Home > Reviews > Revisiting the 1987 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TV series (spoilers)

Revisiting the 1987 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TV series (spoilers)

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks revisiting the original 1987 Beauty and the Beast, the Linda Hamilton/Ron Perlman fantasy series that was the very loose basis for the current CW Network series of the same name. I gave up on the CW remake partway through the second season, but I remembered liking the original, so I wanted to rewatch it before Netflix pulled it from streaming at the end of the month. Oddly, though, Netflix’s stream is missing two episodes (and one of the final episodes is shown out of order), and I eventually ended up borrowing much of the series on DVD from the public library. The series is badly in need of an HD remastering, and I’m afraid it actually looks better on my old, standard-definition TV set — the format it was made for — than it does on streaming video, where there are often serious scan-line artifacts.

Beauty and the Beast was created and showrun by Ron Koslow, and its writing staff featured novelist George R.R. Martin, best known today for A Song of Ice and Fire/A Game of Thrones. Other writing staffers included Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon, David Peckinpah (season 1 only), and P.K. Simonds, with Paul Junger Witt & Tony Thomas (best known for various sitcoms) as the executive producers along with Koslow. The series had only the loosest connection to the fairy tale of the same name. Linda Hamilton played Catherine Chandler, a pampered corporate lawyer who was subjected to a brutal, random attack (a case of mistaken identity, since ’80s TV didn’t demand that every plot point be part of some vast conspiracy directed at the main characters) and was nursed back to health by Vincent (Ron Perlman), a powerful but gentle lion-man who lived in the tunnels underneath New York City, part of a secret utopian community led by Father (Roy Dotrice), a stern but kindly older man who adopted Vincent when he was found abandoned as a baby. (The series never explained Vincent’s origins or nature.) Catherine is initially shocked by Vincent’s appearance once her bandages come off and she can see him, but she’s had time to discover his caring, educated nature, and the two form a powerful bond that enables Vincent to sense her emotions empathically and feel when she’s in danger. And that comes in handy later, since she leaves her cushy law firm and gets a job at the district attorney’s office, which often leads her into danger on the gritty streets of a New York City that was portrayed (at least in the first season) as a rather hellish, squalid place. Though Vincent was a soft-spoken, compassionate being with the mind of a scholar and the soul of a poet, he had a ferocious animal side that came out with lethal effect whenever Catherine was endangered.

Vincent’s leonine makeup was created by FX legend Rick Baker, and it’s one of his finest creations. It works so well with the planes of Ron Perlman’s face while also transforming it utterly and making it beautiful. Perlman also uses a very different voice than he usually does, a soft, contemplative, highly articulate growl that probably had female viewers swooning. (Jay Ryan on the CW remake attempts to do the same kind of rumbly voice, but in his case it just comes off as mushmouthed, lazy mumbling. Even though he doesn’t have Perlman’s impediment of a mouth full of fake fangs to talk through.)

I have a theory that TV series with unusual premises are often obligated to start out in a formulaic mode to appease network executives and more conservative viewers, and only later are free to begin exploring the ideas that make them distinctive. B&tB is a classic example of this. The show was always literate, with characters constantly reading books and quoting poetry and literature and listening to classical music, and the production values were excellent, particularly the lush musical score (initially by Lee Holdridge, but mostly by future The Matrix composer Don Davis and occasionally William Ross), one of the last great, lyrical orchestral TV scores before the age of minimalist atmospherics and electronic scores took hold in the ’90s. But the first ten episodes were quite formulaic and rather boring after a while. The stories were mainly focused on the surface world (“The World Above”), with the underground “World Below” given very little exploration, even though it was the most interesting part of the premise. The World Below was based on the real-life phenomenon of homeless people living in the extensive abandoned tunnels beneath New York City, but it was a fantasy extrapolation beyond that, a warm and inviting cavern world filled with books and artwork and ornate hand-me-downs from the World Above, and with gorgeous underground settings represented by elaborate matte paintings. But for nearly half a season, the inhabitants of the World Below seemed to consist entirely of Vincent, Father, and occasionally a few orphan children. It was a secondary element tacked onto an otherwise fairly conventional crime drama, with Vincent as your formulaic superhero who was constantly running through tunnels and riding on top of a subway train to race to Catherine’s rescue. Those episodes that didn’t involve Vincent saving Catherine usually involved Vincent getting captured or trapped up above and needing Catherine to rescue him. The main exception was an episode where Father had to venture above when summoned by an old love, but immediately stumbled upon a murder and got arrested for it.

But about halfway through the season, that suddenly changed, as if the producers were finally given the freedom to explore the side of the show that the network was uneasy with. In the course of just a few episodes, the World Below was fleshed out into a whole community of recurring characters including: Pascal (Armin Shimerman), the master of the tunnelers’ communication system based in tapping code on underground pipes; Mouse (David Greenlee), an eccentric, semi-feral tinkerer and troublemaker with an idiosyncratic speech pattern (“Okay good, okay fine”); Jamie (Irina Irvine), a plucky teenage girl; Mary (Ellen Geer), the matronly midwife of the community; Winslow (James Avery), who started out being just the big angry guy who was wrong about everything but who got to be on more or less the right side in later appearances; and the main recurring bad guy, Paracelsus (Tony Jay) — a co-founder of the underground world with Father, but long since exiled due to his supervillainous ambitions. For the rest of the season, although we still got a few more conventional Above plots, most of the stories were about events Below or about the impact that people and events from one world had upon the other. There was also a decreasing emphasis on action and a shift more toward more character-driven, dramatic stories.

These trends become even stronger in the first half of season 2, which focuses primarily on the World Below, or on aboveground plots driven by characters and situations from Below. The tunnel world and its culture are fleshed out more fully, and the show becomes less about the romance between Catherine and Vincent and more about Catherine’s relationship with the entire underground community, her role as the bridge between worlds. Personally, I liked the show far better in this vein. There’s only so much you can do with “a love that can never be,” especially when it’s defined as vaguely as it was here. The relationship between the two remained totally chaste; they never even kissed, for reasons that were left vague. I suppose the implicit reason was that Vincent’s fangs and claws and superstrength made it too dangerous for her, and that the “beast” within him would go out of control in the heat of passion. But when they finally did an episode that gingerly addressed this, fully halfway into season 2, it was clearly the first time Vincent and Catherine had even spoken about it, which was deeply implausible. It’s startling from a modern perspective how utterly chaste the show was, never talking about sex overtly. But then, it was an 8 PM show back when 8 PM was considered a child-friendly viewing hour. And maybe the show was designed to appeal to female viewers who were drawn to a fantasy of a heroic, perfect male companion with the thrill of danger but no need to worry about the complications of sex. I have to wonder what it says about Catherine that she was okay to have that with Vincent for over a year without even wondering why.

Season 2 also toned down the action and violence in the first half, mercifully avoiding the Catherine-in-danger formula and the recycled footage of Vincent racing to her rescue. On those few occasions that Vincent did give in to his rage, we finally saw how it troubled him, how he feared and hated that side of him, something we’d never really seen in season 1 when it was a handy device to kill off the bad guys of the week. For a show that was so prudish about sex, it was surprisingly cavalier about killing, and I was glad to see it get away from that. Plus I found the exploration of the World Below more engaging than the action and romance elements. The problem with romance series is the need to keep the characters constantly apart or in turmoil through one contrivance or another, and that was something that really got tedious to me when I watched the show in its first run. I was happiest at the point when Vincent and Catherine’s relationship was just this stable background element in a show that was about fleshing out this charming fantasy world beneath the city. The World Below was the kind of fantasy that drew me, a safe haven free from violence or cruelty, a place where outcasts and the vulnerable could be taken in and nurtured. Of course, the more we explored the World Below, the more crises had to befall it for the sake of drama, and I remember getting tired of how maudlin the second season got, with one disastrous thing after another seeming to befall the leads. Yet on my revisit, that didn’t seem to be quite as constant a thread as I remembered.

Unfortunately, the pattern of season 2 was the reverse of season 1, in that the half-season devoted to gentler, dramatic stories driven by the tunnel community was followed by a half-season devoted to action/danger plots in the World Above. My recollection is that there was network meddling to fight sagging ratings, and that meant a return to the formulaic and familiar, with the tunnel characters all but disappearing in the back half of the season. Even in the episode where Catherine’s father dies and she retreats below to grieve, that sense of the larger community is absent and it’s solely about her and Vincent. Even a scene between her and Father would’ve been welcome. And then there’s a whole run of episodes set topside and dealing with various crime/danger or courtroom-drama plots. It’s only in the last two episodes, as the Paracelsus arc comes to a climax, that the World Below is featured again.

All in all, the first two seasons are a study in overcorrections. The show swings between extremes, half a season spending too little time in one world followed by half a season spending too little time in the other. I preferred the roughly year-long stretch in the middle that focused on the World Below, but I would’ve appreciated more of a balance throughout.

The show went through more radical changes in the third season, as Linda Hamilton’s pregnancy forced the producers to write her out. Also, Ron Koslow left the series after co-writing the season premiere to set off the new course, although the rest of the staff remained intact. Most of the season revolved around a new archvillain named Gabriel (Stephen McHattie), a nebulously all-powerful crime boss who secretly rules the city, and who’s prone to rambling monologues about his evil philosophy (I’m not sure whether the writers intended them to be as incoherent as they were). Although he’s played with effective menace by McHattie, and given a memorable leitmotif by Davis (like a cross between Lalo Schifrin’s “The Plot” and Gerald Fried’s “Pon Farr”), it’s never really all that clear just who he is, what he does, or how he got so powerful.

Anyway, the second season ended with a cliffhanger where Vincent was lost in his rage and Catherine went in to try to help him, and in the third season premiere, that “help” evidently consists of the physical intimacy the show aggressively avoided until now. Although the avoidance is still intact, because their “love scene” is in the form of a hilariously cheesy video montage of blooming roses and explosions and hands clasping, with the song version of the main title theme playing over it. This cheesy montage has two effects: One, it gets Catherine pregnant, and two, it breaks their empathic bond so that Vincent can’t find her and save her when Gabriel abducts her (before she can tell Vincent about the child). But Gabriel learns of Vincent and wants to possess his child, keeping Catherine alive until she delivers and then killing her, with Vincent just too late to save her. The show remains intensely euphemistic about sex even in her dying words to Vincent: “We loved. There is a child.”

The show then introduces a new female lead, Jo Anderson, as Diana Bennett, an NYPD profiler/analyst who gets assigned to Catherine’s case in the second episode and eventually finds her way to Vincent about halfway through the 11-episode season. Now, when this cast change happened, most of the show’s fans were outraged. Vincent and Catherine are eternal lovers! How can you kill off our beloved Catherine and expect us to accept this interloper in her place? But I never felt that way, because… well, I’m sorry, but I’ve never actually liked Linda Hamilton much. She’s okay as Sarah Connor, but I found her performance as Catherine rather unappealing, particularly in the first half-season, when she tended to deliver her lines in a high-pitched lilt that I found weak and insipid. Her delivery got better over time, perhaps as Catherine outgrew her pampered-heiress origins and became tougher, but I still never liked her delivery much, the weakest voice in a cast filled with gorgeous voices like Ron Perlman, Roy Dotrice, Tony Jay, and James Avery. I also never found her to be as beautiful as advertised. So her departure didn’t trouble me at all. And while Jo Anderson didn’t seem all that striking to me at first glance, she had the kind of face that gets more compellingly beautiful the more you look at it. She was a redhead with enormous, soulful blue eyes and luminous skin, like a Titian painting brought to life. And she had an earthier, subtler appeal than Hamilton had; Diana was more of a middle-class character with a New Jersey accent (the actress’s own) that I found rather charming. I didn’t think of it until just this moment, but she reminds me of Elisa Maza from Gargoyles. (She’s also very reminiscent of Gillian Anderson of The X-Files, but apparently they aren’t related.)

(Edited to add) Season 3 also makes a regular out of the late Edward Laurence Albert, who’d had a recurring role in the first two seasons as Elliot Burch, a morally ambiguous industrialist who was a rival for Catherine’s affections, and whom Vincent approached for help in investigating her death. (If Diana reminds me of Elisa from Gargoyles, Elliot is basically a nicer David Xanatos, even to the point of resembling Jonathan Frakes.) Albert was the son of comic actor Eddie Albert, but he did terrific dramatic work as Burch, so it’s no wonder they made him a regular. Although it was odd in story terms that Vincent went to him instead of the other male regular, Catherine’s boss Joe Maxwell (Jay Acovone), who’d been a stalwart friend to her throughout (and secretly in love with her, though it was never made explicit until season 3). As it was, Joe became a somewhat adversarial figure as he latched onto Vincent as a possible suspect in Catherine’s murder (albeit without knowing more than his name). He was the one who brought Diana into the story, though.

Which is not to say that I liked everything about the third season. It’s far more plot- and action-driven than the previous two, a lot less thoughtful and rarefied and a lot more violent. It’s striking how heavily serialized it is, with almost every episode ending on a cliffhanger. I tend to think of that level of serialization as something that didn’t develop in SF/fantasy TV until Babylon 5, but B&tB had it beat by several years. Oddly, though, the Gabriel arc wraps up after 9 episodes, with the series concluding with an unconnected 2-parter. I’d guess that 2-parter was a “pilot” for the new status quo just in case the series got renewed, as it served to bring Diana fully into the tunnel community at last.

But season 3 is the only one that manages to find a good balance between the Worlds Above and Below, though somewhat at the expense of Below’s isolation and otherness, with more characters crossing from one world to the other. I would’ve liked to see that balance achieved while the series was still more driven by character drama.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast never found the perfect balance of its elements. It was at the mercy of constant executive meddling, frequent retools and overcorrections that never let it find and keep a consistent identity. The saving grace is that the writing staff remained mostly consistent, with the only major changes being the departures of David Peckinpah after season 1 (probably for the best, considering how he later screwed up Sliders) and Koslow after the season 3 premiere. Koslow aside, George R.R. Martin and the Gansa/Gordon duo remained the primary guiding voices throughout, so it did manage to maintain a degree of consistency despite its changes. (Including, I think, a change of venue. The first season seemed to be shot in New York for real, but the last two were made in LA. It gave it a less authentic feel.)

One thing that surprised me is how old this show felt. I don’t think of the ’80s as being that long ago, but it was nearly three decades, and the world was very different. There are no mobile phones and hardly any computers in the show. The DA’s office has some computer consoles off to the side, but no desktops, and Catherine writes her legal briefs in pencil on a yellow pad. They even have old-style phones with mechanical ringers, although they get upgraded later in the series. Many of the special effects are really dated as well. There’s gorgeous matte work by Illusion Arts and Effects Unlimited representing the tunnel world, but there are occasional some really bad-looking video chromakey mattes, and I mentioned the terrible-looking “lovemaking” montage. (But there is one cool video effect. In the second-season finale, when Vincent was losing control of himself, some of his point-of-view shots were distorted with the same kind of “howlround” effect used to create the original Doctor Who titles, resulting from the time-delayed feedback you get by pointing a video camera at its own monitor.) The rich orchestral music is also a vestige of an earlier era, albeit a far more welcome one.

But that’s not the most dated aspect. Unfortunately, the show’s treatment of race is rather poor. The cast is overwhelmingly white, unrealistically so for New York City — especially since so many in the World Below are outcasts, orphans, and homeless people who came seeking refuge. The show starts out with several prominent black characters who systematically disappear. Initially, Ren Woods is a regular as Edie, the computer researcher who’s Catherine’s best friend in the office, but she disappears after the first half-season (though, oddly, her name remains in the main titles clear through the third-season premiere). Delroy Lindo has a recurring role as Catherine’s self-defense instructor Isaac, but he also disappears after three early episodes. And James Avery’s Winslow is stuck not only with the stereotype of Angry Black Man, but with the stereotype of First One to Die, late in season 1. He’s replaced for the rest of the series with the nearly identical character William, played by a white actor, Ritch Brinkley. There are occasional guest roles for nonwhite actors, including a significant turn by Richard Roundtree in late season 2 and early season 3, but not often.

And in the first season, there are a few episodes painting other cultures in a rather stereotyped light. There’s a “voodoo cult” episode, the lowest point of season 1, that’s so racist it’s actually called “Dark Spirit.” It tries to be non-racist by having the black suspect be innocent and the handsome white voodoo-expert professor be the real villain, but it’s still horrendous in its portrayal of Haitian religion, with Father dismissing vodou as “primitive superstition.” The episode also introduces the other major black character in the World Below, Narcissa (Beah Richards), a blind mystic constantly spouting cryptic warnings about de world of de spirits. There’s also a Chinatown episode and a “Gypsy” episode that both portray the cultures in question as insular, exotic communities with their own harsh, intractable traditions, needing the show’s enlightened white heroine to convince them that there’s a more humane way. (Although the Chinatown episode, “China Moon,” features fully eight cast members from Big Trouble in Little China, even pitting James Hong as the bad guy against Dennis Dun and Victor Wong as good guys, which is kind of awesome.) It’s such a striking contrast from the modern remake on The CW. That’s a much weaker show in most respects, but it does a terrific job of inclusion, with a Chinese-American Catherine Chandler and a regular cast that’s always been at least 50% nonwhite. I’m sure the original show wasn’t trying to be discriminatory, but it unthinkingly fell into so many of the default racial attitudes of its era.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast was a flawed show, but an intriguing one. In many ways, it was the classiest, most literate and cultured show of its era, though it had to contend with constant network pressures to be more conventional and lowbrow. It had a mostly really good cast (Linda Hamilton being the exception for me), and it was my introduction to multiple actors who went on to become SF or animation stalwarts, including Perlman, Jay, Avery, and Shimerman. (I’d heard Avery’s voice before, but never seen him in live action before this.) And it had mostly terrific production values, making it perhaps the most beautiful show of its day (which is why it really needs an HD upgrade). All in all, it was worth a revisit, even though it was a more flawed show than I remembered.

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  1. August 1, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Ren Woods’ name was actually NOT in all the credits in the original TV run. The credits changed in the first season after she left. They remained the same for the second season, and changed three times in the third season. It seems like the people who digitized the show for DVD just slapped on the first season credits for the first two seasons and left them like that. Very irritating.

    • August 1, 2015 at 7:43 am

      I was wondering if that might be the case. Thanks for the clarification. Someone should tell IMDb, though.

    • Gary Mussat
      February 19, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      I am actually looking for a collector and not wanting to sell individual pieces. Do you happen to know of any or how I go about finding one?

  2. January 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Steven mchattie was excellent as gabrial, so creepy they even gave him his own theme music whenever he appeared!

  3. Donna
    January 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

    A well-thought-out review. The series was enormously popular, being a refuge from mounds of TV fluff when it appeared. Indeed, it ranked higher than Doctor Who and Stargate in TV Guide’s Top Cult Shows 2007 list. This article prompts only one minor complaint, namely stating that there are no desktop computers. Later it correctly states that Edie is a computer researcher in the DA’s office, and she most certainly does use a desktop, a rather modern concept at the time. Otherwise, an insightful article to be sure.

    • January 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Edie had a computer, of course, but as I said in the review, it was a large console off to the side of the office, not a desktop.

  4. Patricia H Cordon
    March 3, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I have been re-watching the first season. I like it now as I liked it in 1987.Ron Perlmen’s voice was perfect for Vincent. Unfortunately for me the show lost it’s magic and I stopped watching. I never saw season 3. So Catherine gave birth to Vincent’s child? Did they ever show this baby?

  5. Amy Mcadams
    July 5, 2017 at 12:11 am

    https://www.facebook.com/thecavesandcandlescommunity/ You all should come visit us here, meet other like minded fans of the show. We welcome all fans of the show from all seasons.

  6. Sharyl Krantz
    July 19, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I bought the whole series and fell in love with all of them wish they would have continued the series. Whould have like to see Vincents little boy grow up and Vincent find love again.

  7. Jennifer Thalasinos
    December 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I found your blog looking for something from 3S Beauty and the Beast. I appreciate your very though review of my favorite show. I agree…I liked Jo Anderson better than Linda Hamilton. But I related more to Diana’s background. At the time the show originally aired I was between ages 12-15. I met my husband because of this show and unfortunately I found myself in my own 3S after he was killed in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

  8. February 25, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I love Ron and Linda’s beauty and the beast. Thanks for the input. I am trying to find piano music from this show. Any ideas?

    • lee winters
      February 25, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      There was a cd called of love and hope released around 15 years ago. Perhaps you can find it on ebay. I myself would like to have gabriels theme , the composer wrote a stunning piece of music for the arch villian.

  9. Reed blendall
    May 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    A fantasy show with a 50% non white cast for network tv would have never made it too production in 1986. It’s the nature of the beast. Hate the game and all that. It irritates me to hear shows being crapped on for something they didn’t have the power to address when they were created. Maybe the casting director wanted more minority characters but was shot down by network execs. Remember, if in doubt, blame the old rich white dudes. 99% of the time you’ll be right. Otherwise it’s like castigating Jane Austen for not writing Elizabeth as black or a man in pride and prejudice. Such a book would never be published in 19th century England for us to enjoy today. Hold the people of TODAY to account, don’t expect bravery or change from people who didn’t know what they didn’t know when they didn’t known it.

    • May 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Commenting on the shortcomings of past shows is not about placing blame; blame is useless decades after the fact, since it can’t lead to change. It’s merely about informing modern viewers that an older work has elements that haven’t aged well and that could work against their enjoyment. It’s part of a reviewer’s job to point out problematical elements in a work, regardless of their origin.

      Besides, there were shows back then, and decades earlier, that did make an effort to be more racially inclusive than their contemporaries, like STAR TREK or V or the first season of WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE SERIES. Even by the standards of the 1980s, B&tB ended up being a pretty white show, and one that made a habit of writing out the black characters who did appear early on. So blaming the tenor of the times doesn’t cut it. There were other shows from the same time that did better.

  10. Gary
    November 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    My wife went to many Beauty and the Beast conventions since she was an avid fan. She collected more that I can mention here, from multiple scripts, many framed pictures of Vincent and Kathleen, signed posters from Ron, Roy and others related to the series. I am looking for a collector for these items. How can I find someone or some organization that would be interested in this collection? She past away last year and I know she would want them to go an avid collector. I can only be reached by email. I am not on Facebook, Twitter or anything else that might be out there. Thanks

    • Ellen Murphy
      February 9, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Etsy.You could sell it there on line. Or go to an antique store.

    • amy
      March 11, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      You can use Ebay as well, or post on the batb pages, there are several.https://www.facebook.com/thecavesandcandlescommunity/ this page is one i created for the fans. Or you can email me and i will help you.

      • Gary
        March 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        Hi Amy:
        Thank you for your response. JoAnn Boca got a hold of me last spring. She goes with her husband to the annual conventions and is a collector as well. I donated all of my wife’s BATB collection to her. I bought it down to San Diego, where she lives, last June. I live in Northern California so it wasn’t a problem. She was taking most of the items to the convention (# 29), as well as pictures of the item she couldn’t take, last July in Michigan to be sold. The funds went to the local community’s Safe a Pet organization this year. I found a good home for them and I know my wife approved!!! Again, thank you for your response,

  11. January 24, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I remember watching this show back in the late 80’s and 90’s. Now 38 layed up with foot surgery decided to watch the entire series. I’ve read a lot of reviews about the show as it is unique indeed. I feel that your review is most balanced. I’m not even through the first season and agree with your sentiments. I almost decided to turn it off but I get lost in fantasy as a tactic to escape the hectic world. Thanks for the great review. After reading this I am more interested to see how things unfold.

  12. Ellen Murphy
    February 9, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    I liked your article. I’m still doubting whether or not Catherine or Vincent did make love because Vincent was in a terrible way having learned how he was born and who his real father was. It looked like about an hour or two at the most—so their being intimate and she got pregnant was very iffy to me. I think her pregnancy was born out of the love they had for each other.But that’s just my theory.

  13. February 28, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Hey, guys, just a head’s up! If you type ‘Tunnel Tales’ into your search engine, the first hit that pops up is a website titled ‘Beauty and the Beast Fanfiction’. They are stories written by enthusiasts of the show, including an alternate storyline/ending to that God-awful plot from most of Season 3. The few I’ve read so far are REALLY good! Happy reading and you’re welcome.

    • February 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

      I still say season 3 is underrated. But I’m sure there are fanfiction sites all over the net, so there’s probably one for fans of season 3 somewhere too.

  14. gayle sebastian
    March 10, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    In Season 3, Episode 3, about minute 35, a female sings “For the First Time” as Vincent recalls his times with Catherine. Does anyone know who the singer was?

    • LaDonna
      August 26, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Lisa Angelle did the vocals for “The First Time I Loved Forever”. Lyrics by Melanie.

  15. Anne
    November 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Dear Mr. Bennet, Thank you for your article about the 1987 TV show “Beauty and the Beast.” It is lovely to have someone give thoughtful consideration to a relatively short-lived show that inspired a devoted (one might say “cult”) fan following. Your thoughts on the differences between the different seasons is particularly insightful. I should like to address your comment about why, “for reasons that were left vague,” the obviously romantic relationship between Catherine and Vincent remained platonic. It was because creator Ron Koslow absolutely refused to have the mythical, mysterious aspects of the romance tainted and rendered real by actually physical contact (although an alternate version involving kissing between the them was filmed). Trust me, fans *cringed* at the “lava and roses” notion of the consummation of Catherine and Vincent’s love. We wanted a real kiss, and you may or may not be aware that this romantic void was filled by hundreds of “fanzines” in which fan writers (many of them brilliantly splendid; many of the awful) wrote their own versions of what they wanted to see, including “first time” stories. The depth of the fandom for this show, at the time, approached only that shared by “Star Trek” fans has actually lasts to this day.

    • November 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Well, okay, though it’s a bizarrely puritanical notion that physical contact “taints” a relationship rather than being an essential part of human affection.

      • Anne
        November 16, 2019 at 2:44 pm

        Sir, I am simply telling you the reason there was no physical contact – the creator’s decision. I might add that most fans did not agree. We tended to call the third season “the absurd season,” because there could be no “Beauty and the Beast” without the “Beauty.” It may interest you and your readers to know that the original creative intention, before Ms. Hamilton decided to leave the show, was for *Vincent* to die at the end of the second season (hence her scream “Vincent!” at the end of the last episode when she ventures into a cavern after him), and to have Catherine continue living without him Above while Vincent explored the “netherworld” or “afterworld” Below.

  16. Cheryl Syring
    February 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    I liked and agreed with some of your comments about B&tB such as the balance. I loved watching the show in the 80’s and again now, in 2020. I actually appreciate the show now more than before. I like seeing phone booths and no computers cluttering desks. I love the music, the poetry, the characters, and most of the stories. But, unlike you, I very much enjoyed Linda Hamilton as Catherine. I like her voice and I think she is beautiful. She is often what draws me to watch a movie.

  17. SC
    October 18, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    As they say, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.” As for Linda Hamilton, I loved her in this character with Ron Pearlman as Vincent. I never saw season 3, I don’t know why or maybe I just don’t remember it. I was going through a terrible illness that robbed me of my 20 and 30 something life, career, and marriage. Now, in 2020 I am enjoying every show I can possibly see, w/o staying up 24 hrs straight, while binge-watching. How the fashion of the ’80s reminds me of when I worked in the private industry before I became ill. I wish they would do a continuation with all the main characters, real actors, back following off where Catherine “supposedly dies” (bring Catherine back to life) to reconnect with her lost son and the love of her life Vincent. I so loved this romantic series..a girl (woman) still likes to dream and fantasize even in 2020. As for not having a mix of cultures and ethnicities, it was the 80s and it was the norm to have the majority of network TV shows be led by all “White” characters. Am I saying it was right, no absolutely not, but that was the norm and they still struggle with it today.

  18. Anne
    December 31, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    I am currently doing a rewatch of Beauty and the Beast, So I found this article on an internet search. I would say I agree with about 75% of your opinions and content. The only thing I vehemently disagree with is your characterization of Linda Hamilton. The show is what turned me into a Linda Hamilton fan and I’ve been following her career since. I thought she was fabulous as Catherine and she had an amazing chemistry with Ron Perlman. Still I enjoyed reading the article and found bits of an amusing, especially about the outdated facets.

  1. September 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm

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