The scene below of St Cross just outside Winchester appears unexpectedly in an episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 2/21). It is a single camera shot only - captioned "London, 1860". St Cross is in fact 65 miles south west of London.

My picture here was taken in the spring of 2003. The shot in Buffy is identical but rather older, the tree being no higher than the eaves of the half-timbered building on the left. This raises the possibility that Joss Whedon, the creator of the series, may have taken the picture himself. He attended Winchester College in the 1980s.

St Cross Web Page

For those unaware of the series or put off by its title, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a work of art, sustained for an amazing 100 hours, and as such without parallel. It consists of some of the most intelligent and highly crafted writing on television, often quite outstanding. The writing is complemented by the high quality acting, camera work and soundtrack. An unfolding narrative of character development over 144 episodes, it is often light and entertaining, sometimes deeply serious, but constant in its great warmth, wit and originality. What is it about? Joss Whedon has stated that, above all, it is about the getting of strength.
The seventh and final series finished in 2003 (but the full series is of course available on video and DVD for posterity). To quote from the valedictory article in May 2003 by the literary editor of the British newspaper The Independent, Boyd Tonkin:

"The most original, witty and provocative television show of the past two decades ... The dialogue was sharp, bantering, allusive, drenched in all the quick, knowing irony that Americans allegedly don't do ... Buffy's finest episodes made the jaws of jaded viewers drop. Some celebrated show-stoppers came from the pen, and directorial hand, of Joss Whedon himself. In Hush, a demonic curse meant that almost the entire episode unfolded in silence. In The Body, the sudden demise of Buffy's Mom ousted all thoughts of fantasy with a raw portrayal of the mechanics, and dynamics, of death and grief. In Once More, With Feeling, a brilliant sequence of song-and-dance numbers orchestrated the Buffyverse to the musical styles of Porter, Rodgers and Sondheim. Normal Again took off from the Pirandello-like premise that Buffy had been, in 'reality', a deluded schizophrenic in hospital who hallucinated her friends, her powers and her exploits, to the bewilderment of her distraught parents. Dennis Potter once dared to stage such narrative coups on British TV. No writer does now. These days, we're encouraged to treat hammy drivel such as Cambridge Spies as the benchmark of our 'quality' drama. Could that be a sepulchral laugh I hear through the Hellmouth?"

Full Article

Here are a few links to academically oriented websites on the series:

Slayage - online journal, lists of Buffy studies, and more
The Greek Hero Revisited

Buffy studies - Wikipedia

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All photographic images on this website are Copyright the Website owner 2001 or later unless otherwise stated. Email contact above. Full resolution originals are available for approved purposes.