Anthony Stewart Head, who played Rupert Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, has said that he recently spoke to series creator Joss Whedon about the possibility of a spin-off starring his character, shortly before the multi-hyphenate began work on his current series Dollhouse.
The 55-year-old actor, in a group interview with reporters attended by Sci-Fi Wire, seemed reluctant to say that the show would go ahead, but did say that it was still actively being discussed. “I actually introduced Joss to Julie Gardner, who was the executive producer on [Merlin] with the BBC,” said Head, while promoting Merlin. “She has long wanted to do something with the project. There are obviously complications with Ripper, because there are lots of tie-ins. There’s Fox, there’s the Kuzuis [the rights holders], there’s all sorts of stuff. Basically, it isn’t just the simple question of Joss making a series that he wants to make. As far as anything concerned with Buffy, there are a lot of people down the line that would have a say.”
Head even went into detail on the proposed formats for the series, which was intended to air as a miniseries on the BBC when it was first in creative development. “Originally, when he pitched it to me, it was a series, and it was Giles as this sad, lonely man in England without a real reason to be,” Head said. “It was pretty much ghost stories. Week by week, some ghost story would somehow affect him.” When the plans for a series were relegated to the backburner however, Whedon then proposed a feature-length production. “He told me this story that he had written, and it’s absolutely beautiful, and I hope that one day it gets made, whether it’s in the guise of Ripper or whether we just tell it as a one-off TV movie. It’s a lovely, lovely story. It’s kind of a ghost story. It’s also about a man investigating his own soul, and it’s fascinating, lovely, sad, and it’s classic Joss Whedon. I hope we get to make it one day.”
As for the possibility of that actually happening, Head thinks that it’s unlikely but advises fans not to give up hope: “Now he’s back in the seat of doing a weekly series with Dollhouse; maybe he can be convinced otherwise. Never say never, but at the same time, I think it’s on a shelf for a while.”