Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Unaired Pilot

Season 1, Ep 0, Aired
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  • Episode Description
  • Perky, blonde Buffy Summers is like any other teenage girl... or she would be if it weren't for that pesky Slayer destiny thing. Because Buffy is anything but ordinary. She is the Chosen One: the one girl in all the world gifted with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires and stop the spread of their evil. But every gift comes with a price. When Buffy's Slayer duties both destroy her social life and get her expelled from school, she decides it's high time to give Slaying a roundhouse kick to the proverbial curb. Her move from violent L.A. to picturesque Sunnydale seems the perfect way to start over. After all bright, shiny Sunnydale couldn't possibly mask a violent underbelly, could it? Unfortunately for Buffy, that's exactly what Sunnydale does do... and, as the Slayer soon discovers, escaping one's destiny doesn't come so easily.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Riff Regan


  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Buffy Anne Summers

  • Stephen Tobolowsky

    Principal Flutie

  • Nicholas Brendon

    Alexander 'Xander' Harris

  • Persia White


  • Fan Reviews (24)
  • could it be "Buffy" without Alyson Hannigan???

    By peyngel, Dec 14, 2013

  • that's what got it started?

    By duaneaho, Jun 04, 2013

  • Hard to live up to the legend of Buffy!

    By Drea94, May 01, 2013

  • Great Good Gods

    By AriSky, Jan 10, 2013

  • Moderately interesting, but what can you expect from a pilot.

    By katpup, Mar 02, 2011

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (22)

    • Buffy: History isn't my best subject. I sort of lack a best subject.

    • Buffy: Principal Flutie? Principal Flutie: Bambi? (Buffy shakes her head) Barbie? Betty? Wilma? Buffy: Buffy.

    • Giles: Into every generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world. A Chosen One. Buffy: Wow, you're gonna do the speech and everything.

    • Buffy: (to Giles) You don't know anything about it. You don't know what it's like. I was happy. I was Cindy Lou Who just coasting through my life when vampires – which are only supposed to be in cheesy movies – start killing people. People I know. And I find out I'm the Slayer, the only one in the world, and I gotta stop them.

    • Giles: I can not believe that the fate of the world may well be in the hands of this... teen thing. Buffy: Relax. The world's in beauty hands. Trust me!

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    Notes (7)

    • Joyce Summers (Buffy's mom) did not appear in this presentation pilot, as the character had not been created at the time of filming.

    • The actress Riff Regan plays the character of Willow in this presentation episode. In this version, Willow's outcast status was due, in large part, to being overweight, a concept which altered drastically when petite Alyson Hannigan was cast in the role.

    • For this episode, most of the major roles contain the same cast as they appear in the show, with the exceptions of Willow and Principal Flutie. Willow is played by Riff Regan here; she would be played by Alyson Hannigan for the entire run of the show. Principal Flutie is played here by Stephen Tobolowsky; he would later be played in the show by Ken Lerner.

    • Three actresses who tried out for the part of Buffy Summers appear in this treatment -- Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Julie Benz (Darla) and Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall). However, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who eventually won the part of Buffy, originally auditioned for the role of Cordelia (but lost out to Bianca Lawson, who would have to pass on the role but would come back as the Vampire Slayer, Kendra, in season 2). One other actress who appears in the regular run of the show, Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy Madison), also competed for the role of Buffy.

    • Commonly called "the unaired pilot," this 30-minute presentation pilot was never intended for public viewing; it was meant to be seen only by the networks, as an example of what the eventual show could look like. Due to the substandard effects and lack of music, Joss Whedon has continually refused to officially release it.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (5)

    • The vampire dusting effect is very different in this episode. Rather than the dynamic, rapid dusting that we see later on, these vampires fall down and then slowly dissolve into dust with a stop-motion effect.

    • Almost every scene in this episode appears in its final form in the episodes "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (1x01) and "The Harvest" (1x02); however many of the sets change drastically including the library, The Bronze, and the interior of Sunnydale High. Location shots, such as the school courtyard, remain the same, of course.

    • Harmony says that the band playing at The Bronze is Dingoes Ate My Baby. The same name is used later for Oz's band who are introduced in the episode "Inca Mummy Girl" (2x04).

    • We never see Darla become dust when she dies, but we hear her scream in pain as Willow presses a cross to her forehead.

    • In this episode, the high school isn't named "Sunnydale High School". It's called "Berryman High School".

    Allusions (2)

    • Buffy: I was Cindy Lou Who just coasting through my life... Cindy Lou Who is a character in the 1957 children's story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. She is a young, innocent girl that has no understanding or comprehension of the Grinch stealing all their Christmas festivities.

    • Cordelia: Willow! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears! The department store Sears was for years best known as a place to buy tools and appliances. In their make-over attempt to boost their clothing sales they introduced the "softer side of Sears" slogan. As Cordelia is quick to point out however, Sears has not become the first choice of the fashionably dressed.

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