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January 23 2007

Exclusive podcast interview with Steven DeKnight. He discusses working on Buffy and Angel, his favorite episodes from the two series, the animated series, and James Marsters, to name a few (11.6 MB download).

I want to say that helcat posted this link at CDS, and it's fantastic if you are a fan of Stephen's work on Buffy and Angel.
I'm glad he recognizes "Dead Things" as his favorite BtVS episode. It's certainly the best he wrote and it's one of the best in the entire series as far as I'm concerned.
I really like "Dead Things". Lots of people just kind of pass over it but I really like it.
"Dead Things" was arguably the strongest Season 6 episode outside of the musical. There're other quality pieces like "Tabula Rasa" and much of "Smashed" and others I'm forgetting the titles of (oh, duh, "Seeing Red"), but for pure dramatic excellence, emotional resonance, and polish, it's "Dead Things" hands-down for me.
I think Dead Things is brilliant.
IMO, DEAD THINGS is one of the best episodes of the series.
I think the title represented what was actually happening in the series at that time very well. Spike was dead in the walking dead kinda way, Buffy was wishing she was still dead, Warren's heart was dead...there were a lot of "Dead things" running front and center. Aside from that I thought the episode was o.k. and compelling enough.
IMO, it doesn't compete with Normal Again for the "Gotcha" effect. I have no idea who wrote that though.
In any event, I really like SD. He was a great asset to Joss's team.
Thanks for the link Spikey.
Diego Gutierrez, I believe is the name of the guy who wrote "Normal Again".

I thought "Normal Again" was inspired at the time, but I'm not sure how it'll hold up on rewatch. The "gotcha" effect, while great maybe in an M. Night Shayamalan movie or the like, isn't my favored method of measurement for how to judge a quality episode of TV.

I figured DeKnight was a real special addition to the Mutant Enemy writing team when he gave us "Spiral". Way to ramp up the action and send the near-flawless Season 5 flying toward its epic conclusion (only to be dampered momentarily by "The Weight of the World", but eh, that one had its moments too).
Yes, I checked, and Diego Gutierrez is the author of "Normal Again"--an episode which really got under my skin. But I'd have to say that "Dead Things" is one of the best--if not the best--of the whole series. Though the sight of Buffy beating the snot out of Spike breaks my heart (for both of them) every time. And the end--Buffy sobbing in Tara's lap and asking her not to forgive her--is equally difficult to watch.

And add poor Katrina to the list of "dead things" inhabiting this episode and adding layers to the metaphor.

Outstanding writing, acting, etc. Kudos to Stephen DeKnight.

Now I'm gonna go listen to the podcast. Thanks for the link, spikeylover!
someone else who loves "spiral". I'm so in love with it: winnebago against roleplaying rejects on horsies; and weight of the world: "so, do we assume there's some kind of connection between ben and glory?"
I always had the feeling Joss wrote most of Spiral. DeKnight's episodes after his first are more distinctly in a different voice -- presumably his -- while Spiral always pops whedonesquically.
DeKnight mentions in the podcast that he was taken over to ATS because Tim Minear was going to FIREFLY, so I would think that Joss was showing great confidence in him. I think there was a reason why DeKnight got so many controversial episodes, because he handled them so well, even if he had to take alot of backlash.
Dead Things doesn't rank in my top 20 'best of' episodes, but it was one of the better ones of Season 6. It had one of the most disturbing scenes (the balcony) and the most heartbreaking scenes (Buffy pleading to Tara) of the season. DeKnight really captured the unsettling issues that were going on then.

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