Sentinel RPF

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): Sentinel RPF
Scope/Focus: RPF fandom from The Sentinel
Date(s): 1996 to present
See also:
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There has been very little Sentinel RPF.

Only five fics are listed on Archive of Our Own, and they are all by one person in the GarrettVerse.

Why So Scarce?

Some possible reasons for its scarcity:

  • it doesn't have much, if any, support in the fandom, see GarettVerse
  • Garett Maggart, the actor who portrays Blair Sandburg, had publicly expressed his uncomfortable feelings regarding slash
  • fans didn't feel comfortable with the genre involving actors they'd met personally
  • the actors aren't that interesting
  • the show had waned in popularity by the time RPF had increased in popularity (around 2002, in popslash)
  • the Sentinel fandom straddled print zines (which fans did not write RPF in) and online fandom, which felt "too public" and also the show had lost a lot of its fanbase, due to its wane in popularity

One the other hand:

  • many fans felt the blooper tapes and the actor's interaction with each other was very "slashy"
  • some fans felt there was probably some being shared underground, but evidence of this is slim to none regarding actual examples (nature of the beast)

Fan Comments

2003

I'm very glad that I've only run across RPS in TS a couple of times and never on the 852 archive. [1]

2008

RPF in general makes me very uncomfortable. The two stories you mentioned

from Spockanalia were the first RPF I ever encountered; they worked (some such stories do) but I was still very iffy about them. There's a very fine line between something that works and something that's potentially slanderous.

However, RPS takes me way out of my comfort zone (by the same token, so do some photomanips) and I think has the potential to become very, very messy indeed. So far it hasn't; doesn't mean it never will.

I suspect that Richard would laugh about slash; there's a magazine article from the early days of Sentinel where he says 'We'll probably be in the sack before very long'. I don't, however, think Garett is really comfortable with it at all, since as April says he has expressed the view that he doesn't want his young relatives finding anything like that involving his character.

I have a suspicion that because actors do know about slash (it's been around for so long) they've had time to think up answers for any time they're asked what they think about it. In my experience it's the anti-slash fans who ask that question. Slash fans tend to be more considerate. [2]
I would never even bring up the subject of RPS to any actors...

I wouldn't bring up the subject of character slash either, for that matter. I think it's best to keep what I write about in fandom to myself.

I've never heard anyone mention RPS to a Sentinel actor. However, Garret has made no bones about the fact that he would not like his niece and nephew to find slash stories about his character online so I think we can infer that he wouldn't care much for RPS either.

Richard doesn't seem to wander around in cyberspace much, or at least he didn't much in the past. I don't know about now. He does not have "his own website" and neither does Garret.

I wouldn't base whether or not I write or post RPS on how the actor who might be the subject of it might react. I would base that on what I personally consider to be something that should be posted to the world at large or should be kept among friends or be private.

I know that I'm glad I post my slash TS stories under a pseud since the actors (and RB tends to remember) know my real name.

As far as the question of asking actors how they feel about seeing themselves in such fiction -- isn't it usually the people who have a problem with slash dong the asking? Or someone whose agenda is to inform actors who don't know it exists already? I've never understood this type of behavior, myself. Why embarrass an actor you supposedly admire? Why would you want to appear even slightly strange to him? And if you say "it exists but *I* don't write it?" do you think he's going to believe you?? [3]
I'm in this fandom for the characters. Any type of fiction about the actors playing them isn't something I'm interested in. For me, the demarcation between actors and characters is a pretty clear one.[4]
If someone wants to fantasize about actors getting together, I have no problem with that. But we don't always need to write down and share *all* our fantasies, even though the interent makes things that seemed outrageous a decade ago seem like no big deal today.[5]
Personally I really don't like RPS, I think it steps way too far over the line. I have no idea what Richard thinks about it but at The Belfry Garett did make a couple of remarks about how unhappy he was that his nephews and nieces had found some slash art of Blair on the net. I can't imagine for a minute he would be happy at RPS involving himself, and who can blame him. I know I wouldn't like it if it was me but then again if it involved me it would be more like RP horror *g*. [6]
RPS... Can I saw.. ewww and slander and liable. I'll also add in the fact that the moment we cross the line into RPS we are no loner dealing with FICTIONAL characters but with real people and just think about how you would feel being portrayed in any manner that is not in your nature?

Way back when, and I mean way back, I was at Zencon in Australia where we had the actors who played Avon and Vila from Blake's 7 as the prime guests... Now some lovely little person, and I use the term loosely, had written RPS between Paul and MIchael... let's just say that both men, and Paul's wife were DEEPLY offended.

I, personally, can not understand the desire to read RPS... And I'd be quite happy seeing the actors hunt down and sue the pants off of anyone who wrote it. For us to say, oh but they wouldn't know or some other excuse is lame; we know the actors are aware of the fandoms...

Now, even without the issues about upsetting actors etc I would like to know what those who read RPS would say/do if they found out someone had written a story starring themselves in a sexual situation that runs against their sexuality... and it was readily available to people they work with, their family, friends, and all us curious onlookers?

There is a difference between writing thinly veiled slash using the 'characters' and thinly veiled slash using the PEOPLE themselves.... Let's be honest, a lot of fan fic is barely disguised Mary/Stu Sue but it stays 'just' on the safe side of libel and slander (I can never remember which is print and which is spoken) but RPS is open to suing... lots of suing. Web-sites etc have closed down, gone to ground, and sometimes disappeared into the cyber-ether on the strength of "This Author is hunting Slash writers'; and that is with characters only. Some authors have made it very clear that their 'worlds' are off limits to fan fiction.... so if that can exist when dealing with characters only...

RPS on Richard and Garrett... why? Jim and Blair, easy to see why, text and sub-text let's us release our imaginations... but writing RPS without any basis.... but then I gather a lot of RPS exists in band-dom... all those boy bands are apparently screwing around all the time according to RPS writers.... Of course, in banddom they don't have characters to write about... Umm.... I think I'll stay in fandom.[7]
I'm just going to go with the mind-numbingly obvious here, but it's _fiction_. Except for delusional people, no one who writes RPS actually believes that they're telling true stories -- and delusional people are certainly not confined to the RPS areas of fandom (see "Jordan Wood", or, hell, the people who will tell you straight-faced in this fandom that Blair would NEVER pick up a gun). [8]
If people were going to write TS RPF they'd be doing it already. I suspect RB and GM are simply not that interesting to fans inclined to write RPF or the few who would write it have caved to the social pressure brought to bear by fans here who object.[9]
To me RPS is a genre I just haven't bothered to read. The fandoms that have a lot of RPS activity aren't fandoms I'm interested in, i.e. Supernatural and PopSlash. I don't think it's something I would be too interested in because it's the character's that I love, not necessarily the actors. All of this discussion has actually made me want to check out some TS RPS just for curiosity's sake. As for me, as long as it's stated clearly that it's a work of fiction I don't have a problem with it. [10]
I am not into fandoms where there is a lot of RPS written/posted. And since I am into the characters more than the actors and find the universe the characters inhabit, in this case, The Sentinel, more interesting, that's what I want to read and write about. I don't find the idea of reading about a couple of actors getting each other off between takes on the set or whatever might be written. Same as I don't want to read gay porn. It's just two people who I don't know or care as much about as Jim and Blair or the characters in another fandom I do. [11]

2009

I remember being shocked at how vehemently a newbie was put in her place on list when she innocently asked where the RB/GM real person fic was. It was a perfectly understandable question given how popular/accepted it is in other fandoms (and the blooper tapes :-)) and instead of a simple answer of, well, there isn't really any to speak of; it's just not big in this particular fandom, sorry, there were rants about the evil of RPF and a huge wave of disapproval crashed down on her head. [12]
As to the RPS incident, yes there was a widely negative reaction, from those that responded. If you're a "newbie" and you choose not to check out the lay of the land (which is your choice)in the fandom you are entering, you have to take a certain responsibility that you might be stepping on toes. I'd have to go back and read but I seem to remember the asker giving as good as she got in responding. It was a free for all, for sure, but it *was* free for all to state their opinions, no matter how badly done. I'm talking about having a moderator tell someone to stifle their opinions or stop pursuing their arguments on a thread or else risked being put on moderated status or worse. That's oppression. [13]
Asking for story recs isn't usually something you research before you ask -- apart from maybe checking someone hadn't asked for that theme recently. You wouldn't think that it'd step on toes. Fandom in general is very well used to RPF/RPS these days; does everyone like/write it? No. I don't care for it myself. But it's been years since it was this new, daring, shocking genre and the kerfuffles over it have simmered down considerably. I think a newbie to TS from say, Supernatural, where it makes up a large proportion of the fic, would expect there to be a cache of GM/RB RPS for her to read and asking to be pointed at it wouldn't seem to her to be any different than asking for fics where Blair gives Jim a kitten or something. I'd have to go back and read but I seem to remember the asker giving as good as she got in responding. It was a free for all, for sure, but it *was* free for all to state their opinions, no matter how badly done. I'm talking about having a moderator tell someone to stifle their opinions or stop purs[14]
As to RPF being the norm in so many fandoms that it should not be cold-shouldered in any fandom, I don't buy it. As we've discussed, incest is very common in one fandom but virtually nowhere in others. Does one fandom have to kowtow to the others? Fandoms attract readers because of their uniqueness, not because they are like all the others. That would be like writing "any two guys" stories and saying they are Sentinel stories. If I go into a fandom that is 98% slash and ask where all the het stories are, I might be laughed out of the fandom, told politely to go somewhere else, or told to take a long walk off a short pier. That's my consequences if I don't do my homework on the fandom I'm entering. (IMHO of course! ;^)[15]
It's not my cup of tea but I think it's pretty obvious that as the people writing it know nothing about the people they're writing about other than their name, appearance, and a few pieces of information gleaned from an interview (never to be trusted; hello, they're actors) it is, in fact, as pure a form of fiction as any other genre of fanfiction.

Is GM going to be more disturbed by a raunchy fanfic describing Blair's body in great detail or a much milder one about one of the blooper kisses between him and Richard? Who knows.

I don't think it's sick. It's not real, for all that it's called real person fic.[16]
Quite apart from the wrongness of it (and I agree with you on that; RPF makes me pretty uneasy) I think that although it's been around for a while, it still has the potential to be very damaging for fandom - especially RPS. Just because no actor/singer/whatever has claimed defamation of character because of it yet, doesn't mean nobody ever will.[17]
You don't like it, and there's no denying that it's not accepted universally in every fandom, but it is factually incorrect to say that every actor/star would be appalled and outraged to have it written about them. They know, as you don't seem able to grasp, that the stories cannot possibly be based on anything but wishful thinking and conjecture and so are not about them in any meaningful way.

I don't like it, I don't write it, but it's a case of one out, all out; if you want a safe space where we can write without being judged, that space has to be big enough for us all; leave the DD writers, the RPFers, the m-preggers, the non-con fans out in the cold and you destroy that.

And actors aren't stupid; sure some Google themselves and they'll stumble over fanfic, yes, and RPF -- but like all of us, they have the choice not to read it. And, sheesh, how would they have the TIME?

I imagine some writers' ears are burning as a particularly dire badfic is snickered over by an actor and passed around the set, which does happen, but the actors being traumatized by it? Somehow, I'm not seeing it. Amused, mocking, tolerant, mildly pissed off, gobsmacked by the lovingly purple descriptions of their bodies; yeah, maybe.

In therapy or on the phone to their lawyers? Not so much.[18]
I don't care what people write myself, but I can't help but wonder if there aren't still limits to what an actor would shrug off when it comes to RPF. If someone wrote a story in which Elijah Wood rapes his mother, would he still find it amusing. What if the actor in the story is molesting his kids or having sex with his dog? What about the kinky stuff like skat, infantilism, bestiality, etc.. I'm not sure if most actors would just dismiss anything that was written about them just because they know it's fiction. I suppose it depends somewhat on how far the writers go with their fantasies. These actors may not have the time to read the stories themselves, but they may have family and friends that can. I remember GM being upset that his nieces were running across photomanips of him naked. I imagine he'd have also been upset if his nieces had come across an RPS story.[19]
If you think that no one will believe real people fiction because of the disclaimer made at the beginning of the story, I'm not nearly so sure. When people read outrageous things about famous people in blogs and accept it as fact, it isn't such a big leap to think the same might happen with RPF. All you have to do is say something enough and gullible people believe it.[20]
In the early days of slash, it was all underground. It could be surprisingly difficult to find any. We were very circumspect about it, thirty years ago. I'm not saying that people shouldn't write RPF - even RPS - if that's what floats their boat, but I wish - for the sake of fandom in general - that it was kept underground, not made very public courtesy of the net.[21]
If I'm writing historical fiction, I might include a real person as a background character, but even though he's 'dead a thousand years' I'm never going to make him a major player behaving in any way other than the way the history books portray him, because I don't feel it's fair to him. (I'm also a bit iffy about some of the photomanips that are being done, too - most of them are beautiful, beautifully and skilfully done, but some of them make me very uneasy for the same reason. Though in that context I can't help but remember a line of Blair's from one story - something like "I want to thank the person who put my head on such a great bod... ")[22]
You have that blooper tape. I've seen those three or four smooching scenes used in a dozen vids and scores of icons and they're used to stand in for Jim and Blair, when it's GM and RB doing the kissing, hugging, flirting.

How come no one ever minds that? That's a contribution to TS RPS right there if you know that what you're seeing isn't from an episode but is RB and GM goofing around.

And it is *not* the norm, no matter how widespread it's become.

That seems illogical; if it's that widespread, then it IS the norm. I think though, it's very strong in some fandoms, less so in others, invisible in many; a patchy sort of presence.[23]
30 years ago slash was treated much like RPF/RPS is treated here. People were disgusted by it and would preach long and hard about it's evils. Not understand how anyone would want to read something like slash.

It's funny, RPS is pretty much a non-issue in the newer fandoms. People generally just skip it if they aren't interested and move on to what they like. It's only in the older fandoms that people seem to take umbrage. In fact it's so far buried in TS that a few months, after a similar discussion here, ago I went looking for some. I wanted to see if my own disinterest/slight squick was based on my own feelings or those of this group. I couldn't find any. I know it's out there but it's so far buried that a search proved fruitless. I can find a lot of RPS for other big fandoms, i.e. SPN, SGA and newly Merlin. I didn't read any because I figured it wouldn't have the emotional hot button TS would have for me because I know more about Richard and Garett than I do those other actors.

I'm uncomfortable with RPS for TS actors but could give a flying flip for those others. Because of that I'm more in the park of more acceptance than disapproval. I don't want to tell anyone that they are bad for making up, obvious, fiction that they enjoy.[24]
What I've come to realize is that for many readers, the point of fanfic for them is not the point of fanfic for me. I read fanfic to get "more" of the show, the characters and the relationship I love and in the case of slash, to further the relationship to where I see it heading or not shown on the show.

As someone who still doesn't read fic for a show I've never seen, much less write it without all that background info, it boggles me just as much to learn that there are fanfic authors out there who write a show when they've never seen a single ep as it does Merlin to see that writers write about real people that they can't do that "research" on. Same thing, in my book. They are just looking for something different in their fanfic than others are.

Explain crack!fic or the AUs or even crossovers that some writers come up with -- they are out there actively writing off the wall concepts that wouldn't in a million years go along with the canon of the show. Just because it isn't what I read fanfic for doesn't mean it's not fun for someone else.

And am I correct in my thought that there is some "research" done, as in knowing where the actors live, what events they attend, seeing interviews or bloopers or clips about them and using that information to base ideas in stories on?

I do think that there are probably people out there who might come across RPS online and not read the disclaimer and believe it. They are the same folks who probably believe everything they read in tabloids too -- and in many ways they are much worse because they make their living printing lies about famous people, despite causing enormous upset for those about whom they write. Do I agree that just because you *can* write something that you shouldn't also run right out and publish it? Yes -- but has that ever stopped a "bad" writer from putting out her fanfic, no matter how ungrammatical, poorly written, silly or whatever out there for the masses to read? Nope. So why should I worry about it? It's a part of life today -- if you can tweet about walking across the street, obviously you're not going to pause and think "should I post this story?".

For better or worse, the internet has given us a world where instant gratification has become the norm. So to expect that everyone is going to think ahead to possible consequences before posting stories of any kind (not that I'm saying nobody should think ahead, just acknowledging that many people don't) is unrealistic in this day and age.

And no, RPS isn't new, as the Bronte sisters writing reveals. And in fandom, it's existed for a long time too, since way before the internet. Certain stories were passed around in secret that were written about the real peoples' lives since I can remember. Yes, they were kept a little more hidden in those days. Times change.[25]
The very first RPF I ever saw online was a story where someone spent thousands of words detailing the torture and eventual flaying-to-death of an actor, posted to the Allslash fanfic list. (Seriously, there was *nothing else* in the story. It was just extreme, graphic torturefic, about a living, breathing person. I am still completely horrified, ~10 years later, and I hope to god that person never archived it anywhere where it can be found.)

There's RPF deathfic, RPF rapefic, RPF noncon, RPF incest (even RPF twincest), RPF chan -- you name it.

There are also stories out there where actors' girlfriends/wives/families are treated horrifically, because the fans want to make up their own relationships and those people get in the way. And there's RPF where the actors' real parents/families are written completely out of the picture to the point that they don't even exist, so another actor can "be" that actor's parent.

It's not all kittens and rainbows. : No, maybe not kittens and puppies but I'm guessing most of it is pretty mundane. Just like most fanfic, very few are full of lovingly spelled out torture, but there are some. How many times has "Blair" been raped? The same person that finds that kind of story interesting would like the same kind of RPS. I don't like torture, or even bondage stories, but some people think they are the bee's knees. Who am I to judge? Same with RPF/RPS. I guess if I had to choose between a J/B torture fic or a R/G happy fic (which I've still never found), I would probably go with the happy one. I just don't understand that need to physically harm someone, even in a fictional story.[26]
Some authors who write RPF does it with the knowledge of the actors. The story I'd mentioned in a prior post when this subject came up before: Visitors To A Strange Planet and it's sequel. The ST actors was well aware of their appearance in the fiction (since the copy of the zines was sent to them) and had no problem with them. (As far as I know)

So my views on the subject is if the actors has no problem with the fiction then it's shouldn't be a problem with the authors. *However* if it's clear that the actors are bother by them then the fiction should be kept underground out of courtesy of the actors.

I'd heard here that Garett is very uneasy about slash fiction. So if by some far chance I ever get the urge to do a RPS on him it will go no farther than the file on my computer. I'll write it to satisfy my muse but that's it.

One does not know about what the actors think about themselves in RPF or RPS until the actors themselves (or their representatives) is asked or somehow the knowledge of their views are in a public format.

But I wouldn't bush the *entire* actors community thinking that *all* of them don't like the fiction. It depends on the fiction it depends on the actors in the fiction. Some will be amused, or flatter, or offended or angry. But it up to each actors' reaction. And it should be depended on the actors' reactions to said fiction to determined the status of future fiction.

(After all if they're angry or offended *then* they might have the right to sue for liable. And it still just one author, the next author might do a fiction that the actor finds amusing.)

Or said actors might be so confident in their own self image that they won't let a few stories showing them in a bad light bother them. Again, it's up to the actors.

Nor would I bush the *entire* RFS RFS authors community that they will write something that's offensive. Visitors To A Strange Planet certainly wasn't...[27]
I think some of us feel we're in the minority on this because the genre is growing like wildfire in a lot of other fandoms, at least so a number of folks on this list have informed us, to the extent that RPF/S could even be thought of as mainstream.[28]
As I've said many times, things change in fandom all the time whether we want them to or not. A few years ago, you could have taken your sentence above and replaced "RPF/S" with "slash." Oh, no -- the genre is growing like wildfire in other fandoms, so much so that slash could now be thought of as mainstream! The horror! However, I get the feeling that just because some of us who have been posting have said that authors have a right to write RPF you believe that we totally agree with the concept. That is not correct.[29]
Regardless of anyone's preconceived notions about what a genre of fanfic consists of, we really can't explain why some fans are drawn to it and without reading it or hearing from the authors about their own motivations we can't really know how the characters or people in the stories are perceived by the authors. That's like those groups that picket and protest about movies they deem objectionable for some reason -- without having ever seen the movie to verify it's as terrible as they think.

To continue my slash analogy, anti-slashers feel that we are saying things about the characters that we have no "right" to, that we are cheapening the relationship by putting it on a physical level, that we are reading things into the relationship that isn't there and isn't intended to be there. We're making objects of the characters by only wanting to write about their sex lives, taking away the purity of their beings and the spirituality of their relationship.

They often assume that all slash stories are alike, with no regard to characterization, that we take the identity of the characters and trivialize them -- does any of this sound familiar?

Besides, as has been stated frequently, TS fandom does not seem to have much interest in RPF, so why worry about it? We aren't the moral guardians of the rest of fandom, much less the world.[30]
I haven't yet been able to bring myself to read RPF and I'm very happy to be part of a fandom where it isn't prevalent. I may be offending some readers (or even writers) of it, but I guess we're all grown up enough to handle it. I do know that my questions are asked in all seriousness, not at all meant to be belittling although they might be taken that way. I do want answers, even if I don't like them when I get them.[31]

Meta/Further Reading

References

  1. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (January 2003)
  2. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  3. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  4. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  5. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  6. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  7. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  8. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  9. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  10. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  11. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (February 2008)
  12. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  13. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  14. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  15. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  16. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  17. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  18. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  19. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  20. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  21. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  22. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  23. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  24. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  25. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  26. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  27. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  28. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  29. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  30. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  31. comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)