Espenson draft - Triangle (most under-rated Buffy ep ever??)

Trolls, hammers and and hints of the early pre-Anya days of the Nordic nuisance. A brilliant episode with  humour, great character development and tension (Xander's anger at being in the middle of the squabbling Willow and Anya is great), Anya's love of money... One of the most under-rated eps of the entire seven seasons, I think. Also, post Avengers' Hulk, 'puny receptacle', anyone...!

And here's the outline ( a revised version of an earlier one that I don't have) and the first and third drafts, separated by a mere nine days. I'm not sure where the second one is.

Espenson writes of this episode:

‘Triangle’! Another one I like a lot. The troll was wonderful to write for. And I'm very proud of Spike's interest in the fried onion appetizer. And I love that he tries to be helpful with the location of possible babies - ‘what do you think - hospital, maybe?’

Revival Beach by The Burning Hell

Revival Beach is the latest album by Indie rock band The Burning Hell. Literate and inventive, nostalgic and great storytellers, the band have gone through a number of line ups and always have jaunty, provocative, unusual songs to sing. The current formation is the trio of Mathias Kom, founder member and the one constant in the group, Ariel Sharratt who has been a member for the last few albums and who, in addition to her musical and vocal talents, also makes some of the band’s videos. And the final member is Darren Browne, long time member and along with Kom and Sharratt these three have been touring as The Burning Hell for ages. These are joined by guest musicians on different tracks.
On a previous track, Kom sang ‘I guess I’m guilty of repetition / But I like themes and I like tradition’ and Revival Beach is chock full of many of the preoccupations, motifs, images and musical echoes that are such an integral part of their music-making. But, as with all of their albums, the sameness …

Brand Whedon and the fault line between mythos expansion and fan exploitation

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Giles is one of my favourite characters in the whole Whedonverse - erudite, awkward, brave, shy, resilient, loving and, oh yea, British he is a rich, textured, lovable, complex figure. When it was reported years ago that there might be a spin-off television series include BBC involvement and to be called Ripper, I was so excited.

As I was to hear about the new four-part mini-series from Black Horse that will feature Giles investigating disappearances at an inner city LA high school

Whedon  worked with global franchises long before Buffy aired on TV, and the Marvel brand in particular. Whedon had been involved on the X-Men film project in 1994, although very little of his input can be seen in the final movie, and then in 2004 he was given the opportunity to take over the comic book series. The first two limited seasons had run in the 1990s, and Whedon with illustrator John Cassaday took the helm between 2004 and 2008.

A review of one of the titles Whedon wrote, Ast…

Espenson drafts - Superstar

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Superstar is one of my favourite Buffy episodes. As Espenson makes clear, the idea came straight from Whedon, with the teaser pretty much fully-formed. But even so, the shifts (even subtle tiny ones from draft to draft in the teaser) demonstrate again, the writer's craft and the fraught relationship between structure, form and creativity. Even the development of the stage directions between drafts one and two relating to the opening of scene 11 (presumably to provide the production design team with as much information as possible) illustrate the attention to detail that is required to get an episode (the outcome of which seems inevitable) on air.

Espenson makes some interesting comments about it, some snippets of which are below.

There is no outline for this episode so we start with draft one

Here is draft two 

And draft three

For the shooting scripts, check out this link to Amazon and this one for Buffy's 20th Anniversary stuff

Clearly, the show is all ab…

Espenson drafts - Pangs

Image Widgets Pangs is one of my all-time episodes from the whole Mutant Enemy catalogue. Very ordinary in amny ways (none of the plot drama of Innocence or Surprise, for example, or the formal reach of Hush or Once More With Feeling, or The Body, it is an exemplary demonstration of how extraordinary Buffy is, even when it is just being normal.

The serious, if flawed, treatment of the theme; the cross-over aspect with Angel; the casual generic hybridity; the brilliant cuts from scene to scene with astonishing tonal, narratorial and character-related balancing. It is a tour de force of an experienced writer and director working together in an established franchise and creating something both thoroughly recognisable, and totally new in that franchise.

As we shall see below, Espenson has interesting things to say about its genesis and composition, but for now, here are the drafts. They are just brilliant!!

The outline is here.

First draft here

Second draft

If you'd like to pur…

Espenson drafts - The Harsh Light of Day

This is an episode I turn to with amazing regularity. It was the cornerstone of my first major keynote address at the Whedon Studies Association conference in Arkansas in 2008; the image I'm using here will, I hope, be the cover image of my new book, and the episode's importance in showing us the post-Angel Buffy and the post-Angel Buffy is staggering.

Espenson has some great insights into the ep, a couple of which I offer below.

The Outline is here 

First draft

Second draft

Third Draft

Espenson says, "You'll notice a big change in Parker between the first and second drafts –- Joss pointed out that his insincerity was too clear in the first draft, so I tried to write him more genuine after that".

and also, "This episode was another case, like ‘Superstar’, in which we wrote an extended role for an actor who had previously only had a much smaller part (Mercedes, Harmony). We gambled that she'd be able to do this and she was much better than we'd even hop…

When I was born for the 7th time – The rise of Cool Britannia and the continuation of the legacy of cruel Britannia

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When I was born for the 7th time – The rise of Cool Britannia and the continuation of the legacy of cruel Britannia

Released about a week after the death of Princess Diana, and three days after Mother Teresa’s,  When I was born for the 7th time by Cornershop found itself imbricated in a complicated British national culture. At once represented as radically changing, a post-Diana re-alignment of loyalties to royalty; an expressive, emotionally literate civil society; an artistic power house of Cool Britannia; and a modern, progressive post-imperial nation whose global ambitions centred on the benevolence of the Commonwealth, the trading strength and righteousness of the European Union, and the expanding peace-bringer of NATO; Britain was re-branding itself (and its history) for the new millennium to come.
Cornershop fitted this moment perfectly. Ironically named by its founders Tjinder and Avtar Singh, two Wolverhampton lads whose band’s name highlights the everyday r…