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
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: wikipedia, IMDB, epguides, KF:TLC Online FAQ
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Canon overview

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was a sequel (of sorts) to the 1970s series Kung Fu. The basic premise was that Kwai Chang Caine's grandson -- also called Kwai Chang Caine (and played by the same actor, who was now 20+ years older) -- also a Shaolin priest, 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. 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).

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

KF:TLC Fandom

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[1]; 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.

The series was re-run occasionally during the late '90s after it was cancelled, but by the early '00s had largely disappeared from tv schedules. With no DVDs available to bring new fans in, the fandom began shrinking. David Hewlett's success in Stargate Atlantis in the mid-'00s later brought in some fans who wanted to see everything he'd ever been in; he played a recurring character in KF:TLC, Nickie Elder (the somewhat hapless coroner).

Still, while things have slowed down, the fandom hasn't vanished completely. There are still some active lists and forums around,including:

  • 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.)

Fanfic

A lot of KF:TLC fanfic was in zines that never made it onto the 'net; more got posted to mailing lists, but 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 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.[2].

The fandom had an active, if small, archive: KFTLC Fan Fiction. It accepted all fiction including adult (het) and slash, but was in effect a gen archive. It contained about 200 stories. As of 2012, this archive is no longer online. [3] As of 2017, the archive is online again at a new location:KFTLC Fan Fiction

Fanzines

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: 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

Mailing Lists

  • 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."

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. ^ List announcement on rec.arts.tv dated August 7, 1994. Accessed February 21, 2009.
  2. ^ Kung Fu the Legend Continues FanFiction Season (Waybackmachine link)
  3. ^ My Life in Fandom, Archived version