|Created By:||CN Winters and Skeeter451|
|Genre:||Buffyverse Spinoff (Drama)|
|Running Time:||40-60 Pages - One Hour Per Episode|
|Number of Seasons:||Five|
|Episodes per Season:||24|
(although "Movies of the Week" are planned)
|Number of Episodes aired:||123|
|Series Debut:||September 2003|
|Series Finale:||October 2008||-|
WaTchers is/was a virtual series, an "spinoff" of the show Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Its storyline began the autumn following the seventh and last season of Buffy. The premise was that Giles, Willow and others decided to reform the Watchers Council which had been destroyed by the First Evil, setting up shop in Cleveland, Ohio (which had been mentioned more than once as having a Hellmouth of its own). The series also developed the notion that some Watchers are "chosen" much as Slayers are.
The virtual series sought to create as much as possible the "feel" of an actual television series. With that thought in mind, the staff created new 'screenshots' of characters, usually using Photoshop. Soundfiles were sometimes also used. Although the heading of each scene resembled screenplay or teleplay format, the text itself was in ordinary prose yet it preclude any internal dialogue, thus it describes only what a viewer could 'see' and not what the character might 'think.'
In 2004 after doing a sci-fi future episode titled 'Restoration' in Season One, people wanted the return of Tara MacClay. Some members of the Watchers staff created a spin-off series set 130 years in the future called WaTchers: Restoration, which focused on the reincarnations of Willow and Tara. There are currently plans for at least one more spinoff, based in New Orleans.
Watchers lasted five full seasons and spawned 123 episodes total.
Initially, WaTchers began with the following characters from Buffy:
- Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)
- Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)
- Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku)
- Kennedy Calender/Kennedy Kalderash (Iyari Limon)
- Robin Wood (D.B. Woodside)
- Vi Joston (Felicia Day)
- Rona (Indigo)
- Andrew Wells (Tom Lenk)
Within the first season, several Buffy or original characters became either regular or recurring:
- Rowena Allister (Michelle Williams), one of the few survivors of the original Watchers Council (she was literally headed towards their London HQ when it blew up). Canadian by birth, she was a stickler for rules but proved flexible. Over the course of the first season it became clear she was falling in love with Willow.
- Althenea Dimmons (Jennifer Connelly), a witch from a coven in England who had helped Willow conquer her darkness. She was also a friend to Rowena for years before meeting Willow.
- Jeff Lindquist (Elijah Wood), a talented young magic user who became Willow's protégé in the coven and (eventually) a fully-fledged Watcher to a slayer named Lorinda Sheparton.
- Marsha (Carly Schroeder), a very young girl who had been called as a Slayer, and whose Watcher was Willow.
- Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg), sister to Buffy Summers who joins the Council to finish out her high school studies and (eventually) becomes a full-fledged Watcher to a slayer named Shannon Matthewson.
- Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan), carpenter turned weapons master. His eye is restored by Willow after a magic spell.
Over the course of the five seasons, other characters were also introduced:
- Becca Montague-Giles (Helen Shaver), a bookstore owner who meets and eventually marries Giles. They have two children together - Elizabeth (Liz) and Martin (Marty).
- Hope Lehane (Christy Carlson Romano), Faith's estranged sister who falls in love with Jeff.
- Skye Tallisker (Lindsay Felton, then Lacey Chabert), the young woman with whom Dawn Summers falls deeply in love. Eventually, she is turned into a vampire which seriously complicates their relationship as well as sparking numerous jokes about the Summers girls and the undead.
- Lori Carew (Laura Prepon), a Slayer who has lost her powers upon reaching age thirty. She joins a rival organization that cares more about her skills than her powers.
- Grace Hatherley (Caroline Dhavernas), a "chosen" Watcher whose mother had been a Watcher as well. A troubled and somewhat sarcastic girl reluctant to follow her calling.
- Jim Pollan (Gale Harold), a former classmate/rival of Rowena's who becomes the public relations expert.
- Jason Felix (Gary Oldman), a "chosen" Watcher never recruited by the old Council, but who rose to head a rival organization. Lost his family to vampires at the end of Season Three.
- Lorinda Sheparton (Rachel Hurd Wood), a young Slayer from an extremely wealthy family who all-but-disowned her. Her Watcher is Jeff Lindquist. Curiously (and eventually explained in Season Five) her family included several Slayers.
- Shannon Matthewson (Steffani Brass), a young slayer from a working class family, a major rival of Lorinda. Her Watcher is Dawn. She and Skye are extremely good friends.
- Kadin Van Helsing (Michelle Rodriguez), a globe-trotting demon-hunter who becomes a romantic interest for Kennedy. Great Granddaughter of Gabriel Van Helsing. Van Helsing / Abraham Van Helsing Dracula.
WaTchers also brought back several other characters from the original series, including Amy Madison (Elizabeth Anne Allen), Buffy Anne Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Ethan Rayne (Robin Sachs) and Harmony Kendall (Mercedes McNab).
As the core group begin to set up the 'New Council' they find themselves faced with thwarting the efforts of surviving 'Old Guard' members determined to take control. They meet a watcher named Rowena Allister who becomes one of their greatest allies and joins their team. During their struggles to build the new council they find themselves facing off against an unstoppable foe, The Presidium.
Season One Episodes In Order: 1) Something Ventured Something Gained 2) Lake Eerie 3) Foreign Presence 4) Untimely Arrivals 5) Broken Allies 6) Samhain 7) In Love and War 8) Another Year Older 9) Love Hurts 10) Dark Force Rising 11) Blue Christmas 12) Modus Operandi 13) Rash Decisions 14) Family Ties 15) About Last Night 16) Restoration 17) Scarecrow 18) Gangland 19) Lessons Learned 20) High Art 21) Child's Play 22) May Day 23) Another Day 24) Another Apocalypse
Learning they didn't defeat The Presidium, the Watchers spend their season trying to eliminate them once and for all. During this year Giles marries a bookseller, Becca, and she gives birth to Giles's daughter, Elizabeth. Meanwhile the relationships of Willow and Rowena, Robin and Faith, and Kennedy and Mia grow deeper.
Season Two Episodes In Order: 1) Everything Old 2) New Again 3) Checkmate 4) Swap Meet 5) True Colors 6) Red Herring 7) Dream Warriors 8) Hell Goddess 9) Time Out 10) Real World 11) Blue Moon 12) Bad Blood 13) In the Dark 14) Avatar 15) Fire Eater 16) Unfinished Business 17) Chapel of Love 18) Get A Life! 19) Rack and Ruin 20) Resistance 21) Infernal Affairs 22) Wickerman 23) Ragnarok Part I 24) Ragnarok Part II
Giles decides to retire from the Council to raise his family and names Rowena to his position of Head Watcher. The move puts High Priestess Willow and Councilwoman Rowena in constant conflict with each other. Deciding that her relationship means more than her career Rowena calls in someone she feels is the best candidate to oversee the Council in her place. In the meantime, the Council must face off against the forces of darkness with help from heavenly creatures. In the end, they manage to save the world, but not without the world learning of their existence.
Season Three Episodes In Order: 1) WarZone 2) Maternal Instincts 3) Both Sides Now 4) Just the Facts 5) Trial by Fury 6) Luna 7) In the Balance 8) Loves Labour Lost 9) No Mercy 10) Birth Rite 11) Rule of Three 12) Roses Are Red 13) The Night In Question 14) Road Trip to Remember 15) 59:23 16) Skin Deep 17) Strange Bedfellows 18) Very Bad Ideas 19) Rules of Engagement 20) Foucault's Pendulum 21) Secret Life of DJ Trace 22) Ouroboros 23) Shomer 24) Megiddo
The Council, now in the spotlight of the world, must balance between public relations and public protection. Jason Felix heads an organization called Bureau Nine, which seems to do the same thing as the Council...but for a fee. When Felix tries to improve mankind by controlling magic things get beyond his control. Together with the Council they look for a way to save the world from losing magic forever.
Season Four Episodes In Order: 1) Better Days 2) Unspoken 3) A Little Faith 4) Based On a True Story 5) Withdrawal 6) Hide-n-Seek 7) Collateral Damage 8) Revelation 9:6 9) From the Bottom Up 10) Trinity 11) Auld Lang Syne 12) Meiyo 13) You Never Know 14) Drawn Together 15) Hidden 16) Lockdown 17) Alluvion 18) Sacrifice 19) Serena 20) Toyko Nights 21) Bloodlines 22) The Price 23) Childe Roland 24) The Dark Tower
Amid flashbacks to the past and flash-forwards to the future, the Council tries to readjust to many new staff members with their own way of doing things while coming under attack by political leaders. At the same time, a new demonic terrorist group arises. But all of this proves the handiwork of an ancient talisman of vicious evil, the Loathestone.
Season Five Episodes In Order: 1) Past Present Future 2) Home Sweet Home 3) Games 4) Time and Again 5) Orientation 6) Divination 7) Lorinda's Kiss 8) Triangle 9) Inside the Watchers Council 10) The Unknown 11) Savage 12) Cone of Power 13) Webs We Weave 14) Reboot 15) Before I Wake 16) Turnabout 17) Tainted 18) Contingency 19) Unlikely Heroes 20) Underworld 21) Breaking Point 22) Last Tango in Cleveland 23) Asha 24) Unto The End 25) Generations 26) Generations II 27) Generations III
- Actresses like Michelle Williams (Rowena), Helen Shaver (Becca) and Jennifer Connelly (Althenea), to name a few, were cast because they all appeared in lesbian-themed movies, such as If These Walls Could Talk 2 and Desert Hearts. Michelle Williams also stared in the male gay themed western Brokeback Mountain.
- The producers main reason for restoring Xander's eye in Season One had nothing to do with returning the character to his 'former glory.' It was because drawing eye patches for every screencap of him would be too difficult.
- The slayer Vi from Season Seven didn't have a last name. The producer gave her the name of Joston as a tribute to Buffy creator Joss Whedon.
- To date, "WaTchers" was the longest running Post-Buffy Virtual Series and has the most number of episodes of any Buffy-centric virtual series.
- The final episode of Watchers, titled 'Generations,' was meant to be one part. It ended up being three total.
- Unlike other virtual series, WaTchers has its own original theme song, written and performed by Track6, and featured new opening credits every season thanks to band members.
- Abraham Van Helsing was a major character in Bram (Abraham) Stokers novel Dracula. He is also the lead character in the film Van Helsing (albeit named Gabriel .instead of Abraham). A staff writer suspects that in the Watcherverse Anna Valourious could have been a slayer.
- Sometimes writers developed stories in part to use available screencaps of actors. For example, "Lorinda's Kiss" used screencaps of Rachel Hurd Wood from the film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. "Before I Wake" used screencaps of Anthony Stewart Head from his performance on Doctor Who and "In The Dark" used screencaps of Felicia Day from Bring It On, Again.
- In addition to Sarah MICHELLE Gellar, there are three other 'Michelle's' in the cast:
- Michelle Williams
- Michelle Trachtenberg
- Michelle Rodriguez
- The vampire that appears in the Restoration episode "Nightcrawlers" is indeed William the Bloody aka Spike. The episode takes place some months after Dawn's sacrifice in Restoration and in his grief, he's gone back to his old habits. Spike was not aboard the space station when the other vampires were fried.