Angel had an abrupt end after five seasons on The WB. The series wrapped in May 2004, and it starred James Marsters and David Boreanaz.
Marsters recently spoke about the end of the series in an interview with A.V. Club, and he gave insight into the filming of the last episode and the shock the cast felt over the abrupt cancellation of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off.
He said the following:
“That last season, the audience almost doubled—I think it went up by 80 percent—and we were all riding high, we were all full of ourselves, and we were all thinking, “There’s no way they’re going to cancel us now! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” And then life happened. [Laughs.] It was, like, “Nope! You’re gone!” And the problem was that Joss likes to plan ahead, and this one caught him completely by surprise, so he hadn’t saved any budget or built up a storyline to finish the arc of Angel.
Angel is all about regret and making up for the damage that you do early in life, metaphorically speaking, and trying to grow out of that and heal from that and be better. So if Angel starts as a villain, the end of his arc is true hero, and how do you accomplish that with absolutely no money saved at all?
I think Joss’ idea was that Angel and his friends are up against a battle that they’re not sure that they’re going to win, but they’re going to go out swinging. They’re going to try anyway and sacrifice their lives, most likely, but they’re still going to do it. And yet he could only afford one quick computer-generated shot of hell opening up and evil dragons and other winged creatures coming out of this rift in space. The rest of it, he just had to film our faces looking grim and manly, hopefully. And that’s the best we could do! [Laughs.] So we were freaked out! We were, like, “What are we going to do? We’ve got nothing!”
To his credit, a lot of shows get canceled abruptly, and there is no attempt to bring it to a thematic conclusion. And I think Joss pulled one out of his hat right there and gave us one anyway.”
After his time on Angel, David Boreanaz went on to Bones, which will air its twelfth and final season next year.
Were you a fan of Angel? Do you feel the conclusion of the series wrapped up Angel’s story? Tell us what you think.