Forever (TV series)
|Date(s):||September 22, 2014 – May 5, 2015|
|Medium:||Live-action TV series|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Wikipedia, Official Site, IMDB|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Forever is an American sci-fi/fantasy crime-drama television series starring Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a brilliant and secretly-immortal medical examiner in present-day New York City. It debuted on ABC network on September 22, 2014, and aired until May 5, 2015.
Dr. Henry Morgan's life is a lot like anyone else's. He feels happiness and pain. He's loved and been loved. He's fought in wars, been married, raised a family. But Dr. Morgan has a secret: he's over 200 years old, and he's died many, many times. In 1814, while working as a doctor on his late father's slave ship, The Empress of Africa, and trying to covertly free the slaves on board, he was fatally shot and thrown overboard. Since that first death, he no longer ages, and every time he dies, he disappears and then returns to life in a nearby body of water, naked. Much of Henry's past is shown through flashbacks, where viewers get glimpses of important events that help him solve cases or that relate to current events in Henry's life.
By necessity, his life has been a lonely one. Often, he's been forced to flee and assume a new identity by the revelation of his secret. These days, he lives a quiet life with his only close companion, Abe, an antiques dealer who appears older than Henry but is secretly Henry's son. When Abe was an infant, he was found in a German concentration camp during World War II and brought to Henry by a nurse named Abigail for treatment. Soon after, Henry and Abigail became a couple and adopted Abe.
Henry's long life as a doctor has given him an impressive range of knowledge and remarkable observation skills. Currently, he works as an assistant chief medical examiner in New York City, where he puts his skills to use by solving criminal cases and by studying the most mysterious death of all—his own. Working alongside him is Lucas Wahl (Joel David Moore), an awkward and enthusiastic assistant who greatly admires and respects Henry.
Through work, Henry meets Jo Martinez, a homicide detective for the NYPD. As she investigates a subway crash which, unbeknownst to her, killed Henry, he recognizes Jo as a kindred spirit—though she is mortal, she is recently-widowed, and knows the pain of losing someone you dearly loved all too well. Once Henry is cleared as a suspect, he and Jo strike up a close friendship that, by the end of the series, seemed to be headed in a romantic direction.
The aftermath of the subway crash also introduces Henry to "Adam," an anonymous and somewhat sinister telephone caller who knows Henry's secret and claims to share their "affliction." Adam also claims to be over 2000 years old—a claim that is later verified through DNA samples found at a crime scene. Throughout the series, Adam stalks Henry, kills Henry multiple times, and tries unsuccessfully to convince Henry of the pleasure of taking lives.
- Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd)
- Detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza)
- Abraham "Abe" Morgan (Judd Hirsch)
- Lucas Wahl (Joel David Moore)
- Detective Mike Hanson (Donnie Keshawarz)
- Lieutenant Joanna Reece (Lorraine Toussaint)
Other Noteworthy Characters
- Abigail Morgan (Mackenzie Mauzy, Janet Zarish (older Abigail)) - Henry's beloved third wife, a nurse, who left Henry and disappeared. Her disappearance remained a mystery until episode 1x21, "The Night In Question." A common maiden name given to her in fanfiction is "Rayne."
- Adam (Burn Gorman) - Henry's immortal nemesis and stalker
- Molly Dawes/Iona Payne (Hilarie Burton) - A beautiful, clever domination therapist and professor who greatly intrigued Henry. They shared a brief romantic relationship.
- Nora Morgan (Victoria Haynes, Jane Alexander (older Nora)) - Henry's first wife who, when Henry revealed his immortality to her, had him committed to an asylum
- Isaac Monroe (Cuba Gooding Jr.) - A wealthy hotel financier who took a romantic interest in Jo while she was investigating him as a murder suspect. He and Jo briefly dated.
- Dr. James Carter (Eric William Morris) - An American doctor and friend of Henry's who died of tuberculosis. Appeared in episode 1x3, "Fountain of Youth," and is frequently depicted as a past romantic partner of Henry's in fic.
- Maureen Delacroix (Jane Seymour) - Abe's two-time ex-wife, who tried to persuade Abe to leave for Europe with her
- Sean Moore (Andy Karl) - Jo's late husband, an attorney, who suffered a fatal heart attack pre-series
Forever fans have created a wide variety of fanworks, including fanfiction, fanart, and fanvids, have cosplayed and roleplayed as Forever characters, have made Forever-inspired fandom tea blends on Adagio.com, and more. Most—though not all—fanworks feature Henry in a starring role.
In January 2015, the Forever Fanfiction Tumblr blog was launched. The blog owner regularly reblogs fanfic and fic prompts that authors post or link to on Tumblr. The blog owner later requested that authors post their works with the tag #ficever to make it easier for them to find people's fanfiction and reblog it.
Despite being canceled, communities, fanworks and various challenges are still being posted to various sites, including but not limited to: Tumblr, AO3, Twitter, and FFN. As of September 24, 2016, there are 654 works are at FFN and 970 works at AO3.
In November 2014, Forever received a full-season order. However, in May 2015, ABC announced that Forever had been cancelled after only one season. This decision was met with widespread anger and sadness throughout the Forever fandom community. Many fans bombarded ABC's Facebook pages with angry messages for several days after the announcement. Most quickly turned to online petitions (such as this one, which has 111,833 signatures as of February 6, 2016) and social media to launch the #saveforever campaign. However, in September 2015, series creator Matt Miller announced that Warner Brothers had been unsuccessful at getting another network to continue the series. As of February 2016, the series remains cancelled.
Since the cancellation, Miller has revealed a number of plans that he had for season two in several Twitter Q & A sessions. He revealed which character would learn of Henry's secret first, that Henry had another wife and child/children in his past, and that season two would've featured more flashbacks to Abe's childhood and flashbacks to Henry's childhood as well.
Shipping & Relationships
Many fans appear to be multishippers, though several prefer a particular OTP or gen. The most common romantic relationships featured in Forever fanworks are Jo Martinez/Henry Morgan, Abigail Morgan/Henry Morgan, and Henry Morgan/Lucas Wahl, though there are a number of fics that pair Henry with other characters in the series, such as Adam, Molly/Iona, or even Detective Hanson or Lt. Reece. Henry's close, platonic relationship with his son Abe is also commonly featured, either as a primary or background relationship, as are Henry's friendships with Jo and Lucas, and his tumultuous relationship with Adam. Fortunately, very little wank has erupted over shipping preferences.
- Jo Martinez & Henry Morgan
- Abe Morgan & Henry Morgan
- Henry Morgan & Lucas Wahl
- Adam & Henry Morgan
- Henry Morgan & Mike Hanson
- Jo Martinez/Henry Morgan, arguably the most popular ship in the fandom. Known by the pairing names "Mortinez" and "Jenry." Tumblr users seem partial to "Mortinez," while Twitter users seem to favor "Jenry."
- Abigail Morgan/Henry Morgan
- Henry Morgan/Lucas Wahl, known as "Wahgan"
- Henry Morgan/Iona Payne, known as "Morpayne"
- Adam/Henry Morgan
- Henry Morgan/James Carter, known as "Vintage Gays"
Common Tropes & Fanon
Due to the show's version of immortality, Henry's career as a medical examiner and one-time gravedigger, and the homicide investigations, death is an almost unavoidable subject in Forever fanworks. Henry's deaths are often shown in gifsets, are frequently the subject of meta, and are a regular theme in fanfiction. But, much like the series itself, not all Forever fanworks are grim. Close family and friendship ties, and romantic and platonic love are also important parts of Forever fanworks, from Henry's undying love for his wife and child, to Lt. Reece's fondness for her 11th Precinct staff, to Lucas's starry-eyed admiration for Henry. Fans love to poke fun at Henry's aversion to technology and modern pop culture—especially his disdain for modern music, movies, and microwave ovens—and many share a fondness for Henry's trademark pocketwatch and his apparent love of scarves.
Temporary character death is a common feature in Forever fanfiction. Many stories are centered around him dying and/or the aftermath of each death, have him contemplating the nature of his "curse," or have another character become immortal. Some immortality fics are humorous, concentrating on the embarrassing consequences of his resurrections (his inconvenient nudity), while others are more serious in tone. A few fics even feature Henry's permanent death and its repercussions, or the deaths of other characters, such as Abe or Jo.
Much of the fandom's fic is centered on the "big reveal" - stories where someone, often Jo, learns of Henry's immortality. Characters often learn of this by Henry dying in their presence. Many of these reveal stories are set after the finale, where it looked like Henry might finally tell Jo his secret.
Historical fanfiction featuring stories from Henry's past are also fairly common, and unlike the historical fanfic in many modern canons, few of these stories are true AUs. These stories often focus on the years when Henry was married to Abigail, and the years they spent raising Abe. Works set during this era are often referred to with the phrase "Morgan Family Feels."
Another frequently-featured time period is the early 1900's, when Henry was working with James Carter, a friend and fellow physician who died of tuberculosis, who some believe was more than a friend. A common headcanon is that Henry and James were either romantically involved at some point or shared romantic feelings that they didn't get a chance to act upon before James's death. Speculation about the nature of their relationship increased some after James appeared in Henry's pre-death flashback sequence in the series finale, when Henry thought he might be dying permanently.
Connections with Other Fandoms
Alana de la Garza portrayed ADA Connie Rubirosa in various Law & Order series, has had recurring roles on CSI: Miami and Scorpion, and will soon appear as Clara Seger in the Criminal Minds spinoff Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Joel David Moore appeared as intern Colin Fisher on Bones. Lorraine Toussaint was on Orange is the New Black, and was a regular on Crossing Jordan.
During his lengthy career, Judd Hirsch has appeared in a number of popular TV shows and films, including Numb3rs—David Krumholtz, who portrayed Hirsch's son Charlie on Numb3rs, played a younger Abe in flashbacks.
Burn Gorman appeared in Torchwood as Owen Harper, another semi-immortal character, and various other big fandoms, including Pacific Rim, Dark Knight Rises, and Game of Thrones. Hilarie Burton starred in One Tree Hill as Peyton Sawyer.
Forever's immortality element has also led to comparisons and crossovers with Highlander—something the show referenced as well. When a victim in one of the cases was killed with a sword, film buff Lucas Wahl made a reference to the Highlander film series, unaware of Henry's (and the victim's killer, Adam's) immortality. To Lucas's dismay, Henry did not understand the reference.
- any port in a storm by galerian_ash, Adam/Henry Morgan, "Shh, trust me. I won't hurt you." Adam chuckles, before adding, "I'll kill you, sure, but I wouldn't hurt you."
- Dancing Cheek to Cheek by idelthoughts, Abigail Morgan/Henry Morgan, One night in 1945, at the first USO hosted dance in months, the Allied troops and relief forces are taking a night away from the realities of war. Abigail is determined to get at least one dance out of Dr. Morgan before the night is over.
- Death Fascinates Me by TwilightDeviant, Adam & Henry Morgan, London trembled with panic and a surging righteousness against its immoral victims. Adam cared only for the manner of their deaths, a grotesque fascination for a grotesque method. Compelled by a fulfillment for more information, he sought out the doctor who examined those butchered victims of dear Jack.
- Don't come morning, don't come light by LivingInSmilesIsBetter, Jo Martinez & Henry Morgan, He stuck with her, her strange best friend. He'd promised he always would. Until one night when the moonlight had glinted off the silver edge of a blade, catching her attention a second before it was plunged into her best friend's chest. And she lost him too. (Reveal fic. Henry/Jo Friendship. Takes place May 2015)
- History Repeating by idelthoughts, Jo Martinez/Henry Morgan, Jo knew. She saw Henry die. Now, it was a matter of hoping she would understand.
- Mike Hanson Loses His Bliss by pinkelephant5, Mike Hanson & Henry Morgan, "Life was so much simpler when Henry was just the spooky, scarf-loving M.E. and Jo's unofficial partner slash will-they-won't-they friend. Now I know this massive, impossible secret—not that I ever asked, mind you, or remotely WANTED to know—and life is getting more complicated by the day." Hanson reveal fic.
- On Death and Brains by p0cketw0tch, Henry Morgan & Liv Moore, The day had started with spoiled milk and had ended with both himself and an innocent young woman being shot in the morgue. (Crossover with iZombie)
Most of the fandom's art—though certainly not all—is focused on Henry.
- Henry 237, a project by Tumblr user crazyfanpage to draw 237 pictures of Henry Morgan by his 237th birthday in September 2016
- bearholdingashark's annual Henry Morgan Advent Calendar, 2014 and 2015
- Henry drawing by tkodami. Ioan Gruffudd as Henry Morgan. He’s almost got it. You can tell. He has his graspy hands out.
- "Lucas Wahl is Goshdarn Adorable Pass it On" by pkmndaisuki. I swear this is probably what’s going through Lucas’ mind whenever Henry says something nice about Lucas’ observations. Shoujo bubbles and all.
- "the woman in charge (of you)" by argylepiratewd. A drawing of the one and only Mistress Iona Payne. With a riding crop.
- "Dt Hanson" by crazyfanpage
- Forever Henry by JingleKo
- Forever and Ever, a fancomic by Brian O'Marra and Jeff Sack
A number of fans mentioned the possibility of creating a fanmade season two.
Fans Brian O'Marra and Jeff Sack created "Forever and Ever" a comic series meant to be a continuation of the Forever story. They began posting the series on Facebook on January 5, 2016. The series has been criticized for using ideas from fanfiction writers in the fandom without giving credit.
Archives and Fannish Links
- Forever Weekly Drabble Challenge Tumblr and AO3 collection
- Forever Fanfiction
- Forever Ficathon and AO3 collection
- AO3feed-forever-tv, a AO3 feed
- Tumblr tags: abc forever, ficever, forever abc, forever tv, forever fanart
Challenges, Fests, and Exchanges
- Forever qualified for Yuletide in 2014 and 2015, and 9 and 11 fics were written for it, respectively.
- Forever Ficathon
- For Henry Morgan's 236th birthday on September 19, 2015, Tumblr user mystoryisalongone held a gift exchange.
- In December 2015, argylepiratewd launched the Forever Weekly Drabble Challenge. In February 2016, they launched the Forever Kink Meme on Dreamwidth.
- As of February 2016, Forever works have been created for multifandom exchanges and challenges such as Not Prime Time, Night On Fic Mountain, Crossovering, Into A Bar, Polyshipping Day, the Chocolate Box Exchange, and others.
- Forever Fanfiction Contest
- Forever Season 2: Find Out What Would've Become of Henry and Jo
- Anonymous asked: Hi! I've seen Abigail being referred multiple times as 'Abigail Rayne', and I don't remember seeing this is the show. Would you happen to know where the name stems from? Thanks! :)
- Post requesting "#ficever" use
- 'Forever' Cancelled, Fans Angry With Network: ‘You People At ABC Suck!’
- Forever Season 2 Will Not Happen, Read The Creator's Heartwrenching Message
- Forever Creator Dishes More Season 2 What-Ifs: Adam's Escape, Henry's Immortal Fling, a Castle Crossover?!
- 'Forever' Lives On In Fan-Inspired Comic Series
- Listen up Foreverists!