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(Meta) Buffy - The Origin

8th July 2008 (01:57)
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As I'm sure most people know, the original 1992 movie of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' was based on Joss's script, but it saw extensive adaptation between writing and filming. Basically, they took out all the angst and serious characterisation and just left the bubbly fun parts. Then in 1998, when Season 2 of the TV series was being broadcast, Dark Horse commissioned a comicbook adaptation of the original script, which was eventually published the following year – and later reprinted in the Buffy Omnibus. This story – called 'Buffy – The Origin' has been acknowledged by Joss to be "basically canon" although he does have "some issues with it". Frustratingly, I don't know what those issues are, though I guess one would be the artwork: the vampires are often drawn as inhuman monsters with green skin, red eyes and bat-like features rather than the bumpy-foreheaded humans we're familiar with from the show.

Still, if the story is 'basically canon', that means that sticklers for accurate characterisation need to know who Jennifer and Kimberly were, and what happened to Jeffrey, what Buffy's parents' maid was called, what her relationship with her first Watcher Merrick was like, and why Lothos was more dangerous than the Master and Spike combined - because all these things were important parts of her pre-Sunnydale life… Fortunately for those people who don't like reading comics or can't get hold of them easily, I've written a transcript of the story – dialogue is Joss's, scene and action descriptions are my own. I've also interspersed my own commentary on the characterisation and events, calling attention to where they differ from the movie as filmed as well as implications for the TV show.

And for people who don't even have the patience to read the transcript, I've also included a synopsis and cast listing. :-) 

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Synopsis

Buffy and her clique of rich, snobbish friends Jennifer, Kimberly and Cassandra are hanging out and planning the school dance when she meets Pike, a bad-boy surfer dude. Pike's friend Benny is killed by vampires who are working for the powerful vampire lord Lothos, who has recently moved to Los Angeles. Lothos is 900 years old and has killed over two dozen Slayers. A mysterious man named Merrick approaches Buffy and tells her she is the Slayer. Although dubious at first, she is eventually convinced and agrees to let him train her in how to kill vampires, and to start patrolling. Merrick warns Buffy not to think of him as her friend, but a bond forms between them nevertheless. Her social life suffers due to the time this takes up; her friends complain about her neglecting them and the school counsellor thinks she's doing drugs.

Things come to a head when Pike tries to flee town and is ambushed by a whole gang of vampires including his old friend Benny. Buffy saves him, but in the ensuing fight Merrick is trapped by Lothos, who says he will turn him so he will then betray and kill his own Slayer. Merrick orders Buffy to flee then shoots himself to avoid this fate. Angry and heartbroken, Buffy quarrels with both her friends and Pike.

The school dance begins, and Buffy discovers that her former best friend Jennifer has stolen her boyfriend Jeffrey. Fortunately Pike shows up and effectively distracts her; they dance together. However, the party is also crashed by Lothos and about a hundred vampires, who have discovered that Buffy is the Slayer. There is a big fight scene; Buffy kills lots of vampires, Pike kills a fair few and so do some other people, but there are plenty of casualties. Buffy confronts Lothos, who tries to put her under thrall; Buffy shakes it off and kills him in an ingenious fashion that involves a cross and hairspray. She also makes a witty quip while doing so, thus starting a famous tradition. She rescues Pike – all the other students have either fled or been killed. She then sets fire to the school gym where the dance was being held (using a burning vampire as tinder) and locks the doors from the outside to kill them all.


Dramatis Personae

Buffy Summers, a reluctant vampire slayer
Merrick, her Watcher

Pike, a romantic male lead
Benny, Pike's friend

Kimberly, a friend of Buffy
Jennifer, another friend of Buffy
Cassandra, a friend of Buffy who's actually good at schoolwork

Jeffrey, Buffy's boyfriend
Andy, a friend of Jeffrey who thinks Buffy is hot
Grueller, a friend of Jeffrey

Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother
Buffy's father (not actually named in the comic)

Zeph, a car mechanic
Gary, a school guidance counsellor

Lothos, a 900 year old lord of vampires
Amilyn, chief servant of Lothos

Assorted vampires, students and townsfolk of Los Angeles

People who do not appear in this story at all:
Angel
Dawn Summers


Transcript

"BUFFY – THE ORIGIN"

 

Written by: Joss Whedon, Dan Brereton, Christopher Golden


EXT: DARK ALLEY, MEDIAEVAL EUROPE – NIGHT

TITLE CARD: Europe – The Dark Ages

>> This is an introduction to the Slayer mythos, but I think we're also meant to assume it's one of Buffy's dreams of past Slayers.

A VAMPIRE runs down the street, a hooded cloak half-hiding his inhuman features.

VAMPIRE
Ye'll not have me, wench!

Suddenly, a YOUNG WOMAN bursts out at him through a WINDOW.

>> They have an awful lot of plate glass for a mediaeval village.

WOMAN
Damned leech!

VAMPIRE
Noooo!

She STABS HIM through the heart with a wooden stake, and he TURNS TO DUST.

WOMAN
Ye know not to come round here. What sort of fool must ye be, to walk right into the Slayer's grasp!

But her triumph is cut short as LOTHOS walks up. He's a lord amongst other vampires, tall and ominous. At his feet capers his jester, AMILYN.

>> Lothos is never ever mentioned on the TV show, but if we accept 'The Origin' as canon, then he's a significant figure. He's killed over ten times as many Slayers as Spike, and he's older and more powerful than The Master.

LOTHOS
Actually, that sort of fool is usually called "bait".

 

>> He's also got the classic Buffyverse villain's cruel, dry humour down pat.

 

 

AMILYN
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

 

LOTHOS
Oh, and do forgive Amilyn. He tends to drool before supper.

 

WOMAN
Lothos!

She raises her stake and moves to attack him.

WOMAN
Your time is ended, vampire!

 

LOTHOS
You people will simply never learn.

He GRABS HER by the throat and in one casual motion BREAKS HER NECK.

>> Another Slayer to add to his score.

LOTHOS (CONT'D)
We can't be stopped.
(beat)
This is our world now.

CUT TO:

 

EXT: CASTLE, MEDIAEVAL EUROPE – NIGHT

PRE-LAP a conversation between a MAN and a GIRL. She sounds hesitant, he is determined.

GIRL (O.C.)
I can't.

 

MAN (O.C.)
You know you must. She died, and you are the next to be called. Why do you think you were sent?

CUT TO:

INT: CASTLE CHAMBER, MEDIAEVAL EUROPE – CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
We see the speakers. The GIRL is elaborately dressed, and about 14 or 15 years old. The MAN is elderly and dressed in robes with a cross on the front. He holds a STAKE.

>> Her age is an assumption based on the fact that she's just been Called as a Slayer.

MAN (CONT'D)
As long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer, a Chosen One. One born to hunt the darkness, to stop the spread of evil.

 

GIRL
But I'm just a girl.

He hands her the stake.

MAN
You are much more. One dies, the next is called. The next...

CUT TO:

INT: MOVIE THEATRE IN LOS ANGELES, PRESENT DAY

TITLE CARD: California – The Lite Ages

>> In the movie, the same title card appeared, but we saw Buffy cheerleading as her opening scene. This scene, in the cinema, actually came a little way further into the film.

Three TEENAGE GIRLS are sitting in seats, ignoring the movie as they chat. In the centre is BUFFY: 15, petite, blonde, pretty and bubble-headed. She's nibbling a FRENCH FRY. Her companions are KIMBERLY, a redhead, and JENNIFER, a brunette. All three girls are trendy and expensively dressed.

BUFFY
Mr Howard is so heinous. I got a C-plus on the test and he tells me..."You have no sense of history."

 

KIMBERLY
You got a C-plus? I can't believe I cheated off you.

 

BUFFY
Excuse me for not knowing about El Salvador. Like I'm ever going to Spain anyway!

 

>> So we establish that Buffy is not exactly academically gifted – although Kimberly apparently thinks she's cleverer than her, if she decided to copy her work.

Suddenly, all three girls are hit on the back of their heads by THROWN POPCORN.

JENNIFER
Hey!

 

KIMBERLY
What the—

They turn around to see the culprits. BENNY and PIKE are sitting on the seats behind them. They're grungy, surfer-punk chic. Benny has a crewcut, Pike a goatee beard and round glasses pushed up on his forehead.

>> We later see that Pike has a surfboard in his room, hence my 'surfer-punk' description here.

KIMBERLY (CONT'D)
Back off, freaks! Isn't there a hygiene rule in here?

 

PIKE
Would you guys just shut up, please?

 

BENNY
I can't believe them. We paid money to see this.

 

PIKE
No, we didn't.

 

BENNY
I still want to know what happens.

 

BUFFY
(rolling her eyes)
Everyone gets horribly killed except the blonde in the nightie... who finally kills the monster with a machete, but it's not really dead.

 

KIMBERLY
(shocked)
Is that true?

 

BUFFY
Possibly. What movie is this?

>> She may not be good at history or geography, but Buffy knows her filmography (something the TV show would prove more than once). She can guess how a cliché horror film will end even without knowing which one it is. There is, of course, also a meta-statement about the horror genre here, given that BtVS was written to subvert many of those clichés. This dialogue was dropped from the movie.

CUT TO:

EXT: OUTSIDE THE MOVIE THEATRE - NIGHT

PIKE and BENNY walk out of the theatre.

BENNY
Pike, I can't believe that chick gave away the ending like that.

 

PIKE
Benny, dude, you gotta get out more.

 

>> Pike was clued in enough to realise what Buffy just did there; Benny wasn't.

 

 

Meanwhile, three GUYS are leaning against a van. These are JEFFREY – clean-cut, blond and preppy, and Buffy's boyfriend – and his friends ANDY and GRUELLER.

 

GRUELLER
What are we waiting for, Jeffrey? The night is young, man.

 

JEFFREY
Here's what we're waiting for… there's my girl!

Buffy, Kimberly and Jennifer come out of the theatre. Buffy walks over and hugs Jeffrey.

BUFFY
Hey.

 

ANDY
Oh, man, Jeffrey… I don't mean to sound sexist or anything, but could I just borrow her for a while?

 

JEFFREY
No way, Andy. You'd just get her dirty.

 

BUFFY
(a little pissed off)
Excuse me. What was that?

 

GRUELLER
Enough of that lovey-dovey crap. Let's party!

 

JEFFREY
Grueller, if you spent more time at home, sleeping, maybe you'd spend less time on the basketball court, sucking.

 

GRUELLER
'shyeah. I'm outta here.

Grueller walks away with a casual wave.

GRUELLER
You guys don't know what you're missing! But I do…

Once he's out of sight of the others, his defiance fades.

GRUELLER (CONT'D)
…Another long and boring night of not studying.

 


>> Is it significant that the first person to walk away down a dark alley and be horribly killed by a monster is the jock, not the blonde cheerleader?

A HAND reaches out of the darkness to grab his shoulder.

GRUELLER
Yah! Don't mess with me…
Bessel? What are you doing here, punk?

 

BESSEL is a short, nerdy guy with glasses. He grins manically.

 

BESSEL
Hi, Grueller!

Grueller gets angry, and gets in his face.

GRUELLER
What are you grinning at? You think I was scared?

 

BESSEL
Could be.

 

GRUELLER
Listen, worm. I could beat your head to a pulp. You got that?

And suddenly Bessel MORPHS into a VAMPIRE, huge teeth tearing at Grueller's throat.

BESSEL
Got it.

CUT TO:

EXT: BUFFY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Buffy's parents, HANK and JOYCE SUMMERS, are about to go out, and are giving their daughter last-minute instructions.

>> Actually, the script never mentions Hank by name. That's my own extrapolation. In the movie Joyce wasn't named either (just credited as 'Buffy's Mom'), but the comic adaptation does use the name given to her by the TV show.

HANK
Joyce, we're gonna be late. I know it's a benefit, but there's still a protocol to these things.

 

JOYCE
(hurried)
We'll be back on Sunday, Buffy. Number's on the fridge don't drive the Jaguar no boys and tell Consuela my underwear does not go in the dishwasher.
Bye, dear! Kiss noise!

 

HANK
Have fun, kiddo. Stay away
from the Jag.

 

>> Is Buffy's lifelong inability to drive all because her parents wouldn't let her borrow the Jaguar when she was younger? Notice also how rich the Summers are pre-divorce – two cars, a maid… Hank Summers must have a really well-paid job. And they're leaving their 15 year old daughter alone in the house for the weekend.

 


CUT TO:

INT: BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy sits by herself in front of the TV, watching a vampire movie and eating popcorn. She's lonely and fed up.

>> This was written before the invention of Dawn, so she has no little sister to annoy her and keep her company.

BUFFY
The Jag. I know. That's the Summers family for you.
Real "quality timers".

The movie is interrupted by a news broadcast.

TV PRESENTER
…The Sheriff was not available for comment, but police have issued a statement saying the situation is not out of hand. Tonight marks the fourth such disappearance in less than two weeks—

On Buffy, picking up the REMOTE CONTROL.

TV PRESENTER (CONT'D)
…Keep you informed as information comes in—
*CLICK*

 

BUFFY
What a perfect weekend to leave the kids alone in the house.

 

>> Although speaking of Dawn, what's this reference to 'kids' plural? Foreshadowing? :-).

 


CUT TO:

EXT: HONG KONG HARBOUR – ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

TITLE CARD: Somewhere in Hong Kong: Somewhere in the 18th Century

CUT TO:INT: HONG KONG BROTHEL - NIGHT

A young CHINESE PROSTITUTE kneels on the bed and starts to remove her clothes as a EUROPEAN SAILOR tosses a couple of gold coins onto the sheet.

SAILOR
New at this, are ye, girly?

Suddenly she RUNS OUTSIDE, tears in her eyes.

PROSTITUTE
No!

 

SAILOR
What in blazes! We ain't even started yet, ye strumpet!

CUT TO:

EXT: HONG KONG ALLEY - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

As she runs through the dark streets, we hear a distorted VOICE that we may recognise as belonging to LOTHOS.

VOICE
Soon, child.

The woman turns a corner and runs into half a dozen VAMPIRES looming out of the night.

PRELAP:

INT: BUFFY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Buffy starts awake from a nightmare, the same voice echoing in her head.

VOICE (CONT'D)
Soon.

BUFFY
Oh wow oh wow oh wow!

CUT TO:

INT: LOTHOS'S LAIR BENEATH LOS ANGELES

A vast, dark cavern. In the centre is a huge rock-rimmed POOL full of BLOOD. Amilyn, Lothos's jester, leans over it – he is now dressed in more modern clothes.

>> The powerful vampire sleeping in a pool of blood not only appeared in the movie, but was recycled on the TV show for the first appearance of The Master.

AMILYN
Sleep, my master, my own... sleep... and feed.
(beat)
I have already begun building you a new family. Soon we will be legion. This place is everything you promised.
And when you rise, we'll claim it as our own.
Rubies will drip from your lips.

A CLAWED HAND emerges from the pool. Amilyn takes it and kisses it, as a servant to his master.

AMILYN (CONT'D)
Soon...

CUT TO:

EXT: DINER – ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

A traditional railway-carriage style diner, its windows lit up and a few people hanging around outside.

CASSANDRA (O.C.)
"The environment". That's good, Buffy. So, what are the most immediate threats to the world environment right now.

CUT TO:

INT: DINER – CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Four girls are sat around a table picking at salads. We recognise Buffy, Kimberly and Jennifer from before. Their companion CASSANDRA wears glasses and has a notepad and pen in front of her.

KIMBERLY
The homeless?

 

JENNIFER
I know, guys. What about the ozone layer?

 

BUFFY
Right! We gotta get rid of that!

 

KIMBERLY
Guys, I don't see why we have to invite everyone to this thing.

 

BUFFY
Kimberly, it's a school dance.

 

KIMBERLY
Can't we make exceptions? Maryanne Heinel? She's such a scud. Can't we have a Maryanne clause?

>> On the TV show Buffy compared her Hemery High self to Cordelia. However, she doesn’t rule over this group with a rod of iron: she does keep them in line and come up with ideas, but she also seems slightly more independent-minded. It's Kimberly who's the really vicious one.

As she speaks Buffy notices Pike and Benny are sitting in another booth, watching them.

BUFFY
Well, look who's here. What are you looking at, loser?

 

PIKE
(to the waitress)
We're looking at a dog, possible coffee...

He rummages in his pocket, pulls out a coin and holds it up.

PIKE (CONT'D)
It's coffee!

 

BUFFY
You guys are thrashed.

 

JENNIFER
What are you talking to them for?

 

KIMBERLY
They're drunk.

 

BENNY
What did you say?

 

PIKE
We're the drunks. What's your name?

 

BUFFY
Buffy.

 

BENNY
Figures.

 

PIKE
I'm sorry. This is Benny, my newly thawed out caveman buddy. I'm Pike.

 

BUFFY
Pike isn't a name. It's a fish.

 

BENNY
Let's go, Pike. Your dog's here anyway.

 

PIKE
Hey! You're the guys from the movie!
(stands and points)
We hate you guys!

Benny grabs his HOT DOG and waves it around in a suggestive, phallic manner.

BENNY
Hey Buffy, you hungry? I got something for you…

The other girls react with disgust, but Buffy picks up a breadknife with a determined look on her face.

JENNIFER
Eeuyy!

 

KIMBERLY
Oh, gross!

Benny grins and turns to Pike.

BENNY
Hee hee, Pike, lookit these girls. You'd think they'd never seen—

 

PIKE
Uh, Benny, man…

There's a 'shukk' sound, and Benny looks back to see that Buffy has sliced the end of his wiener clean off.
(When we say 'wiener' we're talking about his hot dog; you got that, right?)

BENNY
Hey! She wasted my dog!

Pike is highly amused.

PIKE
Bummer metaphor.

 

>> You could say that. :-) The really worrying thing is that this is presumably Buffy's first ever use of her yet-undiscovered Slayer skills – to cut the end off some guy's wiener...

 

JENNIFER
Buffy, how's you do that?

Pike and Benny walk out, just as Jeffrey and Andy come in.

ANDY
Hey, there!

 

BUFFY
Hi.

 

KIMBERLY
Hi, Jeffrey.

 

ANDY
What'cha guys doing?

 

CASSANDRA
We were talking about the dance. We need to come up with a theme.

 

JEFFREY
How about, "Our friend, the beer"?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT: ALLEY OUTSIDE THE DINER - NIGHT

Pike and Benny are walking back home through the dark streets. They're each holding a BOTTLE of BOOZE.

>> Illegal underage drinking! Don't do this yourselves, kids!

BENNY
When you get that car running, man, let's Audi. Get away from this town, those rich bitches, they're a plague, man.

 

>> 'Let's Audi' is an early example of a classic Jossism.

 

PIKE
You didn't like them?

 

BENNY
They're so stuck up, they're not even human. I hate them.

 

PIKE
But would you sleep with them?

 

BENNY
Yes. Definitely. Please God, yes.

>> The dialogue in the movie is rather cruder than this, including a reference to Buffy's breasts defying gravity. This was possibly removed from the comic because the artist depicts Buffy as looking like Sarah Michelle Gellar rather than Kristy Swanson…

As they speak they climb up a hillside into a small wooded area overlooking the city. There's a full moon overhead... and they're BEING FOLLOWED by a MAN IN A TRENCHCOAT.

PIKE
Well, there it is. You don’t even like them, and you'd sleep with them. What's up with that?

 

BENNY
News flash, Pike. Another shot of this and I'd sleep with YOU.

Pike lobs his empty bottle over the fence.

PIKE
Yeah, and then you'd never call me.

 

BENNY
I think I'm gonna ralf.

 

PIKE
Don't worry, Benny, I'm here for…here for ya…

He collapses down, slipping into a drunken stupor.

PIKE (CONT'D)
I'm here for ya, Ralf.

As he falls unconscious, suddenly Benny is GRABBED by a VAMPIRE'S CLAW. It's Amilyn.

BENNY
Aaaah!

 

MAN IN TRENCHCOAT
No!

The figure who's been following them suddenly tears off his trenchcoat, to reveal a powerfully-built older man with a moustache, dressed in a business suit and holding a STAKE. This is MERRICK.

AMILYN
Ralf, is it? Let's have some fun, Ralf.

 

BENNY
Huhuhuhuh.

 

AMILYN
You're gonna looove this.

Merrick dashes over to save him, but he's too late. Amilyn grabs Benny and leaps over the fence down the cliff, where no normal human could follow and live.

>> In the film, Amilyn could fly. The comic sticks with TV Buffyverse canon, and he just jumps a long distance.

BENNY
Nooooo!

 

MERRICK
Damn.

 

CUT TO:

EXT: OUTSIDE HEMERY HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

It's the end of another school day, and Buffy, Jennifer, Kimberly and Cassandra are walking out the door. Buffy is sucking a lollipop. Merrick stands in the background watching them.

>> And this was the scene that appeared in 'Becoming Part 1', with some changes to the dialogue. Note that in the comic, there's no Angel lurking in a creepy stalker-like fashion in a car across the street.

>> As far as I can work out, the writing of 'The Origin' was started during the broadcast of Season 2 – so before 'Becoming' was aired – but not finished until Season 3 had started. That means I'm unsure if the comic was later altered to match the broadcast scene. The dialogue doesn't exactly match, and Merrick looks a bit different, so I'm guessing this scene was already being written when 'Becoming' was shown, and it's based on the original script. In the movie Merrick first approaches Buffy during cheerleading practice inside the gym, so it's a very different scene.

BUFFY
So, I'm like, "Dad, you want me to go to the dance in an outfit I've already worn? Why do you hate me?"

 

CASSANDRA
Is Tyler taking you?

 

BUFFY
Oh my God, where were you when I got over Tyler? He's of the past. Tyler would have to crawl on his hands and knees to get me to go to the dance with him.

 

KIMBERLY
Plus, y'know… Jeffrey.

 

CASSANDRA
Please. Who'd pick Tyler over Jeffrey? Not this without-a-date-for-the-dance girl.

 

BUFFY
Actually, I told Jeffrey I'd wait for practice to end, so I'm gonna wait.

 

>> The line saying that Tyler actually was going to crawl on his hands and knees to her after class in 'Becoming' was funnier than this. But Tyler doesn't appear in the comic at all. Neither does Scott Hope, incidentally.

Buffy sits down on the steps as the others walk off.

KIMBERLY
Bye, Buffy.

 

CASSANDRA
See you. Don't forget our study date tonight.

Once they've gone, Merrick approaches her.

MERRICK
Buffy Summers. I need to speak to you.

 

BUFFY
Hi, what? You're not from Macy's, are you? 'Cause I meant to pay for that lipstick.

 

>> When the monks made Dawn out of Buffy, they obviously passed on her kleptomania.

MERRICK
There isn't much time. You must come with me. Your destiny awaits.

 

BUFFY
(what?)
I don't have a destiny. I'm destiny-free, really.

 

MERRICK
Yes, you have. You are the Chosen One. You alone can stop them.

 

BUFFY
Who?

 

MERRICK
The vampires.

A really long beat.

BUFFY
Huh?

MERRICK
My name is Merrick. I was sent to find you some time ago, but there were… complications. You should have been taught, prepared. Now you must come with me to the cemetery while there's still time.

 

BUFFY
Let me get this straight. You're, like, some kind of maniac, and I have to go to the cemetery with you 'cause I'm chosen and there are vampires?

 

MERRICK
Yes.

 

BUFFY
Does Elvis talk to you? Tell you to do things? Do you see spots?

She starts to walk away.

BUFFY (CONT'D)
Just stay away from me, okay?

 

>> The business with the Slayers' birthmark (the 'hairy mole club') isn't mentioned in the comic at all.

MERRICK
Did you ever dream that you were someone else?

 

BUFFY
(dismissive)
Everybody does.

 

MERRICK
In the past. A girl. Maybe… a Magyar peasant. An Indian princess, a prostitute in China.

>> This is something that appears in other canon sources, like 'Fray' and 'The Chain', as well as the movie (and arguably in the Angel episode 'Damage'); but I don't think the TV show ever mentioned it. Buffy remembers the past lives of other Slayers through her dreams.

That gets through to her.

BUFFY
God, I never told anyone about that. What is this, like, channelling or something?

 

MERRICK
It's you, Buffy. Your dreams are merely your own self trying to remind you who you are. And to warn you, perhaps, of the great evil rising there. Is there a common thread in these dreams? Something that occurs in all of them?

 

BUFFY
I'm always fighting… killing these monsters… and… okay, this is weird, in all the dreams I'm a different person, but the monsters, the vampires, all call me the same thing.

 

MERRICK
"Slayer."

 

BUFFY
God, it's all true, isn't it? This is not my day.


CUT TO:

INT: LOTHOS'S LAIR BENEATH LOS ANGELES - LATER

It may not be Buffy's day, but it's definitely not this GIRL'S night. She's lying on the floor of the cavern, and looming over her are Lothos and Amilyn.

>> At first I assumed this was Cassandra, the girl whom Buffy was meant to have a study date with. It is Cassandra in the movie. Also, she never appears again, and we learn later that she was killed by vampires, so it would be logical that it's her now. But this girl is drawn differently – so it's either someone else, or it was meant to be Cassandra and the artist made a mistake.

AMILYN
Sleep well?

 

GIRL (WHO IS POSSIBLY CASSANDRA)
What do you want? What are you?

 

LOTHOS
Are we so strange? So alien to you? I've seen this culture, the greed, the waste… It's heartwarming. The perfect place to spread my empire.
(beat)
What are we? We are man, perfected. We exist to consume.

 

>> He sounds like a cross between The Master and Nwabudike Morgan from 'Alpha Centauri'. This vampire philosophising and implied criticism of modern American society was obviously dropped from the movie – far too serious.

 

GIRL
Listen, you don't want me. You want bodies, I'll help you. I swear to God.

Wrong thing to say. Lothos VAMPS OUT, grabs her by the neck and HURLS her against a rock column.

LOTHOS
I do wish you wouldn't mention HIM.

CUT TO:

EXT: GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy and Merrick walk through the dark, spooky graveyard. The moon is starting to rise, and the sky is still red-tinged from sunset.

MERRICK
Why didn't you tell anyone about your dreams?

 

BUFFY
Yeah, GREAT idea, tell everyone I'm crazy. Why not tell them I'm addicted to crack while I'm at it?

 

>> Fitting this remark into the continuity established by 'Normal Again' is left as an exercise for the reader.

 

They arrive at a freshly-filled grave.

BUFFY (CONT'D)
I can't believe I flaked on Cassandra like that, to follow you to a graveyard to hunt vampires. This is so mental.

 

MERRICK
It's right around here.

 

>> The whole business in the movie with Buffy getting menstrual cramps whenever vampires come near her is never mentioned in the comic. It would have made her relationships with Angel and Spike unpleasant, I imagine.

 

On the GRAVESTONE. It reads "Robert Berman 1972-1990 God is at his heels"

MERRICK (CONT'D)
Robert Berman was killed three days ago. His body was found out by the canal. There was extensive tissue damage, tearing at his neck and shoulders. The coroner's chalked it off to a dog attack.

 

BUFFY
That's pleasant. Now what do we do?

Merrick hands her a CROSS and a STAKE.

BUFFY (CONT'D)
Well, JUST a minute.

 

MERRICK
Just for protection. You won't have to do anything. I just need you to watch.

He squats down next to the grave in a hunter's crouch.

MERRICK (CONT'D)
Now we just wait.

 

BUFFY
For what?

 

MERRICK
For Robert to wake up.

 

BUFFY
Whatever. You got any gum?

FADE THROUGH BLACK

It's much later: the sky is fully dark and the moon is up.

BUFFY
You know, before the sun went completely down, I didn't realise this could get any lamer than it already is…

There's a low groaning sound.

BUFFY (CONT'D)
Please. I'm just as bored as you are…

 

MERRICK
Buffy! Look alive!

The groaning continues, and now there's a skritching sound too.

BUFFY
Oh, wow! What was that?

 

MERRICK
(dramatic)
Witness, Buffy… the dead, now UNDEAD!

 

>> Merrick can be a big old drama queen sometimes. Donald Sutherland would be proud.

 


And a clawed HAND emerges from the earth of the GRAVE.

Buffy grabs her stake and staggers back as ROBERT, now a vampire, lunges for her. Behind him, Merrick rushes in, raising his own stake to strike. But then ANOTHER VAMPIRE - a female one – emerges from the earth and grabs Buffy's ankle.

BUFFY
Aaaah! Oh my God! Get it off me!

Merrick is distracted, and Robert lays him out with one punch. The female vampire is now grappling Buffy, who in desperation presses her CROSS against the vampire's face.

BUFFY
You're invading my personal bubble!

The female vampire screams in pain… but Buffy sees her companion is about to tear out Merrick's throat. Without hesitation, she STAKES HIM, and he turns to dust.

>> Slayer instincts take over in an emergency. In 'Lessons' Buffy told Dawn she "missed the heart first time", but that's not shown here. In the flashback in 'Becoming' she does, though – although there's only one vampire there.

MERRICK
Where's the other one?

 

BUFFY
She was…

Actually, she's right now leaping for Buffy's neck…

FEMALE VAMPIRE
Die!

But Buffy whirls around and instinctively stakes her right through the heart. Two vampires dusted.

>> Go Buffy!

CUT TO:

EXT: BUFFY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Buffy and Merrick stand outside the house, talking.

MERRICK
Go to school tomorrow. Try to act normal. Don't talk about any of this, to anyone.

He puts an arm around her shoulders.

MERRICK (CONT'D)
This is important. When the vampires find out who you are, you won't be hunting THEM anymore.

 

>> In the TV show, the need for the Slayer to maintain a secret identity is only paid lip service – Buffy doesn't care and Giles lets it slide. It's implied that the only reason Buffy keeps it secret is because other people would think she was crazy. However at this point Merrick has a deadly serious reason for secrecy. It appears that Lothos has been hunting down and killing Slayers for centuries, for sport. By killing him, Buffy will become the first Slayer for generations to have a chance at a normal life.

 

 

BUFFY
I get it.

Merrick hands her his CARD.

MERRICK
Meet me at this address after school.

 

BUFFY
I have cheerleading practice.

 

MERRICK
Skip it.

 

BUFFY
Merrick. They can't come in, right? Unless you invite them. Is that true?

 

MERRICK
It's true. Now get some sleep, Slayer.

FADE TO BLACK

END OF ACT ONE

Continue to next act 

Comments

Posted by: araceli (mana1023)
Posted at: 8th July 2008 02:06 (UTC)

You are so awesome to do this for everyone. :)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 8th July 2008 02:58 (UTC)
puffy

Thank you.

Also, another person who apparently never appears in this story: William Fordham.

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