Angel is an American television series, a spin-off of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David Greenwalt, and first aired on October 5, 1999. Like Buffy, it was produced by Whedon's production company, Mutant Enemy.
The show details the ongoing trials of Angel, a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel's restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. During the first four seasons of the show, he works as a private detective in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles, California, where he and a variety of associates work to "help the helpless" and to restore the faith and save the souls of those who have lost their way. Typically, this involves doing battle with evil demons or demonically allied humans, primarily related to Wolfram & Hart, a demonic law firm. He also has to battle his own demonic nature.
The new show had a darker atmosphere. In three of the four seasons when both shows were in production, Buffy s overall yearly ratings were higher than Angel s.
Co-producer Greenwalt points out "there's no denying that Angel grew out of Buffy". Several years before Angel debuted, Joss Whedon developed the concept behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer to invert the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie." The character Angel was first seen in the first episode and became a regular, appearing in the opening credits during Seasons Two and Three. According to the fictional universe first established by Slayer, the 'Buffyverse,' Angel was born in 18th century Ireland. After being turned into a soulless, immortal vampire, he became legendary for his evil acts, until a band of wronged Gypsies punished him by restoring his soul, overwhelming him with guilt. Angel eventually set out on a path of redemption, hoping that he could make up for his past through good deeds. In Buffy ' s Season Three finale, he leaves Sunnydale for L.A. to continue his atonement without Buffy. Whedon believed that "Angel was the one character who was bigger than life in the same way that Buffy was, a kind of superhero." Whedon has compared the series to its parent, "It's a little bit more straightforward action show and a little bit more of a guys' show."
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Official Site: 20th Century Fox
Links: Angel Wiki Entry Buffy Guide IMDB