|Occupation:||Royal Canadian Mounted Police|
|Relationships:|| the ghost of his dead father|
partners: Ray Vecchio, Ray Kowalski
|Other:|| Born in 1960 or 1961.|
Fraser's name is pronounced fray-zer, but often mispronounced by other characters as fray-zher (like the title character of the American sit-com Frasier).
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Constable Benton Fraser is the main character on the Canadian television show due South. He is played by Paul Gross, a Canadian actor.
Benton Fraser grew up in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories, raised primarily by his grandparents after his mother was murdered when he was six. His father, Bob Fraser, was a legendary Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. For reasons that were not explored in canon, Benton Fraser also joined the RCMP and became as dedicated to his career as his father. He is ruthless in his pursuit of criminals, yet unfailingly polite to strangers (holding doors open, giving food, helping people across the street). His reason for moving to Chicago ("I first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of my father and, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, have remained, attached as a liaison with the Canadian consulate") becomes an oft-repeated mantra and in-joke during the show's third and fourth seasons.
In the first two seasons, Fraser lives in a run-down apartment building in the slums (address: 221 West Racine Street, Apt. 3J). This apartment is a popular setting for fan stories (it also gave its name to the now-defunct Racine Street Archive). In the third season, the apartment building is burnt down by a performance arsonist, and Fraser moves into his office in the Canadian Consulate (which fans have mapped and explored in great depth, often creating additional chambers; we know there is an upstairs suite for the Queen.)
Fraser has a pet half-wolf, Diefenbaker, but claims not to own him. They first met when they fell into the same mine-shaft. After helping Dief out of the shaft, the half-wolf returned to help rescue Fraser. Later, Dief saved Fraser's life by dragging him out of the ice.
There has been much meta discussion about inconsistencies in Fraser's characterization; many fans have remarked that there is a big shift between the first two seasons and the last two seasons, etc. In a 2008 livejournal post, China Shop commented,
In seasons 3 and 4, Fraser's façade changes. He becomes more obtuse, less accessible, more pompous. I sometimes reason that this is because he's no longer in Chicago under sufferance. Now he has a purpose here -- he's part of Ray Kowalski's (and, by extension, Ray Vecchio's) cover. He becomes a caricature, deliberately drawing attention to himself so that people will see only the Mountie and won't notice that the Italian cop at his side is now blond and short-sighted.
I was discussing the difference between season 1/2 Fraser and season 3/4 Fraser with mergatrude in email recently. Basically, my feeling is that seasons 3 and 4 are primarily about Kowalski. In seasons 1 and 2, we often see Fraser alone in his apartment, it's clearly All About Him, the fish out of water. But in seasons 3 and 4, Fraser is the water; Kowalski is the fish. We're way more likely to see Kowalski in his apartment, to get his POV.In fact, to some degree, I can read seasons 3 and 4 as stories told by Kowalski -- this would beautifully explain the hyper-realism, the impossible heroics, and Fraser's characterisation as Cartoon Hero SuperMountie.
Fraser's ambiguously defined socio-economic class is also discussed. For example, a 2008 discussion in ds_ficfinders and ds_meta got started when someone was trying to identify a line from a fic (Eight Sessions by Speranza):
Flannery looked over his shoulder at Fraser, and Ray could see instantly that Flannery didn't think much of him. He mistook Fraser for being richer and whiter than he was, which was always the problem with Fraser, when in fact Fraser had less money and education than most of them. If Fraser'd been an American G.I., he'd've opened his mouth and had himself a decent southern twang, which would've given Flannery the right picture: poor white kid, military family, low-level soldier. Except what did Flannery know from a rank like Constable, plus Fraser's big words tended to put people off.
The ds_ficfinders discussion included how accent markers differ in Canadian vs. American context, and the ds_meta discussion included whether Fraser's grandparents being librarians invalidated the claim that he's working class.
- Fraser Being Fraser, Archived version posted by primroseburrows to ds_workshop (9 August 2007)
Fraser's name takes more than one form, and what name a fan writer uses to describe him can be seen as politically inflected. Canonically, people who knew him in Canada call him Ben. Ray Vecchio calls him Fraser most of the time and sometimes Benny, so to call Benton Fraser "Benny" in a story is typically to evoke the RayV era of the fandom. Ray Kowalski simply calls him Fraser.
Stetson of Invulnerability
Also known as the Stetson of Invincibility. Relatively early during the show's initial run, fans noticed that the only time Fraser ever seemed to get hurt was when he wasn't wearing his Stetson (particularly if he'd been wearing it and it had come off somehow), and thus the Stetson of Invulnerability was born.
Fraser's only confirmed sexual encounter occurred with Victoria Metcalf in the first season episode "Victoria's Secret." They had met ten years before, but canon doesn't provide conclusive evidence of sexual relations during their first encounter. According to series creator Paul Haggis, "They did not make love until she returned, in Fraser's apartment." Fraser himself does not volunteer much information on the subject in canon. Consequently, there's a fair amount of fan debate on Fraser's sexuality: whether he's gentlemanly and/or repressed enough to be a virgin or whether his unrepressed avatar, Diefenbaker, more accurately represents the man inside the Mountie suit. Some fanfiction even ignores "Victoria's Secret" and posits a Secret Virgin Fraser. Characterization veers between these two extreme poles.
There is a particular question as to whether or not Fraser slept with Francesca Vecchio, which the gentlemanly Fraser refuses to confirm in canon. Stories where he either did or did not sleep with her abound.
When a temporarily amnesiac Fraser enters his own, extremely spartan apartment, he asks, "Am I being punished?" The question of why Fraser chooses to deny himself comfortable living arrangements is variously answered in much of Fraser-centric fanfiction:
- The RCMP doesn't pay him enough
- He's waiting to be reassigned somewhere in Canada and doesn't want to put down roots in Chicago
- Yes, he is punishing himself
- No, he was brought up in an anti-materialistic household and doesn't notice how barren his lifestyle is
In her extrapolation of dS canon from reading fanfic, TheFourthVine describes Fraser as "permanently in waiting – in waiting for his life"
There's debate about whether or not Benton Fraser would curse or use profanity or even blasphemy, even in his own head. These debates tend to be part of larger characterization issues about whether or not Fraser was a fairly normal child (albeit one with all sorts of parental issues) who chooses to enact a wry performance of the perfect Mountie, or whether he really is the unworldly, almost alien person he often presents himself as. In "Flashback," an amnesiac Fraser uses the word "hell" three times (most notably, to inquire "What the hell kind of name is Benton anyway?" ) but since this was a relatively late episode in the RayV era, much Fraser fanon was already well-established.
Skill with languages
Canon tells us that Fraser's grandparents helped set up an English-language library in China before "the revolution." They taught him Cantonese and Mandarin when he was young, but "I'm afraid I've forgotten almost all the Fuchow and Amoy-swatow that I knew." Fraser also speaks French and Inuktitut, he can understand Greek and Latin, and he can sign in Semaphore. It was implied in one episode that he knows a little Russian (he said his Russian was a little rusty.)
Fraser the reader/brought up in a library
Because Fraser's grandparents were librarians, canon often allows him to know really esoteric things. Fans have done a lot with Fraser's bookishness; in canon, we see Fraser reading music scores so well that he can hear symphonies in his head.
Scars and other markings
Fans have obsessively tracked the various scars and injuries Fraser has gotten in canon, including the bullet in his lower back from where Ray Vecchio shot him, as well as "bowed knees (5/8th of an inch), left leg broken and reset twice (the second break was from a nasty fall 57 feet off a cliff), a scar from a seven-inch serrated knife, small laceration scar on his left cheek from a tempered glass door, and lots of scar tissue around his right clavicle from an otter when he was ten years old."  The landscape of Fraser's body is obsessively mapped in fanfiction.
Drag and Genderfuck
Fraser is canonically skilled in drag (see "Some Like It Red"), so many stories extend this in fanonical ways.
Benton Fraser is at the center of all major pairings (both slash and het) except RayV/RayK, and he's a frequent third even to them. Fraser pairings include:
Inspector Maggie Thatcher: Fraser has canonical UST with Inspector Thatcher, and the pairing is extremely popular among fans.
- Notable Stories:
Francesca Vecchio: While Frannie Vecchio's attraction to Fraser does not seem to be reciprocal in canon (though Fraser refuses to confirm whether or not he ever slept with her, see below), many fans have used fanfiction to give Frannie her wish.
- Notable Stories:
- Ray Vecchio (See pairing page).
- Ray Kowalski (See pairing page).
- Fraser/Vecchio/Kowalski: (also known as F/V/K) threesomes, for those who can't decide on a Ray. (See pairing page).
Victoria Metcalfe Fraser/Victoria is a canon pairing; many stories retell their thwarted earlier relationship or reunite them in canon. This rarely ends well. Some of these stories are kidfic whose premise is that Victoria got pregnant with Fraser's child during the events of "Victoria's Secret." This pairing has spawned more than its share of songvids—the two-part episode that Victoria appeared in was filmed beautifully, and the range of emotion shown in it is high.
- Notable Stories:
- Distant Echoes by Starfish
- Notable Vids:
Mark Smithbauer: Fraser is sometimes slashed with his childhood friend Smithbauer (seen in the episode The Blue Line), who became a famous hockey player as an adult. Fraser is sometimes described as having had an unrequited teenage crush on Smithbauer. Other stories indicate a sexual relationship based on casual experimentation, while still others portray a romantic relationship.
However, Fraser/Smithbauer is usually not the primary pairing in the stories where it appears. The pairing is most often used by the author to establish that Fraser is gay or bisexual, after which the story usually focuses on Fraser/RayV or Fraser/RayK. Fraser/Smithbauer is also commonly written as part of Five Things stories that explore Fraser's romantic or sexual history.
- Notable Stories:
See also Viciouscats' Master list of due South fanfiction: Mark Smithbauer fic (slash only)
Fraser is both the star of the show and the fan favorite of the fandom; there are more Fraser-centric fanworks than there are for any other character of the show.
- Roots Rain by Kat Allison
- Passion by Speranza, a long story that fleshes out Fraser's backstory in the NWT.
- Black Ice by keerawa
- Other examples needed
- Examples needed
- Don't Put It In Your Mouth by the Chicago Loop
- Goody Two Shoes by pipsqueak and Laura Shapiro
- Out Here by here's luck
- Train to Jackson by keerawa
- Lord, I Have Made You a Place in My Heart by Laura Shapiro
- Oh no! by pepperywisdom
Example Art Gallery
Cover art of Awakenings #5 by TACS (1998)
Art by KOZ from Walking in the Sky, also featuring Diefenbaker (2000)
- ^ Burning Down the House; the 3rd season premiere episode
- ^ Red, White, or Blue. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 7 December 2008)
- ^ Pilot Episode. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 7 December 2008)
- ^ Thinking about Fraser (Due South meta), Archived version by China Shop, 25 November 2008. (Accessed 17 January 2021.)
- ^ Eight Sessions, Archived version (Accessed 18 January 2021.)
- ^ "More poor and more rural", Archived version, posted by julia_here in ds_ficfinders, 3 December 2008. (Accessed 18 January 2021.)
- ^ Fraser lower-class?, Archived version, posted by cyberducks in ds_meta, 6 December 2008. (Accessed 18 January 2021.)
- ^ For examples of usage, see Due South Drinking Game, Due South trivia page on IMDB, Chinatown transcript on the Real due South website, Constable Benton Fraser: Character Sketch webpage, and the alt.tv.due-south newsgroup
- ^ Paul Haggis Drops by the Due South Newsgroup November 16 - December 10, 1999. William & Elyse's Due South Page. (Accessed 28 October 2008)
- ^ Flashback. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 29 October 2008)
- ^ thefourthvine's livejournal. Fandoms I have loved 4: Due South, 2004-05-08. (Accessed 29 October 2008)
- ^ Flashback. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 28 October 2008)
- ^ Chinatown. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 28 October 2008)
- ^ http://members.tripod.com/melisandeb/benton.html
- ^ Loryn's Due South Shrine. See also Letting Go. Due South Transcripts. (Accessed 28 October 2008)
- ^  Kat Allison. Roots Rain. June, 2000. (Last accessed January, 2009.)