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Book Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer 20 Years of Slaying – The Authorized Watchers Guide

Book Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer 20 Years of Slaying – The Authorized Watchers Guide

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

This year marked the twentieth anniversary of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and for those of us who grew up with the supernatural drama in our lives, it’s a big ol’ sign that we’re all getting that bit older. More importantly though, it’s the perfect opportunity to look back on the show and celebrate our continued love of the Scooby Gang.

That’s where Buffy The Vampire Slayer 20 Years of Slaying: The Authorized Watchers Guide comes in. Released at the beginning of October, this stunning hardcover book is every Buffy lover’s dream; featuring exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, breakdowns of the best, most memorable episodes, and loads of insider content. 

Across the two decades since Buffy first aired, there have been numerous Watcher’s Guides but this special collector’s edition is a definitive compilation edited by Christopher Golden, and it’s a must-have for fans both old and new.

Buffy changed the pop culture landscape and became a cult icon in her own right; it’s difficult to think of many other shows that have stood the test of time so well. As a young girl watching the show, it wasn’t the vampires or the other monsters that kept me hooked – it was the strong female protagonist at the centre of the story; it was the fact that she could be both tough and girly at once, and it was her ability to fall down and rise up time and time again.

The Watcher’s Guide goes through the series, season by season, exploring what made, and still makes, Buffy so popular. All the most pivotal episodes are included, from the very first introduction to Sunnydale in 1.1 to the big finale in 7.22, not forgetting all those big, emotional, significant moments in-between (like the devastating ‘The Body‘ and the famous musical episode, ‘Once More, With Feeling‘).

Some of the cast interviews, such as those with Anthony Stewart Head and James Masters, are more in-depth, covering topics surrounding Buffy as well as more general questions, whilst others are more brief but no less interesting. The book closes with final thoughts from creator Joss Whedon and a special bonus teleplay of the season four finale, ‘Restless’, which featured in the third Watcher’s Guide. For anyone who didn’t read the original guides, it’s fascinating to see how a single episode could foreshadow future storylines and seasons.

The Watcher’s Guide is perfect reading for Halloween and winter, when the days are darker and you want to curl up with that one series that takes you back to your childhood. Read the guide and then re-watch the boxset for that ultimate Buffy The Vampire Slayer binge.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer 20 Years of Slaying – The Authorized Watchers Guide was published by Simon & Schuster on 5 October 2017

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