• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Hot Topic: If Dawn had been on the show since episode 1?

Buffy Summers

Yataro
Staff member
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
33,062
Location
The City of Angels
Sineya
Would BtVS have been more interesting if Dawn had been a character from Day 1, and Buffy had always had a sister, but we then find out in Season 5 that she isn't real (and then we find out about her being the key, the monks creating her etc)? Might Dawn have been a more well liked character by the fandom if she had always been Buffy's sister?
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Hmm! Interesting thought

Bluebird

two by two, hands of blue
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
6,416
Black Thorn
I think Dawn would have been better recieved as a character if she'd been there from the beginning, without the Scrappy Doo effect. But I don't think Buffy's loneliness and disconnect from her parents would have resonated as well. I liked her being a sister in the later seasons, and I liked her being an only child in the earlier seasons.
 

DarkLordsHaunt

Max the Vampire Slayer
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
255
Location
USA
Sineya
I've thought about this a lot.
I feel like more people would've probably liked her (or at least tolerated her) better, but I also feel like there would of course be many who still didn't like her.
I think Dawn not coming into the show until Season 5 was good. I'm a big Dawn fan but I still enjoy being able to watch episodes from earlier seasons without her in it - less drama that involves her and there wasn't really a place for her in earlier seasons. She probably would've been much more in the way of things then.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,943
Black Thorn
Would BtVS have been more interesting if Dawn had been a character from Day 1, and Buffy had always had a sister, but we then find out in Season 5 that she isn't real (and then we find out about her being the key, the monks creating her etc)? Might Dawn have been a more well liked character by the fandom if she had always been Buffy's sister?
No. She would be worse and it would have ruined the show. You could not spend 78 hours being invested in a character only to find out it was an illusion. Especially in that day and age. People would have lost their minds and not in a good way.

It would have completely altered the way fans saw and thought of the character and the show. It would have created doubt as to everything else you seen and what was 'real' or not. That's why there are a core people than lambast Normal Again. So just imagine Normal Again spanned 78 hours instead of one.
 
cryptwarmer
cryptwarmer
the way she was brought it caused that anyway.

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,808
Age
36
I like it the way it is now. Because as @Mr. Pole said it'd be infuriating to be invested in a character only to realize she isn't real. I like the WTF-ness of the first five episodes and trying to guess where the hell did this Dawn character come from. Though I would have prefered seeing flashbacks of Dawn being inserted in scenes from canon like her being infatuated with Xander in BB&B and her admiring Ted like the rest of the characters in Ted.
 

Riderofapocalypse

Potential
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
347
Location
Ontario, Canada
i believe it would be very interesting if Dawn was included since season 1, and her past was discovered in S5 and all that. As for well liked, maybe? Maybe the younger siblings could relate to her? Hard to tell, since (i believe) they did a good job depicting Dawn to be the bratty younger sibling since her introduction. What would be so different from how they illustrated Dawn, to how she would be shown as a younger kid?

I could see the show being more relate-able if it did shown more interactions between young Dawn and Buffy/Joyce. But that's really it.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
I always thought that she had the personality of a whiny, spoiled, six year old, so, if she had been in the show from the beginning, and growing up gradually over the following six years more believable. It might have made her character change into a fairly mature, responsible teenager in Season 7 more understandable.

Also, if there could have been the beginnings of a bond between her and Spike as early as Season 2, developing very slowly over that time (maybe he could have kept Angelus from making her a midnight snack for some reason, and became Dawn's "secret friend") but which none of the others would discover until Spike became chipped. That would, to me, at least, have been a better reason for Buffy to help Spike than what they actually wound up using.
 

Athena

The original one-eyed chicklet
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,530
Location
UK
Black Thorn
I think the show would have been bettered by Dawn being there from Season 1. That way, not only do we have an established character as Buffy's sister, but we can actually care about this character before her true existence as the key is revealed in S5. Rather than the history of the show being altered due to the monks creating Dawn, the history on screen is canon and based on Dawn always existing as part of the Buffyverse, rather than us speculating what life with Dawn as Buffy's sister could have been in those earlier seasons.

Sure, it'd mean the audience would re-evaluate how they see Dawn, but she is still Buffy's sister, just as she is in S6-7. She'll always be the annoying kid sister, but she'll have purpose that the character would otherwise not have, plus an established history.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,987
Age
30
Also, if there could have been the beginnings of a bond between her and Spike as early as Season 2, developing very slowly over that time (maybe he could have kept Angelus from making her a midnight snack for some reason, and became Dawn's "secret friend") but which none of the others would discover until Spike became chipped. That would, to me, at least, have been a better reason for Buffy to help Spike than what they actually wound up using.
The only way I could see season 2 Spike spending time with Dawn is if Angelus or Drusilla had brought her back to the lair to use as bait for Buffy and, since Spike was in a wheelchair at the time, he was constantly put on guard/babysitting duty. Young Dawn would talk to him and try to make friends (not understanding that she was a hostage) and gradually she'd get under Spike's skin enough that he'd feel a need to protect her. Though equally I could see young Dawn making a connection with Drusilla over Drusilla's dolls and playing with her then Drusilla feeling possessive over Dawn.
 

Lyri

Buckle Up Tight
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Messages
12,230
Age
36
Location
Monaco
Sineya
I sort of agree with @Mr. Pole on this and this question makes me think about that thread we had a while ago - or maybe it was a discussion within another thread - about whether or not Dawn should have vanished after being 'used up' in 'The Gift' and no one remembered her. I said then that I would have been annoyed at the idea of getting to know a character for 22 episodes, only to have to continue with the show like she was never there at all. It bugged me when they did it with Connor and it would definitely bug me if they did it with Dawn.

But this is sort of making me feel that same level of annoyance. Getting to know a character and actor over four seasons only to be told that she wasn't real. Because, at that point, she IS real. The reason Dawn makes such a big impact in S5 is because the characters act like she was there all along when we know she wasn't. Introducing her in the first ep and then saying 5 years later, actually, she's a energy construct we sent to the Slayer to protect, it just doesn't work, because she was there that whole time so there's nothing for the audience to wonder about. Expect for the fact that we'd be left wondering if everything else was fabricated by the monks so that Buffy was able to look after Dawn, including her Calling and moving to Sunnydale. It makes no sense and would have just upset people.

If Dawn had been around from the start, her whole story line would have had to change. There would be no Key factor, she would have to be a normal girl who just happened to be the younger sister of the current Slayer. I think they might have made her a little closer to Buffy's age, maybe a year or so apart, rather than 5, and used that to introduce some angst. Maybe she gets sired, maybe she tries to be like her sister and goes out on patrol and gets herself killed and turned and Buffy has to wrestle with that. Maybe giving her a soul would have been Willow's first big spell instead of re-ensouling Angelus. There's a lot they could have done with it, but I don't think there is any possible way for Dawn to have been the Key if she was there from the beginning.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,987
Age
30
Maybe they could've referenced Dawn but she was constantly offscreen? eg. "Where's your sister?"

"She's at school"
"She's out"
"She's at a friend's house"

I don't think Dawn would've worked in season 1 because the monks hadn't made the key yet. They had no need of a key. However, it would've been nice if we had seen some retroactive memories so as @sosa lola said flashbacks to earlier seasons but with Dawn inserted into them.
 

Guy

Scooby
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
1,361
Age
30
Location
Israel
Black Thorn
Nope. I mean, maybe FANS would have liked her more, but I sure wouldn't. Dawn is perfect as she is. Dawn's creation was supposed to be about making fun of the "Remember The New Guy" trope, where a new character appears and everyone talks about him/her like he/she was always there (Like Ford in 'Lie To Me'). You can't have that if she was there from season 1. She was also supposed to replace Joyce as Buffy's main familial bond (which is a big part of Buffy's coming-of-age story - from Joyce's child to Dawn's parent), and having Dawn there from season 1 would also ruin that. And the whole WTF quality of Dawn's first apearances was just too entertaining to give up, for me.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
If Dawn had been around from the start, her whole story line would have had to change. There would be no Key factor, she would have to be a normal girl who just happened to be the younger sister of the current Slayer.
Not necessarily. Instead of having the monks create Dawn out of, apparently, thin air, then altering everyone's memories to include her, they could have them simply infuse the Key's energy into Dawn, much like Illyria was infused into Fred, but without the destructive results or major character change. The Key would become part of a preexisting being (Dawn) so no background story would have to be fabricated. If it were kept dormant until the time that it could be used by Glory in her spell, no one, not even Dawn, would have to know that it was even there until the last moment. It could all be revealed just 1 or 2 episodes prior to the finale. Better yet, Glory could know all along, but no one else would. Everyone would think that she was trying to attack or subdue Buffy, so that she wouldn't interfere with Glory's plan, until Glory finally reveals the truth by grabbing Dawn.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
7,236
Age
32
Location
Denmark
Black Thorn
I honestly think it would have been more interesting that way, because the audience would have been a lot more invested in Dawn than in canon and the shock would be unimaginable, talked about for years to come, seriously.

I felt like, when the reveal happened, I didn't really care enough about Dawn and my feelings on the matter were all revolving around Buffy and how she was dealing with it. Which, in hindsight, feels sucky for a girl who has become a favorite of mine from the show.

So, yeah, I would have preferred that Dawn had been around since the pilot (though of course, had she been, the Key storyline may never have come about, so it's a moot point ;))
 

Somecallmejames

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
19
Age
20
If Dawn had been in Buffy since season 1, then I never would have would have made it past season 1. Dawn is the most annoying character ever (say what you will about Kennedy, at least she was only in 1 season) and is what caused BVTS to lose it's quality (as without Dawn, season 5 would have been as good as sessons 1-4).
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I would argue the twist is not that Dawn is a construct. The twist is that Dawn is not malicious or dangerous. This twist comes after Buffy assaults and threatens Dawn, and I think it is pretty powerful. It may not have worked if Dawn had been around from the beginning.

I am not sure how Dawn would have worked in the early seasons. Michelle is a great actor and would have deserved a fairly big role. It would have required quite a bit of rewrite to fit her in.

Buffy is a show about teenagers, so it made sense to bring in Dawn after the characters got older, but did the show need a kid? Dawn would have been around 10 in s1.
 
Top Bottom