Anthony Stewart Head: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Has Aged Better Than The X-Files

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 - 4:27PM
X-Files
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 - 4:27PM
Anthony Stewart Head: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Has Aged Better Than The X-Files
Do shows with a shorter running time have a longer legacy? Anthony Stewart Head, who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, claims that Buffy has aged better than shows like the X-Files because it "never became one of those shows that waned."

"The fact that Joss Whedon had the presence of mind to finish it after seven seasons means it's finite," the actor told Digital Spy. "It never became one of those shows that went on for ten seasons, and ultimately the interest wanes and so therefore it's a bit sad by the time you get to the end. It drives right the way through without a let-up - and consequently people still like watching the show.

Things like The X-Files were brilliant, and then they just sort of petered out. The thing that's great about Buffy is that the writing was consistently good all the way through. Yeah, there were one or two episodes [that weren't so great], but there were some outstanding episodes."


As a huge fan of both shows, I think he's somewhat correct. While Buffy's final two seasons weren't nearly as great as the first five (except maybe the fourth), they were still well-written and had a reason to exist. The eighth and ninth seasons of The X-Files, on the other hand, feel like an entirely different and far inferior show.

But if I remember correctly, Joss Whedon didn't end Buffy because he thought the story was over, but rather because Sarah Michelle Gellar didn't want to renew her contract. And The X-Files might have experienced a dip in quality as a result of fatigue, but most fans agree that the real problem was David Duchovny's departure and Gillian Anderson's part-time status. So the real lesson here might not be to end shows prematurely, but to end them if any of the protagonists decide to jump ship.

Luckily, we'll have both stars for the X-Files miniseries, which will air on Fox sometime this summer. And if we had Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendan, and Alyson Hannigan back, I would welcome Buffy back with open arms as well.
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