The Buffy Chronicles: The Unofficial Companion To Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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Overview

The Buffy Chronicles: The Unofficial Companion to Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a fun and informative look at the first season and a half of the series. From body snatchers and poltergeists to werewolves and mummies, it provides the inside track on the show's strange yet seductive characters and topics. The Buffy Chronicles includes a retrospective of the film that started it all, a history of vampire legends, cast information, plot synopses, and behind-the-scenes trivia. From "The Death Toll," a roster of who's ...
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1998 Trade paperback Illustrated. New No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 272 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

The Buffy Chronicles: The Unofficial Companion to Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a fun and informative look at the first season and a half of the series. From body snatchers and poltergeists to werewolves and mummies, it provides the inside track on the show's strange yet seductive characters and topics. The Buffy Chronicles includes a retrospective of the film that started it all, a history of vampire legends, cast information, plot synopses, and behind-the-scenes trivia. From "The Death Toll," a roster of who's been killed by whom in each episode, to "I Fall to Pieces," a guide to the alternative music and bands that add so much atmosphere, this book has everything Buffy's fans could want.

This book has not been prepared, approved, licensed, endorsed or in any way authorized by any entity that created or produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609803424
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/7/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

N. E. Genge is the author of three companion books to The X-Files, including The Unofficial X-Files Companion and The X-Files Lexicon: X-References from Anti-Walton to Zuni, as well as The Unofficial Millennium Companion. She lives in Newfoundland, Canada.
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Read an Excerpt

Season One
Welcome to the Hellmouth (Part 1)/The Harvest (Part 2)

Buffy, ex-cheerleader and fashion critic, has arrived in Sunnydale to start over. No more slaying vampires during study period. No more demolition of school property, no more Watchers judging her slaying techniques, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Only two days at her new school, and she's already tripping over corpses sporting bite marks instead of hickeys, and ducking a librarian determined to pick up where her last Watcher left off. Before the second night is out, she's alienated the coolest girl at school and blown the Slayer secret identity clause. As she tries to explain the parameters of vampire slaying to an astonished Willow and Xander, a Master Vampire plots more trouble for her.

Part 2: Sunnydale is crawling with vampires who await a mystical convergence called the Harvest, which is due to descend upon the unsuspecting people of Sunnydale at any moment--unless Buffy and company can sidetrack the Master. Of course, the Master has his own team in the field. Darla, Luke, and the newly made Jesse are only the beginning. Slayer strength just isn't enough when the Master turns Luke into a Vessel designed to siphon energy back through the mystical cage holding him, thus allowing him to attempt to escape. The suckfest is poised to begin, and Buffy will need all the information Willow, Xander, and Giles can throw her way if shes to survive.

Building the Buffyverse
Tackling the accumulated myth, folklore, and Hollywood hype thats evolved into modern vampire mythology is, for writers, only slightly less hazardous than taking on the nightstalkers themselves without the handy-dandy vampirekit that's been part of the vampire slayers key accessories since Abe Van Helsing decided to track down Dracula. In creating the backdrop for the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, every artistic choice had to be weighed against a mass of facts that added up to the standardized vampire--without becoming the stodgy stuff more likely to bore viewers to death than scare them silly. Then there were the technical considerations. Flying vamps, in addition to simply being cooler than earthbound ones, open up nifty opportunities for creative scene framing, but leave the behind-the-scenes bean counters groaning over the additional costs of extra cameras, booms, and crew.
By the time Buffy came to the small screen, creating an environment both traditional and original was further complicated by a need to remain consistent with the movie and the vampire genre, while still leaving room for audiences to discover new twists and for writers to craft dramatic episodes week after week. The shows creators also had to keep in mind that a television budget wasn't going to allow for an FX-fest every full moon, a serious consideration for a program that might, at first glance, appear to be something of a lightweight in the character department. Whatever set of rules eventually emerged had to satisfy both the Vampires don't do that! crowd and the near-obsessive Buffy aficionado murmuring in the background, But he never flew before....

As it happens, Buffyverse vamps definitely do fly. Whether you call the swirling over Cordelia's head in the parking lot low-budget or simply understated, it fixed flight ability forever within the repertoire of Sunnydale vampires. For the string of writers contributing to the soaplike story line, that fact would determine whether Buffy could be rescued Lois Lanestyle, in mid-fall, from a church steeple, or whether she'd be smeared all over the nearest gravestone. It would figure prominently in any episode featuring a tête-à-tête at Buffy's bedroom window. It was an artistic choice that, all by itself, simultaneously made a whole series of future scenes unworkable while enabling an entirely different line of dramatic action. Any writer caught trying to trap Angel in the bottom of open wells, mine shafts, or hidden subway entrances would quickly earn the scorn of attentive fans.

Fortunately, the Buffyverse seems firmly set in the Western vampire tradition, established by Bram Stoker, and, so far, hasn't veered into some of the more exotic versions of vampires such as the disembodied Malay model, which is noteworthy more for its single nostril than its bloodsucking. Interesting audiences in a vamp that preferred rice wine to the raw ingredients for blood pudding would be a tough sell, as would trying to keep track of the cans and can'ts for the 114 distinct vampire types recognized by the Society of Historical Vampiric Study alone. Linking major events, such as Drusilla's successful reunion with her sire and the Master's original imprisonment, to churches strongly suggests that future episodes will adhere to the Christian-Demonic worldview, which potential fans relate to most easily.
Christian-Demonic? Yup. The early Christian church had more demons than angels. Demons caused disease, madness, and even children's nose-picking. The devil made me do it remains our modern cliché for a belief taken much more seriously between the fourth and sixteenth centuries a.d. On the Rising of the Dead and the Cursing of Demons, a monastic paper written in the tenth century by a chap known only as Benedito the Thin, puts forward the common belief rather succinctly:
The rising of the dead, especially on full or new moon, indicates the possession by demons of the deceased prior to death but, obviously, after the administration of the Last Sacraments. Therefore, it behooves the local lay minister to withhold Final Rites until it is clear that the penitent is indeed about to die, affording as little opportunity as possible for the demon to take over the dying. Performing the Sacrament in daylight, and observing the penitent's death before the next sunset is, of course, proof against any possibility of possession, thus assuring the undisturbed rest of the deceased.

Fortunately for television-series viewers and creators, the Western vampire tradition is flush with its own history and internal disagreements, all of which give us room to play. While holy water is as potent a weapon for Buffy as it was for Van Helsing, she has yet to deal with a shape-shifting vampire, or some vampires nasty habit of turning gaseous just as they are about to be staked. Though Giles decided to toss out The Slayers Handbook after meeting Buffy, Kendra--that other one-and-only Vampire Slayer--probably read the ink right off hers, and Kendra had no doubt whatsoever that Angel wouldn't be able to drift through the bars of the trap she arranged for him or turn himself into a more convenient-size bat or rodent to fly or scamper out.

Crucifixes don't figure in the Western vampire myths until 1897, when Stoker added them to the Slayer arsenal. Since then, the simpler symbol of the cross has served as proof positive against vampires in sources as diverse as Nosferatu, a silent film from Germany, and "The Case of the Sussex Vampire," a chilling Sherlock Holmes tale, which came out two years after Nosferatu, in 1924. Over the next seventy years, anything even vaguely resembling a cross seemed to work in warding off the undead, including a pair of crossed plastic forks in that underground vampire-movie classic, To Have and Have Not: A Vampire in McDonalds, produced for exactly $112 in 1977 as a parody of Anne Rice's wildly popular Interview with the Vampire. The Master, while trapped in his underground parish, almost came to terms with the huge cross buried with him, but few other Sunnydale vamps evidenced any resistance to the symbol whatsoever. That weakness is probably what prompted Angel to present Buffy with her own cross, a weakness he proves equally susceptible to when his passionate clinch with Buffy results in a cross-shaped burn on his chest. In fact, most things religious, or at least Christian, consistently freak out Sunnydale vamps. Even the consecrated ground of the cemetery proved painful to the manicures of the vampires digging up the Master's bones.

As Buffy and Angel have yet to enjoy a normal date, we've no idea if he'll prove as susceptible to the garlic in her Caesar salad, but his offscreen encounter with a Gypsy curse, which gave him back his soul, once again harkens back to Stoker's book, the basis for the Western vampire. Whether the Gypsies who acted as the Count's servants were actually protected from his more lusty vagaries or not is never clearly stated, but they'd certainly have insight into this strange being's habits, enough to make them logical players in the life of Angelus, a vampire reputed to be well over the age of majority.

Unlike garlic, silver crosses, and Eucharistic elements such as holy water and wafers, mirrors hold a contradictory reputation in vampiric folklore. In Rudyard Kipling's The Vampire, which appeared the same year as Bram Stoker's Dracula did, vampires were fascinated by their reflections. Numerous east-Indian and other Asian tales featured vampires undone by their narcissistic interest in their own images.


This book has not been prepared, approved, licensed, endorsed or in any way authorized by any entity that created or produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2003

    Want to know eveything about Buffy?

    This book covers the seasons 1&2 on Buffy the vampire slayer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    great book for info on practically anything from seasons 1 and 2

    ok, so if you are a buffy 'buff' like me, you'd understand why i say that this book is totally cool next to all the other 'unofficial' books out for buffy. There was everything i needed from the first two seasons that i needed to catch up on from the draining summer that lacked a new buffy episode. There was only one flaw. ok, if you're like me and like to actually see the right pictures over the character names, you'd find it a 'humungoid' flaw. The picture of drucilla (juliet landeu)was actually a picture of jessica beil (mary) off of 7th heaven. but other than that, i had to give this a high recommendation to all aspiring buffy fanatics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2000

    Buffy rules...I know.

    I love every single Buffy book there is in stores. Buffy is like my life. I also love David Boreanaz! Sarah Michelle Gellar is a great actress. She is the best! I like her movies also. The t.v. show is the best show on television!All the actors are really cool and from what I'v heard, they are good friends. I would love to meet them and Buffy. This book is just one example of the writers who write books because they like to write. If I ever wrote a Buffy book, it would be because I love the show and know the characters so well. Bye!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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