Tunneltalk

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Zine
Title: Tunneltalk
Publisher: Artemis Press
Editor(s): edited by Barbara Storey, Victoria Clark, & Sharon Himmanen
Type:
Date(s): 1990-?
Frequency: montly
Medium: print
Size: digest
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of v.1 n.1

Tunneltalk is a letterzine edited by Barbara Storey, Victoria Clark and Sharon Himmanen. It won a 1991 FanQ Award.

Art is included at the publisher's request.

See List of Letterzines for similar fan works.

About

From the editorial in the first issue, published March 1990:

TUNNELTALK is dedicated to one concern—freedom of speech, otherwise known as the First Amendment.....But there has been in fandom, of late, a wave of negativity, taking the form of intimidation—labels of correct and incorrect, acceptable and unacceptable, applied to honest personal opinion in an attempt to control and manipulate other fans. There has been intolerance, and voices speaking with a self-appointed authority that should be severely questioned. There have been admonitions to refrain from voicing any negative opinions, no matter how calmly or rationally, and people have been told they write "hate mail" and are "ex-fans" simply because they have strongly expressed deep disappointment in the third season....Therefore, we wanted to add our voices to the other individual voices and to the other letterzines where freedom of speech is being upheld. There are safe places in this fandom where your opinion—pro or con, hopeful or disappointed—will be respected, and we are one of those places.
From the August 1991 issue:

This publication is intended as an outlet for fans; it will not be sent to either Witt-Thomas or Republic, or anyone else connected with the show, so don't be afraid to say your piece. The only things required are that you speak honestly and follow your heart, wherever it leads you. The only things not tolerated are personal attacks/abuse directed toward anyone and anonymous letters.

All rights revert to the contributors, with our gratitude for participating. Since TUNNELTALK is dedicated to the pursuit of freedom of speech, the views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the editors — which is just the way we want it!

Some Topics Discussed

Each issue contained letters of comment, zine reviews, an occasional featurette about a local fan club, zine publisher and merchandise contact information along with interviews with actors or show staff.

A Fan's 1991 Comments

Thank you, TT — it's a welcome change to receive a fanzine that isn't filled with recriminations, resentments and downright hurling of insults. Don't get me wrong. I listen and evaluated/opinions — I've even found that I don't object to third season as much as I thought I would — I just dislike the ugly way in which some of these opinions have been expressed, which isn't to say that you can't express yourselves in any way you choose, just that I won't read it or give it serious consideration. I've felt from the beginning of my involvement in fandom that TT was the best forum for discussing the show intelligently, and it's good to be continually proved correct in this. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

First of all, I am one of those who would like to sincerely thank B&B Lifeline for putting out that marvelous letter encouraging all of us to "stick to our opinions" and not allow others to label us. One thing that seems to have resulted from the current polarization of B&TB fandom is that people who think and feel alike about Season #3 (whether pro or con) seem to gravitate together; I think that's clear from reading many of the current letterzines, and also from personal correspondence. In the April issue, Constantia said that she didn't know anyone who liked the Lifeline letter. In direct contrast, I don't know anyone who DIDN'T love and appreciate it! I'm not directly connected with Lifeline, though I live in the Bay Area, but the many people I correspond with, all over the U.S., feel as I did about the letter — we (and I know I CAN speak for the majority of my friends) wanted to stand up and cheer. My friends and I had most definitely interpreted the words of several established leaders in fandom the way Lifeline did — as an "order" to follow the party line or else be labelled "ex-fans" and traitors to B&TB. In fact, it had been our consensus that much of the initial split had been announced and fostered on the pages of some of these established fan organs — long before the Lifeline letter appeared. We felt the Lifeline letter was long overdue. I think this shows that we have all more or less been finding people of like mind to "hang out with," so that's why we can all say "I don't know anyone who liked Season #3" or "I don't know anyone who liked the Lifeline letter" and have it be true — for US — without necessarily representing the accurate balance of views in fandom.
[Sue K]:

I don't think any of us are going to change our minds about our feelings regarding Season #3 or who was responsible for what at this point I have based my feelings both on what I was attracted to in B&TB in the first place (Vincent AND Catherine), what facts I have been able to collect, and gut instinct. I will never try to force my views down anyone's throat, but if I hear what I consider to be misinformation, I will share my view of the proceedings. A recent example of this is the goings-on at the San Diego Creation Convention, in which some things were stated as "facts" that had a whole different side to them that never had a chance to be expressed. I and my friends were deeply upset by some of the misinformation generated at this convention, particularly in regard to a specific group of fans who have now been labelled as troublemakers and traitors. Since I know some of these fans, and I certainly have found them to be rational, polite, and intelligent, I had quite a different view of the events outlined in San Diego. Since I don't want to get into a debate here over what has become extremely painful for some of the people "named" in this issue, I won't go into this any further — suffice it to say that I feel this was very damaging. I think there must be a difference between advising people to stick to their own opinions (politely, of course) and public name-calling.

With any luck, we will have worked through this stage in the "war" by TunnelCon. There have been definite stages, haven't there: first our initial reaction to the third season; then the debate over its merits; then the attack and counterattack over opinions and feelings — and now, the first tentative attempts at peacemaking. I think it WILL take time to find that peace, but we all seem to be at least THINKING about it now. l don't really think it will be easy, but I think it's possible. I currently correspond with two people who enjoyed Season #3, and we're finding ways to make accomodations with our differences of opinion. Perhaps this is the way it MUST be done — one on one. When faced with large, faceless groups who profess one view or another, we get scared and then defensive and then we attack to protect ourselves; but when faced with a single person, with real feelings and interests and needs, we see that maybe they aren't so scary after all. Maybe we CAN like them, maybe we don't have to feel exactly the same. I really think that one-on-one communication is the key to our healing. I would like to give special thanks here to my two friends who are helping me to make my separate peace.

There has been much talk about how to write for the return of B&TB. I agree with everyone who says that blackmail is not an effective (or polite) tactic; in fact, I have never used this or any other hostile tactic in the letters I have written to CBS, Fox, and others. Instead, I have politely requested that Catherine's return be considered for future B&TB projects. This does not, however, mean that I would continue to watch B&TB in its present format I will not "threaten" Republic or anyone else by telling them I will refuse to support B&TB without Linda Hamilton as Catherine — to do so would be counterproductive and unfair to those who can find ways to like the show without her. But this does not mean I have signed my name in blood to continue watching B&TB in any form.

It may appear that I simply have no interest in B&TB without the Beauty. As long as it's understood that I won't "blackmail" anyone, I trust it also can be understood that I can have my own "personal conditions" for supporting the show. I will simply not share those "conditions" with Republic.

My honest feeling, however, is that Republic KNOWS that a large number of fans (yes, no one knows how many, or the "real" statistics) are disaffected with the direction taken in Season #3, and they will probably try to get Linda Hamilton back to assure the largest support base for future projects. They would still have supporters for any form of B&TB, of course, but they'll have a lot more if they can find some way to return the character of Catherine, and I think they realize that now.

Since, for me Catherine is as essential as Vincent, just getting Vincent back "alone" is not going to make me want to watch the show. Many have made it clear that they want Vincent back no matter how, and that's fine, but it's not why I watched the show and not enough of a reason for me PERSONALLY to watch or support it in future. For me, forever and always, B&TB is the love of Vincent and Catherine. The story of Vincent alone might, in its own, way be compelling and moving, but it would never be Beauty and the Beast.. I wish they would simply give it another title if it comes back without Catherine, because the "Beauty' part really doesn't pertain anymore — for me — without Catherine. The word "Beauty" in the title becomes meaningless if you can simply "fill in the blank" with any woman — be it Diana or someone else. In a way, still calling it B&TB is just confirming that Catherine was disposable, and for me that can never, EVER be true. BEAUTY and the Beast, for me, ceased to exist with Catherine's death. Vincent does continue, but his Beauty does not If they were to call the new show "Vincent" it would be more accurate and honest. And maybe I'd watch that show, because it wouldn't be "pretending" to be what it was the first two seasons with Catherine.

[much snipped]

...the REASONS I watched B&TB were effectively destroyed with Catherine's death. Many people, I know, were able to keep finding things they liked about B&TB continuing, and were able to accept the changes. But I feel no guilt or shame that I was not one of those people.

There are so many other things I could say, but it's basically rehashing what many have said and what I've said before, so I will stop this before it gets to novel length. I have attempted to make my views clear from the outset, and will not belabor them in future — the time for that is past. Instead, I also ask if we can all find a way to bridge the gap. No, I'm not going to change my views and I don't expect anyone else to change theirs. I think the key right now is to 1) stop casting blame at any one faction and 2) agree to disagree. I really don't think the issue is "was Season #3 good or bad" anymore. That is NEVER going to be resolved, because it's strictly a matter of personal opinion. And we may NEVER know the true facts about why things happened as they did behind the scenes at the production offices of B&TB. I also think the time is past to worry about blackmailing Republic, CBS et al with our letters, because I think we all realize that that is counterproductive. We are intelligent, albeit passionate, women. (Eds. note: And men, too!)

I think we all are reaching for similar goals, at least in terms of making peace — some of us will never feel we can love a "new" B&TB in Season #3 format without Catherine, and I ask only that others accept that. These feelings are strong and deeply felt and based on much thought and deep belief, not merely arrived at superficially, or out of any desire to "make trouble" for anyone. I also ask that others realize that I will never do any thing to destroy or prevent a return of B&TB to the screen in any form, even if I cannot support it within my heart. Because I cannot support Third Season does not mean I will prevent, or make it more difficult, for you to get the show back. I wish you luck in your endeavor — and with the best of luck, the return of B&TB will be in a form all of us can truly love. In the meantime, here's my hand — shake?
[Joyce F K]:

It might be a more constructive thing to ask ourselves the following question: When Beauty and the Beast returns to the air, my greatest joy would be realized if (fill in the blank with one or more of the choices) 1. Diana and Vincent became friends who helped each other in various routine as well as monumental struggles; 2. Diana and Vincent became lovers and fulfilled a new dream together; 3. Somehow Catherine was returned to Vincent and they carried on as they had left off; 4. Somehow Catherine was returned and she and Vincent progressed in their relationship dramatically; 5. The romances of other tunnel/Above people were featured.

This way we would be looking ahead to our thoughts and wishes, rather than staring back at what has already been. If, in communicating to the writers/producers/ network, we could express our hopes and desires for these situations rather than our ultimatums, perhaps our opinions can be expressed in positive ways.

It appears that many of the fans who adored season three would still prefer to see Catherine and Vincent reunited. If that's the case, we are more united than we seem to be. I'd like to let those "in charge" know that I would like to see Catherine again. I'll let them know that I'd watch whatever they offered and judge it once it was presented, though.

Season three was fantastic as a side-track or spin-off; I'm hoping that "season four" gets our eternally entwined lovers back together, with their bond intact and their relationship in full gear.
[Arwen B]:

I really like the idea of free expression; something that seems to be sadly lacking in and around some of the other B&TB publications. I am a mature, educated, adult woman, and I don't need anyone to tell me what to think or say. I'm a fan until I decide otherwise. I am outraged by third season B&TB for three very good reasons:

1) I utterly refuse to support any show that encourages violence towards women. The Charles Bronson plot device of: "Kill/rape his woman to motivate the hero and justify his violence" is totally unacceptable. Even to stay silent when it is used is to imply consent. The attitude of women-as-things leads to actions like the Montreal massacre.

2) The romance between Vincent and Catherine was and is the central lynchpin of the show. The other characters were interesting, but did not get enough air time to be fleshed out. For two years and 44 episodes we were told "He is my life—without him there is nothing," and "Don't die, Catherine — if you die, I'll die too." Is it our fault if they did a good sales job? I have my choice of any cop/action/adventure show on to channels. I wanted, and still want, Vincent and his one true love — Catherine.

3) Third season plotlines were so poor they caused the network to cancel the show. I like to think fans are powerful — but we just don't muster the numbers that impress network executives and advertisers. The two-hour movie had a Neilsen raring of 21.5; within six shows this was down to 14. This represents a loss of 6207,500 viewers. Almost 7 million people tried third season and disliked it. Now those numbers are impressive. The only show in first or second season to do anywhere near as poorly was the episode "Orphans," at 14 — when the show had just been switched to Monday. "Vincent and (insert guest star here)" cost us fans a renewal—and more episodes of a show we love. Let's all be calm, rational, tolerant adults. We need to get behind a saleable plotline for B&TB and push with our opinions and our dollars. I'm betting on the dream — Vincent and Catherine's dream of a happy life, together.

"It's not a fairy tale anymore" — it's not on anymore either!

"Face reality — people die." They sure do — I've lost three grandparents, my father, and my brother so far, but I don't go look at their graves for relaxation after a hard days' work. I want entertainment, cheerfulness, some romance — and I "vote" with my time and $.

"All great love stories end tragically." Tell that to Disney — they rewrote The Little Mermaid's ending happily. And don't bet on them listening to you; they're too busy counting all the money-bags and laughing all the way to the bank. Their employees still have their jobs — that's reality for you!

I'm not about to tell anyone they can't like something, or that I won't talk to them if they don't believe "correctly." I also don't repeat third-hand, unsubstantiated gossip in order to smear an innocent person. I'm too mature for "Whisper Down the Lane." America had plenty of that tactic with Joe McCarthy — remember what his rumors did to "Father's" life? Let's all be calm, rational, tolerant adults. W e need to get behind a saleable plotline for B&TB and pushwith our opinions and our dollars. I'm betting on the dream — Vincent and Catherine's dream of a happy life, together.
[Fran C]:

General comments — re: 1st/2nd/3rd season. Essentially, in my opinion, all the work done in seasons 1 and 2 to build Catherine into a strong, compassionate, decisive, etc.,etc., woman were destroyed in the season 3 opener.

The comments of misogyny were so aptly stated. How more humiliating, how more hurtful towards the character of Catherine could they be? I could not help but wonder if the producers/writers, etc., were so angry with Linda that they chose to punish her in that way. I was angry. Even more so angry in her isolation scenes/loneliness and ostracism. How much more abuse was this character to sustain before enough was enough?The final act of abuse or cruelty (if you will) towards Catherine (and us) was their utter act of inhumanity in not allowing her to even hold the baby — this was the final blow for me, and in my heart. I felt it was also a subconscious shot at Linda, who was nearly at term during the filming. Especially after watching "God Bless the Child" and the incredible demonstration of "longing" for a child (the acting was incredible, and I'm not even sure it was acting — it looked heartfelt to me), this was the ultimate in cruelty toward Catherine and — perhaps more subtly — toward women as well. I don't know and, frankly, I don't want to believe that the writers who gave us 1st and 2nd seasons of characters could change so quickly and decisively. Calling Catherine a "vessel" was so insulting...

[snipped]

In addition, I admit that I found the episode terribly confusing. After spending so much time with Catherine and Vincent, beginning to feel as if they were "friends" with whom I could visit once a week, and understand their behavior as well as what motivates it, I hadn't a clue as to what was going on. I confess — I was unsure as to when "consummation" actually took place. And yes, I did care how it was portrayed. I would have hoped it would have been done with sensitivity, compassion, and love — in a way that allowed Vincent and Catherine to be comfortable with each other (as well as the audience to be comfortable).

[snipped]

A few concluding remarks for now. Everyone is entitled to opinions — they need to be expressed — as long as they do not violate people's feelings or safety. It is perfectly appropriate for fans to note their opinions — it is a form of relaxation and expression of the love they feel for such rich characters as Vincent and Catherine.

[snipped]

This was the final remark to the devoted audience of two years — that our memories would grow faint of Catherine after a few short weeks and that we could move on. I can't move on, and in so saying, I would welcome back Vincent and his beloved Catherine as the characters I grew to know and love and respect.
[Valarie W]:

Every time I read something to do with the return of Beauty and the Beast, someone mentions the possible return of Catherine. While I wish she hadn't died, the fact is, she did. In order to preserve continuity (and to be believable) she must remain so. We don't want to repeat the mistake Dallas made, and call it all a dream, do we? The only way around the fact that she died, that I can see, is to do stories that happened before she died. While I'm sure there are many to tell, I, for one, would rather accept her death as a sad fact and go forward. There are many more possibilities in going forward.

For instance, Diana. I resisted Diana at first, as I'm sure many others did, but, by "Invictus" she had proven her viability to me. There are plenty of fascinating possibilities in her friendship with Vincent. I don't feel enough time has passed yet (in their universe) for Vincent to be ready for more than friendship from Diana, but there are stories waiting to be told.

And the baby Jacob. I can't be the only one to be fascinated by him. I want to watch Vincent be a father to his son and explore that relationship further, besides the fact that this baby — whom even Father, a doctor, did not believe was possible — is a living symbol of the special love between Catherine and Vincent, and could be the source for countless stories.

The fanzines often print stories exploring the tunnel world itself and the other inhabitants. Think how little we have seen of the other members of the community and their lives and histories.

Ron Koslow, in an interview with Starlog, mentioned the cable networks, video, feature films, and "movies of the week a la Perry Mason, as possibilities for B&TB's return. We can't give up hope, and we mustn't give up bombarding CBS,and anybody else who could help, with letters. We have the power and we must make our voices heard. We're a special group of people, nine million strong, and remember, it only took 20,000 letters to get Star Trek back on the air in the 1960s — what can nine million of us do?

I want to subscribe to TUNNELTALK. Nobody I know is quite as fanatic on the subject of Beauty and the Beast as I am, and I'm glad there is a forum like this for people like me.

[Gretchen A.K.K.]:

The end ot the innocence. That's what we've found. For two beautiful, inspiring years, we were all friends.... kindred souls. And now? What have we become? Nay-sayers? Dark-siders? The media, that we so impressed with our unwavering dedication last May, has been referring to the "two camps" in fandom: Pro-third season and Anti-third season. And some of the letterzines where we used to express our surprise to find that we weren't alone, that "I thought I was the only one!", have turned into ways to hold message wars with each other. It's sad that these fan forums have turned into negative, personal letters addressed to one person or one group of people. They don't even deal with the show anymore.

Well, let's get back to the show. OUR show. Regardless of what happened last season, I'll look back to a time when we were whole and I'll try to explain my analysis of Beauty and the Beast as a fan. I am still a fan, because a fan is someone who watches a television show. Even though I wasn't happy with the direction of the third season, I still faithfully watched all nine episodes. (If the other three ever get aired, I will watch them as well.) I guess that makes me a hard-core fan, because I continued to watch the show even though it was no longer what I wanted to see.

When I was little, I saw a Star Trek episode in which Mr. Spock got shot. I went running to my mom, crying, "Mom! Mom! They shot Mr. Spock!" She said, "Don't worry. He's one of the stars. They won't kill the star." You know, at the time I didn't believe it, but she was right: Mr.Spock didn't die. As I grew up, I found that this seemed to be a rule! Oops, I forgot. Mr. Koslow said they were gonna break all the rules, didn't he?
[Janet D]:

I'm one of those people who was upset by the third season. I would have preferred another actress as Catherine instead of killing the character and adding all the violence. I watched all the shows, even though I wasn't happy with Vincent's transformation into "Catman: the Crime Fighter." You see, I believed Vincent when he said he would die if Catherine died. In their quest to gain a male audience, a literate, romantic story was turned into a violent show. But as one man put it, "I never watched it and I'm just not interested."

[snipped]

Since I'd like to believe that with love all things are possible, I'm hoping for a movie with Linda that would give us the rebirth of the story we all know and love.

In the meantime, I'm subsisting on fanzines. Pamela Garrett's One Day, a Rapture... with its fantastic cover by Beth Blighton, says it all for me.

[Verna W]:

Diana — A fascinating strong character in her own right. But she looks too raggedy-looking. Even at the baby's naming ceremony, she looked unkempt. Doesn't she have at least one nice dress?

Violence — the violence does not bother me at all when it is directed at the bad guys.
[Diane D]:

I was one of those who believed that the writers who gave us two beautiful and sensitive seasons couldn't possibly let us down. I assumed there would be a powerful, if all too brief, resolution of Catherine and Vincent's story, a time of joy and openness, the pay-off to the exquisitely crafted storyline inherent in all good drama; that Catherine's death would be meaningful and noble, rising logically from the premise of the story, leaving us sad, but enriched with some new message of idealism that would compel us on a new course. They were perfectly capable of doing that; they chose not to.

Looked at as objectively as possible. "Though Lovers Be Lost.." appears to be the work of someone with a deep resentment of women, contempt for the characters they'd so lovingly created, and total unconcern for the fans who'd ensured the show's return. We had watched our female counterpart grow in courage and compassion to become an almost unprecedented role-model in the land of TV — a woman of strength and honor who nevertheless remained totally feminine and vulnerable. They created a woman worth emulating and then chose her fate — the most unsubtle amalgam of male cynicism possible: barefoot and pregnant; the madonna, fallen from her pedestal because she "dared to love," becomes a whore who must be punished with death; the unresisting victim of superior males. It's difficult to believe this was done on purpose and just as difficult to believe that they couldn't see what they'd done and recognize it for the obscenity it was.

Still, I hoped it was an aberration, that soon we'd see those qualities we so admired. But as the arc progressed, I became increasingly convinced that CBS was wrong in its promos — it was still a fairy tale. Not "Beauty and the Beast," for sure — somehow we'd been plunked down into another fable — "The Emperor's New Clothes."

After lining up for months ahead of time in eager anticipation, we watched the parade begin. Some instantly shrieked that the new clothes were beautiful, some timidly suggested that they'd liked the old wardrobe better, and some of us stood in shocked dismay — afraid the "emperor" was about to catch his death. Of course there were sycophants in the realm who told the crowd they'd better wax ecstatic over the current fashions or suffer banishment from the kingdom. A few complied, and others — out of weariness or disgust — chose exile. And that was sad, because it left that once-strong kingdom weaker, should there be another call to battle.

For those who claim it couldn't have been otherwise once Linda "chose" to leave the show, I have to ask: The depth of character, the exquisite attention to detail, the poetry, the carefully delineated relationships, the ethical dilemmas that struck a chord in our own lives, the insights and idealism that left us feeling like better people for having watched — did those things "choose" to leave as well?

There's nothing very mysterious about the "rift" in fandom. Maybe because we all loved the show, there was an illusion that we loved it for the same reasons. Not true. All the "retooling" did was force us each to evaluate what had attracted us to it in the first place. If those elements were no longer in evidence, we were disappointed and could only judge the third season on its own merits. If the features we liked were still intact, then we enjoyed it.

[snipped]

I don't pretend to think everyone's response was similar to mine. For those who watched for other reasons — the performances, the stunning visuals, the action, or for Vincent alone {How many times have you heard someone say, "I'll take Vincent anyway I can get him" or "I don't care what he's doing, as long as I can see Vincent."? That's a pretty straightforward criteria.) the new shows were not a disappointment. It's called "varied opinions," "different strokes," "individual taste." Actually, there's a lot of it out there in the real world, and — believe it or not — it's not always seen as a personal affront or a call to civil war. Anyhow, it's great to see new publications like TUNNELTALK springing up to prove that cancellation has no dominion, and reassuring, too, that there are those willing to examine diverse ideas and conflicting viewpoints like grownups. There's hope for this fandom yet.

[Wanda Leah C]: I would like to end by discussing Topic Number Two that Barbara suggested— whether Diana was stronger than Catherine. I do not believe so, but then I always felt that we were only given the character because "THEY" thought we needed a female character in there with all of the males. I found Diana only occupied air time during the episodes she appeared in and really did not give much to her scenes. I realize that Jo Anderson walked into a tense situation, but I believe she could have added more to the character than just saying her lines. I believe the sloppy dressing was just another way to make her different from Catherine. Catherine dressed very nicely and was very lady-like, so Diana had to be the exact opposite so we could not say they were trying to make her into Catherine. I guess what upset me the most out of all her scenes was when they had her kill Gabriel with Catherine's gun. It was like they thought I would suddenly love Diana because she killed the man who caused Catherine's death, and with Catherine's gun. To me it was just another of many scenes from third season that made little sense.
[Elgie G]:

Well, here goes, my first fanzine letter, following my first meeting with other B&TB fans of the Boston club. Although the thirty plus there had many different views, we were all able to express them without any rancor (and much laughter). Two are starting a fanzine centered on Mouse, one married couple liked the character Diana better than Catherine, another fan declared that she didn't believe Catherine was dead ("I don't care if she comes out of Pam Ewing's shower!"), another calmly remarked that she watched the third season and did not like it at all, but what the heck, it was free... She preferred to think, read and write about alternate story lines that begin where the second season ended. I'm with her, and so have splurged in buying several different sets of fanzines. The quality varies widely — I won't mention names, but one "press" has really annoyed me because so many pages have so many typos. Either the zines are hastily done and not proofread, or the writers/proofers can't spell. I would be happy to offer my services to proofread, and then I could save $ on purchases!

One magazine printed a "thank you" to Ron Koslow for the program, and here is where I speak up. I appreciate his original idea, but I strongly disapprove of the way he gave in to ratings pressure and changed the show's direction so much. In order to draw the young male audience, the story line became more "dramatic," with much more violence (I know the first two seasons had some), and mostly emphasized the males: the evil Gabriel, Vincent's search with Joe and Elliot's help, etc. Catherine was disposed of in a brutal way, her strong and complex character diminished to being merely a trapped maternal "vessel," very little came through about the Tunnel world's values and the people there, and I can't figure Diana out (yet). And it was all for nothing, because I believe that few of the "target" audience would ever be interested in the basic fantasy, or romance.

I fault Ron Koslow as much as the network for this. I can't help but contrast what he did with the way Gene Roddenbury conceived and produced Star Trek. It is true that Roddenbury had to make changes from the pilot. For example, the stern First Officer, a woman, became the alien Mr. Spock, and the plain pants costume for all was changed to mini-skirted and form-fitting for the women — (did you ever see a fat female in Federation uniform?) Still, G.R. kept to his original vision, and wrote up a sort of guide on what he would/would not accept for the story ideas and production thereof. After all, writers want to get paid, so they go according to the indicated directions. And then, of course, the adventures and challenges of Star Trek were more interesting to the young male audience; I'll bet the fandom is more male than female (except for those liking Spock), and that B&TB fandom is more female than male.

Personally, I always liked the way the stories and people of B&TB related to my very real world and people I know—what we do and why — where I am going. It made me think. I am also a romantic, so I liked that part too!
[Laura J]:

From the beginning, I was always a loyal fan of Beauty and the Beast. The series was not only beautiful to watch, but it always made me feel good. The love between Catherine and Vincent was something wonderful to watch. No matter what happened, they always ended up together and the audience knew that they could survive anything. Anything, that is, but the "powers that be." Even if it was true that Linda Hamilton wanted to leave the show, I can't believe they couldn't have come up with a better way to make it happen. I also can't believe that they couldn't convince Linda to stay. Didn't they realize what they had with her, and how she could never be replaced? The 2-hour episode that aired on December 12,1989 was so depressing and hard to watch, that I couldn't believe it was the same program. The way Catherine died was so cruel and mean-spirited, and it made absolutely no sense at all. Beauty and the Beast fans always knew that Vincent would save "his Catherine," and to have her die, just seconds from being saved, was like a slap in the face. It just wasn't supposed to happen.

Fans of the show loved it, not only for the uplifting stories, but because of the special appeal of Vincent and Catherine. These two were meant to be together, and for the producers to think we would accept Vincent with another so-called "beauty" is completely ridiculous. I can't believe any true fans of the real Beauty and the Beast really liked the third season. Vincent used to say Catherine was "his life," and to have us believe that he would be interested in someone else, especially this "Diana" character, was completely unbelievable. I'm sorry, I just didn't care for "Diana" at all. She had nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast, and she seemed like an intruder in Vincent's world.

I hope there's some way Beauty and the Beast can come back, and I hope Linda Hamilton as Catherine can return. If the show doesn't return as it was originally, I'm sorry to say that I probably won't watch. I truly will miss Ron Perlman's Vincent, but as far as I'm concerned, when Catherine died, so did Beauty and the Beast. The show lost all of its Beauty.

I hope Vincent, and all of the show's fans, can awake from this horrible nightmare and find Catherine, alive and well. Because, as Vincent and Catherine used to make us believe — "nothing is impossible."

[Janet D]:

The third season hurt me so deeply that I am still moved to tears when I even think of it I am a mother of two, and the way the character of Catherine was treated in the two-hour movie shocked and disgusted me. What on earth were the powers-that-be trying to prove? That they were capable of aeating the most agonizing scenario possible? Well, they succeeded. And in the process, they also succeeded in breaking the hearts of all of us out here who believed in a "... happily ever after..."

In my mind and heart third season never existed, and in my mind and heart, only forty-four episodes exist Maybe I'm naive, but in every fairy tale and storybook I ever read, each story that began with,"... Once upon a time..." usually ended with "... and they lived happily ever after..."

B&TB was my fairy tale, my escape into the realm of romance and goodness, of courage and beauty. It just wasn't about the love of Catherine and Vincent, it was about something in all of us, our dreams, our hopes. Speaking for myself, Catherine is (not WAS) someone I look up to, ami admire, a woman who gave up everything to love and be loved. Together she and Vincent live life as well as they can, savoring the joy and enduring the pain, because they dare to love.

I did not allow my youngest child to view third season, and the reasons are obvious. My son's favorite episode is "... Bluebird..." need I say more? He was never frightened of Vincent, rather, he saw him as a heroic, princely figure, always fighting the bad guys in order to rescue the damsel in distress, Catherine.

What third season did to me, to many of us, was leave us with a feeling of hopelessness. Atleastthat'showlfelt. It seems to me that this travesty was someone's sick idea of revenge on the fans whose only crime was a fierce devotion to a magical, wonderful romance.

[The third season was a] sick joke. Whoever named the writers the "Brotherhood of Pain" had the right idea. I realize this letter is going to infuriate many people, but I'm sorry. If I wanted to see a pregnant woman being tortured and brutally murdered, I could turn in to any other mediocre trash that television now offers.
[Margo Ann Q, who mentioned that she was composing a letter on a typewriter for the first time]:

It is hard to know what to say to all of you, considering the tremendous controversy which has been waging a war between us during these past months. But I do know I don't want Beauty arid the Beast to end! We have great power to change the future of our beloved show "only if and only when" we can find a way to come together once again with a common bond. There is nothing at this point that we can do to change the past, but there is much we can do to alter the future. With a united fandom, I do believe we can bring about a resurrection of the beauty and love and values we all fell in love with in the first place. We can get our TV movies and/or our Big Screen production — YES, I know we can do it but, we must start with ourselves. This is my appeal to all of you, dear friends, to find the space in your hearts to forgive and MOVE ON to better things. Just think of the possibilities! We "don't know what the limits are." This is our opportunity to live the wonderful spiritual and progressive lessons we learned from Vincent, Father, Catherine — all we have come to love so deeply.

Beauty and the Beast may be "just a TV show," but we all know it is so much more than that to each and every one of us — how else could it generate such strong emotions and passions within us. We need each other now more than ever. Come, join me in taking the first step. I want to see that movie — I want to visit the Tunnels once again— I want Ron, Roy, Linda, Jay, Edward to breathe life into those incredible characters who have become more than images on a screen — they are our family, just as we are to one another. I love each and every one of you for sharing your thoughts, your hearts, your ideas, your inner selves. I have learned from you, I have agreed with you, I have disagreed with you. You have made me laugh, cry, feel joy, anger, and given me new enlightenment on characters and scenes I never could have thought of on my own. I treasure and respect all of your feelings and opinions. Let us band together now and work together, for only in such a way can we become a true Tunnel Community. I long for that—as I'm sure most all of us do. We could never feel the way we do about Beauty and the Beast and the Tunnels and all who love there and live there if it were not so.

So let those letters of support flow once again. To Russell Goldsmith of Republic Pictures, thanking him for bringing back B&TB to the forefront once more by getting it on a cable channel so soon, and letting him know we are behind his efforts to get B&TB back into production tor movies. To The Family Channel, thanking them tor supporting B&TB and tactfully asking them to show the episodes in order and not to edit them, so we can garner a new, strong following to help us in our attempts to get new stories. To Ron and Roy, asking them to hang in there and letting them know we haven't given up but are still hanging tough and working for the resurrection of B&TB. And—very, very important—to all these wonderful "zine" editors who sacrifice so much of their time, effort, money and put their hearts on the line for us also. They need, I'm sure, words of encouragement right now as much as we do! The B&TB zine writers and poets and artists have given us so much — I know I for one could not do without them.

We all have so much to give to one another, to share with one another — of our talents, our support, our understanding, our love. We can do it TOGETHER! Let us make sure that Beauty and the Beast is not like Camelot, for "one brief, shining moment," but an inspiration and a joy once again and for many years to come!
[Anita M. H]:

Regarding the statement: "I still love B&TB, even though I can't stand to watch it anymore!!". Oh, does that ever strike home. I feel exactly the same way. I love it so much that I ache with it, but it is SO painful now that I am even having trouble watching the tapes. I am, "with what I most enjoy, contented least."

Before the agony of Season Three was wreaked upon my heart, I was flat addicted to those tapes, watching at least portions of episodes every day. And you know what? I almost always fast forwarded to the "good parts." For me, the "good parts" are the V&C scenes. As far as my taste in zines, it is the same story. I most enjoy stories that center on V&C, and their romance. I find myself skimming other stories that deal with action or primarily the ancillary characters to get to the "good parts." I guess if s little wonder that I found S3 so painful, since there weren't any "good parts." This is not to say I found it a total waste, it just wasn't the same show anymore...

[snipped]

How sad that so much love and light was wasted, so many opportunities tossed to the wind. But remember, although it seems that darkness ruled, even the blackest night must eventually surrender to the dawn.

v.1 n.5

Tunneltalk v.1 n.5 was published in July 1990 and contains 45 pages.

cover of v.1 n.5
  • contains the short fiction: Below the New York City Streets by Adele Shapiro (the last line: "Father, friends: I would like you to meet Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael — TheTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
  • regarding the cover art: "I hope you've all noticed and admired our new, permanent cover. Nancy had planned this one all along, since before Issue #1, but since she also moved earlier this year, and is just now really unearthing her art supplies, we've been using another of her fine drawings in the meantime. We had decided on using the colored ink as a way of adding variety, and have saved the green ink for the debut of our "real" cover, since green is supposed to signify true and abiding love, which is what we wish, always, for Vincent and Catherine, who are finally now together on our cover."
The TOTM: There was a panel at MediaWest*Con last year that I found particularly intriguing, and I thought we might look at it here. The title was "Vincent as martyr — Does he really want to be happy?" You could argue that there is a "Hamlet/melancholy prince" side to his nature.

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]:

I guess the news that CBS has decided after all to run the three "lost episodes," on July 21, 28, and Aug.4, according to USA Today. I have to admit that I'm very apprehensive about watching these episodes now. If they had been run with the other nine hours, I probably would have gritted my teeth and gone on, but now that there's been a break, I don't know if I can do it — certainly not without a great deal of pain. Every time I've even attempted to watch third season again (except for "Beggar's Comer"), it's only made me angrier and angrier. Even watching first and second season can be difficult; how can we now, after Catherine's death, listen with any kind of love and hope to lines like "I was never giving up!" ("No Way Down") and "... this is a special night... we can't waste it..." ("Masques"). Some friends who have seen them have told me not to worry, that they were so bad as to be laughable — but I don't want to laugh at B&TB.

Even worse news, in our opinion here at TT, is that Republic is planning to release "Though Lovers Be Lost..." as their next videotape. Are they crazy? Even among those who liked the third season, it is generally agreed that TLBL was badly done and unsatisfying. Why would they be doing this, when they could be making all kinds of money releasing first and second season season episodes, which everyone is eager to have. Vicky wonders if they are not doing it deliberately, to "prove" that B&TB is not viable (Reportedly, the second graphic novel, which I refuse to buy, is not doing well at all, and First Publishing has announced a return to a "Vincent & Catherine" format.) Or maybe they really don't understand. Why would I want to pay to see a woman humiliated, degraded, tortured, separated from the man she loves and from her child, and then murdered? Having it on tape once is bad enough, and I intend to tell them that. We urge all of you who feel the same way to express your opinions — calmly, but firmly — to them as well.
[Barbara S]: STAR TREK fandom — no, it is, for the most part, just as female as B&TB fandom, if not moreso. Why? Because the bulk of ST zines have to do, not with action/adventure, but with character study and relationships. Even some of the "paramilitary" ST clubs (organized as if they were actual starships, with group members assuming crew identities) are run by women, and the ships have female names (U.S.S. Sally Ride.) In ST, as in any lasting work of art that touches us in more than a superficial way. Characters and their personalities hold more fascination in the long run than action/adventure, although they may both be factors in its success. I'm curious though — why do you assume that more females than males are attracted to Spock? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just wondered what made you say that. One of my favorite quotes — written by a woman in the letters section of the TV GUIDE, and I can't remember her name—was: "Women are attracted to Vincent for the same reason they were attracted to Spock — they are both aliens in the white male world, as women are." How about that as a topic for discussion?
[Barbara S]: [Regarding] an appearance by George R.R. Martin at a con in New Orleans recently. I have heard from several fans that George has expressed a desire to distance himself from B&TB, but he did talk about it that weekend. Apparently, his "Orpheus descending/Vincent brings Catherine back" idea was kicked around more than once. George described another scenario, presumably planned before Linda's departure was a fact, where the third season would have opened with Vincent dying in that cave (!), the tunnel world mourning him, but preparing to bury him in the catacombs, and Catherine deciding that, no, she was not going to accept this! She then went down into the underworld to bring him back, meeting her father and various other tunnel inhabitants who had died in the first two seasons on the way. This definitely doesn't sound anything like the action/adventure retooling CBS had in mind, which is another reason it probably didn't see the light of day. But it sounds good to me! (Assuming she was successful, of course.) He also reportedly said something else, about TLBL, that I find disturbing, if true. Supposedly, they intended to give Vincent and Catherine some "warm, snuggly" scenes, talking about the baby, happy for a little while, but that Linda came on the set and said she would only stay for ten days, so they had to abandon these scenes. My question is: Why? They had the scenes already in mind, they would not have required any new sets, ten days was more than they normally used to film an hour-long episode,and I'm sure in my heart that Linda did not say, "No, I'd rather do the torture and labor scenes than love scenes." What was the impediment? Sounds very strange to me...
[Diana D]:

Is Diana "stronger" than Catherine? Thank you for asking. I had high hopes for the character as an interesting foil for Vincent, someone who was touted as a tough, smart woman, unhampered by the reverence for his sensibilities that often caused Catherine to hold back. I assumed she'd have many facets to her personality, so that all of us could find something to admire or identify with. Instead of a believably strong, three-dimensional female, we got a very linear character with all the worst qualities so often attributed to males — driven, a single-minded focus on work at the expense of outside interests and relationships, pushy, emotionally repressed, showing little respect for anything that didn't satisfy her own desires.

One critic said, in response to the two-hour movie, that the producers were apparently hoping to grab a different kind of viewer and trusting that the media was right in portraying the already devoted fans as "lonely, disenfranchised women, obsessed with Vincent who need to "get a life" — and who would accept the retooling at any cost. While it's true that a lot of people in the press found it easier to label the show's supporters a "cult," and to snicker at the picture they painted of a typical fan, than to examine the phenomenon seriously, this broad-brush depiction was unfair. Most of the fans I've come in contact with are juggling many lives, but cared enough to add another with their devotion to B&TB. Still, that derogatory description sounds suspiciously like Diana. Was she tailor-made to fit that image of a fan, in hopes we'd automatically identify with her? (Eds. note: We find Diane's observation, and the analysis that follows, amazingly perceptive, both fascinating and disturbing in content. Thanks, Diane, for bringing this up!)
[Sue K]:

I took a careful look at the most recent Wendy Pini novelization, and I would never even consider purchasing it. The reason is obvious when you consider how I feel about Catherine and Season #3, and what the primary emphasis of this graphic novel is. I was deeply, deeply disappointed in the theme of this graphic novel, all the more so as I have been a follower of Wendy Pini from long before her work for B&TB. I understand the third graphic novel will be a "flashback" to a pre-Season #3 story of Vincent and Catherine, but I'm afraid I will not be able to justify purchasing that either. Instead, I will look forward to the novelizations due out this year from Avon, which are taken from First and Second Season Episodes.

I have enjoyed reading several "resolution" novellas and stories by fan authors recently, including Barbara Coulter's Though Lovers Be Found and M. Sue Waugh's When She Comes Home. These have been heartening for me, and I hope to purchase more such novellas and stories at TunnelCon. I am focusing entirely on those zines which aim to happily resolve Third Season by allowing Catherine to live, and am most appreciative where feel that the author has a real understanding of the characters, and shares my love of the character of Catherine as well as Vincent.

I'm happy for those viewers who can continue to see wonderful new possibilities in the B&TB presented by the Third Season, without Catherine, but believe me — it's totally impossible for me to appreciate it. I made those reasons clear in my other LOC. I loved the fairy tale, and the fairy tales I love have happy endings. They are not based on reality. Or, if they are, they take the most wonderful, fascinating, and glorious things from reality and make them real for us.

[snipped]

Feeling strongly about Season #3 and sticking to that opinion does not contradict an "open mind." There are some things we form strong opinions about, after much thought and reflection, and, at least in my case, I will keep that opinion until something happens to change it.

I never had any particular problem with the violence in Third Season — at least not Vincent's violence. My problem with violence was that perpetrated against Catherine, which I found and still find totally gratuitous, even if it was not grossly and obviously physical. I felt and will continue to feel there was no saving grace in the manner of Catherine's death — and there so easily COULD have been.

So many of my friends have said to me that they will be unable to "heal" unless the story of Catherine and Vincent can somehow And a happy resolution. The ghost of Catherine haunts many of them. I think random can be healed, but many of us will need more than that to be able to view B&TB as we once did. 1 would be happy if there were only one more movie, and it reunited Vincent and Catherine. I would ask for no more. But only time will tell exactlywhatisin the future for B&TB. I'vealready written two letters to Republic and intend to write more.

[snipped]

Regarding the Diana vs. Catherine issue — well, I've always been up-front that I was never able to like Diana because she was so obviously intended as a replacement for Catherine (at least in the earlier versions of the scripts, and in the plot outlines for a continued third season storyline). But, had Diana appeared as a secondary character, a friend to Catherine and Vincent, I would have liked her. She would have added another strong female character to the show, and I could never have too much of that! Diana is actually far more like me, personally, than Catherine is. She's from a middle' class background, she lounges about in jeans and sweats, she's very unpolished and forthright and not traditionally "feminine" — all traits I feel are true of myself. The main difference between me and Diana is that I'm far more openly emotional than she is, which would be a major sumbling block for me to relate to her. In that respect, Catherine and I share a similar personality trait. But back to the "strength" issue — no, I don't believe for a minute that Diana was stronger. Superficially, she came off as tougher — she dressed tougher, talked tougher, etc., etc.
[Adele S]: Yes, to have season 3 written off as a dream is trite; it's been done before, and it has worked. Dallas did it, and survived; the critics raved about the cleverness of having the Newhart show a dream. The challenge will be to decide whose nightmare season3 was: perhaps that can be done well, and we can see the story of Vincent and Catherine continue.
[John William L]:

Thank you for printing my letter in Issue 3. It didn't look half as bad as I thought it might, and perhaps it will encourage other male fans of the show to write.

I'd like to put my two cents in regarding the two latest topics put forth for discussion in the last issue, but first I'd like to talk a little about the very interesting and challenging idea of bringing Catherine back to Beauty and the Beast. Being an amateur screenwriter and film/video professional, I find myself endlessly fascinated by the myriad techniques a writer has at his or her creative disposal when faced with weaving and directing a story, particularly where a seemingly insurmountable problem (such as the resurrecting of a supposedly "dead" character) is faced. Star Trek: The Search for Spock is certainly one good example of how a storyteller can write himself out of a corner. That infamous Dallas dream solution is another, if it can be called that, but should be held up as the lowest form of example, not to be resorted to if at all possible.

At first I thought that physically bringing Catherine back would be stretching the suspension of disbelief too far. Too much had already happened, the arc had gone too far to leave any room for any sort of story loophole or backtracking. Catherine's autopsy, for one thing (remember, Diana saw the body, even if we didn't, even though that actual scene was cut from the episode) seemed to cut the thread for any possible future scenario that might bring her back intact. The only possible way out of this would be that it had indeed all been a nightmare dreamed by Vincent during his seizure, and — upon awakening — here'd be no Gabriel, Diana, or baby Jacob. A neat solution, but highly unsatisfying to me as a writer or a viewer. It's gotten far too easy for Hollywood to simply "write off," so to speak, or invalidate groundwork they've laid before which we've accepted as the truth (however we may dislike it) and then simply be asked to ignore it as if it had never happened simply because they find themselves in a spot and think the audience won't notice or care about the daring plot inconsistencies they've left dangling. (Not to mention casually casting into limbo entire sets of characters, situations, and events—in effect, a whole "reality" they've created).
[Vera W]:

I am tired of some fans "bashing" Catherine. She could have been very strong if it had been allowed.

OK, back to Diana. Why is she so strong? One fan said it wouldn't take her two years to consummate her and V's relationship.

I am astonished!

Does that mean that V&D could have a relationship and V&C could not.

If so, why? And where?

A theatrical movie.

Try as I might, I cannot imagine V&D together, or reading love sonnets, or listening to concerts in the park. What would they do anyway? Read detective stories?

The whole thing is too impossible. Also, I don't like the way Diana looks. She looks like a rat. Maybe she and Mouse could get together.

I think they tried too hard to make her the opposite of Catherine.

As you can tell I am one fan who loves Catherine and want her back. But, I only want her back to be with Vincent. They belong together. Period!

I don't want her back as a spirit, or another movie about death. A movie based on "Night of Beauty." I hate that story. It is just as horrible as TLBL. TLBL was a nightmare, and now I am beginning to think it really was Vincent's nightmare, brought on by his severe traumatic illness.
[Elizabeth H]: In her LOC, Barbara mentioned the Spock controversy from Star Trek, and how fandom was faced with a similar crisis with the death of Spock. Interestingly enough, that fandom didn't divide itself into armed camps when some fans decided that a Star Trek without Spock wasn't Star Trek. I'm definitely one of those fans that just can't conceive of a Beauty and the Beast without the presence of Catherine, and can't help but believe that one day we will see them reunited. I see nothing wrong with expressing my preference to Republic Pictures, etc. After all, if no one wrote the powers-that-be, would they even know that some fans wanted to see the return of Linda Hamilton? Just as Leonard Nimoy saw the story in a newspaper, I can pray that Linda and others involved with the show's future saw the ad in Daily Variety placed by devoted fans. How will Koslow "see" the story in the future? Will Linda even want to return? I don't know, but I'm entitled to do as much as I can to make my particular dream come true. I have noted that it hasn't been Witt-Thomas, Republic, etc., telling us NOT TO WRITE, but other fans and leaders of fandom, and I distinctly remember George Martin telling us at the Los Angeles Creation convention in November to write Witt-Thomas and tell them if we loved it or hated it.
[Caro H]:

I mink I am suffering from a double disillusionment. The third season broke a covenant, the unspoken but powerful contract between producer and consumer, the premise upon which the show was built. They even bragged about this betrayal. It isn't a fairy tale anymore, they told us, assuring us that we would like this descent into horror and this betrayal of woman/fan. Well, I guess there are some who liked it, but I was, as you know, left feeling violated. I resent being told that I would like it, that I would find any type of satisfaction in this media-rape. Like any victim, I felt as if my show had been dirtied, as if my dreams had been trampled in the mud. How could they mink that we would like this?

The second half of my disillusionment came when fandom, that underground safe place where we gathered together in what was supposed to be common support, was also sundered by the horrible thing that they did to third season. Civil war broke out among the fans who accepted the death of Catherine and those who could not, those who accepted the third season and those who felt it betrayed the original premise In a way, this division of the fans was as upsetting as the change in the show. I am convinced that the changes they made in the show were at least partly responsible for its non-renewal. I am hoping that the changes in fandom aren't responsible for the death of fandom. Most fandoms don't last forever. They have a peak and then fall away to a level of constant interest by those who are most interested, a core of true-fans. I have wondered if that will happen here, or if this fandom will die in broken shards, a victim of bickering and intolerance. Ihopenot. Fans who think as I do will produce zines along that line and will keep the dream alive for me. Since I don't have the show anymore; I'd like to have fandom. The question is, is the split of the sort which can be mended? Will there be, in essence, two fandoms, each following the version of the show they feel is the proper one? Will the two fandoms always be at odds? One fandom with the Beauty, the other with the Beast. That is almost as sad as the death of the show.

v.1 n.6

Tunneltalk v.1 n.6 was published in August 1990 and contains 50 pages.

covers of v.1 n.6

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]:

The next issue (#7) will have a zine listing again, and it promises to be a huge one; there were more new zines at TUNNELCON than I think any of us expected — I brought home about forty zines myself! The overwhelming majority of them were concerned with Vincent and Catherine—what many people refer to as "Classic" B&TB—not third season, except where it was being rewritten or explored down other avenues. I heard of only two zines that dealt with a romance between Vincent and Diana, and another one or two that simply had stories that involved Diana. We'd like to remind people that, with so much out there, it is more important than ever to remember to send a SASE for a flier first if you have any doubt as to the zine's content (I made my way around the dealers' room asking certain questions — to do with my own likes and dislikes — before I laid any money down.) And I'm not just referring to whether you want to read about Catherine or Diana—there's the issue of sexual content (see [Arwen B's] review in this issue of Black Cover).

I also received a letter recently from [Sue W], who was very disturbed about a zine called "... Shall Have No Dominion." In this zine, Vincent and Catherine are together, but Catherine is not alive, or even miraculously restored tolife, but a "ghost," as in Kristopher Gentian. Sue found this premise very upsetting, and would rather not have spent her money on this zine; other people have expressed the same sentiment. TT— as a monthly publication with limited time and space — can't give detailed descriptions of zines' contents; it's just not possible. And we are not ourselves always familiar with the contents of the zines we advertise (the above-mentioned zine being an example). Sending a SASE to the editor and requesting specific information about the zine is the only way to get that kind of information right now. But there are a couple of projects in the works that may be of great help to zine-buyers in the future. Lisa J. Patnaude is preparing "THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST FICTIONZINE CATALOG," which will give full info on zines, including storyline descriptions. She expects it to be ready by the end of the year, and you can send a SASE for info to her at [address redacted]. Marie Bushman [address redacted] is also planning a Fanzine Directory that will offer the same information, plus info about B&TB merchandise, T-shirts, jewelry, etc. SASE her for more info. Hopefully, these two publications will provide the assistance B&TB zine-buyers need.
[Barbara S]:

Some people continue to wonder about The Family Channel's plans for B&TB this fall (they begin airing episodes Friday, Sept. 21,8-10 PM). Certainly they've been giving out some strange information. In a recent letter to a fan who had written deploring the sadistic violence of the third season and asking how it could be consistent with TFC's agenda of "family viewing," Janet Mosier {Public Liaison Coordinator for TFC) replied with the following: "Every show aired on The Family Channel is edited carefully to make certain that it is in line with our traditional values, and suitable for family entertaining. In one episode (of B&TB) where the two main characters had relations outside of marriage, we intend to rewrite it so that they will be married before they consummate their relationship." Ms. Mosier said something similar in a phone conversation to another fan, but was very vague about how this would be accomplished, and finally suggested that we would just have to watch to see what happened.

Now, I'm sure that many of us would love to see that scene — but the next thought for me would be: "Where are they going to get this footage?" I would be willing to bet the farm that nothing like a wedding was ever shot, so how are they going to accomplish this? It may be a ploy to keep us glued to the TV set in the hopes of lost footage, but I'm not advising anyone to hold their breath. Very, very odd. I personally find it disturbing that TFC answered a letter asking how unacceptable violence would be handled for family viewing with the promise that premarital sex would be banished from our screens. That wasn't the question! It looks like TFC, with all its claims of commitment to family values, holds no different standards than much of the rest of our society — sex is sinful, bad, something to be punished for, but the humiliation, torture, and murder of women is of little concern to them. Why did I expect any thing different?
[Barbara S]:

I did want to comment on one or two letters in this issue. To Constantia/[Mary D]/[Mollie T]: in reference to the third paragraph of your letter, your unhappiness about [Vera W's] comments in TT#5 about Diana's appearance, our motives in printing them, etc. Quite frankly, your lack of objectivity where Diana is concerned is so striking that I'm not sure my comments will have any impact, but I will ask this question anyway—who's bias is really showing here, ours or yours? You have already decided how Vicky, Sharon, and I will react in any situation that involves a comparison between Catherine and Diana, and "tend to doubt" that we can be fair-minded. If you had waited before sending in this evaluation of our ethics, you might have read Barbara Brown's letter in this issue and realized that you were wrong. But neither Vera's nor Barbara's opinion of the physical appearances of Diana and Catherine (both the first of their kind that we have received) is the point here. Vicky, Sharon, and I do not agree with either opinion, nor do we feel that denigrating anyone's physical appearance is constructive, necessary, or even interesting. But we understand that they are not talking about the actresses, simply giving voice to their frustrations and disappointments in the characters.

You claim later on in your letter to understand why people have resented Diana's touching Catherine's things, now knowing "enough not to react as if these complaints are seriously against Diana — they are expressions of grief for Catherine." It seems to us as if your understanding is incomplete; otherwise you would understand that that same motivation is behind Vera's comment, and another kind of "grief" — the loss of Vincent due to cancellation — is behind Barbara's. And at the end of your letter, you state that "anyone who refuses to even consider the validity and value of Diana as a character hasn't been watching (B&TB)." Try again to understand that, for many of us, the question is not Diana herself, but any character who would take Catherine's place. For many of us, B&TB was about two people, involved in a larger-than-life, mythic love, and to see one of those people moved so easily toward another attachment (when such a relationship had never been the norm in his life, but the exception) reduced him from mythic stature to just another guy with a line. "If you die, so will I." Oh, really?

The third season turns the first two into a bad joke for me — so I choose to reject its validity. You seem to be saying that I don't understand the true spirit of B&TB, because I don't agree with your perceptions of and your focus on the third season, and Diana in particular. I would never say that to you — no matter what you believeor have been told. But your statement reveals no less of a bias than you have accused us of. The fact is that we are ail biased; what we need to do is learn how to acknowledge and allow the expression of other biases than our own without telling fellow fans that they don't truly understand B&TB. It is just that sort of inability or unwillingness to understand each other's point of view that has caused so much trouble in fandom — isn't it time we stopped?

[Constantia, Mary D, and Mollie T]:

It is infuriating to read letters in TT and elsewhere whining about Diana's casual (frequently referred to as "sloppy") mode of dress, her unglamorous digs ('ramshackle loft"), and her tendency to wear her hair in a comfortable and practical style rather than a style which would be more becoming. She needs to be made more "presentable" in order to be made "worthy" of Vincent This is obviously the voice of people unable to find a serious valid reason to dislike the character, but determined to find a flaw or make them up. Are these valid criteria for judging anyone? Is that where B&TB taught us to put our priorities)—a person's appearance and address? We hope not! (Heavens, our hero wears vests of converted mattress padding, lives in the sewers, and looks like a wild animal!) These are really petty complaints and cheap shots from people with closed minds.

The worst complaint came from Vera Walker in the July issue of TT. Vera stated of Diana: "She looks like a rat." Let's face it, anything you say about Diana's appearance applies to Jo Anderson. It's not as if she wore heavy makeup like Ron Perlman. We would say allowing that statement to go to print violates TTs professed editorial policy of not printing "out and out nastiness." Would that statement have been allowed to go to print if it had been made in reference to Catherine (and hence, Unda Hamilton)? We tend to doubt it. TT editors, it looks like your bias is affecting areas it shouldn't be allowed to.

[snipped]

We spied a few people wearing at TunnelCon. The button read, "Who says we have to give her a chance?" The answer is Vincent. His very existence has said we have to give everyone a chance, ever since the pilot, and anyone who refuses to evenconsider the validity and value of Diana as a character hasn't been watching.

[Barbara B]:

I think I will need to have Vincent protect me after most of you read my letter. Some B&TB fans don't like anyone who disagrees with them. I love Vincent—as a matter of fact, every time one of those soft, slow, romantic songs comes on the radio I think of Vincent, but let me say this about the show.

1. I didn't like Catherine or Diana. Seems their face was always on the TV set instead of Vincent. In other words, I'd rather look at Vincent for an hour than some woman. To me, Cathy always dressed nice, but good grief,didn't she believe in doing something with that hair? She always seemed on the verge of tears, like she couldn't control her life for one moment. She was a wimp as far as I'm concerned. She looked a lot like a Basset Hound dog I once had—those big sad eyes as if they were saying "What do I do now?"

Granted she might have seemed like the type that most men like. Weak and needing their constant protection — but even some one like Vincent needs a woman who once in a while can handle a problem! Diana acted like she wasn't too sure of her lines half the time. Vincent acted like "Oh, so you're here," kind of like who cares. I was very disappointed in the series when Diana showed up. OK, OK, Beast needs his beauty — but what's wrong with a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl.. I'm sick of how you have to be a blond or redheaded heroine in these shows.

2. I wished I had Cathy's strength. She's tormented, kept locked away, emotion
ally abused, gives birth, gets a fatal dose of drugs, climbs stairs to a roof to find
someone, then dies talking. Must have been one heck of a strong woman! 3. With all the money that they spent on the show for special effects (gossip
columns in Hollywood said at times it was one million) why couldn't they get a more interesting looking baby. Now grant it — he's cute. But aren't babies all cute at that age. Look at Alien Nation's baby. Surely they could have given us a smaller version of Vincent. I thought the father's genes dominate how a child looks. If they had to go for a human baby at least he could of given a small growl when Vincent held him (with help from audio production of course).

4. Theonly time I really got excited is when Vincent went wild and turned into the beast. His soft and gentle ways were endearing — but I like him better angry. I have a few off-the-wall questions. If anyone can answer them I'd appreciate it.

[snipped]

Also, why did everyone, including Vincent, dress like they were from another century? I know Vincent couldn't wear a three piece suit, but what about a t-shirt and jeans. I thought they wore second hand clothes from helpers above. I know some could sew and knit things, but everything looked like it was from another century.

[snipped]

Wait, what's that sound I hear? Is it thousands of blood pressures rising because of my letter? Excuse me -- I've got to tap out a message to Vincent on the pipes: V-I-N-C-E-N-T H-E-L-P!
[Sylvia W-F]: I, too, received a letter from the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIFELINE. I, however, agreed with almost ALL of the flyer I don't think those people who put out the flyer misunderstood anything. I think they got it all right! I do not WANT or LIKE to be called names because I have a different opinion or an unpopular opinion! In the most recent issue of another letterzine, one editor (not from the zine) still persisted in calling certain types of fans "nay-sayers." It is utterly ridiculous, and I wish we could just stop! Name-calling causes bad feelings and resentment. I'm surprised that the so-called "leaders" in fandom haven't come out and said, WE MUST ALL STOP CALLING EACH OTHER NAMES AND STOP BEING INTOLERANT OF EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS. Obviously, this has not happened yet, considering that editorial. You wrote "I'm not really angry towards you, because I feel you wrote as a result of an honest misunderstanding on your part, one that I hope you may one day recognize as such." Personally, I find it rather presumptuous to assume someone has made a mistake and that, hopefully, one day, they will come to their senses! I didn't misunderstand the statements that came out in certain editorials saying that I was a "darksider" and "not a true fan" if I didn't support the third season! MORE to the point, why should anyone be angry with me for my point of view? I'm not intolerant of people who LOVED the third season—I wish the courtesy was reciprocated. If we (the fans) think another group of fans is wrong, MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST KEEP THAT TO OURSELVES'. Maybe that way, we (collectively) won't perpetuate all the bad feelings out there. Hey, it's just a thought!
[Andrea A]:

Would Jane Eyre's stature diminish, for example, if Jane decided in the last scene that she and Edward Rochester had shared something wonderful, but that she really didn't want to be married to a blind man and decided, instead, to accept St. John Rivers offer?

From my perspective, the third season of Beauty and the Beast failed to follow the themes it had so carefully articulated during the first two years. Enduring love was ignored as the stage was set for Diana to replace Catherine in the Tunnels and in Vincent's heart. The words "forever" and "always" that the writers had consistently stressed suddenly seemed to become time-limited; love was now finite; r/iisworldhad become the measure of all existence. When "the walls between the worlds grow thin" there would be no crossing over, not even for those who shared a bond "stronger than friendship or love."

It wasas though Cinderella's coach had crashed on the way to the ball and another worthy scullery maid hastened in to take her place in Prince Charming's arms. The Lord had to have a living, breathing Lady at his side. Catherine was relegated to the status of a plaster saint — cold, distant and dead.

Of course Linda Hamilton's departure had an effect on how the story evolved, but that in itself should not have been an insurmountable obstacle. Her character could have been continued through flashbacks, overlay photography, voice dubbing or a myriad of other technical devices. Catherine's death did not have to be her end. Like Cathy and Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights, or the lovers in the movie Somewhere in Time, Catherine and Vincent could have eventually lived "happily ever after" somewhere beyond time, beyond the stars.

Interestingly, it was my husband Michael who pointed out that replacing the character of Catherine was in a way quite sexist. It implied that heroines are interchangeable — any pretty face will do — and this is most certainly not what the series had been about.
[Joan R]:

I have yet to see my first LOC in print, due to a mix-up in my order which I hope will be resolved soon, but I am willing to try again since I need this kind of forum to send and receive feedback on B&TB. First, I am stunned at the unrest and bickering among members in the fandom over season 3. Some of the things I've read and heard are appalling in the way fans are treating one another and some of the cast. Sowhatsomeof us appreciated S3 and some did not. It's fine to view our differences and opinions because that's communication. But why the rudeness and name-calling (a fan said Diana/Jo Anderson looked like a rat!) Don't these people realize that this fandom is all we have to keep our dream alive and we must remain united and organized. I watched two cast members of Star Trek on E.T. recently talking (proudly) about how StarTrek has world wide conventions still, more than twenty years after the show wascanceled. That shows a fandom strong and united. For me Catherine's death would be minimal compared to the death of this fandom. I have all 56 episodes taped and for me all of the magic, love and caring is present, although on different levels, in each season not only with Vincent and Catherine but with the relationships of many others above and below. Also, I have become a fanzine devotee and though I'm about to go broke with my enthusiasm, I consider the premise of B&TB to be the "spiritual" side of my life so it's money well spent. Hope to see this letter in print. Be well and prosper.

[Barbara G]:

It didn't take the Third Season to divide us. To some, the Second Season Trilogy was a horrible, cruel betrayal of everything the show stood for, while to others it was the culmination. There was no use arguing the point, since the opposing sides were looking at many different shows, all named Beauty and the Beast. This whole tendency was exacerbated by the baggage we brought to the Third Season — the cancellation, the rescheduling, the rumors, the fears, the months of waiting, anger, hope, suspense, dread and resentment. By the time the show came on, it was virtually impossible to watch it with an open mind. I don't know when or if the time will ever come that we can.

B&TB could be perceived so differently because of its unique richness and complexity. These were at once its greatest strength and greatest weakness. They both made the show and doomed it. By the end, B&TB had become a Rorschach Test — a mirror for the viewers' own minds. Did it get that way by accident or design? Both, I think.

B&TB began with a premise much like that of Scarecrow and Mrs. King. She gets in trouble and he rescues her. But then, uniquely among television shows, it began to examine its premise. What actually would happen to the humanity of someone as overwhelmingly sensitive as Vincent who was forced to fight and kill over and over again? He would breakdown, that's what, like a soldier who'sseen too many battles. He would grow horrified at his own capacity for violence. He might even go over the edge. It was clear from "The Outsiders" and "The Hollow Men" that the producers had decided to explore these possibilities.

But once they committed to looking so deep into Vincent, they were bound to do the same for Catherine. In reality, assistant D.A.'s live far less risky lives than hers. What then? Had she been reckless? Had she deliberately put herself in danger, knowing he would come to her? Why didn't shequitherjob whenshesaw whatwas happening to him? Was she blind? Or did she doit for the thrill, because she shared those moments of self-loss with him? Were those moments her substitute—their substitute—for orgasm? Were the two of them, perversely, through mutual choice, making war not love?

These are absurd questions, unanswerable questions. Much of Catherine's behavior (and Vincent's too) had been premise-based, not character-based. She had to be rescued all the time because the format demanded it, not because either of them was supposed to be emotionally disturbed. But the characters of B&TB refused to remain confined within the premise. They came to life and took over. They demanded to be perceived and treated as real. It was right out of Pirandello — fictional characters insisting on taking over — except that Pirandello planned his plays that way, and it is safe to say that Ron Koslow had nothing like the Trilogy in mind when he wrote the B&TB pilot.

Once the characters broke free of the premise, then Pandora's Box was opened. And once all the absurd, profound, terrifying and unanswerable questions fell out, there was no way to put them back, close down the lid, and go back to the early days of formulaic romance and innocence.
[Lynette C]:

With regard to the third season, I have only this to say. Those drastic alterations were mandated by a real-world pregnancy and by the network's bizarre demands and restrictions. Therefore, they were not creative changes, but bureaucratic ones (and since when do we allow bureaucrats to control our dreams?). As such, then, the third season simply does not have the artistic merit of the show's original concept. This is a point no one's ever mentioned, but I feel it's important.

Things are getting pretty hectic here now, as we get ready for TUNNELCon, and I don't know if this will reach you before you leave; but a couple of things happened last night that I wanted to talk about. First,I heard from oneof the people on the convention committee. A very pleasant person; but one of the first things she said was that "they" were afraid there'd be trouble in Las Vegas. "Trouble," I asked. "What kind of trouble?" "Oh, you know," she said. "From the people who didn't like the third season." I quickly (and pleasantly) informed her that I was one of those; but that I couldn't imagine me or any of my friends causing a problem. "I know every group has a lunatic fringe," I said, "but this is still the nicest bunch of people I've ever fallen in with, and I think we can all agree to disagree gracefully." She mentioned some details of third-season episodes (determined to go into particulars); but I made it clear, still cheerfully, that there were some things we weren't going to agree on. She said, "Well, the people who didn't like it should've just turned it off." Why? It was my show too; I loved it too. I could no more have casually turned my back on it than on a family member. It was important to me. We ended the call on a friendly note, but this morning I found that it's disturbed me more than I thought.

[snipped]

Last night, I was shown a videotape of convention appearances by some of the series' stars. One, beloved by us all, had (he announced) been informed of the newly-divided fandom by the editor mentioned above. He'd apparently been told that a terrible bunch of third-season "dissenters' were cracking the fandom in twain.

We did not. Third season did.

The changes made were, as I've said before, bureaucratic rather than artistic ones; and mandated by the network. I understand the feelings of actors and others striving, behind the scenes, to maintain the quality they'd always given us; they worked as hard as they ever had, to bring us those third-season episodes. That viewpoint is even more understandable with the realization that some of those most closely involved with production, ever watched the finished product regularly as we did. Some objectivity is therefore lacking. (And I confess to a little of that same shortcoming.) Perhaps only by sitting down to watch all the episodes through, first to last, will they begin to realize how deeply their creation affected us, here on the receiving end; and why we were so shaken by third-season changes. There were basic philosophical reversals involved.

We've lately been told (as if we didn't already know it) that in life, people die and "tragedies happen." That's true—and I'm not saying that Catherine needn't have "died." But this wasn't life; it was a fairy tale. And when did you ever hear of a fairy tale without a happy ending? Never, that's when. It simply did not have to be as inexorably ruthless and grim as it was.

And in the vocabulary I must sue to define my existence and the way I try to live my life, words like "forever," "never" and "always" mean something. I can't change that in myself; or become someone who finds loves, and dreams, as interchangeable as socks. And I thought fans were the people who could understand that.

Like the rest of you, I worked hard to help ensure the series' return. I had faith despite the rumored changes. I wanted to love the third season, and I tried to love it; but it just didn't love us back.

The first two season of B&TB beckoned us into a wonderful world we could all
share; a magical place full of love and light and infinite possibilities. I accepted that
invitation, at my own risk. The third season was—for whatever reasons—bitter and
destructive to almost every special aspect of the tunnel-world. Now, I'm a writer and
an artist, and a dreamer. I live in my dreams, and I make no apology for that.
Throughout my life, in times of trouble I always found dreams a safe refuge. And I
think that I've been angry because nobody has ever been able to reach in and hurt me
 there before ... until now.

[Iris B]:

I think that part of what caused World War Beast is that many people just hadn't realized that other fans could feel differently than they did about Season 3.. .and still really love Season's 1 and 2.

I was thrilled to see [Sue K's] LOC in TUNNELTALK Issue 4.1 think she does a wonderful job of putting her point of view into words and defending other people's right to have a different point of view.

There was a great deal about Season 3 I loved, and to Sue it was a nightmare... but I get more out of reading her LOCs than from many written by other fans of Season 3. She helps me understand more about what I enjoy in B&TB, and also helps me understand people who don't feel as I do.

[snipped] One effect of my reading LOCs like Sue's is that I've come to think of Season 3 as something that is only a transition to C's return. When I read fiction that is based on Season 3,1 just see it as something written about that middle period when C. was away, or as part of a dream, or whatever is necessary to bring C. back.

Yet, when I first watched the Season 3 movie, I was bored by the amount of time the writers took to move C. out of the picture. But while watching it, I decided other fans might need longer than I did to get used to V. without C. I'd done my mourning for her during the hiatus, and 1 was waiting for the story to start moving again.

Over the next few weeks I began getting letterzines that let me know there were many people who reacted very differently than I had, and differently than anything I'd imagined. But now I understand many of the reasons for those differences .. . because of LOCs like Sue's, Joan's and Rosemarie's.

v.1 n.7

Tunneltalk v.1 n.7 was published in September 1990 and contains 45 pages.

covers of v.1 n.7
  • contains the short fiction by Gretchen A.K. Kopmanis called "Legend"

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S, the editor]: It used to be that we sold 300 copies a month to Creation, at half the cover price; we felt it was worth it, because it gave us an extra amount of assured working capital, and it was a way to get TT out to those fans who are not familiar with fandom itself, hopefully encouraging them to join all of us and find out just how much B&TB fandom has to offer. But, Creation has found that letterzines are difficult things to sell through the mail, so they have cut back their order from 300 to only 50, which leaves us with a $250 hole in our monthly budget!
[Barbara S, the editor]: On a slightly sticky note: there have been — in the last issue and this one — a number of letters where people have expressed various opinions about Stephanie Wiltse, editor of Pipeline. Since these opinions, though negative, were rationally expressed, this left us in a difficult situation: not wanting to tell our subscribers what they could and couldn't write about, understanding that some people have a need to vent their frustrations at current situations in fandom, but realizing that they only show one side of a story, and also not wanting to perpetuate negative discussion of B&TB fans rather than positive discussions of B&TB itself (we have seen the former ravage letterzines before). The decision we have come to is this: These letters have been printed, and copies of them have been sent to Ms. Wiltse (who is not a subscriber), so that she is aware of what is being said about her. She has been given an invitation to respond to them, if she chooses. (We have also heard, from someone who received a copy, that Ms. Wiltse recently wrote a letter to TT, but we have never received it, and naturally cannot print a letter that is not sent to us.) After that response has been received and printed, we would like to ask that anyone who wishes to continue a dialogue with her do so in private correspondence, and return — within the pages of TT — to B&TB itself, and the positive, constructive elements of our fandom ... such as passionate discussion of characters/episodes/ideas, our efforts to support the dream that is B&TB, whatever that means to each of us, and fostering the creativity and friendship so many of us have found with each other. Does that sound fair?
[Helen C]:

The San Diego incident (Eds. note: the incident Helen refers to is a Creation convention last spring where Roy Dotrice spoke about a private conversation he had had with a fan who did not like third season, and where he referred to her and others who did not like it as "bad seed" and people who had to be brought around to a correct way of thinking.) has been on my mind since it occurred and if s time to express my opinion, since I can no longer keep silent. If I had been in San Diego to hear Mr. Dotrice's diatribe, I know I would have been mortified. To put it kindly, he was misinformed, and accepted the word of his source as the gospel truth. Unfortunately, it was not. I am sure he did not suddenly pounce on the fan named, proceed to call her when witnesses were present, and upbraid her at home and on stage for her "lack of support" without first receiving incorrect and exaggerated information from this source.

If we as ordinary fans are constantly warned not to spread or believe stories unless we are absolutely sure they are factual, how much more important is it for a respected and well-loved actor to follow this guideline? Or is it that for a "star," rules are suspended? The fan in question, as he would have learned had he consulted other fan leaders, has always been one of the staunchest supporters of B&TB from the beginning through the first two seasons. If she chose not to like the third season, as many of us have, she should not be blasted for it in public by someone who does not know what he is talking about. It would have been more in keeping with the character of "Father" to act as a conciliator, rather than as one who has widened the schism. Even worse is the fact that, as a star, those spoken words carry the weight of believability, while the chastised fan cannot stand before an audience who will pay to hear her side of it.

As TunnelCon approaches, we are all looking forward to a great time. Well, I know some fans who will not be attending, since they have decided to stay away to minimize the controversy. These fans are my friends, and I will miss them. If Mr. Dotrice does not appear at TunnelCon, I cannot say the same about him. Enough damage has been done to one most undeserving. A public apology at least would have been in order, if for no other reason than to reestablish respect and fairness in B&TB fandom. If it is not forthcoming, how many fans will continue to believe that the truth was only what they heard at the San Diego con?
[Anita M. H]: For me, as with so many others, Catherine is still alive. The only way I can continue to enjoy this is to believe that she didn't die. There was a little phrase going around at TunnelCon that was being used to describe stories in the fanzines. I heard people ask, "Is it an 'SND' story?" Well, I had to ask. It stands for "She's Not Dead." I love it! There are really a lot of great zines out there, and I think there is something for everybody. For myself, if it's an "SND" zine, it's as good as bought. If it's not, I already know I don't want to read it.
[Adele S]:

Tunnel Con was over about two weeks ago, and I'm still trying to analyze all that went on. On balance, it was a good experience, yet it does not seem likely that the much-hoped-for healing will occur soon.

I was very happy to meet and talk with other fans from all over the country and Europe. I was amazed that we all spoke to each other politely, and listened to each other's opinions. The majority of people I spoke with generally disliked Season Three; those who found some things to like about it were treated with respect and responded in kind. How unsettling it was then to hear Roy Dotrice's tape, urging us "nay-sayers" to come back into the fold — as if we ever left it. Mr. Dotrice's comments, however well-intentioned, combined with the two special awards to the parties that bear much responsibility for causing the split, did nothing to ease the rift; the probable result is the ongoing need for everyone to again take sides.

All the self-proclaimed leaders and experts who claim a direct link with the producers and stars of B&TB were in attendance. I came home to find that I missed Ron Perlman's appearance on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" on Monday morning, missed in part because no one at TunnelCon knew or announced his appearance. Certainly it is no big deal to miss an appearance — I am hopeful that someone will either send me a tape copy or synopsis of what he said. It does point out the fact that really no one has any more information on what is going on than anyone else, despite what they maybe claiming. Perhaps we should remember this next time we are told how to behave, or what is being planned. Maybe when we all come to the realization that there are no "leaders" in this fandom, then we can finally heal the rift.

[snipped]

Is anyone else cringing at the thought of a theatrical movie with Ron Koslow at the helm again? Perhaps I am too unforgiving, but if a movie does make it to the theaters, I will wait to see Ron Perlman's name, in addition to Linda Hamilton's, as the stars before I plunk down my $7. Of course I will be writing to support the movie — but the way I would like to see it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
[Guinn B]:

Okay, TLBL is appalling and it makes me sick, but l'm afraid not to buy it — what if they use its failure as an excuse not to release the GOOD episodes?" That's like saying, "Sure, 'Bruno' is a drunk, and he gets violent when he's drinking, but he has a lot of good qualities I'll miss out on if I don't marry him." Friends, I refuse to put up with Koslow and Co's abuse just because they tell a good story when they "feel like it." Are we so valueless that we have to let three wiseguys beat us up emotionally — and PAY them for it, no less? I owe them nothing. Any loyalty I may have been liable for to them was canceled when they lied to me (and you, too) and violated my trust (our trust). If you've got a relationship with an abuser you have to think more of yourself than to go on being stepped on. (That doesn't mean you have to leave the children behind, though. I didn't. When I 'left" Koslow, I took Vincent AND Catherine with me, and now the louse can't hurt either one anymore!) I think we fans sometimes forget who the customer is. They need us.'. We don't need to please them. If their flavor of fantasy tastes nauseous, we owe it to ourselves to spit it out. By now we can do Beauty and the Beast better than they can or want to. Linda Hamilton is a smart lady — she had their number a year ago. They tried to trash her for defying them, but she's still stepping along just fine without them, and Ron Perlman is doing even better than he's ever done, so I for one will rejoice for (Linda & Ron P.) them, support their acting careers as best I may, and let the Terrible Trio (Koslow, Gordon & Ganza) sink beneath the weight of their own malice — or get themselves together and start behaving like grown men for a change.

As far as Beauty and the Beast fandom is concerned, I don't see why it has to die. Star Trek didn't, even though there were no new episodes for over fifteen years. Fans resurrected that show because we never stopped loving it. I believe I'll love Vincent and Catherine until the day I die; I'll never believe that Catherine is dead, and the dream will survive long after the S & M boys have gone unlamented to their graves.

This is a very vehement letter for me, but I'm in a militant frame of mind. Hope no one is offended. Be well everyone.

[Alice A. B]:

I'd like to start this letter off with a thank-you. Thank you, TUNNELTALK, for proving me wrong. In a letter I wrote earlier, I expressed my frustration and feelings of hurt over what Beauty and the Beast fandom had become. I wrote, "There is no SAFE PLACE for us outcasts of fandom," fans who did not share in the "accepted" view. (Whichever view that was.).Shortly after I sent that letter off, I attended the by now infamous Beauty and the Beast Creation Convention held in San Diego, California, with guest Roy Dotrice. Where, to my utter disbelief, Mr. Dotrice proceeded to go through all those same one-sided opinions that had originally driven me to write my first letter. I felt as if he was striking out at me personally, for I — like those he chastised — was not happy with third season. I wondered if anvone had ever told him the other side of all this. Were those his own opinions, or someone else's filtered through an unknowing pond. Did it even matter? The damage had been done. This "rift" in fandom, this "wound" had just begun to heal. It had calmed down just enough for a thin layer of healing to reconnect the divided halves of fandom. Then came San Diego, and left feeling that the wound had been ripped open all over again. Only now it was worse. For now it was filled with spite, hate and vengeance.

Afterwards, I was left bewildered, hurt and very angry. Hopelessness began to settle in; after all, what was the point? How many more times would fandom reopen that wound, striking out at each other?

I sat down today and looked through what I had brought home from that ill-fated Convention and found a copy of TUNNELTALK that I had brought home. When I opened it and began reading, I found hope again. I read Barbara Storey's letter, in which she wrote, "There are safe places in this fandom ..." and I was reminded of my original letter, that had cried out for a SAFE PLACE. Maybe I was not alone in this growing absurdity of oppression. Perhaps there still was hope for this fandom.

Barbara, maybe Vincent can live after all. I truly hope so.

[Joyce F K]:

My enjoyment of Beauty and the Beast might very well have continued with no major problems. At this point, may I express the real reason for my LOC tonight. The bond between Catherine and Vincent; their unique, spiritual, eternal connection represented, to me, the "true spirit of Beauty and the Beast" and as such — the bond meant everything. I believe that the bond existed in a plane other than just the mortal plane, the love between Vincent and Catherine existed (still exists) forever in "all the worlds of God." Therefore, any forms of Beauty and the Beast which neglect, erase, belittle, undermine or otherwise obliterate the bond arcformsof Beauty and the Beast which are not perfect. In other words, the other forms (including the third season) are imperfect, unnatural, inadequate, tangential and sorely lacking.

Here is the thought — I would rather have my version of perfect Beauty and the Beast, with the bond intact and the eternal love between Catherine and Vincent (both alive, thank you) evolving along unhampered; but I see that the various other aspects of the show we were exposed to for two years are indeed still present in the new form. Other aspects do not take the place of the most important and essential aspect (the bond), but in the absence of the perfect form, I do agree that there were enough remnants of the wondrous, enough fragments of the power, enough evidence of the ethics to make the show worth watching. Now, worth watching, as an example of television's best, does not come close to my past experience with the show. It used to be "essential to the soul" watching, "perfection" watching; it unfortunately became just "worth" watching; not unlike any number of other shows currently available on the tube. I don't think there's anything I would rather have than "classic" Catherine and Vincent returned to the television screen (or movies), but if I must be honest, I'll tell you that one can be both a classic fan as well as fan of third season. I feel that I am such a fan; however the enjoyment of third season must be bittersweet, knowing that perfection was ripped from the very heart and soul of the show, leaving us with the more common type of television, albeit excellent television. I cling to the zines, for in some of them are the sparks of perfection; I embrace the friends, for in them is the love; I rejoice in the dream — keep the dream alive.

v.1 n.8

Tunneltalk v.1 n.8 was published in October 1990.

v.1 n.9

Tunneltalk v.1 n.9 was published in November 1990 and contains 45 pages.

covers of v.1 n.9
  • comments on ...Shall Have No Dominion (Beauty and the Beast zine by Carolyn Kleinsorge), see that page
  • reviews of Kaleidoscope #2, see that page
  • review of Wishes and Dreams, see that page
  • the poem by Dot Sconzo called " Whispered Promises," which is a companion piece to "No Shadow of Another" in "Tunneltalk" v.1 n.2
  • an 18-page, single-spaced transcript of Ron Perlman's Q&A with fans on November 25, 1990 at the New York City Creation Con: "Before Ron came onstage, three very romantic, Vincent and Catherine music videos were presented —"Waiting for You" by Richard Marx & "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler, compiled by Kim Taylor, and "After All" by Peter Cetera & Cher, compiled by a Creation employee — which Ron watched from the back of the room. He then came to the front of the ballroom, dressed completely in black — as he quite often is!"

Excerpts from the Letters

[Jill B]:

I just reviewed "Orphans" (I watch one episode per week) and cried all the way through once again. I feel much better. This private show of non-strength on my part has gotta stop. I work in a hospital and hide most of my emotions easily.

However, the episode entitled TLBL will remain in my archives only, because the grief I felt from that show will never, never end, nor will the sadness pass from the entire season three. Guess you could say I'm a "CLASSIC B&TB" fan — a supporter of seasons one & two.

But wait just a minute; I did look forward to the new episode entitled "The Reckoning." I thought it might return to the old B&TB format that I enjoyed so much. But how could it, sans Catherine? Well, I gave it a try, and it wasn't bad, but the loss of Catherine and entrance of Diana was still in he background.

If only they wouldn't have had Diana begin to love Vincent so quickly (I thought to myself), perhaps I could have enjoyed her character more? But I guess it's the void of Vincent's Catherine that still tears me apart. All you other LOC writers express your views so eloquently — you said it all for me — we were drawn into the show because of the Vincent-Catherine relationship. The other characters we grew to love were bonuses. Long live the zines through which this V & C relationship lives. Yes, my checkbook is rapidly depleting due to my zine appetite, but I'm very grateful for all you talented people out there.

[snipped]

By the way [in the episode "Invictus"], Diana did look nice in a dress for a change.
[Kriss F]:

My reaction to a comment made in one of the earlier issues: "I can't believe any true fans of the real Beauty and the Beast really liked the third season." I might as well get it out of the way right here — I enjoyed the third season every bit as much as the first two, and I can't tell you how hurt and offended I am by that statement! I don't want to pick on the one person who wrote it, because I'm sure she is not the only one who thinks that way. I have fought as hard as anyone for the survival of B&TB — wrote as many letters as anyone. I have laughed and cried with everyone of its characters, felt so much of what they were feeling. I grieved NO LESS for Catherine than anyone, and because I have dealt with that grief does not make me less of a person, or less of a fan! I am truly sorry so many still struggle so much with it, but to be told I can't be a true fan because I found worth in something another could not, hurts deeply! I don't think less of those who could not accept all that B&TB was — the good, the bad and the changes. This kind of comment doesn't make the wounds in fandom any easier to heal.

Now, to jump up to issue 6. I have to say I agree almost completely with the comments of Constantia, [Mary D] and [Mollie T]s, and find [Barbara S's] rebuttal extremely weak. I can't see saying Diana looks like a "rat" as anything but an attack on the character and Jo Anderson. I should clarify that Barbara didn't say this, but unbelievably (to me, anyway) tried to defend it! To say it is only a form of grief is totally unacceptable. One person's pain is not an excuse to inflict hurt on another! I know that all too often it happens, but that does not make it right. That's like saying, as long as we hurt — whether it be from the loss of Catherine, Vincent, the entire show, whatever — it's okay to occasionally lash out at another. Seems pretty contradictory to all TThassaid until now. And so you know lam not just a Diana crusader here, I found Barbara Brown's comments on both Catherine and Diana to be every bit as offensive. If these comments constitute lack of objectivity or bias on my part, so be it. I find both women to be beautiful inside and out in sometimes, but not always, very different ways.

I've always found it incredulous, and sad, that any of us resorts to belittling the physical appearance of any character, in any way, whether it be the way they dress, how they wear their hair, and particularly physical characteristics they can do nothing about. Of all the messages B&TB offered, the simplest and most inarguable was that who we truly are lies beneath the surface and no one should be judged, or ridiculed, for the way they look. And to attack the way Catherine or Diana look IS to attack Linda and Jo as well — whether it is intentional or not.

[snipped]

I have absolutely no qualms about Koslow penning [a future Beauty and the Beast movie]. At the very least I would want him to co-write. I haven't forgotten that NONE of what I enjoyed so much in the show and in fandom would ever exist without him. I know a lot of fans feel they don't "owe" him anything, and I respect those feelings, but HIS vision has brought me so much joy and fun over the past three years, I guess I feel I owe him at least a small bit of loyalty and think I would still feel that way even if I had been disgusted with season three, and I definitely WAS NOT! I still have great respect for his work and talent, and still feel he understands most of the B&TB characters as well as anyone — especially Vincent.

[snipped]

I'm looking forward to the release of "Though Lovers Be Lost" on videotape. The only reason I don't have a copy as I write is because a friend told me not to order it— she would be sending it as a birthday gift. I am disappointed so many people seem to WANT it to fail, and to assume Republic is releasing it just to prove B&TB is not viable is ridiculous! Why do some fans feel that Koslow, Witt-Thomas, Republic, have all been out to "get us" at some point? I have never been able to understand that. I do believe all these people care about the fans to some degree, and even if they didn't, it would be crazy to assume they would jeopardize any money-making proposition just to antagonize fans!

[Sylvia W-F]:

I have been reading lately, in letterzines and fiction zines, (about) the bashing of Linda Hamilton.This is done either 1) very subtly, so it sneaks up on you; or 2) not so subtly, depending on whose opinion is being given out!

[snipped]

The loyalty I feel towards Linda Hamilton has always been there. I just never felt I had to defend her the way I do now. My interpretation of the facts are as follows: As one fan wrote, "She owes us nothing but a good performance every week, and she delivers." If anyone thinks Linda Hamilton owes fandom anything else, then I believe that they might not understand what an actor does. They act. That is all. Anything else— interviews, conventions, etc—are a gift (even if they are paid for them) and should (in my opinion) be looked on as such. She did not/does not owe us any explanation of why she does/doesn't do interviews.

Ron Perlman should not be held up as an example for Linda (or anyone else) to emulate. Yes, he worked tirelessly on the publicity for this show. That was/is his privilege, and we were ALL grateful that he did so. I was so thrilled (and still am, to this day) whenever I see him on TV. I wondered why Linda wasn't out there too, but I never thought of penalizing/punishing her for not "being there" for her public.

I run into this attitude (about Linda) a lot On top of that, there are also vicious rumors flying around about the fans who support Linda. I think it's time to stop. Let us all remember the wonderful performances she gave us and wish her all the best in the future (hopefully with a Beauty and the Beast movie).

Let us not split fandom up even further by trashing one of the cast Again, would people be so vindictive if it was Ron Perlman who had decided not to do any or only a few interviews?

One last thing. I believe that without Ron Perlman, there would be no Beauty and the Beast. Would it be possible for fans of Season three to at least "entertain" the thought that for "some" fans (like myself), without Catherine (Linda Hamilton), this season's Beauty and the Beast was NOT the show I fell in love with and was NOT the show I wanted to see, no matter how WONDERFUL Ron was (and he WAS!). This DOES NOT mean, however, that I now hate Beauty and the Beast. It simply means that I have a different view of Season three—that's all. AND I am STILL a true-blue fan of the show.

[snipped]

[Barbara G], Your letter was extraordinarily powerful. Your passion for the character of Diana is fascinating (if I may borrow one of Mr. Spock's favorite words). I will have to rewatch some of the less painful (for me) third season episodes, because you have awakened a curiosity in me about seeing Diana anew. I have heard more than one person say they thought Diana was a "female Vincent." The same coloring, that medieval quality about her (in spite of her modern clothes), a certain stillness, a "listening" quality about her. I noticed these things, but unfortunately, I also noticed the writers trying to create a love relationship with Vincent, and this ticked me off SO MUCH that I think a lot of Diana was lost in the anger I felt towards the direction the writers/plots were going in. I always wanted to give her a chance, but so many things conspired against that: the newspapers blaring "New Beauty," all the bad gossip concerning Linda Hamilton, the absolutely (to me) stunning news that not every fan felt like I did concerning Catherine's "death"—that totally floored me. We had become a big family, supporting one another, and then, to find out (!) that other fans felt the show could continue WITHOUT Catherine — I was flabbergasted! Now, 10 months later, I have learned to live with this fact, but... it was hard accepting this realization.
[Marie H]:

I read one LOC that stated we do not have the right to demand the return of Catherine to the story since B&TB is not a product like laundry detergent but a work of art, and it is inconceivable that anyone should tell an author what to write. Excuse me?

I was under the impression that's how we got into this controversy in the first place: because CBS demanded a retooling, and retooling is a euphemism for re-writing. Is the right to demand changes in what is written and produced, therefore, exclusively the prerogative of the people with money and power? Do we not have the same privilege? If they could demand a rewrite, why can't we demand that they un-rewrite it? Un-retool it? Oh, you know what I mean.

Had CBS not meddled in the first place with the writing in seasons one and two, maybe a lot of misery might have been avoided. No one knows the real reason Linda left, but being a full-time mother seems most likely an excuse, in view of the fact that she has made two movies since she quit the show. Instead of criticizing her for that decision, maybe we should ask ourselves if she saw the handwriting on the wall in the falling ratings of season two. From the rumors we heard, both she and Ron Perlman were fighting to see the love-story progress—something we all apparently wanted, since we were collectively holding our breath for just one KISS.

We all fought with every means at our disposal to save the show when CBS threatened to cancel it and then put it on hiatus. Basically, what we were doing was demanding the show's return. Now, suddenly, all that fervor is splintered, and because some so-called leaders of fandom just LOVED third season, we are sitting here wringing our hands and projecting the attitude to the producers (more people with money and power) that they have the right to produce anything they like and we will accept it. Well, I don't buy a laundry detergent that I don't want, and I will not meekly accept the remnants of a show that someone has rewritten into oblivion.

[snipped]

All I ever wanted or asked of the show was that it remain true to the original premise. I ached to see the love Vincent and Catherine shared overcome all the obstacles and win for Vincent the right to acknowledge that he is, after all, a human being entitled to all that a human love can bring him. And NO, I DON'T feel that he can "find another love." Besides being a cop-out, that negates almost everything spoken and promised in the first two seasons. No fairy tale I ever read starts with "Once upon a time..." and ends up with "She died, but he lived happily ever after with someone else... ." So, I personally will continue to fight for the return of my fantasy—Vincent and Catherine together forever. I am very much afraid that if we let the producers make the proposed movie without any constructive inpu t from us, then we may just see the story retooled one more time into something that is unrecognizable to any of us.

[Elizabeth H]:

I just finished a letter of (criticism) to the editor of Pipeline]] for that rumors tirade found in the latest issue. For someone who doesn't like controversy, she sure does a good imitation. Isn't it enough that Ron P. had to tell us not to hurt each other?

[snipped]

Remarks like those, or remarks about how actresses look, accomplish nothing and just upset people. I'm pretty much beyond my third season anguish — total rejection works wonders! — but I'm tired of hearing other fans tell me that I didn't like the third season or Diana because a) I have a closed mind, b) I have a closed heart, or c) I obviously wasn't watching. Unfortunately, my heart was open and I did watch. I came away from that 2-hour movie wishing that Catherine had stepped off a curb and been hit by a bus rather than her screen fate. It would have been just as senseless but a thousand times less cruel to watch. (So don't even ask me to buy the video.)

I imagine everyone is excited about Ron's Creation appearance in November. I'm sure it will be a thrilling experience for many fans and unless my common sense gets
the upper hand, I may find myself on a plane.
[Sherry K]:

I have read a lot of letters in TT, and other publications, about how much people were, and still are, hurt by Catherine's death. I think we need to learn some lessons from Catherine. She was a victim once, but learned to fight back so she would never be a victim again. I think we as a fandom need to learn to fight back also. They wanted to hurt us with TLBL. I can't imagine that ANYONE would think that we would like TLBL CBS and Koslow & Co. had to know that most fans would HATE it. This was done on purpose, to hurt us. Why exactly anyone would want to hurt us,I do not know. I have felt, from the beginning of season three on, that CBS (or whoever) was out to hurt us as fans. I guess in a lot of ways they did, but I believe we can fight back, just like Catherine learned to. Maybe they wanted to divide fandom, to break our backs (or hearts), so to speak. But we don't have to remain victims; we, too, can fight back. I think the best way to do that is to stand together. For this to be possible, we have to come to terms with the fact that we aren't all going to agree, so agree to disagree. This fandom has great power as long as we stick together, but tolerance is a must for that to happen. As long as we hang together, I think we can have the things that we want— which for me is a movie with V & C. Catherine loved Vincent, even though she didn't always agree with him, or even like what he did. Vincent and Catherine showed love and courage—let us try to do the same.

Fandom is wonderful. There are so many talented artists and writers, who help keep the dream alive. I have found that B&TB fans, on the whole, possess the virtues the show tried to teach us. There is something about this program that reaches inside of each of us and brings forth the best of who we are. I personally am so thankful for all the friends I have made within the fandom community, even if I don't agree with them 100%.

Let us remember the lessons of love and courage this show has taught us.
[Sharon McC]:

I read the zine review of Black Cover. I am very angry that such stuff is being written about B&TB. I know that Star Trek has some unusual literature, also, but I never heard of anything like Black Cover. People's sexual preferences are their own business, but perversion and filthy language (by perversion I mean whips and crazy stuff like that) DO NOT belong in B&TB. If I bought such a zine, I'd bum it; I wouldn't even WANT my money back.

As the reviewer said, Star Trek's unusual literature is not terrible stuff, and it is not forced on anyone — or so my Star Trek friends tell me. (Eds note: That is definitely true, Sharon.) I don't follow Star Trek, but I believe my friends. Anyway, if anyone plans to write more perverted stuff, maybe CBS will give you a series — maybe Jeff Sagansky can get ratings that way.

[Patty M]:

Here we are again rehashing Catherine vs. Diana again. They are two different women. Yes, Catherine was his first love — his true love — but his only love? How unfair of us all — condemning Vincent to lead a life of loneliness and solitude. The memory of Catherine alone will not warm his bed at night (Now there's a thought) and are we condemning Baby Jacob (to) a life without a mother? I don't think this is keeping a/the dream alive!

[snipped]

Final comments on the third-season disaster I cannot understand how so many so called "fans" could come out and support Ron Perlman in his Broadway show, to show fan support after dashing and destroying the third season and the show — I'm so sorry the third season wasn't what you wanted, but you are not the writer and the creators. This man was giving a profound performance and a difficult one, and you all turned your backson him—How could you now see him and cheer him o n . . . Major inconsistency here. Search your hearts... my friends...

I will take the shows/movies return in any form given — I enjoy the acting and the writing and appreciate good work. I support B&TB no matter what. I am truly a fan — can you "44 no more fans" say the same?

v.1 n.10

Tunneltalk v.1 n.10 was published in December 1990 (though the editorial says the issue is late, and they are "well into the new year" -- the editor apologizes and says this will not happen again) and contains 54 pages. This issue, as well as #11 and #12 have different font (in fact a primitive "daisy wheel" printer as the tech set up (Macintosh computer) at the school where the previous issues were created was wrecked by a burst water pipe). The editor has also investigated buying their own copier to produce the letterzine.

covers of v.1 n.10
  • a short meta fic by Helen Commodore called "Unconventional Weekend" (Catherine and Vincent go to a con (everyone thinks they are in costume) so that they can have a private weekend alone in their hotel room.)
  • this issue contains some short book recommendations
  • a report from Lights of Winterfest (good works and testimonials)
  • the editor tells fans to write and support Avon Books and possible BatB tie-in novels: "Yes, I know--there always seems to be another letter to write. It's part of the "job specs" of being a fan, I'm afraid. [snipped] And don't forget that you should never put "Beauty and the Beast" on the outside of your envelope when you write to any of these organizations. They're liable to discount it as fan mail; and besides, why not make them read your letter to find out what you want?"
  • there is a short open letter written by four fans about their disassociation from a con: "This letter is to inform the fan community that [Carol-Lynn S], Star Cook, [Cindy S], [Ann A], and [Marie B] are no longer associated with Crystal Chamber Con, scheduled for March 8, 9, 10, 1991 in Concord CA."

Excerpts from the Letters

[Joyce F-K]: It's been a year since they killed her; but she isn't really dead. At first I mourned her passing; then I realized that she wasn't truly gone. Catherine exists more today than she did even then, she will always and forever live free in our hearts.
[Barbara S]: I think we were all upset at the thought that The International B&TB Fan Club was going to cease operation this summer — for some, the Club is their only link with news and other fans, or was their introduction to fandom. But there's good news in that area too. Another group, determined to help keep Che dream alive, will reincarnate the club, debuting with the first issue of their quarterly newsletter in March. Sharon Wells, Para Igo, Kathy Costello, Alice Baltes, and Julie Hamburg are the group; we wish them well, and I know they'll do a great job! There is a full page ad elsewhere in TT, but I'll give the info here too. Dues are S15 a year, and include the newsletter, membership kit, Winterfest gift, and a 24 hour information line (818-7640 743) to get up-to-date news about B&TB any time. To join, send your dues.
[Ellie J]:

Catherine isn't the only character that I like (I can't comment on Diana, as I have not yet seen those shows, nor do I know if I want to). I, of course, think Vincent is wondrous, but hasn't anybody noticed Father? He is terribly handsome, intelligent, and that voice. [snipped]

I was completely unprepared for Catherine's death in "Though Lovers Be Lost . . . " How could this be? To have this wonderful character die just as I got to know her, and in such an ignoble way! If Catherine had to die, why couldn't it have been heroically? I was so happy to find that it was showing on the Family Channel. I've decided to ignore this show and enjoy the two seasons worth of shows that I have yet to see.

I never thought that I'd be the sort to say that my life was changed by a television show. Of course my life wasn't changed. B&TB touched me profoundly and I have changed. I am different inside, not so hard, harsh, judgmental and cynical. No, B&TB didn't change my life, it inspired me and I changed my life. Just seeing this kind of love exist is enough. Oh, I know it's just a TV show. But why then, after all these years, do I, the ultimate cynic, finally believe? For the first time ever I believe " . . . there is a truth beyond knowledge, and that truth is love . . ." and it feels good.
[Bernadette A. W]:

I'd like to mention the video TLBL. I will not buy this video for two reasons:

First, I already have it on tape, and once is more than enough.

Second, I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on something that will knowingly cause me pain.
[Sue K]:

I do understand the "realities" of having to work with TV censors, ratings, etc. I'm bent on becoming a professional illustrator, and that field too involves compromises between creativity and "reality" and the demands of the client. That, however, in no way lessens my anger at Mr. Koslow for what I feel was his total disregard for the very essence of what he'd created. It was his choice to kill the character of Catherine in a repugnant and sadistic way, cheating many of the loyal viewers of what they had come to love about the show. Yes, I'm aware I can't speak for everyone, nor would I wish to. But I still find Catherine's murder so disgusting that I doubt I will ever feel capable of regarding it with detachment.

[snipped]

I am disgusted by the anti-woman slant of "Though Lovers be Lost" and the manner of Catherine's death. So many of my friends have brought up this very point that I don't think it's a matter of our imaginations. Nor is it merely because we are women; my husband agrees. Arwen, you remind us all of the fact that's so often forgotten--that the ratings slip of Season Three was not the result of "traitors" in fandom, but the countless "nonfannish" viewers tuning out in droves, more every week - people like my grandparents! People who were not in the least interested in seeing B&TB without the "Beauty."

[snipped]

Would Diana have been a better, stronger love interest? I don't believe so, and for one primary reason -- Ron Koslow. He would no more wish to see Diana advance in her relationship with Vincent than he wished to see Catherine and Vincent resolve theirs. I didn't hate Diana, but I certainly never warmed up to her, and I personally couldn't think of a character less suited to Vincent!

[snipped]

I was pleased to see [Helen C] speak out about the infamous "San Diego" incident -- the very incident that, sadly, made me realize that the self-proclaimed "Father" of our fandom was not. I also enjoyed [Adele S's] report on TunnelCon -- it seems that Adele and I came away from the con with much the same experience, and many of the same reactions, particularly about the "special awards" given at the convention -- given in the name of "all fans," it seems, but without our consent.

[Sue K]:

I am absolutely delighted with [Jan C's] letter explaining at length her encounter with Ron Perlman after "the play" in New York. I'd already been privy to this information, but surely her rational, calm words (and Ron Perlman's similar ones at the recent New York Creation convention) will quiet those voices in fandom that are eager to brand them as "untruths." I am convinced to a certainty that the movie, if and when it comes, will be about the reunion of Vincent and Catherine. This is what, I believe, the majority of the fans want—and it is clearly what Ron Perlman wants.

The issue of Diana has been a hot topic. For me, it was clear-cut from the word "go"--Diana could never be a replacement, in any way, shape, or form, for Catherine. And replacement she WAS indeed intended to be— a romantic one, at that, as revealed time and again by several of the B&TB writers. Had she been intended as merely a friend--well, even then it wouldn't have done for me. B&TB ended, for me, with Catherine's death. But, be that as it may, my ultimate feeling about Diana is this: Had Catherine lived, I would have gladly accepted Diana's presence as a strong secondary female character. There were things I might have liked about her.

[snipped]

[Sue G] brought up the issue of the B&TB "Canon" and the suspension of disbelief. Editing a B&TB zine, and writing my own first story (which is definitely in a fantasy vein), made me realize how widely our preferences differ in terms of what stories we like to read (not to mention how we interpret the original show itself!). I've visualized a ruler, a scale of "ultimate reality" to "ultimate fantasy," from 0 to 12, with 6 on the ruler representing, the original series as presented, with elements of fantasy and reality. A 0 on the scale would be zine stories that deal with a grittier reality than had been presented in the TV series; a 12 .would be high fantasy, alternate worlds such as those presented in Abode of the Beast. Some of us can cope with that entire range of story ideas; others prefer themes closer to the middle of the scale. Since I think visually, I now have a fun time placing various stories I read on this scale. I have a similar scale I apply to preferences for "Classic" and "Third Season. "

Beth Blighton's essay on censorship was an interesting addition to the usual letters. I find myself in agreement with 99% of it; any person involved in the arts is all too aware of the issue of censorship. I do, however, feel that while it is NO ONE'S right to prevent the publication of controversial material, be it professional or fannish, it is everyone's right to react, positively or negatively, to anything put out for public consumption, provided said reaction is cons tr uc tive. Abuse has no place in criticism --but if I feel the need to boycott an item or a publisher, I will feel no qualms about doing so, or clearly (and politely) expressing my reasons I am under no obligation to purchase or contribute to publications that do not meet my own personal standards, or follow my own system of beliefs. I will never tell someone else what they may or may not choose to publish, draw, or say, for neither I nor anyone else has that right. Instead, I will vote with my pocketbook; I will put my money where my mouth is. Which is exactly how it should be. Let censorship be an individual matter, and that alone.

[Sue K]:

Another issue we've been discussing is "to Beast or not to Beast": How bestial is Vincent, etc., etc. One of the interesting aspects of this discussion is how MUCH do we want Vincent to be a beast? Let me resurrect the hypothetical "ruler" again. Some readers like the idea that Vincent is about as bestial as can be; they like to see him "beast-out." That's one end of the scale. Others have expressed a clear and definite preference that Vincent is truly 100% human -- he just "looks funny." I've heard both these views expressed from friends and in letterzines. We all tend to color what we see with our own preferences and background. I, personally, have always seen Vincent as "not-quite-human" -- but I've never preferred him in his "beasting-out" mode. As a longtime reader of science fiction and fantasy, it's no big deal to me if Vincent isn't entirely human; that's not an issue, even in terms of a possible physical romance with Catherine. For me, he's attractive in his "difference," and it would be disappointing to find that he's a completely human guy who just "looks funny."
[Sue K]: One final comment — I, like [Theresa P], find it hard to understand those zines that mix "Classic" and "Season Three/Catherine dead" stories. None of my "Classic" friends would purchase a zine with stories in which Catherine is dead. Are such zines profitable? I must assume they are or they would not be published, but I assume, as does Theresa, that it is primarily those who can accept Season Three who buy them.
[Leslie H]:

Wow! "Controversy" . . . has been brought to you by: TT! Is this GREAT STUFF or what?

[addressing a fan] -- I may not agree with what you say or how you feel sometimes, but I love your letters! Don't stop; your voice counts as much as anyone's. I was surprised you hadn't realized how real many fans' grief over Catherine's demise was -- many letters have made it clear that many of us feel we had lost a friend just as real as those we see every day. I'm not a crier at all, but my grief was so overwhelming that I found myself sniffling while vacuuming the carpet, or blinking through my tears while driving the car. Thank goodness that's past! The letters in TT are so profound and challenging, I find myself making notes, jotting questions and underlining phrases.
[Leslie H]: I hate it too, when fan writers move Catherine Below and give up her life Above -- when they don't do it with the depth and completeness the transition deserves. There are so many titanic and volcanic issues involved — after all, we're over turning the very premise of the show, and taking away the automatic source of "action and adventure." But in my personal view, there's just no way of realistically combining her work Above with a life Below, not without seriously endangering the underground community (Father has infected my thinking, I guess). How could she leave and return regularly, 5 days a week, without arousing suspicion? How could she hide this new commitment from her co-workers? How could she continue to endanger herself by her investigative work Above, thus worrying and endangering Vincent? Couldn't she put her drive and talents to good use in the society Below? And isn't Vincent worth any sacrifice? Or would life with him be fairly average, needing the stimulation of a full-time job to keep from getting boring?
[Joyce F-K]: Regarding the possibility of the Family Channel taking a spray can to the painted tunnels: I believe they would be in grave error. However, if they feel they can exercise their right to preserve the Commandments and safeguard the Morals. Why not go one further? I'll accept the addition of a marriage if they carry forth with plans to delete a torturous murder! Now that's a bargain I'd be willing to see occur on the network.
[Barbara S]: It was just announced, on Feb. 5, that the Family Channel has decided that they will not air the third season of B&TB, presumably since they were not allowed to legitimize Vincent & Catherine's relationship with a fabricated wedding. Starting on Feb. 11, they will be starting over again with the pilot. While I can't say I agree with their motives, I still applaud the end result. The thought that the third season — which, for me, was a perversion of everything that B&TB had come to mean, both because of Catherine's ignoble death and the disintegration of Vincent's noble character — will not be appearing on TV screens, at least for the present, is a source of great relief and happiness for me. I'd rather that new fans didn't see it, and it seems almost a vindication for the truth and beauty of Vincent and Catherine's dream. It also lifts my hopes a little higher; maybe we will yet see the fairy tale return.
[Pat W, who put a one line ad in the newspaper San Jose Mercury: "ARTICLES WANTED: TAPES OF B&TB SHOW 1987-1989."]:

December 2lst; The phone rings, and a woman named Dana, living 20 miles away, tells me her mother is a fan of the show — and YES, she has most of the first and second seasons on tape—and YES, her mother is willing to let me borrow them over Christmas!

I leave Dana's home later that day carry ing in my arms eleven yellow Kodak cassettes containing the prized episodes. What a RUSH!

None of the cassette cases and none of the tapes are labeled or numbered, so I have no way of knowing what episodes— in what order, from what season?--I'm going to watch. Somehow this only heightens my anticipation, my sense of adventure.

I watch six episodes--one right after the other--and each one only makes me thirst for more. There is so much in each episode to absorb; so many discoveries to make; meanings to learn; so many powerful, intense emotions to experience and to identify with.

I need a way to understand, to "process" everything I'm taking in; so I begin writing down my thoughts and feelings and observa tions in a kind of journal. Over and over the words NOURISH, TRUTH, COMFORT, AFFIRMATION, INSIGHT appear on the pages.

Over the next two days, the ordinary world seems far removed, as I immerse myself deeper and deeper into the episodes. My only fear is that either the VCR or the TV set — or both!-- will self-destruct! I begin to notice CHANGES in myself. For the first time in years, I feel a sense of inner contentment, and peace of mind, well-being. Even despite the frantic, stressful days of Christmas, I'm calm, yet I've never felt more ENERGIZED!

v.1 n.11

Tunneltalk v.1 n.11 was published in January 1991 and contains 48 pages.

covers of v.1 n.11
  • this issue contains short fiction by Anita Hooson called "The Creature That Was"
  • this issue's Lights of Winterfest is an anonymous letter from a fan who inherited what appears to be millions of dollars (jewels, furs, cruises) and who has decided to renounce all her worldly goods and give it away because the show has inspired her to be a better person

Excerpts from the Letters

[Helen Commodore]: TT is becoming with each issue the voice of B&TB fandom. How I do anticipate the variety of strongly opinionated letters and their equally well-designed responses. It seems we all want to have our say, whether or not it provokes a burr under the skin or a balm to the soul.
[Joan R]: [Regarding] examples of conflicting statements sent in letters to Republic Pictures, producers, etc., it's no wonder the powers that be do not pay us any attention and write us all off as fanatics. I will be so relieved when all the anger and grief ends, because the rift will never mend when so many continue to rail about S3. Where is the common sense and rationality to realize that S3 was conceived because an actress wanted out of the show and a network wanted better ratings, not because the writers and cast had some nefarious plot to offend the fans by killing Catherine. An interview in Starlog with George R.R. Martin detailed how the writers were conceiving many other resolutions to the trilogy, but their other ideas were scrapped when Linda would agree to a very limiteded time on the set. So the final choice, Catherine's death, did not work, and the show is off the air now, so let's go on from there reasonably. A replacement actress was not chosen out of deference to Linda and the fans; there was not a scheme to infuriate anyone.
[Sharon H]:

As others have stated before me when there have been differences of opinion, please do not suggest that I am, in any way, deficient, unbalanced, silly, absurd, or whatever, just because I saw something different in B&TB than you. Name-calling like that has no place in this letterzine.

[snipped]

I just can't figure out what was going on in their (the writers') heads sometimes, and I would go so far as to say that they proba bly didn't know either.

Just one more general comment, then I'll close. Unlike other people, I really don't like the idea of Ron Koslow writing the script of a B&TB movie (if there is going to be one) simply because I personally feel he really lost sight of his own characters. I also can't forgive him for what he did to Catherine/Linda (and Vincent), which, as I mentioned before, will probably always affect the way I feel about and approach B&TB. To me, he deliberately set out to destroy his own creation with the third season, and I would feel more comfortable and happy if the project was placed in the hands of someone else .

Time to close now. I'm looking forward to meeting people at FAN-OUT in Baltimore, and at the NY convention in May. Until then, be well.
[Elizabeth H]:

Just as [Kriss F] was hurt by a remark made in a previous issue, so too was I disturbed by the inference made in one LOC that "44 and no more" fans aren't "true" fans exactly should we define a "true" fan, any fan, way? Given the diversity of feelings out there, I kind of think it is impossible. I was a fan of "two soul-mates who shared a unique bond," as [Elaine L] so eloquently stated. Consequently, I can easily say I AM a TRUE fan of what I was a fan of -- no more or less. The third season destroyed what it was that made the show so special to me. To lose Linda, to have Catherine written out in such bad taste was bad enough, but then to face the fact that Vincent was going to love again was just too much. I'm not saying that those of you who feel differently on this issue are wrong. No, I'm just saying that for many of us this is the ultimate violation of what we perceive to be the spirit of B&TB.

[snipped]

I have to disagree with those who feel Diana would have gotten further in a relationship, and faster. CBS was still calling the shots, and with their fears of "bestiality" and "imploded" previous romances, I doubt Vincent and Diana would have gotten too far along.

[snipped]

[Patty M] commented that she thought it was hypocritical to support Ron in his play while condemning his television show. I couldn't disagree more. It would be incredibly childish to blame the actor for something beyond his control. I would never blame Linda for my misery either. I wish Ron and Linda nothing but success in the future and look forward to all their new projects. However, when it comes to B&TB, just because it's still called B&TB doesn't make it so for me.
[Leslie H]: Could someone please show [Sister Dot S] a resolution story? There are hundreds out there, surely she'll find one that she can believe in, one that would spark her imagination, heal the pain, and open a new world of beauty and joy to her creative talents. Her ability to move me with her stories and poetry is downright threatening — she brings back the third season in all its intensity and grim reality. She seems to be yet another example of how suffering and tragedy have the power to draw out of us the hidden voices inside us that we might otherwise never have discovered. I wonder if she has written fiction before, or if she is another one of the hundreds of us who set down our first creative word in response to the overwhelming feelings this show aroused? Actually, I have a better idea -- a challenge: Dot, write your own resolution story and put your talent at finding the truth and meaning to work deciphering the mysteries of the third season in light of a happy ending. Your stories and poems always have Catherine reappearing to Vincent as a spirit or presence, some sense of her that comes to him in special places and times when he is alone, needing her most — but you are extrapolating here. Throughout the whole third season, he had, as I recall, two memories of her voice and one vision of their dance -- all scenes from the earlier shows -- and the poignant glimpse of her face watching over the naming ceremony. Other than that, he was unremittingly, sickeningly alone: she was gone. I think many more of us could have accepted the third season if he could still have felt something of her inside, some essence of that eternal, spiritual connection they shared; but there was nothing, and the writers meant it to be that way. Therefore, Dot, if you can transform the third season to include that major difference, surely you can take another tangent into the realm where she is not just present spiritually, but physically! And then, what would all that pain and grief and suffering have meant, what could its ultimate purpose be? I'd be very interested to see what you could do here.
[Helen C]:

I have searched my heart and can find no speck of blame for the show's downfall. Perhaps if CBS had heeded the old saw, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and had treated the show as the prize jewel it was, we would still be a contented fandom, into our fourth season. Isn't it about time we beat our swords into plowshares and buried these hurtful remarks which serve no purpose? The war is over. Haven't you heard?

We are on opposite sides of the fence — neither one accepted as a "true fan" because you liked (I disliked) third season! So -- who are the true fans? I like [Deb H's] definition best -- "You're a fan as long as you like any part of B&TB."

About the TLBL video: Enjoy it! I don't intend to buy it, since it is third season. What I resent is the not-so-subtle pressure to do so with the implied threat that Republic will issue no more B&TB videos otherwise. Nonsense! The sales receipts plus letters from fans requesting their favorite shows will provide the ultimate answer to future releases. Republic is in business to make money, not lose it. One last remark — that tolerance and respect be our guideposts for the New Year. Good health and happiness to all and B&TB movie in the near future.
[John William L]:

As for reports that The Family Channel is tampering with episodes of B&TB (I, unfortunately, can't get it in my area), this is deplorable. Yet, it's typical of all fundamentalism -- if it doesn't match a certain belief system (theirsl), it's automatically "wrong" and undeserving of expression, period. Truly "enlightened" thinking, isn't it? I would urge all those of us whom this bothers to write CBN and voice our concern.

Which brings me finally to [Beth B]'s wonderful LOC in Issue 8. The issue of censorship and intolerance in this country could indeed become the "racism" of the 1990s, and may already be such. As a man who happens to be gay, I find it saddening to live in a society that, for the most part, equates "different" with "bad" or "evil." I am outraged when I realize that some people/organizations believe that my very existence is a mistake, "phase," perversion, or "sin." I am more than my sexual orientation (which I had nothing to do with choosing, in case some people still don't understand that -- nobody "made" me this way!), just as Vincent is more, much more than a half-man/half-beast. I'm sure we've dealt with very similar personal "demons!" It might've been interesting to see how the show dealt with that issue!.Thank you Beth, and TT, for creating a space open and safe enough in which such issues could be addressed — I had no idea I'd be "coming out" here when I started this letter! (If there are any other "club members" out there reading this who might be interested in corresponding, I'd love to hear from you.)
[John William L]:

Dear friends, let's give Ron Koslow a break. He retooled the show at CBS's orders and in an attempt, however disastrous, to boost its sagging ratings. Perhaps a mistake, but that's the sad reality of commercial TV and the profit-mongers who run it.

Ron Koslow is as undeserving of bashing as Linda Hamilton is, and I personally feel his participation in a movie is ESSENTIAL. (Imagine STAR TREK without Gene Roddenberry) (Just a note, John: Star Trek has been accomplished in the past with little more than a rubber stamp "yes" or "no" from Roddenberry. That is literally about the amount of control he's had over the ST movies — officially, at least. When they decided to kill Spock in ST 2, he was dead-set against it, but couldn't do anything about it . . . except leak the news to the fans when the studio wanted to keep it a secret, thereby giving us the power to fight it. Which we did, and we won. I only wish that Koslow was more like Roddenberry, and displayed more concern for the characters he created. I agree that no one deserves bashing — however, I believe Koslow must accept the blame for what was for many of us the perversion and destruction of B&TB, whereas Linda remained true to the spirit of her character and the show. I do not blame her at all — I applaud her. Given that point of view, I hope you can understand why the words "Koslow" and "Beauty and the Beast" together do not inspire confidence in me. — Barbara.)
[Sharon McC]:

I'd like to bring up something which I would be interested in seeing discussed. Whenever the producers, or the media, explain the premise of B&TB, Vincent is always referred to as "half-man, half-beast." I cannot begin to tell you how much this upsets me. B&TB fans, most of the ones I've talked to about this seem to understand that, in some unexpected way, Vincent is all human; my concern is how this is perceived by people who have never seen the show. The promo for TLBL (may it sink into the sea) is an example of what I mean. First, the plot synopsis says the usual half-man, half-beast stuff; then further down you read about them realizing their love and having a baby.

Most people would be horrified at the thought of lovemaking between a human and a being who is half-animal. So they put the video back, and that's a potential fan lost. (I don't know if the other two commercial videos call V. half-beast, but I hope not.) Or people who might read a media article on the show can't get past it, either. I've had people say this to me, flat out.

I decided right away that Vincent is all human , maybe the last of a prehistoric group who kept the physical appearance of those times, but with superior intelligence, and nobility of character. As Vincent's nobility is emphasized by this, so too is his dark side. I could never accept lovemaking between V. and C. unless V. is human. I think it was a serious mistake on the part of the show's creators to ever imply that Vincent is not all human. Bestiality is perversion; it's easy to say "I don't care what Vincent is," but I think the half-beast idea had as much to do with losing the show as the ratings, or anything else. If Vincent was an "alien humanoid," or whatever, I'd accept that, but half-lion — no way. As George Martin said in Starlog, "Vincent is not a dog." Catherine says he's human; I'm with her.

Re: the movie: I want V. & C. to have their happy life, third season resolution, and some real love scenes, romantic ones. A lovely wedding, adventure, romance. No land-of-the-dead stuff; I'd like the witness protection program. I'd also like to see Jo Anderson included in new productions. She's very special as Diana. Father, Joe, Pascal, William, Mary, I want them all in it. After that, cable TV movies. I'd like the movie to be three hours long.
[Inez P]:

This is one of those letters that has begged to be written for a long time. It has screamed at me inside of my head every time I hear about "bestiality" or "consummation without marriage." . . . We could delve into Thomas Aquinas and the theories of God's law, Nature's law and Man's law, but the important point is that all three exist. There is perfection when all three agree and coincide and there is the danger of human "deistizing" when Man's law is put above God's Law. This is self-serving, starting and ending with what is best for man and his needs and pleasure. In a way, Nature's law more truly reflects God's law, as all of Nature follows its destiny as created.

But we live according to Man's law, and so abortion is legalized, and fair trade laws close factories, and oil wells create pockets of poverty, and countries go to war over their legal boundaries, and religions are intolerant in the name of God, and Christians can be the most judgmental of one another. I have a great deal of difficulty with human interference into God's beautiful balance. Unfortunately, our laws sometimes do this . . . God does not see or judge as man sees or judges.

Now, placing these views into B&TB. One of the most impelling facets of this show is the relationship of Vincent and Catherine. We have said that we feel a divine involvement in the production. Well, I feel that one of the lessons which we desperately need to be taught in our time is the relearning of God's intention for man and woman. Surely B&TB portrayed the love, respect and trust as a sacred commitment. It showed the step-by-step flowering of a love relation ship—they became one in mind and spirit first; they became one in commitment to each other next. It was impossible to think of one without the other. And finally, the verbal vows in "The Rest is Silence." As they stood looking out over the city, Catherine asks to be let into Vincent's life fully -- no matter what, good or bad -- to be part of everything. "You must promise me that you will share it with me, whatever happens, whatever comes." And Vincent agrees to let her be part of him, as he is a part of her. Their total concern for each other is awesome and inspiring. It was perhaps the most beautiful exchange of vows I had ever witnessed.

Now, isn't this exactly what is required by God's law for man to cleave to woman? What priest, judge, minister, or rabbi could they have vowed before that would have given their intent or commitment any more importance? Before the "consummation," Catherine even proves this by laying down her life — putting herself in danger to save Vincent. There is no life without him — they are already one, already joined, and their desire for physical unity at this point only reflects man's desire to join with God after knowing and loving Him.

So maybe that is the true message of B&TB. The world Above, according to Man's law, struggles for peace and justice. Its portrayal is hard-hitting and jarring. The world Below lives more according to God's law and there is serenity and compassion.

Which laws are Catherine and Vincent bound by?
[Rosemarie S]: [Leslie H] brought up about how some people (mostly men, I find) consider Vincent "a beast with qualities of a human." I hate it too when Ron Perlman makes comments like that. I don't consider that to be true, and I don't think Catherine does either.
[Kathryn C]:

There was also a cartoon like atmosphere throughout Season #3. For all its advertising, "It's not a fairy tale anymore," third season felt much less real to me than the first two seasons did—no wonder I can write Season #3 off as a nightmare!

I find that I don't blame the actors for anything in the third season, either. (I'm thinking of [Guinn B's] letters in #7 and #8.) I don't think Jo Anderson (Diana) or Stephen McHattie (Gabriel) made what could be considered wise career moves in choosing to play those characters, but they had to make a living, too. I have never felt that the actors had much say in what happened to their characters, EVER.

The people I am still upset with are the producers and writers. Their lack of faith in their own creation caused them to rewrite the show. They were the ones who set up the scenario that destroyed the work of the previous two seasons. That scenario --Catherine's long imprisonment, her almost-rescue and off hand death — was particularly nasty because (this is my opinion) Linda Hamilton stood up for herself and Catherine Chandler. Actors are expected to be like good soldiers -- they don't ask questions and they follow orders. Linda Hamilton broke that unwritten rule.

v.1 n.12

Tunneltalk v.1 n.12 was published in February 1991 and contains 65 pages. It contains the short fiction by Ellie Johnson called "An Incident in 1986... To Those Who Can Hear the Mermaids."

covers of v.1 n.12

The letterzine has a long one-page supplement from the editor asking for forgiveness on the lateness of the issue, and promises others will not be late. She implores fans not to give up on Tunneltalk in anger as the letterzine is not about her and errors, but is part of a bigger community: "But don't take it out on TT by giving up on it, please. TT is much more than just me; it belongs to all of you who have made it a success this past year, who have helped make it a safe place in B&TB fandom, a place where every voice has a right to be heard."

1991 Creation Con flyer that was a supplement to issue #12 of "Tunneltalk"

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]: I've been wanting to answer some questions I've been hearing about the May con in New York. Please be aware that this Is not MY convention — it is Creation's convention, and they have, very graciously, asked me to help them with the programming--which includes panels, art auction, zine reading room, trivia, a video contest, costume call and a few other things, I have nothingto do with hiring the guests who will be appearing at this convention; that is Creation's province, and since it is their organization, that is as it should be. They told me who they were planning on asking, and I made suggestions to them (specifically, Linda & Shelly), but the decisions were theirs. If you have any questions about any of those guests, I can only recommend that you mention them to Creation. My hope is that you will all enjoy the activities that are planned for that weekend, and that I will see you there. Did I mention that Jane Freeman has created a new miniature B&TB room—her greatest yet, believe me! -- that will be displayed at the May con? See you there!
[Barbara S]:

Lastly, it appears that we may have a very serious problem in our fandom. Two people who produce zines have recently received "cease and desist" letters from Republic Pictures, telling them that they must stop "any further manufacture, distribution, sale, advertisement, or offer for sale of any product or merchandise based on or depicting the show BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, its characters, theme, or any of its story lines" or they (Republic) would "take any and all appropriate legal action required." When one of these fans called Republic and asked why they were being singled out, they were told that all fans producing merchandise of any kind would be receiving letters as well. It seems that CarolCo has experienced sagging sales lately, and are sure that zines are the cause of their loss of revenue — so they have asked Republic to stop all such activity.

There are two points to be made here. One, fanzines, and any other fan merchandise, are illegal, and in copyright violation, no matter how many you sell or how much you sell them for, or even if you give them away. Two, most studios understand that a healthy fandom is what keeps interest in a TV show alive for the future — when movies might be made -- and so they ignore the existence of zines. They realize that the free publicity that active fans can bring a show is worth the (extremely small) loss of revenue. STAR TREK is a perfect example of this.

Why are Republic and CaroICo doing this now? I don't know -- I don't even know if they really are going to pursue everyone, or if they are just trying to scare us. I have not yet heard of anyone else receiving these letters, but that may come. My only guess is that they are completely lacking any understanding of fandom and who we fans are- - and what we're doing. The person spoken to at Republic had the idea that we were all commercial concerns or businesses, producing illegal B&TB merchandise, and didn't seem quite sure as to how to go about even finding us. [1]

But it is still true that they can and may pursue us and try to stop us from producing zines. They simply don't understand that none of us are making a living on this (or shouldn't be) and that it is a labor of love that often operates in the red. Republic can force us underground, or even destroy B&TB fandom if they want to with these actions, I don't think they realize if they do this — effectively destroy the only audience for B&TB they have left — but they will. And how much abuse can we really take after all, from a group of people who have done almost nothing but misunderstand and undervalue us? I'm sure we would all be quite happy to buy their merchandise — if they'd put something new out that we all didn't already have or all wanted to buy.

So—what should we do? My first inclination was that we should all write letters, trying to make them see the error of their ways, convincing them that we were no threat, but actually the best free publicity machine they could ever find! But a friend of mine pointed out that that might just make us easier to find, if they really didn't know where to find us. Maybe we should just sit tight, and wait and see if any more letters are received. If anyone else who reads this does get one, or you know of someone who has, I'd like to ask you to let us know. If and when more letters are received, and it looks like they really are trying to stop us, then I think we must try to do something, try to convince them that they will only be shooting themselves in the foot, destroying the only audience they have left at the moment—not to mention the people who can help them find any new audience. I believe that Vincent and Catherine's Dream belongs to us every bit as much as it belongs to them—they brought it to life, but we keep it alive. I know I won't let them kill it without a struggle. Take care; reach out to one another— especially now—and be well.
[Sharon W]: Before I get into "it," I just want to say this. We all have different tastes in food and no one gets condemned or put down for it. I hate avoca dos, mushrooms, and strawberries, which are usually on the top fifty of most people's lists. The same goes for art. If you're a traditionalist, you don't call someone who likes progressive modern art names, you just don't share their tastes, right? Can't we in fandom extend the same graciousness? After all, we have the ideals of the tunnels as our models in this. If our fandom can't do it, then things have gotten pretty sad indeed. I also want to say to Sherry that some people actually liked third season. You honestly felt that CBS, Koslow & Co. did it to somehow hurt the fans. Even though I felt the third season was a major mistake in many respects, I don't feel that Mr. Koslow was out to hurt us. As we have heard from Linda Campanel1i and Shelly Moore, the men on the writing team just could not see it. They were really jazzed about what they were doing. They thought they were right, George R.R. Martin still does; just read his interviews in Starlog recently.
[Sharon W]:

Yes, Diana and Catherine are two different women. One was Vincent's love. the other just wished she was. No, I'm not being cruel, but it was obvious from the glances she gave Vincent and her dream that she, like the majority of the females who will read this, had it bad for the big furry guy. Who could blame her? Besides, she was created to be the ultimate Mary Sue charac ter, to be our surrogate in the show. It's just too bad that one character doesn't exactly fit all of us. I found it a million times easier to relate to Catherine than to Diana. Why? Well, perhaps because the way Diana was portrayed, she was very Spock-like, not easily showing emotions (which is the very reason some of you can sympathize with her ).

Patty asked if Catherine has to be Vincent's only love. Yes. For me it is totally unbelievable, out of character, and against all we were lead to believe in the classic seasons to think Vincent could fall in love again. From what I've learned, Perlman felt the same way. Would Romeo go chasing the next skirt that came along? Would Tristan? Lancelot? I'm sorry, but when you have a great love, one beyond anything anyone else has ever had because of the special bond, there's no second love. Not that Vincent showed any interest in Diana other than as a friend. I think insinuating that he has is an insult to both of them.
[Linda M]:

Having been a subscriber from conception I've read, reviewed, disagreed with, agreed with, mulled over, and generally enjoyed each letter in every issue. Now, I'm hoping that your open forum will allow me to speak, and Heaven knows I can count on one hand the number of LOCs I've written to ANY zine.

#1 attended Tunnel Con and came back home with the devout belief that Fandom Would Survive. Being basically an unknown face in fandom, I'm usually content to sit back and do my writing, keeping in contact with mostly editors and the occasional brave penpal. And so it was with great anticipation that I sent in my money to attend South of Oz in June of 1991.

Now, I have been bombarded with the most atrocious of news, to which I called several of my friends (some of whom are also my editors) to either confirm or deny these rumors. Those rumors are that South of Oz is going to be a Third Season Con. — Not true.

South of Oz will basically be the same as Beauty and the Beast con)|TunnelCon. TunnelCon had third season material present, but that did not make it a third season con — although third season material was not as prevalent then as it is now be cause the season was still unexplored (and painful) territory. Yet since then, nearly (if not) every editor has written or included a third season story in a zine, even if its plot was "she's not dead/Catherine comes back."

All I know for sure is that this con is going to be another way for fans to show their love and support for this wonderful show, which promotes kindness, generosity, and tolerance. It'll give us a chance to collect autographs from actors who've never attended a con before, and allow us to renew those friendships and acquaintances that were born at Tunnelcon. (Remember how good you felt?) I'm supporting South of Oz. And if you decide to go, too, stop me and say "Hi!" We'll have a ton of fun! (Once again—an editor's note! It seems the best way to immediately answer certain questions or comments. First of all, Linda, I think we have to admit that people have different definitions of 'third season' content, in zines or cons. To you, it seems to mean anything that has anything to do with the third season of B&TB, positive or negative. To many others, a 'third season' con or zine is one that favors the third season—or B&TB in any form—at the expense of the first two. To those people, both of the conventions you mention qualify as "third season," since they prominently feature(d) and honor(ed) members of the fan community who have advocated acceptance of the third season as a criteria of being a true fan of B&TB. We are not anxious to travel to an event where we are likely to be labeled with the tiresome and ridiculous label of 'naysayer' or to be blamed for the demise of B&TB by those who are desperate to preserve Vincent pat any cost, even Catherine's life or Vincent's own integrity. I don't believe I would have 'a ton of fun' at such an event. Secondly, I would like to address the issue of duplicate personal statement letters to letterzines, something that seems to be epidemic lately. When you submit a letter to several publications, you should let all editors concerned know that you are doing this. I only discovered that your letter, Linda, was also in OUT...IN by accident. I'm afraid also that subscribers will start to get annoyed at paying for two or three different letterzines and finding the same material repeated in each one. We have received some other duplicate material (which we were advised of by the writer) concerning the issue of the zine Black Cover, which we are going to print, but after that, we would like to declare a moratorium on duplicate personal statements. What do the rest of our subscribers think?)
[Ellie J]: I'm told [The Family Channel which was re-airing Beauty and the Beast] afraid of bestiality. Well, on their commercials they show a man kissing a horse (The Black Stallion) and a boy kissing a dog (Rin Tin Tin). Now why isn't that bestiality?
[Kathryn C]: Do any of the producers or writers for B&TB ever read fanzines? (Yes, Kathryn, they have read several of them—B.) Sometimes I think they should.
[Laura J]:

I just had to write a LOC about the treatment the fans of B&TB have been getting from the Family Channel. Can you believe it—we have been lied to again. The Family Channel said that they knew there were mil lions of loyal fans of B&TB—fans that would and work at a mundane job to pay the bills, be so happy to have the show back on televi sion. They acted like they knew how much we cared for this wonderful series, and they said they wouldn't edit the episodes. Well, so much for that promise. After viewing the first two hours on September 7, I was so upset. As if it wasn't bad enough to edit several scenes from the show, they also cut the scene from the pilot that had Carol telling Catherine who the men were who at tacked both of them, and why they were at tacked. I mean, wasn't that a major point in the plot? I watched the second set of reruns on September 21, and again there were several scenes missing. After the Family Channel said that they would show B&TB uncut, I find it strange that they would decide to do this. Didn't they think we would notice? I guess they're just like CBS, only interested in the "almighty dollar." I hate to think what they're going to do to the remaining episodes, and what scenes will be missing.

I was going to tape B&TB when it was aired on the Family Channel, because I don't have all the episodes. Now I'll have all the episodes, but they won't be complete--the way they were meant to be. That's really too bad. I'm sure many fans of the show were planning on starting or completing their collection of B&TB episodes. I hope when this series goes to other networks in syndi cation, these networks will understand that the reruns should be shown in their entirety.
[Carol]:

The fan club I belong to is folding in a few months. They gave the reason, but I think it is partly because of losing hope. It made me sad to read this. We must always have hope. Our beautiful show will die if we don't keep fighting to bring back some movies.

Someone made a statement that it was just a show. It isn't just a show to me, and never will be. B&TB is the best show that has ever been on the screen, and has really touched me deeply. Let's all keep the faith.
[Ellie J]: I've begun receiving my fanzine orders in the mail. So far, I'm impressed by the quality, both of the writing and the printing. Seems like quite a departure from many Star Trek fanzines I remember. Is it just changing times and better technology, or do B&TB fans simply take more time and care to make their fanzines more appealing? (I hate to keep butting in, but I have to answer that question, as someone who has produced a ST zine since 1978—the former is true, not the latter. B&TB fiction is improving all the time, but it still hasn't achieved the level of excellence that ST zines have in 25 years—I believe it will happen, but it takes time, just as it did in ST fandom.—B.) The artwork is amazing, especially Beth Blighton's.
[Richard B. G]:

I feel I must take issue with some of the points Beth Blighton made in her letter in TT #8.

I hold no brief for censorship in any form. I support Robert Mapplethorpe's right to make his photographs and I support Dennis Barrie's right to exhibit them.

Beth, however, does not seem to realize that the National Endowment for the Arts is, in itself, a form of censorship. Yes, the NEA sponsors many "dance troupes and communi ty theaters around the country." But there are many, perhaps more, that are denied a government subsidy. Some art is deemed worthy of support, preservation, performance, exhibition or whatever. Some is not. "(And just who will be the genius who decides . . .)"?

Anyone who believes that "covering your body with baked beans" is art, is welcome to his belief. Further, he is welcome to prac tice it. I draw the line, however, at re quiring the taxpayers to buy his baked beans. One man's art is another man's obscenity.

"I, for one, do not need anyone telling me what is right and proper entertainment for me or my family." Substitute the word "art" for "entertainment." I don't need the NEA to spend my money for me. I support the work of artists whose work pleases me by buying it, and, in one case, by marrying the artist. I have no reason to believe that the government is any wiser than I am and more than a few reasons to believe that it is not.

[snipped]

Beth thinks that "If we lose the NEA... galleries will close, artists of all types will not be able to find work. If we limit the NEA, then we will also limit the creativity of artists; each new idea will then be judged not on it's (sic) merits of originality and validity, but by someone else's moral and sexual standards."

Somehow I doubt it. I don't really expect Beth to stop producing her drawings because of the lack of a grant from the NEA. I don't expect Kathy Cox to close down Destiny Press because the NEA goes out of business. Will Cynthia Hatch cease writing and publishing because there was to support her?

Most artists must create as a sideline and work at a mundane job to pay the bills. A very few become so good at what they do that they can support themselves as artists. Quality will survive, schlock will not. Art comes from the heart, not from government subsidies .
[Caro H]:

[regarding the recipes in a previous issue]: William's secret stores? Does William have secret supplies of goodies just for special people, or for himself? That whole idea bother me, for it is so opposite the spirit of sharing and one-for-all that I perceive as existing Below. And the ingredients in those recipes! The money it would take to make two cups of that dip would buy hot dogs and bread to feed forty people! The price of nuts, cherries, and chocolate syrup for the other recipe would also make it prohibitive.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but the delightful things on page 26 are beyond my budget, and I have a job. Those are not recipes for poor people, or even lower middle class. These are the things you would make if you had some money to spend at the end of a paycheck. So I have decided that these are not things William really makes. These are his secret fantasies. These are what he would make if only someone would donate the right materials. These are what he longs to be able to provide for his people. As he stands there trying to make a cabbage soup which will appeal to people who have had to have cabbage soup three times already this week, he dreams of being able to whip up a Serpentine Dip. He probably has secret files of recipes of foods he plans to serve only once a year, at Winterfest, that being the only time the right ingredients are donated. His would be a tough job. How do you decide who gets something if only a small amount is donated? Milk goes to the kids, of course. He would like to make sure that older folks had softer foods or hot tea, that younger ones got all the vitamins a growing body needs, and there would be some instances, happening more often than he would like, in which he would not be able to pro vide what was needed. That is depressing, it drags you down.

[snipped]

Anyway, I suggest keeping the recipes and changing the title of the column, and I'd really like to see what recipes he could come up with for folks on limited budgets! (Caro—I'm sorry to disappoint you, but "William's Secret Stores" was not really intended to be a column; we just wanted to share the recipes that Ritch gave us with our readers. But, if you're interested in ex ploring life in the tunnels on a pragmatic basis—how does it run?—in a column-type format, I, for one, would be glad to read it. Not necessarily about food, but the tunnel culture and social structure . . . government, how responsibilities are handled, where do they get their power, etc. What does everyone else think? —Barbara)
[Sherry K]:

As we watch Season One, we really see Catherine develop and change. I person ally can't think of another character on TV who did that. I love Vincent, (but) he never really changed (until the third season, when he became the Incredible Hulk). Vincent wasn't able to face his fears to the degree that Catherine did. I sometimes would feel a lot of frustration with Vincent, because he wasn't able to change, and face his own fear, to have a relationship with Catherine. Most people who are in love will do anything to make that relationship happen. I can appre ciate that Vincent had a lot of old demons to exorcise—but it does get old after a while when Catherine looks at him with such love and longing and he doesn't do anything about it. I know that Vincent was inexperienced, but Catherine would have lovingly showed him the way, and expressed that desire with her patience toward him. I doubt if I would have been so patient. I'm afraid I would have said something like, "Either you want me or you don't— but you need to make up your mind."

Thank goodness for so many zines that show Vincent the way I wanted to see him. I highly recommend M. Sue Waugh's zines. There are three of them, and each one is wonderful. Sue also has the most unique cover art I have ever seen.
[Sharon McC]:

I loved what [Marie H] had to say: ". . . we are sitting here wringing our hands and project ing the attitude to the producers (more people with money and power) that they have the right to produce anything they like and we will accept it. W ell, I don't buy a laundry detergent that I don't want, and I will not meekly accept the remnants of a show that someone was rewritten into oblivion." Bravo, Marie! I wil.1 not accept anything they throw at me. I can think for myself and decide on what I want to spend my time and money. I choose to spend my time and money on Classic B&TB tapes, fanzines, and other merchandise. For me, B&TB IS Vincent and Catherine and their relationship.

I'm also happy that there is a legitmate arena to exchange ideas. TT serves a wonderful purpose in allowing us to air our opinions in a nonjudgmental forum. Thanks, Barbara, Vicky, and Sharon, for opening the lines of communication. True communication can ease tension between a divided fandom. Believe me, I know—my best friend loved Season Three (yes, we're still friends!)
[Adele S]: George Martin suggested in STARLOG that killing Gabriel with Catherine's gun brought the whole thing full circle. He also said that the only thing different about Season Three was Catherine. I am still at a loss to understand what it was that he saw in Seasons One and Two and then in Season Three—I don't think we saw the same show. What frightens me is that this seems to be the "party line" that he and Koslow are advancing. I still worry about what they will do with a film. A year later, and they still refuse to acknowledge our anger and disappointment. Ivory towers must be nice places to live.

v.2 n.1

Tunneltalk v.2 n.1 was published in March 1991 and contains 62 pages.

covers of v.2 n.1

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]: The new B&TB International Fan Club is up and running, though, with their first newsletter just out. I haven't seen it yet, but have heard that it's great. Don't forget to keep abreast of all the latest B&TB news by calling their 24 hour information line (818-764-0743).
[Barbara S]:

There have not been any more reports of Republic sending out any further cease and desist letters to any fans. I don't know whether it's because they don't know how to find us or the two that got sent out were just the result of someone's spate of productivity — let's hope it is one of those two, though I'm still upset that people as sweet and wonderful as Lynette and Kay were harassed. I think the best thing for us to do is, as Lynette says in her letter this issue, not to overreact. If we go about our fannish acdvities quietly and don't do anything to draw undue attention to our zines, art, etc., we might be okay. I think it's ridiculous of them to try to stop us anyway - as l've said before, we're the best source of free publicity any company could ever ask for, and l'm willing to be that for them as long as they leave us alone. I know some zine editors are still sending copies of their publications to the powers-that-be (we don't), and I wonder if that's not an action that should be reconsidered, given certain circumstance. Why make ourselves easy to find?

I've heard aIso that some fans have panicked over this, even thinking of ceasing publication - I hope that that is not true, or that they will reconsider. Don't let them take away something that gives you pleasure.

There have also been some pretty crazy rumors flying around, especially concerning Creation's role in all of this. Let me assure you that they had no role in it at all — in fact, Gary wouldn't even have known about it if fans hadn't started calling Creation. He has stressed all along to CarolCo the necessary place that zines have in a fandom, actually convincing them to leave us alone, right from the beginning. And, no matter what you have heard, that did not — I repeat, not — have any meetings with CarolCo over this situation. I've had so many people tell me they heard he did, that he was at a cocktail party that CarolCo threw, that he flew out to California to discuss the cease and desist letters with them, etc.etc. I was beginning to half-believe it myself. But — definitely — not true.
[Toni L B]: It sometimes amazes me, the range of our show. Ever since I found our universe, for reasons of pride and identity, and because it fits with my no-fashion-sense-required lifestyle, I have seldom been found abroad without a Vincent T-shirt of one sort or another. I always hope to run into someone who will comment on it, because l love to talk about Beauty and the Beast. But it often is not the people you would expect to speak to you who do. Two weeks ago, a middle-aged male hardware store clerk approached me. I was wearing Beth Blighton's "Wild Innocence" t-shirt; he wanted to knowwhere he could get one. (I got his address and sent him a flyer when I got home.) Today, while I was buying smoked fish in a delicatessen, the man behind the counter, an Indian immigrant around 30, looked at my shirt (the gorgeous oil of Vincent and the moon) and said, "I miss that show." I said "So do I!", and left thinking about the universal appeal of fairy tales.
[Barbara S]: I wanted to make a few comments on some letters in this issue before I go. One is a statement made by [Gloria D], that "Diana Ioved and desired Vincent —why castigate her for what we ourselves feel?" I'd hate to think that I'm in a minority here, but — while I do love and admire Vincent, both for his nature and his appearance — I don't believe l have ever really desired him. Why not? Very simple to me, he "belongs" to Catherine, body and soul, as she does to him. I don't even enter into the picture as far as he is concerned, and I have never imagined myself as Catherine, receiving Vincent's attention, but rather have admired and respected her also for her nature, her strength, and her beauty "without and within." My attraction to B&TB has always been their relationship and how it works, not how I can vicariously experience a relationship with Vincent. Obviously, under this rationale, I object to Diana being in love with Vincent. Now, give me a character who is intrinsically unattached — like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap — and then my fantasy life starts to get rich! Am I the only one who feels this way?
[Gloria D]

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't care how the powers that be do it, as long as they bring Catherine back alive and well — and as long as they let the lovers commit to each other, with no further reservations. Let the lovers have each other — and let us finally have the kiss we never saw, the wedding we've dreamed of, and the love-scene we've waited all these long years for! I want their "Happily Ever After!" And l don't care if the way they do it makes sense or not (Nothing in 3rd season made sense), they can explain it any way they want — or even skip explanations altogether. I really don't care — as long as they expunge the whole sick, miserable, sadistic premise of Catherine's death, and pick up with the story where, for me, it left off at the end of 'The Rest is Silence..." This pain and grief — and anger — does not lessen with the passage of time. In fact, it just seems to grow worse and worse. I look back, and see that I was much more "reasonable" last year than now. It is becoming more unbearable, rather than less.

I am not wildly happy to hear that Ron Koslow will helm any future B&TB movie. My fear is that he will not be willing to admit he made a mistake (to put it mildly) and will want to let the status quo stand—perhaps out of stubborn pride—in spite of the majority's wishes. A man capable of trashing, warping—and, yes, raping — his own creation is probably capable of anything. Wrong or right, this is the impression l have been left with— this is how I have been made to feel. This is why the name "Koslow" fills me with apprehension, and not joy (as it once did, but no more).

After the initial stunning, numbing shock of TLBL, my reaction... I addressed one of the many letters I wrote that night or in the following days, to "The Brotherhood of Pain," and asked them if they had always hated the fans—or what? Had they always held us in such contempt and loathing? I was so bewildered—I couldn't understand how all this could happen—how the same people who wrote "A Happy Life" and other favorites could unleash such violence and brutality on a woman at her most vulnerable and helpless. What was done to Linda Hamilton/Catherine was so vicious, so cruel, so vindictive, so humiliating and degrading— How could they imagine that this would be satisfying to anyone with anything approaching normal human emotions? (Could it bethatthey consulted withsome clique of supposed fans who actually enjoyed this?) What happened was that the horror they visited on Catherine hurt me, personally, because I identified with Catherine. Everything they did to her, they did to me. Everything they stole from her, they stole from me. Every insultand indignity they heaped on her, they heaped on me. I can never forget or forgive, until they take it back. Nothing less will do. This is not abstract, this is not philosophical, this is not rhetorical—this is personal. To the teeth, to the blood, to the death.

[snipped] As I remember, before 3rd season, B&TB fandom was divided between those who loved and/or admired Catherine, and those who hated and were jealous of her. I think most of those who profess to prefer Diana over Catherine are from the group who originally didn't like or want Catherine. Ithink these people only pretend to like Diana, to cover the fact that they always hated Catherine and wanted her out of the way. I don't think these people would blink an eye, or shed a tear, if Koslow wrote a script describing Diana's demise under a subway train.

Though' I do like and sympathize with Diana — I don't want to read any fan stories about her. I haven't read — or wanted to read — any stories that weren't about V&C together. I avoid 3rd season zines (there aren't too many of those — I wonder why?), and zines which mixed season with "classic" B&TB. I'm not interested in that. It's all baloney anyway. (May they all go bankrupt!)
[Sharon H]: I truly believe that, for the time being, Catherine's moving Below would cause a lot more problems than it would solve, and it wouldn't even be feasible until Vincent begins to lighten up a little bit. I admit I often, especially in the second half of season two, yelled "Get a REAL life!" at Vincent whenever he pushed Catherine away (my roommate thought it was hysterical)! If there was ever a character on this show who desperately needed therapy, it was Vincent. I really felt that his "hang-ups" became very unrealistic and, I have to admit, very unattractive, after a while and I think Catherine must have the patience of a saint.
[Joyce F K]: B&TB exists in my heart as a beautiful dream, a powerful and delightful fantasy which mirrored my deepest understandings and philosophies. I wore black on the twelfth of December; not to mourn Catherine's death, but to express sadness over the fact that her character was portrayed as having been cruelly tormented and murdered. Fictional character that she is, Catherine Chandler exists as a meaningful, important and inspirational force in my heart; she touches my soul. I might never have survived the grief and desolation that strangled me a year ago, I might never have been able to rise from the despair, if I had not resolved to pour my suffering onto the pages of a story. The crushing loss of Catherine and Vincent's bond, the devastating events of her final six months, and her hauntingly evil incarceration and eventual murder nearly consumed me. As many of us have done, we have created stories (poems, artwork and other material as well) that keep Catherine Chandler alive in our hearts. Once my first resolution story was written, I had a new reality safe in my embrace; nothing would be able to harm Catheirne again. She did not die; she is still alive. It was then that I became whole again and felt healed. Once the reality of Catherine Chandler's eventual return was assured, I found I was able to watch the remainder of the third season with a new sense of appreciation. It didn't matter what was shown each week; my reality ensured that, in the end, Vincent would be reunited with Catherine. It is this same reality that allows me to watch third season episodes, read third season stories, and see them as "pre-reunion" not "post-Catherine." Since that first resolution story, I've written three more. It was the only way that I could go. I had to protect her! So, season three is now just a prelude to Catherine's return, and as such holds no power of darkness over my heart; season three no longer represents Vincent's search for his destiny, it represents his reunion with Catherine, and therefore the fulfillment of his dream. There may never be a season four or even a movie; but in the pages of wonderful zines, on the canvases of the artists, in the smiles of friends there continues to be a beautiful, eternal dream.
[Sue G]: CarolCo is concerned that B&TB sales are dropping off. Let's suggest new merchandise that would interest us. Personally, I support items similar to the Phantom of the Opera: music boxes, fine silk scarves, official copies of Catherine's crystal and Vincent's rose in a pouch, a copy of Catherine's tunnel gown from "Orphans," and mature decorative items.
[Gwen L]: Rumor is getting to me that Republic Pictures is writing to people to stop trading in B&TB merchandise. As they aren't getting any feedback to their baby Beauty and the Beast products. Way back in October 1989, I wrote to them, asking for their permission and asking for how to go about doing everything correctly, e.g., giving them back so much percentage, etc and I didn't receive a reply. So I kept on sending letters. But they must have all fallen into Vincent's abyss! Then in February I sent even more mail, begging for permission as I wanted to launch a fanzine. I didn't know if I'd sell any, but I wanted to try. Still no reply I have copies of all my mail to Republic. Why now do they become interested? Have they finally woken up to the fact that the public loves B&TB? Or are they in trouble money-wise and need the small, even silly small amount of money made, which is immediately plowed back to pay costs, so no money is ever seen. It wil lbe interesting to watch how this situation develops. I, for one, can't wait. It would seem Gabriel is alive and well, now working at Republic Pictures (Eds' Note: Never, ever, write to any studio and ask for permission to produce a zine, Gwen; since all zines are — technically and intrinsically — illegal, and something most studios wink at, calling their attention to them only forces them to defend their copyright and come after us! I, for one, would rather they didn't know how to find us! I realize you did it in good faith, but even that can be dangerous; they don't really want money from us, nor do they care whether we make or lose money. Once they are aware ofour existence, they are legally obligated to tell us to stop. For now—knock on wood—the "cease and desist" movement seems to have stopped; let's hope it stays that way. —Barbara)
[Theresa A. P]:

I've talked to a lot of people who did and did not like the third season, but I keep hearing one line that makes me believe that much more of the rationale for many of us who didn't like the third season is being misunderstand or perhaps just being miscommunicated. I guess I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify my views.

If you buy the premise that Catherine is dead, there are only three romantic options open for Vincent. And since the romance of this show, in one way or another, is in my belief one of the primary elements that made this show a hit, I think it's fair to say that how the romantic element changes will have a dramatic impact on the fans, and hence the interest/viewership.

1. No More Romance for Vincent.

It's my opinion, but I don't think there are many fans who would remain fans if B&TB took this direction — it's just pointless. What percentage of zines involve romance as opposed to other primary story lines? I have at least 100 zines and continually get fliers. I don't know the exact number, but I'd be willing to bet the romance stories outnumber all others by four or five to one (at the very least). I think this is very representative of the fans' interest. Like I said in my first LOC, we may just as well watch The Incredible Hulk, and I don't see that as an acceptable option to most B&TB fans.

2. Vincent Finds Comfort With Another, Albeit Lesser, Love.

How exactly is this interesting? Sure, in real life we'd like to see everyone get another chance at happiness, but do we necessarily want to watch their stories on TV? Sounds pretty sad (at worst) and/or mundane (at best) to me, given what came before. I guess if you're primarily interested in an action/adventure with an "unusual" creature as its primary focus, this works out okay (Oops! We're back to the Incredible Hulk again, aren't we!)

3. Vincent Finds Another Epic Bonded Love

I despise this idea. All of Vincent's previous character development would be blown out of the water if this direction were pursued. And if Vincent changes this dramatically, count me out! We love him for what he is, not just his unique, outward appearance. The writers spent two years telling us there had never been and could never be anyone else for Vincent but Catherine. To change this is to start a new story altogether—one which I couldn't watch/accept as long as I wanted my original vision of B&TB to remain intact.

"I've heard that many of the 3S fans were very angered by the appearance of a button which proclaimed "Who says we have to give her a chance?" or something to that effect, in regards to Diana. I think this line simply states the logical conclusion to a very logical line of reasoning based on the 3 romantic options available and the fans original interests. It doesn't have anything to do with Diana Bennett per se. It would apply to any character or scenario that so drastically changed the original premise of the show! Where can I get one of those buttons?

I just cannot be one of those people who will take whatever the networks are willing to give us — my loyalty and interest are not that cheaply had. I'm not willing to accept any old B&TB as long as Vincent is in it. It's just not enough. For me, it's Beauty and the Beast, and that will always be Catherine and Vincent.

In my first LOC I said I didn't buy/read zines that contained 3S stories; the rationale stated above is why. To me, the two storylines are just not compatible without altering your perception of Vincent's character. Do you remember Catherine's eulogy for her father in "Orphans"? She told the story of the skin horse About how, when you've been truly loved, you become real. For me, this happened with the first two seasons of B&TB. And in a strange way, this applies to 3S stories too. The danger is that too much exposure will make it "real." And by this I don't mean loved or acceptable, but it would have to result in a revised (and, at least for me3, diminished view) of B&TB as a whole! I just can't do that.
[Theresa A. P]: Sure, if this were real life and if Catherine really died and there was no way for her to come back (yes, bad things do happen to good people) I wouldn't want Vincent to be alone for the rest of his life. But this is fiction. I want the happy ending. I don't want Catherine to be dead. I want with all my heart for Vincent to have his once and forever love. Being a Big Beautiful Woman in a fat-hating world, I empathize very deeply with Vincent. I know what it feels like to believe for years that you are unworthy to beloved. It took a lot of time and the efforts of some very special people to help me come to terms with myself and to accept myself as I am and to feel worthy of everything that every one else takes for granted. It's taken Vincent even longer because his physical differences are more striking. It takes a lot of love and a lot of repeating before he can believe it and accept it as his right as a man. When Vincent found his great love with Catherine in a symbolic way so did I. He deserves his happily ever after and I want him to have it as much as I would want it for myself.
[Lynette C]:

Certain rumors are making the rounds of our fandom, with regard to the "cease and desist" letters sent by Republic to Kay Brinkley and myself. So, since I know that no B&TB fan would deliberately slander another, I thought I'd take a moment to set the record straight.

One rumor states that Kay and I were held captive at the Family Channel and forced to reveal the contents of X-rated zines. (I'd love to meet whoever thought that one up!)

Another suggests that we revealed such subject matter (and the names and addresses of other fan-artists/authors) willingly, so that the Family Channel could pass that information on to Republic. (Thereby cutting our own throats, and justifying a comfortable "they deserve whatever they get" philosophy.)

A third rumor concerns the Family Channel's refusal to air the third season; and says that our Virginia Beach group, the Dream Seekers, was responsible. I'll tell you honestly, I wish we had been; I was worried about new fans being as hurt as I was by those episodes. Now that kind of wishful thinking may seem, to some people, as reprehensible as the act itself; but, in fact, it simply isn't. In truth, we are less than a dozen members, whatever positive energy (and noise) we're able to generate. We are not a block of religious fanatics intent on censoring B&TB, and most of us wrote to the Family Channel to protest their "editing" of the first two seasons.

Here are the facts: Kay Brinkley and Laurie W. have interviewed Mr. Weirich twice for our fan club publications Until the Night. I've never met the man, or even been on the grounds. Mr. Weirich was interested in the show's following but knew nothing about fan publications (and, frankly, had—and has—other important things to fill up his day). At no time did Kay or Laurie "inform" on other zine writers/artists or pass along copies of fan-fiction. The interviews were aimed at gathering information, not disseminating it.

During their most recent interview with Mr. Weirich, only weeks ago, he answered questions regarding the third season by stating that no decision had "yet" been made about how it was to be promoted; the assumption was that it would indeed by shown, and Kay and Laurie left with that understanding. The reverse-decision (which we heard about from a fan with better connections, in another state) was as much a surprise to us as to everyone else.

We're convinced that the Family Channel had nothing to do with the "cease and desist" letters generated by Republic. We do not choose to speculate on the source of any "anonymous tip" that might have resulted in such letters being sent (so far) only to Kay and me.

Kay Brinkley contacted Mr. Mills, in Republic Pictures Corporation's legal department. He recited chapter-and-verse of RPC's copyright contract with CarolCo, which has had (for three years) licensing rights for "various merchandising articles from the show." The bottom line is that if CarolCo complains of losing profits because of "unlicensed merchandise," then Republic is obligated to enforce that portion of their contract. And that will mean sending out "cease and desist" letters—at least. "Mr. Mills stated that Kay and I were not the only ones who would receive such letters; everyone who came to their attention would be sent them.

Kay mentioned the "reciprocity of fandom" — that in fact the fans are keeping Republic's (and CaroICo's) investment alive, and these very people would be expected to buy movie tickets when the film comes out. She mentioned Paramount's long-time policy of tolerating, even cultivating, its fandom (there have been Star Trek zines around for 25 years). She pointed out that general "cease and desist" mailings could threaten support for B&TB and eventually close down conventions all over the country.

"Mr. Mills wouldn't comment on Paramount's policies. He knows nothing about fandom, and did not know there were Beauty and the Beast conventions going on. The point is that, if they're going after "little fish" like Kay and me, then none of us should feel complacent. If Republic is indeed serious about enforcing this policy (and until that's certain, we must not overreact) (Edss. note: We agree whole-heartedly, Lynette.), all of us are threatened; third season and "classic" fans, zine producers and consumers alike. Ironically, I don't think they could have premeditated a better way to reunite the fandom. And if we don't come together over this then we are fools.

During their most recent interview with Mr. Weirich, only weeks ago, he answered questions regarding the third season by stating that no decision had it was almost worth receiving that miserable letter, just to be made aware of the support that B&TB friends can offer. I've led a reclusive kind of life, and the encouragement that came pouring in from all over the country (after I'd told only two people) was astonishing and completely unexpected. The information-network is incredible. The word "went out on the pipes," and in one day I heard from six different states. Prominent fans, people I'd never spoken to, popular B&TB artists, other zine writers, convention organizers, "classic" and third-season fans alike — all worried, but every one full of the idea that "we must hang together" (as one artist put it) "or we will assuredly hang separately!" — and it was so freely and naturally given. But then, my experience of this fandom has always been overwhelmingly positive.

I still believe that, for the most part, B&TB people are the nicest in the world. The show touched the best of us — and the best in us. I refuse to be made a pawn of the infighting that's split the fandom. I take straight forward approach to rumors and other attacks, and hope people will respect me for it even when they disagree. I take a positive stance because negativism does nothing but feed on itself. I also believe that people who spread unconfirmed rumors do more damage to themselves than to their "victims" ... And people who believe the worst of others, usually see themselves there.

To lend credence to these particular rumors would be to place myself in the peculiar position of "apologizing" for receiving a letter I found very upsetting, for personal and more important reasons.

As for the Dream Seekers ... We are an unstructured group of perhaps a dozen friends who meet every weekend to watch episodes and discuss them and the stories we've read, the movie we hope for, and the actors whose careers we now follow. We do not follow Robert's Rules of Order; we're there to try to keep the spirit of the show alive. We talk about the reading we've done — from the classics and poetry we've been inspired to read, to the X-rated zines we've enjoyed. We bring, letters from pen-pals all over the world, and plan get-togethers with other fan groups. We produce amateur stories, artwork, car signs, buttons — in fact, almost every one of us tries her hand at something, so we generate a tremendous amount of creative energy. We don't all agree, on the third season or anything else. But we laugh; we have a good time and replenish each other. Why else go there?

"When we part, there are hugs all around ... and we mean it. I've heard of meetings where people find little such joy in their fandom, but, frankly, I'd have to see it to believe it.

I think that if we aren't giving one another the same feeling the show used to give us, then we're doing something wrong. And if we get together just to spread gossip — especially about people we don't know — then we're off-course somehow, and we're being cheated of the fun we should be having.

Anyway, all lecturing aside, I thought people would like to get some facts from the horse's mouth instead of from its less reliable end. Keeping the Dream Alive.

v.2 n.2

Tunneltalk v.2 n.2 was published in April 1991 and contains 44 pages.

cover of v.2 n.2
  • this issue contained an extensive flyer for a proposed second Fan-Out (a con sponsored by two of this letterzine's editors) that had originally been planned as multi-media, but was now had a 100% Beauty and the Beast focus with the title "A Midsummer's Night Dream." See Fan-Out page for more.
  • this issue has a con report for Fan-Out, see that page
  • this issue has the short fiction by Helen Commodore called "Traditions"

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]: I have recently heard that an anonymous letter is allegedly being circulated (I have not seen this letter, nor actually heard of or from anyone who received it) which says, in effect, that Ron Perlman is not really going to appear at South of Oz, and that any true fan of B&TB would only attend our FAN-OUT convention in St. Louis. First of all, it has been confirmed that Ron will be at South of Oz, through his manager. There is no reason to doubt that. Secondly, I am of the opinion that an anonymous letter is one of the most cowardly acts possible, no matter what its intentions, and I would ask that if this letter actually exists, if someone is doing this because they think they are helping me, they are not, and I would like them to stop. I have made my feelings about South of Oz quite clear, I think, and I will not be attending it. However, I still believe — as I always have — in freedom of speech and movement, and in the basic intelligence of fans in general. We each must make up our own minds about any issue in fandom, and neither coercion nor emotional manipulation of fellow fans is acceptable to me. I keep hoping that we will be able to move past this kind of nonsense someday, and learn to keep our "eyes on the prize... and less on each other."
[Arwen B]: I believe you are in error in stating that Vincent did not desire Catherine. Please rewatch the pilot, paying particular attention to the way he reacts when she embraces him at her basement entrance. His expression, breathing, and posture strongly convey ecstasy, rapture, pleasure and pain mingling. Platonic friendships do wot stir that depth of passion. As to not being a "true" fan if we don't love all of an actor's work—what an insult to the man. An actor (as any artist) constantly strives to perfect his mastery of the craft, works hard to make each role richer and deeper than the last. To say that he just has to show up in anything to win approval is to denigrate his effort. It's like saying to an actress; "Don't bother to learn your lines, honey, I'm just here to watch your tits jiggle."
[Arwen B]: I read Beth Blighton's essay with great interest. I'd be a whole lot more impressed by it if Beth hadn't tried to pressure an editor into censoring my review of Black Cover. Perhaps she should reread that very good warning and vow to practice what she preaches.
[Arwen B]: As to Vincent being worth any sacrifice — well let's just put the shoe on the other foot, shall we? (just to avoid sexism.) If Vincent REALLY loved Catherine, why didn't he let Peter Alcott and her arrange for some discreet plastic surgery and dental work? (Don't throw things yet — hear me out!) If he got his teeth and claws clipped, his hair cut, and his nose bobbed he could experience "Above" and really share Catherine's life! If he shouldn't be expected to distort his whole life to "prove" his love for her, then neither should she.
[Kathryn C]: Vincent also needed to be defined, once and for all as something other than a man/beast. That would have helped Vincent with his personal doubts and given Catherine's uncertainties a rest. For myself, I never saw Vincent as anything but human, even in his rages. I thought of Vincent as a throwback to an ancient Scandinavian berserker warrior, capable of working himself into a fury in order to kill, but suffering afterwards for it. (I would like to know why the writers insisted on putting Vincent in situations where, in order to save Catherine, he had to kill someone. I know that I wanted to see Vincent in more situations where he could use his intelligence to rescue Catherine or others that he loved.) Human beings are, after all, capable of some fantastic things — good as well as bad—including empathy, kindness, and creativity. I think we're always underestimating ourselves. So why not call Vincent human? But I do wish the writers had simplified things. They could have made Vincent an alien, if they didn't want to make him human. People seem to have fewer hang-ups about aliens than they do about animals. Certainly, a love affair with an alien should have caused less trouble with the censors. What does anyone else think?
[Kathryn C]: To treat Season 3 as a dream would be the simplest solution. We could all start over, plug up the holes and fix the problems — in the show and in fandom — and get things right this rime, it would require organization and careful planning, but I see it as possible. The sticking point would be to ask what the writers and producers are willing to do, and although I remain hopeful, I have heard nothing definite. I would gladly write to Ron Koslow if it would do any good, but I'm not sure where he stands on the issue of returning to a story he helped trash. Does anyone have a clue?
[Joan C]:

I wish that what I had to say, next, was on as cheerful a note as the convention. We all know that there is a rift in fandom. It began in December of 1989, with the beginning of the third season, and has grown to enormous proportions since then. Put simply, I don't believe this rift will ever heal itself. What we have instead arc two separate and distinct fandoms; "Classic" and "Third Season," and in my mind "never the twain shall meet." What I would like to see happen now is for the two fandoms to coexist in peace, without constant competition (and angry words, and mudslinging, and lambasting) from one another. I believe the key here is the word "separate."

In the future, I would like to see all zines, conventions, newsletters, letterzines, etc. announce their intent of being either "Classic-" or "Third Season"-oriented. I believe this would help to minimize the problem. It is hard to receive so many fliers for literature in the mail which advertise a mixture of all three seasons. Most people simply don't want a mixture of all three seasons. If they do, they could easily purchase both types of zines. And if you or I want to go to a convention, the first thing we do, nowadays is check out the hosts and the fandom guest list, to see how many are either classic or third season personalities.

You may disagree with me, Barbara, Sharon, and Vicky, but I believe even letterzines should be either/or. I've just read too many LOCs that tend to get too personal, and hurtful things are said on both sides. I know that this amounts essentially to US and THEM, but until the hostilities die down on both sides, I can't think of a better way. (I'm sorry, Joan, but I can't think of a worse way to deal with a fellow human being than to say, "You stay on your side of the fence and I'll stay on mine and that way we don't ever have to deal with each other." Yes, people from both persuasions have been hurt/angry/attacked/slandered and God knows what else, and the idea of separating us sounds tempting, but to me, that's giving upon the bask goodness of human nature that I still believe 99% of us possess. We must all be ready, willing, and able to express our own opinions and to allow the expression of other's opinions—otherwise, how can we call ourselves adults, let alone human beings? True, it's not always done gently in this fandom, but part of the human condition is being hurt, hurting others, forgiving, and asking to be forgiven. And another part is caring. Can't we all do that for each other, instead of giving up? —Barbara)

There is one other type of fiction zine that deserves mentioning. These are the "alternate" third season zines. These, I believe, should be included under classic if they bring back Catherine, even if they follow the third season very closely. Thanks for letting me have my say.
[Joan C]:

In her letter, Sharon states with emphasis, "I could NEVER accept lovemaking between V&C unless V is human." I guess, in keeping with Sharon's point of view, when Dr. Peter Alcott receives the news that Vincent's blood sample is definitely not human, Catherine should turn to Vincent and say something to the effect of, "I'm sorry, Vincent, but due to the fact that you are genetically on a par with Rin Tin Tin, this relationship can progress no further. I'm afraid if you need love, you will have to find it with someone of your own kind (species). You might try the Bronx Zoo."

What Sharon is forgetting is that WHATEVER Vincent may be (and he truly doesn't know what he is), he is—most assuredly and above all else — A SENTIENT BEING. ("I think, therefore I am.") Not only is Vincent capable of thought, but he has a conscience, and is capable of deep feelings, including those of love. If I remember correctly, there is a STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode that delves into Data's right to be treated with dignity, and respect, as are other thinking, feeling, intelligent beings. In fact, his sentience is proven, in part, by the fact that he had an intimate relationship with a female crew member—a human being.

Sharon has said that if Vincent were not all human (and he isn't), then loving him would be a perversion. Sadly, Vincent himself agrees with Sharon's assessment. He believes that he is less than human (a beast, an animal), and definitely not deserving of love (remember "A Fair and Perfect Knight").

This brings me to the other letter in TT Vol.1 #11 that I wanted to respond to. [Valerie W], I agree with you almost 100%! The only sentence I disagree with — "He doesn't have a real sense of his own worth, as a human being." — involves your choice of words more than anything else. I would simply replace the term "human being" with "person." No one can deny that Vincent is a person, just as Spock and Data from STAR TREK are people. In my mind, all three are MORE than human, as opposed to less. However, Spock and Data have a much clearer sense of their own worth (perhaps because they know about their origins) than does Vincent.

[snipped]

(Joan — I'm afraid there is a hole in this line of reasoning concerning "human being" versus "person," since the dictionary definition of human reads "a man" and the dictionary definition of person reads "a human being." Since they both mean the same thing, I'm not sure what you're get ling at, Vincent is obviously not strictly homo sapiens, but, yes, he is sentient. Idon't feel the need to carry the discussion much further than that, other than to speculate, for curiosity's sake,on his actual parentage. It's who he is that counts to me, not what he is. Also, Spock was definitely NEVER a person with a sense of his own worth (at least not until one or two of the movies). That was his biggest demon and the chief instrument of his self-torture — that he was never fully Vulcan or human, and hesuffered greatly because ofthat insecurity. The similarities in that area between Spock and Vincent were what attracted me to Vincent in the first place, but I would be hard put to say which of the two was the more neurotic! — Barbara)
[Ellie J]: Constantia said that she realized that she "should make greater allowances than I had.. . thought necessary for statements made by people suffering under the burden of grief over the death of a fictional character." I appreciate the sentiment, but object to the way it's put. Consider, Constantia, how you, and all of the others who can't understand why some of us feel such deep grief over the death of a "fictional character," would feel if Vincent had been captured and killed off with no human dignity by Edward Hughes, the anthropologist in "Nor Iron Bars A Cage." This scenario would be no less dignified than was Catherine's death. Then, after Vincent had been disposed of, they brought on Chewbacca, the Wookie from Star Wars as a replacement? I mean, he's kind, loyal and protective of his friends, right? Of course, that would be intolerable. I know that. Vincent is not dispensable. Well, neither is Catherine Chandler.
[Ellie J]:

The only canon that I had heard of up to now is the literary canon -— the body of works which are "important/worth while" reading. Critics are the ones who choose what is canon aren't critics, basically, fans? The critics not only CHOOSE what is canon, but they sometimes ALTER an author's finished work — as some fans are doing by bringing Catherine back. As an example I'd like to cite one of fandom's most famous literary works, also in the literary canon: Great Expectations, "After seeing the first 'unhappy' ending in proof, Dickens wrote another (more hopeful ending] and authorized ONLY it. Later editors have published the first version as having more aesthetic integrity, but Dickens never authorized it." Many of us who read the Starlog articles know that Ron Koslow and George Martin intended quite a different S3 than the one filmed. Yes, they've only authorized the one filmed, but we as fans, and critics, are in good company when we choose the B&TB ending that we feel has more aesthetic integrity.

[Ellie J]:

Whether Vincent is man, beast or something in-between? I think it was Mark Twain who said that man is set apart from beasts because he is the only animal who can feel embarrassment. Vincent definitely fits into that category. I agree with you that Vincent is not a beast — not half-lion or whatever — maybe an alien, but I think that mostly he is a magical/ mythical being (remember what Kristopher says about him — "What storybook did he walk out of?").... His origins have no explanation; at least, not an earthly one. Perhaps he was "sent" (please don't ask by whom — I don't know) to ensure the success of the Tunnel world sanctuary, to help guide Mouse, to inspire Father, to help Catherine realize her potential... look at "Remember Love," and how their world would have been, if he had not existed. Saying that Vincent is half-lion is too simplistic. If Vincent is not human, it's because he's more than human, not less.

[Ellie J]:

I wanted to throttle Father when he tells Vincent that part of him is a man. When I first began watching the show Father was right up there as a favorite character (I yearned for just such a father), but the more episodes I see, the more I realize that he is not the perfect father that I thought him to be: he was horrible to Devin, and he's much of the reason why Vincent is so tormented. For example, I can't quite understand why Father sent Lisa away. For her protection? Did he really think Vincent would hurt her again? For Vincent's protection? If so, by guarding his son against teenage heartache, he caused years of self-doubt and agony. The situation called for communication, not the secretiveness and shame with which Father seems to have handled it.

[Sue K]: I hadn't realized how much I truly relied on TT to keep me in touch with fandom as a whole — how much I looked forward to it — until three months had passed without it.Though I write to many individual fans, TT provides a service that cannot easily be replaced. I'm glad to see that things are back on track.
[Sue K]: At this point in time, I am looking forward to attending the International B&TB Convention in New York this May — in fact, by the time this LOC is printed, it may have already happened. I look forward to seeing many friends, some of whom I've never met, and to exhibiting and hopefully selling a number of pieces of original artwork. For various reasons, this is the only B&TB convention I am definitely planning to attend this year, though things may change later on. With any luck, next year will bring a consolidation of efforts behind one convention that can represent everyone, with a balanced guest list and neutral viewpoint. Thank you, Barbara, for expressing so well my reason for not attending "South of Oz." It is not an easy topic to discuss, as it is easy to sound accusing and mean-spirited. But I'm afraid, and many of my friends, reached the same conclusion about the "official" fan-run convention of 1991, quite independently of any rumors.
[Sue K]: How have others recovered from "Season Three Depression." Well, what worked for me was talking about it — endlessly, at times — with like-minded friends, writing LOCs for letterzines, and drawing Catherine so many rimes that it was no longer possible for me to think of her as anything but alive and well. Though I was told several times in letterzines that I and my friends should shut up and stop belaboring the point, I found that that was the ONLY way to work through my powerful feelings about Season Three, and led to my ultimate rejection of it.
[Sue K]:

The big "to-do" lately has been the reaction to Black Cover, both in this and in other letterzines. I have not read the zine (nor do I intend to), but I've heard enough about it, in detail, that I feel I can speak on this topic. On the one hand, I believe it is the right of the author and publisher of this zine to produce it. No matter how much I may dislike the topics presented (and, I assure you, I do), I have no right to tell this individual what she may or may not write and publish. Provided she is not breaking any laws, my only influence on her decision to publish must be my willingness or unwillingness to buy the product.

This is where there's a lot of confusion rampant in this fandom. Censorship comes from the word "censor," defined as "a person authorized to examine letters, books, films, etc. and remove or ban anything regarded as harmful. To subject to such examination or removal." Have we such an individual in our fandom, who is set up to ban materials? We do not. ) The choice of an individual to purchase or NOT to purchase a product is NOT CENSORSHIP. My refusal to buy a specific item, and my explanation of reasons for this decision, does not mean I have any power to ban the product. It means that I am taking advantage of my freedom in this society to support what l choose to support, to buy what l choose to buy, and let the laws of supply and demand take their course. If I refuse to buy zine "A" and write to theauthors to explain my reasons, I am not committing "censorship." Censorship is some individual or body who HAS THE POWER to actively prevent something from being written, published or distributed. If a zine doesn't sell, don't blame me. Take a look at what you're writing, and wonder why it isn't popular. Then make your own decision about whether or not to proceed. Ultimately, in fandom, it is the choice of the producer alone; no potential audience or consumer can prevent publication. When I read editorials saying "I will not be censored" in response to criticism (admittedly sometimes quite rude), if s really beside the point. In fandom, the censorship is self-censorship only. No one else has that power.
[Sue K]: I share John's dislike of censorship in general. Yet, even I have my "point of no return" — including sexual violence against women and child pornography. I would cheerfully ban both with no regrets. But that's my cut-off point. (Everyone's is different, which is why censorship is dangerous. WHO will decide what is okay, what is not?) I have no problem with gay-related materials or lifestyles—one of my dearest friends is lesbian, and two of my favorite co-workers were gay men. (That old cliche— right? But true). However, I know well that there are elements of this fandom, as well as society in general, that regard such "aberrations" with horror. Because we all feel so differently, ifs hard to impose standards of morality beyond the basics most of us agree on (murder, rape, etc.). Whew, this is too complicated to discuss here.
[Sue K]: The topic of Vincent's humanity. As I said last time, his being not entirely human is not an issue or concern for me, but clearly it is for others. I don't think any of us REALLY believes Vincent is "part animal." Some of us may choose to see him as something "other," or "otherworldly," or simply mysterious,butIdon'tthinkalot of us think of him as literally carrying lion genes. However, even if he did, I would never see it as "bestiality" for Catherine and Vincent to have sexual relations. It just wouldn't bother me. Regardless of Vincent's genes, his intellect and soul are "human." His being 100% human is not an issue for me at all.
[Sue K]:

I figured I'd write once more to TT to address one of the specific controversial issues floating around in fandom. Speaking frankly on this issue is a bit risky, but I think the time has come.

This issue is "South of Oz." Rumors and counter-rumors fly hither and thither about whether "South of Oz" is, or is not, a "Third Season Convention." As one of those who has deliberately chosen not to attend the convention, for reasons that have nothing to do with my financial situation (and quite in spite of Ron Perlman's appearance), I'd like to give my point of view about this.

No "rumor" convinced me one way or another. I made up my own mind. (It doesn't take any fan leader to get me to have an opinion, believe me.) Hooked at the fan guest list, and saw the names of several individuals who had many times stated, publicly, definite viewpoints about Season Three and those fans who "dared" not to support it — i.e., a preference for the former and contempt for the latter. This is not my imagination,asrve seen these words of condemnation in print. When "South of Oz" chose these specific guests at the expense of any to balance out the viewpoint, it gave me the feeling that this convention supported views and attitudes I could not agree with. Whether or not anyone associated with "South of Oz" loved Season Three wasn't ever the issue for me; what WAS the issue was that most of the fan guests had gone on record belittling those, such as myself, who could not support Season Three — we, the so-called "traitors" and "nay-sayers" of fandom. While I saw a guest list that very firmly supported this point of view — accept or be labeled "traitor" — I saw no guests who represented the point of view of fans who prefer B&TB in its "classic" form. Let's face it—this fandom is divided. NO amount of wishful thinking will change that. But the way to get fandom back together is NOT to have a con and and invite guests only of one viewpoint, ignoring anyone of the opposing viewpoint. Someone recently said to me that they thought it would be impossible from now on to have a convention that was NOT swinging one way or another "Classic" or 'Third Season/accept all." That may be true. But it certainly can't be achieved if no attempt is made to balance the guest list, and absolutely no acknowledgement is made of the problem to begin with.

I bear no ill will towards the planners and organizers of "South of Oz," but I would ask them to really consider WHY people are unhappy with matters. If "South of Oz" is truly impartial, the guest list should reflect this. It does not. I speak not only for myself, but many friends who feel exactly as I do. I think our concerns are valid. Even if "South of Oz" gets more people than any other convention this year, there will still be many of us who will not attend for the reasons I've stated. I don't believe "South of Oz" is intended as a "Third Season Con" in programming or content, but I do believe that the choice of fan guests represents an emphasis and viewpoint I cannot support.

It would be really nice if all wounds would heal of their own accord. But if you don't acknowledge that a wound is there, it can fester and become something much more serious. If anyone has any doubts about the anger still generated in this fandom, I recommend a glance at the Feb./March issue of Pipeline. To pretend a given problem is merely the result of "rumor mongering" by some hateful group of fans, or some kind of smear campaign targeted against one point of view, is dangerously simplistic. By covering up the real problem, things don't improve; the problem just gets worse. Everyone wants to believe that people in this fandom are universally kind and acknowledge that than to pretend that everything is "sweetness and light."

A friend of mine, who likes some elements of "Classic" and "Third Season" B&TB said: "There will always be that chasm in B&TB fandom. It will never go away. I think by now people know what they want to see and gravitate towards those who believe the same. I don't consider this a bad thing." Nor do I but for any fan event, club or publication that hopes to have all views represented, an across-the-board balance of guests, officers, representatives and/or viewpoints MUST be present.
[Rita P]:

As many of you may know, I'm firmly in the classic B&TB camp. I refused to even view the 3 previously unseen episodes shown by CBS over the summer. I had no desire to put myself through the pain and frustration one more time. In fact, although I've been devouring the classic zines (so many zines—so little money), I haven't even dragged out my classic tapes or watched much of the Family Channel episodes. Yet if the powers-that-be would choose to put out anything of classic B&TB: tapes, books, etc., I would still avidlybuy them. By the way, I also refused to buy TLBL and the 91 calendar. I can't believe that Republic, CarolCo, Koslow, etc, with the volume of mail they receive from the fans, cannot understand what will and will not sell, yet on this they seem to be myopic:. If, as rumored, they might decide to combine a classic episode with a third-season episode on tape, I'd probably take one of 2 options. Either refusing to buy it, or take the chance of taking the tape apart, snipping out the offending third season episode, and mailing it back to Republic. At least for the first tape I'd probably use the second option, but if they continue to combine classic and third season, then I'd once more vote with my wallet.

As to the movie, I have to agree with Elaine Landman's letter; if they choose to continue the third season storyline or dwell too heavily on third season, even if they return Catherine, they are putting themselves at great risk of another failure. And if they fail this time, it could very well be another twenty years before we see B&TB again. {And if that happens, like Dark Shadows, we'll be seeing other actors playing the parts.) I firmly believe, just like the disputed Nielsens, the viewpoints of this fandom represent multi-millions who tuned into B&TB worldwide but are not actively involved in fandom. If at least 50% areclassic fans and will accept nothing else (I believe the figure is really closer to 70 or 80%), why would any moviemaker want to cut their potential audience by at least half? And just like Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Batman, and the Star Trek movies, a lot of revenue will come from repeat business, tape, soundtrack and book sales. In my mind, Vincent and Catherine are identified with the series by the general public (just like Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the original Star Trek), And 46 hours of V&C vs 10 hours of Diana being repeated over the years will only reinforce this. I also found it interesting to hear from some new fans in the recent TTs who have found the show through the Family Channel. Since the Family Channel has apparently decided not to air third season, it makes you wonder how many new viewers have tuned in and know very little of what occurred third season.

Until they, as Ron so aptly put it, "reunite the lovers," I firmly believe they have screwed themselves out of a lot of potential B&TB revenue. There is a market for original novels, calendars, tapes, etc., but not as long as the storyline remains in a state of highly disliked limbo. They need to go back to the innocence and hope of the first season, when they were at their zenith, and try to recreate the magic and fantasy once more. If Republic were smart—and up till now I hope someone has been keeping sharp objects and loaded guns away from the decision-makers — they would bury the third season episodes until the movie came out, and do a lot of damage - control with the fans, hinting that the lovers will be reunited. Heck, if it went big screen, we nutty fans would probably pay good money just to see the trailers.

If they are going to pursue the "cease and desist" orders, they are only illustrating that they don't understand that whatever the fans are putting out is filling a vacuum they created with third season, or failed to fill by making serious, concerted merchandising efforts. Of course, now they can never hope to make everyone happy; the best they can hope for is to get as many of the original and new viewers into a theater or in front of their small screen as possible.

[Rita P]: By the way—I enjoyed Dark Shadows, and I never saw the original. I think as far as courage to portray passion between a human woman and man who is not quite human, we were definitely on the wrong network. It was great to see former B&TB writers Linda Campanelli and Shelly Moore listed as executive story editors. They are two big reasons I'm tuned in. It only confirms that these ladies know how to write and know their audience. (Amen to that! -B.) I know DS has little hope of making the fall schedule, another victim of the "Friday abyss." It's interesting to note that Quantum Leap couldn't even do as good as B&TB in our old time slot, and now once more on Wednesday's it's winning its time period and was renewed. I admire the stance Bellisario took with NBC to get QL moved. Also, l admire the fact that neither Bellisario nor NBC seemed to panic and demand a drastic retooling of QL with more action, violence, body counts, etc. QL remains a light-hearted drama that leaves the viewer with hope and good feelings each week. Just what BA&T once provided. I'll always consider what happened to B&TB a sellout by the producers of the show and of the fans. And yes, I'm another fan who has no faith in Ron Koslow producing it I know if he's of a mind he could write and produce a masterpiece. But anyone who can make the statement that TLBL "stood on its own up there.. . with some of the great events of television" has me wondering if he understands what we saw in the show, or is he still on his own dark-vision-quest? I'm glad Alex Gansa confirmed about TLBL what many of us suspected the night we saw. Much of it was a reflection of their anger at Linda. Nota very noble human emotion. How can Koslow delude himself that a "payback" was a great media event?
[Rita P]:

We certainly know the good and great things B&TB inspired in all of us. I'm not saying the dark side of B&TB will inspire us to commit murder, but some moments at the end of second season and much of third season I found deeply disturbing. The message to women; don't bother trying to rise above being a victim, for you will always be a victim to evil men. The violence of words provoking Vincent to commit seeming parricide, and the police officer Diana to commit cold-blooded murder. Perhaps I'll be forever tilting at windmills, but Iheld thisshowtoa high standard,and the above is certainly another big reason I remain bitter about how a network and its own creator allowed it to be degraded and debased. I don't define my heroines, and companions to my heroes, the same way as Howard Gordon. "By killing this guy, it certainly made her a worthy prospective lover for Vincent. Her kind of no-shit attitude and incredible pragmatism defined her character in a way. It was a kind of deepening that we needed to make her a worthy companion." Gee, Howard, what happened to goodness, compassion, warmth, loyalty, courage arid a love and bond that was eternal?

Forgive the vitriol; because I've been so busy I haven't had the time to write any letterzines lately, so it has been building again to the point where I had to turn it loose, beast-out so to speak. For this fan, the bitterness over what was done to B&TB and to the fans will remain until the "lovers are reunited."

[Sharon W]:

Which brings me to Diana. I read something in a letterzine about the Creation Con in Sacramento last November. They were having a slide show and Jo Anderson's face came on; everyone booed. Then they asked, "If Diana was in a storyline where Vincent and Catherine's relationship had never been intruded upon, would you like her?" Well, the overall consensus was "Yes, sure, but not when they're trying to shove her down our throats as a replacement for Catherine."

That's how I felt. I was fortunate enough to have the entire third season in my hands as I wrote The Shadow Knight. I was going to end it before Catherine's rescue, because I thought that the arc would end with that... I really did, foolish moi! I kept thinking Vincent would find out she was really alive, but unobtainable or something. Then came "Reckoning" and "Legacies"; no more arc, no attempt to bring Catherine back, and I dove into the last story in TSK, which, for me, brought her back. I cannot conceive of even watching third season unless I knew in my own mind that Catherine lived.

Well, having this mind-set, I could enjoy playing with the Diana character. After all, isn't she the ultimate "Mary Sue" character? She's there to help our hero find his baby, to save his life, and — I thought —to bring Catherine back. She's us, our surrogate, solving all the problems. (In case anyone is unfamiliar with the term, "Mary-Sue" is a genre of story long used in STAR TREK fandom; it denotes a female character (A direct cover for the wish-fulfillment of the author, who is almost always super-intelligent and capable, but also super-feminine and beautiful, who helps the hero save the day/saves the hero, and thereby earns his undying gratitude, admiration, respect, and love/lust. It has been suggested before in these pages, by Diane Davis, that this is exactly what the writers might have had in mind—to create a character that would—supposedly—appeal to us because we could imagine ourselves to be her more easily than we could Catherine. Guess again, guys. I've also been a long-time sympathizer with the ravages of testosterone poisoning, Sharon; they really ought to have a telethon for the poor things! -Barbara) Then the writers did the unthinkable — there's that testosterone poisoning at work again. They decided that Catherine was really dead, and Vincent would form a bond with Diana! I mean, it was right there in the first draft of the script, and as I read it, I felt as if someone had slimed me. What kind of eternal romance ends in tragedy so that one of the lovers can go off and have another eternal romance?

Now, if Vincent were real, and this woman had gone to all this trouble and risk to save him and his son, he would certainly be grateful, and probably, being the big-hearted guy he is, he would care for her, but love? Only as a friend. I'm sorry, I simply cannot stomach the idea of Vincent being "in love" with anyone but Catherine. I know that there are people out there who feel exactly the opposite, and I feel that their opinions are just as valid as mine, as long as they don't try to force-feed them to me. I think that's what the whole problem with fandom has been. People don't feel validated unless everyone sees things their way. Unfortunately this very immature reaction to disagreement has lead to back-stabbing, rumors about fans by fans, and some rather strange pieces in print as people try to vindicate their point of view.

People shouldn't have to defend themselves like this. It's not a war. We have really no control over what Koslow has decided to do with the movie. If you feel strongly, write the man a short, honest, kind letter. His address is no secret. It's: Ron Koslow, c/o Sea Change Productions, ABC Television, 2020 Avenue of the Stars, Fifth Floor, Century City, CA, 90067.

Please, don't write 'hate mail.' It will just get trashed and turn him off from reading the constructive mail. Give the guy a break (he is a sufferer of what I hope was only temporary testosterone poisoning, after all). (I agree, Sharon, absolutely—there is no reason for anyone to write hate mail, ever. I don't like what Koslow has done, and I don't trust him, but I'll never get him to even consider my point of view if l abuse him. Calm, rational reasoning is the only way to get a point across. -Barbara)

We must nurture and protect the men in our midst (like Ron Perlman, Armin Shimerman, Ritch Brinkley — you get the picture — who do not suffer from the terrible TP plague, and let them know that we are out here, too. Not only them, but husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers, grandfathers, and may be even the kid next door who has shown dedicated interest in B&TB. Reinforce that positive behavior, bake a cake, give 'em a wink, whatever, let them know you appreciate their approach to the opposite sex in general and to the show's "kinder, gentler" episodes in particular.

v.2 n.3

Tunneltalk v.2 n.3 was published in May 1991 and contains 52 pages.

covers of v.2 n.1

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]:

I'm afraid I do have one piece of slghtly disappointing news. As many of you know, Vicky and I, and our partner Marion, have been planning a multi-media convention in St. Louis this summer, which we recently turned into an all-B&TB con. However — given the other B&TB and related events already scheduled for this summer (South of Oz and Ron's appearance in Chicago two weeks before it), not to mention MasqueCon this fall—we discovered that most people had already made their travel plans and were not able to respond to our con as they might have liked.

At the same time, we are very proud of the con we had planned, and felt that it offered fans a wonderful weekend, so . . . the only logical alternative seemed to move the convention to a new date, next year. So far as we know, there is only one other major B&TB con next summer (TUNNELCon 2), so hopefully people will not have to make a choice, but will be able to plan ahead for both if they want to, or decide far in advance which con they will attend. Right now, we are looking at August as the time for our con, and we are hoping to offer the exact same lineup and events as we had planned for this year, if Jay, Ritch, Armin, Linda, and Shelly are willing and available. As always, we will let you know details s here in TT as soon as we have them, and we hope that many of you will be there with us.
[Barbara S]: We're all anxious for real, substantive news [of Beauty and the Beast and future plans], and it just doesn't seem to be forthcoming. This is definitely the down-side of being a fan—we're always waiting, the fate of our beloved characters in the hands of others who don't seem to understand how we feel. I know that / feel discouraged sometimes, but tha t's the time when we need most to remember that we are thekeepers of the dream, and that we are the only way it will survive. Vincent and Catherine's dream depends on us to survive. It doesn't matter if the movie is made and if sa roaring (pardon the pun) success and the whole world suddenly decides that they love B&TB—we will still be the heart of the dream, the ones who kept it alive forothers to discover. I think Lynette put it so well in her letter this issue—"eyes on the prize."
[Lynette C]:

With the news of Ron Perlman's agreement to appear at South of Oz (lighting up phone lines across the country), it occurred to me belatedly that "classic" fans like me, who are now considering attending, may find themselves taken to task by others who very decidedly aren't. ... Or misunderstood by others, with whom we have in the past disagreed.

My life is so changed since Beauty and the Beast came into it. Before, as a recluse, I never had to think about peer pressure or "public opinion." But I worried about it all day yesterday. "Oh, great," I kept thinking. "Yet another way to divide the fandom!" The dilemma here would seem to be whether or not we ha ve the courage of our convictions. Or, failing that, the courage of other people's. The rumor (true or false) has been that South of Oz is a third-season convention.
 My feeling is that if I go, it won't be that way for long.

As for the contention that Ron Perlman is somehow betraying "classic" fans, or sanctioning the "enemy camp" by this "defection"... Mr. Perlman seems to be a man of dignity and intelligence. I trust in his integrity and thafs a feeling which, frankly, I don't of ten experience. I'd be embarrassed to think he was aware of this infighting. I can't imagine that he'd lower himself to give one "side" or the other his blessing— or even that he's very much aware of the problem. And he shouldn't be. I believe strongly that our stars shouldn't be asked (or led) to take sides; that they should be made neither the pawns nor the issue of this division. If this happens, they will tire of us all very quickly.

Ron Perlman has maintained a discreet and classy distance from all of this, and I don't "boycott" him. Period.

And the "warfare" itself simply isn't all-important. To see it that way indicates a certain "tunnel-vision" (forgive me) and a smallness of spirit. I've said this before; if we aren't giving one another the feeling the show used to give us, then we've gotten off the track somehow, and someone's cheating us of the fun we should be having. Becoming too mired in rumors and warfare means forgetting the love (V&C's) and the dream that brought us together. I can't speak for anyone else, but for myself, I refuse to be distracted from that deliberate focus. Fandom is wonderful—most of it—but it came to me after the dream that changed my life. Everything else springs from there.

Everyone who knows me, knows I'm a bedrock "classic" fan. Certainly my zine Promises to Keep speaks for itself. In my universe, the third season didn't happen — not to Vincent and Catherine. (Unfortunately it still happened to me, but thaf s another story.) Yet I have friends — or at least friendly acquaintances — in both "camps." While I'm not open-minded about third season, I am open-minded about people and their views. I expect nothing less in return.

I will not be divided, diverted, classified or redefined at another's whim. As an adult, I won't be told wherel can and cannot go,orwhatIshould door feel or be once I get there. If I decide to go to a convention — this one or any other — it's done in support of the dream; past, present and future. I go to be with people who'veproven, overall, to be caring, committed, funny and friendly — whether or not their politics agree precisely with my own. I always have a good time—and I try to make sure everyone around me has fun too.

But there's a more important practical consideration in all this. If "classic" and "third season" factions are determined to remain divided, then "classic" fans must maintain their visibility — and in the most positive (not negative) ways. We must maintain their visibility — and in the most positive (not negative) ways. We must continue to be represented at conventions. It's the only way to be heard. Boycotting has its uses, and I respect those who act on the courage of those convictions. Yet by our absence, we in effect relinquish such gatherings to the other "small but (equally) vocal" following. This means that our needs, with regard to the hoped-for movie, may not be heard, recognized, or ultimately, satisfied ... and we'd have no one to blamebut ourselves. I refuse to be relegated to that sort of obscurity; I'm just not that kind of wallflower any more. More importantly, as a dreamer, I won't surrender the fate of Vincent and Catherine to others' perhaps-less-tender mercies.

This isn't about us. If s about them, remember? And it's about working together toward at least one common goal — a feature film.

Eyes on the prize, guys ... and less on each other. Eyes on the prize.
[Constantia]:

I want to publicly extend my sincerest admiration and applause to Judith Ley Page for the courage and strength she displayed in her letter in TT Vol. 1 #12. Despite being deeply saddened by events portrayed in TLBL, she has actually sat down and searched for (and found much of) what is worthwhile in B&TB's third season.Sheis willing to admit the worth of the third season despite its sadness, and I thinkthaf s really great and admirable and refreshing, considering the number of letters I've read from people who refuse to give some 3rd season episodes even a first viewing.

Judith doesn't accuse the 3rd season writers of being sympathetic to the cruelty they portrayed, as some have done, and she does not dismiss the entire 3rd season as completely worthless because much of it was painful and sad.

A lot of valuable experiences in this world are painful to endure, and I think that for us, B&TB's 3rd season is one of them. Like so many fans, I look for more than just simple entertainment in B&TB. And while the first two seasons certainly did deliver more than simple diversion, for me it was the trilogy and the 3rd season which provided the deepest food for thought. Hooray for Judith for overcoming her fears and dipping into that dish! I think she is all the richer for embracing the joy and beauty of the first two seasons as well as learning from the darkness of the third.

[Constantia]:

I'd like to respond to appeared in TT Vol. 2, #1, and was penned by [Gloria D]. First, I want to thank Gloria for ofering the first answer I've seen tomy question about why anti-third season fans are writing to the Family Channel to keep the third season off the air, rather than simply not watching, and leaving the rest of us to our choice of viewing. Gloria responded that she thought the Family Channel would pas those letters on to Republic and /or Ron Koslow,and she was hoping that "somebody, somewhere, sometime" would "the the message!" Well, Gloria, to that I can't help but reply that you stand a better chance of these people getting your mesasge if you write directly to them instead of hoping the Family Channel will take the time out to forward your mail. Furthermore, such an approach would insure that the people concerned with the upcoming film would get your message WITHOUT your endangering my chances of watching all the episodes I'd like to see, or new fans' chance to see the 3rd season and make up their own minds about it, instead of relying on conflicting second-hand information from other fans.

All that aside, what really upset me a great deal about Gloria's letter was the following: "I avoid 3rd season zines ... and zines that mix the 3rd season with 'classic' B&TB, I'm not interested in that. If s all baloney anyway. (May they all go bankrupt!)" First, such casual and facile dismissal of others' work as "baloney" simply because if s not her taste is pretty callous and non-constructive. I'd like to quote Sharon Himmanen's letter in TTVol. 1, #11: "Name-calling like that has no place in this letterzine." But what REALLY made me see red was the parenthetical statement at the end of that quote from Gloria. My initial reaction was one of total outrage, and it is with great effort that I restrain myself from using rude words here; I am striving to remember what I've learned in the past through the pages of TT (remember Vera Walker?)...

Gloria is probably suffering through great grief and please God didn't realize the severity of her statement... wishing BANKRUPTCY on fellow fans simply because they are writing and printing stories she herself does not care to readl Gloria, one man's baloney is another man's smoked ham, and as long as no one is holding you at gunpoint and forcing you to read those zines, it seems rather uncharitable and unkind of you to wish such a terrible thing on fellow fans who are pu tting a lot of work into their stories and doing no one any harm! (I wouldn't even wish bankruptcy on the author of Black Cover; if that stuff floats her boat, great, so long as I don't have to read it!) PLEASE reconsider your words! Did you REALLY mean that?
[Constantia]: To [Theresa P], who also appeared in TT Vol. 2, #1: If you want to wear a button that says "Who says we have to give her a chance?" and don't want other fans to immediately assume that you're wearing an anti-Diana chip on your shoulder, you'd better be prepared to wear a copy of the first page of your letter pinned to your back by way of explanation. A button slogan is supposed to be a concise distillation of how you feel on a topic, and I think that a different slogan would be better to express the reasoning you laid out. Giving Diana "a chance" does not require the acceptance of a romance between her or anyone else and Vincent; sounds to me like you need a burton that reads "He'll never love another," or something like that.
[Kathie D]:

For the last year I have read with interest the discussions, opinions, and feelings of fellow fans of the "third season." The split in fandom just before, during, and right after the third season saddened me. As time passed it appeared that the split had healed. Whether you liked the third season or hated it you were still considered a fellow fan. About six months ago I red something that made me realize that, unfortunately, there still appears to be intolerance within the fandom. Some fans were still lashing out against anything that had to do with the third season.

One of the fanzines I order on a regular basis is A Secret Place. When the flier for Volume 6 arrived it was very clearly stated that there was a three page Vincent/ Diana story. Since the zine is usually 150+ pages this story would be a very small part of the zine mainly about Vincent/Catherine. About six months ago I received my order of Volume 7. While reading the editors page I found out that about a dozen fans of Beauty and the Beast and A Secret Place had ripped the three page Vincent/ Diana story out of their copy of Volume 6, ripped the pages in to pieces and sent them to the editor. This act on their part both angered and saddened me.

Understand, I am not saying they don't have the right to dislike the third season because they do. Nor am I saying they don't have the right to tear the story out of their copy of the zine because they do. What I am saying is they DID NOT have the right to send it in pieces to the editor. If the flier had not warned of the inclusion of a Vincent/Diana story I might have agreed with their actions. But it did include the warning of a third season story. This gave these dozen or so fans the right to protest by not buying the zine.

To me, one of the essential elements of Beauty and the Beast was that it reminded me to be tolerant of those who might look or think differently than I do. These dozen or so fans showedagreat deal of INTOLERANCE. Perhaps if they asked themselves how they would feel if someone did what they did they might realize how both intolerant and immature their behavior was.

I am not against expressing your opinion. Everyone has the right to. I'm against expressing your opinion in a way that hurts or is insulting. I was, also, not a lover of the third season. However, while i have the right to express this opinion, I do not have the moral right to express it in a way that is hurtful to another fan of the show.

Please, l appeal to all of you, show more tolerance of those FELLOW FANS who may not agree with you on the "third season" but are still just as much a fan as you are. Let us all remember all the elements that drew us to this show. Among these elements were love, tolerance, romance, acceptance, following your heart, and trying to live your dreams. Isn't it time to put our hurt, anger, and bitterness aside and band together in understanding and tolerance. For what ever reason we all love this show.
[A. 'Nea D]:

I read with interest your three choices of where the show could go without Catherine, and I think you summed up the options pretty well, although "Vincent Dies of Grief" might also be added to the list. What spurred me to write was your next paragraph, the one saying that you felt the slogan "Who says we have to give her a chance?" was the logical summary of your opinion that Vincent can never love again, and asking where you could get a copy of it.

You point out that that particular motto has nothing to do with Diana per se. You're right, it doesn't. It has a much more obvious meaning, one deeper and uglier than any 12 episodes of a TV show.

"Who says we gotta give 'em a chance?' has been the rallying cry for outrages throughout history. It is the motive for the KKK hunting and hanging blacks. It was the justification for the Nazis gassing Jews. It is the sentiment spouted now, as pagans and gays find themselves physically attacked by people who don't believe in giving anyone who doesn't follow fftfl> beliefs a chance."Who says we got to give 'em a chance?" is the naked face of bigotry, the beating heart of prejudice, the ultimate justification for intolerance.

I'm sure (if this letter is even printed at all) someone will jump in now and say that I am simply lashing out because you don't like the third season. I am not. This has nothing to do with the third season of B&TB, or any season of B&TB. That button doesn't have Beauty and the Beast written anywhere on it. People who see you wearing it, particularly people who don't know the show, won't think, "Oh, she doesn't like the third season." They'll think, "Oh, she must have a very closed mind, not to even give someone a chance." And then they'll wonder if they have to give YOU a chance. And that's not a rhetorical statement. Have you seen the articles on "political correctness?" There's a lot of people out there suddenly being muzzled because no one wants to give them the chance to speak.

You have the right to question the integrity of any love Vincent could have after Catherine. You have an equal right to wear buttons or use stickers that promote that opinion. I'm just asking you to think twice about using that one particular slogan. It means something completely different than what you think. (Ed: I don't want to disappoint you by not jumping in, so... I just want to ask you: Don't you think you're overreacting, just a little? Or even a lot? Let's not take ourselves too seriously here; we are talking about a television show and invented characters here, and to compare people's reactions to and feelings about a television show to unspeakably horrible real events like the the Holocaust is — to my mind — a gross trivialization of that event and one I find extremely offensive. Maybe you should stop and think about how this sounds. The KKK, Nazis, and other fascists do not wear buttons, as a rule, to advertise their viewpoints (their strength is in their pervasive subtlety and ability to blend in to "normal paths of life). To suggest that someone who wears a button stating "Who says we have to give her a chance?" — and most likely only wears it a convention, since that is where their message would be understood and appreciated/noted — is revealing the "naked face of bigotry," etc., seems a little much to me. [much snipped])
[Rosemarie H]: I experienced that there can be some danger of getting lost in the inner world, at least for some people (like me, for example). But if we let our inner lights shine through the walls around us (as all you people do who write LOCS and zines, who draw and share your art with others, who reach out for one another, who listen to others, or tell them what is in your heart) there is no danger of becoming self-absorbed, and our everyday lives will become brighter by sharing warmth and strengthandhonesty,aswehavebeentaughtbyVincentandCatherine(andmany other characters of our show).
[Rosemarie H]: I must admit that I would be at a loss if I were asked about the problem of censorship. I am deeply convinced that true growth is only possible in freedom. But as I am a very vulnerable person myself I can understand that people who feel offended or even hurt by some fanzines feel compelled to protect others (as weU as their own inner worlds). I don't know BC, but what I read about it... Well, one should not judge things he/she doesn't know. I learned from some fanzines I could manage to receive despite the great distance how different some authors see V&C's love, especially its physical expression. I was fortunate because almost everything I read was passionate, tender, and spiritual. I thought it would be impossible to see it in another way, but obviously ...
[Elizabeth H]:

As for the Shall Have No Dominion/Next Waltz debate, I agree to certain extents with both Vittoria and Barbara. I ordered the first zino not realizing how Catherine was returning to Vincent, BUT I did find it extremely well-done. On the basis of Vittoria's LOC, I went ahead and ordered The Waltz as well. I'm the first to admit that this isn't my ultimate choice in the way in which I'd like to see Catherine come back. As for false advertising, the author did state that she did not rewrite third season and thatthestory was in keeping with Classic B&TB. Technically, it's true, but I know I didn't make the connection to "When the Bluebird Sings." At any rate, I did enjoy the story, and when I thought about it for a while, the notion that V&C's love was stronger than ANYTHING, even death, itself, was appealing.

The title for false advertising still remains with Black Cover as far as I'm concerned —- a "retelling of Beauty and the Beast, as one story was described, hardly prepares a reader for Catherine portrayed as a prostitute with Vincent as her trick. To be honest, I'm reluctant to order zines lately and wish that all editors would CLEARLY state EXACTLY what their zines contain. I NEVER again want to receive a zine that contains a story — unmentioned in the flyer — which has Vincent and Diana "involved" (I can't say the words ...) and THEN has Catherine return. Ick, Ick. Ick. I can't imagine what the purpose IS in writing something like this, but the author is entitled to do so and I am entitled to know BEFORE I spend my money.

[Sharon H]:

It's obvious we are never going to agree on the issue of Catherine moving Below. I regard it as an empty gesture smacking of sexism, while you perceive it as a logical and natural progression of the relationship. Our difference stems primarily, I think, from one thing: what you see as humble and endearing in Vincent I see as obsequious and trite. I mostly disagree with the way he's written, and I'm sometimes disappointed over the fact that he could have been a more interesting and unique character than he turned out to be. I wish the writers had given him something other than platitudes to say, and that they had realized how ridiculous it was that Vincent never allowed Catherine to make her own decisions about their relationship.

I don't totally dislike Vincent. Physically, he is very attractive. Also, I have a certain intellectual curiosity about his origins. I've never regarded him as being human, since that would seem so boring. When he asks Father "Am I a man?" and Father replies 'Part of you is," I took Father to mean that behaviorally, and probably emotionally, Vincent is a man because he was raised with humans. I ever thought Father was suggesting that physically Vincent is half-human. Third, I truly respect and admire Catherine (even though she isn't real), and I figure if she loves him, he can't be all bad. I do just wish he had been better written. And I do think Father is to blame for a lot of Vincent's troubles (beyond the writing flaws). But it also does seem to me that Vincent places too much reverence on Father's words, which, tome, is somewhat unrealistic. Speaking of Father (a character whom, in retrospect, I'm beginning to think was not such a nice person or good parent), something occurred to me the other day. I find it interesting that he was accused of being a Communist by the HUAC, blacklisted, and then goes on to create what is, technically, a socialist society in the tunnels.
[Sharon H]: I totally disagree with you that the producers of B&TB aren't to blame for what happened. I think they are, for several reasons. Ron Koslow has said many times, particularly at a VQT convention, that he never had any trouble with CBS or felt that they excessively demanded certain things. This suggests one of two possibilities to me. One, Koslow totally agreed with what was being asked for (i.e. no kissing, no beast touching, etc). Several guests at conventions have suggested that this is the case. Or two, Ron Koslow is a man who lacks the integrity to stand up to the network and protect his show. Donald Bellisario did, and I truly admire and respect him for it, while I mourn our own misfortune in that arena. In either case, this, to me, puts the blame of what happened squarely on Koslow's shoulders. He is ultimately responsible for his own series.
[Sue K]:

I agree with Barbara again on [Leslie H's] remarks on zine editors excluding Black Cover from advertisement (a moot point now, but let's pretend it isn't). I think that such zines should be included, with the understanding that some sort of warning of the controversial/adult nature of such a zine is clearly stated, and/or the editor makes clear that every potential buyer send a SASE for further information. It is then the responsibility of the author of said zine to make ABSOLUTELY CLEAR the contents of the zine if it goes beyond what is generally considered "adult fantasy" — i.e. something that includes strong elements of sexuality. I think most people will agree that BlackCover isa zine that goes well beyond what anyone would expect from something that calls itself merely "adult fantasy"—at least as established IN THIS FANDOM.

However — and I've said it before — even I would have to draw a line at certain things. If a zine ever appeared (God forbid) that included child pornography — well, I would definitely be for excluding that from advertisement. But, as I've also said before, that's MY line. For some that line is Vincent and Catherine in a sexual relation, for others Black Cover, for others (sadly) if s beyond mine entirely. We can only pray that such a situation never arises.

As for James Pirkola's letter — Barbara said it all. Mr. Pirkola, I know what fantasy is. (I've been reading SF and fantasy of all kinds since age 14.)That's why I choose what fantasy I want to embrace—and what I choose to reject. It's my decision. You publish what you want, and that's fine by me. I never had the least desire to buy Black Cover, and therefore was never in a position to review or protest it.
[Sue K]: I've heard personally of two high-profile individuals in this fandom who have claimed that Lynette and Kay "brought the C&D orders down on their own heads," and that this has nothing to do with the rest of us who produce creative B&TB works. I find this a very sad and disturbing attitude. It could have happened to anyone, folks. It could happen to any of us tomorrow.
[Sue K]: Recently, I entered into a professional arrangement with the author of a semi-professional publication called The Beauty and the Beast Companion to provide a cover painting of Vincent and Catherine for an updated version to be distributed by RandomHouse. My personal dealings with the author were at all times cordial and pleasant, and at no time did I consider political "stance" in B&TB to be a relevant issue in terms of our professional relationship. This still holds true. However, it has been brought to my attention that one ofthe quarterly updates to the B&TB Companion, specifically the February issue, contains an editorial that is not only unprofessional in tone, but also criticizes and belittles fans of B&TB who hold views which I happen to share. To relate the contents of this editorial, which purports to analyze the split in fandom, is not necessary or desirable here; I'm sure it could be obtained in full else where. Suffice it to say that I wish, at this time, to fully disassociate myself from the contents of said-editorial or any future remarks of such a critical personal nature that may appear in future updates of the new B&TB Companion. Though I agreed to do the cover, my personal views are NOT represented by the contents or opinions of the author. Sadly, the author also sent personal letters of a somewhat vitriolic nature to friends of mine who took polite exception to some of his comments; in one such letter he opined that there were about 12 people in fandom whom he would not "allow" to buy his books. Also, I fear that by his own criteria, I would most likely be one of those unfortunate few.
[John William L]: Although I have long since wearied of the seemingly never-ending arguments which continue to go 'round & 'round over the perceived pros & cons of "classic" B&TB and Third Season (these are preferences, people, our points of view, not Holy Writs — can we please move on?), I am still compelled to respond to Gloria De Leon's LOC in the March'91 issue, which I personally found a bit disturbing, to say the least. Such anger, Gloria, which you state is growing worse, not better, seems to me unhealthy & out of proportion to the situation. You have a perfect right to your feelings & their appropriate expression in this zine (that is not what I'm responding tohere), but to continue to harbor them & allow them togrow&fester within you will only damage yourself, not those towards whom you say they are directed. It is obvious, Gloria, that you've been deeply hurt, but I don't think it was by the producers of B&TB. I am saddened, & hope that by now you are feeling better. A couple of statements in your letter also have me confused. In one paragraph you say that you liked Diana from the moment you saw her. Then in the next you state that those who "profess" to like her over Catherine are from a group who originally didn't like Catherine, and these people wouldn't blink an eye if she (Diana) were killed under a subway train! Excuse me? Are you serious? As far as I'm concerned, nothing could be further from the truth! I loved and supported the character of Catherine AS MUCH as any of us (what was to dislike?), yet once the show took the turn it did, I also found there was space enough in my heart to like and accept Diana as well (I was very ready not to). I didn't have to "pretend" to like her at all, just as you don't have to pretend to prefer "classic" B&TB over Third Season. The Universe is big enough for ALL our points of view.
[John William L]: Although I realize I am probably in a distinct minority here, I would like to plug Ron Koslow's new series My Life and Times. I've seen two episodes so far and I'm hooked. It's about a man in the year 2035 recalling significant events in his past, and I've so far found within it many of the elements I loved in B&TB, particularly the episode "Jessie." Am I the only one who feels this way?
[Laura P]:

I watched the second episode [of Ron Koslow's new series My Life and Times] last night. I missed the debut last week. I'm rather glad I did, as I'm feeling very betrayed. I never really blamed Ron Koslow or the writers for all the changes in Beauty and the Beast" -- I placed most of the blame on CBS, but now I can understand those who pointed fingers at Koslow and Co. The episode "Jessie" outraged me. Koslow took the liberty of using many recognizable elements from Beauty and the Beast. One in particular actually hurt to see. The basic story was Ben Miller's memories of meeting this woman he knew as Jessie. The initial meeting of the two used Father's first sight of Margaret. Ben and Jessie caught each other's eye as they passed in the street. When he went back to find her, she was gone. Sound familiar? This was the least offensive rehash. The next day Ben chances on her again when he sits down at a cafe and Jessie is on the other side of the glass partition. They spend a weekend together. If s the Fourth of July, and Jessie takes Ben to her grandmother's apartment to watch the fireworks. Now comes the thing that really hurt. This apartment had a balcony that looked a lot like Catherine's, and it looked out on a scene that looked like it came out of B&TB. There were sheer curtains that blew in the wind. I felt like Koslow was thumbing his nose at me and every B&TB fan. He could callously use Catherine's balcony like that!

[snipped, other perceived similarities between the two shows]

This is when I started swearing at the TV set. If Koslow had been in my living room, I'd have thrown something at him. By having Ben and Jessie share a dream of togetherness when it was impossible, I felt he mocked Vincent and Catherine's dream. Overall, I felt he trashed Beauty and the Beast with this one.

Perhaps others will feel differently. Perhaps Koslow actually means for My Life and Times to be an homage to B&TB. I couldn't see it that way. I feel he's either thumbing his nose at us and has no regard for our feelings, or he is a hack writer with nothing more original than what he gave us in Beauty and the Beast. Maybe if s a bit of both. But I'll not get suckered in again only to have my heart crushed. I won't watch this program again. It created the same kind of shock and pain I felt over 3rd season. Well, enough of this diatribe. I'm curious to how others have felt about this Koslow "creation." I'm sure it will ignite a lot of discussion.
[Laura P]: As to Pipeline and those who do or don't subscribe. I'm proud to say that I have never nor will ever subscribe to that publication. I have had occasion to read it and it never fails to antagonize me. Luckily, there are other sources of news and interviews, zine listings, and merchandise which don't include self-serving editor!
[Julie A. P]: I have no inclination, ever, to watch the so-called Third Season (I won't call it Beauty and the Beast now because it isn't), although, I wouldn't deny anyone else the opportunity, after all, everybody has the right to freedom of choice. I certainly wouldn't give anyone any names or labels either, although the same courtesy couldn't be respected by some people (Does the label "Naysayer" ring any bells to anyone!) What I will just say is that I hope Ron Koslow eventually will have the decency to undo — or somehow put to right — all the damage he and his merry band of men knowingly initiated to my beloved programme and reunite the lovers—so they are not lost forever — in the B&TB movie.
[Randie P]:

I would like to direct this to the male B&TB fans. CBS wanted to bring more people to watch, so they thought they would dangle bait to help matters. Who were the major, important viewers? The fans, or someone else? Where did the strength lie with the Nielsens? It was the women who were the majority of viewers, but we were not strong enough. So who would be? It must be the male audience! What would draw mem to this show? I could see the executives of CBS sitting around a table clapping their hands together. "We need violence! Where do we begin? Get Catherine Chandler and give us TLBL." We do not have to go into those details again, we all know what happened in that. Well, men, did that give you a better enjoyment of our beloved show? What does CBS think our men, or the men we hope to have in our lives believe in? Is this what entertainment is? It is scary to think people do love, enjoy, and believe in this. Why can anyone not understand why we women love Vincent? He is everything we believe in. It is for the male audience that the consummation between Vincent and Catherine was done the way it was. (Why give them anything but roses and volcanos?) Did men who felt threatened by our love of Vincent want to see anything beautiful happen between this Man-Beast and a beautiful woman? It would hurt their ego. What was now important to ratings was, get to the "meat" of the show. One fan once called those of us who wanted to see something just a little more tender and visual happen between Vincent and Catherine "voyeurs." I did not want to see Vincent throw Catherine down on the ground and jump on her. But I thought there should have been a lot more dignity involved than Vincent looking at Catherine a little later and not even knowing her name. Was the road then being paved for the end?

Roseann S]:

I strongly agree that it doesn't bother me that Vincent is not completely human (see also Sharon McCarthy's letter in #11). Whether you call it other world human-oid, throwback to prehistoric man, or animal makes no difference. Why are we so bothered by the term "animal"? We are all animals by nature, more intelligent perhaps, but considering the findings regarding dolphins and whales, perhaps not even that. It's not as if Vincent were a German Shepherd. He is an intelligent, compassionate, empathic being of a slightly different species, perhaps superior to humans. Maybe that's what bothers some people.

Perhaps the choice of the word "beast" is an unfortunate one that does drive some people away, but it only has that power if we give it an inhumane (rather than nonhuman) connotation. Anyone, even the most casual viewer who has watched a full episode, knows that Vincent isn't "that kind of beast."

Yes, [Rosemarie S], I agree. I have long believed that Koslow and the male writers saw Vincent as a nonhuman with some human characteristics, while the fans saw his humanness predominating over his nonhuman characteristics. That is why they were always reluctant to let the V/C relationship progress. They blamed it on the censors, but their internal censors were also at work.

[Sue K]: Regarding the hoped-for movie, I feel (believing as I do that no such movie will be made without Linda Hamilton) that we MUST have so we have acknowledgment of Season Three and resolve it — by whatever means necessary — in order to be free of the taint of sadness that still lingers.... I do feel Season Three must be addressed to heal the wounds it's left in so many of us, no matter how BRIEFLY addressed.
[Sylvia W-F]:

I am blue. Why? You may well ask. Sometimes I feel so alone in my feelings about Beauty and the Beast (I need to spell it out — I need to feel close to the original feelings I had). No matter how many times I say, "I love this show, love these characters" — nothing can truly convey the depth of feeling I have and how wonderful it makes me feel when I watch the episodes. I hate the fact that I have to preface my comments with 'which' episodes or 'which' season. I hate that. I'm almost rendered speechless (and for me, that is impossible) by the thought (STILL!) that not every fan was pierced to the core by the (filmed only) death of Catherine. And that for a lot of fans, life went on. Over a year later and I still haven't come to 'terms' with what was shown in December of last year. I feel like I'm caught in a time-warp. I am one of the 'Catherine-prone' and 'Vincent-prone' AND Beauty and the Beast-prone, and I don't ever want to recover! So many people talk so eloquently about what they love about Beauty and the Beast — I tend to be redundant and I know it — but words totally fail me when it comes to explaining what Beauty and the Beast brought to my life.

v.2 n.4/5

Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5 was published in June/July 1991 (was planned for May) and contains 104 pages.

covers of v.2 n.4/5

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]: Many of you noted that the May issue was very late in being mailed out, and I wanted to explain that the reason why was a major repair bill for the copier that dealt a severe blow to our budget (having your own machine is not always what it's cracked up to be!)- I'm sorry for the delay, and we're almost back on track again. Also, you have noticed that you are holding in your hands a double issue of TT, something I swore we would never do. Well, this is not entirely our fault—the truth is, we actually did not receive enough letters to do a June issue! What's going on out there? Are people getting tired of writing letters? We really hope this is not a trend; if it is, we will be forced to consider going to a bimonthly schedule permanently. Let us hear from you — literally — on how you feel about this. TT really can't exist without all of you.
[Barbara S]:

When Linda Hamilton said, on the Larry King Live interview, that she did not want to go back to B&TB, I think all our hearts stopped for a moment in disbelief. (Which is not really fair, since Ron has also stated (once, a while ago) that B&TB was in the past for him, and no one was ready to jump all over his head for it—as some people are now ready to do to Linda.) I would actually refer you to Lynette Combs's letter in this issue—which I agree with wholeheartedly—for a thoughtful analysis on the subject.

The point is—this is not the time for us to start ripping each other to shreds again,pfease! No, her words were not what we were expecting to hear. Istill feel that her words are no reason for me to change my mind about how I feel about B&TB, Vincent and Catherine, or what I expect from a B&TB movie. None of those things have changed for me; what is far more likely to happen is that Linda will change her mind. Why would she say "yes" to a project that still exists primarily in people's hearts and minds, is not actually even down on paper yet (no matter what anyone may try to tell you)? There's nothing for her to say "yes" tol And the only thing I know, for certain, at this point, is that Ron Koslow has become convinced that Linda is essential to the success of a B&TB movie-—not just Catherine, but LINDA as Catherine. (You could say she has kind of bad riming, I guess!)

So—what should we be doing at this point in time? My own suggestion is: "The future's not set... there's no fate but -whatyzg, make." I believe that our best efforts (for those of us who agree with him) should be directed towards convincing Ron Koslow that we are behind his convictions about Linda, and that we are counting on him to write a script that will convince Linda that Catherine Chandler is a character she wants to play again. Since B&TB's future is not set in stone at this time, this is the perfect time for us to make our feelings known—politely, rationally, firmly—and to try to influence B&TB's fate. If we truly believe in the Dream . ..in love and hope—there's nothing else we can do. Take care, reach out to one another, be well.
[Sharon H]:

A more benign form has manifested itself in appeals for a recasting of the role of Catherine. I wish the individuals behind this only luck with their campaign. For my own part, I will not go to see a B&TB movie that does not include Linda Hamilton (playing an alive and well Catherine, at least at the end). What Linda said has not changed that in any way, shape, or form. As far as I'm concerned, The role of Catherine Chandler was written for her, and she invested a lot into it. On the basis of those two facts alone, I doubt we will ever see a movie with Catherine but without Linda. I can't see Ron Koslow allowing another woman to play the role he wrote specifically for Linda. And I frankly can't see Linda allowing someone else to take over a role she had so much to do with creating. Ron Perlman has also said in interviews and at conventions that he couldn't play opposite anyone else as Catherine but Linda.

Finally (and Isay this not to be nasty to any of the talented actors/actresses who were on the show), but Linda is, at this point in time at least, the only potential box-officedraw. Thismovie,if it ever happens, will need toattractmore than just fandom in order to be successful. The suits, and Ron Koslow, are going to have to keep this in mind, because the bottom line is money, and they would be stupid to do a movie without her.

So I don't worry about there being a movie without Linda, because I just don't think it will happen that way.

On the other side of the coin, I truly believe that Linda means what she says. I believe that if you ask her the same questions in a week, a month, maybe even a year, she will still say the same thing. But I also believe, with a faith I don't possess in any other aspect of my life, that if she is given the right script, she will at least seriously consider it. That's all any of us can ask of any actor, be it Linda Hamilton, Ron Perlman, Jay Acovone, or anybody.

This is the point where we figure into the equations. We must write to Ron Koslow and tell him what we want to see in the script so that he can write one that will convince Linda that she wants to do it. There is something that I just figured out a while ago, in a conversation with [Dot S] about the rift in fandom, what caused it, how to help it, etc. It occurred to me that this rift need never have happened at all. What can someone who doesn't want me to write to "the powers that be" possibly do to me should I choose to write in with my opinion anyway? It is absurd to even think mat I ever felt threatened and intimidated by them. In the end we are responsible only for ourselves, for our own actions and words. If you want Linda Hamilton to be in a movie, then by all means write to Ron Koslow and tell him! There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this!

[Sharon H]: It is true that I think I must have fallen in love with all the potential that was inherent in the show more than I did the actual show itself. Ifs kind of disappointing in a way to realize this. I hear what you are saying about the flaws in both Catherine and Vincent, but in all honesty I must admit that while I saw them, they never bothered me as much with Catherine. I suppose it is because I attributed her flaws to the writers, and Vincent's and the other character's flaws to the characters. Why I did this I have no idea.
[Lynette C]:

I'd watched Linda earlier that week on "David Letterman"—whom 1 dislike because of the ridicule he showers on his guests (under a misleading guise of goofy harmlessness). He's the last person in the world you'd want to open up to about B&TB—or anything serious—and I was glad Linda tried to fend him off. When he did finally ask what seemed like a serious question about Vincent and Catherine, she answered seriously; she explained their empathic relationship, and said that when Catherine was in danger, Vincent would come to her.

"And could he fly?" asked Letterman. "Oh, never mind—that's just me, being dopey!"

"Thaf s okay, I expect it," Linda retorted—and for a moment he didn't even get it! She was already well into the next sentence before he went, "Huh?" (I loved her for that. VERY sharp.)

[Lynette C]:

Now I understand she's getting a lot of hate mail (again)—directed not only against herself, but against her long -awaited baby. That's not only a little crazy, but from a purely strategical viewpoint, ifs incredibly shortsighted. Like they say, sugar's more effective than vinegar; and in two or three years, when Koslow & Company may actually come up with a script, do you want her to say, "Well, the B&TB fans have always been kind to me; they deserve something back" — or, "Are you kidding? Those people are a bunch of lunatics!" Personally, a l this point I'd be surprised if she ever DID come back. Another point I want to make is that we can't use this as an excuse for fickle defection. To see this, for example, as the signalor opportunity to "get Vincenta new woman" tsa violation of that eternal bond, and all the he is. What an actress decides to do in the "real" world has nothing whatsoever to do with what Vincent needs; and he needs his Catherine, however we might like to soother him (or ourselves) with easier remedies. There's a certain Magic involved. (One need only examine the theme of every successful B&TB con; or ask any zine editor which love stories sell, and which create dissent among their readership.

This should also not be the signal for some of us to tell the rest of us what we now have theright to hope for, or believe in. IfB&TBisn'tabouthope,thenIdon't know what it IS about; but we've got to stop investing that power in others—i.e., producers, actors, fan editors—and waiting for them to TELL us what to dream toward. We've got to start generating some of the energy within ourselves, or this is going to be one of the shortest-lived fandoms in history. Just thin!-:—STAR TREK fandom lasted for over a decade, with a lot less hope than WE have, before they got their first film!}

One last thought... I wish I didn't feel that SOME of us are going to take Linda's interviews and beat the REST of us over the head with them ... but they probably will. (I suppose my cynicism is a little unTunnelish/ too.) I'm sure a lot of people are going to feel that nov/s the time to CROW. You'd think that, given the philosophy that's drawn us together, we'd just naturally be kinder to each other. But l've never seen a fandom so willing to rip itself to shreds. Have you? Ifstime v*e remembered that "we create this journey for each other." We need to start taking responsibility—each of us—for the kind of "journey" we're creating for those around us.

A close friend of mine, a latecomer to both B&TB and the fandom, worries about third-season rifts and this new setback. She called me up to ask, "Is fandom destroying itself? Is there going to BE a fandom this time next year? ... If s just that you people are so important to me."

You're important to me, too. But I don'tknow how to answer a question like that except to say that I'LLbe here next year.... Whether or not you are,is up to YOU. It seems to me (after talking with several writers and artists throughout this country and in Canada this week) that those of us who are most positively creative are best able to "ride this out." They will go on writing, drawing, making friends instead of enemies... putting fires OUT instead of feeding the flames. These people carry the Dream inside them.

P.S. — Thank you to the South of Oz steering committee for the return of Kim
 Taylor's popular music videos, which disappeared for a week from the video room
at the convention. However, as it took over four weeks for the promised "overnight" 
mailing to reach us here in Virginia Beach, we are understandably disillusioned; and
it is unknown whether Kim Taylor will entrust them to anyone to be taken to future
 conventions.
[Gloria D]:

Yes, I really did mean "Bankruptcy." BECAUSE one could then draw the logical assumption, from such an outcome, that there is only a small, limited taste for 3rd season or "mixed"zines — which I believe, and hope, is the case. (I can dream, can't I?)

[snipped]

I suppose I should've spelled out my meaning more exactingly in my infamous letter of the March issue, but I never dreamed I would be so misunderstood and taken to task. Especially since, earlier in my letter, I thought there could be no doubt that my remarks indicated that 3rd season, and the substitution of Diana for Catherine, was an anathema to me. Why would that be repellent to me, if not for the fact that (like Winslow) I believe in the love between Vincent and Catherine? I'm in love with their love, in love with them, as a couple — not anything else.

That anyone would impute any other motive to me, based on next to nothing, was a painful shock to me.

[snipped]

Anyway, I was mortified by Barbara Storey's editorial comments on that portion of my letter, and that she would interpret it that way. And I was very surprised, later, that you would accept her interpretation, even knowing me as you do. (Or that anyone would.) I felt such humiliation and embarrassment, that I just wanted to curl up and die;I wanted the earth to open up beneath me and remove me from the scene. (Who would want to be thought of in such a way?)

[Sue K]:

Let us assume for the moment that ALL letters in ALL letterzines dealing with controversial subjects were removed. Theoneletterzine that attempted to censor all "debate" over Third Season, or any thing "controversial" in the editor'sopinion,did not gain by this decision. Eventually this position was reversed, to judge by the letters currently appearing in it. Can we, as fans, go back to some common ground of discussion that does NOT touch the Third Season /"Classic" controversy? Can we all join in in discussions about Diana when half of us have no interest in the character? Can we ALL discuss Catherine's future life with Vincent when some of us believe she is dead and gone forever? Naturally we do have these sorts of discussions, but they, of necessity, will be limited to those with a direct interest in the topic. Idon't think I con Id work up much interest in discussing Tunnel plumbing or Mouse's background, etc. For many of us who were in fandom from early on, discussion of the first two seasons' episodes (often as they appeared) were a staple of letterzine LOCs. We could go back to such discussions, but I'm not sure it would be enough to keep a letterzine going. And many of us don't have much interest in discussing Third Season episodes at length (though I'd never censor anyone who wants to do such an analysis in TT). Debate generates discussion. New viewers of the show will continue to add "fresh blood" and fresh topics. But frankly, whatever flack I may engender in so saying, if we eliminate the controversial topics, there may be no letterzines. Perhaps thaf s the way of fandom in any case; to every thing there is a season. Clearly, those who have no desire to read controversial topics will not participate. If s a rather major dilemma.

[Gloria D]:

Third season completely contradicts everything that went before. We were led down the garden path, and then they mugged us!

[Sue K]:

My husband, who while not a great fan of B&TB, did watch it with me (we share a love of fantasy in general and both had read the science fiction works of George R.R. Martin prior to the airing of the show). He thought third season was stupid. Period. He didn't bother to analyze it much beyond that, but he had zero interest in it from "TLBL"on. But then again, he's not a "typical male," either. The three or four vocal male fans I've heard something of, in letters and LOCs and editorials, seem to like Season Three, Diana Bennett in particular. I wonder if this represents most male fans. We can only judge by what we hear from them! Speaking for myself and my husband, I can state emphatically that our views about the status of women (we are both 'feminists.'") led us to regard "TLBL" as a most misogynistic movie. In my husband's case, his sex has nothing to do with this opinion.

[Vicki M]:

No! The dream is not over [just because of Linda Hamilton's then-recent remarks on "The Larry King Show" about how she was not interested in reprising her role as Catherine in a B&TB movie]! We, the fans of Beauty and the Beast are the only ones (at this point in time) who can keep "our dream" alive. How, you ask? Simple. Get involved. Not just with letter- writing campaigns, but by keeping the spirit of B&TB alive in your heart. Do volunteer work within your communities, start a food and/ or clothing drive for less fortunate individuals, or teach people how to read. Beauty and the Beast taught all of us that we are "Our Brother's Keeper." This was the message that B&TB gave to all of us, so why not try to live by that message? Dot Sconzo and LOW is doing just that; why don't we all join her now? The B&TB fandom is supposed to be both loving and humane; lef s be that way towards our respective communities in our everyday lives.

[Rita P]:

I'm tired of this roller-coaster ride! I fell bad that one or two people can screw the dreams of so many good people. My head keeps telling me if s stupid to care so much about what was only a television show. What were only fictional characters. Butifsmyheartthatstillrules. IalwaysremembertherecurringthemeofSTII. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." I hope the needs of the many fanslike myself who want this resolution will be fulfilled despite the needs ofoneactressor producer. And if they can't be fulfilled, Ihope that those of you who only want Vincent back and don't care if it is with Catherine, Diana, Beauty ID, or iilone will have your dream fulfilled. I won't try to stand in the way. I just probably won't be joining you. It'ssadthatlastnightwasmoredevastatingformanyofus than watchingTLBL. I'm just sorry at what was destroyed for so many. Well, I had to get this off my chest before I could even think about getting to work. If s going to be interesting to see how the rest of you feel. Take care everyone; maybe somehow, something good may yet come of all this. Still sharing a broken dream.

[Claire S]:

If I saw someone like Vincent walking around in real life (Oooh, what a thought!), I would unhesitatingly conclude that he was a n alien from another planet. He could not possibly be the result of natural mutation, which is totally random and — 99.9% of the time — fatal or disabling to the organism. Vincent's differences are too numerous, coherent and complementary to be the result of one miraculously lucky genetic change. His genetic differences from standard Homo sapiens have to be just as numerous, coherent and complementary.

Now, if he is from another planet, sadly, Catherine and he could never have children, and little Jacob would have to be part of a fever dream. Catherine would have more in common, genetically, with an elm tree than someone who is the result of another planet's evolution. Dolphins and fish may look much alike because they fill a similar environmental niche, but they are light years apart biologically, and they come from the same planeL I've always assumed that Amanda Grayson and Sarek of Vulcan made use of a very advanced genetic laboratory in the engendering of Spock. But their technology is 300 years ahead of ours.

[snipped]

If Vincent is not from another planet, the only other explanation I can think of is that he is a genetically redesigned human being. In which case, he has to come from the future. With the way scientific knowledge is increasing geometrically, I have no doubt that someday we will be able to design someone like Vincent.... in a few hundred years. {OK, girls — get your orders in now!) Such a feat is totally beyond any possibility today, let alone 35 yearsago. I don't care what kind of genius "alchemist" you posit. The scientific community is only now beginning the monumental task of mapping the human genetic code — that is, recording the code, not translating it or redesigning it.

I prefer this explanation because it makes Vincent more one of us. But time travel is harder to accept than the possibility that another lifeform, of the many that must share our enormous galaxy, has discovered a practical form of space travel. Remember, I'm talking reality here — not science fantasy.

If Vincent and Catherine were to have a child it would prove that Vincent was a Homo sapien by the very definition of species. Animals are of the same species if they can breed fertile offspring together. Theexception is if two speciesare as closely related, genetically, as a horse and a donkey are. In which case, little Jacob Wells is an infertile, hybrid "mule."

[Julie S]:

A very good friend of mine recently compared this fandom's waiting for a movie to what occurred in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. People seemed to be compelled to follow a dream or vision of something wonderful, but as the movie progressed, those less strong in belief dropped off one by one. The few who stuck it out received a beautiful reward. I'm hoping that this will be the way it will happen for us. As [Lynette C] said in the last TT issue, "eyes on the prize." Hopefully,

there will be a prize in not-too-distant future for us all.
[Karen T]:

I've watched the videotape of Linda Hamilton on The Larry King Live show, 6/27/91, over and over. I've transcribed it for my newsletter. For those of you who didn't see it or haven't heard about it (there MAY be one or two of you who've been vacationing in Outer Mongolia), in reply to thequesrion (paraphrased) "Would you do Beauty and the Beast again?" Linda replied, "No! No, I've finished with it and it would be going backwards for me. It was a very wonderful time, but, you know, that part of me is finished and I'd like to do other things. There's too much else to do than to go backwards, you know."

Yeah, I know, Linda. Best of luck to you in your future career. Don't worry about us, wallowing herein the past, clinging to a romantic fantasy. Backward of us, really. Silly and selfish of us to think there might remain depths to plumb in the character of "Catherine," or that the role holds more than a backseat in your heart. (Oops! Now where did that sarcastic little toad come from? It just slipped out!) So ... how's everyone feeling about this?

DENIAL: The question was ambiguous. A B&TB MOVIE wasn't specifically mentioned. Maybe she only meant she wouldn't do a revival of the SERIES.

ANGER: (I've spent A LOT of time in this phase.) She doesn't give a rat's rear end for B&TB, the Dream, or the Fans! May Hollywood forget she exists so she'll be BEGGING to do a B&TB movie!

BARGAINING: No matter what she SAID, she'll do the movie if she's offered enough MONEY.

DEPRESSION: If s all over. There won't be a Movie. The Dream died with "Catherine." Gimme a box of Kleenex, a box of chocolates, and let's see what's on Star Trek tonight.

ACCEPTANCE: This is where I am now. In fact, it's back where I was before June 27th- Maybe there will be a B&TB Movie, and maybe there won't. Maybe it will be Beauty and the Beast with the "Beauty" personified by the beau ty in Vincent's soul and his memories of Catherine. Maybe the beauty will be in his love for their son. Maybe it will be another woman who's willing to accept second best, second place, in Vincent's heart.

v.2 n.6

Tunneltalk v.2 n.6 was published in June/July 1991 and contains 44 pages; one fan's letter took up about a third of the space. This very subdued issue was the last one.

  • the editor apologizes for the lateness of the issue and cites a broken copier and difficult challenges in real life, and suggests the possibility of this letterzine going bi-monthly
  • there are many comments about the Terminator movies
covers of v.2 n.6

Excerpts from the Letters

[Barbara S]: To all those who have expressed concern and support, my special friends — and you know who you are — I want to say thank you... but the words seem so inadequate. I am, well, growing stronger every day, and the light at the end of my own personal tunnel is all of you out there, and the "journey we create for each other" within B&TB fandom. Vincent and Catherine's dream survives because of that journey, and I'm glad and proud that TT has become a companion on the road for so many. Your caring and support ensure its survival as much as anything we do, and I look forward to continuing together.
[Sue K]:

After a month of turmoil, fandom seems almost "hushed" now — everyone is waiting, regrouping, considering what they want for the present and future of B&TB. And, as with everything else in this fandom, we are all reaching very different conclusions. Is that surprising? Not to me, it isn't. One thing I am sure of: this fandom will never be united in its goals. Well, that's not quite true -- I think everyone wants "a movie." What fans won't unite on is what each person is willing to "give up" to get that hypothetical movie; what each fan requires to support an effort for such a movie; WHY each fan wants or "needs" such a movie. And it all goes back to what each of us loved about B&TB in the first place.

I loved Catherine Chandler. I loved Vincent, too, and above all, I loved their love for each other. In the role of Catherine, I love (and still love) Linda Hamilton. The inescapable "requirements" for "my" version of that hypothetical movie are these: Linda Hamilton as Catherine, and Catherine and Vincent reunited. Put simply, nothing else interests me. I don't, however, have the slightest expectation that everyone, or even MOST fans, will agree with me. I only ask that they respect and not belittle my choice, and understand why I won't fight to get "any movie."

[Sue K]:

I do think it's true she doesn't understand fandom. I think she really CAN'T understand how people could be so attached to fictional characters. From her point of view, it's unhealthy to rely so heavily on the return of those characters. I can understand all that. I may wish she'd been a bit more diplomatic, but no, I wasn't offended by anything she said once I had a chance to think about it. Even there I can find reasons for her behavior — she's probably highly annoyed at the constant harping on B&TB when she's trying to promote her new movie; she views B&TB as the past, and wants to get on with her life; perhaps there's been some behind-the-scenes pressure we know NOTHING about, etc., etc. One friend even proposed a theory (and I think it has a lot behind it), that Linda, who throws herself into her roles, was still in her "Sarah Connor" mode! And on TV shows ifs so easy to make off-the-cuff remarks. But she's right in one sense—there are some truly obsessed people in this fandom who live for B&TB alone, to the point of becoming hostile and off balance if they see "their show" threatened, and I can see how it would be very hard for her to understand such people.

The thing is people have a hard time remembering is that for her, it was a SHOW, a JOB, not her entire life. She made the magic, but didn't experience it the way we did. How could she, after doing take after take of the same scenes, long grueling days, fights with Koslow? She KNEW itwas "only acting." We can't hold her to the same standards. She could never regard it the way the fans do, even if she hadn't had bad experiences. I think people become far too proprietary of the actors, as if they BELONGED to us, and we expect them to return our devotion. That is such a mistaken attitude. These actors are ACTORS, not the characters they portray. They have other lives and things far more important to them than B&TB. I'm sure Ron Perlman would love to move on to some other big project and put Vincent behind him. Not that he didn't love the show — just that it was JUST A SHOW to him. A job. One he loved, but a job. Not his reason for being.

[snipped]

One or two of my friends take her words to fandom very personally. I don't. Linda doesn't know me — I'm part of a faceless mass. I'm realistic enough to know I would never be anything else. If my liking her depends on her doing what I want her to do, or acknowledging me personally, then I am being every unrealistic I'm living in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, many fans will take that attitude. Even many classic fans feel Linda "owes" us the movie. Why? She never signed a contract with fandom. It was she who fought for what WE (or most of us) wanted to see on the show. SHE wanted what WE wanted. She did her best. That's all we can ask of her. We have no right to expect anything else, as individual fans or as a group. That is my very strong belief.

Anyway, that brings us to the repercussions Linda's remarks will have on fandom, and on her fans. I am definitely a Linda Hamilton fan apart from B&TB. Frankly, I've been afraid of the backlash we'll (Linda's fans) be getting. Linda's career certainly won't suffer if a few hundred B&TB fans resent her, but I could see the attacks coming thick and fast from those angry with Linda and consequently with those who support her. Fortunately, so far it hasn't been as bad as I'd feared.
[Sue K]:

One final word on recasting, from the point of view of an artist. While I know Linda isn't Catherine, Catherine MUST BE Linda for me, for one very simple reason. As an artist, I focus strongly on the visual aspects — I have to, in order to draw the character. Linda's face and mannerisms are literally BURNED into my internal vision of Catherineandcannotbeseparated. Ifs not a matter of confusing the two; ifs that Catherine has completely adopted Linda's persona, appearance and mannerisms in my mind. I do not think it would be possible to accept anyone else with one exception) in the role. I can't even begin to conceive of trying to draw Catherine any other way but by drawing Linda. Then there's also the fact that Linda made Catherine too much her own, in my opinion, to make recasting desirable or believable FORME. I know it's not so with others. And finally, being a Linda fan, I don't want to see anyone else in that. Catherine, as played uniquely by Linda, was always one of my major reasons for watching the show.

I'll admit one thing — IF they got Beth Toussaint (guess star on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) for the role of Catherine (given that Linda would never do it), I might be able to deal with that — for the simple reason that I find her uncannily like Linda in mannerisms and appearance—even little habits. It would be a very poor second for me, but there's a tiny possibility it might work — for me. I just see the chances as being very, very small.

[Sue K]:

Finally, in answer to general accusations appearing in various B&TB forums, let me state once and for all that the opinions above are my own; I do not pretend they are fandom's in general -- I do not try to browbeat or manipulate others into sharing my views. Nor do I allow others to do that to me. As a very good writer and friend, [Anita H], recently wrote in a LOC, "I have a mind of my own and am entirely capable of thinking for myself" — and I believe most fans are equally capable. I don't think they need to be continually told publicly in open letters who the "good" and "bad" guys are in fandom. It gets just a little boring, don't you think? By all means, let "the silent majority" make up their own minds!

[Sue K]:

[Inez B], thank you for expressing your concerns about the incident at MediaWestCon. This incident is made doubly disturbing because the person, responsible for it has recently suggested that those who chose not to attend "South of Oz" were the ones most apt to cause trouble at conventions, and were thus better absent! That's a bit mind-boggling As one of those who chose not to attend SOZ because of my own personal convictions, I know that I have not been involved at any past con I have attended, in any of the types of "incidents" people such as myself might "supposedly' have perpetrated there — including one such as occurred at MediaWestCon. *sigh*

[Sue K]:

[Gloria D], as we've recently said in personal letters, there was obviously a misunderstanding on my part in interpreting some of your statements, and I apologize for any pain this may have caused you. The subject at hand was one that I felt strongly about, but I obviously did not think clearly about the direction my words had taken.

[Sue K]]:

I totally agree with Sharon Wells "Open letter" about recent efforts in a periodic B&TB publication to list what fans should and should not buy, read, or enjoy, and further tiresome pronouncements about how we, the lowly fans, have no right to criticize a product put out for our consumption. As I've said in an earlier issue of TT, the editorial and letters to which Sharon refers offended me equally.

[John William L]:

Greetings everyone. I've enjoyed reading over the last few months the many well-thought-out and excellently written discussions of the various characters in Beauty and the Beast and their many human virtues and frailties. More and more it seems we are discovering that, for all its wonder and uniqueness, the Tunnel World is not as perfect as we once thought! This observation is not meantina negative way, butarealisticone, which in my opinion only enhances and strengthens our show and its characters. We see that Vincent has deep emotional problems, Catherine is torn between two worlds,. Fatheris not the perfect parent, and evil exists in the form of Paracelsus, yet they each strive to cope and liveeach day the best way they know how. Sound familiar? The Tunnel World is indeed a haven from the world above, yet as long as it is peopled by human beings it will necessarily be reflective of human emotions and behavior, positive and negative.

[Sue R]:

A movie may not be forthcoming this year or even next year. But that doesn't mean it won't eventually arrive and be everything we all hope it would be. But, if the movie doesn't come, that doesn't negate all of the wonderful things we've gotten from B&TB the series. Thereasons we watched and the friends we've made as a result will not go away. And thaf s more than some people ever get out of life. I will not be devastated if there is no movie, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to it. And if it doesn't come, I still have zines, those that exist and those yet to come. And I will have my friends that this fandom has given me, and the possible new ones I could make as this fandom grows. And I hope it will grow. As syndication grows this year, I anticipate that fandom can too.

[Carol R]:

When Linda Hamilton made her comments about not returning to Beauty and the Beast, it didn't surprise me, but it hurt, the way it was said. If you read between the lines, she might as well have said she doesn't need Beauty and the Beast anymore. She is a big star from being in Terminator 2. Does she remember what show made her a star? I've always liked Linda Hamilton, and this has hurt me deeply that she would make these statements. During the past three years so many negative things have happened to our show. How can this happen to something so beautiful? Did they have all these problems with Star Trek? If so, I have a lot of sympathy for the fans.

[Theresa P]:

Though I'm not "in" the Star Trek fandom network, even I'm aware that William Shatner has always seemed to view that fandom with some degree of derision and/or humor; at best he seems to find it inexplicable. Still, it would be hard for me to imagine someone else playing Captain Kirk.

The point to that "story"? My view is — Don't confuse the actor with the role. There's no doubt about it, Ron Perlman's acceptance and involvement in the B&TB fan network has added a wonderful element to it, but would the character of Vincent be viewed differently by the fans if he, as an actor, had chosen not to involve himself in fandom? Perhaps fandom would be different, but the effect of the show? — No.

I know there are a lot of people who feel differently, but I personally don't care too much about the actors' lives off the set. To me, it's the skill and talent they bring to a role made wonderful by the creator and writers (and after that awful third season, you don't know how hard it is for me to say a kind, albeit fair, word about R. Koslow!).

[snipped]

Sarah Connor was a progression. In my mind, I could be wrong, there is so much more you can do in a movie than you can do in a TV series. I will not go in to too much detail with this. I know for a fact there will be a few comments made about this. Even though I felt my heart break at the comments made by Linda Hamilton, I will always have a love for her and will continue to see her in anything I can if it is possible. I will not think ill of her, even though her name is now being thrown around in the dirt and is being called a home-wrecker. I guess now Linda is in the big league. It will always take two to tango. Is anyone putting a label on James Cameron? Are they saying how horrible he is? Linda is a free agent, and nobody twisted his arm. (Even though she looks like she can.) I hope Linda will be in the B&TB movie if it is ever out. In my juvenile mind I hope it is the TV series Linda will have nothing to do with. There will only be one way to find out. When we get our movie.

References

  1. These cease and desist letters were pretty ballsy, especially since they were being sent just as Creation Con was very actively advertising their fan dealers' rooms, and for the May 1991 con, bragging that their two guests of honor were fanzine writers and zine publishers. See flyer.