37 Angel TV Show Facts You Haven't Read Before
Angel is a neo-noir supernatural fiction series created by Joss Whedon as a spin off show from the hugely successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel features David Boreanaz in the titular role reprising his famous character, Angel the vampire with a soul. Our Angel TV Show facts include why the pilot had to be made more lighthearted, which character cried when they found out they would die in the series and which Angel antagonist first auditions for another of Buffy's boyfriends.
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Angel is a neo-noir supernatural fiction series created by Joss Whedon as a spin off show from the hugely successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel features David Boreanaz in the titular role reprising his famous character, Angel the vampire with a soul. Beginning on The WB in 1999 and ending in 2004, Angel consisted of five seasons and 110 episodes. It was originally broadcast simultaneously to Buffy but had a standalone fifth season. The show revolves around Angel in his new home of Los Angeles with crossover Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Wesley Wyndham Pryce (Alexis Denisof) as they fight demons away from Sunnydale. Actor J. August Richards plays the Vampire Fighter turned Lawyer Charles Gunn, Amy Acker plays the Southern Scientist Winifred Burkle, and Andy Hallet plays mind-reading demon and karaoke bar owner Lorne.
Our Angel TV Show facts include why the pilot had to be made more lighthearted, which character cried when they found out they would die in the series and which Angel antagonist first auditions for another of Buffy's boyfriends.
1. There Would Be No Angel Without Buffy
Angel Co-Producer David Greenwalt doesn’t deny that “Angel grew out of Buffy'. The character was present in the pilot episode and makes regular appearances until the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. However Joss Whedon, the creator of the entire Buffyverse explains that, “Angel was the one character who was bigger than life in the same way that Buffy was, a kind of superhero.” Both Whedon and Greenwalt wanted to make Angel a “gritty, urban show” with a “much darker tone” saying that “Buffy is always the underdog trying to save the world, but Angel is looking for redemption.”
2. The Angel Pilot Had To Be Edited Because It Was Way Too Dark
Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt originally prepared a 6 minute pitch video to show The WB; It’s now referred to as the “Unaired Angel Pilot”. Some of the shots ended up being used in the opening credits however the concept had to be softened from the first recordings. For example, a scene was cut that included Angel tasting the blood of a murder victim in Season 1 Episode 1 “City Of”. Also, episode two that was meant to be in Season 1 named “Corrupt” was scrapped altogether. Instead the production team made the opening episodes a place to establish Angel Investigations as a start up operating on a shoestring budget.
3. Whistler Was Meant To Make Another Appearance
In Season One of Angel, audiences are met with the cheeky Irish grin of Allen Francis Doyle played by Glenn Quinn. He has been sent by the Powers That Be to Los Angeles to find and help Angel. This is a similar role to the one played by Max Perlich in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Whistler who featured in two episodes, “Becoming, Part 1 & 2”. He helped coach Angel to be a friend and confidant of Buffy’s before she became the Slayer. Perlich was contacted to be involved in Angel but later the creators went with a similar character, Doyle and Perlich wasn’t called back
4. Angel Had 5 Different Showrunners
While working on Angel, Buffyverse Creator Joss Whedon was also working on the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer series as well as Fray, Astonishing X-Men and Firefly that would later be a basis for the film Serenity. For the first three seasons of Angel, David Greenwalt was also credited as an Executive Producer but due to Whedon’s hectic schedule, he was given the role of Showrunner. Later, Tim Minear, David Simmons, Jeffery Bell and David Fury held the post.
5. Two Executive Producers Were Paid Despite Not Working On The Series
Much like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, film director Fran Rubel Kuzui and her husband Kaz Kuzui were credited as Executive Producers on Angel despite not ever being involved in the production or writing of the show. Fran Rubel Kuzui was the original director of the film version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in 1996 which starred Kristy Swanson. Joss Whedon named the pair Executive Producers on both the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV Series due to their work on his original vision. Showrunner Jeffrey Bell says in the DVD commentary during the closing credits of the Angel series finale "Not Fade Away" that “two people were credited and paid for Angel without needing to ever step on the set”.
6. How Did The Writers Come Up With The Storylines On Angel?
Angel was written by Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon’s production company, much like Buffy The Vampire Slayer meaning the show had a huge range of writing talent behind it including, Marti Nixon, Doug Petrie and Steven S. DeKnight.
Buffy and Angel writer, Jane Espenson explained on her blog the Mutant Enemy writing process. She describes a meeting being held and an idea was floated around generally by Whedon. Next the writers brainstormed to develop on the central theme of the episode and character development. The staff writers then met to begin breaking down the story into acts and scenes before developing the scenes onto a whiteboard that featured a brief order and description of each scene.
A writer was then selected to create an outline of the episode's concept, occasionally with some dialogue and jokes in one day. That outline was given to the showrunner who revised it within the day. The writer then used to revise the outline and write the first draft of the script while all the others worked on developing the next script.
The first draft is usually submitted for revision between three days and two weeks. Afterwards a second and third draft would be written. The final draft would be produced as a shooting draft.
7. The Angel Theme Music Was Created After Watching Angel’s Buffy Episodes
The opening theme of Angel is composed by Darling Violetta and Holly Knight who had previously performed songs during Season Three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During the next year, the Angel producers invited bands to submit their demos for potential theme music to the spin off. They had asked bands to use “dark superhero ideas “and Cello Rock”.
The band Darling Violetta watched pivotal Angel related episodes on Buffy the Vampire Slayer including “Passion” and “Becoming, Parts One and Two” for inspiration. Whedon chose their option as the most suitable for the theme and in 2005 they recreated a slower and extended version named “The Sanctuary Extended Remix” that is featured on the series’ Soundtrack “Angel: Live Fast, Dive Never”.
Angel included a mix of original, indie, rock and pop music (as well as some Barry Manilow) throughout its run. Douglas Romayne scored 33 episodes of Angel in Season 3 and 4 alongside the series’ lead composer Robert J. Kral.
8. Angel’s Cancellation Was A Shock To Everyone
In February 2004, The WB announced in a one paragraph message that Angel would not be coming back for a sixth season. The announcement had been leaked on the Internet well before the network wanted to let the crew and public know. Joss Whedon posted a message on the fan site, The Bronze: Beta, saying that he was “heartbroken” citing the situation as “Healthy Guy Falls Dead From Heart Attack”.
The fan reaction was unsurprisingly huge including a letter writing campaign, online petitions, blood and food drives, advertisements in trade magazines, mobile billboards and attempts to lobby other networks. The outrage for the cancellation focused onThe WB’s Head Of Entertainment, Jordan Levin. It was the second highest rated program on the channel at the time, the first being Smallville, among 18-34 year olds.
9. Joss Whedon May Be The Reason For No Angel Season Six
David Fury, Angel’s Season 5 Showrunner, has said that he “guaranteed” that if Joss Whedon had not requested Angel to be renewed early it would have been back for a sixth season. James Masters, who played Spike on both Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel has said that the cancellation took both the cast and production crew “completely by surprise “.
10. Angel Season 6 Was Released In Comic Book Form
The final episode of Angel “Not Fade Away” aired on The WB on 19th May 2004. Many fans were left hoping for a continuation of the series after its ambiguous and cliffhanger ending. However Joss Whedon carried on the story of Angel in comic books, the first being Angel: After The Fall. Here we find out exactly what happened to Angel, Spike, Gunn and Illyria after they went into battle.
11. Like Buffy, Angel Has A Huge Amount of Merchandise
Just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel inspired many items of merchandise, comic books and novels. These included the Angel role-playing game which was published by Eden Studios, Inc.in 2003 and is a compatible companion to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer role-playing game. Angel has also inspired many magazines and websites as well as online discussion forums and fanfiction.
12. How old is Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
There has been some confusion and continuity errors when it comes to working out the age of Liam/Angel in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Liam was born in 1727 and was turned into a vampire in 1757 as established in “The Prodigal” (2000). Angel counts 1753 as his birth year. Although he spent 100 years in a hell dimension due to Buffy’s actions in the Season Two finale, “Becoming Part 2” (1998). He does not count these years as part of his life and told Cordelia in “Dear Boy” (2000) that he was 247. This makes Angel 251 years old at the end of the television series.
13. Doyle wasn’t originally Irish!
The character of Doyle wasn’t supposed to be originally Irish however when the Angel production team cast actor Glenn Quinn in the role, they changed the character to have been born there. The role of Doyle was the first one in which Glenn Quinn could use his own Irish accent. However on several occasions Glenn Quinn was asked to re-record his dialogue due to his thick accent.
14. The WB Ordered Season 5 Of Angel To Be More Lighthearted
In order to get the fifth season of Angel green lit, the channel The WB asked that Joss Whedon come back and run the show full time and that the producers make it less dark than Season Four. They also wished each episode to be more self conclusive and go back to the “Villain Of The Week” style much like the first seasons of both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
15. Christian Kane Originally Auditioned For Riley In Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Christian Kane who plays serial antagonist Lindsey McDonald throughout Angel originally auditioned for the role of Riley Finn in Season Four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When that role went to Mark Blucas, Joss Whedon asked Christian Kane to audition for the role of Lindsey from Wolfram and Hart instead. Although he was only a guest star, Christian Kane is the only cast member, other than David Boreanaz, to appear in both the first “City of…” and last “Not Fade Away” episodes.
16. Vincent Kartheiser Did Not Enjoy Playing Connor
According to IMDb, Vincent Kartheiser felt that the character of Angel and Darla’s miracle son Connor lost its “thrill very early on”, arguing that his internal conflicts were not well explored and a lot of his scenes were repetitive.
17. 18 Characters Crossed Over From Buffy To Angel
A total of 18 actors played the same character in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
- David Boreanaz (Angel)
- Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
- Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase)
- James Marsters (Spike)
- Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndham-Pryce)
- Seth Green (Oz)
- Eliza Dushku (Faith Lehane)
- Julie Benz (Darla)
- Juliet Landau (Drusilla)
- Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall)
- Mark Metcalf (The Master)
- Julia Lee (Anne Steele)
- Zitto Kazann (Kalderash Elder)
- Alastair Duncan (Collins)
- Jeff Ricketts (Weatherby)
- Kevin Owers (Smith)
- Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells)
All of the relevant characters appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer before appearing in Angel so no character created for Angel ever appeared in Buffy.
18. Charles Gunn Was Named After James Gunn
J. August Richard’s character, Charles Gunn was named after James and Sean Gunn with whom Joss Whedon had previously worked with.
19. Julia Lee Starred In Both Angel and Buffy Under Different Names
The character played by Julia Lee, who first appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Lie to Me” as Chanterelle, reappeared under several names over both Buffy and Angel.
At the start of her next appearance on Buffy in “Anne” she had changed her name to Lily; during that episode, she states she had once joined a cult that had renamed her "Sister Sunshine". At the end of the episode, Buffy gives her a job and a new name, "Anne". By the time she first appears on Angel, she has kept Anne as her name and added the last name "Steele".
Although it’s never mentioned on-screen, the original script for Buffy’s "Lie to Me" stated that her original first name was Joan which coincidentally chooses for herself when she has amnesia in “Tabula Rasa”.
20. Felicia Day Auditioned For The Role Of Fred
Felicia Day auditioned for the role of Winifred Burkle, before she was cast as Violet, a potential slayer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7.
21. There Are Only Four Episodes Of Angel Named After A Character
There are only four episodes in which a character's name is in the title, "Darla", "Disharmony", "Fredless", and "Harm's Way". The first episode “City of…” implies Angel though.
22. The Hyperion Hotel Is Named Hyperion For Good Reason
One of the main locations in the Angel series is the headquarters Hyperion Hotel. Hyperion, in Greek mythology, was the titan God of Light and the Father of three other Gods who were “light givers” including Selene, Helios, and Eos. This is a reference to the fact that Angel is a vampire and is unable to go out in sunlight.
The interior shots of the Hyperion Hotel were all filmed on Stage 7 at Paramount Studios with the exterior shots of the hotel being taken at the Los Altos Hotel & Apartments, 4121 Wilshire Blvd. Some interior shots were done in The Ambassador Hotel.
The address shown on the Angel Investigations business cards is: 1481 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90026. Phone (213) 555-0162. Fax (213) 555-0163.
23. The Hyperion Hotel’s Honeymoon Suite Set Had Many Different Uses
In the DVD Commentary, Angel Production Designer Stuart Blatt describes how Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt wanted "a very real feel" to the Hyperion Hotel set.
The suite which Angel uses as his apartment is the "Honeymoon Suite of the Hotel," had many other uses. It was Cordelia's apartment when she told Connor that they were going to have a baby. It was Fred's room when we see her with Gunn in a bedroom.
The crew could repaint and move the walls around so the same set was used in the scene where Angel saves baby Connor from a fire. It also later became Jasmine's suite. Stuart Blatt describes Jasmine's room as "the mother of all suites ... part Oprah Winfrey, part Liberace, all decorated by Lorne!"
24. The Hyperion Hotel’s Basement Was Also A Key Part Of The Angel Set
On the DVD commentary, Production Designer Stuart Blatt also reveals that the basement in which Angelus is imprisoned in a cage is the same as the loft where Connor and Cordelia hide from the rest of the gang. It is also the room in which many fights occurred, including when ninjas crashed through windows.
25. David Greenwalt Wrote 3 Original Songs For Angel
The songs that are sung to Lorne by Lindsey in Angel in “Dead End” and in “Sleep Tight” were both written by co-creator and Angel Executive Producer David Greenwalt. He also wrote the title theme to Cordelia's sitcom in the episode “Birthday”. The song was sung by both Greenwalt and consulting producer Marti Noxon, who also appears in the sequence.
26. Charisma Carpenter Cried When She Was Informed Cordelia Was Going To Die
In 2021 Charisma Carpenter unfortunately described a toxic atmosphere on the set of Buffy and Angel stating that the reason she was not called back to participate in the laster seasons of Angel was because she was pregnant.
At the time, Joss Whedon told TV Guide that the reason Charisma Carpenter was gradually phased out of the show during seasons four and five was because the writers couldn't think of anything more for her to do.
Despite this, Charisma Carpenter was asked back for the 100th episode and she reluctantly agreed on the condition that her character did not die. After signing the contract to appear in the episode, she was informed that Cordelia would die in the episode, and was so upset that she began crying. We wish Cordy didn’t die too!
27. Sarah Michelle Gellar Was Meant To Appear For Two Episodes In Angel Season 5
Sarah Michelle Gellar who plays Buffy Summers in the franchise was offered the chance to reprise her role as for two episodes in Angel Season Five. Gellar was scheduled to appear in the 100th episode and was going to appear, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a death in her family.
Joss Whedon also wanted her back for “The Girl in Question” but she couldn't commit because she was filming The Grudge (2004) at the time.
Later Gellar said to Angel creator Joss Whedon that she was open for the series finale but he was against the idea and turned her down because he wanted the last episode of the series to be about Angel and the ones he'd "been in the trenches with" rather than a guest star.
28. Nicholas Brendon Offered To Star In Angel But Was Turned Down
According to an interview Nicholas Brendon who had played Xander Harris on Buffy The Vampire Slayer," offered to jump to Angel after the Buffy finale. However, the producers turned him down stating that he wouldn’t fit in with the big city lifestyle in Los Angeles.
29. Andy Hallet Holds The Record For The Longest Time To Become A Regular
Andy Hallett who plays Lorne holds the record for the longest time to become a regular member of a cast. He guest-starred in over forty episodes during the second, third, and fourth seasons of Angel before finally being added to the main opening credits of the fourteenth episode in the fourth season.
30. Joss Whedon Had A Cameo Appearance In Pylea
Joss Whedon appeared as Numfar in the Pylean story arc and it was kept top secret among most of the cast and crew members. The only ones that knew it was him were David Greenwalt, Tim Minear, David Boreanaz, and a few key designers in make-up and wardrobe.
31. Buffy Season 8 and Angel Season 5 End With The Same Line
Angel's last words in the series finale, "Let's go to work" are also poignantly Buffy's last words in the final issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comics.
32. Angel Can Actually Have Sex And Not Lose His Soul
It is a widespread misconception among viewers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel that Angel can't have sex without losing his soul due to the ‘perfect happiness’ metaphor.
He did lose his soul after having sex with Buffy for the first time in Buffy the Vampire Slayer but his curse only stated that he would lose his soul when he experienced "a moment of perfect happiness" in the emotional sense something that not every sexual encounter could bring.
He kept his soul after having sex with Darla in Season Two of Angel and with werewolf Nina in Season Five. He also keeps his soul with Eve in Season Five Episode Five under Lorne's control.
33. Cordelia Is Impregnated Three Times
Cordelia is impregnated three times by demons throughout the 5 seasons of Angel.
34. Glenn Quinn Sadly Passed Away In 2002
The actor who played Allen Francis Doyle in Season One of Angel, Glenn Quinn sadly passed away in 2002. Quinn struggled with substance abuse since he was a teenager and had been struggling with homelessness and drug addiction before his death. Sadly he was pronounced dead on 3rd December 2002 from a heroin overdose at the age of 32 in North Hollywood, California.
35. Andy Hallet Was Joss Whedon’s Wife’s Assistant
After moving to Los Angeles, Andy Hallet worked as a personal assistant and runner for an agency. He became the personal assistant of Kai Cole, Joss Whedon’s wife at the time. The couple saw him perform at the B.B Kings Lounge at Universal CityWalk and this led Whedon to create a new character in Angel, Lorne. Lorne was an anagogic demon who reads the future of people who sing for him in his karaoke bar. Hallet auditioned three times and got the part. This role on Angel was his first acting role and he appeared in 76 of Angel’s 110 episodes.
36. Andy Hallet Sadly Passed Away In 2009
A month after filming the last episode of Angel, Andy Hallet had a dental infection that spread through his bloodstream to his heart leading to cardiomyopathy. He spent 5 days in hospital and recovered although his heart muscles were weakened and he suffered a lot of fatigue afterwards. Five years later after an additional three hospital stays for heart conditions, Andy Hallet sadly passed away from Congestive Heart Failure in Los Angeles in March 2009. He was 33 years old.
37. Angel's car is a Black 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX convertible
37 Angel TV Show Facts You Haven't Read Before