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David Bushman and Arthur Smith – Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ review

The definitive guide to the iconic cult series is here.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: Warner Bros
Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ

Credit: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books

Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted in 1997 and almost 22 years later, the show is still as popular as it was during its initial run. A spin-off from the cult 1992 film of the same name, the series ran for seven seasons, ending in 2003. It made stars of Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green who have all gone on to do fantastic things on the big and small screen in the years since. David Bushman and Arthur Smith have collaborated to create Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ, a definitive history and guide to the much-loved TV series.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ is s comprehensive look at the series from pretty much every angle. It starts by exploring the inspiration for the characters and looks at original movie, which underperformed at the box office. Interestingly there were plans for a movie franchise but the film was badly received and that idea was quickly scrapped. From what Bushman and Smith say, it’s probably for the best as a sequel may have been set in Hong Kong and been more of a martial arts movie.

Original Buffy actress Kristy Swanson contributes to the FAQ and discusses her experiences on the film and her feelings about the TV show. She quite rightly points out that tonally the film and series were very different and there’s a hint of regret that she was never asked to play a role in the show. The Q&A with Swanson also digs into her relationship with co-star Donald Sutherland, who was rumoured to have clashed with both creator Joss Whedon and the film’s director Fran Rubel Kuzui.

Much of the book is a guide to the show. There’s extensive character descriptions taking you through all the main characters and the majority of the smaller supporting ones too. As someone who’s seen Buffy endlessly, even I had forgotten some of the characters that appeared over the seven seasons. The Big Bads are discussed and explored then the book moves into season overviews as well as an overview of the Monsters of the Week.

The continuation of Buffy in comic book form is also looked at here. Many fans may not even realise that the show did continue in this way so it’ll likely be new and interesting information. I’m pleased to see there’s a decent-sized section on spin-offs, most significantly Angel. When Buffy is talked about, Angel is often ignored but it was actually a very good series that improved as it went on. It’s still a shame that the show was cut short, ending with its fifth season.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ leaves pretty much no stone unturned. From indexes of spells to in-depth looks at the show, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes information to impress even the most clued-up Buffy fan. The book features lots of black-and-white stills from the series and it’s a surprisingly lengthy tome. With the show still gaining new fans and enjoying a new life on streaming platforms, this is the perfect gift for any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan.

Published by: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books Release date: 14th November 2017 Buy Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ

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