Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

US TV News

Cult Spy: The story of 'Buffy' spin-off 'Ripper' Part One

By
Cult Spy: The story of 'Buffy' spin-off 'Ripper' Part One
Following on from last week’s look at the various mooted, but never developed Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin-offs, Cult Spy runs through what we know about the upcoming Rupert Giles adventure Ripper starring Anthony Stewart Head. Unlike Slayer School and Faith The Vampire Slayer, this show is apparently moving fairly close to entering production and hitting our screens next year.

Named after a title given to Giles during his pre-librarian days as a Watcher in England, Ripper was discussed as far back as early 2001, when Head told Dreamwatch magazine that the show would be filmed in the UK and be pitched as “Cracker with ghosts”. He also stated that Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon was already underway in writing a pilot episode for the proposed series.

The following year, Head told Sci Fi Wire that the show would be a BBC production, but that Whedon’s busy diary was a cause for concern: “The main difficulty is that [Whedon] has to find someone who can run the show over here, and basically to do that, he has to find [another] him, and that's not an easy thing. He would certainly direct one or two of them, but he wouldn't be able to commit too much of his time. Although he adores England, he's needed over there [in America]. Now he's got Firefly going and Buffy still up and running… and Angel. He's got a lot of irons in the fire.”

Two irons were soon removed for good as Firefly was quickly axed, and filming finished on Buffy in 2003. Shortly after, Whedon spoke to the SciFi Channel, saying: “I wanted to do something on the BBC. We talked about a two-hour pilot… but the one conclusion I've come to, if I do something, I'll do it not as a setup, so much as a story about Giles.

“I realise that, like Angel, you can use it as a premise, perhaps, to build something about ghost stories, and that would be fine. What I'm interested in is the character that Tony [Anthony Stewart Head] plays, not some mystery he might solve. And that's sort of a paradigm shift in what I might do with it. But I'm still very invested in the Ripper story."

What Whedon annoyingly failed to address here was whether Ripper would actually take place in the pre-Buffy days, which would surely mean a fair bit of hair dye for a certain Head, or follow on from the climactic events at the end of the Buffy’s seventh and final season.

Be sure to catch next week's concluding part of the Ripper story, as we chart the progress of the proposed spin-off from early 2004, which saw the cancellation of Angel still failing to free up enough diary space for Whedon...
Enjoy the latest TV Box Sets with Sky Watch now

You May Like