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July 30 2003

Why "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" will be the next Star Trek. Author thinks BtVS can be a succesfully movie franchise.

"For example, it's extraordinarily wise that there isn't a new Buffy spin-off this year. In fact, once Angel is off the air, Joss Whedon and 20th Century Fox should take a decade or so off, and just let the franchise cook in its own juices. Keeping fans waiting for new filmed material was a perfect fit for Trek; overloading fans with new episodes is what's killing it."

Good article and follows my thinking about the Star Trek franchise. I'm not sure about waiting for a decade though. Four to five years may be better. Trouble is if you're going to do a Buffy movie with popular characters is the age issue. Unless say for example Angel becomes human, the actors are going to look a tad old for their characters.
I think 2 years is long enough to wait. All the DVDs will be out and us fans will be starving for more Buffy-related shows. (I don't think Angel will return for 2 more years after this one)
Also, I agree with the author's analogy to Star Trek. BtVS is the only show ever to evoke the same manic fan energy in me that Star Trek did once upon a time. TV sucks for me now. Curse you Joss, you genius, for ruining my appetite for pap.
Great article. I've been feeling the same way towards Trek and Buffy. The King is dead. Long live the Queen.
The characters on BTVS have become so real to many of their fans that any look at their future, even if it is in ten years time, would be like seeing a close friend after a long absense.
You can hardly wait to find out would they have been doing and what they are doing now.

Also, if Angel is too old and wrinkley just have the core people Buffy, Xander, Willow, and hopefully Giles.
Eh. It's not that Whedon should try to follow the ST formula. You tell a story when there's a story to be told. When the principals are ready to go at it again, and they all agree on a story they wanna tell, then is when they should hit the market with their wares. DS9 & Voyager failed because Berman's people tried to force stories, instead of just letting them happen.

STNG worked cuz Roddenberry found a story he wanted to tell, in keeping with the tradition he founded years before, and he surrounded himself with talented people to help him achieve his vision.

Whedon's got a couple movies in him. If he can do that, and the stories he tells bring more people into the 'cult' then maybe another series would be feasible, provided he's got the stories to tell. Whedon's gotta helm it though. Otherwise you have similar problems to the Star Trek Franchise after Roddenberry passed. Berman ran the franchise into the ground. Paramount woulda had better luck giving the universe over to fan fiction writers (not that I'm necessarily advocating that, but they couldn't have done worse).

Overall though I gotta concur. Whedon has achieved cultish status through Buffy. Kudos there. Not too shabby, being comparable to The Great Bird of the Galaxy.
The reason that Star Trek has stagnated is that although they've set up a potential interesting world, they're hardly scratching the surface in terms of the ongoing stories they can tell. Of the five series, four have been about a ship on a voyage of discovery. There are only so many stores which can be told in that structure, no matter the spin you try to put on that.

Something about Section 31 would have been great. Or the temporaral agency (a sort of Doctor Who in the Trek Universe, which would have provided more flexibility that Enterprise in covering up the continuity cracks -- some discrepency which turned up in the chronology could actively become an investigation). If they have to do ships, why Starfleet. Why not make a series from a point of view of a commercial freighter (offering Starfleet from a different perspective)? Or a totally alien ship? Or my fantasy, the Borg (Next week: Six of Ten's node is broken and only Five of Eight can repair it. Meanwhile the borg cube assimilates a colony of Vulcans.)

For me the only series which was consistent in terms of quality and interest was DS9 ... there was character development which stuck, shocks, twists and a musical episode. Sound familiar? The Buffyverse (or whatever it's called) works because Joss and the team are willing to take risks, not just with the characters but the format, and whenever there is a standalone they reset button is never switched. The fact that the proposed Faith spin-off would have had her travelling and not staying in one place shows that they're thinking out of the box in terms of what they can do with their universe. And Ripper, which I'm sure might happen eventually, set in the same universe but made in the UK with our sensibilities. That fact they threw over the last four episodes of a season of Angel for an arc in which the characters were zapped into another dimension is staggering. Quietly hoping for a TV version of Frey really; or a show made entirely in a foreign language, or a chat show in which viewers turn up, sing karayoke and Lorne gives them advice ....
If there was a BTVS movie or whathaveyou in the future, wouldn't the characters just age for as many years as the series was absent? (Within reason, that is. There will be no Scooby zimmer frames, heh.)
It would seem a tad trite for the Scoobies & Buffy & everyone else to still be the same age as they were at the time of 'Chosen.'

Just my 00.02. ;)

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