Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: The Master

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In every science fiction and fantasy program, there has to be a big bad. This character represents all of the evils of this fictional world. The ultimate goal of the hero or heroine is to stop this big bad. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the first big bad is the Master (Mark Metcalf).

The Master is an ancient vampire who leads a centuries old order of vampires. Relying on ritual and prophecy, he knows of the existence of the Slayer. Forced into the Hellmouth, his goals are two fold: kill the Slayer and destroy humanity. Unable to leave his prison, he sends his vampire minions to find victims and create new vampires.

He feeds by proxy. Sending Luke as his “emissary” to the world above, the Master feeds when Luke feeds. But Buffy continues to get in his way, staking Luke and saving lives. When they finally meet, it is a battle that tests both Buffy and the Master. Buffy wins, but not before being killed by the Master and then resuscitated by her friends.

To sum it up: every villain thinks they they are right, that their actions are entirely correct. On BVTS, the Master believed that his perspective and his world was the correct way to live. The humans were incorrect and therefore, they had to go. A good villain is committed to their cause 150% and will do anything to achieve their goal. The Master, if nothing else, is committed to his goal, which makes him the perfect villain and the perfect foil to the Slayer.

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