Buffy is making her triumphant return to the UK!
A reboot, revamp, spin-off, or re-imagining, you say? Sadly, no. But all 144 original episodes of all seven series of the iconic show will soon be available for free from All4, thanks to Channel 4!
All of this all-ness is due to a blockbuster deal between “4” and the Walt Disney Company, which now owns the rights to the whole of Buffy the Vampire Slayer thanks to their multi-billion-dollar acquisition of FOX. Channel 4 will be broadcasting Buffy over-the-air on channel E4 and streaming the Slayer on video-on-demand service All4. Both will begin on 1st June 2020.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was, of course, a television show that first aired in the US on the WB and UPN networks (which later became The CW) and became a global hit around the same time as Y2K, DVDs, and cellphones. Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as Buffy Summers, a teenage girl who turned out to be her generation’s “Chosen One”: a powerful slayer of all of the forces of darkness. Over the course of the show, Buffy fought not only vampires — such as the deadly duo of Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) — but also demons, monsters, Dracula (yes, seriously), werewolves, evil nerds, robots, zombie soldiers, and anything else the writers could dream up!
And during its 7 series from 1997-2003, Buffy the Vampire Slayer became renowned for its unmatched writing and character development, thanks to creator/writer Joss Whedon. Often times, an episode, or even a single scene, could go from laugh-out-loud comedy to heartbreaking drama to bone-crunching action in the blink of an undead eye. Whedon would go on to be a force in Hollywood, directing and scripting Marvel’s Avengers and Avengers: The Age of Ultron, not to mention secretly helping to write other Marvel Universe films. He also created two other shows with strong cult followings, Firefly and Dollhouse (which starred Buffy supporting player Eliza Dushku).
Buffy‘s stellar supporting cast was also a major part of the show’s success. David Boreanaz, who played Angel, the vampire slayer’s very vampirey boyfriend (status: It’s Complicated!) went on to his own spin-off show for 5 successful series and also the long-running murder mystery show Bones. Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Anthony Head (Giles), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), and Alexis Denisof (Wesley) have all gone on to either star in other TV series, or have done other work in movies and TV. Trivia fact: Hannigan and Denisof have been married since Buffy ended in 2003, and had roles in a long-running US sit-com, How I Met Your Mother.
Our own Simon Danes picked Buffy as one of his lockdown recommendations, and says:
“It hasn’t dated much, either; no more than, say, the Paul McGann Doctor Who film which aired just a year before Buffy’s first season. Together with the superb Babylon 5, Buffy was the methadone for many Doctor Who fans between McGann’s solo outing and the 2005 revival of Who.”
After nearly 20 years, it’s amazing that a new, rebooted Buffy the Vampire Slayer has not been brought back to our TV (and other) screens in some way. New and old audiences (like me) are definitely ready. At some point, Joss Whedon will finally decide that it is time to bring The Slayer back for today’s generations… or a streamer like Netflix or Disney+/Hulu will make him an offer he can’t refuse. Until then, Channel 4 will be making it very easy to take a stab at this groundbreaking show!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer will stream on All 4 from 1st June 2020. Binge time! It will also air on E4 at 11pm weeknights starting 1st June… so leave the lights on and don’t invite anyone in.