Thursday, 22 November 2007

I Love Angel

Despite the fact that I work in a cinema my passion is for television, not film. I dunno, there's just something magical about the television medium that allows you to break down characters and plot in a detailed, sophisicated and audience friendly manner. Unlike a movie, with television you have 6+ weeks to establish your story, and let your audience fall in love with the characters that you're watching.

One of my personal favourite television shows has got to be Joss Whedon's Angel series. When I first watched it, way back in 2000, I was probably a little too young to fully appreciate its dark and gothic undertones but I'm working my way through the series' DVDs right now, catching up on what my younger self might have missed before, and learning to love the series in a totally new light.

What I love about Angel is how serialised it all became during its middle series - the writers never felt the need to end storylines prematurely. Themes and stories were carried through until they naturally resolved themselves (the death of Glen Quinn's Doyle), or lead on to exciting new story developments (Fred's death, and rebirth as the ancient demon Ilyria). When I write, it's this approach I take; to let stories 'cook' and audiences digest fully what they're seeing.

Of course I was devastated when the series ended, on Sky One back in 2004. The final episode "Not Fade Away" might have been the perfect ending to a show like Angel (enforcing the idea that the fight never ends) but the cliffhanger like ending had me on the edge of my seat; to such an extent that three years on, I still want to know what happened next.

The good news is that - like Whedon's other show, Buffy - the series has been revived in comic book format. Not only that, but these new adventures are official - or as the fans like to declare, "canon", which means at long, long last we're finally getting to learn what happened next.

Issue one doesn't disappoint; Angel is trapped in L.A, which has now been dragged down into the belly of Hell following Angel betraying his bosses, Wolfram and Hart, at the end of the television series. Meanwhile a formerly dead friend is back, very much 'alive'; and a formerly alive friend is back, very much un-dead.

Returning to a series I left behind three years ago is scary as hell. It's a rollercoaster ride; and so far I'm loving every minute (well, panel) of it. Long may Angel live!

Elsewhere, writing on "Frank's Apocalypse" continues. It's hard you know, establishing a new series and new characters. Hopefully I'll crack it soon, and we'll be a go-go!
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