‘Slayers: A Buffyverse Story’ is Everything ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Fans Could Want in an Audible Drama

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter

Several cast members from Buffy the Vampire Slayer have reunited for a new project set in the Buffyverse, and it’s everything fans of the original series could want.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is an Audible Original Drama (podcast). At first, it may feel disappointing that we won’t be able to see the characters come back together. But the truth is that an audio drama is the perfect format for a new story set in the Buffyverse.

This is no simple audiobook. And it’s no simple story. The production quality is stellar, allowing listeners to transport themselves right back into the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s an emotional experience for fans.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Behind the scenes
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story. Behind the scenes.

Slayers is narrated by Spike (James Marsters), who tells the story in a whispered sort of film noir tone. Considering how much time has passed, this is just one of many things that makes it work better for the story to be told in this format.

Close your eyes, and you see the same Spike we were left with when Angel ended. He’s a vampire, after all, so he doesn’t age.

James Marsters offers an incredible performance as Spike once again, capturing all of the layers of the character we already knew, yet somehow being just a little more complex now.

But the audio format also makes the story feel more intimate, as noted by co-writer and actress Amber Benson.

Though Spike’s narration is the framework, there are detailed, action-packed, and emotional scenes that are so well done, that listeners can picture them vividly.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Buffy the Vampire Slayer star James Marsters
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story. Buffy the Vampire Slayer star James Marsters

Of course, we also have the benefit of knowing what the characters and even what some of the sets looked like. So, that helps us visualize. But between the dialogue and the sound effects, we’d be able to imagine it well regardless, I think.

Every actor embodies their character again in a way that makes it feel like no time has passed at all. James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield Ford, Juliet Landau, Amber Benson, James Charles Leary, and Anthony Head are all able to fall right back into these roles with ease.

Though some of these roles are, in fact, quite different.

The premise of Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is this: The year is 2013. It’s been ten years since the events of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Series Finale, and the spell that gave power to all potential Slayers persists.

Spike is working undercover in Los Angeles with his friend Clem when he meets the feisty rookie Slayer, Indira. She wants Spike to be her mentor.

As they deal with their own problems — a ruthless demon and her plans to kill a slayer, Cordelia Chase emerges from an alternate reality. In her world, she alone is the Slayer, and Buffy Summers doesn’t exist.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story – Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter

Knowing the story of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, it’s incredibly satisfying to see Cordelia return in this way. While there are plenty of common threads tying her to the Cordelia we’re familiar with, this one has a personality that’s more down to earth, more logical, and colder. She’s also tougher and one heck of a fighter, which we learn pretty early on.

Charisma Carpenter walks the line well in reminding us of the Cordelia we once knew but embodying a version that centers her as a hero. It’s the chance for her to have a story that’s more substantial and has a better ending than the original version of her character.

This version of Cordelia shows up in the world we’re familiar with, looking for Spike. She needs his help to stop the “big bad” terrorizing her world — Drusilla.

It’s a perfect way to connect these characters. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to see/hear Spike and Drusilla together again in some way, shape, or form?

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - James Marsters and Juliet Landau
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story.  James Marsters and Juliet Landau

And speaking of stellar performances, Juliet Landau steps right back into the role of Drusilla in a way that feels absolutely uncanny. Her voice, her tone, her laugh — it’s incredible how she makes you visualize that character so perfectly once again.

There’s also a different version of Anya and a different version of Tara. Both are still true to their original characters in many ways but have changes that show what things would be like in a different world — a world without Buffy.

And yes, we originally met the character of Anya on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Cordelia wished Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale, but this is different. This is an alternate world altogether, where every character is a different version of themselves.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Emma Caulfield Ford
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story. Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Emma Caulfield Ford

We even hear about a different version of Rubert Giles.

My one complaint about this audio series, though, is how Giles is presented. The current Giles, the one from the original series, is living in London and is presented in a way that feels inauthentic.

He’s less likable — and while there’s context for everything, it still doesn’t seem fitting for his character.

Otherwise, everything feels true to the original series. Even the smallest of details keep everything consistent, with plenty of memorable references and easter eggs that make this a fun, special experience for fans.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Amber Benson
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story. Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Amber Benson

And what’s really brilliant is that the original series introduced the idea of such alternate worlds, like when we met vampire Willow. So, it’s building off of an idea that already existed.

Also, because the story picks up where it does, in a time where there are potential slayers all over the place, it’s able to bring in a brand new slayer who adds a different layer to the story as well.

Indira, played by Laya DeLeon Hayes, is not only a vehicle for explaining how slayers come to be, but her spunky enthusiasm and naivety bring great energy to the story. She also gives the listener a clearer picture of how different the world is now.

Everyone knows about vampires and slayers, and she’s been a “fan” of Buffy, Spike, and the gang for years. She’s been studying and following their stories on Reddit and the like.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story - Emma Caulfield Ford, Laya DeLeon Hayes
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story – Emma Caulfield Ford, Laya DeLeon Hayes

So she’s starstruck when she meets Spike and some of the others. It’s a smart way to remind the listener of what happened prior, and it makes her interactions with the characters we’re already familiar with that much more interesting.

Her dynamic with Spike, as one might expect, is comedic in a lot of ways. It shows how much Spike has changed, and it’s also reminiscent of how his character looked out for Dawn in the original series.

Indira also learns from Anya and Cordelia, which reveals more about these characters’ differences.

It’s brilliant storytelling all around, and there are as many conflicts and heartfelt moments as you’d want from a series like this. I recommend closing your eyes and listening with earbuds in your ears.

Because of how the story is recorded (Dolby Atmos), it will make you feel even closer to the story than if you were watching on a screen.

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Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is now available on Audible.

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Ashley is the Editor-in-Chief of Eulalie Magazine. Favorite Movies: Sunset Boulevard, Garden State, Modern Times. Favorite TV Shows: Gilmore Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy. Favorite Books: Interview with the Vampire, Dracula, City of Glass.

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