Espenson drafts - Pangs



Pangs is one of my all-time episodes from the whole Mutant Enemy catalogue. Very ordinary in amny ways (none of the plot drama of Innocence or Surprise, for example, or the formal reach of Hush or Once More With Feeling, or The Body, it is an exemplary demonstration of how extraordinary Buffy is, even when it is just being normal.

The serious, if flawed, treatment of the theme; the cross-over aspect with Angel; the casual generic hybridity; the brilliant cuts from scene to scene with astonishing tonal, narratorial and character-related balancing. It is a tour de force of an experienced writer and director working together in an established franchise and creating something both thoroughly recognisable, and totally new in that franchise.

As we shall see below, Espenson has interesting things to say about its genesis and composition, but for now, here are the drafts. They are just brilliant!!



The outline is here.

First draft here

Second draft

If you'd like to purchase the shooting scripts then you can try looking here.

Espenson comments in her emails to me, available in my forthcoming book,

"This was an episode in which he [Whedon] had an extremely clear vision and I was just there to carry it out. He determined every scene and every act break. He also extensively rewrote act three... the yam recipe that Giles is working with is Joss's personal recipe, for example.


BUT... I am very proud of the personal touches I managed to insert. I only had a few days to write the episode, and I started by doing some short-and-intensive Chumash Indian research. It was when I found the list of ways that the Chumash had suffered (cut-off ears, syphilis, etc), that Joss realized those could help shape the story. Spike getting shot with arrows was not part of the original plan, either, but was something that came out of my first draft. And, of course, the dialogue was largely mine. ‘What's a ricer?’ You made a bear, undo it,’ ‘Sorry about that Chief,’ ‘A yam-sham.’ (However, the iconic Spike speech about the plight of the Indians was pretty much all Joss - I never wrote a version that was quite harsh enough)."


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