The Crossover Kings & Queens of the Whedonverse

21 Sep

With the magnificent reputation that precedes him, it’s no wonder actors choose to work with Joss Whedon time after time. Sure, we may have been a bit confused watching Buffy and Angel week to week and spotting the same guy play two different characters – or maybe I was just paying too close attention – but it was nice to see the loyalty they held to the Great and Powerful Joss.  There have been many overlaps, these are just a few of the repeat offenders. (There’s some potential spoilers ahead, so be warned).

Nathan Fillion was the scary preacher man Caleb in the final series of Buffy, the world’s most egocentric superhero Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and lest we not forget everyone’s favourite grumpy Captain, Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly.

Eliza Dushku added a boatload of attitude to both Buffy and Angel as the rogue slayer Faith and showed the world her versatility as Echo in Dollhouse.

Andy Umberger. I learned this name early in life from his recurring role as D’Hoffryn in Buffy. He’s known for playing the not so nice characters with his appearances in Angel as Dr. Meltzer, who couldn’t quite keep it together, and the Captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly.

Julia Lee had two spots in Buffy, as Chantarelle and Lily/Anne. The latter character, renamed Anne Steele, also showed up in Angel for a short run.

Felicia Day kicked ass as potential Vi in Buffy, sang her heart out in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog as Penny and kept it real – or ‘Actual’ – with Mag in Dollhouse.

Alexis Denisof made a name for himself as Westley Wyndam-Price in Buffy before reinventing his Watcher in Angel. He went on to star in Dollhouse as Senator Daniel Perrin.

Carlos Jacott is one of my all time favourite Whedonverse guest stars. His Richard Straley tried to marry Doyle’s ex in Angel (and eat his brains), then there was the ill fated Dobson in Firefly. And who could forget the seemingly lovely Ken in Buffy – not to mention her Ghandi impression.

All Jacott’s bad guys appeared absolutely harmless, unlike Jeff Ricketts’ villains. You may remember him as one of the much talked about Blue Glove Men in Firefly and Weatherby, one of the Watchers’ special agents sent after Faith, in both Buffy and Angel. He also played a Spider Monster later in Angel. See? Evil.

Summer Glau made her television debut as a Prima Ballerina in Angel and followed Joss on to Dollhouse as Bennett Halverson. Of course, we’re all well acquainted with her mysterious, and a mite crazy, River Tam in Firefly.  

The loveable Amy Acker won our hearts as shy Fred in Angel before shocking us all in Dollhouse with her portrayal as Dr. Saunders and Whiskey. 

Remember Tracey in Firefly? Forgive me for getting wistful, but that was a sad episode. Well, that was Jonathan M. Woodward, who also showed up in Angel as the nerdy Knox and Buffy as  nostalgic vampire Holden Webster. 

I’d be remiss if I were to leave out Tom Lenk and his early Buffy appearance as Cyrus, one of Harmony’s minions. It’s a rather fun one to watch after his run as Andrew, who popped over to Angel for two episodes.

You may not remember Bob Fimiani, but he deserves a spot on the list since he was one of the original five (with Jacott, Umberger, Ricketts and Woodward) to have appeared in all of Joss’ tv shows (pre-Dollhouse). If the show gets picked up again, Joss willing, he’ll have his chance to get back on the leaderboard. Fiamani can be seen as Mr. Ward in Buffy, Elder Gommen in Firefly and both a grounds keeper and Codger Demon in Angel.

Two very honourable mentions come in the form of Jeff Kober and Brian Thompson. Now, these guys never left the land of Buffy but both sat through hours of make-up (something they’re known for) to bring you Luke and The Judge (Thompson) as well as Rack and Zackary Kralik (Kober).

Ever think you’d see Firefly’s Jayne Cobb suit up?  Well, just check out Adam Baldwin’s super strong Marcus Hamilton in Angel

He may only have Dollhouse’s Alpha and Firefly’s Wash under his Whedon belt, but come on, those are two of the greatest characters ever. So, I’ll finish up here with the wonderful Alan Tudyk!

I’m sure I’ve left out some. If you know any I missed, leave me a comment so I can see the error of my ways.


Updated to include:

Gina Torres as tough as nails Zoe in Firefly and the irresistible Jasmine in Angel.


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