Virtual Season

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Synonyms: fanfiction season, alternate season, unaired season
See also: Denialfic, Futurefic, fix-it
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Virtual seasons are a form of fanac where fic writers write an unofficial continuation of a show that has been cancelled, is on hiatus, or to replace a season which is considered to have jumped the shark, or needs denying.

They are often done as collaborations with different writers contributing individual stories as episodes, often with the new episodes "airing" at the same time the show would've aired. Sometimes they are multimedia projects with accompanying fanart or trailers. Some fans go as far as to make fan films such as Star Trek, The New Voyages.

Sometimes virtual seasons can be the project of a single author. One famous example is the Buffy Season Noir by Anna S.

Many virtual seasons are presented with elaborate ancillary apparatus. These vary widely, but frequently include character descriptions, title pages, brief synopses of episodes (similar to those in television program guides), and background on the world of the series. In some instances, the episodes of a virtual season are published weekly or biweekly in a semblance of the schedule of an actual television series. In such a case, promotional "ads" may be created for upcoming episodes.

Origins

detail from flyer for Moonbeam #5/6, click to read

The very first virtual season was in 1979 in the print zine Moonbeam #5/6. It was a zine that took Space: 1999 into its third season. From the flyer for that issue: "We're aiming for 24 different episodes, at about 20 pages each (typed and double-spaced). Stories exceeding that length may be considered as 2-part episodes."

Another early virtual season was for Forever Knight. The show was canceled in 1996, but followed shortly by a virtual fourth season (known as V4S).

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was cancelled in 1997 and spawned several virtual seasons, which continued the trend.

Sites Listing Virtual Seasons

  • Phoenix Virtual Television - on again/off again website listing numerous virtual seasons (and virtual original series), divided according to whether they are complete, ongoing, or never finished.
  • MZP-TV - one of the largest virtual series sites currently running, MZP-TV is a virtual network comprising original series and continuations, as well as 'Buffyverse' fiction.
  • untitled site

List of Shows with Virtual Seasons

The Adventures of Sinbad

Alias Smith and Jones

American Gothic

Angel

Battlestar Galactica (1978)

Beast Wars

Beauty and the Beast

Blood Ties

Brimstone

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Dark Angel

Dark Shadows

Doctor Who

Due South

Farscape

Firefly

Forever Knight

Gargoyles

Harsh Realm

Hercules

Highlander

Invisible Man

JAG

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

Lois & Clark

The Lone Gunmen

MacGyver

Magnificent 7

Millennium

Quantum Leap

The Pretender

Prey

The Sentinel

Sliders

Space: Above and Beyond

Sports Night

Spy Game

Stargate Atlantis

Stargate SG-1

Voyager

Starsky & Hutch

Strange Luck

Supernatural

Transformers

X-Files

Xena: Warrior Princess