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September 02 2007

The Buffy Spin-Off Legacy. have a nice little article on the whole spin-off debacle over the years. "As the ageless vampire Spike, James Marsters will soon need to be sucking up some Botox rather than blood if he is to wait much longer before reprising his iconic role".

I don't know about anyone else, but when Eliza chose Tru Calling over the Faith spin off, I always feel disappointed because that's the character people still love her for. I guess she wanted new challenges, can't blame her, but for us, I knew she'll never find another show or character on tv as popular as Faith. Tru Calling I forced myself to watch because she was in it, but I couldn't help but feel it wouldn't last, and it would mean less in her career later on, and I was right.

One season of Faith is worth 5 seasons of Tru Calling. It was too much for myself, because the Angel cancelation later meant we had nothing, and she had the power it seems to give us Faith, but she didn't want it, I wonder if she has regrets over it. I know Joss liked Faith, Eliza would probabley do it again, but will the forces involved get their act together, a missed opportunity as she rocked, and is still young and can do it.

James however is probabley getting too old, and as much as I like Spike, things have meant we couldn't see more of him in 1-2 more seasons of Angel like we should of had.

Boreanze isn't that old yet, Angel could always return in some form for a appearance.

The best bet remains with Ripper and Faith still.

Eliza is liked so much over at Fox, she's got a new development deal with them, so out of all actors and actresses so far, I think the Faith spin off can be a reality if she ever wanted it to be, but she and Fox may do other stuff. I wonder if they can move forward from Faith, I'm not so sure yet, because Joss Whedon has shown, he creates characters that stick in your head, and that's Eliza's problem from moving on from Faith.

The more and more I read of Eliza's new deal with Fox with no official announcement of what that will involve, it has made me dream, what if she and Joss are speaking about Faith? I just thought, what if she did wanna do Faith? If she did, I'll celebrate and worship the show like none before, until news is confirmed, I can dream!

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-02 12:20 ]

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-02 12:21 ]

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-02 12:27 ]

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-02 12:40 ]
"I knew she'll never find another show or character on tv as popular as Faith."

Once again, I think we are way overestimating the actual number of people who watched Buffy or Angel.
It is much more likely that whatever show she is on next will reach many more people and be much more popular.

More loved? Maybe not. But definitely more popular.
Nice summary of the story so far. I find myself agreeing with Alyson--without Joss being very much involved, I'd be very skeptical.

Reflecting on the TIME story about fanfic, spin-offs are a bit like Lydgate trying to continue the Canterbury Tales--it's an interesting bit of literary history, but few people today actually care about reading his work because, frankly, he wasn't as good as Chaucer.

[ edited by Maeve on 2007-09-02 14:21 ]

The least Joss and Eliza can do, is do a tv movie that can stand on its own and maybe act as a tv pilot and see how it's recieved, it would sell on dvd like hotcakes, she's got time to kill, it would be great. The fans need more then comic book adaptions, we need live action again.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-02 14:24 ]
This is one of those discussions that will always be argued back and forth. Again, it was a personal career choice for Eliza and that should be respected.

Why does these "Spike" movie reports always touch upon Jame's age? He looks wonderful:)
I'd love to see Joss do anything with the Buffyverse characters. Most especially those from Angel. Illyria, anyone? I don't think Amy Acker is used in nearly enough ANYTHING.
James is more than twice my age and I don't care. He's still damn hot. In fact he's looking better now than he did the last season of Angel.

[ edited by VilleValoistheOne on 2007-09-03 00:15 ]
I agree that James looks better now than at the end of Angel. So does Boreanaz.
Angel seemed to have aged about 20 years from his debut on Buffy to the end of Angel.
It just didn't really matter.
Suspension of disbelief is already in play in a series like Buffy or Angel, so the age issue is such a small, inconsequential thing comparatively speaking.

I think the reason the age thing keeps being brought up regarding Spike is that James himself made such a big deal out of it at the end of Angel.
He put a time limit on doing Spike because he thought it would matter so it's what people talk about.
But I don't think James has aged as much as he thought he would.
Lucky him.

Although I was never a Faith fan, I would have taken it, as opposed to nothing, so I have to admit to a wee bit of irrational resentment about Tru Calling. Plus I watched half the first episode and thought "she chose this?"

I would have taken "Slayer School" even.

My Buffy love has faded a bit over the years, although my Spike love hasn't (kinda wish it would) but I do look forward to the Ripper thing.

I would still be deliriously happy if anything Spike related happened but I have no real hope whatsoever.
While James Martsers may be getting a bit "long in the tooth", "Ripper" may be the best bet...and maybe let's have a new group of Watchers finding Slayer potentials, and creating something that could be "Slayers: the Next Generation". Throw in some supporting players from Buffy and Angel, like Illyria, Riley Finn, Robin Wood, Gwen Raiden, Andrew or Kate Lochley, and it may be a start.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-09-02 17:29 ]
Oh god, no. Not more flaming potentials! I couldn't stand it!

*beats herself over the head with a copy of the Buffy comic*
Actually, I think the general is on a roll. "Ripper" is a perfect place to kick start the series again.
I'd love to see a Willow or Spike movie, even if they had to choose different actors to play those roles. I know, it's heresy, but I enjoy the characters, and there are other good actors out there who could breathe life into the roles.
Regarding the potential problems with an older James returning as Spike, a work around might be a new wrinkle in the-vampire-with-a soul thing. Since Spike sought out and earned his soul back, it could have kick started his physically aging like a human (probably slower, though.) This in contrast to Angel who had his soul forcibly restored with a curse which wouldn't have triggered any sped up aging.
I always thought the distinction between the way Angel and Spike got their souls returned to them was significant enough that some differences wouldn't be unexpected.
Anyway, it would be one way to get more Spike stories with James back!

[ edited by madmutts on 2007-09-02 20:58 ]
Well it's Buffyverse canon that vampires do age so for me it wouldn't matter that much.
That's right. Even if James gets so old that his feet are cloven...
How about combining the spinoff possibilities and having Giles, Spike, Faith and Willow as co-leads in an ensemble show, rather than having any one as "the lead."

And has the writer actually seen James lately? Damn fine looking. Botox indeed. Piffle. Blond the guy up and you've still got Spike.
To be fair to Eliza, my understanding is that the "Tru Calling" thing was an official job offer and commitment, whereas the "Faith" series was something which was discussed between her and Whedon/Minear but not greenlighted by any of TPTB.
SeanValen, where do you get the idea that Joss or Eliza owes us anything? They don't.
I think it's great that a live continuation of the verse is happening with the character Giles/Ripper. He is pretty Universally loved.
I'd have to agree that Joss nor Eliza owe the fans anything. They both brought us an enormous amount of entertainment but they do have a life. Eliza can do whatever project she wants to do and the same can be said of Joss.
Apparently Joss wants to do Ripper. The actor is willing and the PTB are considering getting it done.

For what ever reason, Eliza wasn't interested in doing a Faith spin off and the PTB wern't interested in doing more Spike.
I, for one, am happy with this live continuation. It IS a great starting place and who knows what can happen depending on it's success. Sky is the limit, imo.
I can understand why Eliza chose Tru Calling over a Faith series and I really enjoyed Tru Calling as well.I think we are sort of getting the Slayer School idea folded into Buffy season 8.We know we are getting the Faith movie folded into the very next season 8 arc that starts this week, more or less.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Spike/Illyria movie plans will be worked into Angel:After The Fall in some way either.I'm very happy with Ripper most likely going forward as an on-screen continuation though.

As for James age.He looks good but I can understand it being an issue now to play Spike again.I'm not sure I would want to see a aging Spike either.James and Joss have said they want to keep Spike in the iconic vampire image which is why James set up a time limit that Joss agreed with him on.I think if a Spike movie were going to happen,it would of had to happen a year or two ago.Like I said,I wouldn't be surprised if some plans for the Spike movie work their way into After The Fall in some fashion like like the slayer school and Faith plans have into seasons 8.

At this point I think Ripper probably is the best choice for a on-screen continuation.
SeanValen, where do you get the idea that Joss or Eliza owes us anything? They don't.


Your right, I chose the wrong words, whenever I think of the Slayerverse now since it's gone, the hungar to want more is like blood on my tongue, I need more quick:) Whedon just created awesome characters, he's the best, spoiled me silly, and how did he get treated by the networks, breaks the heart! Justice will be done when we get more of this verse, until then I'm a broken man lol

[ edited by SeanValen on 2007-09-03 01:31 ]
I understand that Spike's not supposed to age, but I wish I knew why James Marsters doesn't.
Seeing the pictures of him on 'Without a Trace', I'd say that Mr. Marsters looks like he could still play Spike. I wouldn't rule it out just yet.
Deanna, I love your idea.
I am SO excited about the potential Ripper series I could scream. I'm trying to keep it toned down since it's not really a done deal, but we are closer to a live action continuation of the verse than we have EVER been.

I think Giles is the perfect choice to continue as well. There is no age issue to work around as he's human, he has a very interesting history that was only briefly touched on and the focus was always on the "kids", the SG and Giles didn't get as much as he could have.

While the idea of having 4 "co-leads" might work in a procedural crime drama or sitcom where the story is more about plot than individual characterization, I can't see it working that well with Buffy 'verse projects because it's harder to really get in depth with a character when you have to spread it around that much. I much prefer having ONE person be the focus as (for the most part) the writing staff managed to keep the secondary characters interesting and growing as well while still maintaining the focus on one major character, ie Buffy or Angel.

I do think age is more an issue with JM because he was always older than the rest of the cast, with the exception of human characters like Giles, etc, and because James himself has made it such an issue.

As for the issue of Spike having chosen his soul while Angel had his forced on him, I'm not sure I understand why that would create differences in how they age, for example. To me, that's like saying Buffy and Faith and all the slayers before them who were "forced" to become slayers would somehow be markedly different than the potentials who got to choose. Or Giles who had his watcher duties forced on him is somehow different than those who chose to be a watcher. For me, personally, those that got to choose were the lucky ones. The ones who had their destinies forced upon them and had to cope the best way they could always got my sympathy. Or did NOT get my sympathy, as is the case with Anya. There she CHOSE to become a demon - twice and thus, I had no sympathy for her like I did Liam or William. Choice is a fabulous thing...sadly not everyone in the Buffy/Angel 'verse got to choose.

"Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." Ah, Shakespeare. *luv*

[ edited by love4ba on 2007-09-03 08:52 ]
I understand that Spike's not supposed to age, but I wish I knew why James Marsters doesn't.

Well, has anyone ever seen him in direct sunlight and/or eating garlic ? Just sayin'.

I also don't see much of a distinction between soul getters, the only one made on the shows themselves was as a dig, kind of a "my soul's better than your soul" type of thing, there was no implication that one was more "souly" than the other.

As fan-wanks go I guess you could do worse but if we're just making stuff up to justify Spike looking older i'm sure there're hundreds of ways to do it (e.g. speculation on here a while back suggested the Shanshu being fulfilled on Spike or they could discover something about the amulet and his resurrection which leads to ageing - it's just a matter of making it fly and with Joss or one of the other ME regulars writing I don't doubt it would).
I think having Spike Shanshu would be far too contentious and *seems* to be an idea shot down by both Joss and JM. The prophesy always seemed to directly relate to Angel and not Spike anyway who should really have his own storyline if a Spike project is ever greenlit beyond the comics. I do agree that there are lots of ways to justify aging in a vampire though, as others have suggested, a willing suspension of disbelief is all that is really needed.
Sadly bubble bursting here. The best intelligence about the reason Joss lost interest in (gave up on) the idea of a Spike spin-off .... or any other buffy/angelverse spin-off ... was that no one was willing to put up enough money to allow him to do it right.
And of course on network TV, there is always the issue of creative control.
When it comes to any of his own creations, I think Joss still has so much love for these characters that he would never agree to do anything without more creative control than there's a chance in a hell dimension of them allowing.
Always makes me *sniffle*, frakin' stupid suits.
Saje I like the way you think.

A Shanshued Spike would work for me!!
I do seem to remember that Joss already nixed the idea of Spike shanshuing feeling that if a continuation with him happened,Spike needs to remain a vampire for it and their was a limited window to bring the character back in live action.I also recall that James agreed and in previous comments indicated that he wouldn't agree to reprise the role of Spike if he became human.That Spike needs be an iconic vampire which is why he set a time limit in the first place.I understand their stances about this.

Personally,I do have serious problems with a shanshued Spike and agree with love4ba about how contentious it would be.

Characters like Spike and Angel I think work better now in comics because you never have to worry about the age factor again.
I am not big on the shanshuing for anybody. That always seemed like one of those things that should always be out of reach. On the other hand, if Joss decided to do it, or something else, I would watch it.

"I also recall that James agreed and in previous comments indicated that he wouldn't agree to reprise the role of Spike if he became human."

One of the things I always liked about JM has been his absolute stand on things, with the acknowledged possibility that he could be totally wrong. ;-) If I remember correctly, almost every time he has talked about these things being a bad idea, he has then admitted that Joss could probably make it work. He has also indicated that he would work for Joss again in a heartbeat.

BTW, he recently said (somewhere) that he is looking better than he thought he would at this point so is thinking that he might still be able to pull off Spike. It reminds me of all the guys I have known who thought they would be too decrepit to live by 30, then, as they got older, changed it to 40, then changed it to 50, then finally realized they were being silly. :-D
Yeah, that's why he apparently pushed the time limit on Spike back another couple of years. I guess maybe when you age fairly slowly you kind of assume/worry that you'll wake up one morning and suddenly look really old but in fact that only actually happens to your knees ;).

Personally,I do have serious problems with a shanshued Spike and agree with love4ba about how contentious it would be.

Well, the original speculation (which, admittedly, was a while back so my memory's a bit fuzzy) had various suggestions (from various people) for how he could Shanshu and then possibly be re-vamped, maybe by Dru (Angelverse "Sire for Hire" extraordinaire ;). My issue with the re-vamping was I didn't want him to lose his soul after all the work he'd done to become the "man" he ended up (and re-ensouling again would feel a bit contrived to me).

I don't think it's contentious in the Angel vs Spike sense BTW, because Angel has already (very heroically IMO - it's one of my favourite bits in the whole series) signed away his chance while conning the Black Thorn - though I can totally understand folk not wanting to see him become human (and even why, I sort of vacillate on it myself).

Just an idea anyway, more to point out there's ways and ways of getting around the demon entropy.
So many possibilities of What Could Be -- I think I'll stick with the most likely option.
*chants: "Ripper, Ripper, Ripper..."*
I wouldn't want Spike to shansu, not because I think he doesn't deserve it, but because I think he wouldn't want it.

To me, they wouldn't be the same shows if either vampire became human. It would be okay for Angel, because DB isn't interested in playing Angel again, but to make Spike human would eliminate a lot of possibilites. I like Spike a vampire. Unless the shanshu was temporary, I don't want it anywhere near Spike.

But really, there are a million ways you could make it work, but Joss just isn't interested so it isn't gonna happen. Wow, I've gotten to be such a pessimist! I'm not even really convinced that Ripper is going to happen.
"Caleb, The College Years," THAT I would believe!
Thing is nobody actually knows what to 'Shanshu' actually means to the vamp involved do they?

It could mean that they keep some elements of their past vamp 'unlife' (greater strength and speed etc) and yet age and eventually die. A sort of 'daywalker'.

That would be an interesting element to expand on. I think Spike would hate to be a 'human' too, and so there would be plenty of opportunity to do what Joss does best, 'angst'. Giving his characters what they least expect or want and getting good drama out of the situation.

I do hope Ripper gets made though, as ASH is one of my all time favorite Bufyverse characters, and always a classy act in whatever he's in.
I'm not even really convinced that Ripper is going to happen.

Oh, quite right IMO. There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip after all. I'll believe it 100% when the continuity announcer gets to "And now, from the acclaimed creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ripper" ;).

And yep, most felt the Shanshu should be temporary (which was one of my issues with it since then it's really just a MacGuffin to explain Spike's ageing - even though I also want Spike to stay a vampire).
I always felt that Angel signing away the shanshu was the final test of proving his worth to receive it one day.I never bought the idea you can sign a prophecy away either.If it were that easy,Buffy could of inked away her death at The Master's hands.Like with Connor,the prophecy always finds a way of happening.

What I do think Angel signing in NFA does though is sort of take the shanshu off the map as far as Angel knows.Even if you can't really sign a prophecy away,by doing that,Angel earned it with that self sacrificing act but he wouldn't know that.As far as Angel knows in this scenario,the shanshu is gone for him even if it really isn't.By going that way,it takes the shanshu issues off the dish in the immediate while leaving Angel to possibly still receive it down the road.

I think it would be very poetic to have Angel think he lost the shanshu and continue thinking it's gone while continuing his fight when in fact his act in NFA sealed the deal that he is now truly worthy to have it one day.

My feeling is that if you shanshu Angel or Spike now,their story is over.With Angel:After The Fall on the way,I think it's clear that their story isn't.And honestly I think the canon comics is a good argument not to shanshu either character.There is too much story left for them and the minute you shanshu Spike or Angel that story ends.

That's why I think both characters work better now in the comic pages to continue their stories action.Actor age is not an issue there.

I think if we get Ripper to the screen,we should count ourselves lucky.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2007-09-03 17:40 ]
"That's why I think both characters work better now in the comic pages to continue their stories action.Actor age is not an issue there."

Logically, of course that makes sense. But the truth of the matter is, although having a continuation in comic form is better than nothing, it can't even remotely compare to watching a television series. Not even close. Like apples and dried up orange rinds.
On another note that's semi-related to the conversation...

As a way to kind-of, sort-of reward Angel for the constant fighting and sacrifice, maybe his curse could be removed. Not the part that gives him a soul, but the whole one-moment-of-happiness-you-lose-your-soul thingy. It wouldn't necessarily guarantee him eternal bliss, and it would be interesting to see how Angel handled the idea of finding what it means to be happy.

Course, this being a Whedon show, that has a snowball's chance in hell of happening. Can't possibly have anyone happy on the show, can we?

Yeah, I know, I'm bitter :(
The thing about the natural (and supernatural) laws of a fictional universe is that they are... well... fictional. Made up. Not real. Therefore they can be changed at any point by those doing the writing. There is no end to the possible reasons that Joss could create for why Spike might appear to age. Or we could just ignore any additional wrinkles that we see on James (should any ever actually appear) and not let the realities of the actor get in the way of us enjoying the character. When James has lost his hair and is walking with the help of a stick then I'll worry about his ability to play Spike. A couple of extra lines on Spike's forehead aren't going to spoil anything for me.

As Simon said further up, it's already canon in the Buffyverse that vamps do change as the years go on, if not technically age, so if the fact of James looking older really does bother anyone then they can simply tell themselves that what happened with the likes of the Master and Kakistos has started to happen to Spike.

Regarding the article, first choice for me would be Spike, but any of the other options would be welcome too. Ripper needs to succeed and be the start of the next era of televised Buffyverse action.
"Regarding the article, first choice for me would be Spike, but any of the other options would be welcome too. Ripper needs to succeed and be the start of the next era of televised Buffyverse action."

Couldn't have said it better.

One more thing that I think COULD be viable; animation. I've seen so many great direct to DVD animated movies, theater movies, and TV series that I feel there's no reason why the Buffyverse couldn't have the same treatment. They could (if they were at all interested) use Angel and Spike all they wanted and never have to worry about age.

And personally, I think I'd almost prefer that to live action. You can do SO many things in animation that you can't do with real people.
I doubt if anyone will see this comment but I have to disagree Daburcor.
Animated characters just can't act as well.
You will never get the same emotional performance from a drawing that you will from an actor.
What Xane said.

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