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Old November 22 2011, 03:42 AM   #1
Joe Washington
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Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

How would the rest of Buffy Season 6 and Season 7 had gone down if Tara hadn’t died from the gunshot wound but was injured enough by it to be put in a temporary coma? Would Willow have still gone dark if that was the case? Would Tara, after waking up from her coma, have forgiven Willow for her rampage?
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Old November 22 2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

Tara not dying and being in a coma would significantly alter the tone of season seven and affect not just Willow but Buffy as well who felt a significant amount of guilt over what happened to Tara. I would suggest that Tara would find it extremely hard to forgive Willow if Willow still went full blown Dark Willow out of grief and rage. Also if Willow did go Dark Willow, then it would have to be made clear at the start of the season that Tara is in a deep coma and that it is unlikely she would recover. If we would follow this alternate scenario then I would have her wake up around mid-season and then have follow up. I don't like this suggestion though because it drastically alters season seven and not just for Willow and Tara.
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Old November 23 2011, 02:40 AM   #3
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

It's just that I hated when Tara got killed off like that for the sake of shocking the audience which Joss admitted as the reason behind her death. She could have done so much more and Willow hooking up with Kennedy in Season 7 just doesn't seem realistic to me after Willow lost the love of her life.
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Old November 23 2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

Meh. Joss didn't always make fan pleasing decisions and he always does something bad to characters he loves writing, and I believe he stated Tara was one of his favourites. I didn't find Kennedy remotely as bad as the fans did, and that was kind of the point of her. She wasn't Tara. She was someone different. Willow was trying to move on from Tara, the love of her life, she was never going to find someone to match her...or live up to her expectations of Tara either. That's kind of why I liked her and Kennedy so much...but it's okay since the issue of these two is brought up and dealt with in Buffy Season Eight.
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Old November 24 2011, 06:51 AM   #5
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

Joe Washington wrote: View Post
How would the rest of Buffy Season 6 and Season 7 had gone down if Tara hadn’t died from the gunshot wound but was injured enough by it to be put in a temporary coma? Would Willow have still gone dark if that was the case? Would Tara, after waking up from her coma, have forgiven Willow for her rampage?
Willow would have used every means - and she sure had a lot of magical means at her disposal - to wake Tara up from her coma. Willow wanted to resurrect Tara, but she was told in no uncertain terms that it wasn't possible since Tara's death wasn't magical like Buffy's. I can't see Willow going dark and going on a rampage if Tara hadn't actually died.

I think Joss felt bad for killing off Tara, since he even contemplated the cheesiest scenario in the world to bring her back for a feel-good happy ending in season 7 (Buffy gets to have just one wish and spends an episode thinking what to do and then... urgh, that's too much cheese for me even to end the sentence ), which is something he normally never does. Fortunately, he finally decided not to do it. He was probably only tempted because he really loved the character of Tara, and I've heard somewhere that Willow/Tara was based on a couple he knew.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that Joss always planned for Willow to go dark, or at least for a very long time. So if Seth Green had stayed on the show and Tara hadn't been introduced, Oz would have probably be killed at some point with the same result.
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Old November 24 2011, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

I think Joss at SDCC this summer basically said he did regret killing Tara off. The fact that he didn't "undo" it speaks volumes of the impact it had on the characters story telling wise.
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Old November 24 2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

I think Willow's reaction when Glory brainsucks Tara gives you the answer. And I think if the rest of the Scoobs could forgive her and Kennedy could still be with her after seeing what she'd done then Tara could certainly forgive her
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Old November 25 2011, 09:02 PM   #8
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

[QUOTE=DevilEyes;5366493]
Joe Washington wrote: View Post

I think Joss felt bad for killing off Tara, since he even contemplated the cheesiest scenario in the world to bring her back for a feel-good happy ending in season 7 (Buffy gets to have just one wish and spends an episode thinking what to do and then... urgh, that's too much cheese for me even to end the sentence ), which is something he normally never does. Fortunately, he finally decided not to do it. He was probably only tempted because he really loved the character of Tara, and I've heard somewhere that Willow/Tara was based on a couple he knew.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that Joss always planned for Willow to go dark, or at least for a very long time. So if Seth Green had stayed on the show and Tara hadn't been introduced, Oz would have probably be killed at some point with the same result.
Regarding that 'Buffy wishes Tara back to life' scenario, I don't believe it was ever confirmed to be anything more than rumor. I do know that it's been confirmed that Joss had wanted to bring Tara back as the manifestation of the First Evil that Willow interacts with in "Conversations With Dead People", but that Amber Benson was both unavailable for shooting and opposed to the idea of Tara being used in that manner, which is why the character of Cassie was used instead.

Joss has said that Oz would've originally been the catalyst for Willow going dark had Seth Green stayed, but that's really all we know regarding that particular version of things.

Regarding whether or not Joss felt bad for killing Tara off, I know that he has apologized for contributing to the 'Dead/Evil Lesbian' cliche, which he has said he was unaware of at the time he made the decision to kill Tara off, but that's the extent to which he's addressed the fandom fallout furor that arose from the decision.
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Old November 26 2011, 03:21 AM   #9
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
DevilEyes wrote: View Post
I think Joss felt bad for killing off Tara, since he even contemplated the cheesiest scenario in the world to bring her back for a feel-good happy ending in season 7 (Buffy gets to have just one wish and spends an episode thinking what to do and then... urgh, that's too much cheese for me even to end the sentence ), which is something he normally never does. Fortunately, he finally decided not to do it. He was probably only tempted because he really loved the character of Tara, and I've heard somewhere that Willow/Tara was based on a couple he knew.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that Joss always planned for Willow to go dark, or at least for a very long time. So if Seth Green had stayed on the show and Tara hadn't been introduced, Oz would have probably be killed at some point with the same result.
Regarding that 'Buffy wishes Tara back to life' scenario, I don't believe it was ever confirmed to be anything more than rumor.
Joss had confirmed it.

There's an old axiom that writers have to be willing to "kill their babies," and no one adheres to that more than Joss Whedon. One fan asked if the writer had any regrets about the decision to kill a character off. "Not so much," Whedon said, with the coda that he does sometimes wonder about Tara. That said, Whedon had intended to bring Tara back in a seventh season episode of "Buffy," but it never came together. There was to be an episode in which Buffy was granted one wish, and the wish was going to be for Tara to be alive again. "It could have been one of our signature moments."

Regarding whether or not Joss felt bad for killing Tara off, I know that he has apologized for contributing to the 'Dead/Evil Lesbian' cliche, which he has said he was unaware of at the time he made the decision to kill Tara off, but that's the extent to which he's addressed the fandom fallout furor that arose from the decision.
I don't think he needed to apologize. It's not like plenty of heterosexual characters didn't go evil or haven't been killed off on his shows. The best way to treat gay characters is to treat them the same as all the other characters. Complaints like these is probably what leads to gay movie/TV characters so often being idealized and having limited storylines that revolve around them being nice and gay.
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Old November 27 2011, 09:53 PM   #10
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

Just found the link where Joss does about planning to bring Tara back. It's interesting that he himself did confirm the idea, and while it sounds cheesy on the surface of things, I don't know how cheesy it would ultimately have been given the fact that Joss was able to take other ideas that sounded even more cheesy (such as the entire scenario of BtVS itself) and spin them into creative and storytelling gold.

Re: Joss apologizing, I was part of the BtVS fandom when the furor over Tara's death was at its peak, so I can speak to just how necessary his apology actually was. On the Firefly DVDs, one of the people interviewed talks about fans being willing to literally 'storm the network with pitchforks' when that series was cancelled; during the height of the furor over Tara's death, there were some people - who considered themselves ardent and die-hard fans of the series - who were talking about going after Joss himself in just this type of manner because they felt that the manner of her death was incredibly disrespectful and demeaning to the relationship he'd created between her and Willow, and because they felt it went against LGBT-supportive comments he'd previously made concerning said relationship.
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Last edited by DigificWriter; November 27 2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old December 10 2011, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

I think this was made so bad more by what by happened outside the show than on the screen.
During S4 before Joss spoke a good deal about the "cliche" and his responsibility to his gay fans, but then seemed to forget it when called on it. People hate that..
Twice in then during season 6 year a Buffy writer told fans Tara would not die (including the writer of the episode, who wrote it).
After the episode the writers were online and on web radio and sounded like jerks.
In the end the writer of the episode SDK went to a fan board and apologized profusely (and to me personally on the Beta Bronze ) and later Joss made his announcement about Tara coming back, but no one had heard of it before.
It was his "I am Spock" moment I think.
Look, he blew it. It happens, he is not a demon or a villain but he was arrogant and deceptive when the writing should have spoken for itself.
When the fans blew up he could have said to the fans "Sorry to have led you on, you are important to us". He could have told his writers to stay of the message boards and try to write better scripts that "doublemeat", but he didn't. He could not have said one single damn word about any of it and let the story tell it self.
My 20/20 hindsight, don't turn Willow into a junkie, write what you want but don't lie to people, and don't put all the energy into the shock value, and none in the follow through (what was the plan, Giles?)
But hey..

Last edited by drlloyd11; December 10 2011 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Typo!
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Old December 10 2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

^ Joss had very little involvement in the actual production of Buffy Season 6, due to the fact that the production of that season coincided with the development and production of Firefly. As a result, he turned showrunning duties over to Marti Noxon, who was in turn assisted in said duties by David Fury and Jane Espenson. If there was a writer or writers going on the message boards and lying about the possibility of Tara dying, that's something that, utlimately, falls on the head(s) of said writer(s) and on the head(s) of Noxon, Fury, and Espenson, not Joss, which leads into my next point:

I personally believe that an apology did need to be issued, but Joss himself was in no way obligated to personally offer said apology, particularly since, as I already noted, he had very little involvement in the actual production of Season 6, and was therefore not, ultimately, responsible for the conduct of anyone who was.

The fact that he chose to address the situation himself and personally apologize says a lot about his character as a person and helps to refute the accusations that the LGBT fans I referenced in my last post were leveling against him at the time.
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Old December 10 2011, 11:15 PM   #13
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
^ Joss had very little involvement in the actual production of Buffy Season 6, due to the fact that the production of that season coincided with the development and production of Firefly. ----- and on the head(s) of Noxon, Fury, and Espenson, not Joss, which leads into my next point:
Its a poor captain who blames the crew, and he was the captain. I mean, it was his Baby. He also made all kinds of statements to the press and the fans that he ultimately had to walk away from. Even the cliche was brought up by him in an interview at the Onion.
The fact that he chose to address the situation himself and personally apologize says a lot about his character as a person and..
.
I assume the "he" is Steve DeKnight ? He did this five months after he made that statement, and after I confronted him with it. His apology was sincere and accepted. He said he didn't agree with killing Tara either.

As for homophobia, I'm pretty the issue is not that people thought he was a homophobe but was the person who said "Die Hard" was anti-feminist film for example.
I mean live the pen...die by the pen.
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Old December 10 2011, 11:47 PM   #14
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

drlloyd11 wrote: View Post
I think this was made so bad more by what by happened outside the show than on the screen.
During S4 before Joss spoke a good deal about the "cliche" and his responsibility to his gay fans, but then seemed to forget it when called on it. People hate that..
Twice in then during season 6 year a Buffy writer told fans Tara would not die (including the writer of the episode, who wrote it).
After the episode the writers were online and on web radio and sounded like jerks.
In the end the writer of the episode SDK went to a fan board and apologized profusely (and to me personally on the Beta Bronze ) and later Joss made his announcement about Tara coming back, but no one had heard of it before.
It was his "I am Spock" moment I think.
Look, he blew it. It happens, he is not a demon or a villain but he was arrogant and deceptive when the writing should have spoken for itself.
When the fans blew up he could have said to the fans "Sorry to have led you on, you are important to us". He could have told his writers to stay of the message boards and try to write better scripts that "doublemeat", but he didn't. He could not have said one single damn word about any of it and let the story tell it self.
My 20/20 hindsight, don't turn Willow into a junkie, write what you want but don't lie to people, and don't put all the energy into the shock value, and none in the follow through (what was the plan, Giles?)
But hey..
First of all, no writer is obliged to fans not to kill off characters, and shouldn't be apologizing for killing off characters.

Second, no writer should have been promising fans anything about not killing off characters. It's supposed to be a freaking surprise when it happens. Writers should not tell fans anything in advance. So, if that's what DeKnight did, it was stupid of him to do it.

Third, if DeKnight said that, he probably wasn't lying, he just didn't know. It wasn't his idea, and he didn't make that kind of decisions. It was Joss's decision.

Fourth, what does Willow's addiction storyline have to do with it? And what does "Doublemeat Palace" have to do with it?!

Fifth, why should a character be protected from being killed off just because they happen to be gay, and how the hell is that supposed to be an argument in favor of gay rights or equality? If you want good gay characters on TV, they should have flaws just like the straight characters (Willow) and can't be sacred cows that are protected from getting killed off or having something bad happen to them.

I suppose someone could also post a rant about Joss killing off Jenny in season 2 and add "and don't make Angel lose his soul after sex [how stupid!] and your tell writers to write better scripts than Some Assembly Required and Reptile Boy!"


DigificWriter wrote: View Post
^ Joss had very little involvement in the actual production of Buffy Season 6, due to the fact that the production of that season coincided with the development and production of Firefly. As a result, he turned showrunning duties over to Marti Noxon, who was in turn assisted in said duties by David Fury and Jane Espenson. If there was a writer or writers going on the message boards and lying about the possibility of Tara dying, that's something that, utlimately, falls on the head(s) of said writer(s) and on the head(s) of Noxon, Fury, and Espenson, not Joss, which leads into my next point:
That's not true. Joss had LOTS of involvement in Buffy season 6, and even when he wasn't writing scripts, gave notes to writers, occasionally rewrote scripts, and came up with most of the major plot points, including many of the most controversial moments.

Just to name the things we do know for sure (from interviews etc.) that were Joss's idea:

- Willow going dark - which he planned years earlier (even before Tara was introduced; if Seth Green hadn't left the show, then the catalyst would've been something happening to Oz) and which was foreshadowed a lot in Tough Love in season 5
- Buffy and Spike in a relationship
- Buffy dealing with her dark side (you can see the first foreshadowing of that kind of storyline back in season 2 opener When She Was Bad, way before Noxon and the other writers who were still involved in the show in season 6 were even hired [Noxon first came onto the show to rework the script for Halloween and started writing for the show midway through season 2)
- The "Smashed" fight/sex - because Joss insisted that Buffy and Spike getting together had to be something epic and huge; he also chose the music for the scene
- Spike having sex with invisible Buffy in Gone was something that Noxon said she found "icky" but, according to her, it was something Joss and David Fury came up with and liked
- The infamous balcony scene in Dead Things was something that "Joss wanted to do for a long time, and it just happened to be in my episode", according to Steven DeKnight. Joss couldn't write any dialogue for that episode because he was busy, but he gave notes to DeKnight that he worked from.
- Joss rewrote the Buffy/Spike scene in Hell's Bells and made it much warmer, originally as written by Kirshner it was much more unpleasant and antagonistic.
- Killing off Tara. His call, and while he had regrets about it later, he's never tried to argue that it was anyone else's.

From these tidbits, it sure looks like he was more than a little involved. And even those controversial plot points we know he didn't come up with (magic addiction, the attempted rape), he had to greenlight, because he always had the last word, whoever the nominal showrunner of his shows was.

It seems especially odd to try to lay the "blame" (which I put in quotation marks since I love season 6 and don't have any problem with most of the controversial plot points) for the plot points in season 6 on Fury or Espenson, since things would have probably gone much differently if either of those two had been in charge. It's hard to believe that either Fury (who was vehemently opposed to Buffy having any sort of relationship with Spike) or Espenson (who was in favor of a more positive Spuffy relationship and vehemently opposed to the AR, on the grounds that it would make it impossible or too controversial to revive a B/S relationship in season 7) had such big influence on the season as you make it seem.
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Old December 11 2011, 04:05 AM   #15
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Re: Alternate BTVS scenario (SPOILERS)

drlloyd11 wrote: View Post
Look, he blew it. It happens, he is not a demon or a villain but he was arrogant and deceptive when the writing should have spoken for itself.
When the fans blew up he could have said to the fans "Sorry to have led you on, you are important to us". He could have told his writers to stay of the message boards and try to write better scripts that "doublemeat", but he didn't. He could not have said one single damn word about any of it and let the story tell it self.
Personally I would have said "It's a fucking TV show. Blowing up over the death of a fictional character? Get a grip, people." But hey, that's just me.
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