turns from pure white to dirty grey ( - like the nature of the series itself... )
Eventually [in the third season], Vincent reclaims [his] child, and finds a new "mother" for the boy, but she is not warm and emotional, not a "real" woman at all. Instead she is a cool, analytical, almost genderless moon goddess (Diana the Huntress), who loves Vincent, but does not tempt him sexually the way Catherine does. To his subconscious mind, Catherine is attractive enough to be "dangerous", Diana, being one of the boys, is "safe". [4]

I never thought myself to be a classic B&B fan. I just thought I was a fan, full stop, but something's happened d to make me realise I am a "Classic B&B fan whatever that means. I have come to this conclusion by realising that when I read fanzines containing stories of Vincent with other women, with Diana, especially in a romantic or sexual nature, I used to feel really uncomfortable, so much so I avoid reading any fanzines which include the said mentioned. Now I feel utterly stupid and irrational about my feelings on the subject, and it really bothered me.

I wrote to [Avril B] confiding in her and asked her opinion on this. She wrote me a lovely letter back making me feel so much better about it. So much so, I am actually telling everyone who reads this letterzine:

I came to this conclusion why I am a classic B&B fan. When Central TV screened B&B I fell in love with the romance aspect (and Vincent, needless to say) and that Vincent was totally committed to Catherine. Central TV only showed the 1st and 2nd season. It was a good 12 months before I found out there was a 3rd season and was able to obtain it for myself. I was devastated at Catherine's death and Vincent's grief and misery. It was my belief that it was only his son that kept him going, also the speech he made vowing his love for Catherine when above her funeral was taking place, moved me deeply. If you remember he once told Catherine, if she died he would die. I believe he would feel he was betraying her if he felt anything more than friendship for anyone. He had waited a very long time for Catherine to come along and they were connected in more ways than one, and he would only love once.

Now I am not a Diana hater, nor do I hate the 3rd season fans. I just don't think it is for me, and knowing there are others like me makes me feel a bit better about my so called feelings on the subject.
I believe fervently, that the third season had no redeeming features. They have so many options to do it right and then end it with the two of them together. They did, after all, start the pilot with "Once Upon a Time..." That is a fairy tale, guys, not King Lear and it has to end properly! One way out could have been a dream a la Bobby Ewing soon after the cave scene. He could have dreamt some of the things that "happened" in third season and then awakened and she would be alive and well and very pregnant! They would have consummated the relationship in the "Watcher" - yes? Or as you say, she could have been in a temporary coma. Below, with them or Above, held by the Feds so she would later testify against Gabriel, etc. There were dozens of choices; as long as it ended Happily Ever After, they reneged on the promises to us, the fans, and since most of us are women, they figured, so what: Vinnie in tight pants would suffice. But they were wrong: we are lots smarter than that. We would not accept such garbage!!

Did you ever notice the lack of mothers and women in the show? There was a short piece in the Times last week, about Snow White. She doesn't have a mother, and neither does the Beauty in the original tale. Well, let's see. Catherine's mother dies when she is 10, and Jacob's wife dumps him and comes back and dies, and then also Grace, Devin's mom died in childbirth (in the fifties, with Peter and Jacob, both doctors?) and Catherine's father never remarried and where in all is Peter's wife? And also Anna Pater died young, and of course, Vincent never knew who his parents were!!

Those writers are mysyonists! (I am not a feminist, but I can see all that!!)

April 1994 (7)

Chatterbox was published in April 1994 and contains 30 pages.

cover of April 1994, Barbara Gipson: "Lost in You"
from April 1994
from April 1994, Penny Sutton

April 1994 (7): Letter Excerpts

Since writing to you last time I have made a lot of friends through B&B and we write a lot to each other. It's great being able to talk about my favourite programme with people who understand just how I feel. It has given me a new lease of life.

My own life was very dull and boring because I'm unable to get out much and so, haven't many friends. People say how can you be lonely or bored with such a large family that I have? But being all boys (11 in all) there was no feminine company, but all that changed with B&B. I wish everyone could see how this programme helps others who are involved with it and can see how it has changed everyone's life for the better.

I have noticed some carefully thought out and lovingly in depth analysis of BATB. Some people seem to think that such analysis takes something from the mystery/otherwordliness quality of Below and the characters there. Whilst it may appear that such a lifestyle is impractical/intangible due to the presumed s' nags' - eg toilets, washing, feeding, warmth durmg cold weather, lack of Vitamin D due to the lack of sunshine etc, I like to think that as Father and the older members of the community actually joined an existing 'family' and built upon this, that 35+ years would iron out most of the problems to a bearable standard.

Personally, such analysis has not detracted from my attachment to and love of all that Below seems to represent. The chambers, analysed or not seem just as wonderful to me. I plead guilty to forming my own hypothesis on the practical side of living Below and this does after all yield such fertile ground for fanzine writers whom I think are wonderful, so I do not mind these analyses. They just add another facet to the wonder of BATB for me, anyway.

Well, how nice it is to hear that Linda Hamilton is getting rid of her muscles. Let's have our own Catherine back to how she was, because if Catherine put her arms round Vincent now I think she would crush him, he wouldn't stand a chance - poor thing. I see in her latest film she plays a lawyer, let's hope by doing this, she will think of B&B, who knows?

I hear Linda's seen Roy. Let's hope Father had one of his talks with her. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope something will come out of all this. Wouldn't that be lovely?

I hear there has been weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the States over a rumour, (denied) that Stephen McHattie was to attend a Convention. I would love to have Stephen McHattie as a guest at a Convention, and also Tony Jay. I think the teaming of Roy Dotrice and Tony Jay on a platform would be wonderful. Are there any other Stephen McHattie fans out there?

Although I was disappointed and turned off and away from "Beauty and the Beast" during the final season - when it became little more than a violent "Furry 'Equaliser' Above The Sidewalks of New York" - I stumbled upon a great little find in 1992-93, which helped me to achieve a sort of closure and understanding regarding what had gone before and that last, dark and tumultuous (partial) final season... It's a terrific, two part, fan-written novel called 'Neath The Sidewalks of New York and 'Neath The Sidewalks of New York II. written by Margaret Basta. It is a "must read" for all B&B fans, especially those confused and disappointed by the final season and

The abrupt cancellation of the series without any resolution or end to it! (Of course, we all keep the dream alive that there will be a prequel B&B TV movie or series of movies from Republic Pictures - but in the meantime, 'Neath The Sidewalks of New York is a satisfying stopgap.) It's not only well-written and developed - true to the characters and precepts of storyline - but includes excellent cross-overs with characters from other TV series, joining Father and Vincent in the Tunnels! For example, we find Robert McCall, The Equaliser, as a Helper, working with Vincent and Father, and come to see another side of this character we never saw in "The Equaliser"!! Four stars!! [5]
I would like to make a response to [Irene F's] letter in issue number six about being ridiculed because of her love of our show and her strong feelings for it. It's a point which crops up quite often, and I mention it because. I've never experienced it! Granted I don't shout from the rooftops about this fandom, but then neither do I keep it a secret. Many of my non B&B friends know of my involvement in this fandom and not one of them has ever said anything mocking or derogatory about it. Indeed, many of them respect what I do and how I feel even though they have no interest in the show themselves. To Irene, and everybody else who has experienced this ridicule, the thing to remember is that THEY are the ones who are missing out, not YOU.

I lost my mother four years ago when I was twenty-two. I was in a black cloud then, that showed no sign of lifting until I got a letter from Roy Dotrice, giving me his love and support and the strength to look forward to the future. He's a wonderful man. I have never been fortunate enough to meet him but I feel very close to him. Just knowing that he cares for each and every one of us is enough.

There has never been a show like BATB before. Never has a show reached out and captured the hearts of its viewers like this one. As Vincent said, "What we share is a very rare and special thing." As long as we keep remembering that. Beauty and the Beast will live on forever. I don't think Ron Koslow realised just how powerful our love for this show is. I truly believe we have the power to keep the dream alive.

I also have a picture of Vincent on my bedside table - two actually. The first thing I see in the morning when I awake is not my husbands photograph (yes, it's there, but not in immediate view!), but Vincent, resplendent in his cloak, with his halo of golden hair and his serious but loving expression.

My poor husband just accepts it now, along with any occasional contented sounds when I read my fanzines. He says no-one can ever be lonely once they have BATB people for friends! He's quite right isn't he? BATB has made my life so full that it helps with the harder things in life. I have about a dozen penfriends (two international) and seem to pick more up every convention I attend. Thank you to all those who write back and have become valued friends - it means a lot to me.

June 1994 (8)

Chatterbox was published in June 1994 and contains 42 pages.

cover of June 1994, not credited
from June 1994, Pam Tuck
from June 1994, Inez Brown

The Roy Dotrice Fan Club reached its 100th member.

  • "A Letter to Vincent from Father" by Glenys Walker (tongue-in-cheek vignette about Father's astonishment that Vincent managed to get Catherine pregnant in the cave scene: "...I was beginning to think that you wouldn't recognise sex if it leapt out and bit you on the kneecap... At the time, I did wonder where that music was coming from... very romantic, but I always thought that when the citadel of your virtue came crashing down it would be to the more triumphal strains of 'The 1812 Overture'.")
  • a autobio of Inez Brown
  • The Tunnel Folk, filk by Glenys Walker to the tune of "Sing a Song of Sixpence"
  • Catherine's Plea, poem by Gwen Lord
  • Lowlands, poem by Michael Tinto
  • An Unusual Walk in Central Park, poem by Glenys Walker
  • Word Search by Stephen Davies
  • To Share a Heart, poem by Katria Relf
  • zine reviews

June 1994 (8): Letter Excerpts

I don't know about the rest of you but my feelings for B&B get stronger and stronger. It's changed my whole life. The friends I have made through this unique programme has made all the difference in my life. I so look forward to the letters of my special friends. Having a bad hip problem I don't go out much, so I never see anyone or get the chance to make friends, and everyone who I know who is connected to B&B have been very kind and very generous. I have been given a new outlook on life for which I am very grateful. I just love Vincent to bits and he is the only one who keeps me sane sometimes. I just love to read my Zines. I have withdrawal symptoms if I don't read them every night.

We do, some of us like to have a special photo near to us, and what better than to see Vincent on waking every morning. I do have lots of framed photos of Vincent on my bedroom walls, in fact, my bedroom I consider my Vincent gallery and to top it all I have the full length poster just where I see it each time I enter the room and when I wake. This is my masterpiece, and I'm glad that I sent for it from Sign of the Dragon. This poster, along with my other pictures certainly gives my room a special look. What's more, I don't care what visitors think of them. They are there for me. They, more than anything remind me of the wonderful nights when I stayed up late to record each episode aired on TV, oh how I miss the excitement of those nights, eagerly waiting for each episode and the magic of re-playing them the next day. I'll say this whenever I play a Beauty and the Beast episode, I feel on top of the world, I may have been feeling lonely, but with all the tapes I have I soon feel okay again, the best tonic in the world is sharing these episodes with someone else. I have no-one here in my area to watch them with, but I do have my very dear friend [M], who I am fortunate to visit and watch every one when I'm with her and her family. These visits to her home in London are so looked forward to, they make me feel that I am one of the family, as indeed, world wide we are a huge family, but to be with [M] makes me feel I'm a soul mate, and much more.

I've recently changed my 14 inch TV for a larger one, and now every time I run B&B I find I'm seeing it clearer, and much much better, it's like seeing each episode for the very first time.
[This show] is the most breathtaking experience I have ever been a part of and I am so glad my sister called me up way back in 1988 and asked me if I had seen the new show called "Beauty and the Beast". I told her I didn't think I was interested in something like that and she said "oh just watch it once and tell me what you think and I was HOOKED!! Vincent's voice could melt anyone's heart! And his looks are so handsome with that wonderful hair and those deep blue eyes! I just was hooked the first time I ever saw that show! It is truly amazing because I never ever taped and kept any other show. I would tape them and then just tape over them after watching them but this was different! On Friday night, I would rush around and get supper over with and the kids knew not to bother mother during that hour. We hardly ever did anything on Friday nights. Then I would find myself watching t again late Friday night and again on Saturday. I just could not get enough of this show! I began thinking how the episodes could have gone and I found myself writing other endings to some of the shows! I also started drawing again which I had not done since college when I minored in art. I just never had time to do things like that before and now I was making time for myself. It was a truly unbelievable experience and I really felt sorry for anyone who did not have the privilege of experiencing this also.

Let's have a convention with Stephen McHattie as a guest. In fact let's make it a 'villains' convention and invite Tony Jay and Dorian Harewood too (my feelings about the latter are now no secret so this request will come as no surprise). Just think how brilliant these actors are

to make us hate them so much (well perhaps we don't quite hate 'Jase' - after all he did redeem himself in the end). Think of all the stories those three could tell if they were on the platform together! So if there is anyone out there involved in convention planning please note I'd like Stephen McHattie, Tony Jay and Dorian Harewood... oh and I'd better have some smelling salts too! There must be many others who would attend.
To those who don’t like Diana may I say that she is a very good and loyal friend to Vincent, who has helped him a great deal. Now if she had betrayed him, or left him to die, or refused to help him, I could understand people disliking her, but as it is I don’t understand the animosity. Yes, she fell in love with him but who can blame her for that! She didn’t ’throw herself’ at him... she realised that this would be a friendship and, although she may hope for more in the future, she is prepared to settle for that. She was never EVER portrayed as a ’replacement’ for Catherine. She knows that for Vincent Catherine could never be replaced.

It was half way through the 2nd season that I came across Vincent, and his family Below and ever since then, they have become part of my life. I cannot get enough of him and his Catherine. My video tapes and zines, and the many friends that I have made, have changed my life around. The people who I did not have time for and could not be bothered with, except my own personal family, I go and help and talk to now. My family really take the mickey out of me, roll their eyes and say "here we go again, something else for you from Beauty and the Beast". I said to them you can laugh as much as you like I don't care, it's smashing and I don't care who knows it.

One day I was sat with my personal player with my ear plugs in listening to the most beautiful voice in the world, with my eyes closed, I was in a world of my own, and I must have had a certain look on my face, because all of a sudden, I heard my youngest son, sort of shout to his father "look at mum chums" (that's what he calls me) "look at that look on her face, you'd better watch out dad, she's gone this time". Hubby said, "it's like eating chocolate with the paper on".

August 1994 (9)

Chatterbox was published in August 1994 and contains 42 pages.

front cover of August 1994, Rosemarie Hauer
back cover of August 1994, Rosemarie Hauer
from August 1994, Pam Tuck
  • Sonnet for Vincent, poem by Hilaire Belangocavella (this may be the same "Vincent" that is in Reflections in Candlelight #1)
  • I Remember You, poem by Yura Ivanov
  • Vincent, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • Remember Me, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • Remember Me, poem by Elizabeth Auer
  • Thoughts of You, poem by Katrina Relf
  • Beyond Forever, poem by Katrina Relf
  • Mouse, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • Happy Ending, poem by Lynette Combs
  • Word Search by Katie Atkins
  • a description by Gwen Lord (an attendee) of Roy Dotrice's daughter's (Karen) wedding and reception
  • zine reviews

August 1994 (9): Letter Excerpts

Normally I hate kissing scenes and squirm when anyone goes into a clinch with nauseating closeups lasting too long in my opinion, but with Vincent and Catherine, such kissing was absent, although I did so want them to seal their tender relationship with a kiss.
I may well be drawing my pension by the time we are able to see it and the videos out to follow it a little while after. 'What are they pussy footing about at now?' I ask myself. 'Get cracking and start filming soon before the actors are well and truly unattainable'. We love it too much for it to fade away and die. I'm sure we are all grateful, happy and relieved that the dream is being kept alive by the joint efforts of all its fans by contributing their love stories, poems and art work which appear in the many fanzines. I'll end this letter by sending my deepest thanks to Rita, Owen and Jacqui for helping us over the blank period with no wonderful Beauty and the Beast on TV. Long may they continue to produce the goods for us.
I'd like to know if anyone else out there thinks that Gillian Anderson from Sky One's X-Files is any relation to Jo Anderson. They look very much alike and a few of us have pondered on the matter. Anyone else know? Anyway, I'm off to read some more fanzines.
I just wanted to write to see if anyone else has noticed the resemblance between Linda Hamilton and an actress I saw on TV lately. She was on an episode of Star Trek - The Next Generation, I'm sorry, I didn't catch her name, but I know she played Tasha Yar's sister. Did anyone else notice it? She had the same voice, mannerisms etc - really strange! I must admit the treacherous thought struck me, that when there is a B&B movie, and if Linda Hamilton won't do it, maybe this actress could be a substitute. I thought the resemblance uncanny.
Just to show how different people are, I don't have a photo of Vincent by my bedside, I don't have a photo of anyone, with the exception of my Grandmother, circa 1897 in the spare bedroom and that's only because I don't know where else to put it. My poster of Vincent is rolled up at the back of the cupboard, together with Tim Mathieson, Kurt Russell and Starsky and Hutch. That way it is protected from the light and from getting dog eared.

My life before B&B used to be dull and lonely, with a family who took me for granted and a job in which I talked to people all day but got to know nobody. But in the last four years my whole personality has changed as I found a new life full of friendships and special events. Now I have the confidence to go out and do things I'd never have dared to do before, and it's all due to B&B.

There may be other readers who are like I used to be; chronically shy, paralysed with nerves, and prone to panic attacks when entering a roomful of people. To them I'd say, come on down and give it a try! To quote from 'Masques' - "Sometimes we must leave our safe places and walk empty handed among our enemies". That was how it seemed to me the first time I ventured to a convention after twenty years of avoiding social situations. I was so distrustful of humanity, so afraid of being laughed at, that I thought everyone was my enemy - but I was proved totally wrong in the atmosphere of warmth and friendship that I found. The UK Chamber's conventions at Northampton are like big family gatherings, where new faces are welcomed and nobody is left out in the cold.
Diana Bennett is a true and loyal friend to Vincent, and if we weren't so jealous of her for winning Vincent's trust, I think we'd be grateful to her for helping him so much. After all, isn't helping our fellow men what "Beauty and the Beast" is all about?
I'm a lost cause. First it was Vincent, then Elliot, then Hawkeye (Daniel Day Lewis), now Lorenzo Lamas as Renegade! What do they have in common? Hair! Poser type hair in ponytail style that has you itching to take a brush to it, and the gentlemanly manners that always have them looking after the ladies. It's a pity I've only ever found such qualities in fictional characters! I must be looking in the wrong places. Anyone else have this problem?

It's nice to see Stephen McHattie getting some "good press" at last! I had only ever seen him in "Beauty and the Beast" (and I must confess it was lust at first sight for me!), but this week I settled down to watch the last ever episode of "Quantum Leap" (another fabulous series) and there he was! He played a rather bizarre character who was crippled and bent over, but I went weak at the knees when he treated us to the full impact of his smile! Bearing in mind the fact that he never gave anything more than a smirk in "Beauty and the Beast", I wasn't prepared for the full impact of that smile!

I think this is the first time I've spoken of my feelings for him (and trust me to do it publicly!) I always kept quiet before, for fear of being lynched by the Ruth Merry's of our Fandom!! But, however much we hate Gabriel for stealing Catherine away from us, the fact that Stephen McHattie is a brilliant actor surely cannot be denied. And those aquiline features do things to me every time I see him! (Don't you think he'd make a smashing Sherlock Holmes, by the way?)

Do we realise that our only real connection with our dream lives in our conventions? If we lose these like we have lost so many other parts of our dream, we could be losing the last thread? I realise with the way the economy is that there are many fans who cannot afford to attend, but if it is at all possible we really need to go to these conventions!

[...]

...every year I wonder how in the world can they top this year's convention! But every year they think up something new and unique!!! I think that is why our group is so wonderful because we are such a creative bunch of people! How can all this talent be in one place at one time. This is evident in the dealer's room and art room at each of the conventions! If you are like me, I need this charge to really get me fired up for the next year. The people are wonderful, the stars are so caring and so willing to be with the fans, the merchandise is top quality, the workshops are so informative, the Winterfest banquets are always so delicious, and I could just go on and on! Please support our conventions. I was saddened when I got my registration back today that I was 211 and 212 only. I realise that the number of people attending the convention does not mean anything because these people are all quality people but reality has to keep sticking its ugly head in and we must realise these conventions do cost a lot of money and take a lot of time for the clubs holding them. The stars cannot give up their time to come either without being reimbursed and we DO NOT WANT TO LOSE THIS TIME WHEN ALL THE TUNNEL FRIENDS CAN GET TOGETHER TO LIFT ONE ANOTHER FOR ANOTHER YEAR!!

My opinions of "Beauty and the Beast" are simple, "Vincent" first and foremost is irreplaceable and in this context I mean Ron Perlman as his is the pivotal role, then comes the tunnel community which is "Vincent’s" place in the world, he and his community are necessary to one another - all other roles while important are not irreplaceable including Catherine, Father and other "regular" characters. I am not in love with Vincent and I am well aware that he is a "fictitious character". Ron Perlman is Vincent, but Vincent is not Ron Perlman. Having said that I have a soaring imagination and I have been to the tunnels and there I have met Vincent and his extended family. I am the wiser for it. I am not in any B&B fan club but I get all the news and views through friends who are, and it is obvious that the tunnel community ethics are quoted frequently but followed seldom. This is an ethos of give and take and it seems to me there are those who give and those who take which is a very sad and distorted reflection of Vincent’s community.
Roy Dotrice is a true FATHER! He really is our father and every year at the convention he proves that. What a neat group of stars we had in our show!!!

October 1994 (10)

Chatterbox was published in October 1994 and contains 30 pages.

front cover of issue #10, Sandra Shelton
back cover of issue #10
centerfold illo from issue #10, by Pam Tuck
centerfold illo from issue #10, by Renate Haller
  • Remember Me, poem by Katrina Relf
  • In a Heartbeat, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • Feelings of the Heart, poem by Riviera
  • a full-page illo: "Wonderful Vincent" by Renate Haller
  • a wordfind
  • a very short review of Daybreak: From Shadows Into Light, see that page
  • an ad for art by Rosemarie Hauer
  • there are 12 fan letters (11 from Europe, 1 from Australia)
  • this issue has a con report for Masquerades '94, see that page

October 1994 (10): Letter Excerpts

Dear friends, I look forward immensely to writing these letters to you and feel very privileged to have this task. Everyone on the Chatterbox team has one goal in mind, and that is to keep Beauty & The Beast alive and well in all our hearts. We came together from all walks of life, united because of this programme. We all became drawn to it, because we recognised in it something that touched us deeply. Not many TV programmes reach out this way, that is why Ron Koslow as "creator" is such a gifted man. When the series was on TV we used to watch it, then everyone would ring their friends and chat four hours about every aspect of it. Then the dreaded phone bill came, and we realised we'd have to ring less often. So we wrote to our friends and they wrote back. But when Chatterbox was thought up, it was felt there was a real need - a source of communication for B&B, that everyone would benefit from and could participate in. These letters are now our life line, and to live we need to be fed. So keep feeding us your letters, so the dream in our hearts will live like a beacon, giving endless joy to all in the months and years ahead. Until next time. Be well.

[A fan's letter in the previous issue] stated that Vincent would never have approved of such antics. Well, before I say anything further I want you to know that I'm a Ron Perlman fan, a Beastophile and Vincent lover. I would never have paid money to see a Police Academy film, but this time was different. I would do anything just to see Ron Perlman, so I went to see it, and I must say it was fun. Ron is a very talented actor and this film is the proof of his comic talent. An example is Ron Perlman in a yellow silk bathrobe hopping around on one foot to put on his slippers, great sight! There is one thing however - don't look for Vincent because he isn't there. This is one mistake that many beasties make. Ron Perlman is not Vincent, he is the man who gave life to Vincent (no-one could do better) and he is able to do other things too. Look at "Quest for Fire" and "the Name of the Rose" - all so very different from Vincent, so why not a comic role? He's good at it and certainly doesn't need Vincent's approval! Leave an actor to be an actor and don't mix him up with one of his characters, no matter how wonderful it is. I can go on forever on this subject, but I want to close with what Ron himself said about Police Academy when I spoke to him on the phone a few weeks ago. He said "It was definitely something different..."

I hope I haven't stepped on too many toes with this statement but I just wanted to say my opinion.
Has anyone heard that Linda is after the role of the first ever female Star Trek captain in the new series "Voyager". I think it's very unlikely we would ever get our beloved movie if she were to get the part. A Star Trek series takes a long time in the making, leaving very little time for her to do something she's not too keen on, but, us true beasty fans will never give up hope.

December 1994 (11)

Chatterbox was published in December 1994. The editor in the the August 1994 refers to it as "our Special A4 Edition in December."

February 1995 (12)

Chatterbox was published in February 1995 and contains 34 pages.

front cover of February 1995, Edith Crowe
back cover of February 1995, Pam Tuck
art in February 1995, Pam Tuck
  • Sweet Surrender, fiction by Linda S. Barth (the author states it is also in "Sanctuary and Remember Love" -- "Remember Love" may be in error and Barth meant Letters of Love)
  • Respect, poem by B.A. Thomas
  • Centre of My World, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • Word Search by Katie Atkins
  • some art by Pam Tuck

February 1995 (12): Letter Excerpts

Here we are at our Valentine Issue, and for some of you, it is your last one. I hope you enjoyed all the issues and, that we can persuade you to stay for another year. We all have one, aim in mind and that is to 'keep the dream alive,' and the Team and I are going to try to do just that. However if you no longer want to keep the dream alive with us, then please, when you can, support any of the fan clubs here, or across the water. I know some of you feel let down with no news of the movie, but we can't give up on them, we still have to keep writing and supporting. The reward for our efforts will be what we are all praying for.

Do you find, like me, that having fanzines to read keep the spirit of B&B alive? To me, there is nothing in the world quite like finding the fanzine you sent for arrive via the postman. We quickly fan through the pages, to see what it is all about, with promises of a good read later. Then one after another, sentences catch your eye and before you know it, you're there reading it, with all around you forgotten, as you enter the world of B&B. Since the series came on TV, there have been some exellent 'zines. many of which would have made good movies. To list even a few, a lot will feel dejected. Please don't be, as B&B land is renowned for its talented writers. Remember?

"One Day a Rapture" by P. Garrett. Something That Has Never Been" by B. Hill. "When Angels Fall" by C. Hatch. "Sensual Candlelight" by Avril Bowles. "Seasons of the Heart" by A. James and "Captured in the Tunnels" by D. Yates... It's a delight to find, after such a lean time, that writers are once again putting pen to paper with stories to keep our dream.
I have been a long time fan of Stephen McHattie since Centennial, and that is almost 20 years ago. When he appeared in the third season I knew that was the season for me. I know they made the character just too evil for words but the culmination when Diana shoots him, is my favourite. It is so satisfying. I am of course a Diana fan.

I have to admit I'm always puzzled by the people who wouldn't welcome Stephen McHattie and Tony Jay to a convention. They're actors after all, and I'm positive both of them would have fascinating tales to tell about the series we all love so much. I'm involved in another fandom, "Dark Shadows", and at our annual conventions we have all manner of guests, including actors who portrayed villains, various writers and technical people,etc., and each of them has had their own unique perspective and their own special stories to tell. Each of them has contributed a piece to my love and appreciation for that show. And it certainly couldn't be any other way with all the various people who contributed to making the "Beauty and the Beast" world.

I guess some people can't separate the actor from the role, and that's a real shame. It's a loss for them, because they might miss out on some wonderful stories, and it's not treating the actor with any respect.
I don't know how many of you bought the video " Though Lovers Be Lost" from the Braveworld Company, but I was so upset, disgusted and angry at the treatment they gave the original two hour long episode, I wrote and told them what I thought of it. To have cut out part of the beginning when Catherine gave Vincent that long, slow kiss of love, as he lay semi-conscious on the cavern floor after he had collapsed, was a travesty. The birth scene was not suitable for family viewing and was rather horrifying and gruesome, like some after midnight film. I don't think I'll ever want to watch that one again. To date, I haven't heard from the Braveworld Company either, defending their action to cut chunks out of the episode.
I am a true romantic at heart, although I don't seek it myself. I like the idea of being sent a Valentine and flowers from a loving husband all through married life. However. I prefer my romance on screen or in books, so I look to B&B to bring me that which is absent in my own life.

Has anyone ever thought when listening to a romantic record on the radio: "This would be perfect for Vincent to sing to Catherine, if he could?" There are several which would be just right if they were doing a musical version of B&B. "When you tell me that you love me" sung by Diana Ross has exactly the sentiments for either of them to sing... Brook Benton's voice singing " Endlessly"; let's imagine Vincent singing this or, "Almost There," when they are about to kiss for the first time. I've just recalled another one for Vincent "In so many ways". Brook Benton's husky tones are perfect for Vincent to mime to and the words are beautifully romantic.

There are a few that would be suitable for Catherine, but at the moment my mind has gone blank. I'm sure you could rustle up a few.
Although I find Vincent fascinating and feel for him, I don't drool over him in the way I do for Joe Lando, who plays Sully in Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman, opposite Jane Seymour on Sunday evenings. Rarely do my sister and I agree on appreciating the same kind of man, but we are in full agreement over Sully. If someone was to be chosen to be the one, should Vincent change, then Joe Lando would be my choice. Admittedly, he doesn't have the same coloured hair as Vincent and it isn't as long, but perhaps with a long haired wig, he might pass.
I, too, consider myself a fan of the entire series, but I've hesitated to say so because I don't want to be categorized as a 3rd Season fan. After all, the Vincent & Catherine storyline is the essence of the show. 3rd Season, to me, represents a group of very talented people dealing with the situation they were given, and I feel they all rose to the occasion. Ron Perlman's performance particularly was devastating; those scripts really gave him a chance to show his full range of talents. I found Jo Anderson to be quite effective in her role: I like shows with strong female characters, and I was fascinated with the idea of a psychic detective. So few shows give us strong female role models, and here B&TB gave us two.

I've had no problems whatsoever in creating my own " Alternate Universe" version of events, where Catherine comes back after the events of

3rd series and is deliriously happy with Vincent, Diana finds romance with Joe, Catherine and Diana become good friends, and the whole Tunnel Community benefits. Basically, I see 3rd season as the second act in a three act play, the part where "it's always darkest before the dawn". I don't in any way see third season as being the end for Catherine and Vincent rather simply their darkest trial, with the fairy tale ending however she's brought back as the final end to the story. Everyone can take whatever they want from the show without getting upset because others choose differently. Just because people have differing view does not invalidate your own. What is special to our hearts should remain that way, despite outside events.
I've been in fandom for ages-since 1975, and I've found a way to divorce my mind and fantasies from anything I disagree with on screen, because all too often the people creating shows I'm interested in go in ways that I don't particular care for (I was one of the people involved in the "Save Spock" campaign that took place prior to "The Wrath of Khan" - and the result showed that at least some of the time fan involvement can make a difference.

Even though I may be offending people, many of whom are dear friends, please forgive me, for my words come from the heart. I, like many others, am a member of so many B&B clubs. Purr-de-Lion. U.K. Chamber. H.N.U.K. The British B&B Fan Club, Chatterbox, etc. etc, and have been absolutely amazed at the wonderful letters, stories, poems, fanzines, which appeared as ;i result of those all equally irreplaceable clubs.

Imagine my confusion when rumours of a rift between two of * those clubs reached me. I don't pretend to know the full details, and I realise there must be some serious hurt on both sides but for the sake of fandom, I appeal to those concerned to agree to differ, and extend the forgiveness I've seen so many times, in the generous hearts of those, in our much loved series. It is always painful to find strained relationships between friends.

It's true that there are many American B&B fans who have great aversion to 3rd season, and that's not going to change. I'm not going to justify, explain or apologize for feeling that way, as I know there's no need for that, other than say there are aspects of 3rd season that I find so painful and repellent that to be forced to include them in my B&B involvement would make me have to give it up altogether - and that is something I have no wish to do! It isn't a matter of having to resolve or " get over" or accept a deeply disturbing real life event, but rather choosing not to agree with certain very objectionable concepts or ideas in fictional story, a story which I otherwise love. However, I would never want to do anything to prohibit or censure anyone else's enjoyment of 3rd season. No one has the right to dictate to anyone in any way. There is room in B&B for everyone regardless of preferences, perspectives, etc.

I am painfully aware that not everyone feels this way. There are fans who will boycott conventions that are not to their liking; that's their choice to do so. None of the friends with whom I usually attend cons are planning to avoid the LA.Con. We'd never want to miss getting together with friends from far away to enjoy a B&B weekend. However, several people, myself included, wrote to the organizers of the LA con and simply requested that they consider scheduling various celebrity-oriented events with sensitivity for everyone's interests and feelings. Those of us who are avowed classic fans would prefer not to attend, for example, a celebrity session featuring Stephen McHattie and/or Jo Anderson. The input these actors had in B&B is just not part of what we love about it, and we'd prefer not to have the experience of hearing them discuss it. By considerate scheduling, this potential problem can be easily avoided in a low-keyed, dignified way. We would never criticize or object to others wanting to attend such sessions, just as we'd expect others to respect our wishes and feelings too.

It hurts to hear that some fans feel we classic fans are deranged, narrow-minded, need to be controlled, need a reality check, etc. These are not my words nor are they Avril's; but they are words expressed by some people at TC3, some of which are on the official con videotape. Rumors have repeatedly sprung up that classic fans plan to disrupt cons they object to Really, this is entirely ludicrous, and to my knowledge has only been expressed by people out to stir up trouble at the expense of others. Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, everyone else in B&B fandom can love 3rd season and all it entailed. I just expect to be afforded the same respect in my wish to quietly ignore it.

[...]

I can't understand why anyone else would feel the they had the right to try to convince me, and those who share my feelings, to participate in something that they know will be very upsetting and distasteful for us. Who would try to force a vegetarian to eat a big, juicy steak or an animal rights supporter to wear a fur coat? It's really not so different in B&B. It's all a question of mutual respect, not conversation. Equating this situation to the smoking/ no smoking controversy over here: Everyone can enjoy smokeless air, but only smokers can enjoy smoke-filled air. It's the same with B&B. Everyone can enjoy 1st and 2nd seasons, but only all 3rd season fans can enjoy 3rd season. Non-smokers can sit in non-smoking sections of restaurants; non 3rd season fans can attend con activities that are oriented toward their preferences. It's that simple, and I don't know why it all just can't be left alone. Isn't the tunnel philosophy to accept differences and to respect them without trying to change them?

April 1995 (1A)

Chatterbox was published in April 1995 and contains 38 pages.

cover of April 1995, Rosemarie Hauer
from April 1995, Pam Tuck
from April 1995, Pam Tuck
from April 1995, Pam Tuck
  • Chatterbox, poem by Mandy Hawthorne
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • October Gift, poem by Peg McNabb (1994)
  • an apology about a poem that was printed in the last issue; it was meant to be private between two fans
  • A Third Letter to Vincent by Glenys Walker (satire)
  • this issue as a long excerpt from a letter by Anita Hooson that was originally printed in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #34 in August 1991. It was submitted by "Chatterbox's" proofreader, and prefaced with: "Now, as we celebrate two years of Chatterbox, It seems an appropriate time to remember what Beauty and the Beast is really all about. The powerful love story woven around Vincent and Catherine. At the beginning of March, I received fliers from the States which pursued story lines which, personally, I found quite ridiculous. I can't imagine what the creator of this unique series would make of them, more than likely disapprove. The entire concept Is about a 'secret place' with Vincent the biggest secret of all! Anita Hooson truly speaks from the heart and epitomizes for so many fans the only acceptable relationship, which is Vincent and Catherine.... With the support of people like our readers, who do 'recognise the stumps'..... " We will endure, we will!"

April 1995 (1A): Letter Excerpts

Without having a video recorder, I am unable to watch any of my B&B episodes, but i have a beautiful framed picture of V&C and when I feel down, I just sit and look at it, and their smiling faces, that has so much love in them, makes me feel alright again.
I know we are no nearer to our film, but just think on it, we are still supporting B&B, we are still making new friends, and still making It plain, that we want our series back, in any shape or form. I know we are forever shouting SUPPORT but if we are to get anywhere, then we must support EVERYONE who does their bit for B&B.
[originally printed in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #34 in August 1991]:

I am also saddened that a few of fandom's best and brightest talents seem to have lost sight of the original intent of Beauty and the Beast. Have you forgotten the dream? Was the magic between Vincent and Catherine only incidental to you?

I, too, find Vincent incredibly attractive with more sheer sex appeal than seems fair. BUT, he doesn't belong to me. He doesn't belong to Diana and he doesn't belong to any character you deem to invent. He belongs, body and soul, to Catherine and he always will. He is pledged to her whatever happens, whatever comes. He is as constant as the North Star.

His love will never waver, his commitment to her will never falter. To deny that, to circumvent that, is to deny Vincent the very thing that defines the greatness of his soul. Catherine was not a stepping stone on Vincent's journey to self-acceptance. She was not conceived as a peripheral character. "Beauty and the Beast" was her story. The title was not" Beast and the Beauty".

Ron Perlman did not get top billing over Linda Hamilton. Catherine Chandler was the foundation the entire show was built upon and when that foundation was cruelly and ruthlessly shattered, the great golden mansion that was once Beauty and the Beast crumbled into a smoking heap of rubble. Like a mighty forest that has been logged to the ground, you knew it had once been something bright and beautiful, but only because you recognised the stumps.

I thought I'd be numb after having watched something I cherished be savagely mutilated in search of Neilson ratings; but I'm not. Fan fiction has not been kind. Oh, how I detest stories that pair Vincent with another woman What a perversion of his character! There seems to be some element in human nature that spurs us to prove heroes have feet of clay. Casting Vincent as a lover to any woman, other than his bonded soulmate, serves to diminish his stature. It takes away from the mythic quality that helped to make him heroic in the first place. Why can't you let him keep his nobility? In my opinion, those who saw Beauty and the Beast only as a vehicle for a big sexy, leonine man, didn't " get it", any more than those critics who never saw more to Vincent than a hairy, oversized, poetry-spouting freak who lives in a sewer.

On the upside, I still believe that love in its deepest purest form exists. It is Vincent and Catherine. It is timeless, it is impregnable and I have every confidence that it will endure, despite the efforts being made to undermine the enormous scope of it.

These people are actors. Earning a living out of acting. They are asked to do a part, they audition, they get the part, they get paid, move on to other things. To them its a job, plain and simple, just a job. Yet we crucified them for the part they were offered. I was a total wreck for days after I watched the very first episodes of the third season, then as the sting of them ebbed a little I watched the rest, more in loyalty to all I'd enjoyed.

Here were some of the best episodes, some of the best directing, and producing. What a crime Catherine wasn't in them, either in a coma or even in spirit form. But the writers who did this to us didn't know us and how we would grieve. Its the writers who hold the key to when we get our film, and I think we are afraid to admit that some of the third season was good, in case they latch on to this and give us more.

The part of Elaine's letter that I really want to comment on. Is the last part. Elaine admits that she doesn't love Vincent in the way that so many of us do. So, I suppose, her preference for Joe Lando [of Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman] is understandable in that case, and of course Elaine Is perfectly entitled to her own opinions, as are we all In this fandom. We should be able to express these opinions openly. I think Joe Lando is lovely too, as Sully in Dr Quinn, but I have to admit I was horrified at Elaine's suggestion that it might be nice if Vincent changed into Joe Lando, after being kissed by Catherine! I suppose that's because I see Vincent as perfect, just the way he is! I wouldn't change one hair on that glorious, golden head, or alter any one of his uniquely, beautiful features. Personally though Elaine, I don't think that Catherine would be any too thrilled if Vincent suddenly changed into Joe Lando either! Catherine fell in love with Vincent for ALL that he is! To her eyes, he is beautiful, and she tells him that, quite plainly at the end of "Arabesque". I know that a very large majority of this fandom agree with her there! Lets face it though, if classic good looks were what

Catherine wanted, she had Elliot and Joe waiting in the wings. Both these men could have made Catherine's life a lot easier and simpler than her relationship with Vincent allowed, but she loved Vincent and ONLY Vincent. She wasn't looking for a handsome prince, and neither would I be, if I had Vincent in MY life! You can keep all those classically " good looking" men that most women drool over. I'll take Vincent any day, EXACTLY the way he is!.

For years I've been in Beauty and the Beast Fandom, its become clear that the show has touched everyone involved with it in one way or the other. It has meant different things to different people. But what has remained constant for everyone is its spirit. What the show stands for. Love and friendship. The way all were welcome Below no matter who they were, what they looked like, spoke like, or what they had done above. If someone found their way Below, they were welcomed in to the family with open arms, NO MATTER WHAT!

Acceptance, tolerance, kindness, friendship and love. All these things go towards making up the true spirit of Beauty and the Beast. Its what drew us to the show, and what drew us to each other. So why are we letting the one or two people who seem to have forgotten these ideals (or perhaps never really grasped them in the first place) ruin the beauty and meaning for everyone else. I myself have heard or even witnessed the way some people have made past Conventions uncomfortable and upsetting for others, by the small mindedness and prejudices that they themselves carry. Things have been said and comments made that have hurt others deeply, and the memory taken away from these occasions instead of happy has been miserable and unpleasant. What would have happened to Vincent if father had turned him away as a baby because he didn't like the way he looked. Or to Laura if, because of her deafness, she had been cast out.

If at some time, you find yourself thinking that a person don't fit in, because he or she, has a limp or stutters or even if they can't see or hear. Think of Vincent, what would he do or say. Would he turn them away, or accept them with open arms.

Roy Dotrice is accepted as the head of this fandom, his participation is a very valued thing, make no mistake about that.

[...]

Ron Perlman once said " Don't hurt each other ". How true this is, as hurting each other is not the true spirit that B&B upholds. We have to remember, we all carry the torch, as fans, of this series. We represent the essence of this series in mind, we all have to learn to pull together as one voice.

Team work is VITAL because one day, when our long battle is over and we have our movie, it will truly be a joint effort, by every single one of us throughout the length and breadth of fandom.

June 1995 (2A)

Chatterbox was published in June 1995 and contains 42 pages.

cover of June 1995, Sandy Shelton
from June 1995, Pam Tuck

From the editor: "Thanks also to all of you for renewing your membership. We lost a few, but we are still strong at 85 members for a little letterzine that's not bad, it means we can go on for another year."

  • A Kiss Below, poem by Kathy Resch
  • William, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • Peace and Love, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • I Miss You, poem by Kelly Hawthorn
  • A Fourth Letter to Vincent from Father by Glenys Walker (humor)
  • much discussion about the rift and split of two fan clubs: UK Chamber and HNUK
  • zine reviews

June 1995 (2A): Letter Excerpts

I can see that the heart of B&B still lives, and it gives me so much courage to carry on, doing the thing I love, and that's keeping the dream alive through Chatterbox. You have all made that possible for me, with your great support. With so many disillusioned people leaving the fan club, it is nice to know there are still so many of you out there ready and willing to fight for our wonderful show.

[...]

I must apologise to everyone to whom I owe letters. I know that I am very slow in answering, but I have made a pact with myself that I am going to set aside one day a week, just for writing. I have enjoyed so much hearing from you, and I hope you won't give up on me. My support for "Beauty and the Beast is as strong now as it has ever been, I will never let them down.
To everyone who has never attended a 'Winterfest' in Northampton, you truly have no idea what you've missed. To see our very own 'Vincent' (John Picton) lighting candles and standing with us in our circle, in full Vincent make-up and costume and looking so much like our beloved Vincent, is quite an emotional moment.
I agree about the Disney version of BatB, that I would have preferred the Beast not to have been changed into the handsome prince at the end, after all Belle fell in love with the Beast not the prince. And I tremble at the thought of Vincent being any different from what he already is majestically handsome.
With regard to the Disney B&B movie, I don't compare it to our series. Its terrific in it's own right and, as the Prince started out with human features, it seems only fair to restore him to his previous looks, especially when it was death or metamorphosis. With Vincent, who has the same leonine features he was born with... if it was death or change, I would choose change and survival.
The thought of our dear Vincent changing in any way is outrageous! We love him for what he is, the way he is. I could wax lyrical here for hours, but you al know what I mean! In the early days of B&B I put people firmly in their place when they dared to enquire if Vincent eventually "turns into a human"!! The thought of him altering in any way at al is abhorrent. However, for argument's sake, if he WAS to change, why not to Ron Perlman without make up? Why on earth pick someone else at all? It is not only Vincent's appearance that we love.
I love to watch Joe Lando; he also never fails to raise my pulse rate, but I would never want to see Vincent any different at all. He is my No. 1. pin-up. I also like Moulder [sic] from the X Files, and Lorenzo Lamas from Renagade. It surprised me to learn that I wasn't the only one who liked Lt Worf from Star Trek New Generation. There is just something about him that captures my attention.
To everyone involved in any way with B&B fandom in this country I would say this; remember what happened in Germany? Like us, they had two enthusiastic and well-run fan clubs...now they have nothing.

I am compelled to make a heartfelt and, I hope, polite request. Must we endure any more speculation about the so called "rift" between two clubs, especially in what is for the most part an unrelated, independent magazine? If things could at this moment be resolved with mere tolerance, hugs and kisses, as people have suggested, then the events would not have occurred in the first place. Do they honestly believe that such an immensely serious decision was made on a whim?! If you need to discuss it, then PLEASE write to the persons involved. Whilst they do not feel the need to defend themselves at al, I know that they would welcome any queries put directly to them. People have asked me for explanations, but I always direct them towards the official council members because, as an honorary member, I am not involved in decision making. I enjoy lively discussion about any aspects of B&B and its fandom, and also understand peoples anguish and concern, but in a magazine like Chatterbox I would prefer reading less about such a subject as this.

Surely such views should be aired in the appropriate clubs own mags?

Let's be honest here. I do not believe that the film makers are genuinely interested in what we get up to over here. I even doubt that the very public USA convention battles about third season would have had any impact. They are business people, simply concerned with profit and it would be unlikely that they would be even aware of, what would seem to them if they were, mere discord amongst fans.

We all desire a movie and I can understand your concern, but, hard as it sounds, I believe we will only have one if the powers that be decide it will make money.
I've never once rewatched " Though Lovers Be Lost". It was to painful both for what it did to Catherine, and what it did to the fandom.
Tunnel Con Convention: I had heard so much about the rift in fandom that I had a sense of real trepidation in even attending, I figured there would be people at each others throats! Not the case at all, it was a warm, wonderful convention full of interesting, talented people, and they commented that they felt that all the trouble had been caused by a small handful of people, but they had been so loud and vocal, that they had made themselves 'greater than their numbers'.
The 3rd season, to me, was as well done as they could possibly do, under the circumstances they were faced with. The fact that it worked so well for me and others is a tribute to the talents of all concerned. I like Diana; there's so few good female characters on TV, and the idea of a 'psychic detective' really appealed to me. I'd love to see her wind up with Joe Maxwell; I think they would be a good match.

August 1995 (3A)

Chatterbox was published in August 1995 and contains 38 pages. It contains art by Lynn Simpson, Renate Haller, Rosemarie Hauer, Pam Tuck, and Inez Brown.

cover of August 1995, Lynn Simpson
  • Cherished, poem by Katrina Relf
  • Feel the Love, poem by Mandy Hawthorne
  • The Fifth Letter from Father to Vincent, by Glenys Walker (Father goes to the dentist Above.)
  • A Promise Kept, vignette by Babs Horne
  • Word Search by Katie Atkins
  • Quiz by Gwen Lord

This issue has many comments and reports about the Roy Dotrice Reunion.

There are many comments about the recent split between Helper's Network UK ("H.N.U.K.") and Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber ("UK Chamber"). One open letter by, Alison, the chair of "Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber" took another fan named Sylvia to task from many comments in previous issues, illustrating what she felt to be this fan's desire to to grind axes and create division.

From the editor:

I have come to realise that Chatterbox is being used as a forum for personal grievances and this will not continue. It was never intended to use this Letterzine as a for persona arguments. I must stress to you that any letters, either to do with BatB, or any other series you may want to write about are welcome. I must also state the fact that Chatterbox mt m extension of Helpers Network UK some people seem to think. It is exclusively a Ritoma Production, it is not affiliated to any other organizations. I alone, am responsible for all that is included in this publication.

I am sorry that this letter is so serious but I must put it as plainly as I can that Chatterbox is not a biased Letterzine. Anyone at any time can air their views in whichever direction they choose, but I will no longer allow letters of a personal nature or those concerning the rift between UK Chamber and H.N.U.K. to be printed. This issue is the last time.

I know, from the wonderful letters I receive, how much you all enjoy Chatterbox because you say it's a great Letterzine. It's friendly and sometimes touching, even funny, like Glenys Walker's letters to Vincent, and especially the letter from Mary Page saying that there was a mix-up with her seagulls. Was it that Vincent is a Catherine, or that Catherine is a Vincent? These are the type of letters we need, homely, humorous and interesting letters. Chatterbox is a family Letterzine, let's fill it with topics we can all enjoy.

I would like to offer my apolgies to the Council of UK Chamber for any hurt they felt by letters included in Chatterbox. As editor, I am responsible for all inclusion. At Chatterbox, we offer the hand of Friendship to both H.N.U.K. and U.K. Chamber, who each keep the Dream Alive so beautifully.

August 1995 (3A): Letter Excerpts

from August 1995, Pam Tuck
from August 1995, Inez Brown. An example of self-insertion, "The sooner you write, the sooner you will be in those wonderful arms."

At last, I finally got to meet Ron Perlman and just about every actor and producer connected with Beauty and the Beast at The Distant Shore Convention held in LA USA in July '95.

In alphabetical order they were: Jay Acavone, Edward Albert, Ritch Brinkley, Roy Dotrice, Ellen Geer, Howard Gordon, David Greenlee, Ron Koslow, Stephen Kursfield, John Franklin, David Schwartz, "Bridget" "Kipper," "Jenny" and "Michael", Casey Clark and Ren Woods. An informal discussion with the two heads of Republic Pictures, Robert W. Sigman, (President) and Tom Szwak (Senior Vice-President) meant that it was possible to put forward, at last, our hopes, dreams and support for the movie and further video releases. They listened and were impressed. It is really good to know that I have their promise that a contact with them has now been established. It would appear that a movie or two does now sound to be very much in the air.

I'd like to comment on the Disney's 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST debate!

I didn't want to lose the Beast either - he had a wonderful, noble face which was far more interesting than that of the Prince he changed back into. But Belle could never have had a ^Happy Life' with the Beast; we saw the way the villagers reacted when they saw him, he would never have been left to live his life in peace, and he and Belle would have had to live in constant fear of what they might do next to try and 'kill the Beast'. Also, the whole point of the story is that outer appearances mean nothing, so we should be happy that BeUe was able to share a normal life with the man whose heart she fell in love with.

None of us wanted Vincent's appearance to change either, because, let's face it, most of us fancy him like mad just the way he is!! BUT aren't we being SELFISH in not wanting him to change? Aren't we denying him entrance to a world where he could live in the sunlight, just because we love looking at that gorgeous unique face? If Vincent had the choice, I feel sure that a big part of him (oo-er!!) would WANT to change his appearance so that he could be a real partner for Catherine, in the world where she belongs. But if we want him to stay the way he is, we are putting too much emphasis on appearance; an attitude which caused Vincent to be a ' prisoner' in his world in the first place! If we love Vincent as much as we say we do, we should put his needs before our own! If he could change and look like a regular guy, he wouldn't feel so insecure in many ways, and it would save him a lot of self-torture - and that's something I would want for him more than anything, ie. peace of mind.

I also like to mention that I would not like for Vincent to be changed in outward looks with a kiss. No-way! The same stands true, if he was, by the writers to fall in love with any woman. There is only one woman for him, and that is Catherine. If that was come to pass, that too, would take Vincent completely out of character, it would take Vincent to be, just like any other man (at least most) and he is not. It can never be, for neither one of them: Vincent and Catherine, that is what made the show 'Beauty and the Beast that is what gave the hope, for something better, something true and honest. Those are the things which are

missing in this world of ours. For, without hope, there's nothing.
Father tells Catherine, part of Vincent is a man, but the outward appearance is lion like, underneath that lovely lion face Vincent is all man. Everyone longs for such a man.
I have seen the Disney B&B and I quite liked it. I don't see my reason why the beast shouldn't turn into a handsome prince at the end after al, it is a fable and that is the ending. Nobody would dream of making Snow White stay with the dwarfs in the forest because they had saved her life and fallen in love with her. Vincent started life as a 'Beast' why should he change into a human?

October 1995 (4A)

Chatterbox was published in October 1995 and contains 40 pages.

cover of October 1995, Marina Broers
  • Your World, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • You Carry Our Light, poem by Katrina Relf
  • Selfish Season, fiction by Mary Page
  • Word Find by Katie Atkins
  • Quiz by Gwen Lord

October 1995 (4A): Letter Excerpts

When Tom and I attended the very first con in Basingstoke, we had such trouble finding the place, but eventually we arrived and was made so welcome. It was also there that I met two other friends Carolynn Taylor and Lynn Simpson, we have stayed friends ever since. We also paid several visits to Northampton. These visits were friendly, and most enjoyable. I remember the beautiful costumes Mary made of a dragon and unicorn, they were fabulous. And yes I too remember my first glimpse of John Picton as Vincent. Gill and John Picton are true B&B fans, always ready to help, and offer their friendship. There is nothing like being with B&B people, they are so warm, friendly, and so very giving of themselves. I found it hard to leave any of the conventions that I have attended.

Things have changed since the early days, and I do so wish we could get them back again. I am sure this is what a film or tv episodes would do for us, so please wherever you have to write then write, and also get your friends and family to write, the more the better.

Since the last issue of Chatterbox, in early August, we have heard on the Hollywood jungle drums, that Republic Pictures are very interested in B&B TV movies. The burning question is whether we the fans would accept a Catherine replacement if Linda chose not to accept the part. Like you, when I heard this, I had to sit down and really work it out. I'd gone over it in my mind so many times before, but here I was, needing to give a straight answer. With so much money involved in a project of this magnitude. Republic cannot afford to find that we are all talk and no action. In 1989 when I first watched this mystical programme, I never thought for a moment that it would capture my heart the way it did.

[personal info redacted]

My grief was total and nobody seemed able to help or give me the comfort I needed so desperately. It wasn't until I watched Orphans in 1990, when Vincent words worked pure magic for me and helped me come to terms with my own tragedy. I felt, and still do, such a debt of gratitude to this programme and Ron Koslow that I decided to do all I could to save B&B when it was going to be axed, and all these years since I have tried and will go on trying to do all I can on behalf of the fans of this beautiful show of ours. Now this is the question we are being asked by Republic, will we support a movie if Linda Hamilton cannot play "Catherine" and they have to recast the role? Thus far, the format for the mini-series will have the first hour reviving Catherine and explaining it, and the second hour will proceed to a story. Catherine will be featured'. I want Linda for this part, she is Catherine! But should she turn it down, I will respect her decision and, only then, would I vote that we accept a replacement, so all we have worked so hard for over the years, isn't lost for ever.

Let's go all out for this 'MIRACLE' we are being offered new B&B at last and support Republic to the hilt. To Linda Hamilton, wherever you are, please know this.. .We want you in this role. But if you cannot do this, then please know how much we want you, as you have never shone so brightly as a star, as when you were Catherine Chandler.

Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton as Vincent and Catherine were the very essence of Beauty and the Beast. I just hope that the powers that be will do whatever it takes to persuade Linda Hamilton to reprise her role as Catherine Chandler, and we must not forget either that Ron Koslow created it especially for her. On the downside, if Linda should choose not to participate in any future productions, then of course, we have to respect her decision. To me it would be just as ridiculous to attempt to reprise the role of Vincent with anyone other than Ron Perlman! Let's give our support to Republic and

hope that with love all things are indeed possible.
I know you're not supposed to immerse yourself too far in fantasy, but B&B and all it stands for makes life less unbearable, and I believe losing my thoughts in the world of Below helps me to cope.
My deep gratitude goes to fans who continue to expand on a desire for a happy life for Vincent and Catherine, than the one the script writers allowed. I had always felt a deep sense of sadness at the selfishness shown by those Below when V&C had wanted to try and go away together. There is nothing more cruel than having a beautiful possibility placed before you, only to have it taken from you when you want it so badly. Of course there were risks, but no more than when he went Above. So thank you for giving Vincent and Catherine their happy life together.

December 1995 (5A)

Chatterbox was published in December 1995.

  • The Gift, story by Linda S. Barth
  • The Gift of Warmth, story by Mary Page
  • other unknown content
  • con report by Mary Page for the UK Chambers convention
  • art by Renate Haller and Marina Broers
  • poem by Sylvia Brookworth


February 1996 (6A)

Chatterbox was published in February 1996 and contains 34 pages.

front cover of February 1996, Renate Haller
back cover of February 1996, Pam Tuck
from February 1996, Pam Tuck

At this time, there are 120 subscribers.

  • Remember Love, poem by Rosemarie Hauer
  • Winterfest - Our Circle of Light, poem by Suzie Prince
  • Even I Can Dare to Dream, poem by Peggy Garvin
  • Here With Me, In the Dark, poem by Caterina Cantone
  • Completeness, poem by Beverley Ann Thomas
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • quiz by Gwen Lord
  • a long form letter about Christopher Reeve by Darlene Sullivan, sent by the Friends of Christopher Reeve fan club

February 1996 (6A): Letter Excerpts

When Ron Koslow put pen to paper and gave us the Pilot he was inspired as he wove this unique storyline. Then as the weeks unfolded more and more quality television in the form of unforgettable storylines came our way. Now while out of production we have the chance to review these episodes, time and time again, re-familiarizing us with the beauty that captured millions of viewers all over the world. Now more than ever we need to have newsletters, letterzines, fanzines and conventions to keep alive this wonderful fandom. But it is up to us and us alone to do this. Each of us who want more B&B either a new series for tv, or movies for tv, has to help. We can't let just a few carry the heavy burden of this fandom, while we sit back and enjoy what others do. This is our fandom and we each have to do our bit. Not everyone is skilled in writing fanzines or thinking up wordsearches but we all have a part to play, be it contributing or simply supporting it with buying the reading matter or items produced. So please, send Rita LETTERS for this publication, support the two British fan clubs and do support Helpers Network UK. But most of all lend your support to the May Convention in Manchester then our efforts will reach the ears of Republic Pictures, who are watching us and our loyalty to this fandom.

April 1996 (1B)

Chatterbox was published in April 1996 and contains 44 pages.

cover of April 1996, Marina Broers
  • The Child is Father of the Man, essay by Joy Faulkner (focuses on the darker side of Vincent's relationship with his father.) (also in Of Love and Hope #3 and Helper's Network UK)
  • Roy Dotrice: Mr. Nice Guy, essay by Gwen Lord ("This is a chance to let everyone see the other side of the actor the public have come to love. Roy and his wife Kay are my dearest friends. Roy is also my partner in crime, so to speak, as we run his Fan Association together, with memberships ever on the increase.")
  • My Song to Vincent: Let Me Teach You, Tonight, filk by Barbara Alterman to the tune of "Teach Me Tonight"
  • Easter Treasure Hunt, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • a review of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander fiction on audio cassette tapes
  • a BatB trivia quiz
  • a word search by Katie Atkins

April 1996 (1B): Letter Excerpts

For our dream of seeing BatB on our screens again, we must go on fighting. Just because we have hear of talks going on, doesn't mean we no longer need to write. We need to write more, and more letters, to Republic, to the stars. Don't let them think we have forgotten them in our effort of writing to the people who will make the movie/episodes. The stars who worked hard and long hours, need our assurance, that we want them back, let them know that we do WANT them.

I'm grateful to Paramount for giving us Vincent's letters at the end of "Masques," "The Beast Within," "Nor Iron Bars a Cage," and "Song of Orpheus." Isn't it a shame that Republic didn't ever put the first four letters onto video as well?

I heard along the 'pipes' here that some progress has been made toward our BatB mini series. No word on casting as yet. I, of course, wrote to Republic with my support of a movie or t.v. mini series (or both). We are now getting re-runs of the episodes once more here on the Sci-Fi channel. They had been discontinued for a while, then brought back -- perhaps due to a lot of letter writing from fans, like myself...

I wonder how many Paramount views have now found the fan club through the TV channel's [recent] screening of our beloved show? Incidentally, I phone them recently and the guy I spoke to believed that even when they have screened all the episodes, they'll probably just begin all over again! Isn't that wonderful?! Start saving up for those satellite dishes, people.

[...]

Just before I go, are there any 'rabid' Edward Albert fans out there who would care to write me and discuss all his greatest assets in lurid detail?! I'll be contactable on E-Mail soon!

June 1996 (2B)

Chatterbox was published in June 1996 and contains 44 pages.

cover of June 1996, Helen Malden

At this time, there are 95 subscribers, "not bad for a little letterzine."

  • Mouse Tales, poem by Suzie Prince
  • Twin Hearts, poem by Christine Smith
  • Journey, poem by Heidelore T. Davidson
  • article by Sue Haley that was compiled from Con Video material and my own notes from Masques '92". (a bio of David Greenlee, character study of Mouse, also includes a lot about working on "Beauty and the Beast")
  • article by Gwen Lord about David Schwartz
  • To Save the Child, story by Christine Cunningham
  • The Warmth of Below, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • "From the Desk of Christopher Reeve", a reprinted letter by Reeve, "This has been brought to you from: "International Information Research", a request for donations to The American Paralysis Association
  • trivia quiz by Gwen Lord
  • word search by Katie Atkins

June 1996 (2B): Letter Excerpts

Well... at first, when I received the first letter from Rita, I did not know at all what a "Letterzine" was. In Italy we have not got one, so I was quite prudent, but also very curious about it. Now, I thank Rita, and you Gwen, for letting me know that Rita's beautiful Chatterbox existed.

It is a Universe of letters and I love it. It is a wonderful way to keep "The Dream Alive" with friendship and love. I believe that I couldn't bear to know that one day my mail box has no Chatterbox for me.
I read attentively what Mr Sigman said and I think it is the only logical solution to our problem. But, you know (we know), there are a lot of SND fanzines with other... solutions. What do you think about that?
So may of us have suffered trauma and sorrow over the last few months (for some of us, the worry continues) and somehow it helps when Chatterbox readers share their troubles and compassion for others. Isn't it good when you feel blue to journey down to the tunnels into Vincent's world? What would we do without BatB? I find that my thoughts turn to it several times a day...
By the way, maybe I am wrong, but I don't see any comments on the story fine of the eventual mini series of B&B. Can anyone tell me why?
It's great to hear that the mini-series is getting on, also, that the next 4 videos are out, and the next 4 in the making.

My first zine was "Tunnels" by Barbara Storey, the story I started was "Comfort" by someone who called herself "Rose." I hadn't even had the chance to watch season two by that time, so I hadn't even imagined V&C kissing. And then there was that paragraph that got my imagination started.

"...[Catherine sees Vincent naked]... And there was a different kind of ache in the realization that her Vincent was in no way different that other men."

Up until that time, I hadn't given Vincent's anatomy too much thought (honest!), but that paragraph set off a chain reaction of fantasies, and suddenly everything became possible for the two lovers.

If memory serves me correctly, "One Day a Rapture" by Pamela Garrett was the next zine, and I remember that I found the "Adult" sections quite overwhelming in the beginning. Anyway, it kind of grows on you and you don't blush so often anymore if you stick with it.

"Bondstories" was soon to follow, so you see I had a very lucky start (with a few exceptions). It took me two more years before I discovered British fandom...
I think that one of the best things to have sprung from "Beauty and the Beast" is the desire to write, draw, paint, embroider, compose - anything to keep the dream alive.
When discovered writing, I realized that there was a vast potential of energy within me that had waited patiently for me to find access to it. BatB did that for me. You know, I started drawing because I was frustrated that I couldn't share my (German) stories with my newly found friends. No such problem with pictures. No barrier of language there. For me, the source of it all was the intriguing character of Vincent and his very special love for Catherine. The love is an essential part of his character. I could relate to Vincent so well. He was like a part of my own personality. When I dreamed of him, I found myself being him rather than seeing him. Am I making sense?

August 1996 (3B)

Chatterbox was published in August 1996 and contains 36 pages.

cover of August 1996, Renate Haller
  • a fan recounts meeting Linda Hamilton ("Meeting Linda was the best moment of my life, and she made it special by being one of the nicest people I have ever met. Linda is kind and caring, which some people miss or choose to ignore, for whatever reason."
  • an update by a fan of what Linda Hamilton is up to professionally
  • A Sixth Letter to Vincent from Father by Glenys Walker
  • word search by Katie Atkins


August 1996 (3B): Letter Excerpts

This year has been a challenge for me, as those of you close to me already know. I would like to thank you for all your undying support. I don't know where I would be without you. [...] I'm longing to disappear into the tunnel world where the warmth and comfort is waiting for me. Do I sound like a helpless case?
To hear the mini-series has been put on hold for 6 months is very disappointing, but we must live in hopes, 'The powers that be' won't let us down. I am compensated by the fact that the episodes are still being made on video. I am now waiting for 6 they have done, making 22 episodes to the end of the 1st season. That's really great. Our only hope now, is that they keep on making them, dare we hope until 56 episodes have been done.

The B&B Convention "A Moment In Time" may be over,, but the memory lingers on! With photo's and a video, now available, of this informal relaxed and entertaining weekend at the lovely Sacba's Hotel.

Amber James was the Convention Manager, who like the conductor of a symphony orchestra, guided the lead players (the Committee) and the rest of the orchestra (the helpers) with confident efficiency, to produce a melody for the audience, that will linger for many a year. Jamie Murray (Myhr) was flown in from Texas to MC the event, while Roy Dotrice flew in early from Hollywood to attend as a guest.

The weekend was a joy to attend and ran beautifully. To add to the spice of things during the disco on Saturday night - midnight - the fire alarm went off and everyone had to go quickly outside to the car park. Then three fire engines and a police car arrived, to discover that it was a shorting of the electric system, due to a bath that overflowed, so it wasn't serious. But the stories circulating after it were very funny!

October 1996 (4B)

Chatterbox was published in October 1996.

December 1996 (5B)

Chatterbox was published in December 1996. It has a color cover by Pam Tuck.

  • a story by Gwen Lord


February 1997 (6B)

Chatterbox was published in February 1997 and contains 43 pages.

cover of February 1997, Barbara Gipson
  • Vincent's Box, poem by Glenys Walker
  • Happy Winterfest, My Dearest Father, poem by Elizabeth Auer
  • I Tried My Best, poem by H.T. Davidson
  • The Return, story by Mary Page
  • I Will Know, poem by Barbara Alterman
  • Be My Valentine, story by Christine Cunningham
  • quiz by Gwen Lord
  • word search puzzle by Katie Atkins

February 1997 (6B): Letter Excerpts

Lately I had the chance to watch a tape with Ron Perlman interviews (thanks Pat!!) and it touched me to feel the newness of it all. It must have been wonderful to be around when everything was fresh and new and full of possibilities. At that time, I didn't even know that such a thing as fandom existed. Anyway, the Dream may have come of age, but it's still in our hearts, and as long as we cherish it, it will never fade away.
This is the second day of 1997, and I find myself wondering what this year will bring: Will it, I wonder, give us the movie we long for so much? Will it bring our beloved show back to our screens, once more? One thing is for certain, he may have ' left our screens, but he stays strongly and permanently in our hearts.

I hate to say this but I'm very doubtful about seeing our series back on Paramount in the near future, because anyone who receives the Paramount channel will know that it is now a comedy channel, so our B&B will certainly not fit into that category, will it? Still, let's thank our lucky stars that Paramount did show our series in its entirety and gave us all of first season and a few episodes of second season in a second run. So, a big thank you to Paramount because, through these re - runs, we also now have many new members in our fandom.

Let's continue to hope that another network will have the good sense to pick it up some day soon.

I wonder how many of you remember the the very early days of this fandom, when it was all so new to us, and we were so keen to get our hands on vital B&B goods. It was way back in 1988 that Jeanne Cloud produced a Letterzine called 'Once Upon A Time', where B&B fans could exchange views about the series and share their favourite moments on the show. This was laced with poems and photo's it was a big success. Sadly the letters which once were a never ending pile, started to filter out and each issue was an uphill struggle. Then in 1995, word went round that it was folding and they would be doing a bumper issue of letters from each issue. This they did and it was a lovely read.

From all this sad loss, we have to learn and grow, so that the good we all try to do for this series, that we love so much, hasn't been for nothing.

We must look at what we have now, here in the UK we have Chatterbox. It was never meant to be a rival but another arm reaching out to help fans to remember and to keep the dream alive.

We must not let what happened to 'Once Upon A Time' happen to Chatterbox. Please support Rita all you can. She works so hard to bring you this excellent letterzine. We need all the Newsletters and Conventions, they are our life line, show you care by writing and keeping these productions going.

April 1997 (1C)

Chatterbox was published in April 1997 and contains 47 pages.

cover of April 1997, Barbara Gipson
from April 1997, Pam Tuck
  • Hope in Faith of Love, poem by Heidelore T. Davidson
  • Too Deep for Tears, poem by Babs Horne
  • When You Are Away, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • Jacob, poem by Many Hawthorn
  • Nobody's Child, story by Christine Cunningham
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • Writing for Fanzines, part one by Ann R. Brown ("You've just finished reading Skyscrapers and Sewers and you say to yourself, "I'll bet I could write a Vincent and Catherine story as good as that one." This first article will give you some hints on how to find plot ideas and how to structure your story so that a zine editor will gobble it up like a starving panther, and beg you for more.")

April 1997 (1C): Letter Excerpts

By the time you read this latest edition from Rita, I expect everyone in this fandom, will have heard of the death of [Sara C] on Tuesday March 18th 1997. I just wanted to pay my tribute to this special lady. It was in August 1992, that Sara first contacted me about B&B the programme that had captured her heart. We were soon exchanging letters. Then in June 93, Jacqui Clarke and I went to U.S.A. for a holiday and on to the B&B convention. It was at that convention that I met Sara. I remember a group of us going everywhere together. One night we all went to a Mexican Restaurant and amid a gorgeous meal Sara had us doing a table game which was so funny. Sara eventually paid for all of us, but that was the kind of person she was. Her interpretation of the rat catcher in the fancy dress at each convention she attended was a hoot. As she would dash across the stage to catch her clockwork rat.

It was with deep sadness that we heard that she had cancer. This did not daunt Sara, who took all the treatment and sickness in her stride. One knock after another she dealt with, like the trouper she was. Maybe her army training helped her here, or the patience she needed in her second career as a teacher.

Sara joined Roy Dotrice's fan club in 93. Roy wrote often to her and rang her several times, in the months she was ill.

Sara lost her fight to live.

All Sara went through must not be wasted or lost. Her courage and determination, must be a beacon to help others who suffer like Sara. It is with great sadness that I remove Sara's card from my file. Sara had become a special friend who found in this fandom the family she did not have. When it grows dark tonight, look up at the sky I am sure you will see an extra star burning very bright that will be Sara

June 1997 (2C)

Chatterbox was published in June 1997 and contains 47 pages.

cover of June 1997, Pam Tuck
from June 1997, Pam Tuck
  • This is Now, poem by Sandra Deville
  • April Trilogy, poem by Elizabeth Auer
  • Writing for Fanzines, part two, article by Ann R. Brown
  • The Romany Boy, poem based on the episode "Everything is Everything," by Glenys Walker
  • Whispers, poem by Mandy Hawthorn
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • a long con report for the very last Winterfest hosted by Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber, see Winterfest
  • there are comments about the cessation of the fan club, Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber
  • a memorial to Sara C, a fan who passed away the previous month ("Sara once wrote: " Put a little light out in the tunnel for me - - it doesn't have to chase away the darkness - it only has to guide me." We did that for her. Can we do less for others?.")

June 1997 (2C): Letter Excerpts

Well, my friends here we are with our June issue. I hope you will enjoy this one as much as you seem to have enjoyed the April one. I must tell you however that my stock of letters and stories has now hit rock bottom, So I am asking you if

you would please send in something if only two lines saying how much you enjoy Chatterbox or even if you find something you don't like. A short story would also help us along. I know a lot of you like reading B&B stories.

The April 97 issue arrived today, so everything had to come to a standstill until I had read every word from cover to cover. Every issue has gone from strength to strength. The contents and presentation has also gone better and better, as anyone with past issues will agree. I felt sure, that the issues couldn't get any better, but how wrong I was. Each each issue jumps ahead as even better. Rita you are a gem, and we the Beauty and the Beast fans world wide, thank you, for doing this publication, and giving us all a forum, where the voice of B&B can still be heard.

Any B&B fan will tell you, that sadly there isn't as much B&B info or goods around as there used to be. This is only to be expected, it happens with any series when off the airways for so long. But, amid all that, the hard core fans are out there still. Rita's Chatterbox is the perfect example for those out there who want to help keep the dream alive until we have our series on the screen again.

[...]

A letterzine cannot run without letters, it would be a shame to see the only letterzine left go down for lack of input.

It's a sad fact that people move on to other interests and/or fandoms as the years pass, and now that the UK. Chamber has decided to cease operation in a somewhat unpleasant manner, it seems to me, more important than ever, that those of us who still love the show, demonstrate support to those remaining organisations such as "Chatterbox", " Helpers Network UK." and " The British Beauty and the Beast Fan Club". Despite negativity displayed recently by the UK. Chamber, there is, fortunately still a devoted contingent of B&B fans who continue to keep the dream alive, even if we don't always show it in the way we really should...by contributing to the magazines we enjoy so much.

Maybe losing yet another of our fan clubs will finally prompt every one of us to write a few lines each time to reassure the hard-working Editors that we're still here; we still appreciate them and we still love Vincent and the rest of the 'gang'.

How would we feel if our Vincent was like Cocteau's beast in the old movie. And would we love Vincent the way we do now.? My answer in all honesty is this Beauty comes from within. This is a well known fact. How you act, how you speak, how you react, how you think, your attitude, are not things you can see. These come from within, and are what makes us the people we are, and what others appreciate in us. So, even though these things can never be seen, they are the most important things about us.

If Vincent looked like Cocteau's beast, it would not scare me, as it is the beauty within that warms another person to you, and vice versa. You get so much love and kindness from the person you love to know, that you never see that which others find unacceptable.

I would be proud to love Vincent as he, and be proud to have him love me.

By now, most of you will know that the UK Chamber is closing its doors, and that the August Chronicle will be their last publication. It is so sad when one of the oldest organisations for B&B comes to an end, especially when their main reasons seem to be lack of support for their conventions and lack of contributions to their publications. " Purr de Lion" died a similar death through lack of input and support, so now those of us who remain in this fandom need to make a decision. Do we let Chatterbox and the remaining organisations go the same way? Or do we pull together and make a supreme effort to keep our dream alive for a while longer? We all know that many people have moved on to pastures new, as so often happens in fandoms, especially when all our hopes of a movie or mini series have so far come to nothing. But even if, and I stress the IF, because I am an optimist and so I shall continue to harbour my hopes and dreams, but IF we never do get our movie, nothing can take away the 56 episodes we already have, or the wonderful friendships we have made through this series. Many fandoms go on surviving happily for many years on what they already have. The series 'Blake Seven' ended years before B&B was even thought about yet their fandom still exists, and what about Elvis Presley's fan club or Marilyn Monroe's?

There is certainly no hope at all of anything new for either of those, but they continue to thrive happily on what they already have. So is our fandom less strong or less interesting? Are we ready to let Vincent and B&B fade into oblivion? I do hope not. We al lead busy lives, and I have been as guilty as the next person for intending to write a letter for one of our publications, but not getting around to doing it, and before I know it the next publication is on the doorstep. We often take it for granted that the next publication wil always amve, but without our joint effort and input one day perhaps it might not. As I have a hopeless memoiy, I now leave the latest publication somewhere prominent in full view until I have written and posted off my contribution.

I do understand those people who say they don't know what to write, or they don't feel as if they can express themselves as well as others do, because I felt exactly the s^e myself during my early years in this fandom. It wasn't laziness, it was lack of confidence and just not knowing what to write. (I bet some of you are thinking " blimey, she's certainly making up for it now!") But I did have a point of view, and when I saw people like Rosemarie Hauer, Renate Haller, Elisabeth Auer and many of our other non-British members taking the trouble to give their opinions in a language that was not their own, it made feel ashamed of my reticence.

English is my first language after all, and even if I could not express myself as well as other people did, I may still be able to offer an alternative point of view. So many times through reading various letters in the pages of Chatterbox, I have come across a certain viewpoint or a totally different opinion to a scene or an episode that I myself had never seen in that way before, and it has really made me think, or view that scene in an entirely different light. So often we are able to offer each other food for thought, and healthy debate can be a very good thing as long as we are able to accept each other's viewpoints with good grace, as the tunnel community would do.

This subject came up during an e-mail discussion with a few B&B friends, and several of them are die-hard Classic fans, and hate third season. One person in particular said that even though she hated third season and the fact that Catherine is supposed to have died, she also felt that it was the fact that this happened and that Vincent and Catherine did not get their happy life at the end of second season that had kept the very intense interest in the programme and in fandom. We were all angry and hurt that Vincent lost his Cadierine, and we weren't ready to accept this, so we all banded together and people began to write fanzines to right the wrong, and give Vincent and Catherine their happy life. Beautiful artwork began to appear, along with poems, music videos, photolabels, etc, and B&B fandom was suddenly very strong and united in its quest to reunite the lovers.

But...what if Vincent and Catherine HAD got their happy life at the end of second season? What if, instead of Catherine dying, they had got married and walked off into the tunnels hand in hand, and all had been as we wanted it to be? Would there still have been a B&B fandom? Or would we have just thought, "what a lovely series, with a nice happy ending," and moved on to something else? Was it the injustice, and Vincent's pain that kept us involved, and if we had still been involved even with a happy ending, what type of fandom would it have been then? What sort of fanzines would have been

written? Would our talented artists have still felt the same desire to draw scenes which had already taken place? Of course we all want that happy ending for Vincent and Catherine; I think we are all united on that, but it is worth considering whether it was the actual striving and fighting for this ending which has held our interest for the past nine years in this country and ten in the States.

August 1997 (3C)

Chatterbox was published in August 1997 and contains 43 pages.

cover of August 1997, Renate Haller
from August 1997, Pam Tuck, also in Bondstories #11
  • Grapes, What Grapes?, vignette by Elaine Fletcher
  • Confusion, poem by Beverley Ann Thomas
  • word find by Katie Atkins
  • a con report for Reflections, see that page
  • Writing for Fanzines, part three, article by Ann R. Brown
From "Writing for Fanzines":

Sex Scenes. They get easier.

There is a market for 'Adult' or 'X-rated' stories, just don't forget that a good story needs more than a hot scene. Even an X-rated tale needs a plot, characters, conflict, and a beginning, middle, and an end. 'First time' stories for Vincent must be very well written or they can get so tiresome. He's already lost his virginity at least 13,000 times.

First of all, go to the library and stack out a stack of heated paperback romances, the ones written for women. Read them all and study the passages, not to copy the scenes of other authors, but to learn how professional writers do it. Women's pom has several interesting characteristics ~ make notes.

The lovers spend a lot of time on the warm-up, the man is generally extremely considerate, and they use poetic words for body parts. Emotion is an essential part of sex scenes written for women. Be as concrete as you can without being gross. It's too easy to drift off into misty vagueness, in the manner of Barbara Cartland. 'Together they seemed to float away ... into ineffable bliss... they seemed to touch the stars ...'

Coyness is passe. Reader's want to know what's really happening! Put in all the senses ; seeing, hearing, touch, scent, and taste, to involve the reader on several levels. Keep our two lovers in character. One editor told me she received a story in which Catherine called Vincent a son of a bitch and he slapped her across the face. Now I ask you, is that likely? Catherine is warm, courageous, generous, intelligent, and a perfectionist, or at least an overachiever. She doesn't leave those qualities behind when she drops her nightie on the floor. Vincent is poetic, very powerful physically, diffident about his body, and reticent about his deepest feelings. That doesn't mean he has to be a whiner.

When writing about Vincent, I beg you not to wimp him out. A little uncertainty may be endearing, but he never was the whimpering crybaby crawling with self-hatred that some fan writers portray. Leave the man some dignity or at least some self-respect.

Adult stories are embarrassing to write, especially in the beginning. I typed my first one with my eyes shut so I wouldn't have to see what I was writing. Still, there's a place for them in the world of fandom and a first draft is something you can always... tear up.

August 1997 (3C): Letter Excerpts

Thanks for the latest edition of Chatterbox letterzine which I received last week. It was disappointing to read your stock of letters has gone down, I'll try my best to build the mail mountain. I would love to write a story but after reading about 80 zines I can't think of anything different.

[...]

Now I don't know about other Beauty and the Beast fans but my enthusiasm for it comes and goes. I can go for weeks without watching an episode and I read zines instead and then I just get the luge to watch an episode, then another and another. Now, Mary's 'Winterfest report' gave me the irresistible urge to watch episodes again and rediscover the magic that was always there in my heart but had faded in my mind.

Also thanks to Avril for informing us that Beauty and the Beast is on the Internet - I hope to be getting hooked up at work soon so I can join in.

I totally agree on 'what if Vincent and Catherine had got their happy life at the end of second season', would there have been any fanzines? To be honest I don't think there would [be] because 90% of fans wanted them to have a happy life [something the show did not provide].
I decided that it was about time to write a few lines [to Chatterbox], too. And maybe also try to explain why this is so. I can only speak for myself: Yes, it is true that I feel uncomfortable with writing an open letter - for all to read - in a foreign language. But it's also true that I actually feel that I haven't much to say, as Pat already guessed as a reason why people simply don't write. I'm quite out of any discussion that's been going on online, and I haven't watched an episode since my last visit with Rosemarie. When was that, Rosie? It feels like AGES ago! And my memory isn't anymore what it used to be. So I feel very unsure where nay personal opinions are concerned and rather keep quiet and listen or read what other people have to say.

Regarding a different ending of the second season, with Vincent and Catherine getting their happy life at last I don't really know how the fandom would have reacted. I guess that a happy ending could have had some influence, though. If the impossibility of their love and therefore the search for solutions whatsoever were no longer a topic, probably most of the 'electricity' and tension that made - and make still - our fantasies soar, would've been gone. We wouldn't have had to figure out anymore all the thousands of different ways they possibly could have gotten closer, kissed, or more ...!

But then again - knowing the writers by now, I guess they surely would have thought of letting a lot of important 'things' happen off screen, so the fans would've had a good time anyway to fantasise about what did or didn't, or how it did happen! Don't you agree?

In earnest, and I'm speaking now of my own feelings and my dedication to this show ; I believe with all my heart that my love for Vincent and Catherine and their unique relationship wouldn't have changed a bit, no matter the ending. It's the characters, the bond, this unique and profound love that have captured my heart, and always will again.

Would everything be different if Vincent and Catherine had got their happy life?! I honestly believe that there would still have been a B&B fandom. This show simply is too special to let it end with a final episode, be it an episode in which they gave them their happy life, be it the final episode as we know it (but won't accept it!) at the end of the third season. If they would have found their happiness, then yes, there would still have been a fandom, there would still be people out there who would create beautiful stories involving the two lovers, and their magical world.

There would be talented artists who would create gorgeous artwork. We would, also have our clubs. The only difference maybe would be that the future would be more 'rosy' ... maybe it would be easier to have our film, all those terrible things in the third season wouldn't have happened, Catherine would still be alive (although they can't use that as an excuse because there are so many good ways to make Catherine 'alive' again - maybe we should send them (Koslow & co) some of our fanzines, then they would have more ideas than they can handle and they could just continue where they left-off.

Maybe we would have a more 'united' fandom - no more 'classical' and 'third season' fans ; we would have been stronger.

Now some of us (not me!) would like to have a film where they continue the third season and others (like I) hate that idea and say that there can be no B&B without Catherine, and that she has to be a part of the movie. This isn't a good situation if we want our movie, so yes, it would have been easier if Vincent and Catherine had found their happy life, it would be easier for the producers to give us our film (although I can imagine that some of you won't agree to this).
I so love my zines, letterzines and other B&TB items, that I wonder why I haven't done more - written an extra story, poem, letter, and it is often the lack of confidence in myself to do justice to B&TB letterzines etc., that has stopped me. I see work of such quality and imagination that I simply can t see myself even getting close. Occasionally I've written the odd item - for the last copy of Purr de Lion I wrote a poem and was fairly pleased with it, but even a note or comment would have been accepted, so I managed the odd letter or two to all letterzines and infozines over the last two years, but stories are my main problem.

B&TB and me....the story so far....

Once upon a time ( as many a great pilot show began...) there was a teenager - not a very happy one as it just so happened - young love being the brutal thing that it is, it had left this particular teenager (me) quite broken-hearted. Convinced nothing would ever heal me, I had skipped going into work that evening and had retreated to my room to lick my wounds. Suffocated by the silence and my own misery, I flicked on the tv... and Vincent's voice lulled into my heart, pulling me down a spiral staircase into a world of enchantment, I knew I would never look back.

I suppose if you knew me you'd say I was a bit of a dreamer, ever since I've been able to read my nose has always been stuck in a book ( books being much easier places to live than the real world). Since childhood I loved the fairytale story beauty and the Beast. - I've always believed in beauty being a thing on the inside that shines through our souls. Maybe it's just that I was born into the wrong century but life in the 1980's and dating in particular was not at all like Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester or Catherine and Vincent and it didn't really live up to my expectations. Beauty and the Beast became an escape for me, an indulgence of romance and the better side of human nature. I only wished that I had found B&B sooner as I had only come across it mid way through the second season and it was on a night that I had to work; broken hearts are only a plausible excuse for one evening off!

Luckily my family had an old clunky betamax video - unluckily - I was the teenager of the household, which ranked me fairly low on the video machine and cassette entitlements - woe betide anyone caught videoing over my little brothers A-Team or Knight Rider tapes! Each week consisted of careful planning (not to mention bribery) as my brother charged two Kinder eggs to video B&B for me and many a poor customer was almost hurled to the ground as I raced across the shop floor in a bid to get to the phone to dial a reminder home...in those days video machines didn't have timers and were very basic - ours in particular always needed a good old moan and five mins warm up time.

With just a few precious episodes on tape I watched and re-watched them. My favourite of the episodes I had caught was 'Arabesque' where Vincent is seen as a youngster and where he rekindles his friendship with a ballerina who had once lived in the tunnels and been his childhood sweetheart. I had never been touched by a programme to the extent books had caught me

before, like books, I carried the programme in my heart, it became part of me, as I worked, fell in love, fell out of love and generally passed along life's pathway, my head in the clouds and my heart in the tunnels!

It was with deep and genuine sadness, that I learned of the closing of the UK Chamber. As here in the UK, we had four arms reaching out to the B&B fans. We had the UK Chamber, The British B&B Fan Club, Chatterbox and Helpers Network UK. These four had a different role to play & fill, and each had a different reason to be there. Each gave to the B&B fans, their own unique package, and the fans got more because of this. Sadly we go from four to three. But we most not let this sadness overshadow what we have, and we have to think positive and really look at this point. Life goes on, and those left have to pick up the pieces, and go forward. Sometimes it takes a jolt like this to make us strong, stronger than before. We all have so much to be thankful for, as we have each other, and we have a dream that we all share. I agree with Pat Paone and Avril Bowles - June issue - that we have to pull together to make what we have stronger. Think of it as an insurance policy, that if we pay up regular, we have much to celebrate in the end. So, what we put into our fandom, so will we have much to gain from it in time.

Please everyone, help us all to help each other, keep supporting those who try to keep Beauty and the Beast alive. It isn't hard, it is our family duty to help support this in our time of need. Please keep those wonderful letters rolling into Rita, as they are the life blood of each publication. I wish Chatterbox could be a monthly or even a weekly production, as the letters, poems, art and articles, are pure gems.

Helpers Network UK welcomes new members into the family, and thanks to reruns on various channels from time to time, or articles in magazines, these soon have letters rolling in to us. The British B&B Fan Club is alive and well, and Joy Faulkner does a great job, as well as Amber James, who has taken on the mammoth task of running the Beauty and the Beast conventions in the UK, no easy task, as any convention manager will tell you. In the USA they hold large conventions each year, and next year there are going to be two, not one, as well as small pockets of B&B activity of fans, gathering at certain times of the year, all over the world.

The fact we haven't got our promised film yet, hasn't deterred this fandom, as we know we WILL get this elusive film one day. I just wish everyone could have a blitz week or two with mail to Republic, to really get their undivided attention. As it is shock treatment in that area, that will waken them up to our loyalty and faith still in them. I feel very humble to be in a position where so many support me as a B&B representative. At the end of the day, we all want the same, don't we? No more and no less, to see Vincent and Catherine back on screen, with Father, Mary, Elliot, Joe, Mouse, Pascal, William...etc. Other series return under pressure from fans, and the pen is mightier than the sword, so we are told. So, please folks, let's stay united, with but a single dream, which each and everyone of us share. Let's be a real family and pull together on this issue.

Let's help those family members who aren't as strong, to feel wanted and needed. Let's renew old B&B ties, let's make a few phone calls, to numbers we used to ring non-stop, and let the very essence of this series that changed all our lives, shine through each day with love for our fellow man, as never before. We are each a part of one another, because we are all B&B fans. I'm proud to be one, aren't you?

And finally, to all the working team at the UK Chamber, I would like to thank you for all you have done for B&B in the past, you will be missed.

October 1997 (4C)

Chatterbox was published in October 1997.

December 1997 (5C)

Chatterbox was published in December 1997 and contains 60 pages.

cover of December 1997, not credited, perhaps Pam Tuck

The editor wrote: "I am using the normal A5 size this year and not the A4 size that you have normally been accustomed to at this time. I hope you will not be disappointed."

  • The Magic of Christmas, poem by Katrina Relf
  • Ode to Chatterbox, poem by Babs Horne
  • untitled story by Gwen Lord
  • word search by Marina Broers
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • A Dream Fulfilled, poem by Glenys Walker
  • A Friend in Need, story by Mary Moulden
  • Dream of a Gift, story by Mary Moulden
  • Because It's Christmas!, poem by Sandra Deville
  • A Christmas Kiss, story by Sandra Deville
  • a con report for Continuum, a Star Trek con in Scotland

December 1997 (5C): Letter Excerpts

The idea of replacing Linda Hamilton [in the hoped for movie] has to be absolutely the last resort. It would be just as crazy to think of recasting Vincent! So, only if Linda chooses not to reprise the role that Ron Koslow created especially for her, would I be prepared to accept another actress in this role and respect whatever decision Linda Hamilton makes.

You may think that I have very fixed ideas, but when I watched the sequel to "Gone With the Wind" entitled "Scarlett", whilst it was some epic (more than twice the length of the first part of the original story by Margaret Mitchell), unfortunately, it failed miserably for me because the magnetism and passion between the two main characters 'Scarlett' and 'Rhett' just wasn't there. So you see this is my main concern; without the original 'Catherine' and 'Vincent' the same thing could quite easily happen.

[...]

The fact that Linda Hamilton is very much alive and kicking should be incentive enough to do whatever it takes to make her an offer she can't refuse! Looking at her recent wedding photographs, the intervening years have been kind, she is just as beautiful now, as she ever was. James Cameron must consider himself the most fortunate of men!

It is a great pity the writers didn't keep Catherine alive on paper. May be a coma, and we would see Vincent on endless visits to see her in the care of Narcissa, the mystic lady played be Beah Richards.

We wouldn't have felt so betrayed, and due to Catherine's illness and given time, this would have been accepted, after her baby was born. But that kind of a story line, would have given us more of Paracelsus and Gabriel, two actors whose part in future episodes would have 'hold the viewers spellbound.

A lot of B&B fiction might well have been the same even if B&B had ended with a 'happy ending' after two seasons. A lot of B&B fiction taking place during the first two seasons or showing Vincent and Catherine enjoying their 'happy life' together would have remained the same, and quite probably would still have been written.

Judging from my own experience 1 would have to say that whatever doubtful positive value the third season may have had (and I myself doubt that it had any positive value at all), it certainly had a very powerful negative effect on B&B fandom.

[...]

In view of the fact that it begins with Catherine's feature length kidnapping and death, I think that I might well have seen as much third season B&B as I care to.

After all, B&B was based on the relationship between Vincent and Catherine, given that Catherine was dead its hard to see how B&B could continue. As far as I'm concerned the surprising thing is not that the third season failed, but that anyone thought it could ever succeed.

[...]

The fans of B&B put a lot of energy into stories and artwork and poetry and other things that kept B&B alive. However, it may be that a lot of their energy and enthusiasm was spent on rectifying the effects of a disastrous third season. It may be that a lot of their hard work was spent on damage control rather than things that might have been done if it hadn't been necessary to pick up the pieces of B&B after the third season!!! I

February 1998 (6C)

Chatterbox was published in February 1998 and contains 48 pages.

cover of February 1998, Barbara Gipson
  • The Test of Love, poem by Barbara Alterman
  • Heavenly Love, poem by Many Hawthorn
  • Walls, Loneliness and ... You, poem by Elisabeth Auer
  • A Better Class of Reading, story by Gwen Lord
  • word find by Katie Atkins
  • Sweet Revenge, part two: The Menace of the Tunnels, story by Elaine Fletcher
  • a "continuation of Gwen's story in December's Chatterbox," by Julie Pike
  • Balcony Lights, story by Janet Southam (reprinted from The Dream Lives On, Australia 1994)
  • description of Garnet Cavern, and the club's past activities (barbecues, going to the theatre, gardening, more eating, shopping, and general socializing)

February 1998 (6C): Letter Excerpts

1998 sees us still together keeping the dream alive. We have H.N.U.K., The British Beauty and the Beast Fan Club, The Roy Dotrice Fan Club, and now a great publication by Pat Paone called Perlman's Progress. We are also getting reports that a new French B&B Fan Club has been established. If you can, please support everyone who is trying to Keep the Dream Alive.

Chatterbox will be here for as long as you want it. But you have to help keep it going. We need short stories, poems, artwork and, most of all, your letters. No matter how short or long please send them, don't forget your letters are what is keeping Beauty and the Beast alive. The whole world is watching us in Britain, if we fail, then we let all our friends in other countries down. So please continue to support this beautiful series.

It is good news that Channel 5 is showing B&B. This is mainly thanks to a lot of fans who wrote to them via HNUK and Gwen Lord.

This is an ideal time to get fresh video copies for the years ahead. Most important of all is, that now is the time to get your pens and paper out and write to Republic requesting those long over due tv movies. Write to them but don't put B&B on your envelope, just their address, and send it to:The Vice President of Republic Entertainment Inc., 5700, Wilshire Blvd., Suite 525 North, Los Angeles Ca. 90036. U.S.A. Tell them that there is a great demand for new episodes here in the United Kingdom.

Tell them that this petition has been organized by Helpers Network U.K. We must write positive, tell them that we have been waiting a long time, that the number of fans around the world is increasing, and wants new episodes. This I am sure will help us up another rung of the ladder towards new episodes of our wonderful show.
We had a great surprise in France with the beginning of a 'B&B' French Fan Club. Our first meeting was in Paris, December 6th [1997]. It was great and I'm the happiest lady in the world. Have a wonderful '98! I have a feeling it is going to be a great new year. -- Elisabeth Auer
Star Trek ended mid-flight, so to speak, so it was easily acceptable for the programme to be resurrected at a later date. Having B&B come to a halt in such a way might be deemed unsatisfactory in the instance, but similarly its story could have been picked up and carried on in any way the producers chose at a later date. Okay, and it's a horrible thought, there could be the chance that other actors, even for the part of Vincent, would pick up the threads. But what became just as important to me as the wonderful Vincent was a dream behind the show. Don't get me wrong, I love Ron Perlman as Vincent as much as everyone, but hypothetically should we accept the shut down of a show simply because of the choice of actors? All this is debatable of course and also I realise that a great many people actually like and approve of the third season. I, however, feel that it would have been kinder to leave characters in position of hope, albeit uncertain. Gwen's idea of shutting down with Catherine being in a coma rather than dead is also a far more satisfactory option. The finality of her death has been " explained" in many wonderful stories, including carefully thought out resurrections. But for me personally, and beautifully written as they are, they only serve to sweeten the bitter taste of the reality for a relatively short time.

I received Crystal Cavern a few weeks ago from Gwen Lord. In the editor's letter that she always writes, she mentioned that it was only die hard fans that were left. I didn't realise it, but I'm ashamed to say, I too had slowly began to drift away. Owen's words had an effect on me. How could I ever forget the love that B&B sends us. How could I forget that I have so many friends because of it, and how could I forget, I'm who I am because of it? Well, I promptly got out al my videos and I couldn't believe how quickly the love returned. It still has its magic, even though it's of our screens. I'm back now, and I'll never stray again. If the videos can do this to me, imagine what seeing new episodes on TV would do.

[...]

Anyway, it s time I said goodbye for now, as a busy mum of 3 [children] under 6, I can hear my bed calling. It's 11pm; time to say 'goodnight.'
I can't believe the past six months ... I've not only rediscovered B&B, discovered fan clubs and conventions, met others who feel the same, found magazine articles where for years there's been nothing ... but... piece de resistance B&B is back on TV again!

On the subject of Vincent's appearance mentioned in the last few Chatterboxes. I may speak very much out on a limb here, but I didn't really take notice of Vincent's appearance at first ... I know! I know! I find it hard to believe MYSELF now! But at the time it was his manner I was first attracted to and ... his voice ... definitely his voice!! I was drawn, for want of a better description, to his inner beauty long before he appealed to me in any other way, so I don't think it would have mattered to me if he had been less acceptably attractive'. To me Vincent was a mixture of protector, old fashioned hero pd innocent. His lack of the usual adult barriers of cynicism and mistrust allowed his grace and depth of feeling to flow, giving him a childlike magnetism, that I couldn't resist.

[...]

In Disney's B&B and Hunchback of ND... I, felt really cheated because the Beast and Quasimodo were both gazumped ... instead of being rewarded with their heroines love, they were replaced with two 'princes' chiselled straight from the Disney book of handsome hero art for beginners! The Beast and Quasimodo were who we cared about, they were the true heroes. A different Vincent may have captured our hearts slower but I'm sure he would have held them no less true. The outside is only an extension of the inside after all and a beautiful soul will always illuminate through, becoming the picture that is carried in the heart and the image that lies before the eyes.

April 1998 (1D)

Chatterbox was published in April 1998 and contains 48 pages.

cover of April 1998, Jamie Murry: "Twins at Birth"
from the April 1998 issue, Marina Broers
  • Remember Me, poem by Elisabeth Auer
  • Chamber Lites, story by Janet Southam
  • The Friendship Bowl, fiction by Sandra Deville
  • The Blinding Light, poem by Barbara Alterman
  • a review of the zine, Shadow Realms, see that page
  • a color photo of members of the Beauty and the Beast French Fan Club
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • a description of several fan outings by members of Garnet Cavern
    • one to visit people in Wales and enjoy a "smashing cup of tea" and a beautifully clipped hedge
    • one to see the Wyrd Sisters at the Crescent Theatre
    • one to a fan's Christmas party which included "party chicken" and a trifle for the humans, and a turkey leg for the cats
    • one was a "safari to Cornwall" that included a meal of chicken, tiramisu, and five kinds of vegetables
    • one to Willenhall in the rain, and a later power blackout:
      As with many small industrial towns, as times have changed much of the industry has either closed down or moved away. Consequently Willenhall has a bit of an unloved look about it, especially in the rain, but unbowed and with umbrellas aloft, we left the car. After the Childrens' Society and the Cancer Research Shops had yielded their literary booty, we entered the butchers. An old establishment where the gentleman behind the counter wore his straw hat at a jaunty angle, and had obviously learned his customer service in an age when politeness and helpfulness were the order of the day. We came away with the joint of pork, and also some excellent faggots, black pudding, bacon and scratchings ... Next door is a hot bread shop. Miss Tummon bought herself and Mrs. Deville sandwiches, with the intention of eating them for lunch. Miss Armstrong bought Danish Pastries and Mrs. Deville bought Jam Doughnuts. (We couldn't forget Adam on our expedition.) Then Miss Armstrong found a cafe selling HOT PORK SANDWICHES. Three hot pork sandwiches and three cups of coffee later saw us sitting behind steamy glass windows out of the wet.

April 1998 (1D): Letter Excerpts

[from Rita Davies]:

As most of you know I have taken over the British Beauty and the Beast Fan Club, however, this has nothing to do with Chatterbox. I am keeping both publications separate. I have run Chatterbox for five years now and I hope to run it for another five.

I would like to thank Jamie Murray for the artwork that graces our cover. Jamie has given his permission for me to use his art on each issue of Chatterbox. So you are in for a wonderful treat.

[...]

With the tremendous rise in interest for B&B through Channel 5, it would be a great idea if you could put pen to paper again and write to Channel 5 asking if they could show third season later in the evening. Those of us who wrote about the missing episodes from the first two seasons were informed they were 'unsuitable for daytime viewing'. The same could be said for the whole of the third season! So we need to act now. Will you please write to: Dawn Airey, Director of Programmes Channel 5, Broadcasting Limited, 22 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LY.

Please thank Channel 5 for re-running B&B, even wish them "Happy Birthday" they are now a year old! Remember to be polite, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by heaping negative criticism on the Director of Programmes who - must be encouraged to come over to our side. Who knows, if we work together, maybe at a later date we could get a late night slot for a continuous re-run of all three seasons back to back - all episodes and uncut. This is what would make a lot of sense for all of us and, ultimately impress The Powers That Be at Republic Pictures.

I've heard of religious revivals, but truly we are experiencing a Beauty and the Beast revival, since we ran our petition in the November Helpers Network: UK Newsletter, and sent their findings on to Channel 5.

They in turn listened to us, the fans, and agreed to do the reruns. These started on February 2nd daily at 2 pm and the response from the viewing public has been fantastic. Both old fans of this cult series and new fans, have put pen to paper and written in for details of every conceivable thing, to do with series, the episodes and the cast. Now we have this upsurge of desire for this series, we have to move on to the next stage.

The advice we took in this fandom to get B&B on reruns was from a visiting B&B guest, Christopher Toyne, at the A Moment In Time B&B Convention May 1997 [6]. Christopher was a key figure in the making of all 1st season and a lot of 2nd season B&B. His advice to get Republic interested in giving us our much longed for T.V. Movies, was first to get the series on reruns. Then, the fans to write to Republic, telling them of our tremendous success, brought about by our petition.

[...]

DON'T put any reference to B&B on the envelope. But please make sure this man gets the message in your brief one page letter. Our T.V. movie depends on this surge of mail to Republic. Please pull out all the stops to help 'Keep Our Dream Alive'!

The letter below includes a rarity, two letters in reply to it in the same issue, which means at least two fans had prior access to it in order to respond:

I watched B&B when it was aired the first time, but as only my friend and I watched it out of a class of 18 girls, I came to regard it as very much an esoteric cult programme that few others seemed interested in. I little realised, until reading some articles Gwen sent me, that it had such a wide following and had made such an impact on people's lives. I was greatly surprised therefore to learn of all the projects and charitable organisations that have sprung up as a result, all working in the spirit of Vincent, and of the many individuals who follow his example in the way they choose to live their lives, the reason for their good works being, 'It's what Vincent would have done'. Perhaps it's blasphemous to say so, but I get the impression these people regard Vincent as a kind of earth-bound Son of God whom they love, whose example they follow, who inspires them to perform good works and whose spirit will always be with them though he is with them no more. Isn't this exactly the way Christians regard Jesus (?)

I think I must have caught only the first season when it was on the first time around, because I only found out relatively recently that Catherine and Vincent actually have a child together! For me this revelation was akin to discovering for the first time that your parents actually have sex! I had always imagined their love to be of a higher spiritual non-sexual kind, as Catherine says herself - 'we have a bond stronger than friendship or love'. So I was aghast to learn too that you can actually buy X-rated novellas of B&B! Which to me seems a complete violation and perversion of the spirit of B&B. I couldn't have been more incredulous had I been told there was now a porn version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs out by Disney. I was also appalled and dismayed to find that Catherine exits the show by being murdered. I wish I hadn't found out. She doesn't deserve such a demise and nor does Vincent. I think I may quit watching the series before this event takes place, I have a low pain threshold.

[...]

Not since my school friend over 10 years ago have I been able to talk/write B&B with someone. A good analogy would be Vincent suddenly turning a comer in one of the tunnels and coming face to face with another just like him whom he had no idea existed, and then finding himself bursting with questions, things to share and tales to tell from the time he was bom to the present moment. I'm sure Chatterbox readers understand. This outpouring is 10 years of enforced silence exploding.

You are right, many things has happened because of B&B but to say that we see Vincent as a kind of 'earth-bound Son of God' - well, sorry to say it, but that's nonsense! I loved the show since the beginning, and I have never looked upon Vincent as the 'Son of God'. B&B brings up the good in people. It teaches them the real values of life; caring, understanding, supporting and helping each other. You speak of charitable organisations. Well, I was at the 1996 Manchester convention when a representative of a Charity Organisation came to collect 'our donation'. This had nothing to do with religion, only with helping other people who needed our help! One of the best organisations - in my opinion - that has sprung up as a result of B&B is Father's Fan Fare. Members of this organisation (like I am) are sending cards or letters to people (they don't even know!) who are going through a dark period in their life. These little messages from 'a friend' mean so much for those people. I don't know any other show where there fans are doing this kind of thing? Do you? Has this something to do with religion? No! It's only helping other people, caring for them, wishing them well ...
For you it is terrible that Vincent and Catherine have a child together, and that there are X-rated novellas of B&B. I know that some fans are for it, and some are against it, and that is their right. About those X-rated novellas; there are two kind of these zines : real porno zines which have nothing to do with what B&B is, and then there are also tender love stories which explore Vincent and Catherine's sexual life in a very 'tasteful' way, and these zines are 'not out of character' and can be very beautiful. And yes, Catherine says 'we have a bond stronger than friendship or love' - and this is a part of her 'opening dialog' as an introduction to the series. It doesn't mean that there can't be any friendship or love between them. It refers to their special connection.
As a Christian, I certainly don't see Vincent in the way Christina has described him, nor am I am offended either. I remember hearing Ron Perlman once say, when interviewed about the concept, of Beauty and the Beast ~ "You either get it, or you don't". The outpouring of love for those less fortunate than ourselves is because we have understood the message that the programme imparts. We also look 'beneath the surface' and, when we do, we are reminded, that beauty really is only skin deep. I honestly believe that all the projects and charitable organisations work with these values in mind, and definitely not because as Christina thinks "these people regard Vincent as a kind of earth-bound Son of God".... this is absolute nonsense!
As far as X-rated novellas are concerned... There are some beautifully written stories and one of my all time favourites is "Sleep Sweet of Night" by Pamela Garrett. It really is the most amazing novella and I can only say to [C] that, if you are aghast at your discovery, more's the pity because you will never know what you've missed! Anything, no matter how sensitively it is written, that has a sexual relationship, has to be X-rated. Should anyone need guidance when purchasing adult material, you only have to ask. As a matter of interest, Pam Garrett wrote her story as an alternative to the third season and when she discussed this with the man himself Ron Perlman; he told her that Vincent and Catherine were both alive and well, living in tunnels, with a litter of kittens!

June 1998 (2D)

Chatterbox was published in June 1998 and contains 39 pages.

cover of June 1998, Jamie Murray: "Diversity"
from the June 1998 issue, Renate Haller

This issue was dedicated to Linda Hamilton: "[This issue] is an expression of our love, support, friendship at this particularly difficult and painful time in her life."

  • Perfect Companion, poem by Beverley Thomas
  • Passageways, story by Janet Southam
  • Close Encounters of the Furred Kind, story by Mary Tummon (not Beauty and the Beast)
  • The Elephant's Child, story by Mary Tummon (not Beauty and the Beast)
  • Speaks the Rose, poem by Glenys Walker
  • A Story to Love, story by Martha Corothers
  • Can It Be Told Now, poem by Martha Corothers
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • Vincent's Favourite Things, filk by Daisy Dowlan, to the tune of "These Are a Few of My Favourite Things"
  • Garnet Cavern Doings, description of a fan-lunch at The Manor House in West Bromwich (April 4, 1998), a a visit to Dudley (April 10, 1998)

June 1998 (2D): Letter Excerpts

Kathi Edrington a B&B fan on a B&B USA cruise, entered a "writing a story on a post card" competition, and won. Her prize was to hove guest Ritch Brinkley who played William the cook, to read her story. He fell for her, and they started dating and married. Ritch proposed to her at a B&B convention even!
Clearly no-one at Channel 5 watched the episodes before deciding to put it on at 2pm, or they would have decided on a later time slot and then they would not hove hod to miss any episodes out.
I am very grateful to C5 for bringing Vincent and Catherine and Co into my life, without them I wouldn't have found all this joy and love, warmth and friendship, not to mention getting over writer's block and rediscovering the joy of writing again, but at the same time, I do have to say that they really did carve up a good many episodes like a roast dinner!
VINCENT is all I would ever want in a man, if I hod my time over again. His voice, his gentleness, his love unconditional, his protection - and his looks!!! Just thinking about him gives me great joy!!!
I love this episode, ["Ashes to Ashes"] ...especially when our hero is reduced to tears! Vincent only has to get half a tear in his big baby blue eyes, and I start bubbling! I think the writers of this show were wonderfully brave, showing a grown man crying as often as Vincent did! I also love the hugs, and tender and affectionate squeezes of hands and shoulders that pass between Father and Vincent. It is unusual for American shows to show such affection between two men. I find it wonderfully touching and endearing, don't you.

August 1998 (3D)

Chatterbox was published in August 1998.

cover of August 1998, "Afterglow" by Jamie Murray


October 1998 (4D)

Chatterbox was published in October 1998 and contains 40 pages.

cover of October 1998, Jamie Murray
  • a detailed review by Gwen Lord about the episode "A Kingdom by the Sea"
  • untitled poem by Glenys Walker
  • The Fire of Love, poem by Glenys Walker
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • Sweet Sixteen, story by Janet Southam
  • The Unkindest Cut of All, story by Mary Page (reprinted from Intertwined #4)
  • a report of the activities of the fan club, Garnet Cavern
a bus trip to Birmingham:
The Drip Pot is a very lovely listed building with eating facilities on two floors. They also have waitress service. Very civilising. We chose our preferences, ordered tea and apple fizz and sat down to slow down, gradually ... When our sandwiches arrived they were, to say the least, substantial. (Yes I know, we're back to food again! But this is a Garnet Cavern outing, what did you expect?) All the bread was toasted, granary, and skewered with long cocktail sticks to hold them together. Real chicken, lettuce with very frilly edges, mayonnaise and side salad. Mary and Jayne had Salami on theirs. We forebore the excellent selection of cakes. Instead we called in at the King Charles Patisserie and bought bread, jam doughnuts, Danish pastries and enquired about the Englishness of the strawberries in the strawberry scones and the availability of continental asparagus.
another "Garnet Cavern" gathering:
Armed with diverse tools viz. spades, forks, secateurs and, yes, the dreaded loppers; and girt about with gardening gloves and sunglasses; work commenced and continued apace and mighty were the works performed until the Barbecue was lit. All the afternoon, in the heat of the sun a steady supply of cups of tea and soft drinks flowed from the kitchen, with the valiant Fareedah washing up ... and washing up ... and washing up ... so great was the amount of mugs and glasses to be washed. And in the evening it came to pass that the Barbecue waxed hot and did sear and cook the sausages, pork chops and steak placed upon it. And the honeyed chicken, onion bread, garlic bread and flan was seen to be good in the eyes of the various personages and they did eat of the viands placed before them. But the most wondrous of ail was the Victoria Sponge nobly baked by Uncle Ray. Fareedah washed up.

October 1998 (4D): Letter Excerpts

It's now a year since "The Beauty and the Beast U.K. Chamber" was laid quietly to rest. There were a few mourners but no great show of grief but perhaps that's just as well, for the remnants of fandom are managing to pick themselves up and carry on and I sincerely wish Rita success for picking up the reigns. But how has it affected me personally? Looking back on the past twelve months, I find I have more friends that I meet regularly than before I gave up the club; irony really, but platitudes aside, it has been a fairly pleasant year. -- Sheila Waters
Reading Lorraine's letter brought back memories of watching third season for the first time and what it did to me. There have been moments when I thought the beautiful dream of Beauty and the Beast had shattered into a thousand pieces that I would never be able to put together again. But little by little I picked up the shards and began to notice there was still a sparkle in them as they reflected the light of the initial story. I realised that I could go to every place, and place within our beloved fairy tale and remain there for as long as I wanted.Like Lorraine I just had to watch all of it. If I hadn't, I would have felt like turning away from Vincent ~ as if I was willing only to accept the pleasant side of the story and him.

I share your frustrations with the outcome of the Third Series, although I found it compulsive viewing nonetheless. Ron's portrayal of Vincent is so convincing, isn't it? I am sure if the scriptwriters really wanted, they could turn the whole thing round. (Some of you may remember the 'dream' series in Dallas, whereby the whole of one series turned out to be one of the character's nightmare).

Meanwhile, let's be thankful for the talented fans and writers we have who take the storyline on further, in all sorts of directions. I do so agree with Julie's letter about zines - they really are addictive and open up all sorts of possibilities.
We are in urgent need of LETTERS for our next issues. We simply cannot survive without them as we are a LETTERZINE I urge you PLEASE do send a letter. I know we have had some very interesting letters that deserve a reply. Why not go over your back issues and get that letter wrote that you wanted to write and forgot.

December 1998 (5D)

Chatterbox was published in December 1998 and contains 46 pages.

cover of December 1998, Jamie Murray, "Night Visitor"
  • A Little Christmas Spirit, story by Mary Page
  • Fun in the Snow, story by Lyn Murphy
  • Double Trouble, part one, story by Elaine Fletcher
  • word search by Katie Atkins
  • some more descriptions of outings and get-togethers by Garnet Cavern

December 1998 (5D): Letter Excerpts

A few weeks ago, I flew to Nashville to spend a few days with some veiy dear B&B friends. There were eight of us in all, which included our hostess Peg Mcnabb, and also Linda Barth, Jessie Gumer, Barbara Hill, Terrie Milliman and her lovely mom, Netta, Linda Campanelli and myself. Peg's mom and dad were going away on a weeks vacation and they turned their lovely house over to us while they were gone. The house was in a beautiful location, right out in the country, with woods at the back and a small lake just a short walk away. We had some super walks in the Autumn countryside, toasted marshmallows in front of a real log fire, and chatted about everything under the sun, including B&B, of course.

[...]

As most of you know, Linda Campanelli was one of the scriptwriters on B&B, and although much of what happened during the filming of the series has faded from Linda's memory after all this time, she did relate a few favourite memories for us...

Just a few lines from our neck of the woods, here in Lincolnshire. Jacqui and I have been amazed at the B&B energy ignited by the recent re-runs shown on Channel 5 of our beloved show. New fans have come to light, who have been motivated to pen stories of our Vincent and Catherine, and they are injecting new life into this fandom . It is just what we hoped for, and thank God our prayers have been answered. If Ron Koslows interpretation of B&B had not been written, and the cast not chosen with such care, that this team brought about such a wealth of feelings within us all, that inspired us, in so many various forms. To write, draw, embroider, make jewelry, do signing, and B&B is even in Braille in America. Surely this is not your average TV series? Surely this has to be a gift to us all, in these dark days of short-time work, redundancies, and even war is always a possibility. You always feel re-charged and re-vitalised after watching any episode of B&B. This doesn't happen to my knowledge with any other series does it? So I think it is a gift to us all. Only those with eyes to see will recognise this point, as non B&B fans will re-buff ideas like that, and feel we all need....HELP!

The Internet and Websites, on line or whatever the term is, we have to admit, these avenues have opened up new areas to bring new fans into contact with each other, which can only be good. But spare a thought for those who do not have this modem technology, who live for the OLDE fashioned letter, brought by the friendly postman. Soon it will be Christmas and the end of yet another year. Let's begin 1999 with a positive thought 'support the conventions and keep those letters rolling to friends;

Remember, everything comes to him who waits!

I thought I had better respond to Rita's heartfelt plea for letters! J seem to have degenerated into one of those members with whom I used to get so frustrated when publishing Purr-de-Lion...a reader rather than an active participant. The problem is. I think, that so many of us have been in fandom now for a decade and it s a little hard to think of something original to say in a letter; yet we all want the publications to continue!

I'm not sure quite what the answer is. I confess that, like a lot of others, my interests have expanded and diversified over the years and now incorporate other TV shows and actors. That said, B&B continues to hold a very special warm place in my heart, and I look forward to the conventions each year. Indeed. I shall be making the trip across that 'big ole' pond' again next July with some friends, to attend the USA convention in Orlando, and am very excited at the prospect of possibly meeting Edward Albert again following the announcement that he will do his very best to attend.

As a writer, Vincent and Catherine lived in my head almost constantly for a very long time; they've moved into rented accommodation nearby now. and although I still see them sometimes, we perhaps don't visit as often as we should. Since 1991 I've written virtually every conceivable scenario for our

favourite couple, and although I don't think there will be any more stories, sales of my existing fanzines (and even music videos!) this year, from both home and abroad, has been quite remarkable. And just when I thought it was safe to switch off the photocopier! This tremendously encouraging news for fandom as a whole, and new people are finding us more and more often now through the Internet. There are dozens of B&B pages on the World Wide Web and if you have a computer and a modem, its a piece of cake to find the names of writers and artists to satisfy the yearning for merchandise.

The South London based Turquoise Cavern continues to meet several times a year; the most recent occasion being on that special night when even Vincent can 'walk empty-handed among our enemies'...Halloween. Ten of us gathered to celebrate in a wonderfully appropriate way by going to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast' stage show in London's West End, and what a spectacle it proved to be. The music, performances, scenery and costumes in particular, were magnificent. And while the Beast bore no resemblance whatever to our beautiful Vincent, he was cute and funny; his final metamorphosis into the Prince stunning the audience with its amazing special effects. To round off that particular evening, we watched 'Masques' - what else?! We also still meet to commemorate Vincent's birthday in January; sometimes even riding the carousel in Leicester Square and riding the approach of the 'men in white coats' by waving gaily at each other and yelling " Happy Birthday Vincent!". I'm sure mystified onlookers must wonder who on earth this 'Vincent' is and why his birthday should be celebrated in his absence in such an odd way!

So although some of us keep a lower profile in the newsletters than we used to we're still here. I realise that knowledge doesn't really help Rita without the letters to back up that loyalty, but please know it isn't just the time constraints that prevent us writing, (and certainly not apathy) it's more a question of not having anything earth-shattering to say after all this time.
I loved Gwen's letter 'Dear friends', it is so true and I am afraid I am guilty. I have lots of friends through various interests and bought a computer in the hope of being able to reply sooner, but once I get on the Internet, the letters are forgotten and the pile gets higher. Gwen's letter reminded me that the computer will be there always but if I am not careful my friends won't be.

February 1999 (6D)

Chatterbox was published in February 1999 and contains 39 pages.

cover of February 1999, Rosemarie Hauer
from February 1999, Jamie Murray
from February 1999, Marina Broers
  • A New Year's Wish, poem by Babs Horne
  • Someone Out There, story by Sue Haley
  • Let Us Remember Him, story by Sue Haley (about Winslow)
  • Catherine, poem by Lynn Murphy
  • Catharsis, story by Sue Haley
  • Double Trouble, part two, story by Elaine Fletcher
  • a color illo of Linda Hamilton by Jamie Murray
  • illo of Catherine and Vincent by Marina Broers
  • a lengthy review by Gwen Lord for the episode "Begger's Comet"
  • some more charming accounts of the various activities (and eating!) by members of Garnet Cavern

February 1999 (6D): Letter Excerpts

Here we are with our last issue for this year. We shall only be doing four issues over the coming year. But we will be reducing the subs from £8 to £6. See the enclosed Renewal Form for guidance. I can assure you that you will still get the same quality and more, nothing inside of Chatterbox will change. I hope you will stay and keep the dream alive with us.

I'd like to thank you for another great year of Chatterbox, you and everyone else in the Chatterbox team are definitely what our American cousins would call' a class act'!!!

I am in the process of getting over a case of the 'flu at the moment, and one of the main ways that I'm cheering myself up is by reading various fanzines and S.F. magazines. Reading Chatterbox and H.N.U.K.'s Newsletter and other fanzines, and also other S.F. and fantasy magazines, make me feel closer to people somehow. More a part of things and I've also promised myself that I'm even going to catch up with my letter-writing and subscription renewals eventually!!

Changing the subject slightly, I was watching some S.F. videos at a friend's house not so long ago, and these included an episode of Babylon 5 called" The Fall of Night" This episode is significant in that it featured Roy Dotrice in the role of Fredrick Lantz, an Earth Alliance Diplomat.

Roy gives a very good performance in this episode in several ways. Even though I think of him very much as B&B's own Father, Roy still gave a very good performance creating a different and rather unsympathetic character. I would think that it must be quite difficult to create a character that inspires affection and trust in an audience, and then for the same actor to create an irritating and unsympathetic character in front of the same audience. In addition to being a great fan of B&B, I'm also a great fan of Babylon 5.

Roy Dotrice is completely believable in both roles. Also, he brings some nice touches to his B5 role, so that it is never at all two-dimensional. The character of Lantz initially seems to have warmth and concern for people, but eventually it becomes clear that he is a narrow-minded and rather self-righteous man who isn't going to let the facts get in the way of his opinions!!

In fact, I'm reminded of Joy Faulkner's truly excellent profile of Father's character 'The Child Is Father Of The Man' Perhaps Lantz may be not too far away from the type of person Jacob Wells might have become if he hadn't become the Father we know. Anyway, there's a disquieting thought.
To Avril: I shall be visiting your Fanzine page on the Internet. Good luck to Avril on the Internet, too.
I can't say anything about the Manchester Convention this year I wasn't there, but it seems to have gone down a treat. All there who attended well pleased with it. Which leads me into the 2nd Reunion with Gwen and Roy, in the wonderful city of Lincoln. We do not need a reminder of the success of that. Roy was truly stupendous, Kay too. I realised what a remarkable person she is. It was only the second time I had met her. The first time was the 1st Convention in Birmingham and I was a little scared of Roy, I didn't know what to say to him. Far different today hey! He is so much a part of us, so natural, and he has the knack of making everything go smoothly. Apart from that he is so amusing, ah, the tales he can tell!

I am so glad to be a NEW part of the Chatterbox. I can't wait for the next issue to come. I also want you to know that it has become a big part of my whole family. They all love to read it. They also think it is great that you think my work is good enough for you to print. The Christmas card was a delight for them as well as myself. All the Chatterbox members are so good to include me in their B&B world. If it had not been for this wonderful show, we would not be anything to each other. But with B&B everything is possible. We need each other to keep the dream alive, and with CHATTERBOX we can do a big part toward this goal.

Oh am I blubbering again! I don't mean to at all, it's just that this is the biggest part of my life. And no matter what happens in the future, I will continue to do my best to keep B&B in my heart, in every way I can.

Dear B&B Friends,

Much has been written about the 1st and 2nd seasons of Beauty and the Beast, but very little about the third season. As much as I disagreed with the story-line, much as it hurts to admit it, in my opinion the third season was the best acted, directed and produced. It gave us a quality not associated with a TV series, but the sheer quality of a film. The missing link was Catherine, and without one half of the whole, it caused us all much grief. These past few months there has been speculation about who owned what, and what was the next step? This all became clear in November.

Davis/Panzer Productions were, at last, getting the ball rolling with. the request for each of us to drop them a line, for inclusion on their mailing list, in the New Year, for a new merchandise catalogue. I hope that their enthusiasm, and our dedication will produce a marriage of endless possibilities, so that the dream can go forward.

January 2001

Contains 58 pages.


References

  1. ^ Merchandise, Archived version
  2. ^ Goodies
  3. ^ Chatterbox
  4. ^ reprinted from another letter published "years ago" in the USA.
  5. ^ Edward Woodward who portrays the lead character in The Equalizer married one of Roy Dotrice's daughters in 1987. This connection may account for some of the crossover fanworks between the two shows.
  6. ^ This con did not take place in May, but in August.