Document Type

Journal Article


This article explores the way in which the actor, James Marsters, performs the character of Spike. Beginning with the Greek term ekphrasis (the verbal representation of visual representation) this article is an endeavour to describe and recover in language the effect which a particular performance, moment or TV series may have on us. The specific moment of performance that the article addresses is that of Spike's first appearance on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode 'School Hard' (2:3) - a point at which something magical occurs. We breathe in Marsters' performance and establish an emotional connection with the character. It is this connection, based on Marsters' embodied performance, which inspires fan investment in the character and influences subsequent concpetions of what the character should or should not do, resulting in a tension between scriptwriters and the fans who know better.