We had Buffy and Angel, but Joss Whedon had a load more spin-offs from the Buffyverse planned. Here are the ones that got away…
Angel: Season Six
Just when it was at its best, Angel was cancelled after five seasons. Though the show was still doing well in the ratings and the cast were happy to continue, the cancellation happened due to a falling out between Joss and the network execs (you can read the full story here). As such, plans for a sixth season had to be scrapped. Plotlines included Fred and Illyria splitting into two separate beings, the return of Oz and Gunn becoming a vampire. Some idea were incorporated into the Angel: After the Fall comics, the official continuation of the show approved by Whedon.
This one doesn’t actually come from Joss but was pitched to him as a follow-up series by writer/producer Marti Noxon, with some input from fellow writer Jane Espenson. They envisioned Slayer School as an X-Men type show about the training of the newly-activated Slayers seen in season seven. Perhaps with Buffy characters like Willow helping in their education. Joss, however, didn’t think it was the right move. That said, he later incorporated the idea into his Buffy: Season Eight comics.
Faith the Vampire Slayer
Angel writer Tim Minear came up with a pitch for a spin-off focussed on Faith. After finding redemption, Faith would have travelled the country on her motorcycle, defeating demons when she found them (in a premise that sounds very much like the later Supernatural TV show). There was also some talk that her sidekicks might be Spike and Andrew. Eliza Dushku, however, wanted to move on to new things and respectively turned down the opportunity.
Spike: The Movie
Given Spike’s popularity, it makes sense that there was an attempt to give him his own spin-off. The idea was to take everyone’s favourite peroxide vamp to the big screen. He would have been joined by Amy Acker’s Illyria and Alyson Hannigan as Willow. This one was on the cards for years, but eventually Whedon and the cast admitted it wasn’t going to happen. Apparently, funding issues put the dampers on the project. James Marsters has since ruled out returning to the role, as he thinks he has aged too much to be believable as the immortal character.
Buffy: The Animated Series
Joss Whedon’s personal favourite idea for a second Buffy spin-off was Buffy: The Animated Series. With all the cast (except for Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was replaced by the very SMG-like Giselle Loren) and crew of the show on board, Joss hoped to marry the wit of Buffy with the animated high art of Batman: The Animated Series. It would have been set within season one, although in the revised timeline that included Dawn. A five minute presentation was put together to pitch to networks but no one picked it up.
Finally, Ripper was intended to be a US/UK co-production between Joss’ Mutant Enemy company and BBC Wales (the makers of Doctor Who). It would have been a spookier series than Buffy that followed Rupert ‘Ripper’ Giles as he returns to England and encounters ghosts and ghouls. Though the co-production deal never materialised, both Joss and Anthony Stewart Head have repeatedly said that this one could actually still happen. In Joss’ words, the advancing years don’t matter because “[Anthony] keeps getting sexier every year.”