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18 June 2014
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Doug Petrie with weaponry. Grrr!
Doug Petrie
Buffy producer's inside guide

Buffy and Angel, always 20 minutes away?

BBC : This episode became the first proper Angel to Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover, apart from the phone call in The Freshman. Are these "events" driven by story and character needs, are they for the fans or are they more cross promotional tools? What is the real function of a crossover in television terms?

Doug Petrie: I can only answer in terms of our shows and I think that they're very much experiments. I think we'll be doing fewer of them between Buffy and Angel, although again, small, small teaser: Angel will be making an appearance in season five of Buffy at some point. A very small one. I think that it's very much keeping the world alive.

When we started doing Angel, the parameters of Buffy's world became much larger and we were very much experimenting. How often do you remind the viewers that the world is bigger? I think that you can't. Again this goes back to the reality of it, where you can't just shut off a great love like a waterfall. Angel will make appearances in Buffy's life, Riley will be jealous. Buffy will be confused and Angel will be confused. I think the network has various responses. They say, 'Do more of these, do less of these'. It comes and goes but really comes out of the characters and what they need to go through.

BBC : Is it logistically tricky to do?

Doug Petrie: Yes. There's a joke in the movie Clueless: "Everything's 20 minutes away in LA." The sets are forty minutes apart so it's not terrible, and the writing staff is literally downstairs. It's upstairs, downstairs, so we're in the same building, and the co-ordination from the producers and the writers is quite simple. We've got David Boreanaz, who's a big star and a very busy guy - so getting him for a show is really hard, you know. But we manage. It is very tricky and - I'm very happy to say - someone else's job. I just wouldn't want that job!

BBC : If the impending contract negotiations between Fox Television and The WB don't work out and Buffy were to move to Fox and ABC, would this completely preclude any further crossovers?

Doug Petrie: Gosh, I don't know. The shows seem to be [so] naturally set in their own worlds at this, Angel's second season, that it's a little weird.

We were talking about having Cordelia come back on the show [but] we don't know if she fits in with this group any more. She's seems so much more adult and so much more of Angel's world now. It's a little hard for us. I love Charisma and I love the character. She's just worlds of fun to write for because she's so self-involved and yet she's got these layers. Great character. I've always enjoyed writing for her. We don't know if the characters need crossovers that much at this stage and as for the business end of it... I don't know.

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