["due South" title card (compass needle pointing south), and two promotion images depicting Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) with Ray Vecchio (David Marciano) and Benton Fraser with Ray Kowalski (Callum Keith Rennie). Not pictured: Diefenbaker.]
Canadian crime series due South aired from 1994 to 1999, with 68 episodes spread over four seasons. It combines a fish-out-of-water premise with the emotional beats of a strong friendship across cultural and personalitiy divides: Benton Fraser, member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father and, for reasons which don’t need exploring at this juncture, he remained, attached as liaison to the Canadian consulate. (He would go on to give this speech several times over the course of the show.) He partners up with Ray Vecchio, a Chicago cop, for various crime-solving and -fighting activities.
In the beginning of season 3, Vecchio has to go undercover and is replaced with a new Ray. (Cue the shipping wars!)
While activity has slowed down (and moved off the old Yahoo mailing lists), due South fandom (and its umbrella fandom, 6 Degrees of Canada) has remained alive and kicking, even fifteen years after the season finale. The fact that Ray and Fraser literally rode off into the sunset together might or might not have contributed to the show’s popularity.
This month help us celebrate due South fandom by posting all fanworks old and new at AO3, and sharing your fandom stories on the Fanlore page! You can also share your works and recs with other fans in our April Showers collection.
(In honor of our April Showers festivities, we’re highlighting one fandom for each day in April. Join the fun by keeping an eye on our social media sites: AO3 Twitter, AO3 Tumblr, and Fanlore Twitter.)