It's a bit sobering to think Buffy ended 10 years ago.
I'd argue that RTD era Doctor Who was extremely strongly influenced by Buffy though. Both in terms of the way the show was plotted with series arcs and the way that Rose (and other companions) were really the main character.
Joss Whedon is right though - there's been a backlash. A show like Buffy might struggle to get made right now.
[http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/why-i-hate-strong-female-characters A nice article here]] about how today's "strong female characters" are often very one-dimensional, with "strong" being their only attribute of interest.
You have a point there Edith, but I just watched a Season 5 episode where the Watchers' Council come to visit and Buffy calls them out on their bullshit and says that if they want her to do anything they have to give her all their information and they have to join her team. They need her more than she needs them.
Buffy does refuse to be controlled by the Watchers Council though. In the very first episode she's given up slaying completely and only returns to the fight because Willow is in danger. There continues to be tension between her and the council and later on she sacks them. And the WHOLE of the last season is about rejecting the destiny that has been imposed on Slayers by the men who originally created them.
While I don't think Joss Whedon is the feminist he thinks he is - there are plenty of problematic things he has written - all the women in Buffy are at least fully rounded characters with their own inner lives and motivations. I can think of very few shows where this is truly the case.
This is a really good analysis of what is going wrong with writing women on screen.
I read in an interview that Whedon doesn't like the word feminist because of the way it feels in his mouth. WTactualFF. Put me right off him. Love Buffy though, she liberated herself from a lot of expectations and roles and chose her own path. Good for her. Yes I do believe she is real.