This time through, after a gap, I am re-watching the series in order. So I have just started Season 2 .. and have now watched episode 3 ... School Hard.
When you see that episode, after a gap, you realise again all the great things that Spike is ... and what James brought to that role.
Then on to the Bronze ... and who can say that Spikes stalking wasn't just that - watching The Slayer ... yes ... Watching the girl - Oh, yes. Their first scene together is reminiscent of Buffy and Angel's first meeting.
Watching the rest of the Scoobies supporting Buffy through her school preparation is great - lovely to see what that group is all about ... and Willow taking Joyce on the full tour, is super (wish I could have managed that when I was at school)
Then Spike "arrives" ... his joy of being a vampire is so evident here. His frustration at his minions ... his quips to his victim and to Angel are very similar to those of Buffy ... And then - the Fight.
I love how they both walk around each other, testing each other ... with Spike's hesitation finally causing him to be the loser as Joyce hits him. I did wonder why he then just ran - 100 years would mean that he could have tried something else ... Still he "lives" to fight another day.
The final scene with The Annointed One is great ... Spike at his best ... James at his amazing; being able to change from apologetic to joyful within the space of one word ... and then with an arm round Dru, just walking off to watch the TV.
Yes - I love that episode - and seeing it again after a gap, reminded me how much!
But it also proved my point - without amazing actors we wouldn't still be fans - and this episode shows how adaptable and varied James can be - No wonder they asked him to return.
So - if you haven't watched it recently, I urge you to did out the DVDs ... sit back and enjoy!