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July 25 2002

(SPOILER) Vampire Noir and Space Westerns: The hectic world of Tim Minear Article from Victor D. Infante on breaking and building arcs for Angel S4 and Firefly S1. Very vague executive-producer-approved spoilers.

Interesting quotes. "Minear claims that one of the themes of next seasonís Angel will be 'Regression'" and "Itís not as clear as 'My first year at college.'"

I read a suggestion somewhere that BtVS and AtS's aren't as separate as we may think, and that similar themes are played out. These quotes seem to confirm that. Going back to high school... that's regressing.
[CAUTION: Speculative & potentially spoilery]

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The two shows are written with Whedon sorta captaining both ships, and Firefly's gonna be the same way, although I've no idea if Firefly's supposed to be in the same universe but just an indeterminate time in the future. I also wonder if the history of vampire slayers is something a character in Firefly can look up in a computer database or a library somewhere? Not that vampire slayers may still exist in Firefly's universe, but did they once? Are all three series in the same reality or a different one entirely? Could a 1200+ yr old Anyanka make an appearance in Firefly? I guess only time will tell, eh?

It makes sense that there's some comparisons. If my suspicions are correct & Tara's spirit makes a return, some may compare it to how Cordy's apartment is haunted by a spirit named Dennis. Also, many have already compared Spike's souling to that of Angel's. However, as much comparison one can make between the series, there's a lot more contrast & difference. Angel IS generally more melodramatic and Shakespeary than Buffy. Some could argue that last season was an attempt on the part of the Buffy writers to make Buffy more serious (and more in line with how Angel works) but it failed with Buffy because Buffy is by design a more light-hearted writing formula. Buffy CAN get serious, but it's at its best when it is light and silly. Angel's exactly opposite. It CAN be silly, but it's best if the writers approach it as serious & tragic.

Regression may be a common theme among Buffy & Angel, and they may even do this in Firefly as a way of introducing the audience to the characters. This could be where the brains of the writers are at for all three series. However, the end results will be so noticable as to make comparisons difficult. In theory, after a few episodes people will not be able to say X in series 1 is like Y in series 2. The writing formulae for these three series are simply too remarkably different to allow comparison to hold water.

You will NEVER see an Angel musical for example, but it was a natural for Buffy. In fact in the light of last season it was a refreshing choice that drew Buffy more towards its natural inclinations. You will NEVER see a female vampire become pregnant in Buffy, and have to stake herself in order to birth the baby. However, that was a natural, TRAGIC and melodramatic choice for Angel. It ripped my heart when I saw that, and I don't even like Darla. The plot complication worked brilliantly in Angel. It would have fallen flat in Buffy. Imagine Dru or Harmony having had to do the same thing. It would have been 'eewwy' or laughable. When Darla staked herself in Angel, Shakespeare would have teared up. It was like when Juliet stabbed herself, or when Lady Macbeth could not wash the blood from her hands.

God knows what will or will not work in Firefly, or should I say Joss knows? They may all be in the same universe but they're so remarkably different as to make that almost irrelevant.

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