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Angel, the spin-off series from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, followed the story of the titular character as he left Sunnydale and relocated to Los Angeles. Over the course of five seasons, Angel and his team fought against evil forces, both supernatural and human.
However, there is one episode of Angel that never made it to air. "Corrupt," the proposed 2nd episode of the first season, was filmed but ultimately deemed too controversial to broadcast. The episode was shelved and had to be rewritten, leaving fans to wonder what might have been.
Here we're taking a closer look at the unaired Angel episode "Corrupt," examining why it was never aired and what we know about its plot and characters.
Take a look at the other Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spin Offs that were never made here
What was Angel's banned second episode Corrupt about?
Corrupt is an unproduced episode of the television series Angel. It was originally intended as the second episode of the series, but production was abandoned, and instead "Lonely Heart" was written and produced to replace it.
Angel producer David Fury commented on the episode Corrupt saying, "the second episode that I'd written called 'Corrupt' - it was pretty much about junkie prostitutes. Not usually what you see on the WB. And Kate, the police woman character on the show... originally was an undercover cop who was addicted to cocaine and was sleeping with men for money, because she got a little bit too far into her undercover work."
Who is Kate Lockley in Angel?
Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Röhm) was a Los Angeles Police Department detective and ally of Angel Investigations. Kate first met Angel in the episode "Lonely Heart" while both were investigating a case undercover involving the brutal murders of several patrons of D'Oblique, a popular singles bar. She initially believed that it was Angel himself who was behind the killings upon following him to and seeing him leave a crime scene, unaware that Angel had in fact been trying to stop the real killer (a Talamour searching for a permanent host).
So the original proposed episode "Corrupt" would have been audiences introduction to Kate. The character was raised by her Father who was a retired police officer. When she discovered that Angel was really a vampire, her black and white view of the world was shaken, and she delved into the darker side of Los Angeles. SHe later discovered her Father killed by vampires and her relationship with Angel and Angel Investigations was never the same.
Her obsession with supernatural cases became her own undoing: after Kate and Angel worked together to take down a cop who had brought back deceased police officers as zombies in an attempt to cut down on crime, she was eventually fired from the LAPD as part of their attempt to cover up what had happened. In the aftermath, Kate called Angel and blamed him for ruining her life, then attempted suicide by washing down prescription pills with hard liquor. However, after he had his epiphany, Angel went to Kate's apartment, broke down her door, and held her under a cold shower, saving her life. When she came to, she thanked him for saving her life, then demanded that he get out.
That evening, Kate and Angel met up again and finally made peace, Kate expressing a belief that there was a higher power at work and they were not alone in the never-ending battle against the forces of darkness. When Angel asked her why, she replied that she never invited him into her apartment.
What happened to Kate Lockley in Angel?
Originally, Kate would have returned in season three as an associate of Daniel Holtz. Due to schedule conflict, Elisabeth Röhm was unable to appear. Her role was given to the new character of Justine Cooper. It was also rumored that Kate would return for a cameo in later seasons, either a working girl in the supernatural bordello visited by Angel and the Groosalugg in Couplet or as one of the strippers entertaining Spike in Soul Purpose. Unfortunately, Elisabeth Röhm was too busy starring in the series Law & Order and was unable to appear.
the character of Kate Lockley went on to star in the Angel Season 6 "After The Fall" comic book series. Originally published from November 2007 to February 2009. It is the canonical continuation of the fifth and final season of the Angel television series.
After her departure from the LAPD, Kate established an antiquities business and used her business connections to learn more about the supernatural and the occult. She also stocked her hideout with an arsenal of weapons, from ancient to modern. During the fall of Los Angeles, she took action by going out into the streets and battling the demonic threat. She met and saved Connor from a group of demons, and took him back to her hideout. Kate reiterated to Connor the message Angel gave her — about doing what you can, no matter what — before leaving to blow up a demon army.
Following the end of magic, Gunn confirmed that Kate had returned to the LAPD.
Why did The WB stop production of the Angel episode Corrupt?
Only two days before the episode went into production, shooting was ordered not to start because The WB Network believed that the episode was too dark in tone. The script was largely abandoned although elements of it became "Lonely Heart". Parts of the "Corrupt" script were also reused in later episodes.
Writer and director Tim Minear had this to say about the unproduced episode: "David Fury, who wrote this episode, had written a script called ‘Corrupt’ in which Kate was a police officer working undercover as a prostitute who was actually becoming a prostitute and was addicted to crack. That was originally the introduction of Kate."
"Obviously we were still trying to figure out what the show was at that point. This was the first episode after the pilot, and it was written before the new staff arrived. They just went incredibly dark with this thing and decided at the end of the day that it was a little bit too hopeless, a little too grim. After that episode was written it was actually being prepped when the network, too, had some concerns about it."
"It would seem that this was about the same time that the Internet ran rampant with rumours that the WB had shut down the show for retooling. You can’t really call it a shut down because we hadn’t really started"
"We just pushed back the shoot date for the first episode a week or two. It’s not like alarms went off and we had to pull plugs on everything. I’ve read on the Internet where people were saying the network freaked, and they told us to shut down, and that’s not true at all. We were still creating what the idea of the show was going to be, and basically we decided to rethink that first episode. The other thing that people don’t realize is that a lot of the other episodes that we’ve done this year were written much earlier and did not change significantly. It was really that first episode where we went back, rethought it, and we were lucky we had the luxury to do that."
Despite its controversial content and the decision not to air it, "Corrupt" remains a fascinating addition to the Angel canon, showcasing the show's willingness to push boundaries and take risks. While it may never be seen by the general public, the legacy of "Corrupt" and it's dark themes lives on, inspiring discussion and debate among Angel fans and scholars alike.
Thanks for reading "Corrupt Kate! The Too Dark Angel Episode About Prostitution That Never Aired" on January Media.