Since ABC1 launched Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (MFMM) in 2011, the series has been sold to over 120 countries and gained an international fan base. In an interesting spin-off, fans have created a cyber-world of Phryne Fisher, the “Phryneverse”, paying tribute to Kerry Greenwood and the books, the TV cast and characters, and giving voice to their own desired stories.
Fans use Facebook, Tumblr, fanfic sites, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, fan sites and forums. In Australia, the DI Jack Appreciation Society (DIJAS) Facebook page began in July 2012, providing a forum for debate on each episode and much more. On tumblr, www.izzyandlouie.tumblr.com is a UK site for DI Jack Robinson and Nathan Page fans, and has many followers. From these sites, I’ve become familiar with dozens of bloggers and commenters.
In this lively, supportive and funny “phandom” (one of the “phryneologisms” being collected into a “phractionary”), members research, share information, provide feedback and share skills in using various programs. They comment, analyse, discuss, and debate. They post photos, artwork, screen grabs, videos, clips, compilations, and photo-shopped images from the funny to the frankly objectifying. They organise “ficathons”, write “drabbles” and fanfics on request, provide editing and review services to each other, and publish their fanfics on sites like www.archiveofourown.org/tags/Miss%20Fisher’s%20/Murder%20Mysteries/works and www.fanfiction.net/tv/Miss-Fisher-s-Murder-Mysteries. Not all of these fics will be to everyone’s taste, but there are warnings so readers can choose.
Fans develop friendships, offering support to each other across the globe. They organise real-time “watchathons”, or meet with other fans. Recently the Phrack Phan Club, Philadelphia/South Jersey Chapter got together, and some international fans are meeting in New York in late October. Fans travelled from overseas to the recent “Festival of Phryne” in Melbourne. And that’s not all!
International fans joined in the campaign for Series Three, helping raise the profile of MFMM and the main cast by contacting their local TV stations and streaming providers and petitioning for MFMM to be shown. American blogger and radio host Sherri Rabinowitz interviewed Nathan Page and as of 27 September 2015 the interview had been downloaded 2,022,705 times. That is some audience!
Kerry Greenwood, a founding member of Sisters in Crime, may be surprised by what she started years ago with Cocaine Blues!