Monday, July 5, 2010

#20: Doyle

It's amazing how quickly someone can get under your skin. Someone you haven't even met. Someone who doesn't even exist. Doyle appeared in only nine episodes of Angel, but he left such an impression in that brief time, and Glenn Quinn suffered such an unfortunate early death, that I find it tough watching those initial episodes. An everyman half-demon, equal parts loser and hero, Doyle is simply one of the best characters created for television.

Based on the character of Whistler from “Becoming, Part One” and “Becoming, Part Two”, Doyle first appears in Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt's series début “City Of”, with 856 words coming in at number one, saying even more than Angel on the first episode of his own show. This is little surprise: being talkative on a show with a small cast, Doyle's nine episodes include not a single minor appearance and only one below number three. Fully three of those nine episodes, “City Of”, “The Bachelor Party” and swansong “Hero” (with an amazing 1558 words) are number one finishes. He actually averages 801 words per episode.

In fact, across those first nine episodes, Doyle says more words than anyone else on the show, star included: 7940 words to Angel's 7779 and Cordelia's 7274. Despite being absent for the remaining 13 episodes, Doyle is still the character with the third highest word count for season one. Somewhere between 'Joss Whedon deliberately introduced an endearing character just to kill him off early' and 'Glenn Quinn's drug habits forced Mutant Enemy to write him out of the show' must certainly lie the truth; we'll never know where, though. The fact remains that this early sacrifice dealt the show a huge blow, while forever enshrining those first nine episodes as something entirely special. No disrespect to Wesley, of course. Doyle sacrifices himself in order to save a group of half-breed demons from a Nazi-like group of demons called 'the Scourge', but not before first kissing Cordelia, transferring his visions to her, and sending her along the marathon journey of character development she takes. That final episode, “Hero”, is bookended with footage of Doyle awkwardly trying to promote Angel Investigations. That video shows up again twice: once, silently, on “Birthday” and again on 100th episode “You're Welcome”. This video explains why there is a posthumous tenth appearance in the records here. Be it merely a video, Doyle does show up on Season Five. Would that he had been there the whole time.
  • Overall ranking: #20
  • Ranking on Angel: #9
  • Total words spoken on Angel: 8014
    • Season 1: 7940 (#3)
    • Season 5: 74
  • Total speaking appearances on Angel: 10
    • Ranking #1: 3
    • Ranking #2: 3
    • Ranking #3: 2
    • Ranking #5: 1
    • Minor: 1
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