Will we have any more backgrounds of other Firefly characters like Mal or Inara?
I want to. I don’t have anything on the drawing board right now because of busy-ness and crazyness and lazyness and dizzyness. But we’d like to do some more backstory stuff and… we have license at some point to move forward with these characters, too. I think it’s safe to say…[Audience cheers] It would be interesting to know what happens next.
The ‘Wash Clone Wars’ are going to be one of my most popular works.
A questioner confused Joss by asking whether he consciously drew from the X-Men character Rogue when developing Echo on Dollhouse, as he had drawn inspiration from Kitty Pryde for Buffy:
Echo was an attempt at something very different. Somebody with no support system or identity of any kind. And that really didn’t come from the same place as Kitty and Buffy, except in the sense that I always write helplessness and the gaining of strength and the building of identity. Echo was a more pure version of that. Buffy reflected Kitty in the way they were young and suddenly burdened with responsibility but they both had the context of their lives; but the whole point of Echo was that she had that taken away from her. I don’t actually know a lot of people that. It was more of a stretch. It was kind of my Robot fiction.”
Were The Powers That Be in Angel an idea that you had when writing Buffy?
Everybody had some kind of controlling force out there that was supposed to be benign, but didn’t quite seem to get it done. On Angel, we defined them differently — but Buffy there was always, not just a Watcher’s Council but the people who made the first slayers. There was always some new, weird council of old men or women, or beings or clouds or something that was out there that we’d basically need to invoke or move the story along, or something to rail against for not making things better. Something that would seem be in opposition to the very dark forces that were personified by Wolfram and Hart, but at the end of the day, really proved more than the evil ever did that everything is just shades of gray and that no matter who’s out there, we do have to do this ourselves.
Would you bring Buffy to Broadway? [Audience applauds]
You mean like take her to a show? I… would. [cheers] I can’t say that I will, or that by the time I try to, anyone will want me to, but yeah. I think she belongs there. In the theater opposite where Doctor Horrible is. [more cheers]
On a scale of 1 to 10 for Buffy Season 9, how badly are you planning on smashing our hearts into the ground and pulverizing them?
Look, you all know I want you to suffer. It’s like a drug. I can’t help it. Season 9 is not designed around tragedy, but then, life seldom is, it just happens. Do I plan to do something awful and break your hearts? I’m not going to tell you! But Season 9 has some very edgy stuff in it, some very new stuff. But it is not built around darkness, per se, except in the fact that Buffy is always and always trying to find out who she is, which can be complicated and sometimes dangerous and sticky and weird. But whether or not I’m going to do something appalling in Season 9, I am not going to reveal ’cause that would take out the fun of your suffering.
I wasn’t going to… but now I am— ’cause of him!
What is your reaction to the queer community’s love of your show(s):
Well, I’m against it [laughter] ’cause you’re making the Lord angry. You didn’t think I was going to bring up Alien: Resurrection, but I am. [It’s] sole virtue for me, when I was writing it, is discovering the idea of clone Ripley and robo-Winona… kind of coming to terms with the idea of being considered less than human— despite the fact that they were both powerful and beautiful— thinking and internalizing that feeling, like an underclass of human beings. To me, this is a very powerful metaphor, in particular for the gay community and teenagers who are struggling with that. And ultimately, it’s a metaphor for everybody who feels like an outsider. But that was my first thought, that was what made it interesting. Buffy was basically sort of an extension of that— that kind of storytelling. I didn’t actively go out with an agenda but it absolutely means everything to me that the gay communities have embraced the shows because they are for them as much, or more, as anyone else.
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