Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

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Fandom
Name: Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
Abbreviation(s): KF:TLC, KTFLC
Creator: Ed Speilman
Date(s): 1993 - 1997 (four seasons)
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: wikipedia, IMDB, epguides, KF:TLC Online FAQ
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was a sequel (of sorts) to the 1970s series Kung Fu.

artist: Roseanne Rice from the print zine, Splinters of Light #3 (1995)

The show unabashedly mixed emotion and action, and was a hurt/comfort fan's dream.

Short Canon Overview

The basic premise of the show was that Kwai Chang Caine's grandson from Kung Fu (1972–1975) is also called Kwai Chang Caine (and played by the same actor from Kung Fu) and is now 20+ years older. He is also a Shaolin priest, and had been raising his young son, Peter, in a Shaolin temple that was attacked and destroyed.

Each was told the other had died in the destruction, in an attempt to keep them safe from the evil men who'd attacked the temple. Peter was taken away by an older priest to be raised, but the priest died shortly after and he wound up in an orphanage, to be taken in as a foster son by a police captain and his family. Peter rejected his Shaolin past and became a hot-headed detective instead, serving in his foster-father's squad. Meanwhile, Caine had been wandering the world (or at least North America) in his grief, looking for something to remind him of his lost son.

The series pilot picks up fifteen years after the temple's destruction, when Caine wandered to the city where Peter was a cop, and they were reunited, much to both their shock.

Themes

The series is the story of Peter rediscovering his past and trying to connect his two lives, in the midst of lots of shooty action and near-magical mysticism.

The underlying theme running through the series is facing and overcoming one's demons. The secondary theme is Peter dealing with repeated abandonment, as Caine left, apparently for good, at the end of each season, and Peter's foster father also eventually left him (due, unfortunately, to the actor's death).

See TV Tropes.

Fan Comments

My latest craze at the moment is Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. This stems from spending Xmas day by myself with no new zines or videos and begging friends for something to watch. One had KFTLC which I had seen occasionally and which I had my ear bent about, last year at Mediawest by some fans and so I spent 12 hours solid watching it and by the end was in lust with Chris Potter. [1]
And there was Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in the '90s, which was actually a big online fandom. I mean, for the day, it was pretty big. It was largely a gen fandom, but it had mailing lists, and an archive that went with the mailing list, and everyone kind of knew about it, and it's basically vanished. Because the mailing lists were shut down, and the fanfic archives that went with them vanished with them. And there's like they have ... People only archived their stuff in that one place, and now you can't — you can't find anything anymore. And it vanished so completely. It vanished without a ripple. [2]

Some Fannish Drift

One thing that reignited fans' interest in the show was David Hewlett's success in Stargate Atlantis in the mid-'00s. This brought in some fans who wanted to see everything Hewlitt, including the recurring character Nickie Elder who was the somewhat hapless coroner.

Characters

Pairings

  • Kwai Chang Caine/Mary Margaret Skalane
  • Peter/OFC
  • Peter/Jodie
  • Peter/Pop
  • Peter/Kermit
  • Kermit/Karen Simms

The Fandom

The series was re-run occasionally during the late '90s after it was cancelled, but with no DVDs available to bring new fans in, the fandom began shrinking. By the early '00s, the fandom had largely disappeared from tv schedules.

While things have slowed down, the fandom hasn't vanished completely.

Fanfic

A lot of KF:TLC fanfic was in print zines. While a lot of this fiction never made it onto the 'net, more got posted to mailing lists. However, the original fanfic list's centralized archive vanished when the list did. The result is that for what was at the time a reasonably large, active fandom, there's very little trace of it left on the web.

Much of the fanfic was gen with a focus on the relationship of Peter Caine with his father, and also his adopted family, much like the series. Het fanfic featured either the canonical Kwai Chang Caine/Mary Margaret Skalaney pairing or Peter/OFC pairings. Peter/Jodie was rarer (I think?) because in canon Jodie's interest was not requited by Peter.

On the slash side there was some "Peter/Pop" incest fic, but at the time incest fic was generally less popular and accepted than currently. Still, KF:TLC may be the first fandom to have had a mailing list specifically devoted to an inter-generational incestuous pairing: Tender Loving Care, whose archives go back to 1999. The other slash pairing was Peter/Kermit, which had more public traction than Peter/Pop but never really took off, either, perhaps because Kermit was more often paired with their later-seasons captain, Karen Simms.

After the series ended fans wrote a Virtual Season.[3].

The fandom has a small active. KFTLC Fanfiction. It accepts all genre fiction including adult (het) and (slash), but is mostly a gen archive. It contains over 200 stories.

The fiction at Archive of Our Own.

Sample Fanart

Print Fanworks

Focused on "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues"

Bitter Blood | Blind Spot | Bloody Marvelous! | Bridging the Gap | But With My Eyes | Child of the Moving Tide | Chinese Charm | Chinese Take-Away | Chris Potter News | Coming of Age | Corridors | Covenant | Cry of the Wolf | Diamonds & Hyenas | Double, Double | Eight Pieces of Brocade | Enter the Grasshopper | Exit Wounds | Forgotten Paths | From the Heart | Get Real, Pop! | Grief's Melancholy Shade | Harmonies | Heart's Desire | Journey of the Mind | Journeys, Paths to Enlightenment | The Kung Fu Kronicle | Kung Fu: TLC Calendar | Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Special Gen Collection | Orange Blossoms and Fried Rice | Original Nature | Path of Darkness | Patterns | The Persian Flaw | Peter Caine's Little Book of Wisdom | Purification | Reaffirmation | Red Thread | Reflections | Release Tiger, Return to Mountain | The Shambhala Book of Caine | Shades of Green | A Shared Memory | Silk Road | Sins of the Father | Sound of the Flute | Speak No Evil | Splinters of Light | That Was Zen, This Is Tao | The Third Eye | Thursday's Child | The Tiger and the Dragon | The Ultimate Measure | The Uncarved Block | Unification | Walk Softly and Carry a Big Kick

In Multimedia Zines

Some of these are crossover stories.

A Frisky Out of Water | A Frisky to Remember | A Touch of Forever | Airwaves | All the King's Horses, All the King's Men | Anything Goes | Appointment With Danger | Black Ops | By My Side | The Celestial Toybox | Changing Channels | Chinook | Compadres | Compounded Interest | Crazy Quilt | Dealer's Choice | Dyad | Everybody Dies | The Eyes Have It! | Flame and Shadow | Heroes' Plight | Highland Fling The Highlander Special Gen Collection | Knightbeat | Lions and Tigers and Zines, Oh My! | Media Rare | Obsessions | Of Dreams and Schemes | One Handed Frisky | Our Favorite Things | Playfellows | Remote Control | Sherwood Tunnels |Soul Bonds | Soul Trials | The Walker Texas Ranger Special Gen Collection | Within the Crystal Rose | The Yule Tide

Fan Discussion and Commnuication

Mailing Lists

KF:TLC online fandom started up on Usenet, on rec.arts.tv and alt.tv.kungfu. By August 1994, it had started the move to mailing lists, when Laurie Salopek started up the KFTLC-L discussion list[4]; the KFFIC-L fiction list soon followed, owned by Camille Bacon-Smith.

Several other lists got formed in the late '90s and early '00s when free mailing lists became readily available; many of them can be found (along with their archives, including fic posts) here, although most have gone quiet since the mid-'00s.

  • Fu Renegades, an apparently still-active discussion and fiction list.
  • CP & KFTLC Fans United, a German-language forum (English is allowed on the boards, but German is the primary language). (The pre-2008 version of the forum is here.)
  • tenderlovingcare archive link Description: "A Kung Fu: the Legend Continues slash mailinglist devoted to the love between Peter Caine and his father Kwai Chang Caine. This list consists of a nice group of fans and friends who love KF:TLC and who love Peter and Caine and who are interested in exploring the romantic and sexual relationship between them. Anyone who is disturbed or offended by this idea is strongly advised _not_ to join this list. Fiction and discussion is welcome on this list, as is a personal touch. We are among friends, after all. A private list, restricted to members only, membership is moderated; archives are not accessible on the web by anyone other than the members of this list. But do invite your friends or other fans of the love between Peter and Caine. Please note: Anyone who is disturbed or offended by the idea of a sexual relationship between Peter and Kwai Chang Caine is strongly advised _not_ to join this list. No offense is intended. This is only fiction, after all!"
  • Kung Fu the Legend Continues Chat and Fic archive link Description: "Peter and Caine fighting crime and for the love they share. Kermet [sic] only takes his dark glasses off for one thing. Come discussion the electric dynamics of Kung Fu, The Legend Continues or share a general friendship, hetero or slash fiction about our boys and gals. Joining us confirms you are over the legal age."

Forums

Fan Clubs

Vids

The list of Kung Fu:TLC fanvids is small. Some songvids by fans can be found under the vidder's name here on Fanlore. A few VCR-era songvids are listed below where the vidder's name cannot be identified

  • "Love Between A Father and A Son""

Cons

KFTLC had its own cons, called Fu Fests, that ran for several years in the late '90s and very early '00s. They were actor cons, held in Toronto.

References

  1. ^ from a fan in Late For Breakfast #29 (1996)
  2. ^ from Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Arduinna (August 2012) (2012)
  3. ^ Kung Fu the Legend Continues FanFiction Season (Waybackmachine link)
  4. ^ List announcement on rec.arts.tv dated August 7, 1994. Accessed February 21, 2009.