I'm Mark & I've Been a Fame fan since 1982. This blog is dedicated to the incredibly talented cast of the show and is a place to share music, videos and pictures. To contact me please send emails to:firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies regarding the Elizabeth Sherwood Investigates story. I hadn't shared the Google site where I post the stories so none of the links were working. I've now corrected this so all the links should be working in the original posts and here they are again to save you having to search for them: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Halfway through the first season and by now I'd started to have ideas of how I wanted the season to end, which would be Doris being caught out by everyone. So it was clear to me that she had to now interact with as many people as possible. Having already placed her, in the previous episode, in "Gonna Learn How To Fly" it gave me two perfect opportunities to do this. Also feeling some kind of closure after talking to her mother Doris felt the need to help others. This was always part of her character but here she suddenly has the opportunity and the knowledge of what is going to happen. Although she'd already pondered not getting changing the past the things that she was doing felt small. Telling Holly she would be successful didn't feel like it would have any consequences. Telling Bruno something may happen to his father was bigger but if the worst happened at least she knew Bruno would have been with him which may help in his grieving process. So she really didn't see any harm. Having Mrs Berg sense something was again just building on what I'd already started with her character. We'd seen her as a medium twice on the show so I thought that might make her more susceptible to sensing something was wrong. Plus I wanted to add a little suspense to the end. The title "To Change What Is Past" comes from the season 6 song "To See Your Face Again" was another title that had popped out at me and seemed perfect for this episode. There are little nods in this episodes to the the season 3 story lines of the rivalry between Holly and Doris and also Doris dressing as a pensioner in "A Way Of Winning". As well as Doris helping other people she is subconsciously helping herself. She had previous felt guilty about how she treated Holly and now she discovers that she'd knocked Holly's confidence at the audition, which she didn't previously know about. Then there's Bruno and I think most people feel a little guilty or inadequate when their friends lose people. So trying to help them she is trying to relieve some of her own guilt and negative feelings.
Read "To Change What Is Past"
The title "Lost In Yesterday" comes from the season 4 song "Don't Throw Away Your Dreams" and refers to how lost Doris is feeling in the past. It started out quite fun but suddenly she is having to deal with all these difficult emotions and the confusion over what is happening to her. She is in the past to escape from her unhappiness but actually she is having to confront it head on. Initially disappointed that her Mother is no longer there, the idea of being able to phone her means she finally gets to say what she feels she needs to say to her mother. The fact it is out of context for her mother makes no difference. It actually comes as a weight off Doris' mind that after 9 years she had finally got her opportunity. I also wanted to highlight to the reader that I wasn't just going to set up a situation in an episode then have Doris move in time leaving the previous events unresolved, like I had when Doris is caught by Mrs Berg at the end of episode 2. Some would be resolved others would be stored for future episodes. The move in time again highlights how little control she has over her current situation and adds to her feeling lost. Initially when I wrote the Mrs Berg Scenes in this and previous episodes I had no idea how important Mrs Berg would become to the story. I thought it would be a way of adding a little mystery so the scene here is just to add to that with no intention of it going anywhere else. From the beginning I wanted to include as many of the characters as possible. The Leroy scene at the start of this episode with him noticing Doris was again throwaway and I had no intention of it coming to anything. Later on I was glad I included it as I would expand Leroy's story in future episodes. The one character I struggle to write is Chris. Here he has a nice little scene but in future episodes he becomes the hardest character to write so for the most part I didn't bother as other characters seemed to have plenty more potential. The reference to the last time Doris was in the Make up room when she graduated was obviously something we never saw in an episode. However my very first attempt at fan fiction was to write a story showing Doris and Leroy graduating from the school so I decided to stick with that continuity and reference it.Doris' disguise means she can start to interact with the other characters more which I realised was going to be essential to take the story forward. We then had the mysterious voice calling her name. Again at the time of writing I wasn't sure what it would be. I just felt it indicated that her future may be bleeding through to the past. In future episodes I would actually have characters calling her in exactly the same way so any of them could be what she is hearing here. Maybe she is hearing it because it is an amalgamation of all the times it is used.
For me this is the most important episode of the first season. We not only learn so much back story of what has happened, to Doris in her life, and can see exactly why she may want to run away from that life but we also see how much scope "Time and Again" actually has. This made the writing very fulfilling. Initially when I thought about the concept of this series, it was going be Doris revisiting various events from the past and maybe having mini adventures connected to those events or learning a lesson or two. However even after only two previous episodes, I realised there has to be something more otherwise the story would become pretty tired and very quickly. When I first started writing the series it was a case of think of an episode and put Doris into it and see what happens. That is exactly how this one started. Doris needed to escape Mrs Berg and I'd already decided that that somehow she would move in time. It's a great plot device to get her out of difficult situations and keeping the story going. When I think of events happening outside the school on the streets I always think of "Hot Times In The City Streets" from "Indian Summer" so as Doris was going outside I was quickly going to introduce the concept of moving in time and putting her into that episode. Initially it was just going to be fun and for those that didn't realise her rant at Cleo is connected to the events of "Spontaneous Combustion" which would occur a couple of episodes later. However what happened was when I was looking at pictures to insert for "Hot Time in The City Street" I saw the Twin Towers. Instantly it made me wonder how someone from the future who was used to not seeing them would react to suddenly seeing them again. Even if someone didn't live in New York the events surrounding their destruction has so impacted on our minds that I thought it would be impossible not to have an emotional reaction and that would give a new aspect to the storytelling. As I explored the idea it just hit me, lets Doris have suffered personal tragedy connected to those events. Of course it had to be her Mother. Having lost my own Mother suddenly it was easy to channel my own feelings of loss and guilt. Suddenly we have a powerful, emotional situation which we learn has scarred Doris. There is mention of a breakdown and time she has spent in a mental hospital. That was a seed I wanted to plant as that was one of the ideas I was exploring to explain what had happened to send back into the past. I wasn't sure I would use it but if it was there I could expand upon it if needed. The title "To See Your Face Again" comes from the season 6 song of the same name and just fit perfectly. Anyone who has lost anyone important to them probably has that longing for some more time with that person, even just one day. Then I realised with time travel you can make it come true. Sticking with the season 4 episodes it didn't take much for me to remember Angela Schwartz appearance in "Blizzard". Some how it seemed appropriate to go from a really hot day to a really cold one which just seemed to add to the emotional punch that I believe this episode has. This was great to write and it meant I laid down a challenge to myself to maintain even surpass the emotional impact of this episode in the future. Suddenly what I'd initially thought could end up being a chore to write a story had become very rewarding and enjoyable. Read "To See Your Face Again"
Deck The Hall - Kids from Fame Holiday Around The World - Kids from Fame Christmas Dance Instrumental You're A Mean One Mr Grinch - Albert Hague Yes I Know The Way To Celebrate - Gene Anthony Ray Joy To the World - Kids from Fame Some Other Time - Erica Gimpel Somebody Must be Grinning Down On Me - Gene Anthony Ray Blue Christmas - Billy Hufsey Born In Bethlehem - Loretta Chandler Twelve Days Of Christmas - Choir Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Valerie Landsburg & Debbie Allen Silent Night - Kids From Fame Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Debbie Allen We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Nia Peeples & Jesse Borrego
The initial basis of this episode was to explore what we may all be thinking if by some strange possibility we found ourselves in the past. We've all seen movies and TV shows that have utilised the concept of time travel. There are some unwritten rules that fiction has adopted that have almost become fact. The Butterfly effect for example or people meeting themselves. Although I personally enjoy science fiction, maybe the average "Fame" fan doesn't and so I needed to establish what could potentially happen and that being back in the past wasn't without it's dangers. I needed a way to highlight some of these issues without being too heavy handed so I enjoyed the pop culture reference to "Back To The Future" and thought it was a nice touch to have Doris have been in a Sci Fi movie. I also thought that Sci Fi wouldn't really be Doris' thing so having her not fully understand some of the principles would add to the story and perhaps be the experience of some of the readers. Doris just needed to worry about changing things and not being discovered. Her accidental encounter with Miss Sherwood, although written as a bit of fun was there to establish how difficult it could be to interact with people when you know things that are going to happen and how careful you need to be. Having Doris alone in the music booth contemplating her situation and asking herself questions but having no answers was there to highlight how isolated she is in her real life and how that will become stronger the longer she is in the past. It's all new to her at the moment so there is an element of excitement but ultimately she is alone. Having no signal on her phone and being afraid to draw attention to herself and talk to others is really a metaphor for how she was feeling in her life. Alone and isolated. Although as a reader we have yet to discover this, there are hints in the first two episodes that she feels old, with unfulfilled dreams and that life hasn't been kind to her. No matter how confused she is in the past ultimately she feels at home. The sights, sounds and even the smells from the past flood her senses and bring back happy memories and feelings. Even the embarrassing ones like how she felt about Michael Harrison make her smile. Life was definitely simpler when she was a teenager, even if she didn't realise it. Life has taken it's toll on middle aged Doris and although she can't remember some of the events almost instinctively she feels happier in her current predicament than she has felt in a long time. The title "An Echo In Time" which comes from "Shadows and Light" just references that happiness is just an Echo for Doris. Something she hasn't experienced in a long time but can remember it from her past. It also references Mrs Berg recognising her straight away. Doris is an Echo from the future that confuses Mrs Berg. The final part with Mrs Berg is there to add some mystery and jeopardy. Having realised she must try to keep a low profile and almost getting a buzz out of fooling Miss Sherwood, Doris realises that Mrs Berg recognises her straight away. Read "An Echo In Time"
Our new fan fiction series starts today titled "Elizabeth Sherwood Investigates". Reuniting Elizabeth with her ex colleague David Reardon we discover there's been "A Murder In The Family". This is Part 1: Read Story
As we countdown to Christmas it's Fan Fiction Month here on Kids From Fame Media! As a Christmas treat there will 3 episodes of "Doris Schwartz Time and Again". Plus commentaries on the episodes from seasons 1 and 2 which might help you with clues to solve the mystery.
However, I'm really excited about a new set of stories called Elizabeth Sherwood Investigates. It will be an ongoing series but each story will be self contained, so there's no waiting years to find out the conclusion. The first adventure "A Murder in the Family", which comes in 10 parts will be posted throughout this month. So I hope you enjoy that.
If anyone would like to try their hand at writing some fan fiction to post on the site. Whether it be a your own attempt at an Elizabeth Sherwood Investigates mystery or something completely original. Then please contact me as I'm more than happy to share other peoples work.
The episode of the month is "Self Defense" from season 5 and posts for that start on the 16th.
Christine Reisner, who is Albert Hague's nice has a Christmas CD titled "Christmas With Uncle Albert", where she covers 2 songs from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, for which Albert wrote the music. Buy on Amazon UK Buy on Amazon US
Ovation TV in the U.S. starts repeating "Fame" again from tonight with 2 episodes at 6.00pm and 7.00pm week nights. Check their website for listings. Ovation TV Anyway I hope everyone has a great month and a wonderful Christmas, Best Wishes, Mark
I'd never considered writing fan fiction until a couple of years ago when I received emails asking about what "Fame" fan fiction was available and about the possibility of adding some to my website. Initially I wasn't keen on the idea. Although, I had always been interested in writing and story telling. As a teenager I'd even written my own Soap Opera but I was more of the ideas person. I could come up with story lines and ideas but actually putting them together and doing the hard work of creating a full story for someone else to read was something completely different. Maybe it was a lack of confidence, maybe it seemed like a lot of work to put in just to result in one post, but I didn't think it was for me. However, it also presented me with a challenge and the idea started to appeal more and more, until I eventually thought what the heck, lets give it a go. It was then a decision of what to write about. The obvious way forward was to write about our favourite characters now and catch up on what happened in their lives since leaving the school. I've often come up with individual ideas for some of the characters but I wasn't sure I could turn that into anything worthwhile. Also, I'd seen other fan fiction doing that and I didn't just want to duplicate what was already out there. So the other idea was to write stories for the past and how the characters were at the school and come up with individual stories that could slot into the existing seasons. The latter idea appealed the most but still something held me back. If I was going to do this I wanted to come up with something unique and not just rehash what had already been done. Suddenly it hit me and I came up with the idea of mixing the two but with a twist. I love TV shows like "Lost" with a big ongoing story arc mystery and I wondered if I could do the same with "Fame". I envisaged a new TV show that utilised the original TV episodes and mixed it with new material to make something new. I liked the idea of doing a mystery and mixing past and future together so decided this is what I needed to do in written form. Once I hit on the concept, the idea of sending a character back in time came very quickly and instantly I knew it had to be Doris. Doris had been friends with, and had really strong connections to, every character from the first four seasons, which are my personal favourites. So it would be easy to incorporate her into story lines using those characters. Also Doris had connections to lots of guest characters that I could utilise. Imagine trying to tell the story using Julie and instantly it becomes apparent that would limit the story. I'd often thought about how life may have turned out for Doris and realised I could use some of those ideas in this story.
The ideas for the background came thick and fast and it felt exciting creating something new. When I started to write I had no idea what had caused Doris to go back in time and just thought I'll write a couple of episodes and see where the story takes me. Of course when anything strange happens in any story the opt out clause is to make it all a dream. Even on "Fame" we'd had Doris dream she was in the land of Oz and Danny dream he was Sherlock Holmes as well as the countless dream musical numbers. I knew I had to come up with something better than Doris dreams it all as that just felt like one big cheat. So from the very start, the one firm decision I made, was this wasn't going to be a dream! I had a couple of possible explanations kicking around my head but nothing concrete and was hoping the ideas would just come as I wrote the stories. Thankfully they did! Having been listening to some "Fame" songs a couple of lyrics had jumped out of me that I could use for episode titles. As this was going to be a concept story I decided that as part of the concept I was going to take all the episode titles from the lyrics of the "Fame" songs. That's not always been the easiest thing to do but somehow I made it work. "All My Past Behind" comes from "Starmaker" and was one of the lyrics that struck me, I would have to use. It seemed appropriate for the first episode and serves a dual purpose. Firstly it establishes Doris is revisiting the past but secondly it also refers to her future, which as a reader we have yet to discover but for the character that is also behind her and some how she has left it, escaped it if you like. The big questions are Why? and How? I also decided that I wanted to write this as though it were actually a TV series. By breaking it up into seasons, with each season building to a season finale. As much as possible I also wanted to end each episode on a cliff hanger and I wanted each season to have a slightly different flavour. So into the writing of the first episode, I was in no doubt that I needed to start in the Pilot episode. Not just that episode but at the very beginning of it in the opening scene. The fact that Doris wasn't originally in that scene was a statement I was making to highlight that this wasn't a dream. Doris couldn't dream exactly what happened if she'd never been there. Also it helped add to the confusion of the character not knowing where she was if she'd never been there before. I guess it could be said that nothing happens in this first episode and it's just a set up for what is yet to come. What we do get is a little glimpse of Doris' character and life now and a sense that perhaps she isn't happy in that life. We see that life hadn't turned out the way she dreamed it would. When the very last episode aired and Doris had a baby I always felt she would never become a star and that family would take precedence. Doris had always loved the school and I think that connection was always portrayed more than for any other character. It seemed right to me that Doris would return somewhere she had been truly happy, particular if she was going through a difficult time. She was back where she belonged and now felt safe. We learn a little that she had maintained friendships with Montgomery and Bruno and re-established a connection with Julie. I also think it was important to establish that Shorofsky had died and that life (and death) had moved on for some of our characters. I hoped that his presence would help highlight that this story was going to be different to anything else out there and add to the mystery. Looking back at this first episodes makes me realise just how much the story has grown over the last few years. This part seems so much more simple when compared to what comes later. Maybe that is a natural progression with any ongoing story, to build the foundation to be able to add to it in the future. I just know it's certainly been an enjoyable ride for this novice writer! Read "All My Past Behind"