Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

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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.


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.

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.



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.

a flyer urging fans to wage a campaign to bring their show back from cancellation

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

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]

Kwai Chang and Peter Caine.

Shaolin priest and cop.

Father and son.

Together, they are the beating heart of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. If the series possessed no thematic value other than this, it would need no apologia for existing. From the beginning, the intense and emotional bond between these two men has challenged our conceptions about the nature of parental love and love in general, inspired us to examine our own hearts and relationships, and evoked tears both of joy and sadness in viewers unaccustomed to such unrestrained tenderness between adult male characters on television...or anywhere else. COVENANT explores the inner reaches of that father-son bond, the bright and shadowed comers, the conflicts and questions, and always...the love. Beneath the anger, disappointment and fear, that love flows like ariver, powerful, unstoppable on its journey.

The portrayal of that love has often been a gift of great beauty.

Immortal, as long as we are touched by it, moved to explore it, inspired to write of it.

The series has come to an end, but there need be no requiem sung. Caine and Peter and all those dear friends who populate the unique and exotic little world of KF: TLC continue on with their lives, innocent to know how we have watched them grow and evolve. They are real in a context beyond television — they have become part of our lives now. To those who love them, Caine and Peter are living and loving still, struggling to understand, to come to terms with each other and the star-crossed destiny they share.

We are the true Keepers of the Flame.

We, the fans of KF: TLC—the writers and artists in COVENANT and all the other fanzines who nurture and keep the story alive; all who share it and support it in the myriad ways our personal muses inspire.

We are the Dreamers who will keep the Legend alive. That is the covenant we share with the Dream-makers, fictional and real. That is our labour and our art and our joy.

To keep them in our hearts. And standing in the light. [2]

It’s easy to lose heart these days when sometimes it seems we all inhabit the tough, nasty world Peter Caine sees with a cop's eyes. As long as human beings can love and make their choices out of love, however, there is room for hope. That, I believe, is the fundamental message of KF:TLC, incarnate in the love between father and son. How can I not be touched by, and yearn to participate in, that hope and that love? [3]

The attraction for me in KF:TLC is very definitely the interplay of relationships, from the all-important father-son~or more appropriately, father(s)-son—relationship, to the inter-relationships among the precinct gang. The amorphous "family” of KF:TLC is one I'm pleased to be apart of ...if only in imagination. [4]

I enjoy KF:TLC because father-son relationships, real and fictional, have always fascinated me, and the Caine-Peter one is unique and especially poignant. Writing about the Caines' world gives me a refuge from the stresses of my own and also satisfies a need I have had since childhood, to see on paper the scenes and dialog my imagination conjures up.[5]

Every fandom that has made me want to write has had something real in it, and TLC and TOS were both very real. I especially like the way Peter has come to terms with his spirituality, though I don't think he was ready to leave the 101st precinct just yet. But we can fix that.[6]

KF:TLC, Carradine and Potter, opened the door of creativity for me that I hope never closes.[7]

I had never written before in my life, until I started to read fan fic...said, hey, I think I can do that and, moved by the imminent cancellation of TLC, I started to write. My first episode was "Challenge .. channel surfing, and the Kung Fu guy and another guy are going into a building...and it is the most amazing thing I've ever seen, the way this father and son relate to each other. I was hooked. I know these characters, I love them, and I'm going to miss seeing them on the TV each week, but I have them in my head... I can go back in time and wonder about the back story, and invent my own, and I can look into the future and give them the kind of lives I think they deserve. I don't have to let them go. [8]

I love KF: TLC because it's like life...good bits and bad bits and the ongoing struggle to make peace with the past. As for fan fiction...I don't write it, it writes me. There's no rhyme or reason. I just take the dictation. [9]

I love the intimacy and tenderness so lovingly displayed between father and son. Writing fanfic allows me to explore these complex characters to depths beyond what is showm on the series, and to share my vision with others. [10]

It's an escape... to a world where there are heroes who safeguard those they love (and those they barely know) with compassion and courage, risking more than I would risk, enduring more than I could endure. Then the characters unfold, on screen, on the page of fan fiction, and I see that Peter and Kwai Chang Caine are as vulnerable as any of us, struggling with feelings of pride and abandonment, expectations and doubt. Walking the path beside them, illuminated by their searches for truth and harmony, moves me and inspires me...feelings I carry back to my daily life away from Kung Fu. [11]

KF:TLC...a wilderness of dead ends and dropped production opportunities and sometimes splendid failures and very occasionally splendid successes. A remarkable, mythic story at its heart, struggling to find its own unique voice and not quite making it. A flawed opal, if ever there was one. Oh, but look here, look at the colors, see how they deepen and dance when you only hold it to the light!... [12]


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. [13]



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 less 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.[14].

The fandom has its own archive. KFTLC. It accepts all genre fiction including adult (het) and (slash). It contains over 750 stories, and has quickly become the largest KFTLC repertoire of fan fiction on the internet. Expansion beyond fanfics is planned in the near future, from fan collections to media memorabilia. Contrary to popular fandom observers, the Kung Fu The Legend Continues fandom is not dead!

There is also some fiction via PDF downloads at Fu Fic.

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 | Dark Passages | 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[15]; 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."


Fan Clubs


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


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.


  1. ^ from a fan in Late For Breakfast #29 (1996)
  2. ^ by Carol Frisbie in Covenant
  3. ^ from Andi Byassee in Covenant
  4. ^ from Jeanne DeVore in Covenant
  5. ^ from Diana King in Covenant
  6. ^ from Jan Lindner in Covenant
  7. ^ from Jeanne McClure in Covenant
  8. ^ from Brenda Mick in Covenant
  9. ^ from Karen Miller in Covenant
  10. ^ from Laureen Peltier in Covenant
  11. ^ from Ann Raymont in Covenant
  12. ^ from Mary G.R. Webber in Covenant
  13. ^ from Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Arduinna (August 2012) (2012)
  14. ^ Kung Fu the Legend Continues FanFiction Season (Waybackmachine link)
  15. ^ List announcement on rec.arts.tv dated August 7, 1994. Accessed February 21, 2009.