One of the biggest stories to emerge online during the summer of 2018 was the announcement of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot. Presently, the project is still nascent, but creator Joss Whedon will return to serve as an executive producer on the series. Monica Owusu-Breen, creator of NBC’s supernatural drama Midnight, Texas, will be the reboot’s showrunner. Unsurprisingly, news of Buffy’s eventual return was met with a wave of unfavorable criticism, some of it quite vitriolic in nature, especially following the announcement of plans to have a black actress lead the series. The latter detail has many fans pondering if the show will even star Buffy Summers. Could another Slayer take the reins this time around? Will audiences once again watch the Scooby Gang thwart the forces of evil on a hellmouth in Sunnydale? These details and myriad others remain unclear.
However, it is exciting to think of what may or may not happen, particularly where characters are concerned. Should Buffy indeed sit at the center of the narrative, who else from the original series is set to return? Staples such as Willow, Xander, and Giles seem like shoo-ins. Therefore, this list will explore characters beyond the core team that would be perfect for a more modern incarnation of the show. In addition, this list will acknowledge several characters that are probably better left in the past. Here are 10 characters we hope to see in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television reboot, and 10 we would not mind seeing cast aside.
20 WANT: KENDRA YOUNG
At the end of Buffy’s pilot season, Buffy perishe9s while fighting The Master. This event makes way for a new Slayer to be chosen. Thus, the title of Slayer also goes to Kendra Young, a young woman from Jamaica who's introduced during the show’s sophomore effort. Afterwards, the Slayers collaborate on a few occasions. Still, Kendra feels grossly underutilized, especially since she dies at the tail end of Season 2.
With a black lead set to star in the reboot, speculation suggests Kendra may be the titular Slayer for this version of the tale. At present, no one involved has corroborated such conjecture. Regardless, if Kendra does return in some capacity, it would be nice to see her character explored with much more depth.
19 DON'T WANT: DRACULA
The King of Vampires himself was bound to appear on a show titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And that he did, featuring for the first and only time in Season 5’s first episode, “Buffy vs. Dracula.” Overall, it’s a good episode, likely a favorite amongst many fans of the series. However, it admittedly seems out of place. Dracula seems out of place, most notably because the series about vampire slaying had for so long done well without even mentioning him.
It seems doubtful that anyone will find Dracula’s having a potential cameo in the reboot unfavorable. For the short period of time in which he features on the show, he is likable. Yet, he isn't exactly memorable, a statement not often said with regards to Buffy.
18 WANT: OZ
Oz first appears early in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s second season, his appearances occurring pretty sporadic at the time. As a series regular during the third run, he plays a key role in the overarching narrative. Unfortunately, Season 4 sees him return to appearing sporadically, until he outright exits the show, only receiving mention during seasons five through seven.
Oz is one of the series’ more compelling characters, of which there exists several. He stands out amongst others courtesy of his arc introducing werewolves to the Buffyverse. Furthermore, Oz’ personality is like none other in the series. Surely, the reboot will have a place for his dry humor and unique perspective.
17 DON'T WANT: DAWN
By series’ end, Dawn comes into her own as a character, for the most part. Yet, rarely does she seem to be anything other than Buffy’s younger, bratty sister. And, for much of her time on the show, Dawn behaves and speaks as if she was written far younger than the casting and story suggest.
Of course, Dawn also brings with her a tricky past. She arrives in Season 5, fully integrated into the narrative. While the characters know her well, the audience remains in the dark. It at first appears convoluted, but a story explanation that’s still divisive amongst fans does set things straight. Should this character return in the reboot, here’s to hoping things are handled a little differently.
16 WANT: ANGEL
Like Giles, Willow, and Xander, Angel’s integral to Buffy’s lore. However, it does seem possible that a new series could launch without him, especially if the story subverts expectations. It would be nice to see him return in some capacity, no matter how minimal. Without a doubt, he’s one of the Buffyverse’s most compelling characters, primarily because of the duality he often struggles to balance.
Torn between being a better person and giving into his demonic proclivities, Angel warrants consideration as the franchise’s moral center. Even Buffy is sometimes willing to take risks and cross lines the vampire with a soul wouldn't dare. The series, rebooted or not, may not feel complete without him.
15 DON'T WANT: HARMONY
In Buffy, Harmony serves as little more than one of the mean girls in Cordelia’s clique. When the Scooby Gang adopts Cordelia, Harmony takes the mantle of queen mean girl with pride. In short, she’s a one-dimensional character, whose appearance in the series is of no consequence.
Yet, when Harmony returns to the Buffyverse in Angel as a vampire, she becomes all the more fascinating. Additionally, her brand of humor on the spinoff series lands far better than it ever does on Buffy. If Harmony receives another chance to shine in a rebooted Buffy, it’ll be interesting to see how she’s written to appeal to new audiences. Even for a late '90s show, she can be hit or miss.
14 WANT: ANYA
Despite debuting in Season 3 in an antagonistic role of sorts, Anya is one of the few demons featured on Buffy that integrates into the Scooby Gang’s inner circle. In addition to being Xander’s long-term love interest and offering the team background details on certain demons, Anya also serves as comedic relief.
While most characters on Buffy are inherently funny, Anya’s brand of humor often feels more mature. Her ignorance about the rules of society and human nature also means she responds to certain situations with dark humor that simply wouldn’t work for other characters. Sure, a Buffy reboot could function without her, but who doesn’t want to see how a vengeance demon behaves in this day and age?
13 DON'T WANT: RILEY
Interestingly, the character of Riley Finn remains a divisive topic amongst many Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. While there are those who either like him or are indifferent, some fans have strong feelings about the character and his relatively brief tenure on the show. For instance, some consider Riley a replacement for Angel who never quite lived up to standards previously set. Meanwhile, others outright despise the character because of his treatment of Buffy.
With regards to the latter point, Riley doesn’t always seem respectful of Buffy and her role as the Slayer. There are a few instances where Riley undermines her, or treats her as though she’s incompetent. Buffy deserves better. Hopefully, this will be reflected in the impending reboot.
12 WANT: CORDELIA
For the bulk of Buffy’s pilot season, Cordelia Chase is Sunnydale High’s favorite cheerleader and a stereotypical mean girl. During Season 2, she becomes far more well-rounded, especially after joining the Scoobies. Corderlia starts accepting others more readily, opening up about herself, and is willing to put herself at risk on some occasions to help others. It’s an impressive character arc, which continues to blossom when she joins the cast of Angel.
Unfortunately, in later seasons of Angel, things exceed outlandish where Corderlia is concerned. Still, she remains one of the Buffyverse’s most dynamic characters. It would be interesting to see what a more modern version of Cordelia could potentially evolve into.
11 DON'T WANT: JONATHAN
Jonathan Levinson spends a good chunk of his time on Buffy as an ancillary character. At Sunnydale High, he’s persistently bullied and ridiculed. In some instances, he becomes victim to monster-of-the-week foes, requiring him to be saved by the Scooby Gang. After years of such treatment, Jonathan attempts to end it all on school grounds during their senior year. It’s a heart-wrenching event, and one of Buffy’s darker story arcs.
Why wouldn’t anyone want to see such a character return? He’s mostly remembered for being a member of The Trio, Buffy’s Season 6 big bad. The group and its antics are quite abysmal; additionally, Jonathan’s involvement seems misguided. Thus, the legacy of this otherwise intriguing character remains somewhat tarnished.
10 WANT: JENNY CALENDAR
Jenny Calendar, referred to as Ms. Calendar, first appears in Buffy as Sunnydale High’s unsuspecting computer science teacher. Akin to several other Buffyverse characters, there’s more than meets the eye where Ms. Calendar is concerned. In addition to being a love interest for Giles, she’s also revealed to dabble in the dark arts. Ms. Calendar quickly becomes a valued ally of the Scooby Gang; she doesn’t remain so for long, however.
In Season 2’s “Passion” episode, Angelus murders the teacher, after discovering she intends to help the team return control to Angel. Apart from visions in later episodes, this is the last fans see of Ms. Calendar. Would a similar fate befall the tech-savvy instructor in a reboot? Hopefully, audiences will get to find out.
9 DON'T WANT: VERUCA
Apparently, Veruca was meant to play a much more robust role during Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fourth season. Her, Willow, and Oz were to feature in a love triangle, a story arc intended to last throughout the season. Seth Green’s rather abrupt departure from the show culminated in several drastic changes, which see The Initiative brought to the fore.
Regardless of what should have happened, Veruca isn’t a much of a likable character. Maybe this is contingent upon the condensed love triangle story. As a lead singer in a band and a werewolf, Veruca couldn’t be any more compelling. As the character who forcefully comes between Willow and Oz, perhaps she’s best left in the past.
8 WANT: SPIKE
In many respects, Spike arguably has the best character arc in the Buffyverse. He debuts as a villain early in Season 2, experiences an anti-heroic phase, heroically sacrifices himself during Buffy’s finale, then appears on Angel in a heroic role. Within all of the above are countless peaks and valleys, particularly as his past receives further exploration.
Prior to being sired by Drusilla, Spike was considered a mediocre poet and a hopeless romantic. These complex aspects of the character are conveyed in present-day. Yet, Spike’s idea of romanticism also tends to drift into murky waters, as he often appears predatory and manipulative. Still, these character traits, unfavorable as they are, ensure him a place amongst the best villains genre television has on offer.
7 DON'T WANT: WARREN
Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s sixth run is an interesting beast. The controversy that swept many story arcs has made it arguably the least favored of the show’s seven seasons. Unsurprisingly, The Trio, featuring Jonathan, Andrew, and Warren, rests at the nexus of said controversy. At the center of The Trio sits Warren, an unassuming character who arrives in Season 5. By Season 6, however, his misogyny and abusive tendencies become abundantly apparent.
Warren abuses his girlfriend, kills her, then sets his sights on the destruction of Buffy and Sunnydale. With help from his Trio super-villain group, he nearly succeeds with the latter two. In addition, this character is notoriously remembered for murdering Tara. It’s doubtful anyone would miss him should he not appear in the reboot.
6 WANT: WESLEY
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce first appears in the back-half of Buffy’s third season. Sent by the Watchers Council to supervise Giles’ work, Wesley at first seems too much of a stickler, an overbearing figure who hinders the Scooby Gang from doing what they do best. This is brilliant, though. Viewers see the team challenged by Wesley, and watch as he slowly accepts their typically substandard tactics.
When Wesley joins Angel, his character receives further development, allowing him to evolve into a hero in his own right. The Wesley that fans meet in Buffy Season 3 is not the same man that stands by Angel’s side in his show’s finale. Watching Wesley embark on another incredible journey in the Buffyverse seems a recipe for something special.
5 DON'T WANT: ANDREW
Though he has ties to Buffy’s earlier seasons, as the brother of Tucker Wells, Andrew Wells doesn’t appear until early in Season 6, where he formally debuts as a member of The Trio. The supervillain group, comprised of Andrew, Jonathan, and Warren, commits small crimes here and there, before deciding to assassinate Buffy and lay claim to Sunnydale.
Andrew’s turn to evil receives minimal exploration. He seems to merely be involved due to peer pressure and a desire to feel that he belongs somewhere. His participation in Buffy’s more controversial storylines is unfortunate. By Season 7, Andrew inadvertently aligns himself with the Scoobies, and eventually becomes a Watcher. If he returns for the reboot, perhaps it’d be best if he joins the group under different circumstances.
4 WANT: TARA
Tara Maclay debuts in Buffy’s fourth run as a shy young woman still searching for her place in the world. It takes her a long time to grow comfortable with Willow and the Scooby Gang. But when Tara comes out of her shell, the show benefits. As one of genre TV’s first gay icons, Tara remains inspirational. Audiences witness her extraordinary growth as a character, and fall for her just as quickly as Willow does.
Sadly, Tara’s arc ends controversially, as she's written off in Season 6. In fact, her demise serves as one of the first examples of the “bury your gays” trope. If Tara returns for the reboot, fingers are crossed she won’t suffer the same fate as before.
3 DON'T WANT: AMY MADISON
Debuting in Season 1 as a friend of Willow’s, Amy is believed by Buffy to be a witch, because of malicious actions on Amy’s part. However, Amy herself never harms a soul. Rather, her mother possesses her body and carries out nefarious deeds. Years later, after developing powers of her own, Amy tries fleeing Sunnydale while in the form of a rat.
Amy doesn’t regain her human form until Season 6, after which she ventures down a dark path that seems strangely out of character. Unfortunately, she encourages Willow to follow in her footsteps, thrusting someone who already grapples with controlling their magical urges into a magical addiction. In short, Amy’s evil transition happens too quickly, leaving her an unfavorable candidate for a potential return in Buffy’s reboot.
2 WANT: FAITH
Surprisingly, Faith only appears in 20 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and half a dozen Angel episodes. How does a character who spends so little time in the franchise seem just as integral as members of the main cast? It’s a combination of both Faith as a character and Eliza Dushku’s iconic portrayal.
The show’s third Slayer debuts in Season 3, and she’s immediately differentiated from the other two Slayers. Faith’s refusal to follow the rules and her forceful tactics make her risky even by the Scooby Gang’s standards. Eventually, she begins struggling with the darker corners of her humanity. Therefore, Faith supplies Buffy’s battle of good versus evil with a well-written nuanced perspective. Hopefully, the reboot will see her receive even more depth.
1 DON'T WANT: ADAM
Adam arrives during Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fourth season, serving as one of the big bads. A demonoid creature with bio-mechanical components, Adam is created as a part of The Initiative’s plan to provide the US military with super soliders. Despite being crafted in a manner akin to the creature in Frankenstein, Adam isn’t particularly interesting. This holds true when comparing him to the likes of Buffy villains such as The Master or Spike.
Perhaps Adam’s narrative fails to reach its full potential because Maggie Walsh actor Lindsay Crouse departed the series earlier than intended. Or, maybe there’s no way a cyborg demonoid was going to become a memorable addition to Buffy. Whatever the case, it seems doubtful he’d be missed were he to not return for the reboot.