The Magnificent Seven

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This article is for the TV show. For other uses, see Magnificent Seven (disambiguation)
Name: The Magnificent Seven
Abbreviation(s): M7, Mag7
Creator: John Watson
Date(s): January 3, 1998 – April 2, 1999
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: IMDB
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The Magnificent Seven (also referred to as M7 or Mag7 by fans) was a television series based on the 1960 John Sturges Western film, which itself was based on Seven Samurai, the 1954 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa.

The Seven were a vigilance committee of men with various abilities hired to protect a lawless Western town in Arizona territory. It was promptly cancelled by CBS in spring of '98 after only eight episodes.

The series premiered as a two-hour pilot movie on CBS in January 1998, starring Michael Biehn (of The Terminator fame) as Chris Larabee (the role played by Yul Brynner in the '60 film, although the character's name was Chris Adams) and Eric Close (later the star of Now and Again and Without a Trace) as Vin Tanner (the role played by Steve McQueen in the movie), as well as Dale Midkiff as Buck Wilmington, Anthony Starke as Ezra Standish, Rick Worthy as Nathan Jackson, Andrew Kavovit as JD Dunne, and Ron Perlman as Josiah Sanchez.

Fan Campaign

A fan campaign to save the series and bring it back did meet with rare success. Season 2 began airing on CBS again in January 1999. The network ran eight episodes before cancelling it for the second time. The series was picked up by the CBS-owned TNN cable network (previously the Nashville Network and subsequently Spike TV), who aired the final four episodes not shown on CBS after the cancellation, in 2000.

Many fans consider the final "unaired" episodes to be the series' best.

Magnificent Seven Fandom

Shared Universes

M7 fandom is unique because of the abundance of shared universes and the fact that it is largely made of AUs. A shared universe in M7 fandom can be either Open or Conditional. An open universe is open to everyone to write in with no restrictions. A conditional universe is open to other authors, but the creator of the universe requests that certain parameters or rules of the universe be adhered to. An example of this is Little Britches, which requests that all stories written in the universe are rated for a general audience and that no slash is written in the universe regardless of rating.

A universe that is not shared is referred to as a closed universe.

The ATF universe recasts the Seven as modern day ATF agents. It is notable for being as, or more, popular than the canon universe (referred to as Old West or OW). It has its own 'canon' and 'AU' interpretations, including such details as the cars each of the Seven drive. Many of the popular shared universes will contain stories in both settings. There are also separate OW and ATF virtual seasons.

Little Britches is a distant but solid second in popularity, attracting dozens of writers between the OW and ATF variations alone. It features Vin and JD as young, orphaned children (living on the streets in modern settings), who are adopted by Chris and Buck, whom raise the children together.

A very incomplete list of M7 shared universes:

Universe Status Creator Website/Establishing Story
ATF Open MOG ATF Bible,
story: A Birthday in the Present
Little Britches (OW) Conditional K. Poffenberger, S. Berry Magnificent Seven Little Britches,
story: The Train West
Little Britches (ATF) Conditional Barbretta H. Magnificent Seven Little Britches,
story: Dreaming of Angels
Escort Open Fiercy
Skip Trace Open Charlotte Hill, Magra Fractured
Family Matters Open Stan Lee Family Matters
Pangris verse Open Evil Jacquie Point of View
Twoblood Conditional Joe Lawson Joe's TwoBlood Universe (closed), Lady Angel's Library : Two Blood AUs

Slash Fanworks

M7 fandom is fairly heavily slash-based, possibly because of the opportunities slash fans saw in the large male cast of characters interacting closely and the intense chemistry the actors often had with each other. However, due to statements made by some of the actors, much of the slash fanfiction was kept under the table in the early days, mainly at sub-websites that required age statements for access.

Gen Fanworks

There is also a large following for gen fic, particularly in the Old West setting, and a smaller quantity of het fic, primarily based around the series' frequent attempts to unite the characters of Chris and Mary Travis (Laurie Holden), who publishes the town newspaper and has a major stake in the town the Seven are hired to protect. There is also het fic based around numerous female guest characters, as well as original characters created for the fic.


The primary slash pairing is Chris and Vin, though other pairings are quite popular, such as Chris/Buck, Buck/JD, Chris/Ezra and Vin/Ezra. As noted below, a great deal of fanfic is in alternate, shared universes, most often modern-day settings rather than the Old West setting of the series.

Example Fanworks



Story Tropes

  • Cartwright Syndrome - creating a female love interest for one of the male characters and having her die in the story. The Syndrome refers to the classic Western series Bonanza in which all of the leading male characters lost a wife/lover and no female survived more than a few episodes.
  • Hollow Man Syndrome - describes a fan fic character who sustains numerous injuries, any one of which should be fatal, and still lives, leaving only one explanation for his survival - that he obviously has no internal organs.


The Australian Global Gathering was an early 2000s Magnificent Seven con.


Vidding has never had a strong presence in M7 fandom. While there are definitely vids available, the lack of quality footage for many years, the relatively dull "look" even of the DVD footage (the series was very unusual in that it filmed using almost entirely natural light, so many interior settings are fairly dark), and the lack of interest in Westerns in much of modern-day fandom meant a dearth of quality vids created during the height of the series' popularity.




Mailing Lists

See List of Magnificent Seven Mailing Lists.