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September 04 2005

Peter David clarifies some aspects of Spike: Old Times. In answering a continuity query about the comic book which gave us Spike's name in full (William Pratt), he says "My guess would be right after Xander's wedding imploded."

With a name like William Pratt it becomes so much more apparent why Spike would choose a cooler name for himself. I mean it really could get any less cool than little Willy Pratt could it? :D

Funnily enough i had pretty much assumed that the story had taken place within the timeframe that PAD suggests. Nice to see it confirmed though.
There is a Pratt Coat of Arms. I would be interested to know when the term 'pratt' came into use to mean a fool.
I used to work with a William Pratt. I didn't know the fool/prat connection but it wouldn't have applied to this guy anyway. So, is this where "pratfall" originates? And "prattle"?

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2005-09-04 14:42 ]
I thought the name William Pratt was familiar! That was the real name of a very remarkable actor know to us as Boris Karloff!
Simon - an amazing 2000 posts! How do you do it? I know this was done in another thread but I can't seem to find it - and my heads hurts (no really, it hurts - I have my third bout of some stupid frikkin' 'flu in four weeks).
*shakes head in disgust(and then stops really, really fast)*

Any way, Simon, you rock!

Back to topic - I am having absolutly no luck finding "Old Times" anywhere local (Perth WA). Can't order online anywhere as credit card is.. um... temporarily "exahusted"!
I've always loved these little mysteries in the verse. Though the fate of Miss Kitty Fantastico was sealed by Dawn's crossbow being 'cocked & locked', I've often wondered why William was so touchy about 'Willy'. I can't recall Spike seeing Halfrek again after 'Older and Far Away', does "Old Times" include events between episodes?

catalyst2, sorry you're down with the flu. Try to get some rest, hope you're feeling better soon.
catalyst2, I also hope you feel better soon. Maybe you should see Simon?...Tam, that is.
Madhatter, Spike and Halfrek saw each other again in the Magic Shop in the episode Entropy. It was just before Spike and Anya got drunk and horizontal.
Aha, right you are, Vampire With A Gun. They say the memory is the first to go, guess I better rewatch season six. Thanks.
My feeling was that it had to be set at some point in the sixth season between when Hallie and Spike first saw each other at the party and the point at which they basically gave each other dirty looks at the Magic Box later on that year.

I could be wrong, but in "Entropy" I didn't think they were giving each other dirty looks at all. When Spike comes in Anya and Halfrek are chatting, then she leaves and it seems more like she's smiling at him. I didn't think there was any animosity between them, so if "Old Times" is meant to be between Older and Far Away and Entropy, then it wouldn't make a huge amount of sense because the second onscreen meeting didn't appear to be filled with tension.
Catalyst2 I hope your feeling somewhat more human soon. Still attending work? A hot milo and a good lie down is what you need. Preferably with some good reading material. Will see if I can get a hold of "Old Times" around here somewhere.
Razor: one person's friendly smile is another person's sarcastic smile. You could read that scene in a very different way. It was all very nebulous either way, so there was room for Old Times to paint it a lot of ways.
Err the guy is lying to cover for himself. The book obviously, without a doubt takes place 5th season of Angel just like where he meant it to to. Dialogue spoilers:



It kinda annoyed me too that he messed up with the Hallie thing, but it didn't bother me that much. The lying is kind of bothersome.
I don't see it as lying, just because Spike was bothering Angel in season 5 of Angel, doesn't mean that he wouldn't bother him before that. Spike has always disliked Angel, it's not a sudden thing that happened in season 5.

That's a bit like saying that if Buffy said she didn't have feelings for Spike, it must have been in season 6 of Buffy because that's when she said it the most directly.

I highly doubt that Peter David is covering himself, he's been a fan of Buffy/Angel for a while, and he's always been someone who respects continuity.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-09-04 19:23 ]
Sorry but it still doesn't work for me. Spike 'just sorta hopping over to LA' for no other reason than to 'bother Angel' is ridiculous. Especially considering where Spike was emotionally at with Buffy at that time. I don't think you could've gotten him out of Sunnydale with a towtruck before Seeing Red. (And like others point out, look at Angel's status in that point in continuity)

And even with the rights issues, it's completely unnecessary to move it to LA. Keep them in Sunnydale! Just don't mention the name of the town (Because people don't constantly call out the name of the town they live in anyway) and have Spike meet Halfrek in some demon bar (that COULD be Willies but you don't need to SAY it) and have them NOT run into Buffy or the Scoobies for one night. Which is really quite possible.

Sorry, just don't get it. It really makes it kinda AU for me and it wasn't necessary at all.

And no they weren't shooting each other 'dirty' looks at all in the Magic Box. There were some slight looks of ackowledgement that if anything, looked more positive than negative to me.

I've liked PAD's work for years, and I know he's a Buffyfan but this is really kinda...shaky.
There was no time for a Spike-annoyance interlude during the mega-arc of Angel Season 4. And I agree that Spike wouldn't have left Sunnydale at that point.

Peter David's a good writer, but he screwed up. No need to cover for him. He may not be lying intentionally though, he just might not know the continuity and timeline as well as we do.
That's always been a problem with retroactive continuity, especially when you have stipulations forcing you to use only certain elements of the shows continuity. By not being able to set it in Sunnydale, and even having to tie it somewhat in Angel, which is the property that IDW owns, the work is going to seem a little forced to be able to tell it's story.

I really liked the Spike one shot, my only real problem with it was the art, which I found quite lifeless. And if Peter David had to put the story in an akward spot of continuity for it to work, that's alright. I'd rather have a good little story than just abandon it because of licensing problems.

It's not like it's canon lol.

Oh.. and Kris, it would be during season 3, most likely during the period when Connner was taken by Holtz, since the story would be taking place during Buffy season 6.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-09-04 20:31 ]
D'oh, you're right Rabid. Buffy Season 6 ran alongside Angel Season 3. Dunno why I get that confused sometimes.

See? See how easy it is to forget? Peter David just made a mistake, I doubt he consciously chose to get it wrong.
I haven't read the issue yet, but personally I'm willing to give PAD some slack, since I'm a fan of his writing. It is not like he's done some unforgiven mistake, and it's not like even our very own show writers, haven't committed some continuity mis-steps during the course of the tv shows. It was just a mistake.

Buffy's birthday on computer screens (which appeared once in 1st season, and another time in 4th season), is one of the most famout cases. But do you guys remember Cordy's birthday in Angel. Cordy actually gave as a definite date for her birthday said out loud back in Angel S1, but later on S3, when we had a whole episode dedicated for her birthdate, the time frame didn't match at all.

Drew Goddard is known for his faithfullness for continuity matters. Actually his strong strong ties for the mythos and continuity, was one of the reasons that made him one of my favorite ME writers,during Buffy's S7 and Angel S5. During his first ever episode "Selfless", he fulled the episode with tons of wonderful continuity stuffs, from the whole "Becoming" debacle to several topics that lingered from S3 to S6, but when the characters discussed the ways to take down Anya, nobody bothered to mention her necklace?

Doug Petrie, wrote the first Buffy comic books Graphic Novel for Dark Horse, it was actually the first time they had someone from the show writing for the comic books (okay , it was actually BtVS#20, but that wasn't good at all). It was "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: Ring of Fire". It was an ok, and interesting story set during the Buffy S2 timeframe, right after "Passions" and before "Killed by Death", dealing with Giles grief over the loss of Jenny Calendar, and the Scoobies tackling with Angelus and Dru's plans to destroy the world. Maybe, the problem was because Doug only became a Buffy writer, 3rd season on, so he wasn't quite clear, that Willow only really started delving into witchcraft at the end of season 2, and she only started to refer herself as a witch during Buffy's S3. Doug actually wrote a Kendra who sounded too much like Faith, and a very progressed Witch Willow, that couldn't have appeared until mid season 3 BtVS. Those were forgivables mistakes, for an interesting story.

An interesting trivia goes into Ring of Fire GN artist. RoF was drawn by Ryan Sook, who's currently working with Grant Morrison, in one of his "Seven Soldier" mini series for DC Comics, has actually started to work with Peter David, in a new "X-Factor" montlhy series for Marvel Comics, which will be debuting in November. Talk about playing round robins. Ryan Sook was actually the artist responsible for the artistic duty, for almost all 3 Spike and Dru One Shot specials released by Dark Horse a few years ago. The first one of them was actually released before the Ring of Fire GN. Back then, DH editor Scott Allie, did mention something about Joss approving Sook's work, which landed him the job for the following Spike and Dru One Shots and this Graphic Novel. Sook only drew half of the 3rd One Shot, which was completed by Eric Powell.

Those Spike and Dru One Shots were all written by Christopher Golden, who wrote several Buffy and Angel novels, wrote the whole Angel monthly Comic books series for Dark Horse, had a run in Buffy's montly and worked with Amber Benson in some written projects. And I almost forgot to add, that he was involved with the first two volumes of pocket books' "Watcher's Guide", and also two of my favorite tie in books "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: Monsters Book" and "The Sunnydale High Yearbook" (which happens to be the first Buffy related product I ever bought).

And since we're playing with the continuity game. Despite the fact that some of the comics were just really badly written, I did enjoy some of them for the layers they could add for continuity. Yes, Old Times, had this annoying continuity nitpick we've been discussing, but i hope it's still an interesting story. Those 3 "Spike and Dru" One Shots that I mentioned did play a bit with this. The first One Shot, showed what happenned to them, right after they left Sunnydale at the end of "Becoming Part 2", and was even co-authored by James Marsters himself. The 2nd One Shot, delved into events right before they arrived in Sunnydale in "School Hard". And the 3rd and last One Shot, actually extended some Flashback info we got from "Fool for Love", from Spike killing that chinese Slayer. I would never call any of these canon, unless Joss or someone really close to Joss said so, but they were interesting.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-09-04 23:57 ]

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-09-04 23:57 ]
Spike: Old Times is a great read but it obviously takes place in an alternate dimension to the main timeline. The historical flashbacks are still accurate but the main narrative in the present obviously can't take place in the larger Buffyverse timeline that we know and love from the TV show. Halfrek died before Angel season five and Spike: Old Times obviously takes place in Los Angeles during Angel season five.

So perhaps the comics are meant to be absorbed as a seperate but not quite equal timeline.

I suppose you can make Peter David's explanation work if you suspend an extra bit of disbelief. However it's a shame that continuity details aren't watched a little more closely on a project as slow to develop (production-wise) as a comic book. A brief Joss consultation during the writing process would have cleared all this up in five minutes.

mattro

[ edited by Hjermsted on 2005-09-05 00:09 ]
Hjermsted, I've told you before. Don't sign your posts, we don't do that here.

I've no problem accepting that Spike went off to LA during Buffy season 6. Spike went there in Angel season one, no reason to suppose he never went there before Angel season 5. It's a great tale, one of the best that has surfaced in the Buffyverse comic book world.
Well before the comic was actually released, Peter David said on his own site that Spike: Old Times was set in BtVS season 6. There is no reason to dibelieve him, or to say that he's obviously lying. He wrote it, in his mind that's where it's set. It might not mesh entirely with canon, but that doesn't mean it's not an honest mistake.
I don't disbelieve him or think he is lying but by mentioning Angel and a journey to LA he's made it jar more with continuity than really necessary.

As EdDantes said just don't mention Sunnydale or Willies by name or have the scoobies appear if that is a problem.
I've no problem accepting that Spike went off to LA during Buffy season 6. Spike went there in Angel season one, no reason to suppose he never went there before Angel season 5.

That's odd logic. I would say that the only time Spike went to LA before Angel S5, was to get the Gem of Amara, which was a very specific reason. At no time has he ever just 'mosied' over just to annoy Angel. Until Angel S5 when (both souled) they finally grow to grudgingly accept each other as working on the same side, it's been quite consistent that he and Angel would just as soon never be anywhere near each other.

It's a great tale, one of the best that has surfaced in the Buffyverse comic book world.

Well that's a matter of taste, but I was dissappointed. PAD has written some truly great work in the comic world, and is a huge Joss-fan so I had high expectations. When I finally read it, I was a bit let down by this comic. It felt like really decent fanfic, tops. And while some may argue that that's all it can be, I expect more of a writer with PAD's professional experience.

I don't disbelieve him or think he is lying but by mentioning Angel and a journey to LA he's made it jar more with continuity than really necessary.

Exactly. I really don't understand it. On other boards, some say maybe the main reason was so he could have Spike visit Bela Lugosi's grave. Which is a minor joke, and unconnected to the whole plot. So by definition a weak excuse to skewer continuity.

And on another note, I still think old soulless Spike would hate everything that exposed vamps' weaknesses like that, romanticized them as a Hollywood product and especially anything that glorified Dracula and made him famous. I think he would say: "A play about Dracula?? Bugger that! Why don't they make a play about me!?"
OK, my shot at being picky about being picky.

As I see it Spike doesn’t need a reason to go to LA. In early Buffy season 4 he complains to Harmony about Sunnydale being the scene of some spectacular whuppings of his arse and says he’s only come back for the gem of amara (sure, he later returns to try and get back at Buffy for depriving him of it, gets caught by the initiative then finds various reasons to stay but by the time of Hells Bells he'd probably be glad of a short break from Sunnydale - ETA maybe he went in part for ).

Also, is all he says about why he’s in LA. Anyone really bugged by ‘continuity issues’ can always imagine it’s someone other than Angel that he’s annoying, say Drusilla or someone else entirely. His words are then just an amusing mislead/foreshadowing.

[ edited by purplehazel on 2005-09-05 10:43 ]
Fact 1: Halfrek died in S7 Ep 5

Fact 2: Spike was at that time still insane in the school basement

Therefore, logically the only time frame that fits this comics storyline is sometime during S6.

I think PAD is just trying to get across that this Spike is an unsouled Spike of S6, not a souled Spike of S5 Ats.

Everything else is waffle.
I posted over at this board linked to above with my (and obviously hubby's) nitpick about how the story could have been set in Sunnydale without referring to it. PAD's response was:

Couldn't do it.

The reason IDW could do the comic was because it was considered part of the "Angel" license. So I had to tie it as closely to Angel as I could. That meant having Spike in LA, and having him there specifically because he was planning to hassle Angel.

Trust me, it was a narrow needle to thread.



This being the case, I wonder why he didn't name Angel by name... I'm not sure how this meets specifications of tying in to the Angel license by being in LA(I assume any Buffy comic can mention LA) and vaguely alluding to Angel.
Well, considering Spike is talking to someone who probably doesn't know Angel at the time, if he said I'm here to annoy Angel, it would have to be a longer scene. Plus, considering everyone's complaint about the continuity is whether or not Spike would go to L.A. to annoy Angel, or for any other reason, it makes sense that he would want to keep it vague.

I really don't have a problem with this, it's a slight continuity problem, but it's not a dealbreaker or anything. I'll start complaining if we learn that Warren really wanted to shoot Tara because they had an affair resulting in super-serum affected twin super-babies, and she had been hiding the truth from Willow.

That's a Amazing Spiderman reference if any non-comic fans don't get it.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-09-05 19:48 ]
"resulting in super-serum affected twin super-babies"

You mean Andrew and Johnathon!?! ;0) LOL!
The book does not "obviously without a doubt" take place during season 5 of AtS and the the line you quote does not specifically put him in that timeline. In fact, there are plenty of indications that you are dealing with pre-soul Spike including his mode of transportation, his fingernails, and his crack about HATING doing something that technically would be considered the right thing, even though he's doing it for his own selffish reasons. Season Five Spike from Angel, was never torn about doing the right thing - he was a full-fledged good guy by that point. There are flaws, I'll grant you that, but it's definately not during season five of Angel.

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