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"Angel" star David Boreanaz loves being evil.

"David Boreanaz is so great as Angelus. He's wonderful as Angel, but there's a glint in his eye and a spring in his step when he's Angelus," said Jeffrey Bell, co-executive producer and the new showrunner of "Angel," which has its season premiere Sunday.

Angel, the vampire with a soul, will become the wicked Angelus again this winter when the gang needs the help of a Hannibal Lecter-like creature to catch the season's Big Bad. But Fred (Amy Acker), Gunn (J. August Richards) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) are prepared when Angel's soul is removed; they put Angelus in a cage.

Of course, Angelus escapes, and it'll be up to the vampire slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku) to capture him during February sweeps. The saga leading up to the new Angelus storyline will begin during November sweeps, which begins Thursday, Bell said in a phone interview.

"Episode 7 (airing Nov. 17) will introduce the character who will be the Big Bad for the season," Bell said. "That episode will be a cliffhanger, and we'll come back with episode 8 (in winter 2003). This guy is so bad and so tough that only one person can handle him, and that leads us to Angelus during February sweeps.
"He (the villain) is not someone we've met before. He's not human; he's the toughest thing Angel has ever faced. He's smart, he's strong, he's cruel," Bell said.

And will the much talked-about apocalypse, the one involving Angel, happen this season on the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spinoff? Bell won't say for certain, but something big is going on this year.

"We have an episode called 'Apocalypse Nowish,'" Bell said. (He added it's not connected to the new hellmouth stirrings on "Buffy.") Bell declined to say too much about the new villain or how Angel's soul will be removed and later restored.

"We'll have to find out," Bell said about the soul. "We won't take any shortcuts."

Bell explained why now is the time for Angelus. Angel hasn't shown his evil side since the second season of "Buffy" when he lost his soul after one moment of true happiness during sex with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar).

"We've tried to get Angel to the place where he can make peace with what he's done. He's now doing the right thing because it's the right thing and not to atone for what he's done in the past," Bell said.

As Angel approaches the point of contention, it's important to take some peace away from him. That's the philosophy of mixing pain and joy in "Angel" and "Buffy."

"Angel" has been moving forward at a quick pace during last season and the new one. Lilah became the new head of the evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart, when she didn't just go over her boss' head. She cut it off - at a board meeting.

"On our show, anyone can die at any moment. You never know," Bell said. "It makes it fun."

Got any Angel spoilers?
Spoilers above compiled from An Angel's Soul Spoiler Board posts

 

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