La Femme Nikita

The Terrible Satisfactions of Fan Fiction (and Writing Who We Know As Fan Fiction)

In the late 90s, I was obsessed with a television show on USA Network, La Femme Nikita,* which was vaguely based on the wonderful French movie La Femme Nikita and the horrible remake Point of No Return. The show centered around Nikita, a woman who was forced into being a government agent for a nefarious covert agency who often had to consider the greater good while doing bad things. There were all kinds of supporting characters like Michael, her love interest and the main who trained Nikita as an agent, Birkoff, the computer genius who helped run the covert operations from headquarters, Operations, the dastardly man in charge of Section (the covert agency), and Madeline, Operations’s sometimes lover and the second in command at Section, and also worked with Nikita who was the tormented emotional core of the show. The show was filled with angsty goodness in each episode as Nikita struggled with the life she was forced into, having to kill or be killed. She had freedom, but only so much. She had Michael, but only so much. It was romantic and agonizing and wonderful. Sometimes, I wanted more than what I could get from a one hour episode. That’s how I learned about fan fiction, where fans of the show wrote elaborate stories using the characters and the world built within the show as a starting point for telling new stories. There were hundreds and hundreds of stories that asked and answered the question, “What if?” posed in countless different ways. I could read stories about Nikita marrying Michael and having a child and negotiating their careers as spies, or Birkoff and Operations having an affair (SLASH), or Nikita and Operations having an affair, or Nikita escaping and starting over only to be caught, or ┬áMadeline taking over Section or Nikita going rogue. The permutations were endless and there was something terribly satisfying about seeing just what was possible within the Nikita universe when the characters were freed from their creators.

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Craft Notes / 12 Comments
April 7th, 2011 / 4:19 pm