By Stephen M. Silverman
April 30, 2003 04:31 PM

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon has no fear of vampires. But Internet spoilers out to reveal details of his May 20 series finale scare him to death.

No that he’s doing anything about them, Whedon, 38, tells the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I can’t,” he admits. “I gave up about a year ago trying to keep anything off the Internet, because even if we had alternate endings, eventually you have to put together the one with the real ending (and) somebody sees it.

Whedon’s decision to wrap up the seven-year-old series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, came a year ago, he tells the paper.

“That’s not for lack of love or lack of stories or anything,” he said. “It’s just pure physical exhaustion. … I was afraid I was gonna start to slip and compromise and not care as much, and once you start doing that, it shows. It always shows. So I knew this was my last year.”

He also knows which of the series’ episodes are his favorites. Listing them in a Top 10 for USA Today, Whedon ticks off the following:

1. “Innocence” (Jan. 20, 1998): “It’s a mission-statement show, and one of the ones where I first found out what we could do,” says Whedon.
2. “Once More With Feeling: (Nov. 6, 2001): Because it’s a musical episode.
3. “Hush” (Dec. 14, 1999): A silent episode.
4. “The Body” (Feb. 27, 2001): About the death of Buffy’s mother.
5. “Doppelgangland” (Feb. 23, 1999): Willow gets a (slightly gay) double.
6. “The Wish” (Dec. 8, 1998): The Master’s vampires run the show.
7. “Becoming, Part II”(May 19, 1998): Second-season finale with a great sword fight.
8. “Restless” (May 23, 2000): Fourth-season finale, with the First Slayer.
9. “Conversations With Dead People” (Nov. 12, 2002): “(I) had a lot to say. And I got to write another song,” says Whedon.
10. “Prophecy Girl” (June 2, 1997): First-season finale, with Buffy’s resignation as the slayer.

But somehow she still kept the job. Until May 20.