Forever Knight: A comparison of two virtual continuations
|Title:||Forever Knight: A comparison of two virtual continuations|
|Creator:||Amelia Schaffer is listed as author in one place, L. Schaffer in another|
|Date(s):||July 30, 2009|
|External Links:||Forever Knight: A comparison of two virtual continuations (Amelia Schaffer, page one); Forever Knight: A comparison of two virtual continuations (Amelia Schaffer, page two) |
archive link (L. Schaffer)
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A virtual season is a type of fanfiction that aims to continue a canceled television show in a written format. There are two very different virtual continuations to the television series Forever Knight. The first, V4S (Virtual Fourth Season), was one of the earliest attempts at a virtual season for a canceled show. It was posted to the Forever Knight mailing list from October 1996 to October 1998. The second, FK4, was posted to the author's website in 2004 and 2005.
V4S continues the series from the end of the series finale, "Last Knight." The series ended on a depressing note, with several of the main characters dying and Nick and Natalie's relationship permanently damaged. V4S begins to address these issues. The first episode, "Resurrection," was written by Susan M. Garrett, fanfiction writer and author of Intimations of Mortality, an official Forever Knight tie-in novel. The rest of the episodes were created by a team of different writers, editors, and historical consultants who had all been involved in the fandom.
Because of the events of "Last Knight," V4S takes a darker turn than Forever Knight had been up to that point. The characters are all still grieving their friends' deaths. Nick is introduced to a new partner, Adam Sakai, who of course isn't aware of his true nature. Nick and Natalie have to deal with what happened between them and how it has driven them apart.
In many ways, V4S is more like ordinary fanfiction than many virtual series and virtual continuations that came after it. Although it was created and written by a team of fans, much like an actual television series would be, and the episodes share the same new characters, a chronological order, and ongoing plots, each episode is written as a prose story, and take advantage of the way the prose form can reveal things that a television script cannot. The episodes are also not a uniform length. Because of its format and tone, V4S, although an excellent fan continuation, has a very different feel than the actual show.
FK4, on the other hand, was written more like a real season of Forever Knight that might have been aired. It is written in a modified script format, with television scripts that have had additional stage directions added to make them more accessible for readers. Interestingly, although its format is more like an actual television series, every episode was written by a single author, Greer Watson. This is much unlike the collaborative television format.
Unlike V4S, FK4 ignores the events of "Last Knight" under the premise that if Forever Knight had been renewed for another season, such an episode would never have been written. This allows for a tone much closer to that of Season 3. FK4's episodes are of consistent length and really feel like episodes of a real television series. There is a much stronger continuity between episodes than Forever Knight ever had, which does pull FK4 a bit away from the spirit of the show; but this is perfectly normal, considering that most shows develop greater continuity as they go on.
FK4's weakness, however, is in its author's reluctance to provide a satisfactory ending to the series. Instead, this virtual season seems to cut off in the middle, ending with an ordinary-feeling episode instead of some kind of resolution. The problem of the unsatisfactory ending in "Last Knight" is merely averted, not solved. V4S, on the other hand, approaches the problem of "Last Knight" by setting up an ending that, within the context of the series, seems to make more sense.Both V4S and FK4 are great ways for Forever Knight fans to brush off the dissatisfaction caused by "Last Knight" and continue "watching" the development of such interesting characters. Because they approach the virtual season from such different perspectives and end up with such different results, it is difficult to decide which is better. Fans should read both and decide for themselves.