Angel (TV series)
show_name = Angel
Supernatural, Fantasy, Horror, Action, Drama
runtime = approx. 42 min.
Joss Whedon David Greenwalt
David Boreanaz Charisma Carpenter Glenn Quinn Alexis Denisof J. August Richards Amy Acker Vincent Kartheiser Andy Hallett James Marsters Mercedes McNab
Picture format = 480i (SDTV)
first_aired = October 5, 1999
last_aired = May 19, 2004
num_episodes = 110
list_episodes = List of Angel episodes
website = http://www.foxhome.com/angel/
imdb_id = 0162065
tv_com_id = 12
related = "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
"Angel" is an American
television series, a spin-offof the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The atmosphere of the show was darker, and at brief periods it performed better in the U.S. Nielsen Ratingsthan its parent series, though Buffy's highest ratings records in Season Two and Three still topped any of Angel's seasons ratings. [Topping, Keith, "Hollywood Vampire", (3rd edition, includes Season 4) "Virgin Books" (2004), page 360: "During [November-December 2002] , "Angel" was getting slightly higher ratings than "Buffy", aided by a new Sunday-slot and the popular series " Charmed" as its lead-in show." Also see Wahoske, Matthew J., " [http://home.insightbb.com/~wahoskem/buffy.html Nielsen Ratings For Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, And Firefly] ", "Insightbb.com" (2004)]
The series was created by "Buffy"'s creator,
Joss Whedonin collaboration with David Greenwalt, and first aired on October 5, 1999. Like "Buffy", it was produced by Whedon's production company, Mutant Enemy.
The show details the ongoing trials of the vampire, Angel, who has his human soul restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel's restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. During the first four seasons of the show, he works as a
private detectivein a fictionalized version of Los Angeles, California, where he and a variety of associates work to "help the helpless" and to restore the faith and save the souls of those who have lost their way.Cordelia: "Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless". Episode "Darla", "Angel" second season.] Typically, this involves doing battle with evil demons or demonically-allied humans, primarily related to the law firm, Wolfram & Hart. He also has to battle his own demonic ghosts.
Co-producer Greenwalt points out "there's no denying that "Angel" grew out of "Buffy". Several years before "Angel" debuted, Joss Whedon developed the concept behind "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to invert the
Hollywoodformula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie."Billson, Anne, " Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BFI TV Classics S.)". British Film Institute(December 5, 2005), pp24–25.] The character Angel was first seen in the first episode and became a regular, appearing in the opening creditsduring Seasons Two and Three. According to the fictional universe first established by "Slayer", the ' Buffyverse,' [The term 'Buffyverse' is used amongst fans of "Buffy/Angel" online to describe the fictional universe established by "Buffy/Angel". It is also used in published materials such: Walton, Andy, " [http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/TV/05/19/buffy.sidebar/ S _ag. restoring his soul] ] , overwhelming him with guilt. Angel eventually set out on a path of redemption, hoping that he could make up for his past through good deeds. In "Buffy's" Season Three finale, the character leaves Sunnydalefor L.A. to continue his atonement without Buffy. Whedon believed that "Angel was the one character who was bigger than life in the same way that Buffy was, a kind of superhero." [Havens, Candace, "" Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p103.] Whedon has compared the series to its parent, "It's a little bit more straightforward action show and a little bit more of a guys' show." [Bassom, David, "Buffy, Angel and Me," from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine" #12 (UK, September 2000), page 6.]
While the central concept behind "Buffy" was "High school as a horror movie" in small-town America, ['Said, SF', " [http://www.shebytches.com/SFSaidgb.html Interview with Joss Whedon by SF Said] ", "Shebytches.com" (2005).] Co-creators David Greenwalt and Whedon were looking to make "Angel" into a different "gritty, urban show." [Havens, Candace, ' Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p102 (quote from Greenwalt)] Whedon explains "we wanted a much darker show, darker in tone. It is set in Los Angeles because there are a lot of demons in L.A. and a wealth of stories to be told. We also wanted to take the show a little older and have the characters deal with demons in a much different way. Buffy is always the underdog trying to save the world, but Angel is looking for redemption. It's those two things that creatively make the shows different."Havens, Candace, ' Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p101-102.]
Whedon and Greenwalt prepared a six-minute promotional video pitch, often called the "Unaired Angel pilot" for the
WB Network.Topping, Keith, "Hollywood Vampire", (3rd edition, includes Season 4) "Virgin Books" (2004).] Some shots from this short were later used in the opening credits.
Early during the life of the series, some effort was made to slightly soften the original concept. For example, scenes were cut from the pilot episode, "City of," in which Angel tasted the blood of a murder victim. [Hart, Maryelizabeth & Holder, Nancy & Mariotte, Jeff, "Casefiles", "Pocket Books" (May 2002), page 34.] The episode that was originally written to be the second episode, "Corrupt" was abandoned altogether. Writer
David Furyexplains, "The Network was shocked. They said 'We can't shoot this. This is way too dark.' We were able to break a new idea, we had to turn it over in three days." [Hart, Maryelizabeth & Holder, Nancy & Mariotte, Jeff, "Casefiles", "Pocket Books" (May 2002), page 43-44.] Instead the tone was lightened, and the opening episodes established Angel Investigationsas an idealistic shoestring operation.
A first draft script reveals that "Angel" was originally intended to include the character Whistler, played by
Max Perlich, who had already featured in two "Buffy" episodes, " Becoming, Part One" and "Part Two". [Topping, Keith, "Hollywood Vampire", (3rd edition, includes Season 4) "Virgin Books" (2004), pages 18-19. Also see: Greenwalt, David & Whedon, Joss, [http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/angel/season1/angel-earlydraft.htm Angel pilot, early draft] "20th Century Fox" (1999).] In an interview, Perlich said, "I never got called again. If they had called, I would have probably accepted because it was a great experience and I think Joss is very original and talented." [Dilullo, Tara, "Where are they now? Max Perlich" in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine" #62, "Titan Magazines" (July 2004 issue), pages 30-31.] Instead, the producers created the Whistler-like character, Doyle. Cordelia Chase, also from the original Sunnydale crew, joined Angel and Doyle.
Much like "Buffy", "Angel" is told in a serialized format, with each episode involving a self-contained story while contributing to a larger storyline, which is broken down into season-long narratives marked by the rise and defeat of a powerful
antagonist, commonly referred to as the " Big Bad". The show blends different genres, including horror, martial arts, romance, melodrama, farce, detective fiction, and comedy. It mixes complex, season-long storylines with a villain-of-the-week format, where the protagonists regularly use a mix of physical combat, magic, and detective-style investigation to combat both human and supernatural evils.
Joss Whedon is credited as
executive producerthroughout the run of the series.Various authors, " [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0923736/ Joss Whedon] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2006).] Alongside "Angel", he was also working on a series of other projects such as "Buffy", " Fray", " Astonishing X-Men", and "Firefly" (which would later also lead to the film "Serenity)".
For the first three seasons, David Greenwalt, who co-created the series with Whedon, was also credited as executive producer. [Various authors, " [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0339264/ David Greenwalt] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2006).] During this time, Greenwalt took on the role of
show runner. He left to oversee "Miracles", but continued to work on "Angel" as a consulting producer. At the start of the fourth season, David Simkinswas made show runner and executive producer, but after three months, he left the show due to "creative differences." [See O'Hare, Kate, " [http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,271|77466|1|,00.html 'Angel' Drops New Producer] ", "Zap2It" (August 08, 2002) and Various authors, " [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799562/ David Simkins] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2006).] Established "Angel" writer Jeffrey Bell took over for the balance of Season Four and became executive producer for Season Five. Fran Rubel Kuzuiand her husband, Kaz Kuzui, were also credited as executive producers throughout "Angel", [Various authors, " [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0476900/ Fran Kuzui] " and " [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0476901/ Kaz Kuzui] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2006).] but were not involved in any writing or production for the show. Jeffrey Bell mentions in his DVD commentary during the closing credits of the Angel series finale "Not Fade Away" that two people were credited and paid for "Angel" without needing to ever step on the set. ["Angel Complete Fifth Series DVD Boxset.] "Angel" crew member Dan Kerns also revealed in an essay, that two executive producers "received credit and sizeable checks for the duration of "Buffy" and "Angel" for doing absolutely nothing". [Kerns, Dan, "Angel by the Numbers", from Yeffeth, Gareth (editor), " Five Seasons of "Angel"", "Benbella"(October 2004), p25.] Their credit, rights and royalties for the whole "Buffy" franchise, which includes spin-off "Angel", relate to their funding, producing and directing of the original movie version of "Buffy". [See Kerns, Dan, "Angel by the Numbers", from Yeffeth, Gareth (editor), " Five Seasons of "Angel"", "Benbella"(October 2004), p25, and Morgan, David, " [http://members.aol.com/morgands1/closeup/text/kuzui.htm Wide Angel Closeup: Director, Producer and Film Distributor Fran Rubel Kuzui] " "Aol.com" (June 10, 1992); "Buffy" was a film that I owned, this was the first time I owned a film". Also see Golden, Christopher, and Holder, Nancy, "Watcher's Guide Vol. 1". Simon & Schuster(October 1, 1998), "Gail Berman and Fran Kuzui came to [Whedon] to ask if he wanted to do the TV series" (p241). Also see "Watcher's Guide Vol. 1", pp246–249.]
Script-writing was done by Mutant Enemy, a production company created by Joss Whedon in 1997. The writers with the most writing credits for the series include: David Greenwalt, Tim Minear, David Fury,
Mere Smith, Steven S. DeKnight, and Jeffrey Bell. [Various authors, " [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162065/fullcredits Full Cast and Crew for "Angel"] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2006).] Jane Espensonhas explained how scripts came together for Mutant Enemy Productions series; "Buffy", "Angel", and "Firefly".Espenson, Jane, " [http://www.fireflyfans.net/firefly/espenson.htm The Writing Process] ", "Fireflyfans.net" (2003).] A meeting is held and an idea is floated, generally by Whedon, and the writers brainstorm to develop the central theme of the episode and the character development. Next, the staff meets in the anteroom to Whedon's office to begin "breaking" the story into acts and scenes. The only one absent is the writer working on the previous week's episode.
Next, the writers develop the scenes onto a marker-filled whiteboard, featuring a "brief ordered description of each scene." A writer is selected to create an outline of the episode's concept — occasionally with some dialogue and jokes — in one day. The outline is given to the show runner, who revises it within a day. The writer uses the revised outline to write the first draft of the script while the other writers work on developing the next. This first draft is usually submitted for revision within three to fourteen days; afterward, a second and sometimes third draft is written. After all revisions were made, the final draft would be produced as the "shooting draft".
The opening theme was composed by
Darling Violetta, an alternative rock group that performed two songs during the third season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The next year, "Angel" invited bands to submit demos for the theme music to the show. They asked bands to use "dark superhero ideas" and "Cello-rock". [AngelHART, " [http://websites.cable.ntl.com/%7Efraxis/the_ww/old/features/thomas.html Interview - Jymm Thomas of Darling Violetta - interviewed by Angelheart] ", "Watchers Web" (1999)] Darling Violetta watched pivotal Angel-related episodes of "Buffy" like "Passion" and " Becoming, Part One" and "Two" for inspiration. Eventually Joss Whedon accepted Darling Violetta's interpretation of an "Angel" theme as that most suitable to the show. The theme has a slower tempo than the "Buffy" theme. It has heavier use of acoustic instruments such as cello. This is perhaps more appropriate for a show about a vampire from 18th century Ireland on a long journey of redemption. In 2005, the band composed an extended version of the "Angel" theme called "The Sanctuary Extended Remix", which featured on the soundtrack of the series "".
The demon karaoke bar, Caritas, is frequently used to spotlight pop hits. There has also been a soundtrack album, "Angel: Live Fast, Die Never". The soundtrack mostly consists of scores created for the show by
Robert J. Kralalong with a remixed theme, and four other songs from the show. Douglas Romaynescored 33 episodes of "Angel" in Seasons Four and Five along with series lead composer, Rob Kral.
On February 14, 2004, the
WB Networkannounced that "Angel" would not be brought back for a sixth season. The one-paragraph statement indicated the news, which had been reported by an Internet site the previous day, had been leaked well before the network intended to make its announcement. [KJB, " [http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/492/492496p1.html Breaking News: Angel to End After 5 Seasons. Whedon talks about cancellation] ", "IGN.com" (February 13, 2004).] Joss Whedon posted a message on a popular fan site, The Bronze: Beta, in which he expressed his dismay and surprise, saying he was "heartbroken" [Whedon, Joss, [http://www.bronzebeta.com/Archive/Joss/Joss20040214.htm Online post] , "Bronzebeta.com" (February 14, 2004). Archived version.] and compared it to a "healthy guy falling dead from a heart attack." [Jensen, Jeff [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,637917,00.html The X Factor] (May 21, 2004).] Fan reaction was to organize letter-writing campaigns, online petitions, blood and food drives, advertisements in trade magazines and via mobile billboards, and attempts to lobby other networks. UPNwas a particular target, as it had already picked up "Buffy". Outrage for the cancellation focused on Jordan Levin, the WB's Head of Entertainment.
"Angels final episode, "Not Fade Away," aired on the WB on May 19, 2004. The ambiguous final moments left some fans hoping for the continuation of "Angel" and the Buffyverse in the future, hopes that came to fruition in November of 2007, with the publication of the first issue of the
comic bookseries '. The series is Joss Whedon's official continuation of the "Angel" television series, and follows in the footsteps of the comic book " Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight", whose first issue was published in March 2007.
The series focuses around Angel (
David Boreanaz), a vampire over two hundred years old. Angel was known as Angelus during his rampages across Europe. He was cursed with a soul, which gave him a conscience and guilt for centuries of murder and torture. He left "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" at the end of Season Three to move to Los Angelesin search of redemption.
He soon finds himself assisted by
Allen Francis Doyle( Glenn Quinn), an Irish half-human, half-demon. Although he comes across as a ne'er-do-well hustler, he has a heroic side. He serves to pass along the cryptic visions from The Powers That Be to Angel. They are joined by Cordelia Chase( Charisma Carpenter), also an old cast member of "Buffy". Formerly a popular high school cheerleader, Cordelia starts her tenure on the show as a vapid and shallow personality, but grows over the course of the series into a hero.
With the death of Doyle in the early episodes of the show's first season, another character from the "Buffy" series makes the jump to its spin-off.
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce( Alexis Denisof) joins the team under the brave guise of "rogue demon hunter", acting as comic relief, and is initially not well-accepted. Over the course of the series, Wesley grows into a leader.
In Season Two of the show, they are joined by
Charles Gunn( J. August Richards), a young demon hunter who must initially adjust to working with and for a vampire. At the end of Season Two, they travel to the world Pylea, where they save Winifred "Fred" Burkle ( Amy Acker), a young Texan physicistwhose social skills have become stunted due to her captivity. She later grows to become more outspoken.
Season Three saw the introduction of Connor (
Vincent Kartheiser), the "miracle" human child of two vampires, Angel and Darla. Abducted into a Hell dimension as a baby, he is raised by Angel's enemy Daniel Holtz, and only a couple weeks after he left comes back as a teenager. Connor reluctantly comes to accept his lineage. Although introduced during Season Two, Lorne ( Andy Hallett) joins the team during Season Four. An outgoing and pacifistic demon, Lorne's role is predominantly to support the team.
Season Five (the show's final season) introduces several new cast members, chief amongst them Spike (
James Marsters), an old vampire companion of Angel's who also starred in "Buffy". In that series, Spike reluctantly fights beside Angel as their rivalry continues, now tinged with Spike existing as another vampire with a soul. One of the legendary Old Ones, Illyria ( Amy Acker) starts off as an adversary of the team after taking over the body of Fred, but comes to join the team as she must learn to cope with the changed world and the new emotions she feels as a result of her taking over Fred.
Finally, there is
Harmony Kendall( Mercedes McNab), also a "Buffy" alumna, and former friend of Cordelia who was turned into a vampire. Resembling the old personality of Cordelia, Harmony is grudgingly accepted by Angel as his secretary when he takes over the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart. Harmony is also the only character (other than Angel) to appear in the first episode of "Buffy" and the last episode of "Angel".
Many characters on "Angel" made recurring appearances. The two longest running recurring characters besides Lorne, who was later added to the main cast, are
Lilah Morgan(Season One through Four) and Lindsey McDonald(Season One, Two, and Five) appearing in 35 and 21 episodes respectively. Lindsey is also the only character besides Angel to appear in both the first and last episode of the series. Throughout the series, there were also guest appearances from "Buffy" characters, which include main cast members Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Daniel "Oz" Osbourne, and also Andrew Wells. The character of Faith Lehaneplayed an important part in stories from Season One and Four. Another character to make the jump from "Buffy", becoming a recurring character on "Angel", was Anne Steele.
: "See also List of "Angel" episodes"
At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles in an effort to earn redemption for the evil deeds he committed as an un-souled vampire. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission. Angel also bumps into Cordelia Chase, who is trying to break into stardom. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to "help the helpless." When Doyle dies in the episode "Hero", he passes on his 'visions' to Cordelia.cite episode | title = Hero | episodelink = Hero (Angel episode) | series = Angel | serieslink = Angel (TV series) | airdate = 1999-11-30 | season = 1 | number = 9] Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm
Wolfram & Hartpay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel's ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of "Buffy" in the episode "Angel".
Charles Gunnwas introduced toward the end of the first season in the episode "War Zone", a street-tough leader of a gang of vampire hunters, he is initially determined to kill Angel, but slowly comes to accept him and join his cause. Wolfram & Hart's star lawyer Lindsey McDonaldprimes Darla as its weapon to bring down Angel. However, Darla is brought back as a human, not a vampire. But as a human, she suffers from a terminal case of syphilis— which she had contracted in her original life before being sired. Lindsey brings in Drusilla, a vampire originally sired by Angelus, to restore Darla to the cause of evil. Enraged by this, Angel begins to grow darker. He cuts himself off from his staff and attempts to go after the pair himself. In despair, Angel sleeps with Darla (cf. "Reprise"), but the next morning, he has an epiphany; seeing the error of his ways, he banishes Darla and reunites with his group. Lorne, the flamboyant demon owner of Caritas, reluctantly takes Angel and his crew to his home dimension, Pylea, to rescue Cordelia. They return with Winifred "Fred" Burkle, a former physics student who has been trapped in the dimension for five long years.
To get over news of the death of his ex-girlfriend, Buffy, Angel spends three months in a
Sri Lankan monastery, where he encounters some demon monks and goes home frustrated. He returns to Los Angeles, as does Darla — now bearing his child. The group is puzzled by what might be the first vampire birth. Darla sacrifices her life to save the life of her child, Connor. The gang is eager to care for the infant, but Wesley soon learns of a (false) frightening prophecy that suggests that Angel will murder his son. Feeling disconnected from the group, Wesley does not share this information, and quietly kidnaps Connor. This backfires as he is attacked and the child is seized by an old enemy, Daniel Holtz, whose family Angelus and Darla slaughtered two hundred years ago. Holtz escapes through a rip in the fabric of space to the dimension of Quor'Toth, and raises the boy as his own. Angel feels that his son is lost forever, and tries to murder Wesley. Though he survives, Wesley is banished from the group. Weeks later, Connor returns, but because time moves faster in Quor'Toth, he is now a teenage boy, having been raised by Holtz. Tricking Angel into believing Connor needs to be the one to take Connor in, Holtz gives Angel a letter letting Connor know that he will be leaving and to trust Angel. Holtz gets Justine to kill him, but ends up making it look like a vampire attack so Connor will assume the worst. Connor imprisons his birth father in a casket and drops it to the bottom of the ocean.
Despite his exile from his old friends, Wesley locates and frees Angel. A hellish Beast emerges and blocks out the sun over L.A. He then proceeds to kill the staff at Wolfram & Hart. Although the city survives, the sunlight seems to be blotted out permanently. In a desperate attempt to confront the Beast, the team removes Angel's soul, releasing Angelus, but manage to restore it thanks to help from Faith and Willow. Their efforts, however, do not prevent the coming of Jasmine, who was indirectly responsible for the work of the Beast. Jasmine, it turns out, was formerly one of the Powers That Be and plans to solve all the world's problems by giving humanity total happiness through spiritual enslavement to her. She arrives in our world through manipulation of Cordelia and Connor, using them as a conduit into our world, eventually forcing Cordelia to fall into a coma. Fred is accidentally inoculated against Jasmine's spell by contact with her blood and frees the rest of the gang though they remain hopelessly outnumbered by thousands already entranced by Jasmine. Angel travels through a magic portal into a world previously visited by Jasmine to find a way of breaking her power over L.A.'s populace. By revealing her true name, they are able to break Jasmine's spell over everyone. Jasmine confronts Angel, but is then killed by Connor, revealing to have never been under Jasmine's influence and just went along for the sake of having a semblance of family and happiness. In the season finale, they are met by
Lilah Morgan, the resurrected Head of Wolfram & Hart's Special Project Division, who congratulates them on preventing world peace, and says that as a token of their appreciation, Wolfram & Hart would like to give them the Los Angeles branch. To help save Cordelia and Connor, who has gone mad with confusion over losing everything, Angel reluctantly agrees.
The gang begins to settle into their new lives at Wolfram & Hart. Gunn undergoes a special cognitive procedure that transforms him into a brilliant lawyer. The group receives an amulet that resurrects a past companion of Angelus, the souled vampire Spike. Cordelia passes away and has "The Powers That Be" grant her one last request, in which she helps Angel get "back on track." Angel is briefly reunited with his son Connor, now in a new identity thanks to the agreement between Angel and Wolfram & Hart at the end of Season Four. He later reveals that he remembers his previous life as Angel's son. Fred finally declares her affections to Wesley, but shortly after is possessed by an ancient and powerful demon called Illyria. Wesley is devastated by the loss of Fred, but agrees to help Illyria adjust to her new form and the unfamiliar world she's in. Angel, after getting one last vision from Cordelia, infiltrates the
Circle of the Black Thorn, a secret societyresponsible for engineering the Apocalypse, and plans to take them all out in a simultaneous, hard-hitting strike. Because this is probably a suicide mission, he tells each of his friends to spend the day as if it were their last. That night, the team launches its attack on the Circle, dividing up their targets. When Wesley is fatally stabbed, Illyria, concerned for his safety, arrives at his side after killing her targets but is powerless to help him, and grieves for Wesley. Lorne leaves and disappears into the night, his innocence destroyed, after fulfilling Angel's last order to kill Lindsey, the former Wolfram & Hart lawyer who had turned his back on the firm. Angel confronts Wolfram & Hart's new liaison Marcus Hamilton, and defeats him with help from Connor.
Once the Circle has been dismantled, Angel and the surviving members of his gang rendezvous in the alley behind the Hyperion Hotel. Illyria arrives with news of Wesley's death and feeling the need to fight as a result of it. Gunn emerges, staggering from a serious stomach wound. The survivors wait as the
Senior Partners' army of warriors, giants, and a dragon approaches. The series ends with Angel and his crew preparing for battle, with Angel expressing interest about fighting the dragon and saying, "Let's go to work."
etting and themes
Much of "Angel" was shot on location in
Los Angeles, California.Various authors, " [http://www.restlessbtvs.com/trivia/category/behind-the-scenes/sets-and-locations/ Sets and Locations] ", "The Ultimate Buffy and Angel Trivia Guide" (updated 2006).] The show is set in the city of Los Angeles. "Los Angeles" are the first words spoken in the premiere episode, [Episode, "City of", "Angel" (1999). The character Angel says: "Los Angeles. You see it at night and it shines. Like a beacon. People are drawn to it. People and other things. They come for all sorts of reasons."] and the cityscape is the first image seen in the opening credits. Joss Whedon said that "It is set in Los Angeles because there are a lot of demons in L.A. and a wealth of stories to be told." Producer Marti Noxonhas expanded on this explanation: "Los Angeles was the place that Joss Whedon picked for very specific reasons. There's a lot of preconceptions about what the place is, but there are a lot of truths. It's a pretty competitive, intense town, where a lot of lonely isolated, and desperate people end up. It's a good place for monsters." [Topping, Keith, "Hollywood Vampire", (3rd edition, includes Season 4) "Virgin Books" (2004), page 1.] Many episodes feature references to the city, and the opening episode of the second season features the character Lorne offering this observation of the city:
In the essay, "Los Angeles: The City of Angel" (from the essay collection, '), Benjamin Jacob explores why Los Angeles in particular should be important to the series. Jacob suggests several explanations. First, the name connection ('City of Angels'). Second, the double-sided nature, the "other side of the stereotypical sunshine city, Beach Boys and Walt Disney", "the place of pain, anonymity, alienation and broken dreams".Jacob, Benjamin, "Los Angelus: The City of Angel", from Abbot, Stacey (editor), ', "I. B. Tauris" (September 22, 2005), page 77] Third American noir was originally a "Los Angelian genre".Jacob, Benjamin, "Los Angelus: The City of Angel", from Abbot, Stacey (editor), "Reading Angel", "I. B. Tauris" (September 22, 2005), page 80.] Angel was originally conceived as supernatural
noir. Noir had continued investigation of the "dark city, a place of regression and darkness as a counterpoint to the city's promise of progress and civilization" that had begun under William Blakeand Charles Dickens.Jacob, Benjamin, "Los Angelus: The City of Angel", from Abbot, Stacey (editor), "Reading Angel", "I. B. Tauris" (September 22, 2005), page 83.]
During Season One,
Angel Investigationsis based in Angel's apartment. Actor Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, said "Angel had this dark, foreboding, underground cellar apartment with columns, with this antique furniture all around, and this pokey little office upstairs"""Inside the Agency" featurette ""Angel" Season 2 DVD set", disc 3 (2002).] These offices were blown up in the story at the climax of the first season, and Angel Investigations found a new base in the episode, " Are You Now or Have You Ever Been".
Production designer Stuart Blatt outlined the new base: "An old hotel, something [the writers] could use to evoke the past of Los Angeles and some of Angel's history, something kind of creepy and spooky but not too dark because they didn't want something depressing, it's called the
Hyperion Hotel. It's based on many hotels in Los Angeles... Angel lived in a larger suite in the hotel, like a honeymoon suite, the producers wanted Angel to have enough room to relax and get away from it all, do a little pondering, a little brooding, and a little research. Every once in a while, someone will come up to have a little conversation." During the final season, the team moves to the evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart.
"Angel" was initially told in an
anthologyformat, with each episode creating a self-contained story that took place around the title character. Later episodes began to increasingly contribute to a larger storyline, which was broken down into complex narratives that unfolded over many episodes. The most extreme example of this was Season Four, in which almost every episode contributed to the main storyline. The show blends different genres, including horror, martial arts, romance, melodrama, farce, and comedy.
The series' narrative revolves around Angel and his colleagues, collectively making up the detective agency Angel Investigations, who fight against
supernaturalevils and work to "Help the helpless". A typical episode contains one or more villains, or supernatural phenomena that is thwarted or defeated, and one or more people in need of help. Though elements and relationships are explored and ongoing subplots are included, the show focuses centrally on Angel and his road to redemption.
The most prominent monsters in the "Angel" bestiary are vampires, which are based on traditional myths, lore, and literary conventions. Angel and his companions fight a wide variety of demons, as well as ghosts, werewolves, zombies, and ethically unsound humans. They sometimes even save the world from annihilation by a combination of physical combat, magic, and detective-style investigation, and are guided by an extensive collection of ancient and mystical reference books. Visions from higher powers guide the group, and are received by Doyle and later Cordelia.
Hand-to-hand combatis chiefly undertaken by Angel and later Gunn. Lorne is able to read peoples' destinies and intentions. Fred uses her scientific knowledge to contribute, whilst Wesley contributes his extensive knowledge of demonologyand supernatural lore.
While "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was built around the angst of adolescence, "Angel" chronicles the different stages of adulthood. The character of Cordelia Chase, who had been the most popular and superficial girl in
Sunnydale Highon "Buffy", develops over the course of the series from an insecure young woman struggling in a daunting real world into an unexpectedly mature woman. Similarly, Wesley, the once uptight and bookish Watcher, becomes a man of quiet confidence and often ruthless action.", "Angel" (2000). The character says on Angel "Oh he's eccentric, all the great ones are. Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe.] Many traditional "noir" stories and characters were explored in earlier episodes, including the ditzy but attractive secretary, the cagey but well-informed partner, and clashes with crooked lawyers and meddlesome, too-good-for-their-own-good cops. These were usually given a modern or supernatural twist.
The style and focus of the show changed considerably over its run, and the original noir idea was mostly discarded in favor of more large scale fantasy-themed conflicts. In later seasons, the mythology and stories became increasingly complex; in Season Four, one of the characters on the show itself described the storyline as "a turgid supernatural
soap opera." [" Players (Angel episode)", "20th Century Fox" (2003).] Whereas the show initially dealt with the difficulty of being kind to people on a personal basis, the show ultimately focused on Angel's status as an archetypal Championfor humanity, and explored ideas such as moral ambiguity, the spiritual cost of violence, and the nature of free will. The enduring theme throughout the series was the struggle for redemption.
"Angel" explored trust motifs as an increasingly central focus of the show. In the first two seasons, there were sprinklings of deceit and treachery, but in the last three seasons duplicity began to pervade the thematic structure, culminating in Season Five when almost every episode included some kind of double-cross, trickery, or illusion. An idea presented in Season Three was that even
prophecycan betray, as they are often deceiving if not plain lies. In Season Five, it is repeatedly emphasized that the characters can trust no one in their new situation. The series is also notable for harsh betrayals within the cast of main characters; such events often having lethal consequences.
"Angel" depicted the feelings of loneliness, danger, and callousness often attributed to the urban Los Angeles megalopolis. The divisions between the ordered world of the day and the chaotic world of the night have been trademark themes of "noir" and by depicting a protagonist who literally has no daytime life, the series was able to explore these same themes in more dramatic, metaphorical ways. As the series progressed, the creators were able to explore darker aspects of the characters, particularly Angel, who commits a number of morally questionable actions, and periodically reverts to his evil persona Angelus.
During the course of the series, "Angel" has been subject to both criticism and praise. These criticisms are often put into the context of it being a spin-off to popular show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and will at times refer to it being "better than" or "lesser than" its parent show.
: ""Angel" may improve with age. Heaven knows, it has a built-in "Buffy" fan base. For now, however, there's not enough to sink your teeth into."::—
Phil Rosenthal, " Chicago Sun-Times", October 5, 1999 [cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_19991005/ai_n13838766|title=Little green teens (review of multiple shows)|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "Some weeks, the series works beautifully, moving along like the otherworldly detective show it's meant to be. The Oct. 26 edition, in which a baddie could detach various body parts and send them off to do naughty things (an eyeball is sent to spy on a girl he likes, for instance), was full of crackerjack wit, as was the Nov. 16 show, in which Doyle's brains are nearly eaten by his ex-wife's new in-laws (Whedon and company excel at gruesome variations on the hellishness of family life).
:But other times "Angel" can tip too far into jokiness -- or, worse, come off like a supernatural version of hollow USA Network shows such as "
Silk Stalkings". Angel's weaknesses were highlighted in the Nov. 23 "Buffy"/"Angel" crossover, in which Angel briefly regained his soul and, in the words of Cordelia, "got groiny" with Buffy, alternating kitchen-table-clearing make-out scenes with dueling-demon tableaux; it was like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein for a Last Tango in Paris, yet fully satisfying across a whole range of emotions. "Angel"'s uneven writing and production values need that kind of oomph every week."::—Ken Tucker, " Entertainment Weekly", posted December 3, 1999 [cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,271948,00.html|title="EW Buffy/Angel Review"|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "The care with which Joss Whedon created his fantastic universe of vampires, demons, and heroes is evident when watching the first 22 episodes of "Angel," his "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spin-off."::—Marc Benardin, "
Entertainment Weekly", posted February 11, 2003 [cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,420362,00.html|title="EW Season 1 DVD Review"|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "If, perchance, the WB doesn't bring "Angel" back for a fifth season, it will drive a stake through my heart. And there aren't a lot of shows I can say that about these days.
:This show has, in its fourth season, surpassed the show from which it was spun off. Which is not to say that "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" isn't good in this, it'ssic seventh and final season -- it's very good. But "Angel" is better."::—Scott D. Pierce, "
Deseret Morning News( Salt Lake City)", March 18, 2003 [cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20030318/ai_n11382505|title='Angel' is to die for|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "But Whedon and his team have done it. Tonight's season premiere (8 p.m., Ch. 30), written and directed by Whedon, and next week's second episode are great -- action-packed, exciting, extremely funny and fully accessible to anyone who pays attention for a minute."::—Scott D. Pierce, "
Deseret Morning News( Salt Lake City)", October 1, 2003 [cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20031001/ai_n11428421|title='Angel' still soars|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "But it's an uphill climb, and those ambitious newcomers who might hope to come in cold and make sense of all (or any) of what's going on are bound to be frustrated. That's why it's a cult show, no matter how well it's made and how universal its overriding theme of dealing with the hard choices one has made in life."::—
Phil Rosenthal, " Chicago Sun-Times", February 4, 2004 [cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20040204/ai_n12535192|title=Stumped by an 'Angel,' but entertained anyway|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
: "Angel" is wildly uneven: Sometimes it's an absolute blast (James Marsters' gleeful guffaw as Spike, 'You're a wee little puppet man!' was priceless); sometimes it's a dead-end street (the whole Connor, grown-son-of-Angel subplot was where I exited the series for a spell). For a show with such superb acting -- all honor to Boreanaz, who's got macho vulnerability down to a smooth essence not achieved since
James Garnerin his " Rockford Files" days, and to Amy Acker, who has gone from victim to sexpot to villain without ever hitting a false note -- Angel is surprisingly rife with leaden lines like 'Rules can be broken; all you have to do is push hard enough.'"::—Ken Tucker, " Entertainment Weekly", posted April 23, 2004 [cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,611663,00.html|title="EW Angel Review"|accessmonthday=August 25 |accessyear= 2007]
Despite being a spin-off in itself, "Angel" has inspired a whole "industry" of books, comics, and merchandise.
Outside of the TV series, "Angel" has been officially expanded and elaborated on by authors and artists in the so-called "
Buffyverse Expanded Universe". The creators of these works may or may not keep to established continuity. Similarly, writers for the TV series were under no obligation to use information which had been established by the Expanded Universe, and sometimes contradicted such continuity.
Many of these works are set at particular times within the Buffyverse. For example, Joss Whedon has written an "Angel" mini-series of comics, "Long Night's Journey", which was specifically set in early Angel Season Two. "Angel" comics were originally published by
Dark Horse Comics, which published them from 2000 until 2002. IDW Publishingobtained rights to publish "Angel" comics in 2005 and has been releasing them since. Most recent releases include " Spike vs. Dracula", ', and "Auld Lang Syne". Spinning off of the "Angel" comics comes an entire series of "Spike" comics, using the "Angel" logo's typeface in its depiction of the name "Spike", among these are the comics " Spike vs. Dracula", ' and '. As of November 2007, the story is being continued in a canonical Season Six originally planned to be a 12-issue comic mini-series, titled '. The series is written by Brian Lynch("Spike: Asylum") and is plotted by both Lynch and Joss Whedon. [ [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=110401 IDWEEK: Brian Lynch talks Spike and Angel @ Newsarama.com] .] [ [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=110457 IDWEEK: Joss Whedon talks Angel, After The Fall @ Newsarama.com] ]
Following their success with a series of
"Buffy" novels, Pocket Bookspurchased the license to produce novels for "Angel". Twenty-four "Angel" novels were published. Jeff Mariottebecame the most successful Angel novelist, publishing eleven "Angel" novels. They also published seven "Buffy"/"Angel" crossover books that featured settings and characters from both series.
In March 2006, Joss Whedon still talked of the possibility of a TV movie involving Spike to be written and directed by Tim Minear.
"Angel" has inspired magazines and companion books, as well as countless websites, online discussion forums, and works of
fan fiction. Eden Studioshave published an "Angel" role-playing game.
Season One of "Angel" was introduced in 1999. Each season consisted of 22 episodes. Discounting the
Angel pitch tape, the five seasons make up a total of 110 episodes, aired between 1999 and 2004.
"Angel" DVDs were produced by
20th Century Foxand released from 2001-2005.
Awards and nominations
"Angel" has gathered a number of awards and nominations. It won Best Television from
International Horror Guildin 2001.Various authors, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162065/awards "Awards for "Angel"] ", "Internet Movie Database" (updated 2005).] It has received many important awards and nominations from the Saturn Awardswhich are presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: it won Best Network TV Series and Best TV Actor in 2004. Specific episodes, "Waiting in the Wings", " Smile Time," and "Not Fade Away," have been nominated for Hugo Awardsfor Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2003 and 2005.
Argentina, the show was broadcast on FOX LA
Asia, the show was broadcast on Star World
Australia, the show was originally broadcast on Seven Networkand FOX8, and is currently screening on the Sci Fi Channel and also on TEN HD
Belgium, the show is broadcast on Kanaal 2and Plug TV
Brazil, the show was broadcast on FOXand Rede Globo
Canada, starting in 2002, it was broadcast on The Space Channel
Croatia, the show was broadcast on Nova TV
Denmark, the show was broadcast on TV 2 (Denmark)and TV 2 Zulu
Estonia, the show was broadcast on TV3
Finland, the show was broadcast on Subtv
France, the show was broadcast on TF1and TF6
Germany, the first three seasons were broadcast on Pro7; the fifth season is currently shown on Kabel1which also broadcast the fourth season
Greece, the show is broadcast on ANT1
Jordan, the show is broadcast on MBC4and MBC Action
India, the show was broadcast on Star World
Indonesia, the show was broadcast on TPI
Ireland, Seasons One and Two were broadcast on TV3
Israel, the show was broadcast on Arotz 3
Italy, the show's first four seasons are currently rerunning on Italia 1and FOX has broadcast the fifth season
Lithuania, Seasons One and Two were broadcast on TV3
Malaysia, the show was on TV2
Mexico, the show was broadcast on FOX LA
* In the
Netherlands, the show was broadcast on V8, NET 5and Veronica
New Zealand, the show was broadcast on TV3 & Sky 1
* In the
Middle East, the show is broadcast on MBC Actionand Showtime Arabia's TV Land
Norway, the show was broadcast on TV2
* In the
Philippines, the show was broadcast on Studio 23
Poland, the show was broadcast on TV4
Portugal, the show was broadcast on FOX
* In the
United Kingdom, the show was first broadcast on Sky Onewith its first two seasons then shown on Channel 4and its next two on Five and the final series including the last episode of series 4 on Sky One. It was repeated on Five USand the Sci Fi Channel as well as FX.
Slovenia, the show was broadcasted on Kanal A.
South Africa, the show was broadcasted on M-Net.
Spain, the show is broadcast on FOX
Sweden, the show was broadcast on TV4, ZTV, and TV6
Switzerland, the show was broadcast on SF2and TSR2.
Thailand, the show was broadcast on True Series, Star World, and Channel 7.
Turkey, the show was broadcast on CNBC-e
Hungary, season 1-4 was broadcast on Viasat3, the fifth season has yet to air
Ukraine, the show was broadcast on Novy TV
Venezuela, the show was broadcast on Televen
Nigeria, the show is currently showing on Silverbird Television [Stv]
* Angel's aversion and lack of typical knowledge of the operation of his cell phone.
* Angel's friends often comment about the lack of color (he only wears black) in his wardrobe.
* Despite Fred's very slim built, she has a very large appetite, almost a glutton. In the Season Three finale "Tomorrow", she finishes a "jumbo tub" of popcorn at a drive-in theater before sending Gunn to get another tub since the theater offers free refills emphasizing, "don't skimp on the butter."
* As a physicist and Internet hacker, Fred often unintentionally rambles or answers questions verbosely using advanced scientific jargon that no one else can understand.
* Lorne's incessant use of rather inventive pet names, especially with Angel (e.g. Angel Hair).
Footnotes and references
:"All links retrieved and checked as of November 2006 or after.49. Liam - Referenced from Season Four Episode 6.
* [http://www.foxhome.com/angel/ 20th Century Fox — "Angel" section]
* [http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/angel.shtml IDW comics — "Angel" section]
* [http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Buffyverse_Wiki The Buffyverse Wiki]
* [http://stakesandsalvation.com/ "Stakes and Salvation: a Buffyverse Encyclopedia"]
* [http://www.tviv.org/wiki/Angel "Angel"] at the TV IV Wiki
* "Blood Ties" - a Toronto-based Toronto-set Vampire/private investigator/police detective TV drama
Forever Knight" - a Toronto-based Toronto-set Vampire police detective TV drama
* " "
* [http://thewb.com/shows/angel/ "Angel" Streaming episodes on theWB]
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