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Slayers star Laya DeLeon Hayes at Audible’s “Slayers Society” fan activation.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Audible

What to know about Slayers, the new audio series set in the Buffyverse

The Audible Original took over New York Comic Con with a panel and an interactive fan activation.

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The Buffyverse is expanding — and attendees at New York Comic Con got a front row seat. In celebration of the new Audible Original Slayers: A Buffyverse Story, which premiered Oct. 12, fans at NYCC were treated to a panel with cast members of the new audio series as well as an interactive fan activation. The panel featured Amber Benson, one of the original show’s veterans (she played Tara Maclay), and Buffy comics and books writer Christopher Golden. The two (along with co-director Kc Wayland) wrote and directed a new adventure in Slayers, a nine-episode Audible Original series that expands the universe of the original show.

Old blood and new blood gathered at the Slayers panel, with Golden and Benson joining an ensemble of original cast members from the show, all reprising their characters or multiverse incarnations in the audio series: Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield Ford, Anthony Stewart Head, James Charles Leary, Danny Strong, Juliet Landau, and James Marsters, along with newcomer Laya DeLeon Hayes. In front of scores of cheering fans, the panelists answered questions about reprising their roles for the first time in 20 years, discussed the new audio series, and encouraged the crowd to check out Slayers for themselves.

Slayers stars Charisma Carpenter, James Charles Leary, Laya DeLeon Hayes, and James Marsters at NYCC.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Audible

A fresh adventure

Slayers picks up in the Buffyverse in 2013, 10 years after the events of the show’s finale. Our fan-favorite Spike (Marsters), a reformed vampire, is prowling undercover in Los Angeles and being his broody self around his pal Clem (Leary), the bubbly rehabilitated demon. As the story begins, he becomes saddled with babysitting a protege, the 16-year-old fangirl Indira Nunnally (Hayes), a newbie slayer and self-proclaimed “Queen of Slayer Reddit.” Things get weird when they encounter a Slayer hailing from another dimension — none other than a snarky Cordelia Chase (Carpenter). And who’s terrorizing her reality? Spike’s old flame Drusilla (Landau).

Exciting new roles for fan-favorite characters

When Slayer Cordelia enters the story of Slayers, in a fresh spin on the original show, she is a Chosen One. The new audio series presents an exciting opportunity for some of the fandom’s favorite characters — like Cordelia, Anya (Caufield), and Tara — to take on new roles in the Buffyverse. So there was no ignoring Carpenter on the verge of joyful tears when she told her NYCC adorers, “I knew I was in good hands, I knew that Cordelia was in good hands. And I knew I was in a safe place.” In the audience, fans roared on her behalf. Benson shared a similar message, and told Polygon, “What I hope people take away — in these banana times we’re living in — [is] we need some strong women to kick some ass.” The mentor-rookie bond between Slayer Cordelia and newbie Slayer Indira is one to watch in the new audio series, as well as the new incarnations of Anya and Tara.

The stars and creators of Audible’s Slayers.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Audible

Drusilla, delicious as ever

Heroines are great, but so are villainesses. Fans hooted when the panel played behind-the-scenes clips of the actors in the voice booths, but one image stuck out in particular: Landau gnawing her wrist to get into character as the evil Drusilla, who longs to be Queen once again and is in a twisted relationship with Tara. Marsters cited it as a favorite moment he witnessed in person. He praised Landau, and said, “You’re fearless. You are one of my favorite actors who is not trying to look good or cool. You’re trying to get to the interesting weird [parts].” In character, Landau’s Drusilla is evil and scheme-y, but in person at NYCC she comes off as goofy and friendly. “Our cast has an incredible acting chemistry [and] that just really picked right back up when we started this new project,” she shared.

Golden also advised NYCC attendees to savor Slayers in spatial audio (available with Dolby Atmos exclusively on Audible) with a fellow fan, so they can “blush together as you feel like you’re standing between Tara and Drusilla” — to lots of giggles in the audience.

New bloods will get sucked in

Listeners who are new to the franchise may feel like they need to do their homework (like Buffy cramming for a history exam), but they won’t be the only newbies taking part in the Audible series. Indira, played by Hayes, is a new character introduced in Slayers; she’s a feisty rookie Slayer who wants Spike as her mentor. Hayes was new to the Buffyverse when she was cast in the series, but she’s a crucial part of the story. “Layla is new as a fan of the fandom [and] she’s new as Indira the character,” Benson told Polygon. “She’s the person from whom you’ll learn the info you need, without being an information dump.” At the panel, Hayes thanked Benson and Golden for creating a “nurturing” environment for a newcomer like her.

Audible’s “Slayers Society” fan activation. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Audible

Interactive thrills for fans

Throughout the weekend of NYCC, panel attendees and fans also gathered for a Slayer communion at Audible’s hands-on “Slayers Society” activation and audio experience. After being greeted by Slayer cheerleaders, guests hydrated from glass chalices at the potions bar and embarked on a scratch-card scavenger hunt where they could search for Slayers secrets and trivia. Upon completion of the hunt, a clawed hand from a booth rewarded the hunter with a Slayer pin (a fist clutching a stake that came in various collectible hues). Fans could also take souvenir photos and GIFs inside a photo booth located in the “Big Stake Energy” Slayer training room. Last but not least, the activation also featured a glass chamber — a “multiverse portal” — with an immersive audio experience, where attendees could step inside and listen to a sneak peek of the Slayers Audible series while surrounded by kaleidoscopic visuals.

Fans can devour Slayers only on Audible, available now.

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