Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#18: Andrew

It seems positively perverse to be encountering Andrew so high up on the list: higher than Tara, than Darla, than Oz... much higher than his two accomplices Jonathan (#29) and Warren (#31) – which is interesting, in that uniquely among the three, he had had no prior appearances before being launched as one-third of the season's 'big bad' (apparently, the character of Tucker from “The Prom” was to take the role, but when that actor was unavailable, the character of Tucker's brother was created). However, Andrew is more of a Season 7 character than a Season 6 one, where his partial rehabilitation and semi-involvement with the Scoobies brings him right into the heart of the season. Tom Lenk's impeccable comic timing might, of course, have had much to do with that.

Andrew says 2084 words in season 6, fewer than Jonathan or Warren and too few to show up in the top ten. Of eleven screen credits that season, ten are minor, with Andrew showing up in the top five only in “Two to Go”, whose title obliquely references Andrew (and Jonathan). He spoke 506 words that episode for a #5 finish. In his first appearace, Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie's “Flooded”, he says 241 words.

By comparison, however, after coming back to Sunnydale in order to stab Jonathan and being taken hostage by the Scoobies, the quite talkative Andrew really comes into his own. Appearing in 15 episodes, saying more than twice as many words as in season six, 5443, Andrew is the seventh highest-ranking character for the season. While he gets two number-five finishes, two number-four finishes and one number three, “Showtime” at 408 words, Andrew's tour de force is the episode “Storyteller”. Andrew's episode from start to finish, it shows him speaking an amazing 1891 words of dialogue, fully 40.1% of the entire script. This word-count, divided between narration, flashbacks, fantasies and real-time dialogue, is in fact the single largest across 144 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the percentage is second to Spike's 40.6% in “Fool for Love”). It's an impressive feat, almost as impressive as the writers deciding to devote an entire episode to a relatively minor character so late in the season (some speculate it was to gauge audience reaction to potentially an Andrew-led spinoff).

Andrew is on that bus driving out of Sunnydale at the end of “Chosen”, so we know he survives. Uniquely among the passengers on that bus, with Andrew the story doesn't end there, as we have two appearances from Andrew on season five of Angel, both charting. In a sense the liaison between Buffy's camp and Angel's, Andrew has a significant role in “Damage”, 778 words and a number three ranking, and a smaller role in “The Girl in Question”, 283 words and a number four. This isn't enough to get him on the top ten for a character-heavy season.
  • Overall ranking: #18
  • Ranking on Buffy: #14
  • Ranking on Angel: #35
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 7527
    • Season 6: 2084
    • Season 7: 5443
  • Total words spoken on Angel: 1061
    • Season 5: 1061
  • Total words spoken in the Buffyverse: 8588
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 26
    • Ranking #1: 1
    • Ranking #3: 1
    • Ranking #4: 2
    • Ranking #5: 3
    • Minor: 19
  • Total speaking appearances on Angel: 2
    • Ranking #3: 1
    • Ranking #4: 1
  • Total speaking appearances in the Buffyverse: 28
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