Robert Fraser (1937-1994) was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant, and the father of Constables Benton Fraser and Margaret MacKenzie. In the spring of 1994, Sergeant Fraser was shot and killed under mysterious circumstances, leaving his son to search for his murderer, a search which led the young man to the city of Chicago.
Fraser Sr. was portrayed by Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent.
Robert Fraser served in the RCMP for over 30 years, mainly in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, capturing many dangerous criminals and providing assistance to anyone in need of help. He was an illustrious figure in the RCMP and held in high esteem by all who knew him. His legendary reputation made his son very proud, and throughout his own career, Benton Fraser often referred to his father's journals when he needed guidance.
During one particular incident, Robert Fraser dealt with an Inuit relocation situation by marking out 32 plots of land on Ellesmere Island, setting up a post office and arranging for one man to collect the payments meant to aid the Inuit people relocate. He used the money sent to the fictitious addresses to pay for a lawyer and successfully sued the government for attempting to relocate the people by force. On that year, MacLean's magazine listed Ellesmere Island as having the lowest crime rate in Canada.
In the spring of 1994, Sergeant Fraser was shot and killed in the Yukon mountains while tracking a suspect. Constable Benton Fraser began investigating his father's murder and discovered the suspect was involved in an illicit RCMP cover-up allowing an electrical company to harm the environment. It was eventually revealed that RCMP Chief Superintendent Gerrard, a man Robert Fraser had considered a close friend for many years, was directly involved in his murder.
Personal Life EditRobert Fraser's best friend and partner in the RCMP was Sergeant Buck Frobisher. When they were young men, Frobisher and Fraser Sr. were both attracted to a woman named Caroline Pinsent. They amicably agreed that only one of them should pursue the prospect of romance with her. In order to settle the dispute, they engaged in a shooting match with the first one to successfully make a near impossible shot - "The Great Yukon Double Douglas Fir Telescoping Bank Shot" - rewarded with the freedom to woo young Caroline. Fraser Sr. was the winner and went on to marry Caroline, the one true love of his life.
By 1962, Robert Fraser and Caroline were married and spending the winter in an igloo after their cabin burned down. Their son Benton was born later that year, in a barn. In 1968, when Benton was just six years old, Caroline was murdered by weapon smuggler Holloway Muldoon. Fraser Sr. struggled to cope with the loss of his wife, Fraser later recalling how he stopped taking care of himself and his son while battling with grief. When he eventually returned to work, the man sent his son to live with his parents, George and Martha Fraser, who were travelling librarians. Fraser Sr. always felt he had failed as a father because of this, but he later admitted he did not know how to cope with the loss of his wife.
Two years after Caroline's death, Robert befriended a married trapper named Ellen MacKenzie and became romantically involved with her. The trapper's husband, Matthew Stern, worked as a prospector and was often away from home, living at the mine for long periods of time. This liaison resulted in the birth of their daughter Margaret, one year after Stern's death in a mine explosion. Fraser Sr. met the child on a few occasions, but Ellen chose to let everyone believe Maggie was Stern's child. Benton Fraser would only discover the truth and meet his half-sister twenty-eight years later.
Ghostly Manifestations EditA few months following Benton Fraser's transfer to Chicago, Fraser Sr. begins appearing to his son as a ghost. His first appearance happens in the back seat of Detective Raymond Vecchio's car in December of 1994. Fraser initially assumes he is either imagining the apparition, or that he has gone insane. Fraser Sr. does not seem to realize how disconcerting his sudden reappearance is and nonchalantly attempts to help his son solve the case he is working on. It is never made clear, particularly in the earlier episodes, whether Fraser believes the ghost of his father is real, or a figment of his imagination.
Fraser Sr.'s ghost continues to appear on random occasions to offer professional and personal advice to his son. The usefulness of the advice is sometimes questionable, occasionally leaving Fraser exasperated, however it often transpires that seemingly unhelpful advice is, in fact, invaluable. Fraser Sr. has a tendency to offer particularly inappropriate advice about Fraser's private life. In one notably misguided incident, he persuades Fraser to attempt a romantic liaison with his superior officer, Inspector Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately, despite some confusing signals from the Inspector, this was not at all what she wanted, at least not at that time.
Fraser Sr. generally holds a very high opinion of himself, and his inflated ego is another source of frustration for his son.
When Benton Fraser's apartment building in Chicago is burned to the ground in 1997, the constable moves into the Canadian Consulate and Fraser Sr. takes up residence in his son's closet, using it as an office.
Very few individuals can see and interact with Robert Fraser's ghost. His son Benton and his best friend Buck Frobisher can see him, as can his daughter, Maggie MacKenzie, who gets to meet her father in ghost form in 1999 and discover she is his progeny. Gerrard and Muldoon also get to communicate with him on two specific occasions. Fraser Sr.'s ghost can exert influence on inanimate objects and once moves a Christmas decoration which is witnessed by Francesca Vecchio, leaving her rather puzzled. Only those who can see Fraser Sr.'s ghost can enter his office; not unlike C.S. Lewis' Narnia universe, this office is accessible through Benton Fraser's closet which opens on a cabin located in the cold Canadian territories. Fraser Sr. sometimes have ghost friends over from his past, including "The Group of Six," a group of artists who gather in his office to paint. If the closet door is opened while one of the privileged seers is in, only the living individuals will be seen, seemingly standing in the closet for no particular reason (see Hunting Season).
In 1999, after Muldoon is caught and arrested by Fraser, Fraser Sr.'s ghost fades from view, but not before the spirit of his wife Caroline appears, allowing Fraser to watch his parents leave together, reunited for eternity.
- Due South Pilot
- Gift of the Wheelman
- The Blue Line
- The Deal
- Victoria's Secret, Part 1
- Victoria's Secret, Part 2
- Letting Go
- The Witness
- Bird in the Hand
- The Edge
- All the Queen's Horses
- Burning Down the House
- I Coulda Been a Defendant
- Strange Bedfellows
- Seeing is Believing
- The Bounty Hunter
- Mountie and Soul
- Spy vs. Spy
- Perfect Strangers
- Dead Guy Running
- Mountie on the Bounty, Part 1
- Mountie on the Bounty, Part 2
- Dr. Longball
- Easy Money
- The Ladies Man
- Mojo Rising
- Dead Men Don't Throw Rice
- Mountie Sings the Blues
- Good For The Soul
- A Likely Story
- Say Amen
- Hunting Season
- Call of the Wild, Part 1
- Call of the Wild, Part 2