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March 30 2006

James Marsters - "I'm not getting any more British". A new Q&A with Mr Marsters at the Wizard Magazine website. Spike, Smallville and Joss Whedon get discussed.

James thinks the chance for a Spike movie is getting slim, and frankly, I fear he's right. :(
As much as I love Spike, I don't think I'll be heartbroken if I've seen the last of him. I felt differently just after NFA, but now as there's more distance between the hurt and now, I might be able to accept that. Spike lives on in my imagination. That may have to be good enough.

But it is sad that James basically feels that it won't happen because of Joss' attitude toward the character. I'm sure Joss would disagree with that assessment.

BTW, when did the counter on the 5 years start, because didn't Angel end just over 2 years ago? I guess he made that commitment during Buffy then? At any rate, as great as James looks and I figure will look for several years to come, short of shanshuing, I'm not sure it would work that convincingly.
Nice interview but I have to disagree with you Rogue Slayer.

I will be heartbroken, as a matter of fact I already am.
I miss Spike terribly.
James is lovely and a talented actor and Brainiac has been fun but I really miss Spike.

Personally I have no problem with suspension of disbelief. We do it all the time for all sorts of reasons. Aging is a small thing.

I am getting discouraged but I haven't given up hope yet.
Wonder if this is indication that James and Joss haven't spoken in a few months, or if it's been decided a movie wouldn't be financially feasible.
Wonder if this is indication that James and Joss haven't spoken in a few months, or if it's been decided a movie wouldn't be financially feasible.


Well firstly we don't know when the interview was conducted. And I reckon Joss will say something when something concrete is known. I don't think he's one for talking about ongoing negotiations.

Back in May 2003 someone pretended to be him on the Bronze Beta and said Angel got renewed for a fifth season.

Joss reacted by saying:

Joss says: OKAY! for the first time ever, someone pretended to be me with some measure of success! Congratulations. Here's exactly what came of it: the brass at the WB saw the post, thought it was me, and got wicked pissed off. The fact is, they are still deciding the schedule, and Angel's future is still in doubt. Making them angry at this stage is, shall we say, unhelpful. Hopefully my colorfulness will make it clear I'm me, I don't have time for the usual funny.


Relevant Whedonesque thread.
Yeah, i'd say that we don't need to be reading too much into these Spike related comments because, as far as i'm aware, there is nothing there particularly new.

We knew about the five year window, we know that Joss has spoken to James, we know that Joss perhaps wasn't as connected to Spike, at least initially, as he was to say Buffy, Angel, Willow, Giles or Xander.

So what? We also know that Joss is working on getting us a Spike movie and, that being the case, there is a story he wants to tell. I don't see that this interview has any real new information and, financial considerations aside, i still am very hopeful we will see the Spike movie go ahead.

By the way, this whole five year window thing? Don't let yourselves get too hung up on that. It's not like there is an official deadline or anything. James will make the choice on whether or not to do the movie based on many reasons (schedule, money, script, etc) but the five year time limit won't be one. If physically looking right for the role is really the deal clincher then for all we know that ship might have sailed. He might already think he has aged too much. He might have decided that a year ago. On the other hand, he might look at himself in another five years and still think he can pull off the immortal vamp.

The five year thing is just a guideline but i guarantee you that it isn't one that is set in stone.
Do I get a vote? I vote for let's make a Spike movie. That's a character that still fascinates me after all this time. Still makes me seek out fan fiction/Official books and comics.Still would get me excited enough to want to see the movie multiple times...with lots of friends and family (I can be quite persuasive when needs be). Just not ready to let go of Spike's story just yet.
I hope you're right, Primeval. There are many factors for James to consider, and I hope as well that he's smart enough to know that all his fans would probably be able to willingly suspend disbelief in order to enjoy Spike again. Not that I think that would really be necessary. With that talent (and that bone structure!), James could be Spike for quite some time to come.

I'm with Xane--I miss Spike enormously. My first preference would be to have him in my home every week for a number of years, but, hey, I'll take whatever TPTB are willing to give. A movie. A DVD movie. Multitudinous movies--theatrical or DVD. Selected shorts. *Drifts away*

Sorry. Where was I? Well, I wouldn't want James to do something he didn't feel right about, but I hope, if all the other obstacles/bumps in the road get smoothed out, that he will enjoy going back to work more magic with a great character.

As for Joss' take on all this, I think (hope!!) you're right, Simon. Joss doesn't seem to be "one for talking about ongoing negotiations." Perhaps he feels it's a little premature to say much to James until negotiations (please, god, let there be negotiations!) are further along and he can give James something more substantial, like a firm timeline.

Ah well. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. Just noticed there's a lot of thinkin' and hopin' goin' on in my yada yada here. Okay. Going to bed now. . . .
There will never be another character like Spike for me. James has repeated that quote over and over, so I don't doubt that he means it when he says five years.

I'm just sad that he hasn't seemed to have heard from Joss at all.

In other news, Brainiac comes on tonight and he'll be in the final two episodes. YAY!!
Selected shorts. *Drifts away*


SPIKE: Were you ... were you just smelling my shorts?

SangChaud: (scoffs) No. Well, yeah, all right, I did. It's a ... predator thing, nothin' wrong with it. Just ... know your enemy's scent, whet the appetite for a hunt.

(SangChaud sniffs the shorts again)

SangChaud: Ah, that's the stuff! Vampire musk, it's bitter and aggravating!

(SangChaud presses the shorts against her face and makes angry growling noises. Spike snatches the shorts away, tosses them aside, then grabs SangChaud by the shirt.)

[ edited by MissKittysMom on 2006-03-30 16:00 ]
This interview reads like the ones from the Fall press tour when Brainiac was first coming on to Smallville. It sounds to me like they recycled it. If that is the case, then this would have taken place around or before Serenity's opening when Joss was not talking very much about a Spike movie...he had other things to discuss right then.

That said, I do find it interesting how that 5 year window seems to be starting further and further into the past. If this interview is recent it would have started the beginning of the last season of BtVS, if it is as old as I think it is, it started at the end of S6 of BtVS. I think JM is feeling like these last 2 years that he has not been playing Spike have been longer than they have. I can understand that, it feels like a long time to me too.
I don't think the age thing need be a problem. There are plenty of other continuity errors and inconsistencies in the Buffyverse, and we manage to suspend our disbelief. Look how much Angel aged between Buffy season 1 and Angel season 5. Not to mention the weight gain. (Can vampires gain weight?)
spikeylover:

James has repeated that quote over and over, so I don't doubt that he means it when he says five years.


You are correct that the five years time span has been stated on many an occasion, spikeylover, and I don't doubt for a second that he has a timeframe in mind. However, it is the very fact that he keeps using the exact same estimate that makes me assume that it is just a number to state in an interview, rather than anything definate. I'm certain that he is being honest when he says that he feels that there will come a time when he can no longer realistically play the role of Spike and that he believes that time is not long in coming. I just don't think that "five years", or any arbitrary number of years for that matter, needs to be taken to heart.

Sooner or later, James will decide that Spike's time has passed. That might be after four years, then again it might be after six. There is simply no way that anyone can predict that in a specific number of years they will feel a certain way. It's like me saying that in five years from now i will no longer be able to get on a skateboard. Maybe i will decide to stop actively doing that next year, maybe ten years from now. The fact is that i will only know for certain when that day arrives. Until then i'm just throwing out numbers.
Had to laugh at MissKittysMom's dialogue about SangChaud and Spike's shorts. ::snort:: A fun way to start my morning.

I hope you're right, newcj, about this being an older interview. I really miss Spike, I'd be willing to suspend belief about James and his ability to portray Spike again, and I will still hope that things are moving forward on the Spike movie. But I will watch Smallville tonight and enjoy James in this role (for now).
Well, I don't think I could ever be done with Spike... no other character has ever grabbed me, held me and moved me like he has. Maybe I'm a fool, and a hopeless romantic at that, but Spike will always have my heart.

I can understand James frustration, and the fact that he needs to immerse himself in the work he is currently doing, so I'm glad to see he has such passion for the role of Brainiac. But I am just not as taken by this role, although I think James is doing a fantastic job with it. There just isn't that spark or that draw that makes me want to 'love' Brainiac. Enjoy the hell out of him, yes, but love... well uhhhh, I guess sex with robots IS more common than we think... So maybe.

Anyway, I still have hope. If the FOX suits realize the money they could make from a Spike movie, or several more Verse films, I think there will be a chance we see Spike again.

Until then I will pour myself into watching Brainiac or anything else James wants to do. The man has just captured all of me and I don't want it to end. Just want as much of him as I can get on my TV and in movies for many, MANY more years to come.

Come on James, you are gorgeous... aging just makes you look even sexier!

[ edited for punctuation by Caroline on 2006-03-30 15:41 ]
kathylovesspike, please try to employ proper punctuation in your posts.
I just wanted to pop in and say that I think that I am getting more British :) Ok, I've got nothing, still laughing re: MissKittysMom's SangChaud shorts-sniffing post.
There are also people who can't stand Spike. I am one of them. I am not against a Spike movie, not at all, but only when the characters who are also in it are treated with respect. Because that's what made me turn him from one my favorite characters into my most disliked character ever during BtVS S5, S6 and especially S7.
I think for me it was the character rather than the man who grabbed me (hey, now, not like that...). Given that, I think the character got one of the most incredible arcs ever and I maintain that it would almost be a disservice to revisit him; even though I loved a lot of his time on Angel S5, there's a part of me that's disappointed that our punkvamp didn't get to go out in his blaze of glory. Spike in School Hard vs. Spike in Chosen, wow... long road and a lot of hard won self realization. Having said that I know that we will only see more if Joss judges it to be really good, so I would totally watch it.

(waits for newcj to distill this post to "Spike grabbed me... I loved... him... his... part... Spike... Hard... Spike... wow... hard... really good")
Spike bashing just goes right over my head. I have never loved a show more than this because of that character. There's been great discussion on LJ (to quote) about how fans of Spike/Buffy feel that they've managed to ship a couple where it's not allowed to just state love as if it's a forgone conclusion. Say Buffy loves Spike without explanation, shooting scripts or justification and you get into a debate. (even though we had mutual "I love you's" and third party confirmation) I'll take it even further and say you can't even say that you love Spike without a debate, anymore.

My guess is that this mostly has to do with talk of the Spike movie and popularity of the character among so many. My thought is that if you don't like Spike, don't watch the movie. (Shrugs)

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-03-30 16:25 ]
zeitgeist clearly you're saying "newcj ... grabbed me ... part ... hard ... wow ... really good".

Naughty, what would your Significant Others think ? ;-)

Each to their own of course but i've always thought Spike is one of the best characters in BtVS. I liked him when he was bad bad, then when he was good bad, then bad good and finally good good (well, ish ;). Second to Wesley, I think he has the most interesting arc of any secondary character in the Buffyverse.

And though I loved his sacrifice in Chosen, I think it was perhaps a little bit passive for the truest brawler of the bunch. NFA was, for me, a better end for a warrior poet (even though no-matter what happens re: movies, he and Illyria definitely survived. In my head ;).
please try to employ proper punctuation in your posts.

Could we have some enforcement of proper capitalization too? For weeks I've seen several posters who have gotten in the habit of not capitalizing the pronoun "I" as they should.

Back on topic, I love the character Spike. He was the bait that got me hooked on the show. It would make me immensely happy so see him again in a movie. However, if it doesn't happen, in my mind he survived NFA and is out there somewhere fighting the good fight.
spikeylover - it seems more like you can't say you loved the character, but don't need to see endless tv movies without someone mentioning spike-bashing. Was there some in this thread that I missed? You'll note that Koos' post specifically said they did not like what was done with their formerly beloved character post S4. That's hardly bashing.

Saje - I only have eyes for my Bad Miss Regent. However, clearly your post displays your fantasy and you are saying "Spike... the best... bad bad... good... bad... good good... ish... second... Wesley... the most... I loved... warrior poet... and... head".

killinj - the post-NFA Angel comics would seem to agree with your assessment :)
It's like you're inside my mind ! Out, mind-insidey-guy, out !
I don't really understand the Spike bashing either! Spike became a true hero. He sacrificed his life for the woman he loved. He went on to join in a fight that was not his own out of respect for Angel and because it was the 'right thing to do'. How in the world was that disrespectful to any of the other characters? Why would any character that appears in a movie with him now get the short end of the stick? If there is a movie about Spike...then I do think HIS character should be the primary focus, but I don't think any other characters in the movie will suffer for that.

I can understand that there are fans who do not care for Spike. Fine, but please don't make it a crime for those of us who do like the character to hope for more of his story. If you don't want to see more of Spike...then don't!

I for one don't really want to see Spike 'go out in a blaze of glory'! He did that already. I just want to see my favorite character again. I want to leave his story with him still standing, still out there or shanshued and I hope with some chance of happiness.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I realize that, but there are times that I get the feeling that Spike's motives or hero status are always questioned everytime the Spike movie comes up?

Caroline...sorry about my poor punctuation, spelling or sentence structure. Please feel free to correct me!
I don't think anyone here is bashing him nor is anyone "making it a crime" for you to wish for more of his story. I also don't see anyone questioning his hero status, more I see that people are discussing his varied history and the incredible journey he undertook from snarling nasty to a hero willing to give his life for his beliefs and for the woman he loved. Its a tribute to the complexity of the character as written and portrayed (I could watch that church scene on repeat for days...), not an indictment.

ETA:
kathylovesspike - Just try to capitalize and punctuate, sentence structure is only an issue when its unclear and you are rarely unclear :)
Actually, I don't mind never seeing Spike again in TV form, but I would like a definitive word on it. Maybe I took Koos's post wrong. The statement seemed to be Spike (season five through ATS five) caused other characters in the verse not to be treated with respect. This boggles since wouldn't that be the fault of the writers if you actually felt it was true?
Perhaps Koos could explain further as the full meaning is not entirely clear from the original post. And I am with you, the waiting to know for sure is maddening. Put me down as a vote for Illyria as supporting character should it happen :)
Jesus. Marsters learn how to count. Angel only ended in 2004. it hasn't been almost 5 years yet. :(
I think he meant by the time it got to air at this point it would be five years.
Boy have I been busy here while I thought I was just driving to work and getting settled in. ;-)

Saje, (What are you doing to me! I thought we were friends in a, we don't know each other at all but you always seemed like a nice person kind of way.) As much as I would be flattered if Zeitgeist were saying that, I have no doubt that he would never ever think of such a thing...nor would I ever want barest_smidgen to think that he would ever think of such a thing. (New Jersey is a small state and that balenciaga handbag full of bricks could have a pretty wide range.) Hey there Smidge. You know Zeit would never think of such a thing, right Smidg?

That said...

"Spike grabbed me... I loved... him... his... part... Spike... Hard... Spike... wow... hard... really good"

...Is it getting hot in here?

Where was I? Oh yeah, put my vote in for more Spike in a format that includes JM. Add me to the list for more of an explanation of what Koos meant as well, because I didn't really get the whole connection between Spike and disrespect for other characters...except that Spike never had much respect for most other characters, but that was part of his charm. (No, I don't think that is what Koos meant either.)

It is hot in here.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-03-30 17:14 ]
Jesus. Marsters learn how to count. Angel only ended in 2004. it hasn't been almost 5 years yet. :(

zeitgeist is correct, I suspect. We also don't know when it started being discussed - it might have been mentioned with James before he moved to Angel.
Thank you Zeitgeist for pointing out the errors. I am not a very good typist to begin with, and I confess that my eyes are not what they used to be either. Perhaps I am confused by Koos's post as well. The way I took it was that Spike was disrespectfull to the other characters in seasons 5,6, 7 and also Angel S5.

Did he perhaps mean that he felt that Spike's involvement in the storyline of all those seasons, perhaps took away from the other characters screen time?
killinj:

Could we have some enforcement of proper capitalization too? For weeks I've seen several posters who have gotten in the habit of not capitalizing the pronoun "I" as they should.


Ooooh, that would include me. I pretty much never capitalise "i" unless it happens to be at the start of the sentence. I guess I'm one of those who tries to make sure he is using the correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc as much as is possible but doesn't obsess about every little rule of the english language. As long as the posts I make look neat and tidy and I've made them as legible to everyone else here as possible then that is good enough for me. The whole "I" instead of "i" thing seems to me to be a minor detail that won't make the slightest bit of difference to anyone else here as far as understanding what I'm saying goes and will eventually lead to a much earlier expiration of my shift key. ;)

Actually, all kidding aside it is one of those rules that i ... sorry ... I am very slack on and I should know better at my age. I will have to watch out for that in the future. Poor old shift key, your workload just increased dramatically.

[ edited by zeitgeist to capitalize some I's just to be a jerk on 2006-03-30 17:27 ]

Edited a second time to change one "i" back for the sake of saving a poor attempt at humour. ;p

[ edited by Primeval on 2006-03-30 17:42 ]
You know I loved the character of Spike; he was interesting and a powerful character... That said I am not sure how you could make a movie that would capture all aspects of his character. I remember hating him when he first appeared on Buffy then having a twinge of pity for him when he was in the wheelchair... It was because of the constant build up and shifting of the character that invoked emotions from fans. I just do not see how you could distill everything that made Spike a good character down into a two hour movie, that could not only allow fans to revisit a good character but also attract new fans as well... Maybe a mini-series.

Could we have some enforcement of proper capitalization too? For weeks I've seen several posters who have gotten in the habit of not capitalizing the pronoun "I" as they should.



killinj, off topic, but I try to enforce the rule as much as I can without disturbing the natural flow of discussions too much. Sometimes I edit without saying anything, sometimes I do say something. And I obviously miss a whole lot of them too.
Maybe I took Koos's post wrong. The statement seemed to be Spike (season five through ATS five) caused other characters in the verse not to be treated with respect. This boggles since wouldn't that be the fault of the writers if you actually felt it was true?

I had to re-read it a couple of times myself, but yeah the way I take it is that basically Spike got too much attention and the other characters suffered.

To be honest, it's hard for me to judge that, since Spike was the primary reason I watched the show. I got hooked with School Hard and eventually watched the stuff before that, but it was Spike that brought me in. And it was Spike that held me. As evidenced by the fact that for the past few years I didn't actually remember a lot from season 3 except for Lovers Walk(but now hubby has forced fed it to me again, and I've found lots of wonderful epis!)
But when hubby was (gleefully) presenting Buffy to me, he had to preface every episode with: Lots-o-Spike or Little bit-but what is there is gold. I wanted to be prepared for the level of Spike-age.

And yes, especially after season 5, Spike was in it a lot. Which was GREAT for me! But I guess I can see that if you were with the show from day one, you might feel this guy was getting a bit too much airtime, especially if you didn't fall for him as hard as I(and many others) did. Maybe one of your favs was getting less time to make way for Spike. I know I felt that in season 7, with the SiTs; but with Spike I just felt he was part of the show, not an interloper. So I felt it was a nice flow, not a detriment to Willow or Xander or whatever.

That said, I can understand that if it were say, Dawn, or someone I didn't really like, and she started playing a much larger part in the show, I would be miffed too. So I can sympathize. But from my standpoint of Spike-love(admittedly a biased one!) I just didn't feel it.
I do some covert editing, too, though occasionally I let the edited by tag show through and put something funny inside it :) Or at least I think its funnny (sic), there are probably people with zeitgeist voodoo dolls out there ;) I used to get called the Grammar King in a teasing way; much more relaxed about it than I used to be :P

[ edited by zeitgeist [fix your n key you arse] on 2006-03-30 21:09 ]
I won't miss Spike. As much as I love the character, he's done.
I don't want him to be burned. We must accept the Buffyverse, as we know it, it's over. It's the natural law, someday it must happen.

But now, what I really want is Faith + Illyria! It's their time now. They need to be developed more than they are. Or a Fray miniseries/series. Or even a "Tales Of" miniseries or specials.
I'm sorry to say this, but the buffyverse characters (some) are done. And I prefer them to stay that way. They said goodbye while they were on top. I don't want to risk that.

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2006-03-30 17:36 ]
zeitgeists edit hackoring made me chuckle so much I nearly disturbed my sleeping girlfriend. Danger Will Robinson.
Okay, editing my occasionally poor grammar i can accept but when that starts to make my already strained attempts at humour seem even less amusing ... just not fair! :D

(point taken :) --Zeitgeist)
Since Spike comics are doing so well, how about an animated Spike film along the lines of Japanese anime like "Ghost in a Shell". That way James and Joss would no have to worry about the age thing. Plus it would be another frontier to expand the verse to and do it Direct to DVD.
That's a shame, but, I didn't particularly care for Spike in Seasons 5-7 of Buffy (though, I disliked the writing altogether in Season 6 and 7), for reasons that have been repeatedly discussed. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the character again. Didn't mind him as much in Season 5 of Angel, worked pretty well as a foil for Angel. So, if he came back in a movie as a secondary character, that would be fine. Dude got more than enough screen time, character development and such during Seasons 6 and 7 of Buffy. I’d like to see some other characters explored.
In regards to the Spike movie, I just want to see new adventures set in the Buffyverse on the telly. Spike seems to be the only real choice at the moment (in terms of marketing etc) so I'm all for it.
If Joss says a character is done I will accept it sadly but willingly. If Joss says he has a story to tell I trust him enough to want to see it. ...And seeing it as a living human being performance piece will always be my first choice because that is my love.

Since Joss is saying he has a story to tell about Spike, I am happy to take that at face value. Spike always seemed to me to be just starting out on his own journey after all the years of tagging along with Drucilla, Buffy or Angel and therefore has a long way to go. Joss is smarter than I am so I'll be happy to come along for the ride.
(What are you doing to me!)

newcj, hey, I'm just calling it like I see it. zeitgeist's message couldn't have been plainer (unless I'd made more stuff up). However, there's a simple and obvious solution based on the logic of deterrence. Simply wrap high explosives around your head. What brick wielder would dare attack then, hmm ?

Cool, we have, like, Special Forces Editors. And just like the Special Forces they make me feel safer and slightly more afraid at the same time ;-). Did I say that ? Or was it the SFE ? We may never know. Well, I will ... Or will I ? Muhahahaha. Either way, zeitgeist is awesome!
I'm basically with newcj. I do actually believe there's a story to be told - for a start, I also know Tim Minear wouldn't offer to write/direct something if the story was lacking. Tim has a great TV career goin' on, so I just don't think he'd take time out for a Spike thing if the idea sucked. That said, a creative idea and an audience idea of a good time often differ.

Reality wise, Tim has Drive upcoming as potentially a series, which I suspect would knock him out of the project, not to mention James auditioning for pilots..

If it's announced, great, I'll lap it up. Either way, zeitgeist is awesome!
But now, what I really want is Faith + Illyria! It's their time now. They need to be developed more than they are. Or a Fray miniseries/series. Or even a "Tales Of" miniseries or specials.



Angel TheVampire, thats what I'm talking about. I finally got my hands on a copy of Fray and it is delicious. Why did JW never do a follow up Melaka story other than "Tales of the.." which I am now reading. I miss Buffyverse so much!

[ edited by zeitgeist to add div for quote on 2006-03-30 18:53 ]
Either way, zeitgeist is awesome!

Wait a minute... Did I ... ? Hmm. Note to self: Stay off booze at lunchtime.
LOL, Saje, your post was begging for a covert edit. Did the same to gossi as I knew you two would take it in the spirit intended.
"LOL, Saje, your post was begging for a covert edit. Did the same to gossi as I knew you two would take it in the spirit intended.
zeitgeist | March 30, 19:22 CET "


...as would barest_smidgen. Thanks for leaving me out of it zeitgeist. ;-)

I've got to get around to reading Fray...
Since recent interviews Joss has mentioned that he's close to finding out whether or not it's financially possible to do a Spike DVD movie, I imagine that deadline that James Marsters keeps mentioning doesn't really matter. 20 Century Fox will give Joss the go ahead to start putting the project together, or they tell Joss it's not happening and the project finally dies. Either way, I imainge that this happen sometime this year, long before James' deadline.

Meanwhile, I'm surprise that James Marsters is only 43!! He still looks like he's in his late 20's to me. When I've seen him in Smallville I've been thinking that he looks a bit young to be college professor that Brainiac is posing as. I definitely think he could still pull off playing a 20-something year old Spike.
You'll note that Koos' post specifically said they did not like what was done with their formerly beloved character post S4. That's hardly bashing.

Thank you, Zeitgeist, that is exactly what I meant. Except that it also held true for Anya and Tara. It was not meant as bashing Spike. It was meant in the way other characters were treated.
Mind you, I am very capable of bashing Spike :eyeroll: I agree that Spike went out as hero . . . and what about the other characters? Didn't they count anymore? Buffy, for example, ended up as selfcentric dumb bitch with a superiority complex. Why couldn't the title character end up as the hero (for once)?

And lets see the history between Spike with the other men and their arclines. S5 Riley. S6 Xander. S7 Giles, Wood and Angel. They all have something against him, and if not then they don't have an arcline at all. Xander didn't have anything against Spike anymore in S7 and thus he was shoved into the background. Giles got squat in S7 except for his backstabbing Spike.

This boggles since wouldn't that be the fault of the writers if you actually felt it was true?

That depends, after S7 I felt it was meant this way. In general I can't really say that it's good or bad writing, except when it wasn't meant to be this way. All I can say is that I don't like it.

To make it more clear, I liked Spike in Angel S5 (my favorite character after Illyria) again because there the other characters were treated with a basic level of respect.
It was the superb writing for BtVS that initially grabbed my attention, but, for me, JM's complex characterization of Spike was what made it compulsory viewing. In fact, Spike's character was so intriquing that I remain an active, engaged fan 2 years after his last appearance on my TV screen.

Like Joss, I believe Spike's journey didn't end with NFA, so I hope we get a Spike movie soon, so that JM can continue to apply his special brand of magic to one of the greatest Jossverse characters ever created.


MissKittysMom said:
SPIKE: Were you ... were you just smelling my shorts?


I thought Spike always went commando. *scratches head* ;)
No,James goes commando. Spike wore boxers. I know because Fox sold them on e-bay. :D

(to jog your memory,it was in a scene in BTVS with Harmony where he was sitting and reading a paper in his crypt while she annoyed him. )
Buffy, for example, ended up as selfcentric dumb bitch with a superiority complex. Why couldn't the title character end up as the hero (for once)?


We are talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right? I don't recognise this character from the show I watched for seven seasons.

We are talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right? I don't recognise this character from the show I watched for seven seasons.


Right there with ya, dashboard. I thought Buffy went out quite the hero.
I thought Spike always went commando. *scratches head* ;)

I think Spike only goes commando in fanfic! :~D
I don't know, Spike has had two, three or more dressing scenes and in none of them was he looking for underwear.

"No,James goes commando. Spike wore boxers. I know because Fox sold them on e-bay. :D

(to jog your memory,it was in a scene in BTVS with Harmony where he was sitting and reading a paper in his crypt while she annoyed him. )
Berry | March 30, 23:05 CET "


I thought he had jeans on in that scene. Doesn't he have his feet up on the table? You'd see his bare legs if he was in underwear. I'll have to go back and watch again.

Oh the sacrifices I make...
I am sorry, but that's the way how I see Buffy at the end of the show. I can see many positive things about her, but this stands out. It is especially in the way the last half of season 7 was written.
I can't believe the Buffy-bashing that's taking place here. Splitter!Basher!

No, Koos, I jest. I also disagree. I might have some sympathy for your position if the show had ended at Empty Places, but I believe there were an additional 3 episodes after that which demonstrated that Buffy recognized and mollified her harder and solitary side.

Either way, zeitgeist is awesome!
Even if the show had ended at Empty Places or at any point during the many other episodes that showed the different sides of Buffy's character/personality would she have actually been a "dumb bitch"? It's not an expression I could imagine using to describe her.
MissKittysMom, that is one for the archives. I really did go to bed right after posting "selected shorts." No, wait. That didn't sound quite right. But how did you read my mind? And can you have Spike grab me again?? And again. And again. . . (Also, just before going on-line and posting, I had watched the ep you "lifted" your dialog from.)

Anyway, thanks for the chuckles. I'm saving that for the grandkids, should any come along. Show 'em granny was *not* without her wild side, loving a vamp & all. . . .

Sorry. Maybe a little OT. But thanks, MissKittysMom.

And yes, zeitgeist is awesome!
You're quite right, of course, dbp. I somehow mentally elided over the "dumb bitch" quote. I don't think that appellation applies to any character, least of all Buffy. Indeed, it's not one I'd choose to use about anyone, fictional or otherwise.

I suppose I should say something about the thread topic, which is Spike, but words sorta fail me at this juncture. I will say that the most interesting part of the interview for me is one that nobody has commented on - James says that "Joss never really found himself in Spike. Spike was always the other guy." I've heard/read similar comments in the past, but I found that quite insightful and arresting.
And if it had ended at Empty Places, I'd have a far greater problem with the rest of the gang than Buffy. Honestly, that final scene is something that will forever leave a bad taste in my mouth and it pleased me to no end to learn that the great Scoobies had split apart after leaving

ETA: I, too, for some reason went to "superiority complex" and forgot "dumb bitch". Lovely, insightful, and thoughtful interpretation, that.

[ edited by syd on 2006-03-31 02:05 ]
Hmm, there have been moments when I felt Buffy was dumb. And seasons moments when I felt she was a bitch. But to put them together just sounds a lot harsher than I would mean. Right now.
A while ago, though, I had a lot of Buffy hate. But I've been able to work through that and realize my Spike love was tainting my view of Buffy, and were I her, I might make a lot of the same choices she made.
I never thought Buffy was dumb, except in throwaway moments of understandable duh-ness. Despite her own self-deprecation, she shows herself throughout to be of pretty high intelligence and insight.

Bitch? Sure, she had her moments, like all of the other characters.

What I really don't get is the hate, though. Seasons Two through Four? Spike is trying to kill her. Season Five? His character/motives/personality is changing (or wavering) so much that it's hard for anyone to know what to make of him, and yet she still has many moments of tenderness toward him. Season Six? She's unwillingly back from the dead and therefore feels less than alive and full of self-loathing. I know plenty of people who've treated those close to them far worse for far lesser reasons, and yet I've never felt cause to hate them. Season Seven? For most of the season she's his most ardent champion. I just don't get the hate.
I was with Buffy until As You Were when Riley comes in and Buffy smacks Spike before she even has any evidence of wrongdoing. Just on Riley's say so.

Still, I managed to get over it, was well on my way to Buffy loving again until

"Does it have to mean something?" after she forces Spike to reveal his feelings after the night in the empty house. Either she is deliberately cruel or just being stupid.

Then the Angel smooching/basking put it over the top. Immortal dating the next year didn't help either. Don't get me wrong. I want to love Buffy, its just hard.

Not trying to start anything, I know all this has been rehashed over and over, just trying to explain.
No, that's good, thanks Xane. I was looking for examples to understand where the feelings come from. I won't seek to argue with your comments, although I do disagree with the conclusions you draw from them.

And, perhaps I've unwittingly opened PanteraPandora's Box, but let's not get too heated about the subject.
So, SNT, would you say you are getting more or less British?
And do tell us more about your Pantera's box :D
Hmm, interesting question, L. Some tastes and habits get more fixed being away from home. I still like Marmite, and cricket, and a decent pint of beer, I crave the easy-going and wide-ranging pub conversations of London, and I'll never enjoy U.S. network TV.

On the other hand, I can be quite a Californian in t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, driving a convertible on the freeways, having lots of outdoor time, and a broader view of life's possibilities than before. So, the answer is "yes." :). And that's quite enough about me.

zg, you were supposed to say "Pandora's Box," so that I could reply, "Please don't correct me. It sickens me" . . . ;)
I personally enjoyed JM's comment about the hypothetical Spike/Brainiac fight. Poor James, he just can't bear the thought of Spike getting whupped ("I don't even want to think about it.") Also found the comment about Joss not finding himself in Spike intriguing.
Where to start...

SNT I also noticed the comment about Joss notrelating to Spike and had the same thought you did. I also think one of the reasons that Spike causes so much controversy is that he is a male character that has many experiences that women can deeply relate to yet can be such a jerk that many men (and women) cannot understand why so many women are so emotionally invested in him.

Koos: Buffy did go out a hero and she was hardly dumb. (In S7 she talked way too much for my tastes, in fact ;-) ) She was the one who came up with the radical concept of sharing her power and then set the ball in motion. She was the leader and the last one to leave the hellmouth. I know there are tose that say she was just trying to get out from under her responsibilities, but I don't think that gives her nearly enough credit. King George III is quoted as saying that if the colonies win the war and George Washington returns to his farm "he will be the greatest man in the world." When one is used to power, willingly handing it to someone else is extremely difficult and unusual...even when one considers it a burden on some level.

What I found interesting though was that you apparently view all the characters through their relationship to Spike, or at least that is what it sounded like you were saying.

"And lets see the history between Spike with the other men and their arclines. S5 Riley. S6 Xander. S7 Giles, Wood and Angel. They all have something against him, and if not then they don't have an arcline at all. Xander didn't have anything against Spike anymore in S7 and thus he was shoved into the background. Giles got squat in S7 except for his backstabbing Spike."

They all had good reasons to dislike him, including Xander in S7. Spike though was used as a catalyst to move the story along or to reveal what was actually going on with another character. For instance, Riley's problems in S5 were not related to Spike. They became more clear and focused when the two confronted each other. It is always about Buffy's journey, Spike was one of many tools used to tell that story.

Xane: I agree it has been rehashed. I've read the view of events you explained before too. I disagree with them. I love Spike as a character and there was once or twice when I truly wanted to slap Buffy, and pretty much every other character at one time or another, but I can understand Buffy's actions and they often made a lot of sense from her point of view.

I won't hit everything, but as an example I wanted to point out that IMO Buffy did not hit Spike on Riley's say so before she had seen any evidence. She hit him because he had been talking about her to Riley in very unflattering terms and as though she was a trophy he had won ("She's not your bint anymore....She always had a thing for me even when she was shagging you.") The implied relationship that his comment of "You don't have to defend me, love." after everything else he had been saying was enough to make her hit him. It had nothing to do with whether he was guilty of Riley's accusations.

And now the important stuff. I've thought about it and though I understand the varied opinions about everything else, I will not accept any debate about the fact that Spike did NOT wear underwear. ;-)

[ edited by newcj on 2006-03-31 05:42 ]
On the other hand, I can be quite a Californian in t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, driving a convertible on the freeways

Yeah, but, dude, it's a British car! ;-)
I still like Marmite, and cricket, and a decent pint of beer...


And, see, this gives me a chance to point out that yesterday I had some Twiglets and a packet of Maltesers without being totally off-topic :) (and it supports my earlier assertion of my becoming more British)

zg, you were supposed to say "Pandora's Box," so that I could reply, "Please don't correct me. It sickens me" . . . ;)


Crap, I'll get that right next time ;P ETA: Er, Mr. Furious, sir.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2006-03-31 16:58 ]
I often wonder if people kind of missed the point about a lot of Buffy's actions and choices over the years. I won't argue that occasionally her decisions seemed a little harsh and the way she dealt with the people around her was way too blunt now and again, but that was who she was. And by that I don't mean "who she was - Buffy", I mean who "she was - the slayer".

It was constantly suggested throughout the show that sooner or later Buffy was going to end up like all the other slayers before her. Cold and alone. Forced to put the mission first, even at the expense of all those around her. Buffy was always different to the other slayers because she was in a situation that meant she could have a family and friends around her but that did not necessarily mean that her personality would not eventually harden. I feel that was inevitable given what she had to do every single day.

My point being that I am not going to argue for one second with any of you that Buffy was more than capable of being a bitch but what I will argue is that I never expected her to become anything different. It was always on the cards that the slayer side of who she was would eventually become more prominent, no matter how much she might have tried to deny it. She became exactly what she was meant to be. I don't think that she should be condemned for that because it was in trying to be the best she could and save as many lives as possible that she eventually sacrificed at least some of the humanity we had seen in the early seasons.

I guess it just bugs me a little when people say that they didn't like Buffy for reason X or example Y when the truth was that she became no different than any other slayer had become. Look at how Nikki Wood viewed her own child as secondary to the mission. Sure, she has done some questionable things and made some hard choices but given her life I am certainly not going to look down on her because of that. You want to try being a slayer for a few years and see how well you start to deal with your relationships. I'll guarantee you that if you were in situations every single day that involved fighting and killing or making world changing decisions that could effect the lives of every single being on the planet then you would appreciate Buffy's position and hardened personality a lot more.

Edit: Oh yeah, and Buffy was NEVER dumb ... except when it came to speaking French but then I failed my French GCSE massively so who am I to talk? Je Stink! ;)

[ edited by Primeval on 2006-03-31 15:57 ]
Yep, I think Buffy made some bad choices over the years and acted like a bitch sometimes though usually for understandable reasons if you accept she doesn't have our fourth wall, meta-viewpoint of events and though she may have hardened to some extent (I think this is partly just growing up) I think one of the points of the show (and certainly of Season 7) was that Buffy was pretty much the best Slayer there had ever been and the most human at least in part because of her friends. Sure, she knew that ultimately any of them (including herself) were expendable for the mission's sake but they still allowed her to maintain a connection to humanity that the other slayers seemed to lack. Her relationships with her friends allowed her to subvert the very fundamentals of Slayerdom and do something that no previous chosen one had ever come close to doing (i'd be surprised if the possibility had even occurred to previous Slayers) as well as re-affirm her right to determine her own future.

So I wouldn't say she became the same as every other Slayer and I certainly wouldn't call her a dumb bitch. I'd say she saw the role that had been created for her (controlled by the Watcher's Council, usually dead by 25 and above all destined to be alone) and, with a little help from her friends, she transcended it to create her own role on her own terms.

Also, I am so far into the Marmite Hater's camp i'm actually standing on the other side shouting 'Come on you wusses, if you really hated it you'd be back here throwing twiglets on the bonfire'. Not a huge cricket fan either but then that was always more an English thing (gotta respect a game that can last 5 days and end up a draw though ;). Plus, I drive a French car (French designed anyway, the steering wheel's on the right side - in both senses of the word ;).

Maybe I should start holding my passport with tongs in case it bursts into flames on contact.

(though I do like Tea, Maltesers, Digestives, Football - with feet, the changing of the seasons, burning effigies of historical 'terrorists', queues, a nice sit down, a decent pint of beer - not ice cold, talking about the weather and playing with a straight bat even if one's on a sticky wicket so I guess I am a Brit after all ;-)
My addiction to both Jaffa Cakes and McV's Hobnobs is sometimes problematic and I drink more tea than anyone I know. Maltesers beat the hell out of their U.S. equivalents, not only for the quality of the malted milk bit, but also for the lack of horrid waxy preservative in the chocolate coating. Saje raises a good point (and pint, most likely): is there anything thats more quintessentially Brit than a nice queue? ;) Not to start another beer discussion, but what's your favorite pint?

ETA - since I would have to reprimand myself for not being at all on topic... I think that while Buffy made some strange and confounding choices and was often quite stubborn, if you try seriously putting yourself in her shoes re: coming back from the dead and other things you'll quickly see that 'dumb bitch' is an incredible oversimplification and just not accurate. Oh, and offtopic again for a sec, yesterday was my first experience of Twiglets, which I think would be good with a pint of the black stuff (this is someone's chance to say 'You can't drink a pint of Bovril').
Buffy definately had a much better grasp on her humanity than any slayer before her. Having her family and friends around her, having a permanent home and places she could go to relax, all the things that gave her human side strength.

I just don't think it's fair to ignore what she was. At the end of the day she was a killer. Dracula made a very good point that, no matter what term you might choose to use for what she did, you can't get away from the fact her job was to kill.

In real life it's very common to find that people in high pressure careers, especially those that require the person to be involved in a lot of violent activity, find it almost impossible to live a normal, healthy social life. They can have the best family and the closest friends in the world but eventually they will start to distance themselves, no longer able to really connect to those closest to them. The job simply changes them and makes them harder.

Same goes for a slayer, but times about a billion. This is a person who is expected to hunt, fight and kill every single day of their (expected to be very short) lives. I think it would be almost impossible to live that kind of life and still be able to maintain a total grip on your humanity, no matter how many Scoobies you had around you. I think Buffy did fantastically well in keeping hold of as much of her everyday self as she did. I would imagine that many others in her situation would have turned out much worse than what we saw Buffy become.

And another definate Marmite hater, right here!
*wanders in, looks at highjacked thread, wanders back out*
"So, SNT, would you say you are getting more or less British?
Lioness | March 31, 03:16 CET

So, the answer is "yes." :). And that's quite enough about me.
SoddingNancyTribe | March 31, 04:37 CET "


Not to get too philisophical or anything, but I have found that often when people live in another place that is very different than where they were raised, their identity in relation to their upbringing becomes more crystalized. They have a better view of how they are part of their home culture as well as a clearer picture of what makes them different from what they were raised to be or what the folks at home have become.

On one hand the act of being so immersed in another culture makes you start to see what defines your own, both for good and for bad. On the other hand, being the outsider gives a certain amount of freedom to take what you like from the new culture while hanging on to things that feel comfortable from the one you were raised with.

An Asian guy I went out with when I was very young, used to always exclaim to other Asian friends, "She is so American!" and they would nod politely. It drove me crazy at first, even though he always had a big smile on his face when he said it. I just could not understand what he was talking about. What is being American? There are so many versions of us how can any of us be "so American." By the time we called it quits many years later, I understood what he was talking about, and I have always had a better idea of the ways in which I am, "so American" while being so very different from many segments of American society.

That said, there were some things in the UK that I really enjoyed for the 2 weeks I was over there...cider comes to mind. I made it a point to taste the local cider everywhere we went...purely to get a feel for the cultural differences of course.

BTW, did anyone notice in, I believe it was Passions, when Angel's demon guide guy(whose name just won't come to me) is raiding Gile's frig and says his snarky comment about how you are never going to get the good stuff raiding an Englishman's frig, he pulls out a bottle of hard cider? It is a brand made in Vermont rather than England but for some reason it still makes me smile.

So...uh...with all that in mind, I'll bet JM is getting more British since he does visit and enjoy visiting the UK so much. It may be so little that it is almost immeasureable, but it is almost certainly there.

Off-topic? We're not off topic.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-03-31 17:24 ]
At this stage I perhaps should just let it drop, but I feel strongly enough to need to make one final comment...

Referring to someone, female or male, rightly or wrongly, as "dumb" is one thing. Referring to someone, a female in particular, as a "bitch" is, at best, very questionable. I personally find it offensive. Referring to someone, specifically a female, as a "dumb bitch" is something else entirely and carries with it very different connotations (even if it is not intended). I believe Joss Whedon tried to impart an important message with this show and I'm not convinced it was that Buffy or anyone else was a dumb bitch.

I am probably crossing a line here for which I do apologise... I will definitely shut up now.
I have to back up dashboardprophet here. I can agree to disagree with somebody who would call Buffy either dumb or a bitch, given specific situations. As I said before, I do think that Buffy had definate bitch tendencies and I personally can allow for that. As a matter of fact I think she needed that aspect of who she was to be the slayer. Even the dumb thing could be argued, although I tend to think it was more that her studies were constantly being interrupted by the slayage, rather than her actually being dumb. In fact she did very well in highschool, as I seem to remember.

"Dumb bitch", however, crosses the line to an insult that is neither fair nor accurate, given what we saw of her over seven seasons. Not a description of the girl I knew at all.
When you think about it, very few cuss insults are literal these days. "Bastard" doesn't mean you are fatherless, "Son of a bitch" doesn't mean your mother is a female dog...etc..., they're just derogatory labels.

My point is, I don't think this insult was any more accurate than those I mentioned. The author was probably trying for a specific feel to the insult, though. And I disagree completely with that dismissive and wholly inaccurate assessment of Buffy, even though I liked her least of all the Scoobs.
Yeah, I agree with you Primeval that it just wouldn't be possible to remain unaffected by what Buffy has to deal with day in, day out. She was a hunter, every bit the predator that vampires were and the fact that she stayed so human (apart from her journey down the wrong road in Season 7) is testament to her strength of character (and that of those around her). I'm also not fond of 'dumb bitch' as a descriptor except for use in direst circumstances. Just sounds very harsh.

zeitgeist, pick one from all my babies ? ;) It varies but after being back up in the auld country last week i've a taste for McEwan's 80 shilling which is pretty smoky and rich and way too easy to drink (though quite hard to find on tap in England) or maybe Caledonian 80 which isn't smoky or that rich but may be even easier downed). Flowers and Deuchars both do a nice IPA and then there's old stand-bys like Newcastle Brown or Tetley's (well, you did ask ;). Jeez, i'm smacking me lips in anticipation. TFI Friday ;).

newcj, I think that's absolutely true. As a transplanted Scot who's lived in England since he was a youngster, I probably observe customs that I might not bother with if I actually lived in Scotland and feel like I have a fairly clear view of Scottishness and my place in it (I think you tend to know your history a bit better when you're more likely to be challenged on it, however good naturedly).

The flip side is that I also get to look at England and the English as a sort of outsider (my accent's still Scottish and my attempts at faking an English one always good for a laugh though I obviously don't use Scots slang around people that, at best, wouldn't understand me and at worst might misunderstand me).

Over the last few years the English have been having a bit of an identity crisis, wondering what it is to be English in today's multi-cultural world, especially when you have neighbours that have such easily identifiable separate cultures. Whenever my sassanach mates talk about this stuff I just laugh because, to me, Englishness is as plain as day and stands out about as much. Englishness is (at least slightly stereotypically) loving queues but being undecided whether to say something if someone jumps ahead because that would be 'making a fuss'. Pretty much every other national characteristic is some variation on this delicate balancing act between an innate sense of fair-play and social embarrassment. Gross simplification ? Well, yeah but I reckon that it's a useful short-hand and contains at least a grain of truth ;).

(cider's a bit sweet for me, even the dry one's, plus as a kid I had a bad experience with over-indulgence - like there's a good experience with over-indulgence ;) - and so tend to steer clear)

Hell, that's quite a screed. Maybe just read every other word or something, it'll probably make as much sense ;)
Isn't "dumb bitch" what Caleb called her...or was it just bitch?

It just occured to me, and seemed interesting considering the character.

Saje, it is interesting to see how the whole "balancing act between an innate sense of fair-play and social embarrassment." thing plays out in American culture as well. We do, after all have a strong English foundation in our culture with heavy layers of many other cultures (especially Scottish in some areas, btw) either on top or side by side. It usually looks as though the battle you describe does not exist with most Americans and with some it truly doesn't. With others however, it is very strong, but often consciously overcome. That dicotomy alone can create an interesting tension in the culture.

What you describe about the English fear of loss of identity in the expanding multi-cultural nature of their country is what Americans have also felt for a couple hundred years. The funny thing is that England, like the USA, has always been multi-cultural no matter how each tried to deny it. Whether it was the Celts, the Romans, the Norse the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans of earlier periods or people from all parts of the former Empire later on,what became uniquely English has always come out of a combination of cultures. That is one reason the English language is such a mess, as well as being so very interesting.
To bring the focus back to Spike....I think James seems to be pretty comfortable to let the chips fall where they may as far as this movie goes. I can tell that James truly loved his character, but it does make me sad that he seems to think Joss never 'got' Spike. Honestly...sometimes I wonder about this too.

Maybe Spike just developed into a character that eclipsed what Joss had originally intended him to be. Not only that, but I think Spike's popularity grew to the point where so many fans began to see the shows through his eyes...through his story. I know I did.

I liked Buffy. I liked all the other characters. But I LOVED Spike, regardless of whether I was 'supposed' to or not. He just captured my heart. He made me want to watch the show and kept me tuning in every week. As far as Season 3 went...I have to admit that it was a struggle for me to watch since Spike was hardly in it.

I felt all Spike's pain, all his happiness, all his frustration, and I suppose that I started seeing all the other characters for the way they related to him. It's not that I didn't care about the other's stories....I just cared more about what was going to happen to Spike. His story was just MORE interesting and inspiring, and I was emotionally invested in it.

I can understand that we all have our favorites, and we all see the shows though our favorite's eyes in some ways. Maybe Joss had his favorites too, and perhaps we were supposed to become emotionally tied to them, but for me the focus never wavered from Spike.

Hopefully Joss does feel that there is more to tell for him. If not...well then, that's the way it has to be. If he makes films about some of the other characters I will probably watch, but honestly...I won't CARE as much about them.

If I can just be sure that Spike is still out there, still strong, still kicking ass and taking names, and that he has at least a chance for happiness...then I can let the story rest.

After that I hope that James will find another role that will capture our hearts, maybe not as much as Spike did, but one that can still inspires us and that keeps James on my TV or in films for many years to come.
I think that saying Joss never 'got' Spike is missing the point. The point is that he never saw himself in Spike, which isn't at all the same thing. Of course Spike grew beyond what Joss expected and he admits as much many times. He saw the way James played it and got all kinds of ideas plus fans loved him. One of my fave characters ever and always will be :) As far as being still out there, the post-NFA comics assure us that this is indeed the case.
I started watching Buffy a few times at the urging of a friend, but it was only during a Spikecentric episode that I had that aha feeling--that this was a great show and I needed to see every single episode (multiple times). Though I loved almost every character, for me Spike has always been the one that I've been most drawn to. I think Joss brilliantly took James' strengths as an actor and also embedded some of his personality quirks to make, to my mind, one of the most fascinating characters on TV. So if Joss truly does not see himself in Spike, is this really an impediment to his making a great film based on this character?
It's been said before by Buffyologists -- esp those at Slayage -- but I think it bears repeating due to the course this discussion has taken.

It is entirely possibly and likely that Spike is so loved (and hated) because HE, more even than Buffy much of the time, is the most feminist character in the piece.

Think about it.....
Zeitgeist, i personly hope that the Angel:old friends series isn't being considerd canon, cus those comics are still about Angel being the hero and Spike being a secondary character with no real purpose. If a comic series does get made post-nfa with Spike in the lead, then fine. But so far it hasn't happend.
is the most feminist character in the piece.


So feminist that when he becomes corporeal the first thing he does is have sex with Harmony?
So feminist that when he becomes corporeal the first thing he does is have sex with Harmony?

But Harmony wasn't a woman....she was Harmony! :~P

On the feminism thing...that's tough. I mean, you have 'girl power' and 'feminism' and all kinds of thoughts on women in society. Going on the idea that feminism is the movement to bring equality...I'm not sure I agree that the show was feminist in nature. If anything, it was attempting to elevate women above men in some aspects. A group of women are the strongest humans in that world, they have the responsibility of standing between evil and the rest of the world-that's not equal. Unless you think that it counterbalances the other things men have.

To me, in actuality, Buffy isn't a show about equality. It's a show about girl power. And there's nothing wrong with that.
I guess when I think feminist, my core definition is "Able to be strong and independent, while maintaining the capacity to be loving and supportive toward others without feeling diminished or used."

Why do I call that "feminist" rather than just the description of how a good person should be, male or female? Mostly because women are (unfortunately) still encouraged to subvert their own desires to those of others -- often to their own detriment, to hide their intelligence around men and sometimes around other women, and to generally be submissive.

I think Spike could be both a "man's man" but also a woman's woman. He was in many ways more "feminine" than "masculine." Just compare him to Angel. Think about Joss' comment that in Ats5 they'd "finally found the right girl for Angel."
I think Spike, despite his arc and the various spurs off it (especially the reconciling of his inner poet and demon in NFA), is actually quite comfortable with who and what he is. He's a monster but he doesn't mind so long as he's sometimes treated otherwise, he's love's bitch but man enough to admit it. In 'Pangs' he castigates the others (specifically the Americans, since Giles, from his position at the tail end of the tail end of an imperial power more or less agrees with him) for not just accepting the spoils of war and getting on with it and (see if you can hear the thread creak ;) if he came back to England and witnessed an identity crisis he'd tell everyone to stop poncing around and just bloody well get on with it ;).

So maybe Joss (and this is hardly uncommon among writers) doesn't feel that sureness of his place in the world and so finds it harder to relate to Spike ? Also, JM has said several times something to the effect that Spike is all heart and balls whereas Joss (from what little I know of him) seems to be more a head person, going over things many times until it makes sense or feels right (possibly one reason why his dialogue is so fabulous).

newcj that's interesting because I must admit most Brits idea of Americans is probably that they're totally unafraid to speak up when they see something they don't approve of (in fact, lack of 'social fear' strikes me as one of the defining characteristics of Americans but then, as with the English, there are, i'm sure, all kinds of regional variations among your attitudes and most of my impressions come from books and TV anyway, so what do I know ;).

As you say, we're all mongrels ;) but I think the English worry that others (especially their neighbours the Scots, Irish and Welsh) appear to have more genetic integrity because there are identifiable external characteristics from each of those countries (e.g. fair skin, a higher than average incidence of ginger hair etc.) that the English don't have (and this may even be true due to being slightly less acessible though I doubt it's that significant culturally). Also, being a naturally fairly tolerant culture (albeit with a bit of moaning from the Daily Mail reading 'Little Englanders') I think they worry they may be losing themselves among the host of diverse and (due to the expatriate cultural amplification you've mentioned) clearly distinct cultures that are thriving in Britain today.

Rogue Slayer, not sure. Some of Buffy seemed to be about showing that Buffy was (at least) a match for Angel, Spike, Giles (and later on the far more patriarchal Watcher's Council), Riley (and the very patriarchal Initiative) and male dominated society in general. But I agree it was also about girl power as a separate entity from the whole society thing which I also have no problem with provided (as with Buffy, IMO) it's done without trivialising men or their contributions to the world (without glossing over the ones we might not want credit for ;) since, aside from being slightly insulting personally, I think it just causes resentment and a sort of laddish anti-feminist backlash which doesn't help anyone.
So if Joss truly does not see himself in Spike, is this really an impediment to his making a great film based on this character?


annieb - Quite the contrary, I think its encouragement to explore someone unlike yourself for the writer/writers.

If a comic series does get made post-nfa with Spike in the lead, then fine. But so far it hasn't happend.


sethsky - Spike: Old Times and Spike vs. Dracula admittedly aren't post-NFA, but they are a lot of fun, and written by a good writer who is a huge fan of the shows. They are Spike-centric and worth checking out.

*grins at Simon's and Rogue Slayer's comments, but stays out of it*

ETA-
most Brits idea of Americans is probably that they're totally unafraid to speak up when they see something they don't approve of (in fact, lack of 'social fear' strikes me as one of the defining characteristics of Americans


Saje - reminds me of Dylan Moran's bit in his standup special Monster where he talks about how to recognize people abroad. "You never hear anyone say to an American "I'm sorry, what? Could you please speak up? And the British of course just blend right in. You'll happen past a table in a restaurant and hear something like 'What do you mean theres no chips? I came here on a plane you f***ing ****.'"
"A group of women are the strongest humans in that world, they have the responsibility of standing between evil and the rest of the world"

...So you're saying BtVS was reality TV. Ok. I can see that.

I understand though, about the idea of Spike as a feminist character, though I am not sure I would put it quite that way. As I said before, he was put in situations many women have found themselves in and therefore rather than being simply male, he was often human. That said, though we have a tendency to attribute Spike's actions in Destiny to being a "guy." However, I am not sure that a woman who was as sensual as Spike had always been, and had just become coporeal after months of not being able to feel, touch, taste or smell would not have immediately gone for food and sex as well...especially if there had been an unattached ex nearby.

"I think the English worry that others (especially their neighbours the Scots, Irish and Welsh) appear to have more genetic integrity because there are identifiable external characteristics from each of those countries"

Saje: That is what various groups have worried about here in the US as well, both with external characteristics and with cultural ones. I felt very out of place growing up in New Jersey because my family was not connected to a strong identifiable culture like all the other kids whose grandparents were from Italy, Ireland, Germany, Russia or Poland. I was just American, which did not seem to mean anything specific at all either physically or culturally. It was not until I dated the fellow I mentioned earlier that I started understanding some of the things that were identified as American...both rightly and, in my opinion wrongly. ;-)

"lack of 'social fear' strikes me as one of the defining characteristics of Americans"

To a degree you are right, and that is why I mentioned it. It was one of the things that I realized was "so American" and yet it is often a conscious choice. The willingness to stand up for yourself socially can be very American, and yet look at all the American sitcoms and dramas based on the conflict people have about that very thing. It is almost like we feel we should, but often the impulse is not to, so there is internal conflict...for some people. Of course one reason Americans have to be willing to speak their minds is because we know we will have to occasionally tell other Americans who are being totally objectionable to, "Knock it off and find some manners. What, were you raised in a barn?" I suspect some friends of mine invite me to their house concerts to serve that very function...I think their Grandparents were from Eastern Europe. ;-)
...So you're saying BtVS was reality TV. Ok. I can see that.
Can I come live in your world?

And on the defining characteristics of Americans...I know the reputation we have abroad, so when I travel, I try to be very quiet. And polite. And Canadian-but that's not as easy as you'd think.
He was in many ways more "feminine" than "masculine." Just compare him to Angel


I always see Spike as the bloke and Angel as the sensitive one.
Heh, zeitgeist, [Homer Simpson Voice] It's funny cuz it's true [/Homer Simpson Voice] ;). Taped 'Monster' a while back then carefully taped over it entirely a few days later (yay me) so i'm waiting for a repeat (heard good things about it though).

FWIW, i'm not a big fan of that sort of Costa Del Britain approach to holidays. Why go somewhere then act as if you're at home ? Save some cash by getting on a sunbed then going down the chippy for a take-away. Job done.

(A while back I went to Japan on holiday and after a week of some gorgeous local food - apart from one nasty mustard/raw ginger mix-up, ouch, won't make that mistake again ;) - we fancied something European. After a bit of looking we found just the thing. A restaurant was serving 'Genuine British Curry'. Had to laugh. Not a bad curry either though whether it was a 'Genuine British' one i'm not sure ;-).

newcj, yeah, that's a good point. I think the extent to which we choose to adhere to certain stereotypes is sometimes overlooked. We all 'know' how Americans or Brits are supposed to act (and within each country how, for example, New Yorkers or Cockneys are supposed to act) and so it may be that to some extent we deliberately fulfill these expectations (to start with anyway, after a while i'd say it becomes a reflexive habit) as a way of self-identifying with our own group. It may apply to more abstract ideas too, for instance, I put no store in astrology (and rationally know it to be daft) but from a very early age i've known the attributes I should have as a Libra and feel myself to some extent trying to fulfill them (the desirable ones anyway, not so keen on narcissm or self-indugence despite what the length of some of my posts may indicate ;).

Rogue Slayer, being Canadian's easy. Just say aboot and eh a lot and follow ice hockey, right ? ;-)

Simon, must confess that rings truer to me too. Spike can be sensitive but he's not like that all the time. Mostly he's not very introspective, he's sometimes straightforward almost to the point of seeming simpleminded and generally seems to shrug most things off apparently not taking them very seriously. Though he's the poet of the two, somehow it's easier to believe him playing Crash Bandicoot than reading Baudelaire for fun. Much more like a _stereotypical_ male character than Angel.
As a fan of accents, I find being Canadian to be super easy and super obvious. Way easier thaan getting a good Scottish going, at any rate, but I think I've finally got that down.

Saje/Simon/etc - think one of the fun and realistic bits about Spike/William is that he is sometimes a bundle of contradictions. William the Bloody Awful Poet who sat at home with his mum, Spike the Slayer Slayer, the lost puppy who followed our Buffy around, etc.
Spike hides his sensitivity behind snark and swagger.

So, did anyone love it when James spoke Spanish last night? (Now you talk about a guy who is definitely not sensitive, Mr. Brainy has no heart)
Likewise, I think the snark and swagger became a part of him and sometimes he hides it behind his sensitivity. That's whats so interesting, its not that he is just one way; he is an asshole and a hero.
OK, here's a few tips to get you started zeitgeist

'Hoots Mon'
'It's a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht the nicht'
'Thars a moose loose aboot this hoose'
'Ah cannae change tha laws o' physics, Cap'n'
'Aye, wur aww Jock Tamson's bairns, so we ur'

If you ever meet someone that doesn't say these phrases constantly yet claims to be Scottish you can safely assume they're lying (i'm actually muttering them under my breath as I type) so if you learn them you'll pass for a native. I also teach 'Intro to French for People Who Won't Actually Ever Speak to A French Person', lesson one being saying 'Sacre Bleu' a lot and putting on stripey jerseys. Then we move onto Advanced Beret Wearing with a view to working up to the difficult and dangerous 'string of onions round the neck'. It's a challenging yet rewarding course though, admittedly, that's a lie.

Yeah, it's true that Spike isn't easy to pigeon-hole. The swaggering brawler poet. The sensitive attempted rapist. Killer, lover, monster, champion, all those facets are, as you say, what makes him so damned interesting. An arsehole and a hero indeed (a holero ? ;) and all the better for it.
Zeitgeist, i wasn't talking about those comics. I own all the buffyverse comics of IDW that have come out and you're right, they are very good. I was merely saying that so far there hasn't been a post-nfa comic centerd on Spike as the lead.
Like the other vampire with a soul, I tend to put Spike in categories. I don't see Angel as a sensitive at all when without soul or even very much as a human.

Spike without a soul is sensitive if you compare him with other vampires without a soul. William was extremely sensitive. Spike with a soul hides his sensitivity (particularly on ATS) behind snark and swagger. There is a reasoning for that of course--because he is around people who don't particularly like him.

So, yeah, I stand behind my statement. Unsouled Spike seems to be a sensitive male trying to fit into a world where you have to be a badass to survive---and more than anything else, Spike IS a survivor.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-04-01 15:58 ]
When I moved to Canada from the States, I was told to work on my Canadian accent by practising "It's nice to git oot and aboot now and agin, eh?
Last year, when JM was appearing in Toronto, we all had to wait to get into the room. Someone came and carefully organized us into a long snaking line so that those who were there first, got in first.(What a concept!). One very confused American said "What are we doing?" And another American said to her wisely "We're queuing. They do that here."
Instead of discussing Spike as feminist or not, perhaps we can combine the 2 parts of this thread and consider if he is more sterotypically British or American?

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