Saturday, 29 April 2017

Y is for Riley Finn

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.

Y is for the Riley Finn
Riley in his Initiative gear
Riley Finn was born in Huxley, Iowa.  Not much is known about his early years except that he had a fairly typical demon-free upbringing.  Riley joined the army prior to 1999, and was trained in a special operations unit that became known as The Initiative.  The Initiative were a USA Government operation whose mission was to capture and research demons, or "sub-terrestrials".  Their base-of-operations was located below UC Sunnydale, and Riley lead a double-life masquerading as a college student by day, soldier by night.  Riley began dating Buffy before discovering she was the Slayer (or revealing he was a soldier).  Riley eventually left The Initiative when his boss attempted to kill Buffy, and the operation was closed down not long after.

Riley attempted to lead an ordinary life, assisting Buffy in fighting demons, however he eventually returned to the army (and a secret mission in the middle of South America) when he realised that Buffy didn't care for him as much as he cared for her.  During his time in South America, Riley met and married fellow soldier Samantha.

The Buffy-Riley relationship seemed to be the biggest thing affected by the arrival of Dawn.  Throughout season 4, Riley and Buffy both seemed to be pretty committed to each other, however in season 5 Buffy seemed to drift - distracted by Dawn and by her mother's health problems perhaps.  I liked Riley as a steady, strong character and was not impressed with how his character seemed to take a nose dive in season 5.  But maybe the writers needed to get rid of him to make room for the Buffy-Dawn relationship, and the Buffy-Spike relationship.

Happy Stitching

Friday, 28 April 2017

X is for Xander

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.

X is for Xander Harris
I love that this is a genuine X and not a stretch like most of my other 'X' posts have been!
Yes I included the eye-patch.
Alexander "Xander" Harris was born in Sunnydale in 1981 to rather negligent, if not abusive, parents.  He attended the local kindy (where he met Willow) and primary school, before attending Sunnydale High, where he met Buffy Summers and became a founding member of the Scooby Gang.  Xander harboured quite a crush on Buffy for a number of years before turning his attention to Cordelia, and later Anya (who he left at the alter, as explained in the E post).  

After High School, Xander drifted from temporary job to temporary job  before discovering building and carpentry, at which he excelled, and was eventually able to move out of his parents' basement into an apartment of his own.  Xander fought (albeit not very skillfully) alongside Buffy for seven years.  He eventually lost an eye during an altercation with the priest Caleb (played by Nathan Fillion) in the final season, before helping Buffy blow up the town, and riding into the sunset with everyone else on the big yellow bus.

Xander was the non-supernatural member of the Scooby Gang, never gaining any magical powers or special strength or brilliant intelligence.  He was often uncoordinated and unskilled, but witty and funny and caring.  Xander was "us" in the show - the people without any abilities who wanted to fight alongside Buffy - he was our "in", how we could be part of the Scooby Gang.  Not being magical or powerful, Xander was able to see and recognise the strength in others, the struggles they were going through, the times when they needed a shoulder to cry on or needed someone to tell them to stop acting like an idiot.  Or when they just needed a one-liner to break the tension.

One of my favourite Xander episodes occured in season 5, when a demon splits him into two people.  Nicholas Brendon (the actor who plays Xander) is a twin, so his twin brother, Kelly Donovan, played his other half.
Nicholas and Kelly
Nicholas came to Brisbane Oz Comic Con in 2015 with Emma Caulfield.  He's still gorgeous all these years later, and very friendly.
With Emma Caulfield and Nicholas Brendon
Happy Stitching

Thursday, 27 April 2017

W is for Winifred

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.

W is for Winifred "Fred" Burkle
This outfit is from Fred's first episode, but I couldn't find the source picture I'd
originally used.
Winifred “Fred” Burkle was born in Texas, and moved to Los Angeles where she attended graduate school at UCLA.  Fred’s physics professor, jealous of her talent, created a portal and banished Fred to Pylea – which is the same portal that sent Lorne (from the H post) to Los Angeles in her place.  Fred spent 5 years on Pylea as a human slave until she was rescued by Angel and his friends. 

On returning to Los Angeles, Fred joined Angel Investigations, where she helped solve problems and fight demons with her brains rather than any physical strength.  Ultimately Fred was killed when the essence of Illyria (remember her from I?) took possession of her body.


Fred was one of my favourite Angel-only characters.  She was Angel’s version of Willow – shy, quiet, un-coordinated, very smart, grew in strength as the show progressed.  She helped to off-set Cordelia, as well as provide some more female talent for the show.  It’s bugging me that I can’t remember more about her – I really need to re-watch Angel one of these days.

Happy Stitching

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

V is for Vampire Drusilla

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.

V is for Drusilla the Vampire
After I finished stitching this, and framed it, I found the spelling mistake
Drusilla was born in the mid-19th century in the East End of London, and had the ability to foresee the future.  In 1860, Drusilla caught the attention of Angelus, who tortured her to insanity and eventually turned her into a vampire, calling her his “masterpiece”.  Twenty years later, Drusilla sired Spike to turn him into her play thing.   Drusilla always maintained a childish insanity, caused by Angel’s torture of her mind.

After tormenting Europe for a century or more, Drusilla and Spike moved to Sunnydale, where, along with Angel, they became the Big Bad of season 2, and Drusilla killed the Slayer Kendra.   When Spike cut a deal with Buffy to get rid of Angel, Drusilla left Spike for a Fungus Demon, claiming he was not enough of a demon for her. 

Drusilla eventually went on to play a much larger role on Angel, including siring a re-born Darla, who technically was also her ‘grandmother’, given that Darla had originally sired Angel – it all got very confusing.

Drusilla was a fun character to watch on screen.  She was completely insane, which resulted in some of the best one-liners, and total bewilderment of the other characters.  However, I’m also glad she was a short-lived character on Buffy.  She had a time and a place, but would have become very tedious if she’d stuck around trying to kill Buffy every week – rather like Lindsey did on Angel.  She also wore some awesome outfits.


Happy Stitching

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

U is for Charles Gunn

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.

U is for Charles Gunn (there's a U in his name.  I know, it's a real stretch)

Charles Gunn was born in Los Angeles.  In his teenage years, Gunn rose through the ranks of a local gang to become their leader.  This gang was familiar with the world of vampires, and protected their turf from the undead.  Gunn witnessed Angel fighting and, recognising he was a vampire, attempted to dust him.  Gunn eventually joined forces with Angel, becoming a full-time employee of Angel Investigations, both as a fighter, and as the guru of local knowledge.  

Once again, Gunn is a character who only ever appeared on Angel and so my memory of him is rather vague.  He was a street fighter and leader in his own right, which gave him the ground and strength to stand up to Angel when needed, as well as to fight the forces of evil.  I remember liking Gunn, but not as much as the characters I was more familiar with from Buffy.  I'd like to hear your opinions of him though!

Happy Stitching.