10 Things You Didn't Know About... Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is 20 years old. Let that sink in a minute... 20 years old! Its debut on March 10th 1997 completely changed the face of TV, not only demonstrating there was an audience and demand for a female-led TV series, but that she could kick ass as well.
But behind the ghosts, vampires and werewolves, Buffy also dealt with very human situations and emotions, tackling issues such as misogyny, LGBT issues, bullying, depression, death and growing up, to name just a few (there are countless academic institutes all over the world that run courses in 'Buffy Studies' and hold international seminars on the series).
Very few other TV series have had such a cultural (and pop-cultural) influence in the real world, so to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary and everything Buffy-related, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you might not know about the Buffy-verse…
Sarah Michelle Gellar nearly wasn't in the show...
Any fan of the show will probably know that we could have ended up with a Selma Blair or Katie Holmes Buffy, and that Sarah Michelle Gellar initially auditioned for the part of Cordeila. But we very nearly had a completely Sarah Michelle Gellar-free Buffy as she was originally up for the part of Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
...and Spike could have looked very different too
On a similar note, we very nearly had a Nathan Fillion Spike. Imagine the joy! Nathan Fillion later appeared as Caleb, the preacher in the seventh season with serious anger issues, and of course went on to play Captain Reynolds in Joss Whedon's short-lived (but much-loved) Firefly, as well as Captain Hammer in Whedon's Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
Jenny Calendar featured one of Prince's album covers
Robia La Morte, who plays everyones favourite techno-pagan Jenny Calendar, started her on-screen career by appearing in a Debbie Gibson video before being pursued by Prince to appear in music videos for several tracks from his 1991 album Diamonds & Pearls, including 'Cream', 'Gett Off', 'Strollin''and the title track. She was also featured on the album's cover, and went on tour with him as a dancer.
You may have seen Sunnydale High somewhere before
The building that became known as Sunnydale High School was also used in the (very) 90s film She’s All That, starring none other than Sarah Michelle Gellar's future husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. SMG also had a cameo in the film, which also featured Clea DuVall who was in the Buffy episode 'Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight'.
The show might never have happened if it wasn't for Dolly Parton
Technically, we have Dolly Parton to thank for Buffy. Her production company Sandollar Entertainment (co-owned with her former manager Sandy Gallin) brought the TV rights to the movie (before the movie flopped) as Gallin saw the TV potential in it. It just took a few years (and the success of Clueless) for her to get the ball rolling on the TV show, and the rest we all know. Thanks Dolly!
Spike wasn't as English as you think
James Marsters, who played Spike, was actually Californian and had English accent lessons from Anthony Stewart Head on set. James was (and still is, as far as we know) also in a terrible band called Ghost Of The Robot. But don't take our word for it, see below and judge for yourselves...
The show had some pretty cool musical cameos
The instantly recognisable theme tune was found by holding an open audition for indie bands to write the song for the opening credits. Nerf Herder ended up as the winners, having been recommended by Alyson Hannigan, who plays Willow in the series. The song was also later covered by The Breeders, who later appeared in the seventh season playing at The Bronze. Other notable performers in the series include Cibo Matto, Aimee Mann, Four Star Mary, Bif Naked and Michelle Branch.
One of the producers couldn't resist a cheeky cameo
Marti Noxon, long-time producer and writer on the show, has a cameo in the musical episode as The Parking Ticket Lady.
The judges at the Emmys clearly weren't fans of the show
Buffy joins a (dubiously) distinguished list of critically-acclaimed shows that were shunned by the Emmy awards (besides the odd writing or technical nod), a list which also includes The Wire, Freaks and Geeks, Oz, Battlestar Galactica, Community, Party Down and Veronica Mars.
Buffy actually appears in the TV Buffy-verse less than some of the other characters
Despite being the eponymous heroine, Buffy isn’t the character to appear in the most Buffy-verse TV episodes (Buffy-verse is stories and shows set in the Buffy universe). That award goes to Angel (167 episodes across the Buffy and Angel shows) and Willow (147 across both series). Buffy herself only appears in 146 across the two, 144 of which were in Buffy.
Time for that rewatch!
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