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Killing off a main character - always the plan?

Taake

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Was the plan from the start to kill off Doyle in season 1?

I feel like in discussions Doyle’s early death is often spoken of in connection to the actor’s real life addiction problems and thus a need to get him off the show…

… but when I was listening to Joss’ commentary on the Buffy pilot, he speaks of having wanted to put Jesse in the title sequence for the shock value of killing him off immediately, but they didn’t have the time or budget for two title sequences so it wasn’t done… then he says something like ”but I got to do that now on Angel instead” (paraphrasing), which makes it sound as though it was always the plan to remove Doyle at an early stage?

Or did they put the first victim-girl in the title sequence for the first ep? I can’t remember.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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P.S. I have no problem with the idea that Joss wanting to kill off a main character was one of those ideas looking for a home, and he kind of took the opportunity when it was presented to him.

I think Jesse could have been a true stunner. I remember Krista Starr's death in the Blade pilot, and being totally surprised. If Doyle's heroic sacrifice was intended to stun the audience, Joss loss his touch a lot earlier than we all now think.

Special shout out to Derek Reese. That's how you kill someone unexpectedly.
 

Btvs fan

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Was the plan from the start to kill off Doyle in season 1?

I feel like in discussions Doyle’s early death is often spoken of in connection to the actor’s real life addiction problems and thus a need to get him off the show…

… but when I was listening to Joss’ commentary on the Buffy pilot, he speaks of having wanted to put Jesse in the title sequence for the shock value of killing him off immediately, but they didn’t have the time or budget for two title sequences so it wasn’t done… then he says something like ”but I got to do that now on Angel instead” (paraphrasing), which makes it sound as though it was always the plan to remove Doyle at an early stage?

Or did they put the first victim-girl in the title sequence for the first ep? I can’t remember.

I think it was going to be later in the season if he was killed off. I Got You Under My Skin was originally written with Doyle in it for example.


Greenwalt on the Angel Reunion said that they probably would've brought the Actor back if he'd cleaned up.
Glenn Quinn died on 12/2/2002. S1 DVD came out in 1/2002. Any thing said about his termination prior to his death is best understood as a lie designed to protect him from being outed as an addict, in hopes he would recover and be available again for work.

Iv seen an interview from 01 where Joss Whedon is making fun of Glen Quinn and very uncomplimentary. I always took those oh JW fired him he he could get cleaned up a nice spin on it after the fact.
I think the real problem was GQ was best friends with David Boreanaz (Christian Kane said him and DB would go hang out at Glen Quinns club) and the idea of him leading there lead on a Brand new spin off down that route of drugs and turning up wasted on set would be worrying.

Otoh Nick Brendon had some pretty bad addiction problems and yet he kept his job. They simply gave a lot of his stuff to Tom Lenk instead
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Re: Addiction: Yeah, Glenn getting David hooked would basically kill the show, and probably David's career. I would imagine given both ME and WB's reliance on young actors, keeping drugs off set would be a priority.

I'm not really certain why ME or the WB would look bad for firing him. It's clear his drug problem was affecting his work. The only reason they would look bad if they fired him without an offer of rehab.
 

Plasma

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I don’t believe it was the original plan, but it just worked out. Though it was sad to lose Glenn (prior to his passing), I would actually argue that his character left a more lasting impact after his on-screen death.

His real-life passing is a tragedy, of course, but at the very least they managed to write him off in a way that was very respectful of him and his inner demons
 

Mr Trick

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I don't think it was the original plan no. Setting him up as one of the big characters of the main cast would suggest that he had a longer future than just S1. It may have been better to have given him most of S1 so the fans would have grown more attached to him by the point of the character's death. I agree he was at least given a good send off, and its impact on the other characters was sold well.

My question is did they always plan on Wesley joining the main cast? My guess is yes? I'm guessing maybe that was speeded up because of what happened with Quinn?
 

Synch

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Dunno it was the plan at least so early on. Maybe by the end of Season 1.

David Greenwalt:

Look, I totally support actors laughing and talking right up until the call of action. Except when they're laughing at their performance and their lack of professionalism. I took him into my little motor home, we were in downtown L.A., and let's say, this was around episode four of five. I said to him, 'Look me in the eye. I'm a serial killer. You're going to die. You may not come to my set not knowing your lines. A lot of these people are driving a long way here to work, and they have eighteen-hour days. They work very, very hard for a hell lot less money than you're making, and I will not stand for it. Do you understand me?' And he began to cry. So I assumed he understood me, but then of course absolutely nothing changed and we ended up killing him, heroically, in episode nine.

Slayers & Vampires page 336
 
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