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Angel, the demon cursed with a soul in the 19th century who had been a part of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Parent show) for 3 years, was getting a spin off show ... Good? Or would it just be a failed mistake from the creators of the already so popular Buffy?
Not just good, great.
So, the spin off. Announcing he was leaving Sunnydale in season 3, We learnt Angel was off to L.A. What was he going do do there, help the hopeless. The Dark Avenger himself, Angel, forms Angel Investigations with former Sunnydale scooby Cordelia Chase, and Demon Doyle, a man who has the visions based on the people they are going to safe. Joined later on in the cast, was Buffy's Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
The main cast is good, mainly because they featured several familiar faces.
David Boreanaz plays Angel, the titular character and the hero of the series, leaving Sunnydale to Los Angeles to 'Help the hopeless' After his many years of evil.
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, Also fresh out of Sunnydale is Cordelia Chase, more than willing to help Angel on his quest to bring about peace in L.A.
Glenn Quinn as Francis Doyle - A man (Or demon?) Who helps Angel & Cordelia with their struggles against evil who accompanies them with his visions on the 'hopeless' people of Los Angeles.
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce - Who is now a 'rogue demon hunter' and is the third character to leave Sunnydale for Los Angeles.
Alongside the brilliant cast, we get several Buffy crossovers including,
Buffy herself (Sarah Michelle Gellar)
Oz (Seth Green)
Spike (James Marsters)
Faith (Elisa Dushku)
Darla (Julie Benz)
The first season runs for 22 episodes as do they in the following 4 seasons of Angel, All season 1 episodes are listed below.
1 "City Of"
2 "Lonely Hearts"
3 "In the Dark"
4 "I Fall to Pieces"
5 "Rm w/a Vu"
6 "Sense & Sensitivity"
7 "Bachelor Party"
8 "I Will Remember You"
10 "Parting Gifts"
14 "I've Got You Under My Skin"
15 "The Prodigal"
16 "The Ring"
18 "Five by Five" (Part 1)
19 "Sanctuary" (Part 2)
20 "War Zone"
21 "Blind Date"
22 "To Shanshu in L.A."
Out of the 22 episodes, 2 have audio commentaries provided, they are,
Episode 1 (City of) - By Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt.
Episode 5 - (Rm w/a Vu) - By Jane Espenson.
6 discs cover the season which come with several not so special features including ...
A Season 1 Trailer
A Season 1 Featurette
A Picture Gallery
Several more featurette's on the characters
2 Episode scripts on the two parter (Five By Five and Sanctuary)
The DVD, runs for 917 minutes and is under the 18 certificate.
For around £15, you can buy season 1 new on Amazon. Overall, I think it is a worthy price of paying considering it's quality from the spinoff, and truly recommended for any fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, who have yet to see Angel.
The Buffy spin off deserves respect in its own right it lasted for five series which is a good run for any show never mind a spin off. The series is notably darker than the Buffy series seen before but later series of angel and Buffy start to become as dark as each other.
Series one deals with Angel's move to LA from Sunnydale and start up a personal investigation company. There are some new and old faces to keep him company including "Cordelia" and "Wesley" from Buffy and "Doyle" a vision receiving half demon sent to guide Angel to those in need.
Angel battles throughout the series the usual mix of demons and vampires and the evil law firm Wolfram and Hart. Joss Whedon is never afraid to kill off characters and this series is no different, some very memorable scenes can be found in the episode "Heroe". Another standout episode is "the Ring" which is a cross between "Gladiator" and "Bloodsport".
This is a dark series with a sense of humour, the characters are well developed and we learn a lot more about Angel than in Buffy. The series is on 6 discs with the usual extras of commentaries.
Angel is a spin-off from the original television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As far as I understand it, Angel was a key character in Buffy, who then went onto star in this spin-off all of his own. Buffy sounds like it would appeal to a slightly younger audience, whereas Angel is intended for more mature fans. This season has a certificate of 18, so it's clearly been aimed at an adult audience.
Angel is a vampire with a soul. All the other vampires in Buffy/Angel world like killing, torturing and sucking blood. But Angel is different because he has been cursed with a human soul. It means he can't bring himself to kill, and instead he walks the earth trying to save humanity and atone for his previous vampire sins. It all sounds a little dark, but Angel has this naivety about him at times that gives his character depth and makes the audience chuckle here and there.
In this first season (out of five which were made in total), Angel sets up Angel Investigations with the prompting of an old friend called Cordelia, and a new friend called Doyle. Cordelia lived in Sunnydale with Angel and was a regular in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she's in LA trying to be an actress when she bumps into Angel. Doyle is a demon who is also trying to help people, and what he lacks in strength he makes up for with his visions of who is in need of help.
To start with the series doesn't seem too promising, but after the gang have got their investigations service up and running, I really started to enjoy this series and look forwards to the next episode. Each episode is about 45 minutes long, and there are over 20 episodes spread across six discs. That's a lot of Angel!
I thought the standard of acting in this was first rate, and I really did feel like I was watching something special after I got into this. The scripts are all really well written, and the wit and humour is really very cleverly done. Angel's character is simple but so effective, and the contrasting supporting cast make for great television.
I don't want to give anything away, so I won't go into details about individual episodes, but I will say that I liked how the series ran together. Each episode deals with an individual case or occurance or personal dilemma, while the main storyline runs along joining the episodes into one another. There are a few cliffhangers towards the end of the series, and a bit of a tearjerker even as well. I especially enjoyed the episodes where they cleverly integrated some new characters into the show to expand things, and Buffy fans should recognise a familiar face or two as things progress.
There are some serious action and violence scenes in this series, which explain the certificate 18. I love a good fight scene, and they're really well orchestrated and choreographed in this season. It's really rather impressive when you consider that the fighting's often being done by people dressed up in body suits and full make up to appear demonic!
You can pick this up for £15 from Amazon at present, which really is a bargain when you consider that there's over 900 minutes included over six discs. You can also get this as part of a box set, which retails for around £70 - £80. Look out for bargains though, as we got ours off ebay for £50 brand new and sealed. It was worth every penny and more for the hours of entertainment, action and intrigue we got out of this.
Vampires, vampires, vampires. We're all sick to the teeth of them (no pun intended). It seems that with the rise of the Twilight phenomenon and countless new blood-sucker-based television shows sprouting up, that this aspect of the fantasy genre is beginning to wear a little thin. However, before this new hit-and-miss set of new franchises, there were two incredible fang-focused television series - Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The latter, a spin-off which begun in 1999 in order to expand the title character's role and to explore darker, grittier storylines.
The premise of the series is that it follows the life (or lack thereof!) of Angel (played by the devilishly handsome David Boreanaz) - an unspeakably evil vampire who was cursed with a soul and in order to relieve his guilt, works to "help the helpless", making amends for his past. Setting up a private detective agency to investigate supernatural events in LA, he is aided by Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) who while trying to make it as an actress, becomes Angel's secretary. Meanwhile, the pair are accompanied by half-demon, Doyle (Glenn Quinn), who receives visions from the Powers That Be - fragmented distress calls from those in need.
In the first season, the writers do well to establish the settings and key players in the show fairly immediately - a flaw I often find in other shows. Perhaps it was because I already some of the leads from their stints in Buffy, but for me, what was so attractive was that the show felt viable from the beginning. What I mean by this vague statement is that from episode one, the programme never felt like it was a mere cash-in or was dependent on riding Buffy's coattails. While there were numerous crossover episodes and guest appearances from the stars of the sister show, I never felt any of the guest spots were overdone or unnecessary.
Simply based on the visual aspect of the show, one can quickly see that there is a completely different tone to that of Buffy. With a large number of scenes set at night time; back alleys, abandoned buildings and sewers are the platforms on which the storylines play out. As Buffy became increasingly lighter, the writers of Angel were able to hone in on the gothic elements of the genre while combining them with the grit of city life.
The show feels aimed at adults, and this is apparent from the second episode - 'Lonely Hearts' - where a demon is preying on those at a singles bar, killing them during sex and moving from body to body each night. It's dark. However, what stops the programme from being merely a collection of shock tactics or your run of the mill drama, is that each storyline is an extended metaphor. So for example, the episode which I described is a commentary on the culture of one-night-stands and the human need to make a connection and feel special. The writers have frequently explained that the monsters of the programme, on one level are supernatural beings - but also are representative of the real life demons we confront on a daily basis.
Admittedly, the cast is very small in season one - with the number only ever peaking at three regulars. I would argue that the show doesn't full hit its stride until season three, where there is twice this figure. However, the casting is so impeccable that a real sense of intimacy is created between not only the characters on screen - but also with the viewer. Such a bond is rare to find in television, and the testimony to the power of the writing of this show is that in episode nine, 'Hero', as a main character dies, I have tears streaming down my face no matter how many times I've seen the scene before.
Aside from this episode, another emotionally-charged offering is 'I Will Remember You' - an episode voted by fans as the best in the entire five-year run of Angel. The character is made human, and is given a perfect day with his ex-girlfriend, Buffy. Their blissful contentment is short-lived, culminating in the final minutes of the episode seeing their happiness unravelling. This truly broke my heart. Their forbidden love has yet to be paralleled by anything I have seen on or off-screen, and the final scene between Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz is utterly devastating.
More generally speaking though, Charisma Carpenter, who plays Cordelia, is the breakout star. Her sharp tongue and deadpan delivery of her character's one-liners are hilarious. The character, is beginning to mature from her Buffy days, but is still as forward and honest as ever. She provides an injection of humour to the show, and without her, I believe the dark storylines would be simply too intoxicating and make for depressing viewing. Episodes such as 'Rm w/a Vu', show her character buying her first apartment - only to find it is haunted. The mixture of horror and comedy make this episode television at its best, and is packed with so many great quips from Cordy. Her unfailing resistance to give up her home spawns hilarious comments such as the dismissive: "meh... little Old Lady ghost, probably hanging around 'cause she thinks she left the iron on."
The problem with this series though is that there is no real continuous story arc, unlike in future seasons. Obviously, this was understandable as a series of stand-alone episodes gave the writers far greater freedom to explore a diverse range of storylines and to establish viewers who weren't put off by the commitment of watching every week. However, on DVD, where there isn't the pressure of maintaining high ratings, you can't help but crave the presence of a long-running adversary or problem. Perhaps it's just me, but in other television shows in the genre, I know that if a character comes up against a serious adversary they are in genuine jeopardy, but when I'm consciously aware that they are facing a "monster-of-the-week", any sense of peril is removed.
In terms of special effects, they are satisfying. Angel didn't have an enormous budget, like 24 or LOST, but there are plenty of elaborate fight scenes and the occasional explosion. However, the make-up is second to none. The prosthetics and costumes for some of the demons is genuinely terrifying, and there is seldom a moment when you see a villain who doesn't look completely convincing in their costume. This helps play on the horror aspect of the show, and is in many respects, is far superior than that of the make-up I've seen on Buffy.
The extras are not too abundant on this set, most likely due to the fact it was produced when DVDs were still relatively new and there wasn't as huge of an expectation to load each disc with hours and hours of new material. However, there are a handful of featurettes complete with cast and crew contributions, providing a great insight into the characters and how the show is produced. There are also a couple of audio commentaries on key episodes which are fascinating to listen to, with writers talking about their original ideas for the episodes in question and providing intelligent and witty comments about the end product.
At just £14.99 on Amazon, this boxset is a real steal given that you get 22 episodes of glorious television. Obviously, since this is the first season of Angel, you also have the advantage of not having to worry about not understanding past storylines. As a lot of Buffy fans never got round to watching the show, this is the perfect opportunity for them to venture into new territory. Although you don't at all have to have seen any of Joss Whedon's TV shows before to appreciate Angel - it has it all - comedy, drama, action, horror. It's got such cross genre appeal; I find it hard to believe that many wouldn't enjoy it. While this season doesn't showcase Angel at its best, it's an incredibly solid start, and really stands out like a jewel in the dirt, when it comes to comparing it to other programmes in the genre.
If you're interested in the future seasons of Angel, then feel free to browse my other reviews, as I have now reviewed all five DVD boxsets.
Having reviewed Buffy seasons one to seven, I figure that I may as well move on to reviewing the spin-off show, Angel. Whilst I don't think Angel holds a candle to Buffy, it's still a very good show and gives you the other side of the story to some of the Buffy plots.
A little bit about the show itself before I get into the review of the season one box set. Angel the series is a spin-off show from the very successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like the title suggests, the show revolves around Angel - the vampire with a soul, who is on a mission of redemption.
At the end of Buffy's season three, Angel left Sunnydale and headed to L.A. - which is where this series takes place. He's only been there a short while when he accrues a gang and opens a business - Angel Investigations - who aim to help the helpless.
That's the basic premise of the show, for the first season at least. As with all ongoing shows, the plots and characters become more and more complex as time progresses.
The lead character is, obviously, Angel. He's a 250 year old vampire with a soul, who's just come out of a relationship with the Slayer, Buffy. To be honest - I didn't like the character of Angel very much whilst he was on Buffy, so I was a little wary of watching this show. However, he's a lot more engaging in his own show and sparks very well with the supporting cast.
Remember Cordelia Chase from Buffy? Well, after blowing up the school with her friends at the end of Buffy Season Three, she headed out to LA to pursue a career as an actress. But like most of the Buffyverse characters, she can't seem to escape the supernatural and soon meets up with Angel and becomes a member of his team. Again, I didn't like the character of Cordelia very much whilst she was on Buffy - she was a bitch with a capital B, but in Angel she matures and undergoes a serious character transformation.
Doyle is a quirky Irish character who turns up and tells Angel that he should be helping the helpless and not sitting around getting drunk. Doyle is part demon and has visions sent to him by the Powers That Be - visions of people being attacked or harmed by demons - and he wants Angel to help them. Doyle is a great character that I really liked, but he doesn't last the season.
The final Buffy character to join Angel's team is Wesley Wyndam-Pryce - remember him? - Buffy and Faith's weedy Watcher who wimped out of helping Angel in season three of Buffy. I feel like a broken record saying this, but I didn't like Wesley in Buffy either. Yet again I come to like him in Angel. Wesley perhaps undergoes the biggest character transformation across Angel's five seasons, and that begins here in the first season.
Finally, there are some minor supporting characters, such as Kate - the police officer who soon works out that all is not quite right with Angel; and Lindsey - a young lawyer who works for the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart.
And perhaps W&H should be included as a character as well, considering the huge role it plays throughout the series. W&H provides a lot of what the Hellmouth provided in Buffy - a reason for the supernatural and an adversary for Angel & co. to rally against.
Episode One: City Of...
The opening episode of the series is really a scene-setter, with the audience being re-introduced to Angel's character, and to his new gang - Cordelia and Doyle. In the episode Angel meets up with Cordelia at a party, and soon she is needing his help with an unwanted suitor. Doyle, Cordy and Angel then join up to form Angel Investigations. The episode is a good one for getting us into this world - kind of familiar but worlds away from Sunnydale.
Episode Two: Lonely Hearts
A great second episode, this sees Angel and the others investigating a series of disappearances that are linked to a nightclub. It turns out to be a body-snatching demon with an interesting way of getting from one body to the next... We're also introduced to Kate, the police officer who is highly suspicious of the way Angel acts...
Episode Three: In The Dark
The first of several crossovers with Buffy, this episode goes along with Buffy's Season Four episode "The Harsh Light of Day". Over in Sunnydale, Spike had found the Ring of Amara - that would give him near invincibility - but Buffy took it from him and gave it to Oz to bring to Angel. Of course, Spike now wants it back, so he arrives in LA, and he's not happy. I'm always a fan of an episode with Spike in, so I thought this one was great.
Episode Four: I Fall to Pieces
A strange episode that feels a lot like the very early seasons of Buffy. A creepy doctor is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, and they soon discover that he has a unique way of spying on her - his various body parts come off and move around on their own. A so-so episode that I didn't particularly like.
Episode Five: Rm W/A View
Fed up with her disgusting apartment, Cordelia starts the search for something more suited to her standards. Eventually settling on the dream apartment, she moves in - only to find she's not alone - the place is haunted. I enjoyed this episode despite its rather grizzly conclusion.
Episode Six: Sense and Sensitivity
In this episode we learn more about Kate and her relationship with Angel intensifies. Meanwhile, an evil mobster using Wolfram and Hart as his lawyers casts a spell on the police department, turning them into whimpering idiots. Not a particularly memorable episode, but it has some nice moments.
Episode Seven: The Bachelor Party
Doyle and Cordelia are getting closer, but then Doyle's ex-wife turns up - new fiancé in tow. It turns out that his ex's new hubby-to-be is also part demon, and part of the pre-wedding ritual involves eating the first husband. I enjoyed this episode apart from one thing - the actor that played the new fiancé!
Episode Eight: I Will Remember You
A great episode for those who loved the Buffy/Angel relationship (not me, then!). After Angel's visit to Sunnydale (Buffy, Season Four: Pangs), she comes to L.A. to see him. Shortly after she arrives, they're attacked by a demon, who infects Angel with its blood, and he becomes human. Buffy and Angel spend the day together as humans, but can their blissful happiness last? A good episode that has some heartbreaking moments.
Episode Nine: Hero
A sad episode that sees the departure of Doyle. Angel and the others get involved in helping a group of part-demon refugees escape the city, but on their tails is a gang of demons named the Scourge who are determined to wipe out "impure" demons. An exciting episode with a tragic ending.
Episode Ten: Parting Gifts
With Doyle gone there's an opening on the team, and soon enough Wesley arrives in town, sporting the guise of "rogue demon hunter". Meanwhile, Cordelia has inherited the gift of the visions from Doyle - but there's a problem when a demon turns up wanting to auction her off. A so-so episode that is mainly dealing with Wesley's arrival.
Episode Eleven: Somnambulist
When corpses show up around the city that bear a striking resemblance to the way Angelus used to kill people, Wesley and Kate grow suspicious that Angelus is back and killing again. What's the truth behind the mystery? I really enjoyed this episode.
Episode Twelve: Expecting
This isn't a favourite episode of mine... Cordelia wakes up after a night out to find she is eight months pregnant - and it's not a human baby. A silly episode with a silly conclusion, but do I smell foreshadowing?
Episode Thirteen: She
Demon women are smuggling themselves to earth from another dimension, and it's up to Angel and co. to help them on their way without the men of the dimension finding out. Not a great episode with some truly AWFUL moments between Angel and the leader of the demon women. Best part of this episode? Angel and Wes's dancing at a party.
Episode Fourteen: I've Got You Under My Skin
A family who's son is possessed by a demon come to Angel Investigations for help - but the exorcism goes horribly wrong. Again, this isn't a great episode and it has a weird conclusion that I didn't really like.
Episode Fifteen: The Prodigal
This is a good episode with some flashbacks to Angel's youth. Meanwhile, Kate's father gets embroiled in shady dealings and when he is hurt, Kate blames Angel for not helping out more. I like the character of Kate and her interactions with Angel - she doesn't immediately accept him, so I like this episode. The bad thing? David Boreanaz's 'oirish' accent!
Episode Sixteen: The Ring
Having watched Torchwood before Angel, the concept of this episode felt familiar - but if inspiration was taken it was the other way around! Angel is captured by a gang who pit demons against each other for bets and money in a sort of demon fight club. Can he convince the other demons that if they work together they can get out without being killed? An enjoyable episode.
Episode Seventeen: Eternity
A truly horrible episode in my opinion. Angel rescues a Hollywood actress from being hurt, and she soon finds herself drawn to him. She soon realises that vampires have eternal youth and wants Angel to turn her - and of course, there are disastrous consequences when she gives Angel a pill to enduce happiness... Not a good episode.
Episode Eighteen: Five by Five
Episode Nineteen: Sanctuary
A two-parter that sees rogue Slayer Faith coming to LA. She's left Sunnydale after her body-switching experience with Buffy, and heads to the city of angels. She's soon recruited by Wolfram and Hart to kill Angel, but ends up kidnapping and torturing Wesley. In the second episode, Angel finally begins to get through to Faith when Buffy turns up, looking for payback on Faith. Can it end well? Two really great episodes in my opinion, as I really like the character of Faith and this is a great end to her story - for now, anyway.
Episode Twenty: War Zone
This episode introduces a character who will become a regular from season two onwards - Charles Gunn. Here, he's part of a street gang who band together to fight vampires. Angel soon gets involved, and being a vampire, the gang are convinced that they should kill him. Another good episode that shows that "civilians" are aware of the supernatural goings on in town.
Episode Twenty-One: Blind Date
Lindsey and Wolfram & Hart are back - this time with a plot to kill three mystical children. Angel and Gunn have to break into W&H to steal some discs they'll need to save the children. Whilst there, Angel discovers a scroll that contains a prophecy about him... A so-so episode that's more setting up the finale than anything else.
Episode Twenty-Two: To Shanshu in LA
The finale of the season and it goes out with a whimper rather than the bang I'd been expecting after seven seasons of big Buffy finales. Wesley attempts to decipher the scroll that Angel found last episode, and discovers that Angel has Shanshu... This is a recurring theme throughout the series. The last few moments of the episode are pretty good, and there's a surprising cliffhanger right at the end...
1. Audio commentary 1: 'City Of' by creator Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt
2. Audio commentary 2: 'Room With A View' by Jane Espenson
3. Featurette: 'Season One'
4. Trailer: 'Angel Season One'
5. Cast biographies pages
6. Stills gallery
7. 'Five by Five' script
8. 'Sanctuary' script
9. Featurette: 'I'm Cordelia'
10. Featurette: 'Introducing Angel'
11. Featurette: 'The Demons'
On the whole, I think I was expecting more from Angel's first season than I got. I was expecting a slick, polished show that was every bit as good as Buffy. What I got was something that was reminiscent of Buffy's first season, where "monster of the week" was a prevalant theme.
The small character arcs - Kate, Wesley etc. work pretty well, but there's little resolution as both continue into season two.
The big arc of Wolfram & Hart and Lindsey is pretty much non-existent throughout much of the season, and so there's no real sense of fear as you get from the Big Bad's in Buffy.
Overall, I liked the first season and it certainly hooked me enough to want to continue watching into the second season and beyond.
Definitely worth a watch for fans of Buffy and Joss Whedon's works.
Being a huge Buffy the Vampire fan I watched all of the Angel series when it first came on TV years ago. Recently my husband got into Buffy and when that finished we brought the Angel DVD boxset so have been watching them one by one. This review is why I think season 1 is definitely worth a watch if you like Buffy. There are a few spoilers if you haven't watched Buffy so if you don't want to know then please don't read on.
Angel season 1 starts off exactly how Angel left Buffy. He moves to Los Angeles and begins to do his thing there so basically hunting down demons and trying to help people. Whilst there he meets up with Cordelia who has moved to Los Angeles to become an actress (surprise surprise). Together they decide that they can help people and this is where Angel investigations is born.
Each episode of season 1 is a stand alone episode so you can leave and pick up wherever you like. They have such stories as a gang of humans fighting vampires and a sinister law firm called Wolfram and Hart. All in all though they follow a format of there is something evil afoot and they set out to stop it.
The special effects in this show are very good and as there are demons in every episode and some sort of fighting they do very well in Angel. I have noticed a few episodes where the effects are a bit iffy and look dated but in general it is what you expect from the creator Joss Whedon.
Angel has one big thing going for it and that is fantastic characters. Angel is a little less moody than he was in Buffy which is good and more appealing as a character as comedy becomes the value of the day which is great. Cordelia also seems a lot more grown up in Angel and is a lot of fun to watch. Then you have the addition of another character who was in Buffy who I loved but I don't want to spoil it and say who in this review.
My favourite character though in Angel is Doyle, a sidekick who has visions from the powers that be and every time he has a vision it means that somebody is in trouble. He is lovely and his relationship with Angel and Cordelia is great and lovely viewing.
The actors are great but you have come to expect that from Buffy. You have David Boreanaz who plays Angel, Charisma Carpernter who plays Cordelia and Glenn Quin who plays Doyle. You also get quite a few appearances from people who were in Buffy which is quite nice as it keeps the link there which you need.
The actual series has everything you need as it has some great action, is very fantasy like and has elements of comedy, romance and sci-fi and also a lot of drama. I think it follows Buffy very well and to be honest the best way to watch it is with Buffy. It does interlink a lot so it makes a lot more sense when you watch the first episode of Buffy series 4 and then watch the first episode of this season of Angel.
There are 22 episodes in season 1 and every one is enjoyable. This series is from 1999 and each episode is around 42 minutes long. It is a certificate 18 which is about right. There are plenty of special features around the discs. These include commentary for a couple of episodes. There are a few featurettes about the making of Angel, there are some scripts and also stills galleries and biographies for the cast.
In conclusion I think Angel season 1 is well worth a watch and if you like Buffy then I say you will definitely like it which is good. It is a fun show which is completely unbelievable but so much fun to watch and with a TV show that is all that matters.
Now for season 2.
Thanks for reading.
~ Soul of Angel - Angel- Season 1~
Being a spin off from Buffy The vampire Slayer I was instantly interested when Angel was first released. Angel being my favourite character from Buffy left the Buffy series at the end of series three and I was gutted. When I heard David Borenaz was doing his own series I was excited and anxious to see if it was going to be as good as Buffy.
~ ANGEL? ~
For those of you who have not seen or heard about the series before Angel is an American spin off series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has the same creator Joss Whedon and aired five series altogether. The first season was shown for the first time on October 5th 1999 when Buffy had finished its third season where Angel leaves Sunnydale. Angel travels to LA where he used to live to fight evil of his own and help the innocent in the city from the undead.
The series follows Angel on how he copes with leaving Sunnydale and his love Buffy and regains strength and friends in the new city. Angel being such a huge character in Buffy had a lot about his past that could now be explained more in his own series.
Similar to Buffy, Angel works in the same way. Each episode has its own event and story and focuses around the main character and how it affects them; however Angel shows more about him overcoming his past and a clear view of good conquering over evil. Each episode is about the same length to Buffy and looking at the DVD box sets they have the same layout and font.
Maybe this is to show Buffy fans that this series is just as good and to persuade them onto another series. Although it was shown later that it did not reach the high ratings of the popular Buffy series Angel had a great starting audience.
~ MAIN CHARACTERS ~
David Borenaz- Angel
Angel is a 200 year old vampire who has left Sunnydale and come to LA.
He has a terrible curse and although being a vampire he helps save the innocent from evil. He is desperate for redemption after the evil is has done while first turning in the 1800's.
The character is really interesting. Angel is not a normal vampire and he has a lot of problems and events that happen to him. I like the way that he is not a typical vampire as no other programme shows them as being good and caring. Obviously Angel is very easy on the eyes for us ladies the tall, dark and handsome character has a constant appeal from ladies but shows he was only interested in one women and that's his Buffy. For the Buffy fans who watched their romance come alive and experience dramatic events, it is intriguing to see Angel has his own independent person.
Glenn Quinn - Doyle
Doyle is a half human half demon who comes across Angel while he is saving a human from a vampire. He has a gift which has led him to find the vampire in order to help him find his fate.
I like the character of Doyle. The Irish half demon brings the comedy value to the series and makes the show more vibrant and energetic. He is always trying to crack jokes and lightening the mood that Angel doesn't seem to share at the beginning. He doesn't really seem to have a lot of confidence in himself even though he is quite knowledgeable and intelligent when it comes to helping Angel learn about different demons in LA.
Charisma Carpenter - Cordelia Chase
Cordelia also left Buffy at the end of season three to look for work in acting in the big city of LA. Although her character has been developed in Buffy we get to see a lot more about her in Angel. She comes across the main character at a party where she is trying to introduce herself to directors for work. She is still the loud, cheeky and confident girl we know and is happy to see someone she knows.
I liked having another member of Buffy join the Angel cast as again there was a lot that could have been done with this character. Cordelia did not have a he part in Buffy and it is good to see her as a main character. Her image is the same and she also brings a lot of humour to the show.
~ Other Characters in Season 1 ~
Alexis Denisof - Wesley Wyndam-Price (the ex watcher of Buffy)
Julie Benz- Darla (Angel's ex lover and Sire seen in Buffy season 1).
Christian Kane - Lindsey McDonald
Elisabeth Rohm - Kate Lockley
James Masters - Spike
~ Episode guide and Opinions ~
1- City Of . . .
Leaving the life and his love behind in Sunnydale Angel comes to LA to seek his fate and start a fresh life. He befriends a half-demon named Doyle and finds old acquaintance Cordelia where the three of them decide to help the innocent from the evil in the city.
The first episode is done very well. The city of LA is filmed in a very gritty way and the atmosphere is shown as always eerie and gloomy. Angel has not changed since leaving Buffy and still has his great looks. The episode even though it was mainly introducing people and the new location was interesting and kept me fascinated in what will happen to the vampire.
2 - Lonely Hearts
Doyle has a vision and Angel has to find and hunt an evil sprit in a popular LA nightclub where he meets Kate Lockley who seems to hide a secret.
This is the first episode that really shows the three starting their business of helping the innocent. Angel shows that he is more than just a fighting face and it was good to see Cordelia and Doyle doing the investigating just like Willow and Xander does in Buffy. The locations for the scene were a good choice as it made it more realistic and the pace was fast and exciting. 9/10.
3 - In the Dark
Oz comes to LA to seek Angel as there is a gift from Buffy that might help him. Angel is grateful and amazed by this gift and when Spike turns up to claim the prize for himself Angel finds himself in battle.
I really liked this episode. Having another member from Buffy join the story was great and the history between Spike and Angel made it stimulating to watch. It includes a lot of action and some in daylight which is different to see as the two vampires can not survive this normally. I also loved the way Buffy is still a sub plot in Angels life and they still include each other. 10/10.
4 - I Fall to Pieces
The gang help a woman who is being stalked by her ex lover a doctor.
This episode shows another story in helping the innocent and it reminded me more like a detective programme than a sci fi series like CSI. Even though there was fighting in some parts it is mostly researching and searching for the stalker. 8/10.
5 - Rm w/a Vu
With Cordelia having no money she moves in with Angel but her dominant ways gets the best of her and Angel finds her a flat with a surprise she doesn't want. Doyle falls for Cordelia.
Although it is good to see more of another character not much really goes on in this episode that makes it great to watch. The locations are limited to Angel's apartment and Cordelia's new flat and the action is slow and basic. 6.10.
6 - Sense and Sensitivity
Kate is shown as a police woman and there are serious problems in the department while Angel and the gang try to stop the chaos and get in hot water themselves.
This episode consists on a lot of action which was good to watch and keep you interested. It includes a lot from the police department which is more like a police drama again but it was good to see something a little different. 8/10
7 - The Bachelor Party
Doyle's ex wife is remarrying and Angel meets the family where it doesn't go as well as planned. Doyle saves Cordelia from a vampire attack and is confident his chances are growing.
I found this one quite funny and entertaining to watch. As it is mainly focused on Doyle and Angel there is a lot of humour used and sarcastic comments which make it more of a comedy than action. The fight scenes are well paced and there are many locations which keep it flowing. 9/10.
8- I Will Remember You
This is properly one of the best episodes in the whole series of Angel. After Angel briefly goes to Sunnydale to protect Buffy from evil which is seen in the Buffy episode in season 4, Buffy comes to LA to find out why he came. We again see the instant love they have for each other and as a monster infects Angel he and Buffy spend a heavenly day together but he has to sacrifice his love again to save the city. I loved everything about this episode the pace even though was slow did have some fighting scenes with Buffy and Angel fighting together and the events were captivating 10/10.
9 - Hero
This is got to be one of the episodes with the most fighting. There is quite abit of gore and violence which was good to see as that's the nature of demons. The camera shots were close to the action and all of this is filmed in the dark which made it more sinister. The monsters actually looked quite good and I was impressed with the hand on hand combat. The story has a dramatic event included which I was gutted to see as I enjoyed watching this character a lot. 9/10.
10- Parting Gifts
Another member from Buffy appears Wesley the ex watcher. It is interesting to see more on him as he becomes a different man in Angel. I like the way Angel seems less pleased to see him than Wesley does of him as they never really got on. There are plenty of action scenes and sub plots to make it moving to watch. 9/10.
11 - Somnaambuilst
This is quite a lively Episode and focuses on Wesley which is a good change. The story is good and gives a worrying feeling to the audience that something has gone wrong. You feel really involved in the characters especially Angel. There is also good music in this story to set the right mood and keep you interested. 9/10.
12 - Expecting
I actually thought this story was really stupid which is unusual as I have liked every episode so far in the series. As I didn't like the story I didn't really enjoy it and always skip it if I watch the series over again. One to avoid I think! 2/10.
13 - She
The action picks up again and the story becomes more complex in She. Demons are becoming more violent and powerful and the gang are finding it harder to defeat them. It was good to see them struggling and not always just investigating then destroying. Having a more complexed story made me more intrigued to watch it. I really liked the character developments in this event and was annoyed when it ended. 9/10.
14 - I've got you under my skin
The stories are becoming abit similar in these last episodes as again Angel has to save a family from danger and the format is always pretty much the same. I did like the way it shows Angel's grief for a friend as it shows his sensitive side. The action was standard and the plot didn't really affect any of the characters. 5/10
15 - The Prodigal
I found this quite interesting and there is a lot to take in on this episode. Angels human past is shown and Kate has family problems making it very complexed again. The acting is of high standard and the music really helps set each emotion on different plots. It was nice to know more about some of the characters. 9/10.
16 - The Ring
This reminded me a lot of the film Gladiator which I love. Angel is kidnapped and forced to fight demons to amuse paying guests. It was good to see something abit different and the hero being in danger and has to rely on humans to save him. It suggests that power is not always the key. 9/10.
17 - Eternity
This is a lot similar to an earlier episode as a girl is stalked and needs protecting. I thought it was repeating itself abit and needed a new story. Didn't really think much of it however the action and acting was still really good. 6/10.
18- Five by Five
Another great episode which includes other characters from Buffy this time including Faith the second slayer. She has run from Sunnydale after killing a man and seeks guidance and support from Angel. The episode has some really superb emotional scenes and the atmosphere is tense. I was amazed to see how Angel has such forgiveness and mercy to someone who hurt him in the past. 9/10.
19 - Sanctuary
This is the most interesting and action packed of the whole entire series of Angel. With Faith staying with Angel and bonding with him its not long before Buffy appears to get her revenge after Faith plants the murder on her.
The scenes are violent, exciting and has a lot of one on one fighting between Buffy and Faith. The high quality camera work works well with the music to great a fast paced drama. Defiantly worth watching! 10/10.
20 - War Zone
This has a really good story and great fighting scenes. Angel meets a young group of vampire hunters headed by Gunn and he has worry for their safety.
There is a good moral hidden of looking after your family and your own but accepting help when you need it which I thought was excellent. I was quite annoyed when it ended as the action left a cliff hanger. 9/10.
21 - Blind Date
The story starts getting more complex when the law firm show their potential in evil. I think it is better when you have a lot going on as it keeps the audience concentrating on what's going on. The action is packed to the max and each character is shown as having some affect to them. I enjoyed this one a lot. 9/10.
22 - To Shanshu in LA
In the final episode of this great series it does not disappoint. Angel has the biggest fear to face and there is so much drama you can't look away for a second. Everything is done superb from the fast cuts, the music and the plots.
Whedon goes out on all stops for this finale and i found myself annoyed again when it finished. I couldn't wait to get the next series on DVD.
~ OVERALL ~
Overall the series is fantastic and includes everything you need in a successful drama. The acting is good, the music and pace is just right and the atmospheres created is just spot on. I was so into this series that I watched this first box set in a half term from school. It is a very addictive programme and if you like other series like Buffy and Supernatural you love Angel. I defiantly recommend this box set and it has a lot included in the price you pay for it.
~ DVD and EXTRAS ~
The season one box set can be brought from Play.com at £29.99 new.
It has a certificate of 18 which is higher than a lot of Buffy series due to the violence and gore it has. It gives it more options at this rating.
* New amaray-style plastic case!
* Disc One:
* Audio commentary 1: 'City Of' by creator Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt
* Disc Two:
* Audio commentary 2: 'Room With A View' by Jane Espenson
* Disc Three:
* Featurette: 'Season One'
* Trailer: 'Angel Season One'
* Cast biographies pages
* Stills gallery
* Disc Five:
* 'Five by Five' script
* 'Sanctuary' script
* Disc Six
* Featurette: 'I'm Cordelia'
* Featurette: 'Introducing Angel'
* Featurette: 'The Demons'
* Thank you for Reading - Blackmagicstar4 * Jan 09 * Published on Ciao and Dooyoo.
Angel is the follow on series from buffy the vampire slayer,if you havent seen buffy yet angel is a vampire with a soul and so a good vampire,hes seeking atonement for the bad things he has done in the past so now he fights evil demons and vampires in L.a.He has a side kick team of the beautiful cordelia who is a little bit dizzy and thebrilliant wesley who is both intelligent and english!In this series you meet a range of evil foes and some new friends and angel discovers something important about his future.
I love angel namely because of the gorgeus david b in it but also wesley and cordelias charecters,each episdode is a different story and theres loads of evil demons to enjoy,occasionly some of the buffy crew come over which is great for buffy fans as well,this is a great cult series that was very popular and is still a classic so if you enjoy something out of the ordinary give angel a go its very addictive and theres 6 series to get through
Its classified 18 surprisingly and is 917 minutes for series 1 i think there is about 22 episodes in total you also get extras which are good on the dvd as well.£9.95 on amazon uk
After being a regular on the hit TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer for its first three seasons Buffy's big love - Angel the ensouled vampire left for LA to seek his own path of redemption and to put an end to the pair's turbulent relationship.
Whilst I had never really liked David Boreanaz in 'Buffy' - once given his own show he finally manages to step out of her shadow and make a brilliant impression.
As a spinoff from it's popular parent show 'Angel' continues the Buffy mythology though the show has a much darker tone for its first season that may be unattractive to some viewers of Buffy as the light, witty dialogue and theatrical style of Buffy are all but a thing of the darkness here.
Joining Angel in his new found fight against the forces of darkness are Buffy regular Charisma Carpenter who reprises her role as the shallow and hilarious Cordelia Chase and the duo are originally joined by Doyle [Glenn Quinn] who acts as a link to the Powers That Be, providing Angel with visions of people in danger he has to save. However for some reason Doyle appears in 9 episodes of the 22 here before being killed off and being replaced by Alexis Denisof [who reprises his role of exiled Wotcher Wesley Wyndam-Price from the third season of Buffy].
Whilst the three mesh quite well together and each bring different attributes and personalities to show making for very enjoyable viewing it does seem that for the first year anyway that the fact this is a Buffy spinoff is constantly reinforced.
The appearance of many characters familiar to the Buffyverse throughout the season including Oz [Seth Green], Spike [James Marsters], Faith [Eliza Dusku] and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the vampire slayer herself sort of give the show a sense of warmth and allows it to get comfortable and draw in viewers already familar with the characters so it can build its own identity and world and start to pull away from it's parent show. 'Angel' has a more, mature and foreboding feel to it as issues that are often overlooked on Buffy such as demonic pregnancy, stalking and a lot of grittier demons and creatures that bare similarities to a lot of the cases investigated in The X Files appear.
Whilst the villains and topics dealt with in 'Angel' are far darker and the recurring villains are a lot harder to put your finger on than Buffy - the demonic law firm WolfRam And Hart provide a brilliant opponent for Angel to face with the corrupted lawyers often pulling out all the stops to try and scupper his attempts to do good. It makes for far more interesting storylines when the main villains are actually human and opens up a lot of questions over what the true meaning of evil really is.
Boreanaz himself has the ability to deliver some really good comic lines though the brooding and depression his character seems to constantly spiral into does get a little bit boring after a while in which Charisma Carpenter steps up in perfect contrast to often deliver the funny, witty lines that make the show move along so smoothly. It's also great to see the changes that are developing in her character as she receives the visions from Doyle shortly before his death and also her social isolation and lack of money after her parents went broke in the last season of Buffy.
For me season one has some great standout episodes such as 'Lonely Hearts' in which a shapeshifer is preying on a local single's bar in an attempt to find 'the perfect match'. As it's only the show's 2nd episode it sets a pretty high standard to follow introducting the character of Detective Kate Lockley who could be a potential love interest for Angel and dealing with complex issues of loneliness and the need to feel contact and close to someone in our own society.
Whilst the Buffy-Angel lovestory is a worn out formula by now the crossover episode 'I Will Remember You' is a truly, beautifully written episode in which a fight with a demon causes Angel to become human and finally be with the girl he loves only to make t he ultimate sacrifice and take it all back so only he will remember is probably one of the most touching episodes I've seen of either show.
Overall Angel - Season One is a brilliant start to the show and has some terrifice episodes and characters that despite already being familar constantly change and expand into something more. For region 2 the box is in the same style as the Buffy series and features all 22 episodes of the Angel season on 6 discs with 3 or 4 episodes on each one. There's also some great commentaries from writers and producers on specific episodes that are really interesting to watch after the episode itself to get the full feel of what is being explored.
The spin off show has had a mixed success through TV history. 'Mork and Mindy' was a solo hit of huge proportions after its separation from 'Happy Days'. Unfortunately, for the actors planning their careers off the back of another successful show, a spin off does not always means success; just ask the redundant cast and crew of 'Joey'. During the late 1990s there was one science fiction show that had the teens tuned in each week, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. Its mix of action, comedy and relationship drama made it resonate with many people. In this show one relationship dominated; that of Buffy and vampire with a soul Angel. With the storyline between the two coming to a natural conclusion Joss Whedon and co. decided to give Angel his own show - could it achieve the same levels of success as 'Buffy'?
Angel is in LA. Much like the hell mouth in Sunnydale, LA is a city that draws evil, in this case for its glitz and power. Angel soon becomes involved with a friendly half demon called Doyle who is prone to excruciating headaches that give him visions of people in distress. Angel has been compelled by the powers that be to save these people and play his role in the coming prophecies. With the aid of Doyle, newly arrived 'actress' Cordelia, and failed rogue demon hunter Wesley, he fights the good fight. Perhaps Angel can save the world, but not everyone wants him to, can he work out why the supernatural law firm Wolfram and Hart always seem to be involved?
The first thing that hits you that differentiates 'Angel' from 'Buffy' is this is a darker and more adult themed show. All the characters are not school children, but adults with adult motivations. Therefore, the storylines follow this theme as you get creatures that prey on singletons in bars, or references to drugs and alcohol. To go with these darker themes the show itself is shot in a more noir fashion. Angel is a typical PI type whose brooding exterior hides more brooding interior. With morally ambiguous characters you never really now who might turn and this adds to the suspense in the show. The 18 certificate for this season is probably due to the head butting scene and the use of a can of deodorant to create a flame. The majority of the show has cartoony violence and although not suitable for young children is easily acceptable to a 12A audience nowadays.
Like in all Whedon shows the scripts are fantastic. The storylines themselves can seem a little naïve on occasion but the zingy and funny dialogue is as present as ever. The Whedon effect is also present in the character arcs and is what makes the show interesting to watch and potentially different week on week. There is no fear from the 'Angel' team of killing off a character or suddenly making someone swap allegiances. In fact this type of things occurs so often in 'Angel' that the entire shows plays off it as each character falls in and out of trust.
Season 1 of 'Angel' also succeeds because it has one of the strongest cast line up that the show had. Whilst Angel himself is present throughout all five seasons the rest of the cast come and go. Doyle is great and actor Glenn Quinn (who died soon after season one) really gives a relaxed feel to the show. I feel that Doyle acts as a great way of making the show more adult as he has more adult issues e.g. gambling, an ex-wife. Cordelia and Wesley are also good in this season as although they are not too deep they act as good comic foils. Comparing them here to their later incarnations is almost redundant as they change so much. With the likes of Gunn and Fred yet to appear season 1 of 'Angel' has a very intimate feel.
There are a few areas that prevent this season from being a must watch, but all of them are small compared to the positives of the great stories and action. Firstly, I felt that the show has dated a little already and this can only get worse. The worst culprits are the Wolfram and Hart Attorney in Law and in particular Leslie and his awful hair. I was also aware of some poor special effects and make up that seemed to get noticeably better in later seasons.
Despite these minor misgivings 'Angel' season 1 acts as a great introduction to a show that grew over 5 years. Compared with later seasons little happened in 1, but it acts as a solid foundation to base later stories. With an enigmatic lead in David Boreanez, who is not afraid to make himself look stupid, and help from actors Charisma Carpenter and Alex Denisof, 'Angel' has lots of characters to like. This is helped by the high quality of scripts that meant that even if some of the storylines were weak on occasion you could still be guaranteed to enjoy some of the dialogue.
Starring: David Boreanaz et al.
Price: Amazon uk £15.97
The new boxed sets of Angel are now more affordable than ever and at £16 for over 20 hours of entertainment they are great value. The extras on offer are not great, but they do have some commentaries and a few featurettes.
Angel - Season One
22 Episodes on 6 Discs
David Boreanaz - Angel
Charisma Carpenter - Cordelia Chase
Glenn Quinn - Alan Francis Doyle
Alexis Denisof - Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Well Angel the series is about a Vampire with a soul trying to atone for his previous sins as an evil vampire, Angel is the spin off of the popular Joss Whedon show; Buffy The Vampire Slayer, so along with Angel, a few other Buffyverse characters come to Los Angeles with him including my favourite character Cordeilia Chase, Other Buffy characters also pop up as guest stars including Buffy.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Science-Fiction
Episode Quality: 8/10
Ebay: Around £10 inc Postage
Play: £14.99 inc Postage
I bought Using eBay.
Every Disc Barring Disc four has Extras on it.
Commentary for City Of by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt Get behind the first episode when Joss and David talk.
Commentary for RM w/a Vu by Jane Epsenson Nearly like all the other commentaries Ive heard.
Featurette: Season one, Featurette: "I'm Cordelia" Featurette: "Introducing Angel", Featurette: "The Demons".
Cast Bios, Still Gallery,
Scripts for Five by Five and Sanctuary.
Well the first season of Angel is very good and is of similar standard to the first three seasons of Buffy. The Creator of Buff The Vampire Slayer; Joss Whedon also had a big role in writing and directing the first season of Angel which shows in its quality, This is one of the few shows that watching on DVD is not as good as it was watching when it first aired, purely for the fact that over here in england, Buffy and Angel aired together on the same night, and some episodes do overlap, so when your watching the dvd you dont get a good sense of what has happened over on the other show in the previous episode, unless you have Season Four of Buffy and are watching alternatively.
If you are a fan of Buffy, you will most probaly like Angel, they are obviously similar shows because of having the same writing and directing staff, but Angel is darker than Buffy with its storylines which are maybe more adult than the first season of Buffy. Angel has also moved to Los Angeles which adds to the darkness of the show. Although the show is a "darker version of Buffy" it hasnt lost the comedic feel of the original show and can be very funny (often because of Cordeilia), One of my favourite things about Angel is the character interaction (which i alos said about David Boreanaz' other show Bones). The Action/Fighting scenes are all very well performed and the first scene in the whole show is a fine example of this, Angel fights three vampires (One of whom is played by Lost's Josh Holloway).
The End of the season for me was a real let down for me, in the first three seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer prior to Angel, the Finales were always something to look forward to and there was always a "Big Bad" but in Angel - Season One there wasnt and it failed to live up to expectations, I feel angel had a problem with finales all the way up to the Last season. Also other storylines in season One were under par and were rather strange.
Hero, Five By Five, The Ring
Watch This If You Like:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Charmed, Alias
LA the city that never sleeps now has a new hero, Angel. What brought him to LA? Well it started with a girl.
From the creater of Buffy comes the spinoff series Angel. For those of you not familiar with Buffy, she is the chosen one, the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires to stop the spread of their evil. She is the Slayer.
Angel is a vampire witha soul. 240 years ago Darla sired a guy called Liam who then became a vampire. SHe changed his name to Angelus (the one with the ANgelic face) and then both ANgel and Dar;a went on a rampage around the world bringing death and destruction with them. Angel unfortunately underestimated the power of a gypsie family who performed a restoration ritual when he killed there daughter causing ANgel to be cursed with his soul.
Angel now lives with the torment of the memories of all that he had caused
Angel is also the object of Buffy's heart. The path of love is never smooth and after a 3 year on off, up and down relationship in which Angel spent a brief amount of time in hell at the hands of Buffy to save the world, he moved to the City of Angels to carry on the good fight against the forces of darkness.
LA isn't short of evil nasties. Where Sunnydale California has the Hellmouth, Los Angeles has an evil law firm called Wolfram & Hart who are hell bent on making Angels search for redemption as difficult as possible.
At the beginning of his time in LA, he meets a strange man called Doyle who it turns out is a demon. Doyle is here to help Angel fight the good fight, with the help of the powers that be who send him mind blowing, excrutiatingly painful visions of people who need help.
Angels first Job is to help a girl who is in trouble with a boyfriend who loves pain. But things are never that simple, it turns out that he is infact a vampire and a client of Wolfram & Hart. Unfortunately Angel is too late to save her, but does meet an old friend from Sunnydale, Cordelia Chase.
Cordelia is so desperate for fame and fortune that she gets tangled up with the same vampire who promises to make her rich and famous. Angel manages to save her and Miss Chase takes it upon herself to set up an investigation team who help the helpless and so Angel Investigations is born.
Season 1 takes you through all of the evil nasties that roam the streets of LA and the beginning of Angels search for redemption. It gives you an insight into the 3 main characters, Angel (David Boreanaz), Cordelia chase (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (Glenn Quinn) as they grow and meet some very interesting characters. There are lots of suprises on the way including some guest apearances from some important people in Angels past, a certain Slayer for instance, the death of a close friend and another familiar face shows up ready to help the helpless.
The episodes in season 1 are as follows:
In the Dark
I Fall to Pieces
Room w/a Vu
Sense and Sensitivity
The Bachelor Party
I Will Remember You
I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
Five by Five
To Shanshu in L.A.
Audio Commentaries By Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt And Jane Espenson
It is always nice to have bonus features on a dvd, but i prefer to see the making of or outtakes. The four featurettes that are included do have a behind the stunts feature, but the rest of them i never really bother with.
The scripts are a nice idea, but i prefer to watch the episode rather than read them and the commentaries are pointless as they never really tell you anything that you don't already know.
The Angel series is just as good as Buffy. The acting of all of the characters if faultless. Joss Whedon is amazing and along with the characters and the writers have the ability to really draw you into the story.
The series goes through a whole spectrum of emotions, it'll make you laugh, make you cry, make you scared and sometimes angry
Above all i gurantee that once you watch one episode you'll want to watch more.
The packaging is designed really well. The initail DVD was released in a book style format which was very attractive but also costly and occasionally because of the way the discs were stored it caused you to scratch them. The new style cases are the traditional cases which are a lot cheaper and my personal preference.
This is a must have for any Angel fan and i would definately recommend it to anyone.
I'm a self-confessed Buffy fan, and I loved the show so much that I bought all seven boxsets, which I have enjoyed countless times. I'd never really given the spin-off series "Angel" much thought, however, until Buffy had finished and my favourite character, Spike, moved over to Angel, and then I started watching it (from Season 5, the final season). Although I enjoyed this, there were some plot lines that I didn't particularly understand so when Sky started showing it from season one I decided to start watching it, only to find that due to the rating, they actually didn't show the whole series so I decided to buy the boxsets and now I'm going to share my opinion on Angel Season One boxset with you, starting with
After leaving Sunnydale, Angel has taken up a lonely life of helping the helpless humans, while keeping himself apart from them. Into this scenario comes Doyle, a stranger with visions of those that need Angel's help and now it's time for Angel to start interacting with the world around him once more ..
OK, so this is quite a simplified version of how the season starts, but to write any more would mean I would give away what happens in the first episode, and what I enjoyed so much was actually watching the story develop. So let's put it this way, each episode basically follows the following scenario : There's a vision of a big bad, vampire with soul goes after big bad, big bad dies. Doesn't particularly sound exciting does it, but under this simple plot there are characters and relationships that are developed , along with plenty of action, violence and humour.
Although, it's not essential to have watched Buffy before watching this, there were not only a few references, but also some character and storyline cross-overs, although I'm sure this wouldn't completely ruin enjoyment, I would imagine that it might leave the occasional viewer wondering "who on earth is that?".
Unlike Buffy and later seasons, there is no real story arc in this season, instead it was almost as if the writers were trying to introduce us to Angel's new world. But what I really liked about the this season was how it really gave us insight into Angel's past, particularly in Prodigal, this really did help me to empathise with the character and his motivation. The final episode was interesting, and unlike Buffy (again), instead of completing the story arc, left us with a cliff-hanger, just to encourage us to watch the next season.
In this, the first season there are only four main characters, although of course there are others that are introduced near the end, that will become important in later seasons, as well as a few "cross-overs" from Buffy. But I'm only going to tell you what I think about the main four, who are :
--Angel - played by David Boreanaz--
Once the most vicious evil vampire who delighted in torturing his victims before lunching on them, Angel has been cursed with a soul after snacking on the wrong girl. Condemned to spend the rest of eternity actually caring about what he did, Angel became a rather sad pathetic character, feeding off rats in the sewers and dark alleys. Or so it seemed until he met Buffy, who was not only the vampire slayer but also the love of his life, and he found himself purpose in helping keep the apocalypse at bay. If only life was so simple in the Buffyverse that would have been the end of the story, but there was a catch to the curse, and should Angel ever experience even one moment of perfect happiness he would once more lose his soul and go on the rampage. Of course, when he finally got jiggy with Buffy this is exactly what happened, and although he eventually got it back, he decided that being close to Buffy and never "doing it" was just too much to bear, so he left Sunnydale for the glamour of Los Angeles (appropriate don't you think) to start a life away from temptation.
I must admit I was curious to find out how David would develop Angel from the rather annoying , tortured character he had become into someone that I could actually care about. And I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, although he started as that same somewhat whingey character, as the series progressed I began to feel that he's lightened up a bit, and in fact he produced some really amusing moments. (Angel dancing is something that has to be seen to be believed).
--Doyle - played by Glenn Quinn--
Half demon Doyle was sent from the Powers That Be, to aide Angel in his battles to help the helpless. Blessed (or is that cursed) with visions of victims, he provides Angel with the information he needs to get to the victim in the nick of time. Doyle only found out he was half-demon when he was 21, and to say he isn't particularly happy with this fact would be an understatement. Seeing himself as simply a lowly messenger could he have hidden depths (other than the green spikes)?
As the first character that the majority of viewers had never met before, Glenn had a relatively short time-frame to develop Doyle's character, but he was soon someone I could identify with, the little guy with a big purpose in life, full of the flaws that make us all human (or demon it seems).
--Cordelia Chase - played by Charisma Carpenter--
In a classic case of riches to rags, Cordelia (Cordy) was the super rich, ever popular high school b*tch . You know the type of girl who can destroy your life with one word. Shallow, vain, only interested in helping herself, she can't possibly have changed can she? Well actually, yes, with Mummy and Daddy in prison for tax evasion, it's a much humbler Cordy that we meet as she tries to make her mark in the big bad way. Now an aspiring actress, she is still blunt , a little snobby and apt to speak before thinking, but I really do think we see her softer side.
As far as I'm concerned Charisma is Cordelia, she's developed the character and made it her own from the very first episode of Buffy and as the season progresses I felt she really helped Cordy grow up and find her place in the world, while retaining that underlying b*tchiness.
--Wesley Wyndham-Price - played by Alexis Denisof--
As a watcher Wesley was an out and out failure, of the two slayers under his wing one turned bad and the other refused to do as she was told. Best described , perhaps, as a blustering fool who means well, Wes has taken up the profession of Rogue Demon Hunter, the question is, is he any better at this than he was as a watcher?
I love the spirit that Alexis puts into this character, he really does make Wes seem the ever bumbling fool, and I guess that's what I like about this character, that he tries too hard.
The majority of the soundtrack is as it should be in a program such as this, appropriate and yet unmemorable. There is however one exception, and that is the opening track, which I personally find very haunting, with the slow violin solo, which develops into a fast paced action sound, it really does work perfectly with the opening credit sequence.
---The Special Effects---
In keeping with Buffy tradition, the special effects are jaw-dropingly good. The "dustings" have the level of detail that I'm used to with you being able to see the "layers" of the vampire disintegrating. The vampire faces did seem a little too bumpy in the first couple of episodes, but things did improve later in the season, and the transitions were excellent throughout. The demons looked impressive, and in some cases very scary, if not always strictly realistic. All in all I can say that I found the special effects were as exceptional as I anticipated they would be.
The six DVDs in this set are presented in a hardback book format, where each DVD has it's own "page" complete with protective sleeve. This book then slips into a sturdy cardboard sleeve, which is somewhat larger than a standard DVD case. This format is followed through Season 2-6 of Buffy as well as the remaining seasons of Angel. Each of the boxsets have a different colour theme, and this one is blue with a picture of Angel on the front with silver lettering. All in all it's very well presented, and looks very good displayed alongside my Buffy sets.
The six discs are very nicely printed with characters (both good and evil) from the season, and I really must say the printing is better than anything I could have produced myself (I tried when I was attempting to record the season off of Sky and my DVDs don't look nearly as good).
The DVDs feature really fancy motion menus, which although they're nice to look at for the first few times, do become really annoying after a while. I'd much prefer, simple stationary menus so that I can get straight to the action.
There are a reasonable number of extras (some better than others), but perhaps not as many as I'm used to from watching the Buffy boxsets. However we do have :
There are a total of two commentaries, one for the very first episode and another for Room with a View. I only actually only listened to about half of the first one, and it bored me silly. Somehow it was very disjointed with lots of "Ums" and "Ers", and I really couldn't be bothered with even attempting to listen to the second one.
There are text versions of the original scripts for "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary", I quite enjoyed reading through these, and it was fun to pretend to be Faith as I read her parts out. It also showed just how much effort the actors put into changing what is essentially a bit of writing into a multi-dimensional program.
--Season One Featurette--
An interesting look at the season through the eyes of the cast and writers. I enjoyed watching this, but made the mistake of viewing it before I'd finished watching the complete season, and there are few spoilers, so leave it until after the final episode.
--Angel Season One Video Trailer--
I can't really see the point of them putting this on here, after all to watch it I had to own the DVD version, so do they think I would really be persuaded to go for the inferior format. However, it was a well produced trailer, if that's any consolation.
The art gallery was in two sections, blueprints and still gallery. I personally couldn't really see the point of the blueprints section, it really didn't interest me. But the still gallery was exceptional, with a series of pictures from the season that were not only of excellent quality, but actually seemed to be designed to be used as desktop wallpaper. I was so impressed that I used one as my desktop, and it's very, very good quality.
Um, not sure why they bothered adding this bit in. After all it's just a series of text based life stories of the main cast members, creator and producer. I must admit I had a quick read, but will probably never bother with this section again.
This was an unusually presented featurette, where "Angel" is telling his story, interspersed with comments from the writer's, directors and stars. This was just so interesting to watch, short but definitely sweet.
This is a brilliant look at Cordy's character and how it developed from the b*tch we loved to hate in Buffy to the almost heroine she becomes. Although this was pretty short, it was very interesting and definitely worth watching.
A rather longer featurette, with some insight into the various demons and "baddies" that we meet through the season. There are a few quite revealing snippets that you'll either be amazed at or (if you're like me) find quite funny.
---The Picture/Audio Quality---
The picture quality was brilliant throughout all of the main episodes, and for the majority of the extras. Being in full-screen format, I could view it on my 4:3 20" LCD TV without any black lines, which I prefer, and I must say that there was no pixalation, or graininess at all.
Although the sound quality was acceptable, I did find it was a tad on the quiet side, and the lack of 5.1 sound was a little disappointing, I really do think that the atmosphere would have benefited from the upgraded surround sound.
Rating : 18
Feature Running Time : 917 minutes
Region : 2 (PAL)
Picture : 4:3
Sound : Dolby Digital 2.0 (stereo)
Languages : English/French
Subtitles : English for the hearing impaired/French/Dutch
Price : £34.99 from mvc.co.uk (+£1 delivery) or £37.99 from Play
---My overall opinion---
Although I actually didn't enjoy this season as much as I had Buffy, once I had watched the first episode I found I was hooked. There was a much more adult theme (as was suggested by the rating), and it seemed to be aimed at those who had watched Buffy and were ready to move onto something much more "grown-up". I had never actually been able to watch the whole season on TV and had felt a little lost watching the later seasons, but this would have actually been the better place to start as it spends a lot of time setting the characters up and goes into far more depth of Angel's background, than Buffy had previously.
As with Buffy previously, there is a great mix of drama, action, horror, romance and comedy which means it never gets too dark or too slushy, which meant that it is suitable for viewers with a wide range of tastes. My action junkie husband was actually willing to sit and watch this with me, whereas he always moaned that Buffy was too "fluffy". I would say though that this season is not really suitable for children, there are some very dark scenes, although later seasons do seem to get a little lighter.
I think I would have been happy to have paid the £34.99, just to be able to watch the complete season in it's uncut glory (including the episodes that Sky wouldn't show) and in the same format as my Buffy DVDs, but I actually enjoyed many of the special features which meant that it was even better value. I'm therefore recommending this particular set to those that have watched and enjoyed the program on TV and want to see the episodes that Sky won't air, and already own the Buffy sets in the same format. There is another format coming out, where the discs come in standard cases, but that really doesn't look as stylish, so get these while you can.
Being a huge fan of Buffy I was sceptical of what Angel would be like. I thought that it would be just like Buffy, the only difference being that instead of a Slayer there would be a Vampire, but was I shocked. Not only is Angel more indepth, it also looks at different situations that people can get in. Sure it's main character is a Vampire, but isn't there a bit of darkness in all of us? I think this Boxset brought out every emotion that I have. I felt happiness, sadness, anxiety and horror. In the episode Hero, I believe there was even a tear in my eye, which is shocking cause I never get weepy eyed at tv. My main thought throughout the series was "Mmm look at David Boreanaz, doesn't he look tasty?!!" but that wasn't my only reason for watching, honest. Once I started watching I was hooked. I got caught up in the world of Angel Investigations, I even feel bad when Cordelia finds another dud date, and when Buffy came to L.A. I felt the heartache between both her and Angel. I have to admit that seeing Buffy, yet again, going over the angst of breaking up with her first love was getting boring. I've watched season 4 of Buffy I kept thinking what about Riley, but then I remember that she's only had, like, one date with him in Buffy. The fact that I've watched Buffy and know that she doesn't stay in L.A with Angel spoils the moment sometimes, but then I just get caught up in the Angel Web and completely forget that the Buffy Universe is there. Since I'm writing about the Angel Boxset and not just Angel, I have to mention, at least, the other characters in the show. Cordelia, for one, was one of the best characters in Buffy. She's head strong, witty and very funny. She has some of the best one-liners in the series and made me sympathise, at some points, with the shallow and over confident girl who left the Buffy series. Doyle, being one of my favourite characters in Ange
l, was severely missed after episode 9 and I, personally, don't think that he will ever leave my memory, ha ha ha. To be honest, by the end of episode 11 I had completely forgotten Doyle. Sure he was great to have around and to see him pine over Cordy, even when she didn't want him, he was replaced in the Angel world, by Wesley, someone who I seen in Buffy, so my thoughts were turned to him and him being a "rogue demon hunter". Doyle was great at the comedy and the visions but only Wesley could get away with the physical comedy. I'll never forget when he fell over getting a knife, he had taped to tight, of his leg. And who could forget the dancing. I was laughing so hard. Well anyway, the boxset is set out in a way that is easy to find your way around. It is well presented and is well worth the money. The extras are great expecially when the cast are in the featurettes, talking about their characters and the different episodes. There is also commentaries from writers and directors. For any Angel Fan this is a must have.
Separating from sunny Sunnydale, Angel has set down roots in LA, with a few cast members from Buffy following him on his journey. Cordelia on her move to LA bumps into Angel as she tries to make her career as an actress take off. Also later in the series the appearance of the very British Wesley Wyndham-Pryce who has been disgraced and fired from the watchers council and is now a 'Rouge Demon Hunter'. There are also many cross over stories and cast members making appearances, so the series does not cut off where it came from. As the interactive menus prove, this is more cutting edge stuff. While I still prefer Buffy, this show proves that a spin-off can stand on it's own two feet, bark and make you pay attention. David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, and Alexis Denisof all have a chance to shine much more than they did on Buffy, during the later episodes, these characters and the cast's performances are what make the show. The writing also compliments them, Giving a dark and sinister look to this first series. Whilst the comedy ingredient is not as apparent as it is in Buffy and in the second series of Angel, there is a fair amount of fun and very sharp wit (surprisingly from Angel himself), blended of course with action, suspense, innovative storylines, horror, and drama, 22 very good episodes to draw you into a very good series. Now the DVD itself. First of all, I was disappointed by the featurettes, all FOUR of them. There is a chance to see the cast and crew discussing the show, these seemed to run a little short and were made up of clips. Two fun-to-read-once scripts, all new cast and crew bios, photo galleries which include cast photos, demon sketches, and blueprints. The main extras are the two commentaries with Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt talking us through the opening pilot episode. However, this is a brilliant start to a brilliant series and, while not in the widescreen format it was filmed in, the p
icture is better than ever as is the sound.
A spin-off of the cult tv hit, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the vampire Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.