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S8 news from Comic-Con

25th July 2010 (01:34)

The news that Joss has named Scott Allie as co-writer on the S8 finale is currently rippling its way through fandom. After listening to a recording of his speech, I thought it would be a good idea to transcribe it - because I think there's a difference between what he actually said and the way it's being reported in some places. :-)

This is after Scott had gone through Dark Horse's upcoming plans and then introduced Joss:

"And Scott was a little self-effacing there. He is actually - beside the fact that we've worked together for twelve years and I have seen him, almost like with a razor blade to his wrists so many times because of my hilarious cavalier attitude on deadlines... [audience laughs] He, besides supporting me and guiding this whole thing, Scott is actually, this last arc that were doing, he's writing it with me.

"And he has made it so much better, because... I've been busy. And he literally came down to LA, and the two of us sat down for a couple of days just mapping out everything. Making sure everything was working, and everything was going to pay off the way we wanted it to. Emotionally, and in those tiny little details that a lot of people care about way more than emotions. [audience laughs] Yeah, you know who you are. [more laughter] Some of you are in this room.

"And so we're going to be doing that together, and I just want to thank Scott for being up and helping me. It's going to be really, really cool."

In other words, it doesn't sound like Joss has simply handed off the most important issues of the season to someone else to write, as some people apparently feared. It sounds to me more like the sort of thing that went on on the TV show all the time. Scripts were often produced by a group effort, and if an episode came up short one of the other writers might be drafted in to write an extra scene or dialogue to extend it. People who were criticising S8 for lacking this collaborative touch should be rejoicing at this news. :-)

Often the extra work on a script wouldn't necessarily be credited to the writer; but at Comic-Con Joss chose to give a public acknowledgement of the help Scott has given him, by naming him as co-writer rather than just an editor. It was a generous gesture which seems to have backfired on him a little. 
It also sounds like Scott has been nagging Joss that he can't just brush off all the details of plot and continuity in favour of emotional impact like he normally does, because the fans will hate it - and Joss has begrudgingly taken the lesson to heart this time. :-)


Posted by: woman_of_ (woman_of_)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 01:13 (UTC)
Lets Fight That Evil

Ummm! That sounds like they brainstormed it together, which, fair enough. I'm still uneasy as I still don't see Scott Allie as being the best man for the job. I guess we will just have to wait and see. After all in a brainstorming session, he could still get a few of his ideas in, which, as I covered in my post, I'm uncertain of his motivations.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 01:41 (UTC)

I think there are certainly grouds for criticising Scott - as with any other writer. But as Joss himself said, he's worked with him for twelve years, so he presumably trusts him to know what he's doing...

Posted by: William B (local_max)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 07:21 (UTC)

I didn't have access to the transcripts or the videos at the time I made my post, so I admit fully that I missed some of the tone things here. So thanks for that, and I have made a few changes to my entry accordingly to make sure my point about Scott Allie is getting across. Mostly it's about Joss, not about Scott Allie.

At any rate, if Allie is there to help with the plotting, "non-emotional" side which Joss is famously weak at, it could still end up that the dialogue, emotions and themes could still have that Jossian touch that I feel is really important for the finale. So that's of the good. Scott has been in touch with fans and what their criticisms are, and so that could also be good. My concern is that Scott Allie, as editor, has still overseen a few really weird continuity gaffes (perhaps most notably the shot of Willow being taken away by the army at the end of Retreat...um?) which may not have been, ultimately, his fault. But I still feel that's about all we have to go on right now.

Anyway. I usually try to contain my knee-jerk season eight reactions, but I didn't in this case. Thanks for keeping a level head and being a voice for calm and optimism.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 11:34 (UTC)


Scott Allie, as editor, has still overseen a few really weird continuity gaffes

He has, and they're annoying... but I'm pretty sure while the show was still on TV it had quite a few weird continuity gaffes and plots that didn't make a whole lot of sense then as well...

Posted by: helios_knight (helios_knight)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 17:08 (UTC)

Such as how in "The Initiative" Spike hits and pushes people just fine until the point he tries to bite Willow? I've heard the theory that the chip was remotely operated later but he is fairly violent with Willow directly before he tires to bite her.

That was just off the top of my head :p

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 18:00 (UTC)

That's one. And reportedly, Joss cringed when he first saw the finished episode and realised it was too late to re-shoot the escape scene...

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 26th July 2010 07:50 (UTC)
Oh Pooh! by mirasol

Funnily enough, Spike tells Buffy in Get It Done that the chip worked while he was still captured by the Initiative - before he tried biting Willow. Continuaty issues have been there since the show.

(stops walking) Here we are.

Yep, here we are. (they kneel on the ground) You think the stuff's still good?

I don't know. (digs through the dirt) Worked pretty good when the Initiative held me captive here. Every time I'd get a little...rambunctious, the chip'd kick in. I feel like my head was gonna explode. They'd dope me up, and everything would be all daffodils and teddy bears. For a couple of hours anyway.

Posted by: ceciliaj (ceciliaj)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 17:04 (UTC)
Harmony comics

Thanks for the transcript. I've stopped buying the issues, but I'm excited to consume the season as a whole, and reserve my assessments until I've done so.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 17:57 (UTC)

Only five more issues to go now...

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 20:58 (UTC)

He actually should have said that Scott "wrote it with me" rather than "is writing it with me," since Georges Jeanty reported some time ago that he already had all the scripts. The way Joss said it made some people assume he'd gotten movie blockbuster dollar signs in his eyes and lost interest in season 8, and palmed it off on Scott to finish.

The other big Buffyverse comics news was that Brian Lynch's upcoming Spike series for IDW will tie directly into season 8, explaining what Spike was up to between AtF and now, the origin of that ship, etc. The "is it canon or not?" debate is already starting up.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th July 2010 21:28 (UTC)

But he also says "We're going to be doing that" not "We did that".

My interpretation is that Joss finished the scripts, but wasn't happy with them - or maybe Scott read them and said, "Hang on, you've left X, Y and Z plot threads dangling, you'll need to clear those up." And Joss promised to revise the script, but kept putting it off due to other commitments, until Scott jumped on a plane and flew down to LA to go over it with him.

That doesn't necessarily conflict with Georges already working on the artwork, if we assume that it will mostly be dialogue changes or perhaps a new panel added here and tjhe rather han full-scale revision.

Have Brian and Joss sat down to discuss ideas for the Spike serial? Will Joss's name be on the cover? (If it is canon, I'll be happy.)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 26th July 2010 01:28 (UTC)

Have Brian and Joss sat down to discuss ideas for the Spike serial? Will Joss's name be on the cover? (If it is canon, I'll be happy.)

I don't know... but he must have at least told Brian what the ship is and what it does, which I assume will be central to the story. We also know Willow will be appearing in the Spike book, which is interesting because she seemed to recognize Spike's ship when it arrived.

I doubt Joss's name will be on the cover, but depending on how many of his ideas are in it, it could be as canonical as AtF was.

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