Slayers: A Buffyverse Story, the first ever audio original set in the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ universe, made its’ premiere on October 12, 2023. The nine-episode audio original was written by original cast member Amber Benson alongside writer Christopher Golden, and directed by Benson, Golden, and Kc Wayland. Twenty years after the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the supernatural drama will reunite original series stars James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, Anthony Head, Juliet Landau, Emma Caulfield Ford, Amber Benson, James Charles Leary, Danny Strong along with fresh faces such as Laya DeLeon Hayes. The audio original brings fans a fresh story and a new world, filled with horror, heart, humor, and surprises at every turn.
We caught up with writer/actress Amber Benson and writer Christopher Golden to discuss more details about the new Audible series at New York Comic Con.
Amber Benson shares with us, “We’ve known each other for a very long time. And when this opportunity came about to create a whole new, like, Buffyverse, he was like, we had to do this together. Because I don’t remember half of what happened in the show. And I need Chris, who went and revisited all of it to make sure that I look like actually know what I’m talking about.” (laughs)
Christopher Golden adds, “You know more about what you’re talking about then you let on! (laughs) No, we were you know, we were talking to we found out that Audible had these rights. We’re talking to Lydia, who was our exec there. And I said, look, the way to make this work. The only way to make this work is if Amber is involved!
Benson jokes, “Because I can make phone calls to all of the cast! For three years running, we did this pre COVID. Yeah, like we started this three years ago at least, and Emma Caulfield would call me Benson. Is this happening? Benson? What is this happening? Six. Benson? Is this happening? I’m going out of town, do I can I go out of town? Is this happening?”
Golden says, “It was such a constant. Constant focus on making sure everybody understood that we were trying to create something where everybody could feel happy about what we were doing, that everybody wanted to be there. And like I said, the only way that people were going to feel like they wanted to be there was if they had the trust.”
When discussing the ability to empower and control Tara’s storyline with this new series and take into consideration her background family trauma, Benson reveals, “So what’s really fun about the show, which is, you know, Slayers Audible Originals podcast! Gotta get that title in every interview! (laughs)! So, because this Tara is an alternative universe Tara a lot of the things that Tara and other incarnations, things she might have experienced don’t apply. So, it gave us sort of our freedom to Like, what would Tara be like, and she comes of age in this day and time and have these relationships with Cordelia and with Anya. And I think, for me to just have her very alive. It got very emotional. So, they gave me Kleenex. But it like it makes me really emotional that like this, this character that maybe didn’t have the best ending in previous incarnations gets her due and I think it was really, really important to me is that there is a goodness in her and like, a kindness and an empathy. And I wanted to make sure that that was always the baseline, even when we did bananas, bananas, dark things with her, because I know that for the for the fandom, like maintaining the integrity of who she is, as a person was really, really important. So, you know, I would get up and go to do the scenes and Chris and our other co-director KC Wayland would be like, okay, Benson. Remember, you got it in, get into the dark. And I was like I don’t wanna be mean!” (laughs)
Golden jokingly add, “She says she doesn’t want to be mean, but she relished in those scenes!”
Benson adds, “When you’re working with Juliet Landau, and she looks at you when wanting to do naughty things to your character, not to you. I mean, jeez, Louise like. That was also the best part was we were all in a room together recording. To be able to look each other in the eye while recording and have real emotional connections is what makes this work.”
Talking about the protentional for additional episodes, both Golden and Benson agree that is all on the reaction of the fan base and the audiences demand for more. They certainly would love to do more and have already had conversations about some of things we may get to see in the future if the series continues.
When asked about the fandom and the continued support from them, Benson tells us, “We have the best fans and I’ll fight all the other fandoms we have the smartest and most empathetic…”. Golden adds, “And attractive!”
Benson continues, “I mean, the charitable like the way like our fans come together to like, support people and do charitable work. Like, and the fandom has brought people together, people are married and have families because of the fandom. I mean, it’s incredible. But Chris and I specifically with this, this was about servicing the fandom and making sure that the story that we told while kind of playing in a new a new sandbox Boy, this playground sandbox metaphor. Yeah. The SAG/AFTRA strike makes it very hard! But we want to be very respectful of the rules. So, it’s a sandbox playground, the metaphors were going to have to do, but we also we wanted to be really empathetic about like, how some of the things in other incarnations, you know, on the character, Cordelia and Tara we wanted to like to give the fandom closure on things and make things better. We wanted to make things nicer.”
Golden comments, ” I just want to add to that, I feel like the fans, this fandom in particular, was so engaged with the people who made this story in a way that’s above and beyond, I think a lot of other fandoms that are more interested in the world and the characters and here it’s all one in the same and so our hope also was that this would be In a way sort of healing for the fans as much as it is for everybody involved”
About the Audible Original Series “Slayers: A Buffyverse Story”:
The scripted audio original picks up 10 years after the events of the final episode of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ Since then, Spike (James Marsters) has gone deep undercover in Los Angeles, convincing the forces of darkness that he’s back to his evil ways. When his cover is compromised by sixteen-year-old Indira Nunnally (Laya DeLeon Hayes), Spike finds himself on baby-slayer-sitting duty once more. While he attempts to track down a watcher for his eager new protégé, their paths collide with the veteran Slayer of a parallel reality where Buffy Summers never existed…a reality where Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) is the one-and-only Slayer. She needs Spike’s help with a classic big bad terrorizing her world…his old flame, Drusilla (Juliet Landau).