Angel is an American television series, a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David Greenwalt. It aired on The WB from October 5, 1999, to May 19, 2004, consisting of five seasons and 110 episodes. Like Buffy, it was produced by Whedon's production company, Mutant Enemy.
The show details the ongoing trials of Angel, a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel's restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. Angel moves to Los Angeles, California, after it's clear that his doomed relationship with Buffy, the vampire slayer, cannot continue. During the first four seasons of the show, he works as a private detective in L.A, where he and a variety of associates work to "help the helpless", restoring the faith and saving the souls of those who have lost their way. Typically, this involves doing battle with evil demons or humans allied to them, primarily related to Wolfram & Hart, a law firm supported by occult practices which is an extension of otherworldly demonic forces, which Angel takes over in the final season. He must also battle his own demonic nature.
Criticisms of Angel are often put into the context of it being a spin-off to popular show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and will at times refer to it being "better than" or "lesser than" its parent show. For example, an article in The Independent states, "The LA-set spin-off to Buffy was initially dismissed as the original's poor cousin but gradually developed into a darkly entertaining show in its own right."
Outside of the TV series, Angel has been officially expanded and elaborated on by authors and artists in the so-called "Buffyverse Expanded Universe". The creators of these works may or may not keep to established continuity. Similarly, writers for the TV series were under no obligation to use information which had been established by the Expanded Universe, and sometimes contradicted such continuity.
Many of these works are set at particular times within the Buffyverse. For example, Joss Whedon has written an Angel mini-series of comics, Long Night's Journey, which was specifically set in early Angel Season Two. Angel comics were originally published by Dark Horse Comics, which published them from 2000 until 2002. IDW Publishing obtained rights to publish Angel comics in 2005 and has been releasing them since. Spinning off from the Angel comics comes an entire series of Spike comics, using the Angel logo's typeface in its depiction of the name "Spike", among these are the comics Spike vs. Dracula, Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets. As of November 2007 to February 2009, the story of the series was continued canonically in lieu of a Season Six in a 17-issue maxi-series titled Angel: After the Fall, written by Brian Lynch and plotted by both Lynch and Joss Whedon. This spun off into numerous Angel titles set after the television series, of which all are now considered canon, until 2011 when Angel rights revert to Dark Horse Comics who began to publish Angel comics under the banner of Angel & Faith.
Following their success with a series of Buffy novels, Pocket Books purchased the license to produce novels for Angel. Twenty-four Angel novels were published. Jeff Mariottebecame the most successful Angel novelist, publishing eleven Angel novels. They also published seven Buffy/Angel crossover books that featured settings and characters from both series.
Main article: Undeveloped Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoffs
In March 2006, Joss Whedon still talked of the possibility of a TV movie involving Spike to be written and directed by Tim Minear.