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"Beneath You" Church Scene - Original Vs. Produced Version

Discussion in 'Sunnydale Cemetery' started by Joan the Vampire Slayer, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Joan the Vampire Slayer

    Joan the Vampire Slayer Carpe Spuffy!

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    As some of you might know, the last scene in "Beneath You" was re-written by Joss before going into production.

    This is close to being my favorite scene in the entire Buffyverse, so I think it's particularily interesting that this scene has been revised.

    Since I love analyzing and fanwanking, I think it'd be interesting to compare and contrast the different versions. They differ greatly, and I'd like to open this up for discussion for anyone that's interested.


    Here is Petrie's:


    And, Joss' version, re-written:

    (Or, the [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSwo6kkBTVU&feature=related"]video[/ame] if you'd rather review it that way)

    Now, there are many differences I find intersting between these two versions, but I want you ask you all: after reading both, which do you prefer? Who do you think Joss felt the need to re-write it?

    I like Petrie's - it's a good piece of writing - but not for Spike. I can't shake this nagging feeling that it's OOC in some way. Petrie notoriously writes Spike badly (case in point: "As You Were"). There is so much self-hatred...While I like the fact that Spike is reciting poetry in Petrie's version, strangely, I feel like Joss' is more poetic.

    Also, it's interesting to me that in Joss' version it's in the script for Buffy to cry, while that is not the case in Petrie's version.
     
  2. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Wow, those were really different.
    I like Petrie's version I do - it makes Spike sound more torn and driven to craziness by the soul - but I don't really get a true Spike feeling from it either.
    Like you said there's just too much self-hatred in there.

    Also "How ya like me now" can't really compare to "Can we rest now? Buffy, can we rest?"

    Petrie's version was all right but I can see why Joss felt the need to re-write it, just cause the tone was a hint off and Buffy felt kind of - cold? (to me at least)

    So I definitely prefer Joss' version, I always thought that was one of the best parts of s7, it's haunting and beautiful.
     
  3. xaphania

    xaphania Spike/Buffy

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    I don't like Petrie's version. I think it's poorly written and out-of-character for Spike.

    I'm so glad that they realised it wasn't working, and Joss rewrote it. It's one of my favourite and one of the most moving scenes in the series.

    There's a really great meta on this subject, here:

    Doug Petrie's "Beneath You" Church Scene
     
  4. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    I like Joss' version the best, but I would still like to have seen how Sarah and James would have done the original.
     
  5. Tranquillity

    Tranquillity I

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    Well, the Petrie one completely lacks any input from Buffy - emotinally or verbally - that is why I like Joss's version better.
     
  6. Kelsey

    Kelsey Scooby

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    I like the beginning of the original, with Spike's babbling poetry and his mention of what he's done. I also like the talk of God and religion and everything, but I don't like the reveal or the end. Buffy saying, "You have a soul now," and Spike replying, "I do, indeed" just doesn't really compare. Also, like Taake said, "How do ya like me now?" is a poor substitute for, "Can we rest now, Buffy?" And Petrie's does have a measure of coldness to it that doesn't make Spike as sympathetic. And he's also far too lucid when he's saying he did it for Buffy--though I'm sure James could have played it tortured and made it seem madder.

    Also, I always found a peotic beauty this line: "They put the spark in me, and now all it does is burn." It'd be a shame to lose it.
     
  7. Joan the Vampire Slayer

    Joan the Vampire Slayer Carpe Spuffy!

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    Yea, I'm in agreement with everyone else that Joss' version is far better. There is something cold in Petrie's version, and Buffy is written far less sympathetic towards Spike.
     
  8. dan k

    dan k Bangel Is Eternal

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    I liked the start of Petrie. "Got news for you Spike your not that nice" that's typical Buffy, i can imagine her saying that. However i don't think he writes for Spike aswell as Joss does.

    What's so great about Joss version is how remorseful Spike is and how emotional the scene is with a tear rolling down Buffy's face etc. In Petrie's however the emotion is lost on the poem which i don't really like and the How'd you like me now" just doesn't fit with what's going on.

    What Spike says in Joss version in my opinion comes across as having more meaning than what i see in Petrie's.
     
  9. Kelsey

    Kelsey Scooby

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    Petrie's is darker and more shocking, I think. The end scene would have left me feeling horrified, and probably the same with Buffy. Joss' version, on the other hand, is quietly tragic and strangely sweet.
     
    StarSlayer: Agreed! I would not have liked to see Petrie's ending. I like Joss's ending much more :)
  10. Skytteflickan88

    Skytteflickan88 Proud Spikette

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    I can't decide which one I like better. They both basically have the same message, but Joss version have a tiny bit of humour("Well, yes. Where have you been all night?") and that it's shorter with less crazy talk makes it more poignant, at least on papper. I think they both have pieces I really think should have been in the episode, and parts I care for less, so I would have liked to see JM's delivery and SMG's reaction to be able to truly compare them.

    Where did you find Petrie's version?
     
    Joan the Vampire Slayer: Someone posted the link on LJ.
  11. HisMrs

    HisMrs The Walking BED

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    Sineya
    Well said! I agree 100%. Doug Petrie's version is good, but it doesn't feel like SPIKE to me. When I read those lines, I can't imagine Spike doing and saying some of those things.
     
  12. StarSlayer

    StarSlayer Defender of Spuffy

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    I agree on both counts. Poorly written and Spike seems way out-of-character, especially for such a crucial moment in his journey. I don't get a feeling of sympathy or emotion from Spike after reading Petrie's version. Instead, I feel like it's become all a big joke to Spike. And with Buffy, I don't like how he portrays her and her actions. For instance, she goes into the church already armed and holds the stake the entire time, even after she realizes Spike has a soul. Where as in Joss's version, she picks up a stake later on, since she's not sure what Spike will do. She then lowers it after she realizes Spike does have a soul. And I think her realization is much more shocking and believable in Joss's version. From there on, everything suddenly is coming together and she's understanding what Spike's words truly mean.

    Joss's words also have such a better poetic feel and symbolic nature than Petrie's version, which makes that scene so beautiful and memorable. Referring to Spike's soul as "the spark," how it burns (which was symbolic of his relationship with Buffy), how he wanted to be the kind of "man" (rather than person as Petrie puts it) who would not hurt Buffy, and then walking up to the cross reciting what sounds like scripture (I don't think it is though, correct me if I'm wrong) - "And she shall look on him with forgiveness and everybody will forgive and love, and he will be loved."

    And the ending, with Petrie's version, I feel like that image of Spike would have scared the crap out of Buffy (and probably the audience too) rather than having her feel sympathy and empathy. But, with Joss's version, we all get that Spike truly feels guilty over everything he's done and Buffy realizes that too, which shows in her tears. And the final shot on Spike on the cross, wanting to burn for his sins since that's all he has felt since getting his soul...ugh, so heartbreaking but brilliant!

    Lol, I get very passionate about this kind of stuff if you haven't already noticed :D
     
    Joan the Vampire Slayer: Nice post! Welcome to BB, by the way! ;)
  13. NY State of Mind

    NY State of Mind Cain

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    Black Thorn
    Petrie had the right intentions but Joss cleaned up nicely and knew best for this scene...so its best he rewrote the scene
     
  14. TheChosenTwo

    TheChosenTwo A Vision of Hotliness

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    "You have a soul."
    "I do indeed"

    LMFAO.

    Petrie's version is pretty poorly written, IMO.
    The original scene is just the best.
     
  15. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Yeah I didn't like the "Got news for you Spike, you're not that nice." line.
    Maybe season 2 Buffy would've said that but come season 7... no way.
     
    Skytteflickan88: Really? Sounds like something Season 6 Buffy would say to Spike when she wanted to hurt him. Which she would, in Beneath You.
  16. dan k

    dan k Bangel Is Eternal

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    I think early on in season 7 she would have said something like that. The way she treated Spike when he came back was of one of caution and trying to separate herself from him as much as possible. That sort of sly off cuff remark from Buffy wouldn't have surprised me personally.
     
    Joan the Vampire Slayer: Yeah, I think it would have made a big difference in how Sarah played the line. I could imagine her saying that it is was sort of in a joking sort of way.
  17. Kelsey

    Kelsey Scooby

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    I keep coming back to this thread to watch it now. It's been a long time since I've seen it, and I'd almost forgotten how awesome it is. That realization that he got his soul back, the fact that he did it for her, the look on her face as he hangs onto the cross--so good!

    I do wish I could've seen Petrie's version acted out, even if it wasn't as good. I always like different takes on scenes and moments I love.
     
  18. Joan the Vampire Slayer

    Joan the Vampire Slayer Carpe Spuffy!

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    Agreed. It really is one of the best scenes between the two -maybe in the entire series. It's just so haunting and beautiful.
     
  19. TaylorSwift

    TaylorSwift The power to make amends

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    I prefer the Joss version..it's got more emotion, it's deeper and you can just see when it's Joss writing the scenes. It's always perfect.
     
  20. dan k

    dan k Bangel Is Eternal

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    Its an awesome scene, so intense, brillantly acted from both Sarah and James. I disagree with you Joan in the fact that Sarah would have said "Got news for you Spike, you're not that nice" in a jokey way. Buffy had a callous side to her nature and i could imagine her saying that before she fully understood what Spike had gone through. Like i said she was determined to keep him at arms length and making those kinds of comments was a way for her to do that. Kick him when he was down etc not allow him to hurt her again, to make sure she was the one in control.