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"The boot, the bat, and the bastinada."
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July 16 2002

(SPOILER) Casting plans for season 8. Another scifi link. Are there people leaving BtVS after season seven?

Joss indicates that SMG might not be in, and that he's okay with that. Anthony Steward Head will probably not return in year eight, so he claims. Also, Emma Caulfield is pretty blunt about her reappearing: "I'm leaving. I'm done."

Just great. A SMG-, ASH- and EC-less Buffy? I think not.

Season 8: Dawn The Series?
I could do without SMG. ASH and EC, however, no.

How about 'Season 8: In Search of the Slayer'. In which a new Slayer is called, but they have absolutely no idea who it is. It becomes a quest under the stern but wise guidance of Rupert The Grey. Along the way they catch Spike fingering his preciousssss. They have no mercy and toss him into Mount Doom.

Sorry, what did you say?
Or... Andrew and Jonathan resurrect Warren and start their own spin-off show, The Lone Triad (to be cancelled after 13 episodes).
Maybe season 8 will be what season six should have been, where Buffy is actually freaking dead and Dawn becomes the new slayer. New characters, new Scooby gang, and so on. I was deperately hoping they'd take the opportunity so generously provided by killing off the big star to do it, but no, instead we were subjected to season six, in all it's Noxonish gloom.

From what Joss is saying, it kind of sounds like he might have some of the same ideas for this season. Getting back to the high school and all that. we shall see. I'm also not at all sure Dawn can pull off a leading role like that. But the original actors were pretty bad in the first season or so, so maybe she'll learn.
I love SMG, and would hate to see her go. What is the general concensus on her? Am I the only one who thinks she hung the Moon? Dawn kind of gets on my nerves, I don't want her to take the lead! I also love EC...........what's her deal? Also, how can they come up with a new slayer with Faith still around somewhere?
It seems to me that all the talk about an 8th season is a bit ahead of it's time. ASH mentioned on a number of occasions that the consensus is ending on a strong note...I doubt Whedon would let network types talk him into prolonging the show past where people were unhappy/unwilling to continue, ala X-Files...
Dunno. Can't really see Dawn as a slayer, even after the bootie kicking she delivered in the finale this year. And short of doing some funky body switching, wouldn't the departure of SMG really kind of get rid of the basic premise of the show title? Then again, there's always the Dr. Who option of multiple reincarnations. But overall, as much as I want the show to last for as long as humanly possible, if we're losing so many major people, maybe it's time to let it go.
Dawn the Demon Slayer? I think it could work. Lose the whine, lose the cheese and get down to business. SMG doesn't have to be the core, neither does ASH, as proven by Season Six (while dreary, it was good). EC has always been welcome, but she is not one of the originals, and not much more than decoration for the tasty NB. It could work. If it has fan support.

Which admittedly, may not come quite as easily as the Angel spin-off had.
Season seven will be the last season. With that said, here's how they could make a season eight without SMG and still call it "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" if they really wanted to. Don't hold your breath. This'll never happen. However, it's fun to speculate.

In the season six finale Willow had initiated the reincarnation of the evil Proserpexa. She was a big bad type who died early in the 20th century, around the same time that The Master was trapped in the hellmouth prison thing (see season one). At the start of season seven Willow comes back and she appears to be normal, but over the course of the season, we learn that not all of the black magic was removed from Willow. Some other minor bad character finishes bringing Proserpexa mostly back, but discovers s/he can't do something important which would make it permanent. Proserpexa wants to get on with destroying the world, which of course Buffy can't allow happen. So, much of the latter half of season seven involves this plot arc where Proserpexa tries to destroy the world and Buffy has to stop her. Some people have speculated that Brittney Spears is going to show up in Buffy. Maybe she could be Proserpexa? However, hopefully they'll get an actress with some experience to play the role. Personally I'd like to see the actress who played Glory do it, because she kicked some major butt as an actress in season five. However that'd probably just confuse people.

Anyway, Proserpexa would create this hole in Sunnydale which would open up to a place in between dimensions. This hole would get bigger as bigger stuff would get thrown into it. Proserpexa would plan on eventually using it to suck up the entire planet. Either Proserpexa would need Dawn to control this hole, or Dawn would find a way using her innate energy ability as The Key to dimensions to keep this hole in check but she wouldn't be able to control it indefinitely because it would be a drain on her. Proserpexa would try to complete the incantations that brought her to life, but ultimately she'd need to convert Willow to the dark side again in order to get Willow to complete the task so she could become fully realized. All this would happen gradually over the course of the season. Faith would come back for an episode or two near the end of season seven, and Faith would claim to be helping but actually she's just power hungry. Faith would investigate how the Mayor got her that doodad which switched the minds of Buffy & Faith into each other's bodies. See where I'm going with this? Faith's plan would be to switch with Proserpexa, so she'd have the power of a demon god babe and then she'd plan to clean Buffy's clock. However, while attempting to do this Buffy would thwart Faith's plans and take the doodad from Faith. Faith would either die in the fight, or she'd escape, but now Buffy has the doodad.

This can then go one of two ways. The first possibility could be that in the season seven finale, Buffy would switch bodies with Proserpexa, in a desperate attempt to stop Proserpexa from destroying the world. Once in Proserpexa's body, Buffy would throw Proserpexa (in the body of Buffy) through this vortex opening in between realities and both the essence of Proserpexa and the body of Buffy would be lost forever. We'd still have Buffy, but she'd be in the body of Proserpexa. So season eight would still be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Buffy would just look like Proserpexa, with a brand new, slightly undead, slightly more godlike body. Buffy wouldn't have the powers of Proserpexa, but she'd have Proserpexa's body and retain all Buffy's memories and her Slayer powers. More importantly, Buffy would no longer be portrayed by Sarah Michele Gellar. Buffy would now be played by whoever was playing Proserpexa.

Another possibility is that while Buffy attempts to take over Proserpexa's body, Willow would recover from being dark and then intervenes thinking she's helping but she wouldn't have all the facts. Buffy successfully switches with Proserpexa so that Proserpexa is now Buffy and Buffy is now Proserpexa, but then Willow would take the doodad before Buffy (in Proserpexa's body) could destroy it. Willow would use the doodad to switch with Proserpexa, not knowing that Buffy's already done it. Dark Willow would think she's putting Proserpexa into her own body but instead Buffy goes into Willow's body and Willow goes into Proserpexa's body.

So season eight would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Alyson Hannigan as Buffy, in Willow's body. Buffy's body (with Proserpexa's soul) would be lost in the voidhole before Dawn was able to close it up. Giles would go back to England and star in Ripper (finally!). Anya would get written out if Caulfield didn't want to stay in the show, or maybe she'd be a mildly recurring character - possibly even a big bad in season eight. Sarah Michele Gellar would leave to make painful sequels to Scooby Doo. The season eight Scooby Gang would consist of a Willow'd Buffy, Xander, Dawn, Clem, Spike, Amy, and those two new friends of Dawn that the spoilers are talking about. Oh, and maybe the actress who played Proserpexa in season seven playing Willow in the body of Proserpexa. Nine regular or recurring characters in all, with Alyson Hannigan at the helm.

Like I said, there'll never be a season eight at this point, but if they wanted to do it without ASH, SMG, or Caulfield, this is how they could do it.
Joss spoke regarding series characters who may return to Buffy and/or Angel next season... including the possibility of Eliza Dushku returning as my beloved Faith the Vampire Slayer. And in an interview at the WB network fall preview, Joss revealed he's spoken with Eliza on having her back. Combine that with the above news that he's leaving open the possibility of continuing Buffy without SMG, and perhaps my dream of a Faith the Vampire Slayer series isn't so remote after all...
Knutmeg wrote: SMG doesn't have to be the core, neither does ASH, as proven by Season Six (while dreary, it was good). EC has always been welcome, but she is not one of the originals, and not much more than decoration for the tasty NB.

I think she's a little bit more than decoration. First of all, she replaced the 'Cordelia' character, whose snarkiness was sorely missed. Secondly, in season six she also had to take over one of ASH's more tedious tasks, exposition. None of the other actors can really pull that off.

In Season Six she came over a lot stronger than Nicholas Brendan, (not his fault, he hasn't been given much to work with). Joss has been talking about giving them both more to do next season, because 'they deserve it'. He singled out EC (read this late last night, don't remember which article) especially, said he was going to give her more to do.

As for ASH not being essential to the show, I tend to disagree. Now, I'm definitely biased here, because I'm just a big goofy fan of the man. But the other actors as well as Joss have been talking about his return in interviews and at conventions and they all say they missed him (apparently his return on the set was a tad emotional) and think he was integral to the show. Joss says he underestimated ASH's contribution and that they need Giles, an authority figure, to balance things out (and dare I say, to give that part of the female audience that doesn't go weak in the knees for skinny blondes or beefed up carpenters something to feast their eyes on). If ASH leaves, there needs to be another smart, tasty forty-something with great technique (Acting! I'm talking about acting.) on the show.

But anyway, it's an ensemble show and I in the end nobody is 'essential'. I'm sure they could make a decent series without any of the current core players, as long as they replace them with other good actors and at least one or two charismatic ones. I think I could watch a series called 'The Mayor, the Slayer Killer' or 'Ethan Rayne, the Watcher's Foe' and be perfectly happy.

I'm all for Faith's return too, always though she was the more interesting Slayer.

Zachsmind: are you Joss's evil twin?
With the possibility of a shapeshifter as big bad in the coming season, ZachsMinds idea about Buffy's mind in another body becomes more plausible. Maybe Willow could transfer the shapeshifting powers to Buffy at some point, with one drawback - not being able to switch back. And there you go, no more SMG, but still Buffy.
If SMG feels like leaving Buffy she should..I think it is better for the show to end on a high then to fall back and diminish into nothing like 'Ally McBeal' or something.
We will still have all the previous episodes to watch, which are all great!..just hope the DVD's for season 4, 5 and 6 would come out very soon!
What if Hank (Buffy's dad) came back? In cahoots with or possibly under the control of Ethan Rayne? We could go through the first part of the season with an odd tension between him and Giles, as Buffy's dual father figures. Giles could explore his residual feelings of displacement in front of our eyes (instead of in England), and finally, ultimately, come to terms with a newly defined delineation of his role in the lives of the Scoobies. The two of them could pull Buffy in different directions as she negotiates the upbringing of Dawn, and Hank could slowly emerge as evil over the course of the season. By adding Ethan Rayne as the true evil behind the scenes (possibly in the last moments), Hank could possibly ultimately achieve redemption. I feel like next season will be all about redemption; Buffy, Willow, Xander, possibly Spike, possibly Faith (if she does indeed come back).
I've managed (I think) to incorporate most or all of my present speculative spoilers into one webpage at my site. Rather than post yet another twenty paragraphs into this page, I figured it would be kinder to just link to it. This is probably not how it WILL turn out, but to the best of my ability it's how I guess it'll turn out.

Am I Joss' evil twin? Oh no. Of course perhaps in some alternate reality I write television shows for a living and he makes money by answering phone calls & inputting data into a computer, but I'm not bitter. =) And if'n things were different and I was writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer... well actually things would have been a little different from Day One. It's probably for the best I'm taking phone calls for a living. =)
If Dawn were an illusion, how did she break her arm? Other than that, its a good spec. :-)

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