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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
    English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  • 2 Audio commentary - I Was Made to Love You - writer Jane Espenson, The Body - writer/director Joss Whedon
  • Featurette - The Story of Season 5, Natural Causes, Spotlight on Dawn
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Original screenplay - Checkpoint

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 5 Volume 2

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 469 mins . M15+ . PAL


Starting at the very beginning is apparently a very good place to start, so you may wish to pop by the review of the first part of season 5 before carrying on...

As pitch black clouds loom larger than ever over the Buffyverse, this second half of season 5 sees things take a turn towards a much more solemn vibe than many will be used to from previous seasons. There are still glimmers of the humour that has endeared the show to so many (thank goodness for Spike and Anya), combined with its own unique takes on the mythology of demons, gods and assorted other big pointy-toothed, desperately in need of a loofah nasty-pasties, but it’s all just a bit more serious – in keeping with the direction in which the story has headed, and its concentration more on familial bonds...

Buffy’s having a super bad day – and its badness just keeps getting badderer. The Watcher’s Council are on their way and it’s review time all round, well, until Buffy tells it like it is. They’re so annoying Giles even says “bloody” again! And Glory? Oh my god!

Blood Ties
Glory does a bit of swotting, as does Dawn – and she discovers that life isn’t exactly all ice cream and puppy dogs. Still, there’s plenty of dessert at Buffy’s twentieth birthday (pressies – gimme!), but what’s with these Byzantium knight guys?

OK... Dawn likes Spike, Drusilla likes Spike, Harmony likes Spike – hey, he does have cool hair and stuff – but Spike likes Buffy, even though Buffy couldn’t be less interested. Urk, love hurts, especially with Dru back and being such a bad influence. There is no we – perhaps a few more cups of tea may help?

I Was Made to Love You
This whole relationship bizzo sure sucks, although Joyce is having a lovely time. Who’s this April girl with the very firm grip who’s looking for Warren? And why is the object of her affections such a creepy little dweeb? Spike could be described pretty much the same way, and poor puffy Xander.

"I go online sometimes, but everyone’s spelling is really bad. It’s depressing."

The Body
There’s a great loss in store for all the Scoobys – and everyone has to deal in their own way. At least we learn that Santa is real...

While Dawn tries a spot of resurrection with assistance from a Ghora demon and Spike, a broody shoulder arrives in Sunnydale for the Buffster. Anya learns some secrets of smooshing and with time running short for the most unstable one, could Ben have made a key slip up?

With Buffy questioning her slayerism, it seems to be time for a bit of a vision quest – so it’s off to the desert with Hokey-Pokey man Giles for a spot of Hello Kitty. Meanwhile, Spike gets a special delivery, but bot to do with it? And should we perhaps refer to him now as Spikey?

Tough Love
Buffy’s dropping out of school, Dawn’s wagging school and when not being a triangle Willow’s frightening Tara. Another case of mistaken identity on Glory’s part leaves Tara kind of mushy, and Willow darker than ever.

It’s big scaredy runaway time after Glory’s key discovery - thank goodness for a good truck! But the knights who say “shiny” are back with a vengeance – where’s a piano when you need one? Ben is called in to help, however little do the gang realise – even when they’re told a dozen times...

The Weight of the World
Buffy’s somewhat out of the loopy, leaving Willow to take charge and go for a bit of a head wander. As Glory prepares for her big day she discovers that gods sometimes do pay – and a solution dawns on Giles that isn’t the most pleasant...

The Gift
Glory’s day has arrived– oh well, it’s just another apocalypse. With the will of a pointy stick, and despite bad bunny omens, the gang give saving the world one more college try. It’s hammer time for Buffy, until she realises the meaning of her gift – after all, she is much more than just a girl.


Not surprisingly, all is much the same with this second half of the fifth season as with the first instalment. The lovely 1.78:1, 16:9 enhanced widescreen vision remains, and clarity is still an improvement over previous seasonal releases. It’s also great to report an absence of cuts – nothing has been sliced and diced from the shows, even all the “previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spots are all present and accounted for (to put it in Riley-speak.)

Unfortunately a few of the little demons that infested the first part remain too, however. Detail in darker moments – and duh, like there are lots of them - still isn’t up to the high standards set by the Angel releases, leaving things just a smidgeon on the indistinct side at times unless you’re in a room darker than Spike’s crypt. Those occasional skips in vision also rear their icky heads on a few occasions, both within the odd episode and the extra features.

Regardless of a couple of slight quibbles, any Buffy fan should be more than happy with what’s on offer here – it sure beats the broadcast version any old day.


Oh come on, you all know what to expect in the sound department by now! Dolby Digital stereo is the go; it gives a reasonable enough go to the surround speakers, and gets the subwoofwoof involved quite nicely if you pop it through a Prologic receiver thingy. One or two lines here and there are a tad awkward to catch – but this is no fault of the show’s hippety-hop onto DVD, and can be thwarted quite easily by a simple press of the 'subtitles' button.

Thomas Wanker’s score-work continues to evolve in this half of the season, losing a bit of the cheese-factor and serving up solid backing for the on-screen action. Well, except for in The Body, where the use of score is completely eschewed to quite incredible effect.


The set-up from the first half of season 5 is naturally continued here, our menu pinups this time around being Spike, Giles and Buffy, and finally Dawn. Subtitles are provided on the featurettes, and to keep those geeky dweeb types satiated, it must be mentioned that they are all in full frame with Dolby Digital stereo sound. There is once again a reasonable selection of bits and bobs scattered about the three discs...

Script - Checkpoint: You guessed it – black typewriter font, lurid trifle-like background, very thorough script...

Audio commentary - I Was Made to Love You (writer Jane Espenson): Oh dear, if you haven’t seen right up to the end of the sixth season then DO NOT listen to this, as you’ll discover almost everything that happens. Other than being possibly THE singular most spoilerific Buffy extra thus far, this is an okay commentary which has a little about cuts made and technical stuff, a lot about all the relationship triangles/rectangles/dodecahedrons within this episode (and indeed the entire series), and basically quite a lot of over-explanation in general.

Audio commentary - The Body (writer/director Joss Whedon): The big boss man has always given good commentary, and this is no exception. A tad more sombre than usual – appropriately – this gives Joss a chance to let us in on his thought processes behind what is a pivotal episode in the Buffy chronicles thus far. Leaving space for some important lines, it’s otherwise quite a busy commentary, presenting a pleasing balance between technical stuff and information about the story itself.

Featurette - The Story of Season 5 (26:41): Featuring a few season 4 flashbacks, and quite a few season 6 spoilers (Jane Espenson should not be allowed to do these commentary or interview things!), this is an interesting encapsulation of all that goes on in season 5. Interviews are plentiful – from the techy side of the Buffyverse in Marti Noxon, David Fury, Jane Espenson, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, David Solomon, Douglas Petrie, Steven S. DeKnight and some bloke called Joss Whedon, to on-screen people such as Nicholas Brendon, James Marsters, Kristine Sutherland, Marc Blucas, Clare Kramer (Glory), a rather feral Charlie Weber (Ben) and Adam Busch (the creepy little dweeb...)

Featurette - Natural Causes (8:55): A typically Buffy-esque look at The Body, with the usual combination of scenes from the episode and interviews with some of those involved.

Featurette - Spotlight on Dawn (7:06): The standard clips combined with interviews deal, a number of the usual suspects from cast and crew speak of the introduction of Buffy’s little sister, including Michelle Trachtenberg herself.

Still Gallery: Just 28 piccies – stills and promo shots – presented smushed within rather gauche borders.


A season which has divided many fans – it is, after all, a lot heavier going than anything Buffyish that preceded it – if you’re really into the whole Buffyverse then rest assured, it may be a bit different, but it’s all good.

Another decently presented set has been conjured up for us, with only a few minor visual niggles bringing things down a modicum in the quality department.

Anyway, that’s it until the next instalment – so you won’t get exposed to any more, like, words from me... for now.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2157
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      And I quote...
    "Things may be a lot heavier going than anything Buffyish that preceded it, but it’s all good. "
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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