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Buffy The Vampire SlayerLosing Faith is an unsettling thought for `Angel’ fan
By Melanie McFarland
Thursday 6 March 2003, by Webmaster
Woe has beset the regular travelers of the Buffyverse.
First came the official but completely expected word from UPN last week that "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" would end May 20. But if that wasn’t enough to ruin your future Tuesdays, there’s the lingering fear that the show’s low-rated spin-off, "Angel," might be dust come next fall.
Until then, our spirits are raised by the return of Faith tonight. One of two main villains in "Buffy’s" third season, the highest rated of the series’ run, Faith is best known as a reformed traitor who tried to kill the Slayer before doing penance in prison. Up and coming actress Eliza Dushku made her bad to the bone.
The rogue Slayer will be on "Angel" for three episodes before heading off to Sunnydale for a stakeout on "Buffy," currently airing in reruns. Without giving too much away, let’s just say she gains an early parole.
After May, that’s probably all we’ll see of her until more news of creator Joss Whedon’s spin-off emerges. Don’t get your hopes up for "Faith the Vampire Slayer," though. Whedon’s new show will not star Dushku, who has signed on to a drama pilot for Fox.
Too bad — and not just for Faith fans. That pilot she’s in is called "Heroine," and she’ll play a woman who can go back in time and relive a single day. Tinker with the past, and the future is irrevocably altered for better or worse. Lives are saved; others are changed.
Sounds a little too familiar. Right?
That’s because the whole traipse-back-in-time story line has been done to death. OK, so have cop, lawyer and doctor sagas, all of which TV keeps on cranking out for better or worse. But network TV has an especially iffy track record with its attempts at re-creating "Quantum Leaps." Recent contributions to the genre ("That Was Then," "Do Over," "Time Trax") tell us that time might not be on Dushku’s side.
Of course, success or failure of any new show will be determined by the writing, at least in large part. "Heroine" could end up making Dushku Fox’s biggest star. The new Jessica Alba.
Maybe sticking with Whedon and Faith, both known quantities to millions of fans, might have been the better call for Dushku.
I’m biased, of course. And I’ll bet you’ll be, too, after watching "Angel" tonight. It’s one of the better episodes in a season that’s already slapped us with a slew of surprises, a show that makes it clear Faith’s potential as a central character begs for more exploration.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.