Posts Tagged ‘torchwood’

Torchwood post-Children of Earth

July 11th, 2009

Torchwood fandom appears to be reeling after the conclusion of “Children of Earth”, the five-part storyline which made up the series’ third-season. Some viewers appear to appreciate the adultness of the storytelling and the writing quality of these episodes, saying it’s been a definite step-up from earlier seasons. However, many are outraged by the (apparently genuine, not-to-return) death of fan-favorite character Ianto Jones, particularly those involved in one of the primary ships of the series, Jack/Ianto (or “Janto” as it is sometimes known.)

Many Janto fans feel betrayed after being promised more development of the relationship, which had already become canon. They feel that Russel T. Davies has placed shock-value higher than fans’ emotional investment in the series’ characters in pursuing this storyline. I personally stopped watching Torchwood regularly during the second season when it became clear that killing off any of the main characters was going to be fair game–and quite likely to continue. Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato were already main character victims, and with their deaths I also found my interest in watching the series gone. Not to say that I don’t value grittiness in my fictional viewing and reading, and can understand how a character death can sometimes be necessary to move a story along or benefit a piece of fiction artistically. But for many of us who are avid in our fandoms, we become very attached to our characters, favorite relationships, and pairings. Killing off a major character can be a huge risk for TPTB to take, as it can alienate viewers–and not just any viewers but the ones most likely to buy related merchandise for a fandom, attend conventions to see related guests, and generate lots of internet buzz for a show. It can cause them to not just stop watching a show any longer, but it can cause them to lose interest in being any part of a fandom, period.

I’m not sure what the motivation behind killing Ianto could have been (other than shocking the viewer, as already mentioned). A fourth season of the show was questionable at best already. Why kill off a beloved character when there is no need to necessarily close off that door? (An actor wanting to leave a continuing series is one thing, but I’ve heard no mention of Gareth David-Lloyd wanting out.) Now I suspect Torchwood fandom will be wanking for months to come over the events of these episodes. Will the production of fan-fiction now increase, with people writing reaction fics, or AU fics negating the death? Or will fic production (as well as other fannish creativity and support) drop off, with fans now disgusted and lacking inspiration to continue with their storylines? Will the fandom suffer and die instead of thrive in the long run, or will it continue along, perhaps increasing if/when there is a new series produced and new characters introduced to fill the void left now? Only time will tell, but it seems a very risky move for the show to have taken.

Torchsong Chicago

June 5th, 2009

A lot of my friends are big Torchwood fans, and a number of them have been planning on attending Torchsong Chicago this weekend, especially to see prominently advertised guest and main series star John Barrowman.

Well, at the last minute it’s been announced that both John and Kai Owen will not be attending (John due to injury, Kai for undisclosed personal reasons). Understandably, there is huge upset over this, particularly given the very high cost paid by many attendees for the event, photo-op tickets, and a cabaret that was advertised primarily as a showcase for John. The convention organizers are so far insisting that absolutely no refunds will be given, not even partial ones, which no doubt they’ve covered their butts legally in their ticket sales to do this, as most all conventions do. Yet given the high prices paid by some for the event — upwards of $1,410 a person in an auction for front row seats and $500 for “Premiere Memberships” — one wonders if they’ll really be able to get away with that or if there might be so much public outcry (and potential legal troubles) that they may have to relent. Even if not, I doubt many Torchwood fans would go to another event sponsored by this same promoters again.

Who knows what will happen yet? I’ll be following the fall-out and looking forward to reports back from my friends — some of whom were already in transit to the Chicago area before news of the cancellations was released.

We have LiveJournal stats! So what fandoms are hot on LJ?

January 14th, 2009

I’ll get to the title line after first explaining what we’re talking about with LiveJournal stats. If you haven’t figured it out, we love stats at Fan History. We love them a lot. Stats can back up your gut feeling about what is going on in fandom. We’ve been tracking the size of fandom on FanFiction.Net, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, FanFikion.De and Freedom of Speech for a couple of months and we’re addicted. It showed us that Twilight fandom had a small post movie release bump but it really took about two, three weeks for the fandom to explode. (And the numbers haven’t gone down since.)

Given this love, we wanted to get more stats. And we wanted our stats to come from LiveJournal and its clones because we’ve always been told that LiveJournal is a hub of fandom activity. How busy is the fandom? How active? What fandoms are more active than others? How do we measure the level of fandom activity on LiveJournal and its clones?

The method that was chose was to manually create a list of LJ comms based on fandoms. We chose manual because interests don’t really work. You could pick up icon communities dedicated to 100 fandoms where the fandom is unlikely to be represented regularly. We then built a list which we sorted by fandom, by language and by service. Our final list for LiveJournal included 3,092 fandoms. We couldn’t really make it much bigger because we needed to be able to update all these articles in a single day AND the bot would need to access each profile once a day to get the stats we were looking for. The stats pick up total posts, total comments, total members, total watchers and that information is put onto an article about the community in question. All the communities for a fandom are then added together and put on article which measures the total activity in a fandom based on our list for that fandom. Example: Harry Potter LiveJournal community size. After that’s done, those columns are then added together based on language for the community and we get a beautiful list like this list.

What’s interesting is that Twilight is hot on LiveJournal and it clones AND hot with various fan fiction archives. Harry Potter, second on fan fiction archives, is only 18th on LiveJournal. (This could be because our LiveJournal sample is missing the more active HP communities but I some how doubt it.) Naruto is third with fan fiction archives but 15th on LiveJournal. This could be because anime communities are much better represented elsewhere on sites like CrunchyRoll, AnimeNewsNetwork, anime specific blogging sites, etc.

When you get out of English, Twilight fandom is well, active but not always active. It was tops on our Finnish sample. It was 8th in our French sample. It was 7th in our Italian sample. It was tops in Spanish. For the other languages, we couldn’t find communities for Twilight to even be included. That’s the case for most fandoms: Non-English representation is tiny. The fandom language communities just aren’t there, even if the language is. (There are half a dozen Slovak communities but none are fandom specific.)

So that all out of the way, below are the top 100 fandoms on LiveJournal, based on our sample, for yesterday:

Fandom movers and shakers for LiveJournal on January 14, 2009
Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
1 Twilight 6665 1
2 Meta 1232 2
3 WWE 1077 25
4 House M.D. 951 3
5 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 833 7
6 Gossip Girls 735 9
7 Doctor Who 727 4
8 How I Met Your Mother 473 6
9 Merlin 381 5
10 Jonas Brothers 322 13
11 Bones 300 48
12 Top Gear 278 45
13 Darker than Black 221 31
14 As the World Turns 219 18
15 Naruto 184 16
16 30 Seconds to Mars 180 44
17 30 Rock 168 14
18 Harry Potter 167 10
19 Hanson 165 84
20 One Tree Hill 162 124
21 Slayers 150 47
22 My Chemical Romance 134 75
23 New Kids on the Block 130 156
24 David Tennant 130 19
25 NCIS 129 24
26 Laurell K. Hamilton 125 37
27 Britney Spears 124 34
28 Anita Blake 123 36
29 Life on Mars 118 26
30 High School Musical 118 12
31 Ugly Betty 115 33
32 Avatar: The Last Airbender 115 79
33 Neil Patrick Harris 113 8
34 Mystery Science Theater 3000 113 54
35 Bleach 112 15
36 Manchester United 111 11
37 Sports fan fiction 107 42
38 Soccer fan fiction 107 43
39 Sailor Moon 98 28
40 Transformers 94 40
41 The Office (US) 93 23
42 Grey’s Anatomy 87 50
43 Star Trek 83 21
44 Prince of Tennis 81 109
45 Torchwood 76 17
46 Stargate SG-1 76 29
47 An Cafe 76 20
48 Ben 10 74 108
49 Gackt 73 72
50 Pokemon 71 74
51 Alice Nine 67 128
52 Law and Order: SVU 65 71
53 America’s Next Top Model 62 22
54 Lost 57 68
55 24 56 112
56 West Wing 55 80
57 The Sentinel 52 46
58 Vancouver Islanders 51 52
59 The Big Bang Theory 51 117
60 The Mentalist 48 73
61 Saiyuki 48 39
62 Bob Dylan 48 253
63 Fullmetal Alchemist 47 69
64 Ewan McGregor 46 51
65 Ace Attorney 45 119
66 the GazettE 44 56
67 Veronica Mars 44 91
68 U2 44 162
69 The Young and the Restless 44 306
70 CSI: Miami 44 111
71 Atlanta Braves 44 228
72 One Piece 43 38
73 L Word 43 67
74 Dir en grey 43 30
75 Futurama 42 703
76 CSI 42 64
77 iCarly 40 27
78 Kingdom Hearts 40 107
79 Batman 40 78
80 Speed Racer 39 92
81 Beverly Hills 90210 39 127
82 X-Files 37 85
83 Drake & Josh 37 58
84 Phantom of the Opera 36 209
85 Mad Men 36 59
86 Lord of the Rings 36 101
87 Hellsing 34 187
88 Dancing with the Stars 34 131
89 Backstreet Boys 34 183
90 The Late Late Show 33 96
91 Craig Ferguson 33 99
92 Inuyasha 32 141
93 Boston Red Sox 29 104
94 Princess Tutu 27 65
95 David Bowie 27 110
96 Bandom 27 88
97 Sonic: The Hedgehog 25 208
98 Whose Line is it Anyway 24 95
99 Supernatural 24 60
100 Pushing Daises 24 32

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