Premiering October 12, 2023 on Audible is a new story set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The audio drama is titled Slayers: A Buffyverse Story, and it follows Spike on a new adventure set two decades after the finale of Buffy (which, since Buffy ended in 2003, that means Slayers is set in 2023 when it will be released). Also, multiple cast members from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel will reprise their roles! Read on to learn everything we know about Slayers!
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Everything We Know About Slayers: A Buffyverse Story
As Entertainment Weekly reports, Slayers: A Buffyverse Story begins with Spike working undercover, trying his best to pretend to be evil while secretly working for the side of good. A young Slayer seeks out Spike as a mentor, which threatens to blow his cover as an evilly-reformed Big Bad. Spike searches for a Watcher for his eager potential pupil, but his search is derailed when Cordelia Chase arrives from an alternate reality where she is the one and only Slayer. Cordelia the Vampire Slayer then enlists the aid of Spike in fighting the Big Bad from her reality, Spike’s sire and former lover Drusilla!
Returning to reprise their roles (and in some cases to create alternate versions of their original characters) from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series are James Marsters as Spike, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, Juliet Landau as Drusilla, Anthony Head as Giles, Emma Caulfield Ford as Anya Jenkins/Anyanka, Amber Benson as Tara Maclay, Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson, and James Charles Leary as Clem. Joining the Buffy alums is Laya DeLeon Hayes (Vicaria in The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster) as the 16-year-old Slayer Indira Nunnally.
Slayers: A Buffverse Story is co-written by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden. In addition to playing Tara, Amber Benson is an accomplished author who has written multiple novels including the Calliope Reaper-Jones fantasy novels and the Echo Park Coven series. She also co-wrote comic books set in the Buffy universe including Willow & Tara: Wannablessedbe and Willow & Tara: Wilderness.
Christopher Golden co-wrote those comics with Amber, and he has been involved writing many Buffy books and comics since the beginning. The first Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel Christopher was involved with was 1997’s Halloween Rain (which he co-wrote with Nancy Holder). Amber Benson and Christopher Golden co-directed Slayers along with co-director and producer Kc Wayland (director and writer of the We’re Alive podcast series).
How Did Buffy and Angel End?
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel television series ended in 2003 and 2004 respectively, so many people might need a refresher about how the stories finished and where certain characters ended up. Obviously, huge spoilers ahead if you’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer finished up in its seventh season with the episode “Chosen.” Without going into too much detail, the finale had Buffy and her extended Scooby Gang battling the First in the Hellmouth (for those unfamiliar with these terms, it means the heroes faced an ancient evil inside a portal to hell). The forces of good, including a small army of Slayers thanks to a spell that gave power to all potential Slayers, won the fight thanks in large part to the ultimate sacrifice from Spike who was killed while using a magic amulet to defeat the bad guys and seal the Hellmouth.
Spike is revived in season five of the Angel series, and after a while joins forces with Angel and his associates. The final episode of Angel, “Not Fade Away,” ends with Spike, Angel, Gunn, and Illyria preparing to face an overwhelming number of enemies in the streets of Los Angeles. How our heroes got out of this situation is explained in the canonical Angel: After the Fall comic book series, but as far as live-action, this is where the story ends.
Though knowing how the TV series ended may or may not be important to know before listening to Slayers, what’s probably more important is how each character’s story ended. Here is a brief rundown of the characters we know will appear in Slayers and where we last saw them. These descriptions will only be going by the television series and not the official continuation of the story in various canon comic books. The comics are addressed in the next section of this article.
- Spike – Spike is a vampire (actually, he’s the best vampire), and over the course of Buffy and Angel, Spike was a Big Bad, he was neutered by the secretive Initiative, he began fighting for the good guys, he fell in love with Buffy, he regained his soul, he died, and he came back. As mentioned above, he was last seen in live-action alongside Angel, prepared to fight to the death in a lopsided battle against numerous enemies.
- Cordelia Chase – Cordelia went from ditzy mean girl in the first episode of Buffy to becoming a Champion of good and one of Angel’s closest allies in Angel. Cordelia died in season five of Angel after failing to recover from a coma caused by her body being possessed.
- Rupert Giles – Giles was Buffy’s Watcher, but he was eventually fired from that role. He was later reinstated as Buffy’s Watcher, but he voluntarily left Buffy again as an attempt to get her to take the initiative to progress on her own. Giles would return to aid Buffy in her fight against the First, and he survived the climactic battle in the finale of Buffy.
- Drusilla – Drusilla is the vampire who, in 1880, turned a man named William Pratt into the vampire who came to be known as Spike. Dru and Spike became lovers and were together for many years, all the way up until Dru left Spike when he sided with Buffy to defeat the once-again-evil Angel/Angelus. Drusilla later returned to Spike to try to reconcile, but she once again left when she realized how much Spike had changed.
- Anya/Anyanka – Anya was born as a human in the year 860, but she was transformed into a vengeance demon while in her 20s. Anya was turned back into a human in 1998 after a failed attempt to trick Cordelia into enacting revenge. As a human, Anya fell in love with Xander, but she eventually went back to being a demon after being left at the wedding altar. She then lost her demon powers again, and she died fighting for good in the final battle in the finale of Buffy.
- Tara Maclay – Tara was a witch and the girlfriend of Willow. Tara broke up with Willow after being heartbroken by Willow using a spell on her. Tara and Willow eventually got back together, but Tara was killed in Buffy season six when Warren wildly fired a gun at Buffy, hitting Tara with a stray shot.
- Jonathan Levinson – Jonathan was a quiet, bullied student at Sunnydale High School. He later learned witchcraft, and he even later joined Warren and Andrew in an attempt to become supervillains. Jonathan fled Sunnydale when Willow went on a rampage and killed Warren, but he returned in Buffy season seven to look for an artifact with Andrew. Jonathan was killed by Andrew who was tricked into using his friend as a sacrifice.
- Clement – Clem is a demon, but the (mostly) good kind of demon. He’s a friend of Spike’s who became friendly with Buffy. Clem wanted to avoid trouble, and he was last seen leaving Sunnydale in Buffy season seven ahead of the final confrontation with the First.
- Amy Madison (played by a new actress in the role, Jessica Gardner) – In the first season of Buffy, Amy was saved by Buffy and her friends when Amy’s mother, a witch, switched bodies with her. Amy went on to become a witch herself, but she accidentally transformed herself into a rat. Amy lived as a rat for the better part of three years before Willow learned how to make her human again. Amy held a grudge against Willow, and she was last seen in season seven of Buffy after she put a hex on Willow.
Is Slayers Canon?
A better question to ask than “is Slayers canon” is, “does it matter if Slayers is canon?” Buffy the Vampire Slayer has inspired a ton of extended universe material, some of which is officially part of the Buffy continuity, and some of which isn’t. It’s all worth seeking out though.
For those who keep track of these things, the official canon of the Buffyverse includes every episode of of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and many of the comic books, most of which were published after both series ended. To try to get into the specifics of how the comic continuations might affect Slayers: A Buffyverse Story would be quite complicated, and it’s probably unnecessary.
The official description of Slayers mentions an alternate reality where a much different version of Cordelia comes from, so it can be assumed that other characters will also be alternate-reality versions of the characters we know. A few of the characters known to be in Slayers are dead in both live-action and in the comic books, so they must surely be from a different reality. Spike is likely to follow the original continuity of his character, but to expect people to know everything that happened to him in the shows and comics is a lot to ask for anyone. It’s a good bet that fans of every type, from casual to obsessive, will be able to jump into Slayers and follow it just fine regardless of where they began and ended their viewing/reading.
Besides, it could be that Slayers itself takes place in an alternate reality. It wouldn’t be the first time Buffy tackled the subject of alternate realities/timelines. Remember the vampiric version of Willow from the time Cordelia wished Buffy never moved to Sunnydale who later travels dimensions and briefly ends up in the main continuity? Alternate dimensions are already canon. After all, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie from 1992 isn’t canon with the show, but with the idea of the Buffyverse, it could still be considered something that actually happened in an alternate reality/timeline. Just read, watch, and listen to all the Buffy stuff there is, and enjoy it.
When and Where Can I Listen to Slayers: A Buffyverse Story?
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story comes out on October 12, 2023. You can currently take a look at the listing for it on Audible.
Slayers is an Audible Original, which means you’ll need to sign up for an Audible account (or use an Amazon account) to listen. You can purchase Slayers without a paid subscription, but if you’re a new to Audible, you should be able to get a free 30-day trial by checking the web site.