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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"We have to astonish them."
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August 06 2002

(SPOILER) TV Guide sums up Buffy's season seven. It's pretty much everything we already know, but it's nice to have much of it in one place. (double warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead. Please don't click unless you're like me and love spoilage. =)

Since I don't know how long this link's gonna be available (don't trust the linkage prosperity @, here's the basic rundown. This is not a copypaste, and my sources are not just the tvguide article. I'm trying to put all we know in one place.

Whedon admits last season was dark & Buffy was no fun anymore cuz she was all maudlin and afterdeady so he's gonna let her be more perky and empowered. Sunnydale High will be rebuilt, and Dawn will be attending there as a high school student. Amber Benson will be returning as someone other than Tara. I'm speculating she comes back as Proserpexa, but I could be wrong. Whedon's also returning a lot of big bads from past seasons for some particular reason that he won't explain. Eliza Dushku as Faith is in negotiating stages. Also mentioned are Clare Kramer as Glory, Juliet Landau as Drusilla and George Hertzberg as Adam. Not mentioned in the article is Warren, played by Adam Busch, or Mark Metcalf as The Master. However, earlier threads here in Whedonesque suggested those as well. This list is interesting cuz it includes a couple big bads which are supposed to be very very dead.

Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) is slated to be a recurring character like last season, and only contracted to do ten episodes. However, Whedon's trying to negotiate more out of him. He wants Giles more prominent this season. Willow (Alyson Hannigan) may get a new girlfriend. Spike (James Marsters) will not be another Angel, but Whedon's still being secretive about just how Spike's gonna change. Again, this is all stuff we already know. Marsters has said in a public Q&A with fans earlier this summer that he's read the first script and all he knows is Spike's pissed off.

Although Sarah Michele Gellar may not return for season eight to play Buffy (and Emma Caulfield as Anyanka has voiced similar sentiments), Whedon's not ready to let go of the "huge universe we've created and an incredible cast of actors." so if Sarah Michele Gellar and Emma Caulfield do not sign up for another season as they both have threatened in the past, the Scoobies will continue on in some form. Whedon won't go into detail whether they'll all move to the Angel tv series on the WB, or start their own. He may honestly not know yet as that's a whole year away. Odds are it'll be a new tv series on the UPN network that is a spinoff of Buffy, because UPN has made it clear they want the show to continue. Mutant Enemy will probably keep it as close to BtVS as they can, but just call it something else.

"It's about getting back to the mission statement of the show," says Cap'n Whedon, "which was, 'Here's a little girl with a lot of power and a lot of people who underestimate it.'"

I think this time last year we were spoiled for half of S6. M.E. seems to have been succesful in stopping the leaks and putting out plenty of vague info to keep people guessing. I must say I prefer it this way. I am staying away from wildfeeds this season.

My hopes for S7 are quite basic. I would like to see Slayer-lore explored (where do Slayers/Watchers come from?). More mythos. More subtext, less skinny skin. More real Brit. And a return to core Scooby friendship. I like that whole Four Musketeers thing. Other than that... surprise me.
It is very possible Whedon's just saying what he thinks the public wants to hear, and then in the first episode of season seven he'll get even more depressing and dark and morbid and I will be cheering but the majority of fans might feel like he's just flipping them off.

I loved season six. People rip it up and say it was depressing but I thought it was an attempt to take what many feel is a silly concept and put some real grit behind it. More power to Joss. If he ends up making a kinder, gentler BtVS for S7 I'll probably watch, but I hope you're on target Prolific, and Whedon goes into the Slayer-lore and the history of the First Slayer and where Watchers come from. I dig the subtext and the mythos and I could care less if I never see James Marsters shirtless ever again.

If Joss gives the public what they think they want, it'll kill the series. I hope he just tells the story he wants to tell and the heck with anyone who doesn't like it. Just in case though, I'm still writing up my own fanfiction version of season seven, the way I'd like to see it, so when I'm done I won't have to hope Whedon tells it the way I wanna see it, cuz I'll already have that out of my system and I can appreciate whatever he cooks up. =)
Hmm, what will a proposed Season 8 bring, if SMG does not re-sign? "The Slayer Files"? "Journal of a Slayer"? "Vampire Slayers"? I am curious what it will be, as the program IS called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", how it will be spun---perhaps just plain ol' "Slayer"???

ZachsMind, I too loved season six. The Scooby's had to grow up and face life sometime, even living on the Hellmouth---as for seeing James Marsters shirtless again? Well, I can't say I would mind that terribly much--- ;)
I three loved season six. To me, it was all about shaking things up and tearing s*** down, revisiting season two and spicing up its themes a little bit. Mistakes were made, but brilliance was once again on display. I'm quite looking forward to season seven, though. Especially the return of my girl, Eliza D. Who owned Bring It On, by the way.
I liked the stories they were trying to tell (Dark? Depressing? That's LIFE, baby. I'm fine with that.) but it sagged a little towards the end of the season. I think Tara's death should have taken place earlier in the season, so Willow's descent could have taken a little longer.

I think I argued this on MeFi before - execution was just a little off. SMG seemed to 'phone in' some of her performances (an expression I read elsewhere, and like.), Alyson H. seemed to think heavy breathing = acting (much like Tom Cruise thinks shouting = acting). People were standing around waiting to speak their lines, scenes seemed to drag and Nick Brendan walked around like he'd shat his keks. (I think it's the bodybuilding) MT and EC outshone the rest of 'em. I can't make up my mind about JM. He can be very hammy, but he had some great moments.

Perhaps this is what happens when a show goes on for so long, actors lose interest or get a little complacent? Never saw that happen on Star Trek series, though, it usually got better as the series went on.

Ever since they left high school I've complained I missed the high school set, or a similar kind of place for the Scoobies to gather and interact with other people. I hope the new Sunnydale High in S7 will solve that problem. I just wonder how the hell Giles is going to fit in this - he can't go back to being a librarian, can he now, not after his god-like entrance in the finale.

I hope the franchise goes on, like Star Trek. If BtVS is about 'growing up', by all means it can, cause we never stop growing up. I'm way beyond 20-something angst, but wouldn't mind a 'Chilled out 30-something', 'Mid-life crisis at the Bronze' and 'Death In Venice Beach'.
"MT and EC outshone the rest of 'em."

Ooh definitely. And as I say the following please understand I hold the writers of BtVS in high regard, but these two actresses deserve the most credit because in both cases for season six, they surpassed the words that were put in their mouths.

This was Caulfield's year. She surprised everyone with her singing talent. She could be mean and heartless in one moment and adorably cute the next. Her emotional range is delicious to watch, and every time Anya hugged someone or someone hugged her, Caulfield would have this look on her face like she was a three year old orphan experiencing truly heartfelt expressions of love for the first time. Her eyes would sparkle and her lips would do some cute little perky thing that was so out of character for an ex-vengeance demon it was perfectly IN character.

The writers used Anya a lot for exposition, to fill in the blanks usually reserved for Giles but he was away. Caulfield was stuck saying lines flippantly in reference to her character's millemium of existence. She made it sound natural, even though I knew she was being used thoughtlessly as a crutch by the writers. She had some of the best moments, particularly in "Tabula Rasa" and "Older and Far Away." That moment where Tara & Anya stared each other down over whether or not Willow should use magic was just priceless.

Trachtenberg's an amazing young talent. Some fans of the show seem to be treating Dawn like Star Wars fans treat Jar Jar Binks, but the problem is certainly not Trachtenberg's acting. For one thing, she's a foot taller than Buffy yet successfully pulls off the belief that she's the younger sister. The height discrepancy is partially obscured by camera tricks, but even when it's obvious, Trachtenberg's acting pulls off the role convincingly.

I think the writers sometimes don't know what to do with Dawn now that season five's over. She's still THE KEY but what does that mean? The writers don't seem to know or they're afraid to explore it. Whedon obviously likes what the actress brings to the ensemble, and has things in store for her character in season seven, but the klepto thing throughout season six was not much to work with from a writing standpoint or an acting standpoint, yet whenever it came up Trachtenberg was ON and we could see on her face why she was doing it even when the character didn't completely understand it herself.

Considering the dialogue they stick her with, Trachtenberg has been exceptional. "It was like a meat party in my mouth. Okay I'm a kid and even I know that sounded bad." Michelle should have gotten an Emmy for pulling off that line alone. However, the writers should have been tarred & feathered for that one.
MT, I love her. It's fun to see her in some of her earlier work, and marvel at how composed she was, even then. Ever catch her as 'Nona' on "The Adventures of Pete and Pete"? or in "Harriet the Spy"? Too bad they can't find a way to incorporate her considered dancing skills---or maybe the will????
Perhaps this is what happens when a show goes on for so long, actors lose interest or get a little complacent? Never saw that happen on Star Trek series, though, it usually got better as the series went on.

Two words: Robert Beltran.

Speaking as an (amateur) actor myself, I can say that it can become difficult to play the same character for a long period of time, regardless of how good the writing may be or how fun it is to work with your co-stars. The actor's instinct is to constantly be doing something new, to already have moved on to a totally new character the second you're done with the previous one (or as is often the case, before you've finished). I have quite a bit of sympathy for actors who leave successful TV shows to branch off into cinema; I don't see it as a hope for greater success, but just acting on the instinct to do something different.

[ edited by toddster on 2002-08-08 02:54 ]
Beltran... I thought acting on ST:Voy was consistently mediocre from the word go. Blandest cast on ST ever. Well... until Enterprise, perhaps, but they still have time to grow.

My favourite Trek show will always be DS9. It was Shakesperian. You know, like... Buffy. (hmmm, if they could make Giles as complex and layered as Garak...)
Actually they have. There's much about Ripper that we don't know, but what we have been shown indicates that at one time, Rupert Giles was toying with the forces of darkness and may have gone at least as far as Dark Willow has. In other words, at one time Ripper was playing for the other side. He was a black hat, but became an agent for good posing as an unemployed librarian.

Just like Garak. I always liked Garak too. Once a part of the Obsidian Order then turned simple tailor. He was a shining gem in DS9. It's always the quiet ones. =)
They have, but they haven't given him much of a story of late. The glimpses have been delicious. His quiet but 'make no mistake' handling of Spike ("we are not your way to Buffy"), the way he offed Ben...

It's been too long since Giles had an episode to himself ("A New Man") and that was almost all comic relief.

Of course, I won't be happy until it's "Giles the Vampire Slayer Watcher".
Now, fair picking on Beltran, just because his character managed to crash a shuttle every other episode---ever see "Nemesis"? He got to use TWO DIFFERENT emotions! I dare you to watch and differentiate. ;)

Ah, the many layers of Giles. Still waters DO run deep. I want 'Ripper' to hit the air, and I can't wait to see the episode (is it the first one for Season 7, my coffee hasn't jump started my brain yet), where the Scoobs are in Bath. Or where they are in the bath???
Well, don't know about tub scenes, but it WAS pouring down for most of the shoot, so at least it was wet.
I won't be happy until it's "Xander the guy who helps The Vampire Slayer by getting thrown across the room once every couple episodes or so." I really think for season eight that should be the title.
Here's some info on the U.K. location shoot from the Bristol Evening Post, August 9. It was posted to the Cross and Stake board:

Buffy star invites US TV crew into his home for new series.

Scenes for the new `Buffy the Vampire slayer` series have been shot in Bath - at the home of one of it`s stars.

Film crews from America first came to the city to film Anthony Head who plays Buffy`s watcher Rupert Giles.

The scenes involved Anthony travelling through the forest on horseback and were shot at an undisclosed location outside the city.

But when the weather got too bad for filming to continue, it was
decided that the crew would move to his Timsbury home.

"There was a scene in Buffy where I said I was living in Bath," said Mr. Head.

He said the producers of the cult show had wanted to shoot in Bath for some time.

"Unfortunately, the weather stank. It didn`t stop raining so we ended up using the house and the garden."

Mr. Head said he thinks Bath is an excellent location for filming.

"I think Bath is hugely photogenic."

The Bath scenes, filmed a few weeks ago, can be seen in the
seventh series of `Buffy` which will premiere on Sky One in January.

Giles. on. a. horse. I'd call that photogenic.

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