One of the great things about working for a science fiction magazine, and SF/F in general, is rediscovering the things that you loved when you were younger. From Babylon 5 to Star Trek, Farscape, Andromeda, Earth: Final Conflict and many others, I’ve been lucky enough to have the chance to revisit these shows and films that, really, I spent a disproportionate amount of my childhood watching, when I probably should have been out playing in the mud, or pretending to be a soldier, or something similar.
One of the big shows of my youth was Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I first started watching it with the season one episode ‘Teacher’s Pet’, at the tender age of 11, and I was immediately hooked. This show had fighting, monsters, a pretty girl in the lead role and it was funny? Cool. Even better, my nine-year-old sister was immediately barred from watching it by my mother, who considered it too adult for her, but it was okay for me. What followed was an obsessive love affair with the series. I’d watch it every week, follow it on the nascent internet through a dodgy 33-kbps modem that could only be used when no one was using the phone, as it tied up the line, and only then for a maximum of an hour a day. As I grew older, so did the show, maturing and developing every episode. For me, it was the height of television for a while, even eclipsing Star Trek: Voyager* as my favourite show.
All good things come to an end, though, and it with was season five that Buffy and I began to drift apart. The introduction of Dawn as a new character jarred with me, and the disruption in the group dynamic that followed meant that I increasingly began to fall out of love with it. Eventually I stopped watching altogether, somewhere around the time that Willow went evil and Giles appearing in the series was a major event.
After a conversation with Samuel this morning that threatened to descend into ugly violence, where we were debating whether Oz came back for an episode in season four or five (I was wrong, it was season four), I realised that I haven’t actually watched any episodes of the show for going on five years. So, I’m going to undertake the most ambitious review project we’ve had yet on the site and watch it from start to finish, blogging as I go. If you want to watch along with me, I’ll attempt to do an episode a night, at least, starting next week.
* Yes, despite the fact that I wrote the complete guide so many of you disliked, I am actually a fan of Voyager.