SFX WHEDON SPECIAL PREVIEW: Ripper

Joss Whedon and Anthony Head share their thoughts on the legendary Buffy spin-off that never was…

Joss Whedon and Anthony Head have been reminiscing about the Buffy spin-off that never was, Ripper, in the SFX Worlds Of Whedon special.

So, was this near-mythical series about Giles’s life after Buffy ever more than a discussion over a cup of coffee?

“Yes,” confirms Head. “There was one story. Joss fed it to me when we were filming the last episode of Buffy. He told me this idea, and it was just beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And I said, ‘Yeah, I’d go with that.’ Then it all went very quiet. The problem being that anything to do with the Buffy universe has to be signed off by so many people, it’s pretty much a non-starter from the beginning.

“It nearly came to fruition. I introduced Joss to [former Doctor Who executive producer] Julie Gardner. I met Julie, and she started talking about Joss, so I put the two of them together. They got on really, really well… But then Joss had that lunch meeting with Eliza Dushku, and that was that.

“I’d still love to do it in some form. I still think it’s a beautiful idea, which is why I’m not telling you what it is – it’s the most extraordinary ghost story. It doesn’t have to be Giles. I’d still do it as a one-off.”

Whedon adds: “Ripper got so complicated. Fox is great at complicating things. The BBC basically said to me and Tony Head that it doesn’t have to be Ripper, ‘We’d just like to do something’. It sounded cool ?but I was busy doing something else, as I always am. Tony is amazingly enough still friends with me despite years of ‘Hey, you know what, we could…’