The due SOUTH
Frequently Asked Questions
Document


Last modified: May 22, 1999, Version 6.02

Disclaimers - Please Read: The information contained herein has been derived from a variety of sources, and is accurate and timely to the best of my knowledge. This FAQ is in no way officially affiliated with Alliance Communications Corp., CBS Television or CTV Television. The creation and posting of this document in no way intends to infringe upon copyrights held by Alliance Communications, CBS Television, CTV Television, or any other due SOUTH copyright holders. Listing of web sites and/or material does not imply endorsement.

Please do not copy this document, in whole or in part, to any electronic or printed forums (including fanzines/books) without prior permission. If you wish to quote this document in any manner, please contact JRD203@aol.com for permission before doing so. Permission is granted to web site owners only to link this document, or to download and post the FAQ, as long as (1) the document is posted in its entirety, and (2) no modifications/changes are made. Please delete all previous versions. This document may be downloaded/distributed for private use as long as no fees are charged and no modifications/changes are made.

The primary FAQ is located at: http://home.hiwaay.net/~warydbom/duesouth.htm

This document was conceived and created by Colleen McCloskey in 1995 and has since been revised since 1996 by Elyse Dickenson. Many thanks go out to the fans and DS personnel who have graciously shared information without which this document would not have been possible. If you have suggestions, additions or corrections to this site, please send them to JRD203@aol.com.

For those new to the World Wide Web, please be aware that when you click on highlighted sections, it will take you to another part of this document, or even off-site to another web page entirely. Use your browser's 'back' button to return to this FAQ, or be sure to write down the URL.

This document contains no graphics due to its size.

This site is best viewed in Netscape or Internet Explorer. A text version is available upon request.

A key to updates is listed in the 1.0 The Latest News section.


INTRODUCTION

You've reached the due SOUTH Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. This document summarizes major topics about the TV show due SOUTH, and provides references to more detailed information. This FAQ is divided into several sections:


1.0 THE LATEST NEWS / UPDATES

May 22, 1999

Please note that there is the potential for SPOILERS in this FAQ as third/fourth season information is present.

TNT is currently airing the entire series in the United States, including the episodes that have never been seen in the US (i.e. "Flashback" and the 4 episodes from season 4 that were not part of the Polygram syndication deal).

There has been no more news in print as to the show's future. As it stands right now, "Call of the Wild" is the series finale.

Note: All links that will take you off this page are marked with an asterisk (*).

Changes have been made in these areas:
    (A listing of previous FAQ changes may be found on the
FAQ Changes * page.)

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2.0 POPULAR QUESTIONS

1. What is the series about?
due SOUTH is about a Canadian Mountie (Constable Benton Fraser) stationed in Chicago who helps a Chicago detective (Detective Ray Vecchio) solve crimes. In Seasons 3/4, his partner changed to Detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski. For more detailed information, please go to 3.0 The Show.

due SOUTH is an Alliance Communcications Corporation Production, in association with CTV, BBC, ProSieben Media AG, with the participation of the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund -- Telefilm Canada -- Equity Investment Program, CTCPF -- License Fee Program and The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. (As of third season.)

2. What's so interesting about this show?
Initially the show was dismissed by many as "Dudley Do-Right Does Chicago." However, on looking further, fans of the show found that the show was noteworthy not so much for the situation or premise, but for the central characters, quirky writing, in-jokes, inspired use of music and unexpected scripting. Constable Fraser is portrayed as a morally-centered cop where being an R.C.M.P. officer is probably the defining element of his life. His unofficial partner in crime-solving, Chicago detective Ray Vecchio, carries a more pragmatic attitude toward life, but shares many of the same attitudes at the core. The combination of introvert/extrovert, country boy/city boy, trusting/street-wise creates characters that complement each other. Other characters include Fraser's deaf wolf Diefenbaker, members of the Chicago police scene, Ray's sister Francesca, and the occasional appearance of both Fraser's and Ray's dead fathers.

In Seasons 3/4, Det. Kowalski fulfills the same function, as a cynical Chicago cop, except that he does not have the same family (although he does have concerned parents) and has an ex-wife, just like Ray.

For more information on season 3/4, see the section on 3.0 The Show in this FAQ.

3. I'm confused. Just how many seasons are there? And how many episodes?
This question has several answers. These are the actual production numbers:
    Season 1: 20 episodes (22 hours).
       (The two-hour Pilot movie is considered separate.)
    Season 2: 18 episodes (18 hours).
    Season 3: 24 episodes (26 hours). See below for exact details.
    Season 4: see below.
    Season 5: See Question #4.
    =========
    TOTALS: 1 movie (pilot), 62 episodes (4 two-parters), 68 total hours.

If you watch it in the United States, there are three seasons. Season 3 was short four episodes of the total 24 produced due to syndication package restrictions.

If you view it in Canada, there are four seasons. Season 3 aired from the Fall of '97 to late Winter '98, and consisted of 12 episodes. Season 4 aired from Fall '98 to late Winter '99 and consisted of the remaining 12 episodes.

If you reside elsewhere, there are probably four seasons. Season 3 commenced in late May '98 for the United Kingdom, but has been moved around a lot by the BBC; it could be similiar for other countries. The broadcast schedule of Season 4 episodes in the UK is unknown.

4. What is the current status of the show?
Status: due SOUTH is no longer in production. In the beginning, CBS and CTV funded it (heavily on CBS). After Season 1, CBS cancelled it. CTV funded Season 2 on its own. CBS then came back when their fall lineup bottomed out. CBS then withdrew, again, after Season 2 ended. CTV, along with foreign funding, resurrected it once again for a total of 26 more episodes. On March 31, 1998, production ceased on these episodes. Cast and crew have since gone on to other projects.

Season 5: On June 1, 1998, it was announced that Telefilm Canada was investing $4 million into a 5th season. (See question #3 for season descriptions.) This is probably a miscommunication with the way that Telefilm Canada handled their investments in the series. Initially, Telefilm Canada helped fund 13 episodes for Season 2. When CBS got involved with the show again, they ordered an additional 5 episodes (bringing the Season 2 total to 18). However, since another application had to be made to Telefilm Canada for funding, Telefilm counted these five episodes as Season 3. Thus, Season 5 to Telefilm Canada is actually production Season 4 (due South's final season).

5. I heard TNT picked up due SOUTH to air in syndication in the USA. Is this true?
Yes. In May 1998, this cable network (Turner Network Television *, AKA TNT) purchased all seasons on an exclusive-air basis. This means that in the Fall of '98, only TNT can air the series in syndication. The stations who purchased the PolyGram third season package no longer show it. TNT comes with most basic cable packages, so if you wish to watch it, you will either need to acquire cable, a satellite dish, or a friend with either!

6. What about airings in Canada?
Reruns of seasons one, two, and three continue to air on the cable station Showcase, and Showcase has purportedly purchased the final season. CTV may continue to air selected episodes from time to time.

7. Hey! I started watching Seasons 3/4 and it's changed! Where is David Marciano? Who is Callum Keith Rennie? What is going on with Ray Vecchio? Why is the wolf different? Who are the new faces?
Production: Paul Gross helmed as executive producer, star, and also wrote several episodes. This might explain to some fans why they detect a slightly different 'flavor' in the series.

David Marciano: When due SOUTH was cancelled for a second time, David accepted a development deal with CBS. When he was offered a role back with the series, it also came with a rather reduced salary. David decided to honor his commitment to CBS and had to decline a full-time involvement with due SOUTH. He appeared in the first and last episodes of Season 3/4.

Callum Keith Rennie: To fill the void left by David Marciano declining to rejoin the series on a full-time basis, Canadian actor Callum Keith Rennie was hired to play Detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski.

Ray Vecchio: To explain away Ray Vecchio's sudden absence, a storyline was concocted wherein Ray Vecchio was suddenly sent undercover with the Mob. Apparently Ray was a dead ringer for a Mob 'lieutentant' in Las Vegas known as Armando 'the Bookman' Langoustini. The 'Bookman' died in a car crash and Feds immediately pulled Ray into an undercover situation. Stan Kowalski is now impersonating Ray Vecchio, but so far nobody notices that the detective has left (or questioned that the Ray Vecchio has blond hair (or hair!), doesn't dress in Armani, and doesn't drive a Riv....).

Diefenbaker: The husky who played Dief throughout Seasons 1 and 2 was replaced. Another husky, Draco, came in to portray Lincoln.

Detective Dewey: Det. Huey has been partner-less since Louis Gardino died in a car bomb explosion. In Seasons 3/4 he was given a new partner, Det. Thomas E. Dewey (played by Canadian actor Tom Melissis).

Thatcher / Fraser Sr.: Both of these performers were upgraded to the beginning credits.

8. Where can I find out more about the actors?
Links to biographies are provided in the 4.0 Cast section. Other biographies/filmographies can be found on the official and fan-created web sites. Some cast/crew have also made appearances on IRC. Logs of those IRCs can be found at many web sites. An example can be found at the IRC Log Session Page *.

9. Where can I write the show? The networks?
An address for fan mail can be found in the 4.18 Where to Write section of this FAQ.

10. What's become of the creative crew? Paul Haggis, for instance?
Series creator Paul Haggis * stepped down as executive producer for Season 2 and remained with the show in the role of 'creative consultant.' He made this decision for a variety of reasons, including his desire to work on other projects (the CBS series "EZ Streets") and because of reduced funding for the show due to CBS's initial non-participation. He was executive producer of the now defunct CBS series "Michael Hayes" and was not involved in Seasons 3/4 of due SOUTH. Co-executive producers Kathy Slevin * and Jeff King *, who had been with the show from the beginning, continued in their executive producer roles into Season 2. Kathy Slevin has gone on to other projects and was not involved in Seasons 3/4. Jeff King has written at least one script for third season, and was back as an Executive Consultant. Since the show ended, he became Supervising Producer for the new Alliance series, "Total Recall: 2070." He is also producing the Canadian series, "Art Bookster", a half-hour drama about a burnt-out filmmaker traveling across Canada.

11. When is due SOUTH shown?
due SOUTH is currently airing in a variety of countries. For the most up-to-date information, please go to 5.2 Production/Distribution.

12. What's happening on-line with due SOUTH?
There are a number of web pages, mailing lists (discussion and fiction), newsgroups, and FTP sites. due SOUTH also shows up in TV forums on the on-line services. For details see the 6.0 due SOUTH on the Internet section of this FAQ.

13. What's R.C.M.P.? OFM? OFW?
R.C.M.P. is Royal Canadian Mounted Police, OFM is Our Favorite Mountie and OFW is Our Favorite Wolf. An explanation of these abbreviations and other acronyms can be found in the section 11.1 Acronyms further on in this FAQ. There is a separate section explaining the role of Mounties in Canadian life. This can be found at 11.5 R.C.M.P..

14. Who or what is Alliance?
Alliance * is the Canadian-based film production company who makes due SOUTH. Alliance is one of the biggest TV/movie producers in Canada.

15. What or where is Inuvik? Tuktoyatuk? Alert?
These are places at the far reaches of the Northwest Territories where Fraser grew up. They are all located in the Arctic circle. For more information, check your local library.

16. What does Disney have to do with due SOUTH?
In the past, the R.C.M.P. has had problems in keeping control of how the R.C.M.P. image was used for products or promotions. The R.C.M.P. decided to contract out the job of controlling the merchandising and promotion of any R.C.M.P.-related materials, awarding the contract to the Disney Company. Because due SOUTH was in production before that contract, Disney has no control over the series or any merchandising.

17. Why doesn't Fraser ever shoot anyone?
Fraser owns a standard R.C.M.P.-issue 38 revolver which he is not licensed to use in the U.S. He therefore keeps it secured in his father's foot locker in his apartment. He wears a leather holster on his Sam Browne belt, because the holster is part of the uniform, but it is empty. Without a gun at hand, he can't shoot anyone, a fact that doesn't stop him from chasing gun-toting criminals, who fail to notice that he is unarmed (except in "The Deal," where they turned and beat him up thoroughly once they noticed). He does have marksman designation for both pistols and rifles, as can be seen by the emblems on his left sleeve.

18. What's the story about the badge in Season 1?
The producers didn't receive much help from the R.C.M.P. at the outset, so inaccuracies about the uniform crept in. In the Pilot and early episodes you can see a badge on Fraser's hat and the cross-strap on his Sam Browne belt is threaded through the wrong shoulder epaulet. This oversight was corrected after the first few episodes.

19. Who or what are the 'Duck Boys'?
In "The Promise", Ray referred to Huey and Louis as the 'Duck Boys,' a moniker which has struck an endearing chord with fans. This sarcastic remark of Ray was in reference to the very slick manner in which the two detective conducted their interrogation (as in they're so slick nothing can stick, such as water to a duck's feathers). One might also extrapolate that it's Huey and Louis (and now, in third season, Huey and Dewey), a thinly veiled reference to Donald Duck's three nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

20. What is the 'Puffin Face'?
In "A Cop, a Mountie and a Baby", Fraser decided to amuse the baby by making a ridiculous face which involves puffing out your cheeks till you look like that Arctic bird. Ray didn't want any part of it!

21. What is RCW 139?
Sharp-eyed fans noticed the re-use of one particular license plate in several episodes (over a dozen different sightings, but who's counting?). It seems like the plate shows up everywhere, even though the props department was diligent about recycling various Illinois license plates. This is not the only Illinois license plate in use. Some fans also looked for LGB 648 as well. For a complete list of appearances, go to the RCW License Page *.

22. Can I watch them filming?
The show is no longer in production. Standard procedure for viewing any TV series in production is that if they are filming on public streets, the public can watch from afar as long as they do not interfere. To actually get on the studio set requires permission from the production office.

23. How can I get tapes of shows I've missed? Is this legal? Ethical?
If the show is not currently broadcasting in your area (please see the 5.2 Production / Distribution section), you have a couple of options open to you for collecting the episodes.

European, Australian, and New Zealand fans are in luck! The entire series is available on PAL videos which can be purchased in England. Please see the 9.3 Merchandise: Videotapes section for ordering information.

U.S. and Canadian fans can purchase the Pilot movie and the episode "Mountie on the Bounty" on NSTC (VHS) tape from Canadian sources. Neither are sold in the U.S. Please see the 9.3 Merchandise: Videotapes section for ordering information.

The production company was asked for their opinion on friends making copies of episodes taped off television. The response gained from informal phone calls seems to be 'go ahead with sharing tapes'. Fans from all over appreciate this attitude, which, while not an official legal position, eases our minds when the topic comes up.

The list members who looked up the legalities of copyright law interpret the law to mean that such tape copying and/or trading is not a problem as long as no one is making a profit from it. That is, it would be okay to ask for compensation for materials (a new tape and postage) but nothing more.

This covers the issue of episodes that were taped off television, and not commercially produced tapes. To reproduce those is copyright infringement and a no-no. By bootlegging those tapes, you are depriving Alliance of revenue - money that could help fund new episodes of the show.

Make up your own mind whether you feel comfortable trading tapes or looking for copies.

Having described the issues surrounding a simple request for a copy of a tape of an episode, the best place to contact people to look for a tape would be one of the Due South discussion lists or the newsgroup. See 6.0 due SOUTH on the Internet to find out how to participate in these arenas.

24. What is Fraser saying at the end of "Victoria's Secret?"
Fans believe that Fraser is reciting the poem that Victoria recited to him eight years before when they were caught in a snowstorm. Reciting the poem and listening to her recite it may have kept them both conscious and alive until the snowstorm passed. Given the theme of the episode, it is not unexpected that he would recite this poem as he is lying near death from a bullet wound.

Literary members of the former DSOUTH-L list believe the poem to be "The Windhover" *. by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1845-1889).

25. In the episode "The Deal," did Fraser and Francesca sleep together?
NO. Former co-executive producer and writer Kathy Slevin has stated that *that* did not occur.

26. What happened to the dog who originally played Diefenbaker?
The first dog used in the "Pilot" movie (Frankie) apparently did not work out well enough to transition to the series itself. A young husky, Lincoln, played Diefenbaker for seasons one and two. He was owned, and trained specifically for due SOUTH, by Ted Haggis (father of creator Paul Haggis). However, Paul Gross made the decision not to bring Lincoln back for Seasons 3/4. A new husky, Draco, was then brought in to play Fraser's furry companion.

27. Who is PolyGram TV?
PolyGram Television, headquartered in California, is a fairly new division of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. This company's sole purpose appears to be distribution of television series (many of which seem to be produced by Alliance Communications Corporation) in the United States. They formed in '97 (approx.) and due SOUTH was the first show they syndicated. If fans notice incredibly bad time slots for the show, it is not PolyGram's fault. The company purchased the series after the NATPE conference (held in January) in which all syndicated shows are sold and scheduled. So PolyGram actually did an incredibly good job of selling DS to over 80% of an already saturated marketplace. When TNT purchased the entire series for syndication, the PolyGram deal came to an end.

28. What are spoilers?
Many web sites and internet lists mention 'spoilers.' That is usually detailed information regarding plots of episodes. Fans use that word as a courtesy to alert others that they are discussing an episode that other fans may not yet have seen. This is so the surprise is not 'spoiled' for the other fan.

29. What is "Friends of due SOUTH"?
The name 'Friends of due SOUTH' has been used in several instances. It was adopted by a few fans when a letter-writing campaign to bring the series back for a second season was formed. The name has also used to incorporate some fan-run conventions (RCW 139); those incorporations consisted of about half a dozen people on the convention staff. The DUESOUTH discussion list was mistakenly referred to as the Friends of due SOUTH list (or fan club) in at least one press article as well as in 'due SOUTH: the Official Companion' by Geoff Tibballs.

30. Did Fraser and Victoria sleep together before "Victoria's Secret"?
Although it was said (at a 1998 convention) that the pair had done so, further information from creator and writer Paul Haggis states that this information has not been divulged to anyone. In other words, it's a secret and no one but Paul Haggis can state with any certainty that they did or didn't; it is left up to the viewer's imagination.

31. What does the chant 'doomah' mean in the music?
It sounds Inuit in nature, but production personnel have stated that the word actually has no true meaning. It just sounded good.

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3.0 THE SHOW

3.1 THE PREMISE

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3.2 THE CHARACTERS

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3.3 SEASON ONE

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3.4 SEASON TWO

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3.5 SEASON THREE / FOUR

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3.6 SETTING

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3.7 SYMBOLS

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4.0 CAST

The cast, with the exception of David Marciano and Beau Starr, are Canadian. Many of the guest cast can be seen frequently in other Canadian-made TV productions, such as Earth Final Conflict .

In order to save space on this document, links are now provided to current bios and credit listings on each actor. These bios are all housed on the same website as this FAQ, so you should have no problem in accessing them. Just click on the highlighted name.

4.1 PAUL GROSS *
     as Constable Benton Fraser

4.2 DAVID MARCIANO *
     as Detective Ray Vecchio

4.3 CALLUM KEITH RENNIE *
     as Detective Stanley Kowalski

4.4 LINCOLN *
     as Diefenbaker

4.5 DRACO *
     as Diefenbaker

4.6 BEAU STARR *
     as Lt. Harding Welsh

4.7 TONY CRAIG *
     as Detective Jack Huey

4.8 TOM MELISSIS *
     as Detective Thomas Dewey

4.9 CATHERINE BRUHIER *
     as Civilian Aide Elaine Besbriss

4.10 DANIEL KASH *
     as Detective Louis Gardino

4.11 CAMILLA SCOTT *
     as Inspector Margaret Thatcher

4.12 GORDON PINSENT *
     as Sgt. Robert Fraser

4.13 RAMONA MILANO *
     as Francesca Vecchio

4.14 DEAN McDERMOTT *
     as Constable Renfield Turnbull

4.15 ANNE MARIE LODER *
     as Stella Kowalski

4.16 JAN RUBES *
     as Dr. Mort Gustafson

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4.17 EVERYBODY ELSE

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4.18 WHERE TO WRITE

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4.19 FAN CLUBS

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5.0 THE PRODUCTION

The show due SOUTH was a highly rated show in Canada, winning a number of awards for Best Drama and Best Feature at Canada's Gemini awards. The show did not fare as well in the United States, where the Emmys ignored it. Pre-emptions for specials, as well as bad time slots, contributed to poor ratings in the U.S. However, it has found a niche in the foreign market that resulted in the series' resurrection.

Despite the fact that due SOUTH was based in Chicago, Illinois, the actual production of the series took place in (and occasionally around) Toronto. Fans with sharp eyes will occasionally notice distinctive Canadian items, such as gas prices in litres, the famed CN Tower, and the Canadian flag.

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5.1 CAST AND CREW

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5.2 PRODUCTION / DISTRIBUTION

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5.3 STORY IDEAS AND SUBMISSIONS

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6.0 DUE SOUTH ON THE INTERNET

due SOUTH is a fandom which has benefited greatly from the Internet explosion. It has kept the fans in contact with the production office. Its power also enabled fans to rally together for a letter-writing campaign to help bring the series back for a second season.

Much of the on-line activity concerning due SOUTH occurs on the Internet. However, due SOUTH information is available through the on-line services as well. Scott Cooper, formerly a 'story department coordinator' in the due SOUTH production company, assumed the role of liaison to the Internet, participating in groups and disseminating information as it became available. He provided information, episode guides, cast biographies, and air schedules.

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6.1 ON-LINE SERVICES

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6.2 MAILING LISTS

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6.3 NEWSGROUPS

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6.4 WORLD WIDE WEB

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6.5 IRC

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6.6 FTP

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7.0 FAN FICTION

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8.0 MUSIC

Core pieces of pre-recorded music for each episode are derived from Canadian artists. Sarah McLachlan, Lorena McKennett, Crash Test Dummies, Tara McLean, to mention just a few.

Incidental music was recorded specifically for each episode. The "three J's" -- Jay Semko, Jack Lenz & John McCarthy -- are responsible for the original music. The composers sit down and watch each episode, with the producers, decide where they want to place special music and then they record it before the final mix.

A full listing of the artists and selections used in each episode can be found on Due South Music * page.

There are two official soundtracks available for due SOUTH. Please see 9.2 CD / AUDIOTAPE for more details.

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8.1 RIDE FOREVER

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8.2 32 DOWN ON THE ROBERT MACKENZIE

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9.0 MERCHANDISE

Since due SOUTH graced the TV screens in 1994, the fans have been clamoring for merchandise. Several items are now available and a company in the U.K. has been granted licensing rights by Alliance to develop more due SOUTH merchandise.

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9.1 BOOKS

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9.2 CD / AUDIOTAPE

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9.3 VIDEOTAPES

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9.4 GENERAL MERCHANDISE

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9.5 NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

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10.0 CONVENTIONS

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11.0 MISCELLANEOUS

This section contains items too good to omit that don't necessarily fit anywhere else.

11.1 ACRONYMS

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11.2 AWARDS

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11.3 THE DRINKING GAME

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11.4 DUESIES

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11.5 R.C.M.P.

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11.6 OTHER NOTES

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12.0 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


ADDENDUM - 24 September 1997


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