The Real King of the Nerds: Battle of the Beloved Character Killers
by Angela Dahl (@Angela_Dahling)
TBS’s recent effort to court the nerds through a reality show features two teams of supernerds competing to sit atop the Throne of Games and be crowned King of the Nerds. This got me wondering about nerd icons of the present: if there was a battle for the title of king of all nerds, who would play in this game of thrones? Each week we’ll compare two rivals in a particular realm of nerdom. TO THE DEATH!!
Joss Whedon is most known for writing/directing The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly (and its spin-off movie Serenity), and for killing off beloved characters in all of the above franchises. With all of this bloodshed in mind, it’s interesting that television writing is in his blood; his father and grandfather were both television writers as well. His first writing job was on Roseanne, followed by Parenthood. He also co-wrote Toy Story, which was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award in 1995. In 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted and ran for seven seasons. Angel premiered in 1999 and ran for five seasons. Firefly, the cult-favorite space western, premiered in 2002 and ran for… one season. Thanks to his devoted (to say the least) fans, the movie Serenity was made to continue the story. His latest in TV will be S.H.I.E.L.D., a show based on the secret espionage agency in the Marvel universe that will have the voice of Mulan, Ming-Na Wen, as one of the main characters. Nerd overload! He is also writing and directing The Avengers 2, of which he has already been quoted as saying to expect “Death, death, and more death.” While his delivery of this quote could be taken as a joke, I’m still bringing tissues with me come May 2015. Mama didn’t raise no fool.
Steven Moffat is most known for writing and producing Doctor Who, but he has also dabbled in sitcoms. Following the demise of his first marriage, Moffat wrote Joking Apart, a sitcom about a television sitcom writer going through a divorce. On the heels of his second marriage to television producer Sue Vertue, he created Coupling, a sexy sitcom about a group of friends and their relationships based on Moffat and Vertue’s relationship (the main character, Steve Taylor, is also a writer). Moffat also co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin, and along with Mark Gatiss, co-created the hit detective drama Sherlock. Like Whedon, Moffat also has an affinity for killing characters. He is responsible for the deaths of four major characters on Doctor Who, including the Doctor himself, two fan-favorite companions, and the Doctor’s wife, River Song. Doctor Who returns this month, where we will see the Doctor chase his new companion, who has already died twice in two different timelines, through time. It’s complicated. The latest episode of Sherlock, which aired over a year ago, featured the titular character’s “death,” and fans are eagerly waiting to see how this will be resolved (clearly by the use of quotes, I refuse to believe that he is actually dead. I’m still in the denial stage of grief).
As far as being recognized for their killings, Whedon has won two Hugo awards for Serenity and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and won the Nebula award for Best Script for Serenity. Moffat has won four Hugo Awards, and his work on Sherlock was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011 and 2012. Common sense would tell you not to get attached to anything these men do or say or write. I personally have mourned all of the following characters:
Angel (to be brought back): Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Becoming: Part 2”
Joyce Summers: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Body”
Buffy Summers (to be brought back): Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Gift”
Tara Maclay: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Seeing Red”
Anya Jenkins: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Chosen”
Spike (to be brought back): Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Chosen”
Hoban “Wash” Washburne & Shepherd Derrial Book: Serenity
Penny: Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Agent Phil Coulson (to be brought back!): The Avengers
Madame de Pompadour/Reinette: Doctor Who, “Girl in the Fireplace”
Billy Shipton: Doctor Who, “Blink”
River Song: Doctor Who, “Forest of the Dead”
The 11th Doctor (to be brought back): Doctor Who, “The Impossible Astronaut”
Rory Williams: Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan”
Amy Pond: Doctor Who, “The Girl Who Waited” and “The Angels Take Manhattan”
Sherlock Holmes (to be brought back??): Sherlock “The Reichenbach Falls”
Which character killer do you think would off the other in a head-to-head nerdoff?