AngelWhedon’s ’Angel’ Goes Down Fighting
By Rick Porter
Wednesday 19 May 2004, by cally
Whedon’s ’Angel’ Goes Down Fighting
Tuesday, May 18 03:21 PM)
By Rick Porter
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Here’s a one-line summary for Season 6 of "Angel," courtesy of series co-creator Joss Whedon:
"If you buck the system and do your best to make it collapse, what if it does?"
Unfortunately for fans of the show, Whedon’s question will remain a rhetorical one. "Angel" ends its five-season run on The WB Wednesday (May 19) as the vampire hero (David Boreanaz) and his cohorts, after a season of trying to do good from the inside of demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart, make one final stand against evil.
It won’t necessarily be pretty. "The pain of loss I felt when they cancelled the show, I’m going to share," Whedon says. That seems fitting for "Angel," which has always proceeded from a murkier emotional place than "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," from which the show spun off in 1999. As Whedon puts it, where "Buffy" was about "the getting of strength ... the acceptance of strength," "Angel" deals with atonement and the possibility of redemption.
"[It’s] really about the personal relationship with ourselves and the world, and the internal and external struggles that simply never end," he says. " ’Angel’ is a darker show. It goes to an uglier place in some ways, partially because it’s an older show in terms of the characters and the conflicts they’re dealing with.
"And partially because it doesn’t have a hero — which is a weird thing to say about my one show that actually has a very stalwart hero. It doesn’t have a character upon whom we can rest all our sympathies in the same way. [Angel] is a cut-off person, he used to be a bad guy. When it’s about atonement, you have to have someone who has something worth atoning for."
Because of that idea, the finale won’t wrap things up as neatly as "Buffy" did. "It isn’t the end of all things. It’s not a final grace note after a symphony they way ’Buffy’ was," Whedon says. "We’re definitely still in the thick of it. But it is and was meant to be the final statement about ’Angel.’ The point of the show is you’re never done, and whoever survives the show to get that point will embody it."
Whedon calls the cancellation of "Angel" — which, he says, no longer fit The WB’s financial model — a "horrible blow," one that he felt more deeply than he expected. He doubts, though, that Wednesday’s episode means the end of the Buffyverse.
He’s talking with Dark Horse Comics about reviving the "Buffy" comic-book series and making that a place where the show’s mythology lives on. He’s also had a few discussions — although nothing more than that — about a TV movie or another spinoff, which he says he’d only do if a cogent idea comes to him and he can assemble enough of the cast and crew to execute it properly. "I’d rather stop now than do anything by halves," he says.
He also says, though, that "I just don’t believe that the Buffyverse is dead."
Whedon will likely return to television at some point — he has a development deal with 20th Century Fox and says he still wants to develop new shows (although nothing is planned for the coming season). He’s also set to direct "Serenity," a feature film based on his series "Firefly" that begins shooting later this month.
And although he still believes "Angel" could have continued — "I sort of have the feeling of ’Okay, the lights are off, I better leave,’" he says — he’s confident that the series will make its final statement "in grand fashion."
"Did I make it so it could lead into an exciting sixth season? I did," he says. "But it’s still a final statement if that’s what it needs to be."
And about that hypothetical sixth season, though, Whedon has this to offer: "Next season would have been some serious chaos."