Angel (season 1)

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Angel (season 1)
Angel DVD Season (1).jpg
Region 1 Season 1 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Original run October 5, 1999 (1999-10-05) – May 23, 2000 (2000-05-23)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 February 11, 2003 (2003-02-11)
Region 2 December 10, 2001 (2001-12-10)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of Angel episodes

The first season of the television series Angel, the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, premiered on October 5, 1999 on The WB and concluded its 22-episode season on May 23, 2000. The season aired on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm ET, following Buffy.

Origins[edit]

Series co-creator David Greenwalt points out "there's no denying that Angel grew out of Buffy". Several years before Angel debuted, Joss Whedon developed the concept behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer to invert the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie."[1] The character Angel was first seen in the first episode of Buffy and became a regular, appearing in the opening credits during seasons two and three. After being turned into a soulless, immortal vampire, he became legendary for his evil acts, until a band of wronged Gypsies punished him by restoring his soul, overwhelming him with guilt. Angel eventually set out on a path of redemption, hoping that he could make up for his past through good deeds. In Buffy's season three finale, he leaves Sunnydale for L.A. to continue his atonement without Buffy. Whedon believed that "Angel was the one character who was bigger than life in the same way that Buffy was, a kind of superhero."[2] Whedon has compared the series to its parent, "It's a little bit more straightforward action show and a little bit more of a guys' show."[3]

While the central concept behind Buffy was "High school as a horror movie" in small-town America,[4] co-creators David Greenwalt and Whedon were looking to make Angel into a different "gritty, urban show."[5] Whedon explains "we wanted a much darker show, darker in tone. It is set in Los Angeles because there are a lot of demons in L.A. and a wealth of stories to be told. We also wanted to take the show a little older and have the characters deal with demons in a much different way. Buffy is always the underdog trying to save the world, but Angel is looking for redemption. It's those two things that creatively make the shows different."[6]

Whedon and Greenwalt prepared a six-minute promotional video pitch, often called the "Unaired Angel pilot" for the WB Network.[7] Some shots from this short were later used in the opening credits.[7]

Early during the life of the series, some effort was made to slightly soften the original concept. For example, scenes were cut from the pilot episode, "City of," in which Angel tasted the blood of a murder victim.[8] The episode that was originally written to be the second episode, "Corrupt" was abandoned altogether. Writer David Fury explains, "The network was shocked. They said 'We can't shoot this. This is way too dark.' We were able to break a new idea, we had to turn it over in three days."[9] Instead the tone was lightened, and the opening episodes established Angel Investigations as an idealistic shoestring operation.

A first draft script reveals that Angel was originally intended to include the character Whistler, played by Max Perlich, who had already featured in the two-part Buffy season two finale.[10] In an interview, Perlich said, "I never got called again. If they had called, I would have probably accepted because it was a great experience and I think Joss is very original and talented."[11] Instead, the producers created a Whistler-like character, Doyle. Cordelia Chase, also from the original Sunnydale crew, joined Angel and Doyle.

Season synopsis[edit]

At the end of the third season of Buffy, the 242 year old, re-ensouled vampire Angel left Sunnydale to give teenage Slayer Buffy Summers the chance to live a normal life. Angel is now living in the big city of Los Angeles. With Buffy gone Angel is now completely cut off from society, every day getting closer and closer to giving in to his vampiric hunger. It's not until he befriends the half demon and fellow Irishman Doyle, who is sent visions of people in trouble by The Powers That Be, and fellow Sunnydale resident Cordelia Chase, who grounds Angel's life in the humanity around him, that he truly begins to take charge of his life and seek atonement for his past sins. He sets up his own detective agency, Angel Investigations and begins to "help the helpless".

Early in the season, Angel befriends a detective named Kate Lockley who at first helps and befriends Angel but turns on him after she finds out what he truly is. As the season comes to a close, Angel gains a semi-ally in the form of street smart, vampire hunter named Charles Gunn who will officially join the team early in the next season. Throughout the year Angel and co. are frequently set upon by the demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart, and the antics of two up and coming lawyers Lindsey McDonald and Lilah Morgan, who have secret plans concerning the vampire with a soul and the role he plays in the forthcoming apocalypse.

In "I Will Remember You" Buffy comes to L.A. during which Angel is cured of his vampirism by the blood of a Mohra demon. He and Buffy then share the perfect day they always dreamed of together. However, Angel asks the Oracles to reverse time so that he can continue to help people in need realizing that he cannot protect the world as a normal human man. He subsequently gives up the one thing he ever truly loved to continue fighting the good fight.

A few days later Doyle sacrifices his life as an act of redemption when he saves the lives of a family of half demon refugees. Before he dies he gives Cordelia a long awaited kiss as the two had slowly been building a relationship all year and passes the godly visions on to her. In his place, ex-watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce arrives and aids the team with his extensive knowledge of demonology and the occult.

In the two-parter, "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary", the rogue Slayer, Faith shows up in L.A. and is contracted by Wolfram & Hart to kill Angel. After torturing Wesley she ends up breaking down in Angel's arms, screaming at him to kill her. She eventually admits to the many crimes she has committed and hands herself in to the police. Seeing someone else so willingly seek redemption allows Angel to re-affirm his role and to willingly cut himself off from Buffy. Angel also develops a friendship with Faith, sharing a powerful bond which would eventually pivotal in their future alliances.

During the season finale Angel comes across an ancient prophecy that concerns his fate. Wolfram & Hart summon the demon Vocah to "destroy all avenues to the Powers That Be" and summon forth an ancient, terrible evil; Angel's sire, Darla. Wesley finishes translating the prophecy and learns that the word Shanshu means to both live and die informing Angel that if he truly saves the world he will be made human again and his burdens will be forever lifted. Meanwhile, the Angel Investigations offices are blown up forcing the gang to work out of Cordelia's apartment who, after having seen all the pain that infests Los Angeles, has vowed to up her stance in the fight against evil and become a better person.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Series creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt both served as executive producers, while Greenwalt would serve as the series' showrunner as Whedon was running Buffy. Greenwalt wrote the most episodes, writing or co-writing five episodes and contributing stories for two other episodes. Tim Minear was hired from the offset and wrote or co-wrote five episodes throughout the season and served as producer and then promoted to supervising producer midseason. He was also the first original Angel writer to write an episode; the first five scripts of the series were all written by Buffy veterans; Whedon, Greenwalt, Jane Espenson, Douglas Petrie and David Fury. Buffy writer/producer Marti Noxon served as consulting producer and did several uncredited rewrites, and co-wrote one episode with Greenwalt. The rest of writing staff included producer Tracey Stern, staff writer Jeannine Renshaw, and consulting producer Howard Gordon (who also served as consulting producer on Buffy season two). After Gordon departed to work on a new pilot, Jim Kouf joined as consulting producer. Garry Campbell was hired to write a freelance episode.[12]

Whedon wrote and directed one episode throughout the season, the series premiere "City of", due to him working on two shows at once. He did however write the story for another two episodes; "I Fall to Pieces with David Greenwalt and "Sanctuary" with Tim Minear.

Veteran Buffy director James A. Contner (also co-producer) directed the highest amount of episodes in the first season, directing four episodes. David Greenwalt directed two, including the season finale.

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
1 1 "City Of" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt October 5, 1999 (1999-10-05) 1ADH01
Newly arrived in Los Angeles, Angel is befriended by a half-demon named Doyle whose visions lead him to a powerful vampire whose next victim just may be Cordelia Chase.
2 2 "Lonely Hearts" James A. Contner David Fury October 12, 1999 (1999-10-12) 1ADH02
Angel tracks a demonic serial killer who must kill often, and who prefers hunting at a happening Los Angeles singles bar. He meets the undercover LAPD Detective Kate Lockley, who believes the killer is twisted but entirely human.
3 3 "In the Dark" Bruce Seth Green Douglas Petrie October 19, 1999 (1999-10-19) 1ADH03
Angel receives an unexpected visit from Oz, who delivers a gift from Buffy. Spike also comes to town, bringing chaos and mayhem for all.
4 4 "I Fall to Pieces" Vern Gillum Story by: Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt
Teleplay by: David Greenwalt
October 26, 1999 (1999-10-26) 1ADH04
Doyle has a vision of a woman in danger and Angel discovers she is being stalked by a neurosurgeon who has learned to detach and reattach parts of his body.
5 5 "Rm w/a Vu" Scott McGinnis Story by: David Greenwalt & Jane Espenson
Teleplay by: Jane Espenson
November 2, 1999 (1999-11-02) 1ADH05
Cordelia finds a perfect apartment. Doyle flees phantoms from his past.
6 6 "Sense & Sensitivity" James A. Contner Tim Minear November 9, 1999 (1999-11-09) 1ADH06
Kate is very good at her job, but her temper makes the LAPD brass send the entire department to sensitivity training. When Kate asks Angel to accompany her to a cop function, Angel begins to notice some extremely strange behavior.
7 7 "Bachelor Party" David Straiton Tracey Stern November 16, 1999 (1999-11-16) 1ADH07
Doyle's soon-to-be-ex-wife comes to town, but her demonic fiancé-to-be wants something more—personal—than merely Doyle's signature on divorce papers.
8 8 "I Will Remember You" David Grossman David Greenwalt & Jeannine Renshaw November 23, 1999 (1999-11-23) 1ADH08
Old feelings rekindle when Buffy comes to L.A. to see Angel.
9 9 "Hero" Tucker Gates Howard Gordon & Tim Minear November 30, 1999 (1999-11-30) 1ADH09
Doyle's own chance for atonement comes sooner than expected when he receives a vision that a band of frightened refugees needs help.
10 10 "Parting Gifts" James A. Contner David Fury & Jeannine Renshaw December 14, 1999 (1999-12-14) 1ADH10
Angel and Cordelia are aided by an old friend in the pursuit of a demonic bounty hunter.
11 11 "Somnambulist" Winrich Kolbe Tim Minear January 18, 2000 (2000-01-18) 1ADH11
An unknown killer stalks the L.A. streets using a mark that Angelus once used.
12 12 "Expecting" David Semel Howard Gordon January 25, 2000 (2000-01-25) 1ADH12
After sleeping with a photographer she had seen a few times, Cordelia wakes up to find herself extremely pregnant.
13 13 "She" David Greenwalt David Greenwalt & Marti Noxon February 8, 2000 (2000-02-08) 1ADH13
To save refugees from another dimension, Angel forms a tenuous truce with an alluring warrior demon.
14 14 "I've Got You Under My Skin" R.D. Price Story by: David Greenwalt & Jeannine Renshaw
Teleplay by: Jeannine Renshaw
February 15, 2000 (2000-02-15) 1ADH14
A troubled family allows Angel, Wesley and Cordelia to exorcise a long-resident demon from their son.
15 15 "The Prodigal" Bruce Seth Green Tim Minear February 22, 2000 (2000-02-22) 1ADH15
As he investigates the involvement of Kate's father in a vampire drug-smuggling ring, Angel remembers his final conflict with his own father; the day Angelus was sired.
16 16 "The Ring" Nick Marck Howard Gordon February 29, 2000 (2000-02-29) 1ADH16
Angel is forced to become a gladiator in a clandestine fight club, where his only escape is to kill twenty-one demon opponents.
17 17 "Eternity" Regis B. Kimble Tracey Stern April 4, 2000 (2000-04-04) 1ADH17
An embattled celebrity enlists Angel to protect her from a stalker, but she becomes tempted by the "immortality" that being a vampire seems to offer and accidentally releases the evil Angelus.
18 18 "Five by Five" (Part 1) James A. Contner Jim Kouf April 25, 2000 (2000-04-25) 1ADH18
Rogue Slayer Faith comes to town and three associates at Wolfram and Hart hire her to assassinate Angel, causing Angel to remember his own failed attempts at redemption.
19 19 "Sanctuary" (Part 2) Michael Lange Tim Minear & Joss Whedon May 2, 2000 (2000-05-02) 1ADH19
Angel's flashbacks continue. Everyone—from the police, to Wesley, to the Watchers' Council, to Buffy Summers—is out to get Faith, and Angel is the only one who can stop them.
20 20 "War Zone" David Straiton Garry Campbell May 9, 2000 (2000-05-09) 1ADH20
When Angel tracks down a millionaire's blackmailer, he finds teens who protect the streets from vampires.
21 21 "Blind Date" Thomas J. Wright Jeannine Renshaw May 16, 2000 (2000-05-16) 1ADH21
Lindsey helps Angel break into Wolfram and Hart to prevent a blind assassin from carrying out her deadly mission. While Angel is in Wolfram and Hart he comes across a scroll to which he feels a weird connection, so he steals it.
22 22 "To Shanshu in L.A." David Greenwalt David Greenwalt May 23, 2000 (2000-05-23) 1ADH22
Wolfram and Hart raises a powerful warrior demon to sever Angel's connections to the Powers. Then, using an incantation from the ancient scroll that Angel stole from Wolfram and Hart, the evil law firm raises an even more powerful adversary. With the scroll back in Angel's possession, Wesley translates an ominous prophecy concerning an unnamed vampire—with a soul.

Crossovers with Buffy the Vampire Slayer[edit]

Beginning with this season, both Angel and its parent series Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on The WB Television Network. Both shows aired on Tuesdays, Buffy at 8:00 PM ET, and Angel at 9:00 PM ET. The first season of Angel aired along with the fourth season of Buffy. Both shows would feature crossover episodes where characters would appear on the other show. Along with the title character Angel (David Boreanaz), Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) appeared as main characters on the new series.

The first crossover appeared in the premiere episodes, where Angel calls Buffy but doesn't say anything; on Buffy, she answers the phone. After the events of the Buffy episode "The Harsh Light of Day", Oz (Seth Green) visits Los Angeles in "In the Dark" to give Angel the Gem of Amarra (a ring that makes vampire invincible). Spike (James Marsters) also appears in both episodes.

In the "Bachelor Party", Doyle (Glenn Quinn) has a vision of Buffy in danger. This causes Angel to secretly visit Sunnydale in the Buffy episode "Pangs", to protect her. After Buffy is made aware that he was in town, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) visits L.A. in "I Will Remember You" to express her displeasure in him visiting but not telling her.

Buffy season three recurring character Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) makes his first appearance on Angel in "Parting Gifts" and would later become a main character for the remainder of the series.

After the events of the two-part Buffy episodes "This Year's Girl" and "Who Are You", Faith (Eliza Dushku) leaves Sunnydale and goes to L.A. in the Angel two-part episode "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary" and is hired by Wolfram & Hart to kill Angel. Buffy makes her second and final appearance on Angel in "Sanctuary".

Angel visits Sunnydale again in the Buffy episode "The Yoko Factor" to apologize to Buffy after the way he treated her in "Sanctuary". Angel meets Buffy's new boyfriend, Riley Finn (Marc Blucas).

Buffy recurring character, the vampire Darla (Julie Benz), who was killed in the Buffy episode "Angel" is resurrected by Wolfram & Hart in the season one finale, "To Shanshu in L.A.".

Unproduced episode[edit]

The original second episode was supposed to be "Corrupt", an episode written by David Fury. The episode featured the introduction of Kate Lockley, who was originally going to be an undercover cop exploring prostitution who becomes addicted to cocaine and becomes a prostitute in the process of her undercover work. The WB shut down production on the episode before filming as they believed the episode's content was too dark.[13]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season scored 76 out of 100, based on 17 reviews, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[14]

David Boreanaz won the Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television, while show was nominated for Best Network Television Series, and Charisma Carpenter was nominated for Best Supporting Actress on Television. The show also received its only Emmy Award nomination, for Outstanding Makeup for a Series for the episode "The Ring".[15]

The Futon Critic named "Five by Five" the 10th best episode of 2000.[16]

The first season averaged 4.8 million viewers, slightly higher than the fourth season of Buffy.[17]

DVD release[edit]

Angel: The Complete First Season was released on DVD in region 1 on February 11, 2003[18] and in region 2 on December 10, 2001.[19] The DVD includes all 22 episodes on 6 discs presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Special features on the DVD include two commentary tracks—"City of" by creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt and "Rm w/a Vu" by writer Jane Espenson. Scripts for "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary" are included. Featurettes include, "I'm Cordelia", a showcase of the title character with interview with actress Charisma Carpenter; "Introducing Angel", and overview of the conception of the show; "The Demons", which details the various demons featured in the season; and "Season 1 Overview", where cast and crew members discuss the season. Also included are cast biographies and photo galleries.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billson, Anne (December 5, 2005). Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BFI TV Classics S.). British Film Institute. pp. 24–25. 
  2. ^ Havens, Candace (May 1, 2003). Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy. BenBella Books. p. 103. 
  3. ^ Bassom, David (September 2000). "Buffy, Angel and Me". Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine (Titan Magazines) (#12): 6. 
  4. ^ "Interview with Joss Whedon by SF Said". Shebytches.com. 2005. 
  5. ^ Havens, Candace (May 1, 2003). Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy. BenBella Books. p. 102. 
  6. ^ Havens, Candace (May 1, 2003). Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy. BenBella Books. pp. 101–102. 
  7. ^ a b Topping, Keith (February 2004). Hollywood Vampire (3 ed.). Virgin Books. 
  8. ^ Hart, Maryelizabeth; Holder, Nancy; Mariotte, Jeff (June 1, 2002). Casefiles. Pocket Books. p. 34. 
  9. ^ Hart, Maryelizabeth; Holder, Nancy; Mariotte, Jeff (May 2002). Casefiles. Pocket Books. pp. 43–44. 
  10. ^ "Angel - 1X01 - Pilot: Original First Draft by David Greenwalt & Joss Whedon". TwizTV.com. 
  11. ^ Dilullo, Tara (July 2004). "Where are they now?". Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine (Titan Magazines) (#62): 30–31. 
  12. ^ "A Brief History of Mutant Enemy". Whedon.info. May 24, 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  13. ^ "ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear". TimMinear.net. August 14, 2000. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Critic Reviews for Angel Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  15. ^ ""Angel" (1999) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  16. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 4, 2001). "The 20 Best Episodes of 2000". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Season Ratings 1999-2000". Nielsen Media Research. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Angel - Season One (1999)". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Buffy DVD and VHS". BBC. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Angel - The Complete 1st Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]