That's a wrap.
And to think, this time last year, I was making an idle comment to Ultrace that we should write our very own Buffy season. We both chuckled about that – finding amusement in our little wistful thinking and our innocent musings. Who knew that twelve months later, we'd be wrapping up our twenty-second episode?
Twenty-second episode. That'd be one more than twenty-one, which must therefore mean we did twenty-one episodes too. An entire television season. A thousand pages of prose. 500,000 words. I mean … damn. That's a hell of a lot of Buffy fanfic.
This is huge for me for a variety of boring reasons that I won't go into, but trust me. Huge. Gargantuan. Really, really big. To finally be posting up the last episode when I never thought I'd make it past the fourth.
What makes it even better is how all of you have come along for the ride. When we first started out, I was utterly thrilled when our daily unique visitor count hit 25. Now we're at 200 people per day and climbing steadily. Episode comments used to just appear on my blog. Now we've got our own domain and thriving little forum that I love very much. What's more, I can't wait to get started on season 9. More on that in a minute.
Before that, I'll make like I'm getting an Oscar and give out my thanks.
Firstly to Ultrace, without whom you wouldn't be reading this right now. It was his encouragement that prompted me to begin to take this thing seriously, his great ideas that helped make this season what it was, and his support that helped keep it going when I was tempted to just give up the whole darned thing. He gets extra props for his patience, especially in light of the fact that, for very nearly a year now, 98% of my free time has gone into this thing.
Secondly to Novareinna, without whom the stuff you'd read would probably suck. Her constant insightful, honest feedback is absolutely invaluable and has helped me through more than one tricky spot this season. Her editing is an absolutely necessity – without it you'd probably be reading the same damned verb used fifteen times in a row. And then there's her prosing, which I can honestly say is not only incredible but has, without a doubt, been the chief reason we've been able to get out as many episodes so fast. If it were left up to me, I'd probably still be on 8x12.
Finally, my sincere thanks to the readers. Those of you who remain silent observers, I appreciate that you come back week after week. Even if you don't say anything, I know you're there, and that means a lot. Those of you who give feedback, whether by TagBoard, e-mail or forum, you all owe yourselves a big clap on the back – I think I may have run out of steam months ago if not for all of you. We have a symbiosis goin' here … I give you stories, you give me feedback. You are my fuel. Whether you love everything we do or you have criticism, the fact that you care enough to let me know how you feel is indescribable. And, also, addictive. So keep it up!
As most of you know, this isn't the end of The Chosen. There's another season on the way, and I know that many of you are already anxious for it to begin. As much as I'd love to say we'll be back next week with an all-new episode, there's no way that can happen. Much like the regular shows on TV, we need a little break too.
The current goal – emphasis on goal – is to air the first episode of S9 on Tuesday, 5 April 2005. This may change. I'd even go so far as to say this is likely to change, but we won't know for certain until we get closer to airtime, so keep checking back for updates on both when season 9 will begin, as well as what its posting schedule will be.
Now I know what you're thinking. You're wondering just what you're going to do with yourselves during that agonizingly long three(+) month wait. Luckily for you, we've thought of that and are proud to present …
The boxed set. Beginning next week, and every one to two weeks after, we'll be bringing you bonus features, special tidbits, and whatever the hell else we can think of. Original outlines and scripts, deleted scenes, alternate artwork, episode commentaries ... all that and more. Because we're narcissistic enough to think you'll want to see all that stuff.
But hey, you know ... we're gonna be even cooler than the real box sets, because we're going interactive. You too can participate in what we'll see, and here's how.
First up are interviews. We – that is myself, Ultrace and Nova – will be sitting down (virtually) with one of The Chosen's earliest fans for a no-holds barred interview. Well, okay, some holds barred. There will be bars to at least the count of two. How you can participate here is by sending in your questions. Want to know why we did something? Why we didn't do something else? Curious about the creation process, or what brand of fabric softener we use? This is your opportunity to pose those deep, soul-searching questions. All you've gotta do is send in your queries. Please make sure to include if your question is for Jet Wolf, Ultrace, Novareinna or all three. And note that your question may or may not actually get asked (like the fabric softener thing? Quite likely to not make the cut.), and we reserve the right to be irritatingly evasive if spoilers loom. But the more questions we get, the neater the interviews and the greater our sense of importance. So ask today!
Even cooler though? Episode commentaries. Did you ever wish they'd maybe included some commentary on your favourite episode? Like me, were you a little bummed that Joss didn't talk about "The Gift", or "Doppelgangland"? Realizing that what we might choose is not necessarily what the fans might choose, we throw open the polls. The top three fan choices will have commentary by Jet Wolf and/or Ultrace and/or Novareinna. Three of your choice and three of ours. Seems only fair. Vote now – we're really curious to know what you'll pick.
[ UPDATE: The interview q/a and polls for Reader's Choice commentary have been closed. Thanks to all those who participated! ]
And also, we've got a couple little polls for you to take, if you're feeling clicky. Not that those are too fun for you, but they're a ball for us. "Refresh. Refresh. Oo, a vote. Refresh ..."
So we'll see you guys back here next week as we begin our bonus features and kick off the brand new site design that I've had sitting around for the past four months.
Thanks again. It's been a great ride. And we're only just getting started ...
To explore the bonus features, click here.