Rewrite "Buffy"

So you’ve found your way into an alternate universe where you can completely re-do the entire run of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” from scratch. Not only do you have the benefit of hindsight, you’re also not bound by actors’ wanting to leave the show to persue movie careers, changes from the network, focus groups and fan reactions, anything. You’re in complete control. Do you hate Riley? He never existed. Or you love Riley? He’s on the show from day one. Or you could make the show have nothing but shrimp. Your call.

I only have 2 respectful requests:

  1. Take it easy on the acronyms, obscure character names, and episode titles. A good many of us have seen every episode, but don’t know them by title alone.

  2. Please show restraint with the whole “shipper ::drool::!!!” talk.
    Okay, so I only have a couple of alterations:

  3. The movie never existed. The series starts from Buffy’s freshman year of high school. Giles introduces the concept of her being the slayer and it’s all completely new to her. Sure, it keeps them from being able to get right to the action, but it also lets them stay in high school an extra year.

  4. Oz and Willow broke up not because of his being a werewolf, but because of Willow and Xander’s cheating on him and Cordelia. Oz sticks around with the gang for the rest of the series, but his werewolfishness comes in handy instead of just getting him locked up. And he’s insanely jealous of Tara but too cool to express it except when in wolf form.

  5. Dawn still exists, and still because of an ancient god trying to take over, but it’s not Glory. I don’t know what else, but not Glory. And it’s not bound in the form of a human.

  6. None of the alternate universes are completely “cleaned up.” Instead, at least one character or major plot point gets left in the continuity each time and sticks, like Dawn. I loved the idea of shoehorning Dawn into the show as a main cast member who’d “always been there;” I just wish that they had found something genuinely interesting to do with her.

Xander ends the series with both eyes.

  1. Dru dumps wheelchair-bound Spike for Angelus (opposed to just cheating on him) in S2. Spike doesn’t take her with him when he leaves town. Dru becomes the LB of S3, then is banished from Sunnydale (but not killed, she’s too cool a character.)

  2. Xander never falls for Cordy. God, what a mismatch.

  3. As soon as Buffy finds out Spike’s chip doesn’t work on her in S6, she promptly jumps on his bones. Oh, wait…

  4. Spike falls in love with Willow, not Buffy. Willow rejects him, but isn’t outright mean to him the way Buffy is. Xander has fits over the whole situation.

  5. The magick as crack storyline never happens.

6)The SG actually gives a damn that Spike got his soul back. Even Giles.

First of all, there can be more than one Slayer. There’s about a dozen of them active at any one time. Old ones do not have to die to activate new ones, which loses some of the “doomed to die young” angst, but a Slayer’s life is still brutally short. There have been times when the entire Slayer line has been wiped out, and it was decades before the Watcher’s Council was able to build their strength back up.

Changes, broken down by season:

Season One:
Season One is a full season, not a stunted mid-season replacement. Buffy is still a newly-transfered sophmore, but she doesn’t know she’s a Slayer in the first episode.

Buffy doesn’t die. What with there already being other Slayers, her death isn’t needed as an excuse to bring in Kendra, and later Faith.

Season Two:
Get rid of Acathla: he was too much like the Judge. Since he’s basically just a McGuffin, have Angel trying to destroy the world by opening the Hellmouth, just like the Master was trying to do. Also cuts down on the “How many ancient apocalyptic artifacts of evil can be in one town?” factor. And, since it’s a Hellmouth, Angel ending up in Hell makes more sense. Since it’s a permanent gateway, Angel finding his way back through it next season makes more sense, too.

Season three:
Xander loses an eye now, not later. It happens during graduation, and it happens because Buffy is forced to choose between him and something else, and chooses something else. Possibly Angel. Feeling betrayed, he leaves Sunnydale to join the army, which accepts him despite the fact that having only one eye probably disqualifies you from military service.

Season four:
Because of the incredibly public events* of last season, it is now generally known among the inhabitants of Sunnydale that Buffy is a superhero. Among other things, she receives aid from the police, although the police are still mind-bogglingly incompetant.

Oz still leaves the show so Willow can fall in love with Tara, but he comes back next year with his own spin-off.

In the last act of “Hush”, Buffy finally meets one of those mysterious commandos face-to-face: it’s not Riley, it’s Bitter, One-Eyed Xander! Over the course of the season, he re-learns to trust Buffy and the Scoobies, falls in love with Anya, reconciles with Willow, recognizes the corruption of the Iniative, and gives Spike lots and lots of electric shocks. (Bitter One-Eyed Xander is in the show from the first episode of the season, but he avoids earlier contact with Buffy. Because of the Bitterness.)

All instances of Buffy boinking Riley are replaced with Buffy boinking her hunky contact in the Sunnydale PD. Until Xander gets back to his old self, he serves as the “sarcastic observational humor guy” so needed to make the chemistry of the show work. Once Xander gets over the Bitterness, PD guy buys the farm, to clear the way for later Spuffiness. Maybe he survives into next season. (Unless his character turns out really cool: then he gets his own spin-off. Everyone gets a spin-off. And all the spin-offs are really, really good.)

Season Five: Following the failure of the Initiative, but faced with rising supernatural threats, the government contacts Buffy directly, and offers to support her in her efforts against demons and their ilk. Basically, this is an alternative information source to Giles and his endless supply of musty old books. Plus, they’re good for the occasional loan of a rocket launcher, and they also keep Useful, Heavily Armed Xander supplyed with bullets and hand grenades. After Joyce kicks it, they pay Buffy a modest stipend to keep her out of the Double Meat Palace. They buy up the land Sunnydale High was on and the surrounding neighbor hood, tear it all down, and build a small military complex on it, including a twenty ton steel-reinforced concrete block sitting right on top of the Hellmouth.

Glory is still Glory, but instead of occasionally turning into Ben, she occasionally turns into a forty-story tall writhing pillar of flesh.

Giles leaves the show at the end of the season, but goes directly into Ripper, where he cleans up the Watcher’s Council and transforms it from a corrupt beauracracy into a lean, mean, evil-fightin’ machine.

Buffy doesn’t die.

Season Six: Having killed a God, Buffy comes to personal attention of the Powers that Be, and becomes involved with extra-planar intrigues and the universal war between good and evil. She doesn’t go traipsing off to Pylea every other episode; more like more gods (hell and otherwise) become interested in Sunnydale.

Communication and travel with these beings is fascilitated by Dawn’s mystical Key powers.

At this point, Buffy is essentially a warlord in a vast invisibile war, and Sunnydale is her territory. Other “warlords” such as Angel in L.A., and Oz up in Oregon (or wherever the hell his show is set. Probably somewhere woodsy.), vie for influence and power with each other. Obviously, Angel and Oz are allies with Buffy, but other territories are held by powerful vampires, demon kingpins, etc. The “big bad” requires Buffy to be diplomatic and politic, not just punch things real hard. Of course, there’re constant turf wars and skirmishes, so the show still has plenty action. This has been building up since they left high school, but this season it really comes to the fore of the plot.

Xander doesn’t leave Anya at the altar, but he still leaves her. Then she leaves the show. She does not get a spin-off.

The Geek Trio is still around, but Warren doesn’t make it past mid-season. After meddling in the Slayer’s affairs several times, Willow (who has been delving a little too deeply into the dark magics) suggests harsher reprisals, but Buffy holds back. Warren gets Tara killed, Willow kills warren and breaks with Buffy, blaming her for being “too soft.” She decides to set herself up as a warlord in her own right, but turns to darker and darker powers to secure her territory (which is some subsection of Sunnydale) Eventually, she goes entirely Dark Willow, challenges Buffy for control of Sunnydale, and gets an ass whupping from Guest-Starring Giles. The finale plays out more or less the same, except instead of the Random Evil Temple that Willow calls out of the Earth, she busts in on the military base, whups soldier ass, then gets the breaky crayon story and repents of her wickedness.

Season Seven: Basically the same story line, but better done. Obviously, there’s no re-built highschool. Willow’s attempt to open the Hellmouth last season damaged the seal that had been put on it, and all sorts of bizarre phenomenon happen to the army guys. Eventually, they all get turned into bringers except for a few minor characters who escape and join up with Buffy. Vampires and other demons are drawn to the awakening Hellmouth, turning the bunker into the First Evil’s fortress. The season finale takes place here, probably plays out much like season four, only bigger. By season’s end, Sunnydale has lost all pretense of normalcy, and is basically an armed camp of refugees surrounded by rampaging demons.

Since British shows never run more than a series or two, Giles rejoins the cast after Ripper ends with the dynamiting of the Watcher’s Council.

Instead of Slayers in Training, all the other Slayers world-wide start gathering in Sunnydale. Some of them are still in training (but semi-super powered) others have been fighting longer than Buffy. So they’re actually useful in a fight. Also, they’re not as likely to follow Buffy’s orders, leading to further plot convolution. Kennedy is played by someone else, and is better written. And Xander gets a Slayer too. Let’s make this as Freudian as possible. Oo, Xander’s Slayer girlfriend is the girl who only speaks Chinese! Much hilarity ensues.

Caleb is still in it, and think how bad ass he would be if he’d just slaughtered two full-fledged Slayers!

Buffy is essentially a military leader, with multiple squads of trained warriors, and acts like one: recon, feints, tactics, etc. She has the Slayers, Spike, Faith (after she does her stint on Angel, and before she gets her own spin-off) the Scooby gang, the more competent Sunnydale cops, and a bunch military guys left over from the bunker over the Hellmouth.

Buffy dies.

*I italicize this because I feel this is the point where the show first started losing it: when the mayor turns into a giant snake and attacks a graudation ceremony, of which all the participating students are expecting and fully prepared, and the next season everything goes back to normal. I always wanted the show to deal with the effects of more and more people knowing about the supernatural, and that theme informs most of the rest of my ideas.

Now ask me how I’d change the original Star Wars trilogy.

Minor changes:

Kenra kills Dru while she is waving her stupid fingers around. “Don’t try dat crap wit me vampire- I am a Slayer”. Kendra leaves to go to another hellmouth, but does come back now and then for big events.

Spike never (a) falls for the Slayer, (b) gets his soul back, © gets rid of the chip. He remains semi- allied to the Scooby gang, but never becomes the one-dimensional punching bag he ended up. He remains the true wild card he once was.

Riley doesn’t leave. He ends up more like Wesley did.

Tara doesn’t die, magic is not a drug, power is. Anya and Zander, and Willow and Tara, form the central relationships of the show.

Life is never the “Big Bad.”

Buffy stays dead after season 5.

Kenra and Faith return to take her place, and train Dawn.

I think Miller should apply for a job with ME!!
Basically everything Miller said, cause it makes sense… But Dawn would be the Key that permanently locks the Hellmouth.

And after sacrificing her sister, Buffy then steps down as leader and retires. And because she doesn’t die young - the only slayer to not die young - she realizes that she is as immortal as any vampire.

She then opens a retreat/training center/convent in the Himalayas to train slayers.

I love the Territorial Warlord concept!


Jenny Calendar

Yeah, Angelus kills her, BUT either
a) Willow in her first burst of Magick, or
b) Angelus sires her BUT she (due to her magick)
retains her soul- AND is still interested in Giles, and he in her.

Yeah, VampJenny & Giles shag.


I meant to say

a) Willow in her first burst of Magick revives her

Another minor change. I would reverse the events of seasons 5 and 6. Because after defeating a god, Buffy fights against—three geeky guys from high school? Much better to have the geeks first, and then progress to hellgods and then to the First. As it stands, the momentum is really off.

Minor change. Joyce finds out a little earlier Buffy is a slayer (not the slayer , one of many) This occurs early in season two and causes tension between the two until it comes to a boil and the end of season two.

Buffy becomes a anime-style magical girl. She requires a magical artifact to transform into her Slayer form (“Slayer powers GO!”) and instead of a Watcher she gets a cute animal mascot.

:runs away really fast:

Makes perfect sense to me, and there’s still time for that to be what actually happens in the actual series finale. I hope Joss takes note. (Of course he’s seen this. Joss is all seeing and all knowing.)

I also like audit1’s idea about Joyce. I always thought there was a lot of unexplored material about Joyce’s reaction to Buffy being the Slayer.

End of season 5: Giles dies under somewhat mysterious circumstances. This would break my heart, 'cause I love him, but it’s necessary. (I’m not sure what would happen with Joyce, here; probably be too hard on Buffy to off both of them.)

Season 6 is entirely Watcher-free, until the last episode, in which we meet Season 7’s Big Bad: Evil Vampire Giles.