I'm wondering whether the official treatment or series bible has been published for any/all of the following television shows:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Firefly
  • Dollhouse

While screenplays and script books for these shows seem easy to come by, I haven't had any luck finding a published treatment or series bible, nor any indication whether those documents exist (I would assume that they do exist, albeit probably stored in an attic somewhere).

To be specific, by "treatment," I'm referring to the document that would have been used to initially pitch the show to the television networks.

And by "series bible," I'm referring to the official guidebook that would have been used by the show's screenwriters as a canonical reference to the show's intent, its main themes, character histories, mythology and so on. (Do a web search for "Battlestar Galactica series bible" to see an interesting example of one of these.)

Note: I'm not interested in any sort of fan-created synopsis, merchandise item, transcript, or marketing material that was created after the show was aired. I'm only interested in whether the original documents are available to the public in some format and, if so, where to get them.

  • 1
    Have you looked on Amazon? A quick search there, followed by some further Googling, uncovers this which seems to meet your criteria: "Essays on each of the primary characters, including information on casting and original motivations (that may or may not have changed once filming started)".
    – user8719
    Dec 29 '13 at 21:31
  • Ah, that's intriguing. I'll take a look if I see a copy at the bookstore. Dec 30 '13 at 16:47

The short answer to your question is "No, no Whedon-written show bible has surfaced for any of the series you've listed".

As to why not, the simplest answer is that they may not exist. While I've seen multiple references to the BSG show bible, that's largely because the lead writer wasn't always involved in the writing of each script (as well as the use of a "writer's room" to create each episode) whereas with Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse, there was almost always at least one, and often more than one of the original writing and direction team on hand for each episode.

The sole reference I've found to a Buffy "Show Bible" is that there wasn't one, at least at the time of filming;

Interviewer : What sort of preparations did you undertake to write that first book?

Nancy Holder : There was no show bible so we read the first six or so scripts

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