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"I think we have a situation. The kind you need to shoot at."
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January 30 2008

BuffyWorld - now with shooting scripts! Interested in reading what "Conversations With Dead People" would have been like, had Tara appeared? All 144 Buffy shooting scripts are now available on BuffyWorld.

Not sure how long these have been available. Did a search to see if these had been posted before, but nothing turned up. If I simply missed it, my apologies. But, personally, I think these are really fascinating, especially some of the earlier drafts.

Well I've never seen these before. (Then again, I haven't looked at BuffyWorld in months and months). As suspected, CWDP with Willow/Tara rather than Willow/Cassie packs a far heftier punch. And if Amber had been willing, she would have nailed that. *sighs*
They've been up for a considerable amount of time, actually. A lot of us BuffyForumers still go there for transcript and shooting script quotes, for another couple weeks anyway. *ninja*
They've been up for a pretty good while, I think. I wish the Angel shooting scripts were at BuffyWorld, too.
Wow. The Tara/The First scene. It packs a wallop indeed. And there are other bits mentioned in the CWDP commentary that were cut for time. What's this about "another couple of weeks"?
They also have the shooting script for "Lies My Parents Told Me," with extended Buffy-Giles interaction, including the cut dialogue where Giles confesses to Buffy that he killed Ben.
The Angel shooting scripts are around if you know where to look for them, though I don't think there's a complete set. The unproduced second episode "Corrupt" is quite fascinating.


Interestingly, I disagree (and, actually, I might have expressed this once before). Comparing the two versions, I'm actually struck far more by the version they had to film -- because it included the idea that what Willow did was so bad, she wasn't allowed to see Tara herself.

ETA, just to be more specific. It might be possible that the scene as originally written would have been more brutal to the viewer, but I think the scene as filmed as more brutal to Willow.

To wit: In what was filmed, Willow suffered the entire conversation, much more than if it had been "Tara", because she was being subjected to a universe in which the rules allowed the dead to talk to the living, in which Tara wanted to talk to her, but because what Willow did was so heinous, the rules wouldn't permit that to happen.

Much harsher.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-01-30 08:22 ]
So Tara was in the original script. I always thought that library scene would have been way more powerful had it been Tara instead of Cassie. I was right.
theonetruebix...You don't think it would have been more brutal to Willow to have TARA urging her to commit suicide? To see TARA'S form corrupted by the First? Ahem. Respectfully disagree.
You don't think it would have been more brutal to Willow to have TARA urging her to commit suicide?

No, because that was the moment when Willow realizes it isn't Tara, because Tara would never do that. So it's not an applicable moment in terms of the torment of the discussion. It instead is the moment Willow realizes she's being played.
Well, theonetruebix, harsher than her actually seeing Tara, having that onrush of unspeakable joy, then the pain of being unable to touch her, followed by Tara, her Tara, transforming into something obscene and monstrous? I think that would have been just as painful for Willow and way more painful for viewers. I wish to hell we'd gotten it.
I notice you didn't answer the second part of my objection. You've been to an open-casket funeral, right? Seen the dead person looking almost, but not quite, as they did in life--and trying to reconcile your memories of them with the body in front of you, and not quite making it?

How much worse would it be to have that person saying things you know they would never say...except you can hear the words? And how much worse would it be to have your last image of the person be a horror-mask that swallows itself? (Granted, seeing the person with a bullet hole through her chest wasn't exactly cotton candy and roses either.) Especially, as shambleau rightly adds, after a moment of joy the likes of which she may never have experienced before.

Don't get me wrong. I understand what you're saying. But I find it hard to believe that, for Willow, seeing a dead loved one being violated like that wouldn't have been the "most unkindest cut of all."
But I find it hard to believe that, for Willow, seeing a dead loved one being violated like that wouldn't have been the "most unkindest cut of all."

It would have been unpleasant. But she already knew, by that point, that it wasn't Tara.

(I swear I'm not just being contrary. I do actually believe what we got worked better dramatically. Heh.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-01-30 09:11 ]
Intellectually knowing it wasn't Tara is one thing. Seeing her dead lover, talking to her and having her wrenched away is another. "Unpleasant" doesn't cover it.
They also have the shooting script for "Lies My Parents Told Me," with extended Buffy-Giles interaction, including the cut dialogue where Giles confesses to Buffy that he killed Ben


They were right to cut it. As Fury admitted in the commentary. Interesting that the transition was still the same. Buffy had either already guessed that Giles killed Ben or wasn't very interested in the matter.
It isn't Buffy's reaction that matters. It's what it says about Giles. People had been complaining about pod-Giles, that he'd never betray her like this, it was too out of character. If ASH had put enough emotional undertones into that speech, that perception might have changed. If we could see that in some way what he'd done had destroyed him or hardened him, some of the emotional distance we saw between him and Buffy for the whole season could be tied to what happened with Ben. It would have made his trying to get her to kill Spike as he'd done to Ben, more nuanced.

Long way of saying they were wrong to cut it.
It isn't Buffy's reaction that matters. Because they were never close? I'm really not following you. It might inform what's happened in season 8, but only more towards estrangement between Giles and Buffy.
I get that they needed to cut some scenes because of air time. But *pout* it would've been a treat to shoot it as a special feature for the DVDs. WhedonVerse needs more special features!
I agree with Mirage. If they already filmed the scenes, they should put them in the DVDs. Fans would die to see deleted scenes.
People had been complaining about pod-Giles, that he'd never betray her like this, it was too out of character.

I don't get this. Giles did what he did for the mission and because he thought Buffy's objectivity re: Spike was compromised (I don't agree with him at all but his intentions were honourable IMO). How is that a betrayal ? Patronising and high-handed definitely but betrayal I don't see.

(though I would definitely like to see the Giles/Buffy 'Ben' scene because I can already imagine a couple of ways ASH might've played it and it'd be interesting to see which way he went - i'm thinking slightly remorseful/contrite as he describes what he did and then bang ! cold as ice - the way only the English can really do - when he says "He was a liability")

That is a fantastic resource, a lot of work has clearly gone into it and whoever's responsible deserves major kudos, so ... kudos anonymous guy(s)/gal(s), you rock ;). Just scanning 'Lies My Parent's Told Me' BTW but did we already know Spike's Mum was called Anne ? It's even the same spelling as Buffy's middle name - mere coincidence ?
Saje, the betrayal would be the going behind her back. It's certainly how Buffy would have seen it. He'd expressed his opinion. She had no problem with that, but she'd rejected the idea. To decoy her away while someone killed Spike would have provoked the same reaction in her that Angel had to Wesley kinapping Connor. And Giles would know this. His relationship with Buffy was almost destroyed in Helpless and he never tried something like that again, not even with Dawn. So the speech about Ben was necessary to give even more weight to why he was doing something like that now.

Dreamlogic,I didn't say they were never close. The Buffy/Giles relationship was one of the joys of the series for me and many others. But, in S7, the relationship barely existed. Part of the reason for the lack of closeness was that ME was trying to keep people guessing as to whether or not Giles had been killed by the Bringer with the axe and was actually the First.

Buffy and Giles weren't allowed by the writers to embrace when he first showed up (because that would show that he was corporeal). He seemed distant, probably for the same reason, to make people unsure whether he was the First. He laid all the responsibilty for fighting the First on Buffy, saying that SHE was the plan, there was no other, without any seeming recognition of the stress that would put her under, unlike the Giles of old.

Then, when it was revealed that he wasn't dead, there was no return to their old closeness, instead it was followed almost immediately by his questioning of her relationship with Spike and, soon after, by his going behind her back to have Spike killed. Giles hadn't tried anything like that since Helpless and that underhandedness, combined with the slightly off characterization of Giles that the writers had deliberately set up earlier made many people unhappy. They didn't recognize this Giles and they mourned the loss of the closeness between them for what seemed to have been a fairly lame and long misdirect.

So, to my mind, you had to have some kind of emotional reason for how Giles was acting to explain the loss of closeness. The stress of having the Council blown up, or of not having seen Buffy much in the last year or so could have been brought out to explain part of Giles' distance from Buffy. Or you could have the fact of having killed Ben affect him more than he even realizes, which could have been brought out in the cut speech. Or you could have a combination of all those reasons. Something was needed, which is why the speech should have been kept in.
Oh, I love this so much... Think I'm gonna be reading a lot of the time in the coming weeks... It's kinda like reliving Buffyverse anew. :D

And think about like every Joss epi ever... He keeps saying that his episodes always come in long... Now we'll have the chance to experience those episodes in their full glory i a way atleast! Oh, this is just so great!

[ edited by Djungelurban on 2008-01-30 12:54 ]
To add to why it was a betrayal, Giles keeps saying she needs to act like a general, thereby implying that she should be in charge, while at that very moment he is undermining her authority. She has made the decision about Spike, but since Giles disagrees with it, he feels he can go behind her back to reverse it. In the military that would be considered traitorous, and it is Giles who keeps using military terms. Either she is in charge and he respects her decisions or she is not in charge. As we find out later, she is not really in charge. It was an ironic situation...and not in a good way.

I can see why they cut the speech though. It gets the point across to some extent, but it reaches back pretty far. I think it would have been difficult to explain Giles's transformation without a lot of screen time that they just did not have. I wonder if Joss had hoped to use Ripper to do that. I of course have my own theories about it... ;-)
Yeah but even in the military, people disobey orders if they think it's important enough (in fact, AFAIK they're even allowed to by military law if it's an immoral order). He was wrong about the General stuff though, it's made very clear before season's end that that is absolutely NOT the way she should've been behaving. That advice was too much Watcher's Council and not enough Giles IMO i.e. he fell back on tradition/training when he shouldn't have.

It's certainly how Buffy would have seen it.

Ah, that I get shambleau. I guess it comes down to whether you feel Giles should be acting as Buffy's subordinate or whether he's an individual with his own agenda (i.e. the success of the mission) but I do agree that Buffy would see it as a betrayal.

It's not quite the same as with Wesley and Connor though since in a sense - understandable and, as always with Wes, done with the best of intentions though it was - that really was a betrayal. Wesley chose to believe an ambiguous, centuries old prophecy rather than the evidence of his own eyes and what he knew about his friend. Giles on the other hand acted because Spike had shown he was dangerous and had been "programmed" with who knows what sort of orders, some of which had already led to the death of innocents - whatever Buffy's thoughts on the matter, Spike's continued existence definitely put the mission at risk, it's just that Buffy was willing to allow more time to solve the problem than Giles was (luckily, as it turned out in retrospect).

And of course, Giles and Wood forcing things to a head with Spike was precisely what allowed him to overcome the hypnotic suggestions, without that maybe he would have been a real danger (turning on them when they went into the Hellmouth for instance) or at least not an asset. Wesley kidnapping Connor on the other hand was the cause of most of the season 3/4 strife.
(I swear I'm not just being contrary. I do actually believe what we got worked better dramatically. Heh.)

I agree with b!x - and have thought this from the time the episode aired, knowing it was originally meant to be Tara. (Plus the shooting scripts were often online back then, sometimes before the episode had even aired.) I honestly think having Tara in the library scene would have been too raw and honestly too melodramatic for the scene to be effective. She'd know it wasn't Tara straight away. With Cassie, there's some doubt to what was really going on. And it's the distance, the talking about Tara, that makes the scene so effective.

Honestly, with Tara dying the way she did, bringing her back for that scene would have been just too much - particularly for what the reveal was; it would have been overloaded with grief and feeling when it is, in the end, just about the creepy reveal. Thankfully Willow and the viewer were spared that.

I believe Amber Benson objected to the scene as written - or to the idea of using Tara in that way. I think she was right to say no.
The Giles betraying Buffy was a prime example of what was wrong in season 7. The countless out-of-character behaviours by pretty much all side-characters at one point or the other just to progress the plot. Every major sidekick did it at least once, and even Buffy wasn't exempt (the extreme behaviour in Selfless). This culminated in everybody turning against Buffy in Empty Places. Very dramatic, great plot progression, and ultimately so against the characters.

In seasons 1-5 pretty much any action by the characters could be explained, in seasons 6-7 (especially 7) the single episodes were mostly about one or two people, and everybody elses motives were thrown to thrashcan to progress the plot, both for that episode and the grand one.
Three things that stick out to me in the shooting scripts is that I'm glad they cut down the kick-Buffy-out-of-her-own-house scene in "Empty Places" -- as written, it's a little too treasonous to accept. Honestly, though, still wasn't a fan anyway. If anything, she should have kicked them all out -- her house.

One thing I almost wish they'd put in, though, was in "The Gift", during the Scooby meeting, Xander pitches the Combo-Buffy spell from "Restless" and Buffy says it's not enough. I would have loved that bit of continuity, especially since Combo-Buffy was the sort of "I Win" button that should have been addressed.

My personal favorite is from "Phases", though, the nice and lingering hug and stare between Xander and Buffy. In the shooting script, it's much more obvious that that *was* the near-kiss it looked like.
This is an interesting conversation, and not with dead people. :-) What interests me is that all too often here, people defend the writing decisions that Joss makes. Well, Joss actually did make one here. He wrote the original scene in CWDP with the real Tara involved- that was exactly how he wanted that scene portrayed. And the only reason, the only reason, he did not have it filmed that way was because Amber Benson refused to do it, for whatever reason. So, his vision was, Tara is there, saying those words. S7 is not a season I care much about, though I think CWDP is a great episode, even written as it was- but the truth is, Joss meant for it to occur in a specific way, and if you think he meant to bring on the pain, this is how he originally meant to bring it on.
Wow....this is a great oppurtunity to relive everything from a different angle.
I agree this is a great resource but I kinda prefer PDFs of the original scripts as I like to get a feel of the writers' individual styles as they themselves put it on the page, rather than a transcript
As I understand it, the shooting scripts are the original scripts prospero (though in HTML format rather than PDF). You could always convert them to PDF if you prefer (PrimoPDF is a pretty decent quick and dirty converter that works through the windows printing subsystem - free too).

The transcripts aren't the originals though (which is why they don't have much in the way of stage direction and only simple formatting).

On that note though, does anyone have a script book to compare these to that ?
If Tara had appeared as the first, I think the chances that Tara would've been ressurected in a later episode would've been 80% more likely.

I don't think pain is the point. I think pain is the stage for hope. I think the point is how far down hope can still be found.

What interests me is that all too often here, people defend the writing decisions that Joss makes. Well, Joss actually did make one here.


But I think Joss made a lot of decisions that he wasn't able to do. He wanted Willow and Tara to kiss at the end of New Moon Rising, but the network wouldn't let him, so we got the candle scene instead. It was just as effective...if not more so.

I'm just saying...just because Joss wanted to do something different...doesn't mean the way it turned out wasn't the way it was meant to. And it's all water under the bridge anyway.
I'm glad they cut down the kick-Buffy-out-of-her-own-house scene in "Empty Places" -- as written, it's a little too treasonous to accept.
That's interesting, because when I read that one I thought it seemed (slightly) more tolerable than the final version because it sounded more like Willow was saying that Buffy was stressed out and needed to take a break, providing a little more buildup to the eviction. Although I don't like Giles harboring resentment all the way back to Jenny. Of course, my memory of the scene might not be very good because I have a tendency to skip it.
What interests me is that all too often here, people defend the writing decisions that Joss makes. .


I know and at a site called Whedonesque to boot. It's very odd :p.

And regarding the whole vision thing , it could be argued that Joss' original vision for Willow was to have her stay with Oz had Seth Green decided not to leave. But things changed. Way I see it, if it didn't happen on screen then really not much you can do about it (unless you're into AU fanfic).
But that's the point. What Joss intends and what Joss has to do is often different. Most of the time it is because of events beyond his control- Seth leaving, Amber refusing to come back. What those events do is force him to alter his vision. Now, you may like how that vision was altered, but there is no question whatsoever that he is not presenting the story as he originally planned and intended it. That's all I am saying.
Actually, while Joss Whedon okayed and supervised the script, as he presumably did with all scripts on his shows, I believe the library scene between Willow and Cassie (originally Willow and Tara) was written by Marti Noxon. If I recall correctly (and I am pretty sure I do), Jane Espenson has said in a number of interviews that while she and Drew Goddard are credited for the script, Joss wrote the Buffy/Holden scenes, Marti Noxon wrote the library scenes, Drew Goddard wrote the Jonathan/Andrew scenes and Jane Espenson wrote the Dawn/First scenes. So in discussions of authorial intent, I think it's perhaps useful to acknowledge the participating authors :) As we had Dawn coping with seeing Joyce elsewhere in the episode -- and Dawn does not have Willow's supernatural b.s. detector, which made her much more vulnerable -- it seemed to me this note was already being played elsewhere in the episode (actually, it was also being played with the Andrew/Warren thing, but since Warren is a character pretty much beloved *only* by Andrew, this didn't resonate the same way). While I certainly understand what they were going for in the original version, the practical aspects of the situation (Amber Benson being unavailable) allowed the creative staff to play a markedly different note in the library than they were playing in the Summers' house, so that we have five tonally different scenarios playing out, rather than two that are similar in key emotional ways. Just my opinion :)

Have to now go read the Giles scene from "Lies."
Being able to adapt to the unexpected and unplanned and still deliver something pretty amazing was a strength of Mutant Enemy. It's hard to write a good scene. Ending up with a good scene when the actors you wanted weren't available is harder. That scene hurts like hell to watch, so mission accomplished.
True, Sunfire, but ME wasn't alone in that. Look at how JMS dealt with the loss of Sinclair, Ivanova, and Talia Winters in B5. That's about like Joss needing to replace Buffy after S1, Xander after S6, and Cordelia after S2. Of course, Buffy was recast after the movie, but that's not such an issue, since the movie isn't canon in the TV Buffyverse.

The one Joss DID do, was Tucker/Andrew, and we've heard about how CWDP and TGIQ used different characters than planned for one-shot appearances. All those seem pretty seamless, but when Joss replaces someone (Oz with Tara, Tara with Kennedy) he always uses it as an option to explore new things, as opposed to shoehorning a new player into his major arc, Second Foundation-style.
shapenew, what is thing you call "authorial intent"?


;-)
Saje said:
That is a fantastic resource, a lot of work has clearly gone into it and whoever's responsible deserves major kudos, so ... kudos anonymous guy(s)/gal(s), you rock ;).

That would be a Buffy fan called Rayne (or occasionally RayneFire), who collected and uploaded the scripts for the much-missed Buffy Shooting Script site, stamped out of existence by a Fox cease-and-desist letter back in 2001. Since then, people who saved copies, or grabbed them from the Google cache have occasionally posted them again. They're definitely bona fide, and match the script books which were published later, along with numerous writer interviews mentioning cut scenes or lines. I think there's also an old Q&A with Minear in which he points someone to the site in order to check out a scene he'd cut. So Rayne gets the credit.
Then thank-you Rayne, if you're reading, that's a good job of work you've done there ;).

(and thanks Sirk for the info)
I hadn't seen these before, and will definitely enjoy perusing them when I have more time. Does anyone know exactly how you can get access to the shooting scripts? I know some have been bonus features on some of the DVDs, and there have been a few script books, but having them all together in one place is nice. Apart from the deleted or edited material, one thing I love about these is reading the directions the writers have put in, some of the stuff is often as funny or poignant as the material itself.

All these deleted scenes makes me a little sad that DVDs hadn't been more established when Buffy first started, simply because most people now are aware that their show will end up on DVD and often produce more bonus material for the DVD, or at least make it available for use on DVD. The first three seasons of Buffy were pretty bare bones in terms of special features. The last four had a lot more audio commentaries and a few more features, but we never really got any deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage or detailed gag reels (I think there were 2 in total on the DVDs but I remember several main cast members were completely missing, and I think they only covered seasons 6 and 7).

As to the Willow/Tara scenes from CWD, I agree that it would only have been more poignant and frightening if it had been Tara rather than Cassie. I mean, was it ever really explained why they chose Cassie, considering her and Willow never met? If The First's story was that Tara had to send a messenger rather than appear herself, couldn't she have sent someone Willow knew, ike Joyce, or Jenny Calendar, or even Jesse? At least they actually knew Willow.

I think it was probably the best alternative the writers could think of but I definitely think that it would make more sense for The First to manipulate Willow using Tara, after all it's plan to convince Willow to commit suicide would be more likely to be successful if it was her beloved girlfriend doing the urging, rather than someone she didn't know. Regardless, I think they made it work with Cassie but it would have been amazing with Tara because of the chemistry Alyson and Amber had developed, and the history of their characters.

It's a shame Amber didn't want to do it, but I can understand her reasons. But would she have done it if she had a chance to appear again as Tara rather than The First? If she didn't want her fan's last sighting of the character to be an evil version of her character, then surely they could have considering accomodating that by offering to feature Tara again, for example in a dream, like the way Faith appeared to Buffy in Graduation Day? It definitely could have been fitted in to something like First Date, and Tara could have perhaps made clear that it wasn't her in CWDP.

I can't make up my mind about Giles' confession in LMPTM. On one hand I think that the way it was never referred to at all in canon was apt, because it was something that Giles had to do alone and he didn't want the others to have to worry about the morality of it. It's interesting that he has to carry about this burden of a terrible but necessary sin he committed because it adds to the depth of the character, and it implies that Giles may have made such hard choices before and will again.

On the other hand, it is quite interesting to see what would have happened if he did tell Buffy. It makes perfect sense that he would try to convince her that Spike might be a liability in the same way that Ben was. Also, given that Buffy was willing to kill Anya for the same reasons not that long ago in Selfless, it's definitely an important theme of the season.

One of the problems I had with the Buffy/Giles relationship was that it received so little attention, and I was kind of pissed off when I saw the end of LMPTM for the first time because I felt that it was a crucial stage in their relationship and I don't think one episode was enough time to break it down so devastatingly. A little more depth to the stalling scene between Giles and Buffy would have therefore made more sense to me, because it would have shown that they had examined and debated all the relevant issues and that Buffy was still disgusted with Giles' actions even if she understood the motivation.

But I find her reaction to this revelation strange. It's like when Xander brings up Angel in Selfless, and the little revelation about Xander's lie is briefly revealed but they quickly move on without dealing with it. And here Buffy doesn't respond to this major revelation, and is only (rather bizarrely) tipped off to the fact Giles is stalling her. One of the most important themes in Buffy is that actions always have consequences, and here we have two examples of that not really being the case. Giles might feel guilt about what he did to Ben, but the problem is that this scene wouldn't have been satisfying enough because it seems like Buffy doesn't care less, or isn't horrified at Giles taking a human life.
Just to clarify: the post-'Lie to Me' (give or take) scripts are the same ones that used to be hosted at studiesinwords.de. I'm glad to see they're online (again), particularly the early ones, which I didn't think to seek out until after that site's admin had removed them for copyright reasons. Indeed the availability of the early shooting scripts seems like a charming 'fuck you' to the copyright holders, never mind the broader issue of whether any scripts should be available in the first place without the writers' consent.

There were some miscellaneous tidbits hosted at studiesinword.de that I treasure, including Joss's first draft of 'Restless'...

[ edited by waxbanks on 2008-01-31 00:30 ]
As for the infamous Willow/Cassie/First sequence, I found its final version chilling, even knowing that Amber Benson had turned down a chance to be in it. As written, it's a little awkward: pure and painful until the 'I'm really the First' turn, then a little generic-villainy-sarcastic, scoring easy points in a voice other than Tara's. Which seems slightly out of step with The First's overall vibe. Caleb, Buffy, Spike, Warren, Jonathan, the parade of 7x01 villains in that amazing morph-fest last basement scene...all of them maintained personal voices, even when speaking directly 'as' the First. But the fact that Tara's lines from that final scene could simply be given to Cassie without any alteration is (to my eyes) a sign that the big Villain Reveal in the library isn't perfect.

As it is, I think Azura Skye did an extraordinary job in the filmed sequence, but it's obviously a different thing from what was initially written. Still, unsurprisingly given that Marti Noxon is an excellent, excellent writer, Willow's emotional line in the library scenes is the same on the page as onscreen. No complaints here.

Seconding someone's mention that the original Angel 1x02 script is excellent. Every new computer I've gotten in the last several years, my Joss scripts have been among the first files I've transferred over. Which is of course sad and I will go stick my head in a bucket of water now.
Jennie wouldn't have been doable either; Robia wouldn't agree to play The First again.

I have to wonder;presumably what FirstCassie said about Willow being forbidden to talk with Tara's shade is part of its lie. So what could be the real inside-the-verse explanation of why The First didn't become Tara? Ever, not just in this scene.

I have to wonder how many outtakes still exist buit haven't eben DVDed?

And at tiems the scene shot is an improvement. As in "Band Candy," where, according to the script book (which Ia ssume is based on these same shooting scripts) Giles calls the neonatal nurse "lazy" but in the scene shown he uses the more colloquial "dozy."

Sigh- mainly being contrary here.
I still hold to the belief that, since the First Evil can only present himself in the persona of someone who died, that he could not do so for Tara indicates she remains alive, somehow.
Is knowing all the alternatives really a good thing? Or is it really a disservice to what ended up on screen and the process it went through?

I mean, does knowing the ideas that never made it to paper, the scenes that never made it to film, and the film that never made it to screen make what DID end up on screen seem less satisfying or even unsatisfying?

It seems like there is a lot more Willow/Tara content in the CWDP script than Willow/Cassie...so it's very well possible that some of that would've been cut for time. IOW, the mental picture from reading the script might actually be better than anything that could've been filmed. Because, there are always constraints when filming...but in the mind the possibilites are endless and time is different. (Most people can read a script faster than it can be acted out for instance.)
These are great. THANK YOU!
presumably what FirstCassie said about Willow being forbidden to talk with Tara's shade is part of its lie.

Although, as mentioned in a later convo between Faith and Wood, there's always truth in what the First has to say to you. So "presumably" might be wrong. (Of course, all we have is speculation, until and unless someone says or writes into a scene something that gives an answer.)
My interpretation of The First never being able to assume the shape of Tara, even with the knowledge of Amber's decision, was that Tara was too powerful a witch in the afterlife to let someone even as big as the First to assume her form. I consider it the one last thing she could do for Willow, prevent the First from torturing her lover with her own face.
I WILL get around to reading those scripts, one day. Thanks.

After CWDP aired, I posted a theory that Willow could very well have cast a protection spell over Tara's grave that prevented the First from manifesting as her, especially given her horror at having pulled Buffy out of heaven. Just a thought.

Sage- Spike's mother was deliberately named Anne, and it was also explicitly stated that she be cast as blonde and small. This helps explain Spike's gravitation to Buffy in the first place and even makes their relationship a little oedipal. It may have been on the DVD commentary, and Dave Fury did discuss it at the Tabula Rasa con. He was FABULOUS!
Aha, cheers missb. I was fairly sure she wasn't actually named in the show (and the transcript just has her as "Mother" which supports that) but it's nice to hear that it was deliberate, that "They have had a plan" ;).

I still hold to the belief that, since the First Evil can only present himself in the persona of someone who died, that he could not do so for Tara indicates she remains alive, somehow.

You are a maniac Dana5140 ;-).

(I do like people's fan-wanks about the role though, very creative, even if they don't really do it for me)

GrrrlRomeo: I mean, does knowing the ideas that never made it to paper, the scenes that never made it to film, and the film that never made it to screen make what DID end up on screen seem less satisfying or even unsatisfying?

If I have enough time to digest the final version then they're just extras which offer an insight into the creative process (which fascinates me) and don't really affect how I see the finished episode. In fact, for me, being reminded that it's work, that it is a process and that these things don't just spring fully formed onto the page makes me admire the people that do it all the more.

(also, though I like having deleted scenes to watch, i've very rarely seen one where I didn't think "Yep, I understand why that went", same with alternate endings)
As I understand it, the shooting scripts are the original scripts prospero

Hmm. I understand it differently, though I suppose it varies from show to show. Shooting scripts aren't *usually* the original scripts submitted... at least in features. In features, a shooting script is an original script edited to include camera directions and scene numbers and shot breakdowns and technical stuff. Some writers include this stuff just because they're used to writing it that way, so why not? But many (most?) write so that the prose/action lines suggest all the technical stuff without being explicit. I've always wanted to get my hands on the original Buffy, Angel and Firefly scripts just to see how Joss and company handle the action descriptions.

This resource is full to the brim with awesome, though. What an undertaking! Thanks for the link, adam_tvs.
theonetrueb!x, The First lied like a rug to Andrew and Spike and Dawn and told Faith that Buffy was planning to kill her. It uses the truth when the truth suits, but it can also be full of incorporeal bull.
prospero said "... I like to get a feel of the writers' individual styles as they themselves put it on the page, rather than a transcript"

and these aren't transcripts orphea (they have some camera direction for instance as in 'Earshot' where we have "BUFFY'S POV OF ROOM (360 degrees)" or "ANGLE ON: BUFFY") so in that sense they're the original script (i.e. they reflect the "writers' individual styles"). You're right though that (of the scripts i've looked at) these don't have scene numbers or continuation information as you might see in an actual shooting script (like e.g. this one for 'Bushwacked').

I'm not a writer or an expert by any stretch so this is a genuine question but wouldn't a director tend to annotate their copy of the shooting script with angles, movements etc. on a TV show ? It just seems like a lot of extraneous information to include when it's only useful to a few of the crew.

Interestingly (sort of ;), when I converted the shooting script for 'The Puppet Show' to PDF and preserved the title of the document it came up with 'The Puppet Show - First Draft'. Could it be then, that some of these at least are actually closer to the original submitted draft than to the final shooting script ?
saje: You have no idea. Or maybe you do. :-)

But think about it. What I said fits in with canon, right? The First can take the form of dead people, and did so to devastating effect- as Jenny Calender, as Warren Mears, as Buffy, etc. It was all about the pain, and even said to Willow that the last year was nothing compared to what was coming. CWDP was only 7 episodes into S6, not very long after the beginning of the season and certainly not very long after Willow had returned from England. Willow was still in terrible pain. If The First was all about the pain, using Tara's body would have just crushed her- but he didn't. Why? (And not because, in the real world, Amber said no- just go with this in terms of the Buffyverse only). Because he couldn't. Why? Because she is not dead. Maybe she's ascended to a higher being; Cordelia did, after all. Maybe Willow and Tara's love was so great it transcended whatever it transcended. But- and this is really important to me- it leaves open the door for Tara's return. She was the only person the First could not mimic. In the midst of a bad situation, I'll latch onto that.

Meantimes, I've read over the New Moon Rising shooting script, my fave ep. It has small but significant differences with the episode as shot, and as an evolution of how that ep developed, I can say that the actual ep works much better than the shooting script- what they took out makes a lot of sense, and heightens the emotionalism of the episode in significant ways. I admire people who can see those little tweaks and know to make them, because each one they made, made things better. Check it out and see.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-31 14:18 ]
You have no idea. Or maybe you do. :-)

Heh, maybe (after I got over the shock I immediately started wondering about ways Wash could come back. It's harder without magic and gods but not impossible ;).

I don't think it's outright contradicted by what we see Dana5140, not so sure it's supported. IIRC there's usually a visual cue when someone's called to a higher plane (as with Cordelia) which we didn't see with Tara.

Also, although we can never really fathom the motives or actions of the Buffyverse "gods", when Willow calls him/her, Osiris (or some representative of same) says "It is a human death, by human means." i.e. he/she is at least claiming that Tara is actually, really dead.

Still, gotta admire your dedication to the cause ;).
theonetrueb!x, The First lied like a rug...

If you'll go back and notice, I didn't say that everything the First says to people is truth. I was simply pointing out that on matters where we don't have a second source of some kind, we can't just presume that what the First says is a lie.
Saje Dana5140 CowboyClihce; Well, when Cordelia was called to...er, excuse me, must maintain self-consistency here, the first time Cordelia was called to become a Higher Being she was being scammed. So said absence isn't relevant.

Plus we have the statement by Osiris's henchdemon that Tara was dead per se.

But I'm quite happy with the idea that her psoition in the afterlife wasn't the same as Buffy's and was in fact so different that she would be able to do things like forestall the use of her image by The First. An action I can imagine her tkaing as oon as her shade realizes what The First is planning, via the "outer planes grapevine."

But since Joss never included any of this in a script, we can't know it just yet, just like we don't know if Willow ever said to anyone "Hey, I'm as interested in guys now as I e ver was, I just won't be doing anything about it anymore."
All Osiris did was essentially state that HE couldn't bring her back, because she was dead by natural causes. Which suggests that Osiris only has experience in resurrecting those dead from unnatural (magical) causes, right, implying that there might be others who could bring back those who died of natural causes. Prove me wrong! :-)

But we all know there really are ways in canon Buffyverse that you can bring dead people back- you can use a spell, like Dawn did after her mom died; surely, D'Hoffryn could bring someone back from death via mystical means. Oracles could be invoked to do it. Lotta ways, not all yet explored.

But I am betting they will be. Oh yes, they will be.

ETA: Ah jeez. I forgot one other way. Tara could be VAMPED. That would really, really suck in the worst possible way. So,watch it happen now. :-(

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-31 19:08 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-31 19:10 ]
Wow, there's really no better inspiration than this. Thanks for posting.
Well, I still say that was only Osiris's messenegr boy, and as Lord of the dead Osiris can't just raise people or he'd be out of a job. But divine intervention from some Major Minor or Demi Power seems plausible to explain anything but I haven't gotten anywhere writing "Willow's Quest" yet *grin.

And D'Hoffryn is a bit weaker being just a Demon Lord but he could still abscond with people before they're brain-dead and revive 'em magically. But I'm sure he reserves *that* for former Vengeance Demons who've gone all goodie-goodie so he can trap them and have his friends torment them body and soul before their souls escape safely to a heaven and where was I?
Which suggests that Osiris only has experience in resurrecting those dead from unnatural (magical) causes, right, implying that there might be others who could bring back those who died of natural causes. Prove me wrong! :-)

Uh huh, okayyyy *backs away from Dana5140 while trying to keep one eye on DaddyCatALSO* ;-).

You're absolutely right of course, in a 'verse with gods and magic, anything is possible. Which is why I generally prefer (honest) sci-fi to fantasy - if the creators aren't hella talented that can backfire big style.

(in 'Angel' they took great pains, it seemed to me, to try to kill Fred utterly and yet people still come up with reasons Fred isn't really dead, like Knox lied or whatever. I guess it's just human nature but it's testament to Joss and the writers - and actors - that the shows generate this level of denial regarding fictional characters where normally we reserve it for loved ones. Or I should say, real-life loved ones ;)
Well, that's all fine and good for those of you who have lives but where does that leave little* ol' egotistical me?


* metaphorical sense there; 5'10" & 290 lbs. kinda excl;udes the physical
Heck no. D'Hoffryn bargained with Anya after she wiped out that fraternity group in Selfless, so that all of them were returned to life, and all he wanted in return was poor Halfrek. So, he could do it.

One way I could see this happening has some interesting twists. We know D'Hoffryn has been after Willow for some time now. She might agree to go all VD in order to get Tara back. That would be an interesting dynamic- a lesbian witch with a lesbian vengeance demon with serious witchy powers. And hey, fits canon! I got a million of 'em, canon ways to get Tara back. But the best of them all start with the fact the First Evil simply could not use Tara's body when it made sense for him to do so.
theonetruebix, I didn't mean to imply that The First lied about everything, just that we've seen it lie. My own take on why The First used someone other than Tara is that Willow would instinctively know it wasn't Tara. The First is rather judicial in its use of appearances. Andrew is easy to fool -- Andrew says on some level he knew Warren wasn't Warren. Then again, Andrew lies to himself so much that it's hard to tell if this is honesty or just Andrew-wank. Spike *should* know Buffy, but was in a supernaturally-induced daze. Dawn is still fairly confusable. The First seems to have an idea of who it can and can't fool. Since Willow didn't know Cassie, she wouldn't think, "Wait, you don't seem like Cassie's ghost" right away.
But in opposition, why then would the First use Buffy on Buffy? Caleb? Buffy knew that it ain't her, and she knew she killed Caleb. So I don't know that this makes a lot of sense. The First is all about the pain, and even if Willow knew it was not Tara- which at first they really didn't since this was the ep where the First revealed itself- don't you think that would have just killed her?
I think it used Buffy on Buffy to remind her that she had died (twice ;) since she knew it could only take on dead forms - a reminder that even with her Slayer powers, she was all too fragile and defeatable.

Not sure about Caleb. He did die a fairly gory death though, maybe to make Buffy think about what she'd done ? Or maybe The First just liked his form ?

There are plausible fan-wanks either way, that's why it's more a Rorschach test of what you want to happen than a valid way to draw conclusions about what actually did. Just IMO obviously ;).
I thought The first used Caleb to try to give Buffy a little start, unnerve her. "You think you killed me be here I am in your basement. Booga booga!" When it didn't work, it switched immediately to playing the mind game of seeing herself express doubts about her own weaknesses and fears. That didn't work either, so it went away. It had been around for a while, people were on to its tricks, so it had had to change tactics.

At the point where it spoke to Willow as Cassie, it was still using their inexperience. I could see The First believing that Willow would be too savvy to believe that Tara would ever tell her to kill herself. After all, The First did not even try to get to Buffy that night. Why not, unless it understood that some targets were more vulnerable than others?
Willow was not even savvy enough to keep herself from disappearing when she returned from England. The First could have said a lot of things to Willow which would have hurt her; suicide was simply one possibility. I still think using Tara would have been far worse than using Cassie, and I am not alone; the person who actually played Tara felt that as well. :-)

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