'Buffy's' Gotta Sing!
by Kate O'Hare
Buffy's dead, but work goes on as usual in the halls of
Mutant Enemy Productions.
"Feeling different? Not really," says Marti Noxon, the
co-executive producer of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
"Nothing in our world has changed, still down the road
from the hazardous-waste facility, still in the exact same
location, still breaking stories the exact same way."
"Basically UPN has been fabulous about saying, 'Look,
we're not going to try to fix something we don't think is
broken.' They didn't buy us to change us."
With the show on its way to UPN from The WB this fall,
with a two-hour premiere currently set for Oct. 9, Noxon,
series creator Joss Whedon and the rest of the staff are
fleshing out the sixth season, which reportedly was
planned out before the fifth-season finale and 100th
episode in May.
Recently, Web site Ain't It Cool News
(www.aint-it-cool-news.com) broke what it claims are
storylines for the first eight new episodes. While Noxon
will neither confirm nor deny the spoilers (although she
admits the site got at least some things right), it is widely
known that series regular Anthony Stewart Head will have
limited participation, and that there will be an all-singing
episode for November sweeps.
"They're all really musical,"
says Noxon of the "Buffy"
cast. "It's amazing. And
Tony (Head) can sing like
an angel - a hot, sexy
On the Head front, the
British actor expressed a
desire to spend more time
with his family, which is still
based in England, and
character, Rupert Giles, slayer Buffy's (Sarah Michelle
Gellar) "Watcher" and surrogate father, appears in a few
episodes before returning to his native England.
This works out, since the governing body for Slayers, the
Council of Watchers, has long been said in the show to
be U.K.-based (Whedon being a bit of an Anglophile after
having gone to school in England).
Also in motion is a "Buffy" spin-off, starring Head, in development by the BBC.
Recent news reports in the U.K. and U.S. have discussed the series, tentatively titled
"The Watcher," in which Giles investigates supernatural threats, with a darker, more
In a BBC interview, Whedon said, "I want to make a show that's very quiet, very adult,
dealing with ghost stories and family metaphors that represent what's wrong with us.
It's the same way as in 'Buffy,' but without the kickboxing demons."
"Isn't that cool?" says Noxon. "Won't that be fun?"
There's no word where the show would air here - the BBC does have a cable channel,
BBC America - but Noxon feels PBS is a possibility. "That would be the coolness,"
she says. "On UPN, you'd have 'Buffy,' and on PBS, it would be like a British BBC
series. You never know, it might show up there. There certainly would be a lot of
interest in it."
There are, after all, a million stories in the "Buffy" -verse. "That's right!" says Noxon.
"God, there surely are, quite a few more spin-offs."
Speaking of Brits, there's one in particular that Noxon would love to see on "Buffy."
"Oh gosh, yes, Eddie Izzard. Please, Eddie! Come do our show! He's dangerous. I
have just tremendous respect for him, and he's just amazing. If he ever would deign to
visit our universe, we would be glad."
"We have lists of people (we'd like to have on), and the problem is, many times you
think, 'Well, now, I work on a hit show, and I'll go up and tell them that I work on a hit
show, and maybe they'll be a fan or something.' Nine times out of 10, they're like,
'Oh, is that animated?' They're lovely, but they have no idea what we're talking about."
Apparently first contact has been made with Izzard, an actor, comedian and
occasional transvestite. "I think he actually knows of us," says Noxon. "He sat next
to Anthony Stewart Head on a plane. Tony, he's a personable guy, and I think Tony
did say, 'You should come and be on the show!' We all wish that would happen."
Since there are so many British elements on the show (including vampire Spike, a
Britpunk in the peroxide-blond Billy Idol mode, played by Californian James Marsters),
would the show ever make a road trip to Old Blighty? "Uh, actually take 'Buffy' to
Britain?" says Noxon. "You know, probably somewhere, the hair just stood up on the
back of someone's neck ... no. This has not been discussed, but who knows?"
"It would be just wonderful if we could do it. It would be amazing. We'll just take one
country at a time."
What's the goal for season six? "To not suck," says Noxon. "That's our goal. We
don't want to jump the shark. I was on the 'Jump the Shark' website the other day,
because someone told me about it, and you know, we still have a tremendous
number of people who feel that we haven't jumped. We have far many more who think
we haven't than people who think we have."
"So that's pretty cool. If we can just not jump the shark for another couple of years, I'd
be a happy girl. I'm really excited about this coming season. It's good, old-style
Noxon reveals that there's plenty planned for fast-track student witch Willow (Alyson
Hannigan), and that the passing of Buffy's mom, Joyce, has set up all the characters
(including the somehow-resurrected Buffy) for more adult responsibilities.
Well, maybe not all the characters. "Except Spike. He's not about responsibility."