‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Could Have Had a Spinoff Series With Another Slayer
It’s the age of reboots and revivals. With so many streaming platforms available, it’s a lot easier to cater to specific fandoms than it used to be, and that means that several older TV shows are ripe for a comeback.
Those who were children in the 1990s are particularly nostalgic for the shows from the past, and they are helping drive the successful revival of several previous series. All of this nostalgia has people looking back at what once was, and there are few shows that fit the bill quite as nicely as the immensely popular and still beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It turns out that Buffy almost had a spinoff series featuring an entirely different slayer.
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ was extremely popular
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a series created by Joss Whedon starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular heroine. It premiered in 1997 and ran for seven action-packed seasons. Fans just couldn’t get enough of this thrilling show that mixed horror, drama, romance, and comedy to produce something that was every bit as heartwarming as it was exciting. After the series went off the air in 2003, fans got to follow along for one more year with the spinoff series Angel, which ran from 1999-2004.
The show has tremendous staying power and remains a popular choice for viewers new and old. Part of what makes it so appealing is its complexity, a feature that some media critics credit with having changed the entire experience of television viewing. Writing for Vox, Emily VanDerWerff and Caroline Framke explain that the show “blew up established formats and made the people who made TV rethink how they approached the medium.”
Buffy was not the only slayer
According to the lore of the show, a new Slayer appeared every time the current one died. Buffy briefly drowned before being revived, but her death was long enough to cause a new Slayer, Kendra, to be called to duty. Unfortunately, Kendra also met an untimely end — being the Slayer is a dangerous line of work! For a while, there were two Slayers working against the forces of evil, and when Kendra died, another new Slayer took her place.
Faith, the Slayer who replaced Kendra, was one of the most complex characters of the series. Played by Eliza Dushku, Faith was always a bad girl who didn’t like to play by the rules. She also struggled with the fact that she was in Buffy’s shadow despite being called to a legacy where she was supposed to be the one and only.
Eventually, Faith turns to the dark side and attempts to destroy Buffy and her friends. Never one to shy away from a redemption arc — the show features multiple vampires who have restored souls — Whedon’s story has Faith returning to the series in the final season to help thwart the end of the world.
Faith almost got a show of her own
There were, according to Digital Spy, several spinoff ideas put forward for the popular series. After all, it was filled with so many interesting characters that any one of them could have created a rich universe of their own. Among the possibilities was a TV movie featuring Spike or Willow. The spinoff that got the most traction — aside from Angel, of course — was a series called Ripper. It would have followed Anthony Head in a reprised role of Rupert Giles, Buffy’s sage, caring, and tough Watcher. A pilot almost got the show picked up by BBC, but it never quite made it to the screen, and Head is convinced he’s now too old to play the part.
Meanwhile, another series idea would have followed the rogue Slayer Faith on her own journey. Talks got serious enough to bring Dushku in for her opinion, but ultimately things didn’t pan out. Dushku was ready to explore other roles for her burgeoning career, and Whedon was not able to commit the same kind of time that he had to Buffy. Ultimately, the world will just have to wonder what might have been.