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Feature: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Slaying It on the Line

Slayers in training…

She's been a writer, director and singing cop victim… and now Marti Noxon's become the show's executive producer, and is charting the course of its potentially final year.

Many people are skeptical about fortune-tellers and their ‘predictions’. But in the case of Buffy The Vampire Slayer scribe Marti Noxon, a soothsayer got it exactly right. “This person said that I was going to become a writer when I grew up,” recalls Noxon. “I remember thinking, ‘No way. I want to be something really exciting like an actress. Even better, a movie star.’ Now, of course, I think that being a writer is an exciting career and one of the best jobs in this business.”

Besides writing for Buffy, Noxon is also one of its executive producers and directors. She joined the series as a staff writer for its second season, before being promoted to story editor halfway through the year, and working her way up to executive producer at the start of the show’s sixth year. On this January day, Noxon is dashing back and forth between her office and the Buffy set, but still manages to take time out of he hectic schedule to talk about the show’s seventh, and perhaps final, season.

“I’m very pleased with how this year has gone so far,” says Noxon. “I think we’ve achieved a good balance between the comedy and the more serious stuff when it comes to our storytelling. Buffy isn’t moping around as much, which I’m sure the fans are happy about. She’s taken up a stronger, more heroic position on the show, which is great.

“Also, the rest of the Scooby gang have had to face up to the consequences of their actions last season. For example, Willow is learning how to better control her magic. She’s had to come to terms with Tara’s death as well. As for Xander, he’s been dealing with what he did to Anya and the repercussions of that. So I feel like everyone has sort of been cleaning up the wreckage of last season and doing a good job of it.

“If there’s anything I’m disappointed with this year is that we didn’t figure out how to better utilize James Marsters as Spike earlier on. Spike is such a strong character, and at a certain point we all realized, ‘He’s been down in that basement acting crazy for quite a while. It’s time we got him out of there.’ It would have been nice if he could have done more at the start of the season, but we’ve tried to make up for that in recent episodes.”

Season Seven was advertised as ‘Back to the Beginning’, with Buffy’s little sister Dawn going to school at the newly reopened Sunnydale High. “One of the great things about this year is that we’ve been able to revisit high school life though Dawn,” notes Noxon. “So to me, the season opener, Lessons, was a fun way of saying to the viewers, ‘Look, we’re back to some of the old school themes.’

by Steven Eramo

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Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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Xposé #77
March 2003
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