THE BUFFY 100!

Selected from Cult Times Special #18

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A Top Giles Moment
A Top Shocking Moment
A Top Clever Moment
2 Top Dramatic Moments
• Feature by John Binns

See also: Part 1 here – Five more moments...

53

Giles vs Angelus
• A Top Giles Moment from Passion

More Giles moments in The Buffy 100!

 

Devastated by the death of Jenny and full of rage at Angelus for killing her, Giles seeks him out with the full intention of killing him. A very powerful and well-choreographed fight sequence ensues, which feels as if it’s quite likely to result in the death of one of them (probably Giles), until Buffy turns up to save the day.

A rather worried Giles

68

Faith’s Defection
• A Top Shocking Moment from Consequences

 

A pivotal point in the ‘Faith arc’ of the third season, as the rogue Slayer goes to the Mayor for a job. Having unsuccessfully tried to cover up the killing of the Deputy Mayor, and responding badly to the bungling attempts of Wesley and the Watcher’s Council to calm her down by incarceration, Faith had already gone off the rails.

What we weren’t quite expecting at this point, though, was that she’d actually go to the lengths of joining forces with the third season’s major villain. Especially as he’d just sent one of his lackeys around to kill her.

Eliza Duskhu as Faith

More Shocking moments in
The Buffy 100!

73

A Different Perspective...
• A Top Clever Moment from The Zeppo

 

Part of the genius of this hilarious Xander-centric episode is that it gives us a different perspective on the series’ usual focus – in the same way as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead did with Hamlet, for instance, only funnier. Sidelining what appears to be an apocalyptic battle against the forces of evil in favour of Xander’s troubles with a gang of the undead produces several fantastic scenes, but the cleverest is the one in which Xander walks in on Buffy and Angel intending to ask for their help.

The stirring music stops as soon as Xander enters, and starts again when he sees they’re preoccupied and leaves them to it. It’s shocking how slight a change is required to turn the former lovers’ angst-ridden scene into self-parody, and desperately impressive that the series is so confident in itself by now that it can sacrifice a little credibility to have a laugh at its own expense.

Nicholas Brendon as Xander

More Clever moments in
The Buffy 100!

Cult Times
Special #18

85

Kendra vs Drusilla
• A Top Dramatic Moment from Kendra vs Drusilla

 

The fight sequences in Buffy are usually pretty well choreographed, but not many really qualify for attention here. More often they get in the way of the more important dramatic and emotional stuff, and they do have the recurrent problem of stunt doubles with completely different physiques to our heroes. (Come to think of it, there probably aren’t many nubile, svelte young teenagers who can also do stunts.)

The battle between Kendra and Drusilla in Season Two closer Becoming is worth a mention, though, if only because Dru fights with such effortless style that it’s clear our friend the second Slayer is comprehensively outclassed. Consequently, it isn’t that much of a surprise when the loopy vampire slashes her throat, although we might have expected something less casual.

18 more Dramatic Moments in this issue

Cult Times Special #18

100

She Saved the World. A Lot
• A Top Dramatic Moment from The Gift

Fold-out poster of Sarah Michelle Gellar

 

But they can’t do that... can they? Having clearly established a few episodes previously that it’s not practically possible to bring people back from the dead (except by the vampire method, which isn’t applicable in this case), the finale of the fifth season not only has our heroine jumping into a fiery portal, but also shows her dead body having fallen to earth and then a few frames implying that it’s been buried in the ground. ‘Get out of that!’ we may cry, and no doubt they will. But for the time being, the sequence that follows Buffy’s apparent self-sacrifice stands as a uniquely dramatic depiction of a lead character’s heroic death...

 

All photos © The WB network / 20th Century Fox TV. Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be seen in the UK on BBC2 and Sky One

Selected from Cult Times Special #18