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The Maps Travers Studies in Never Leave Me

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  • The Maps Travers Studies in Never Leave Me

    What do you think the squares in the map Quentin Travers looks at are standing for? Hellmouths? Potentials? Serious Demon activity? Branches of the Watchers' Council?



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  • #2
    Probably a bit of both?

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    • #3
      I think typically those squares are used to indicate portions of a map that have separate, more detailed maps for them. If this is from the scene where Quentin is talking to the Watcher's Council about the First's attacks on their operatives then I assume these are the regions where those attacks happened.
      https://www.youtube.com/c/DoubleDutchess

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      • #4
        Yeah...I'm with Double Dutchess - if this was an electronic map you'd probably be able to click on the square and pull up extra info/data or zoom for detail.It's not the only map in S7. In the coffee shop in "First Date" there are maps of the US juxtaposed with a clock. I presume it to be a visual metaphor for "Same Place, Different Time" (because America has time zones) or Different Place, Same Time. It sits quite nicely with "Same Time, Same Place". I think it's part of an extended conceit...actual maps and cognitive maps...space, place and time. There's also the idea of the fragment v the whole picture.
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        • #5
          Methinks the set people reeeeeally didn't think that much about it to be honest.

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          • #6
            But some thought goes into it. The choices are made against other options and it isn't infeasible they would be directed to put specific images in the background to thematically tie with messages that they are wanting to get across. Just remember all those posters against drinking dotted around Sunnydale High or the pictures of doors on the stairway in Revello. The set guys themselves or by instructions choose those as suitable rather than pictures of Freddy Krueger in the school or Snoopy on the stairs in Buffy's home. To me saying it isn't thought about would be like suggesting they don't put any thought into what clothes the characters wear and what that conveys about them. The extra elements in the set design is all part of the picture. It could be they just chose them as something that wasn't inappropriate and looked good, but why would it be surprising if they were asked to look to tie things thematically?

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            • #7
              I guess where I share Silver's scepticism is that the Espresso Pump set was designed back in S3 (it first appeared in Dead Man's Party) and as far as I can tell it never went through any changes. So the idea it was designed to tie thematically with any particular S7 episode seems highly unlikely seeing as how the set was dressed years earlier.

              I don't begrudge anyone making whatever thematic or symbolic links they like in the story and nor do I wish to ruin anyone's parade. It's just that, for me, I draw the line in saying it's what the production was intending. IMO, there's a world of difference between finding those links yourself and stating that the writers meant for them to be there. BtVS was an intelligent and well-written series with a lot of thought put into it, however, I've also read enough interviews with the writers admitting that they really didn't put anywhere near as much thought into it as the fans do. A lot of foreshadowing and symbolism is just a happy coincidence and when fans insist it was what the writers meant or it wasn't there by accident, that's where they lose me.

              A classic example is Xander losing his eye with a lot of fans insistent that this must have been planned all along with Xander's pirate costume in All the Way and "Eww thumbs!" moment in Same Time, Same Place. However, this is easily debunked when listening to the DVD commentary for Dirty Girls where the writers openly state Joss wanted Xander to die and they compromised with the eye-gouging at the last minute. Another good example is the writers having a good chuckle in the Bargaining DVD commentary over how fans went wild with theories and readings into why the characters were all wearing shirts with numbers on them at the beginning of Season 6. The truth? Clothing with printed numbers was simply fashionable at the time and it was completely unintentional.

              I also take into consideration that BtVS was a fast-paced production churning out 22 episodes a season, 8 days per episode, under strict time frames as a network series. There simply isn't enough time for the production to have realistically put as much thought into the story as fans have the luxury of doing. These weren't movie scripts with months or even years to finesse them.

              So whilst I absolutely agree that some thought was put into these things and not everything was a coincidence, I think some of the more obscure links are just very unlikely. I don't think that means fans can't find those links themselves though if it brings them enjoyment to do so. I for one love the coincidental foreshadowing of Xander's eye even if I know it was a happy accident. Just like I love Faith telling Buffy in Homecoming "Man! You have some quality rage going. No - I mean it. It really gives you an edge" whilst sparring, knowing that the season will end with an enraged Buffy coming after Faith in Graduation Day. Or in The Mayor's very first scene pointedly telling Allan that he "has all [his] faith" knowing what will happen between The Mayor/Faith as the season progresses. It's cool it turned out that way but I don't believe for a second it was intended, that's all.

              In regards to the sets, I agree that thought was put into them. As HardlyThere says, some of that would simply be what was common at time like the 90's high school posters. Some of it is very specific to the character like how Angel's original apartment had the old artefacts and bright red bed as the focal point of the room which is a stark contrast to Buffy's very teenage girl bedroom. Some sets are designed to evoke a certain feeling like the Summer's home which they purposely made modest but warm and inviting (see the S2 DVD special). But I wouldn't necessarily say it goes a great deal deeper than that or past it's original design when being built.

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              • #8
                Eh, posters like that were pretty common in 90s high schools. Don't drink, don't smoke, all kinds of motivation and demotivational stuff.

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                • #9
                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/meyer/index.shtml#:~:text=Cary%20Meyer%20is%20Buffy's%20 production,and%20churches%20into%20secret%20labs.

                  I've only just found this - and haven't read it all. Look at his description of the Espresso Pump (didn't even know it was called that). "I keyed off the Edward Hopper painting of the diner and did an illustration of [the Expresso Pump] that looked very much like the Edward Hopper painting". You don’t key off a painting (and I think lots of scenes in S7 key off paintings) unless you want something about that painting to transpose itself.

                  Strangely, when writing the S7 review of Lessons (which I didn't finish) I wrote this (of the pan down across the front of the buildings in the Istanbul scene): "The frame above reminds me of a Hopper painting...I’m not making a direct comparison, I’m evoking Hopper because of what’s said about his work. “Hopper loved to show…the retarded moment. The animation of urban life is suspended for a brief moment; haste and unrest come to a standstill, revealing the absurdity of the rat race”. I’m more than happy to go along with this metaphor – for now. We’ll see other retarded moments (Touched, is one)". Lessons opens with place (Istanbul/England/America)...conveniently The Ancient/Old/New Worlds; Beneath You opens with time (by paying homage to Tykwer's Run Lola Run). If the decor of the Coffee Shop didn't have relevance they'd have changed it or shot from a different angle. IIRC, the camera dwells on the décor.
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                  • #10
                    If you've ever worked in a production you'd know that when you have to bang out as much as this lot had to you didn't have much time to agonise over ever detail. I'm afraid I go with the whole 'It's people theories based on hindsight' myself.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Silver1 View Post
                      If you've ever worked in a production you'd know that when you have to bang out as much as this lot had to you didn't have much time to agonise over ever detail. I'm afraid I go with the whole 'It's people theories based on hindsight' myself.
                      It's Cary Meyer talking, Buffy's production designer, described by the BBC as "the man who built Sunnydale". He didn't have hindsight...he had foresight.
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                      • #12
                        It makes total sense sets were often not changed for new season themes etc or changed for specific episodes and yes, we definitely have a lot of happy coincidences that we can draw meaning to later with hindsight and see as foreshadowing that weren't deliberately planned. I was just pushing against any idea it was done without regard. I'm not saying it is the case but I can also believe some things may have been directed because they are metaphorically rich and would be likely to work well at varying points. The doors on the stairs is a great example of that. Actually generally, things which work well for meanings of place, time and journeys would be good choices for sets that could add meaning that is appropriate to the show overall. It's just the difference between making choices like that against things that would be inappropriate. Which would include just choosing things 'typical' of school posters as the episodes were often covering challenges and issues that are relevant to that time of life so are likely to tie to episode meanings at points. That is putting thought into it as it is making one choice that's very appropriate over others.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TriBel View Post

                          It's Cary Meyer talking, Buffy's production designer, described by the BBC as "the man who built Sunnydale". He didn't have hindsight...he had foresight.
                          No but everybody else did.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Silver1 View Post
                            If you've ever worked in a production you'd know that when you have to bang out as much as this lot had to you didn't have much time to agonise over ever detail. I'm afraid I go with the whole 'It's people theories based on hindsight' myself.
                            Plus pan-to-action is a pretty common technique.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                              Plus pan-to-action is a pretty common technique.
                              And? Just because it's common doesn't mean it doesn't convey meaning...it's a deliberate choice. Plus, it's a slow pan and what it pans through is also significant. The fact that in this pan we're taken through actual and (probably) conceptual liminal time-space and a half open door to action which is immediate (IIRC conveyed by hand-held camera) through labyrinthine streets (where doors are shut to our victim and where we catch just a glimpse of a taxi) is also significant. It's not Wong Kar-Wai and Christopher Doyle but that doesn't mean it's not interesting in itself. The fact that Whedon admits it's "cheesy" is also significant...as is the following scene which he calls "real England" (which it is) and labels Westbury (which it isn't).

                              Silver1
                              If you've ever worked in a production
                              I have (admittedly a long time ago).
                              .
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