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Angel has Faith, and those anti-Spike hackers are at it again

March 9, 2003

[Originally a Billie's Bytes column]

We all knew it was coming, but did we know it would be this good? Eliza Dushku's character Faith returned for a three-episode run on Angel, starting this past week with an outstanding episode in which Wesley (Alexis Denisof) broke Faith out of jail so that she could save Angel. Well, actually, Faith broke herself out, in about fifteen seconds. After three Angel episodes, Faith will cross over to guest star on the final five episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The character of Spike, played by the talented James Marsters, is arguably the most popular character on Buffy; polls bear it out, every time, and I can't count the number of people who have told me that Spike is why they watch. The dark, sexy, and controversial Buffy/Spike relationship is also a favorite with fans, eclipsing the popularity of Buffy's former relationship with Angel by a two to one margin.

But, believe it or not, there are Buffy fans who are so threatened by Spike's popularity and by the Buffy/Spike relationship that they deliberately hack polls and organize anti-Spike campaigns. I am not kidding. Can you say childish beyond belief?

The first hacked poll that I remember was a relationship poll on the official Buffy UPN site. Even though Spike was winning by over 60% for several days, it was later hacked repeatedly so that Angel would win. YM.com ran a "which TV couple would you like to see on the cover" of their magazine online poll, and these anti-Spikers organized a campaign to alter the vote. We ran a Buffy relationship poll here on @N-Zone this fall that was also hacked with about 7,000 votes for Angel in a matter of hours.

Last week, my favorite news source, the Sci-Fi Wire, posted a poll that asked the following: "Now that Sarah Michelle Gellar has officially left Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the only hope for the show is a spinoff. Who would you like to see in the lead?" The choices were Faith, Dawn, Willow, Spike, and "put a stake in it, it's done." Spike was winning handily with over 50% of the vote until the hackers struck again, adding thousands of votes in a matter of hours and tipping the scales to Faith, who had 20% until that point. Fortunately, the Sci-Fi Wire caught on to it and partially repaired the poll; Spike still won with 49%.

Watch with Wanda, er, Kristin asked a couple of weeks ago for write-ins on who Buffy should end up with, Spike or Angel. If Angel wins, you can be certain it was because of these people.

Fandom is strange.

Moving right along...

The Trek Powers That Be have decided that Enterprise will go in a new direction (Enterprise Alters Course?) but details were not forthcoming. I'm mildly encouraged. Come on, Berman and Braga, impress me. Win me back, guys; I'm willing.

There was another excellent Dead Zone episode this week that guest starred my favorite immortal from Highlander, Peter Wingfield, as the pilot of an airplane that Johnny says is gonna go down. If you didn't catch it, this episode will run next Friday at 7:00 on the Sci-Fi Channel.

That's all for this week,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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