Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 1 Episode 0

Unaired Pilot

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Unknown on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
291 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Unaired Pilot
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

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  • could it be "Buffy" without Alyson Hannigan???

    well, it has many moments from the original pilot. it has everyone from the original cast... except for the girl who portrays Willow! and there's the question, guys: could "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" become that popular if instead Alyson Hannigan Riff Regan played Willow for all seven (not sure they would shoot seven, though) seasons. I mean, it's so hard to imagine her playing those awesome Willow's scenes and so on... just can't explain in the words how glad and happy I am that they re-casted :) it's not "Buffy" without Aly the same way it couldn't be "Buffy" without Sarah, Nicky, Tony and others...

    though I give 8 to this epi just 'coz it actually represents the very beginning of the whole Buffyverse that all of us partly live in... plus, Sarah and Nick are so cute and young in it!

    FAVE SCENE: the end of the episode.

    FAVE QUOTE: Buffy: You can never watch too many movies.moreless
  • that's what got it started?

    amazing the show got picked up. I just saw this for the 1st time and it is bad , comically bad almost. I agree with the others in that the library site would have been nice to keep around but that wasn't possible as it wasn't a set but an actual schools library , Torrance High according to IMDB.
  • Hard to live up to the legend of Buffy!

    I've seen all the episodes of Buffy (most of them fifty times) except for this one, until now. I didn't even know it existed. I really loved the Xander-Buffy interaction as well as the Giles-Buffy interaction, both of which weren't in the aired pilot. However, I was disappointed about the original willow, and am super relieved that they switched her. Alyson Hannigan really made Willow into the lovable, quirky witch we all love.

    This pilot isn't nearly as good as the aired one. The opening scene wasn't appealing at all, the special effects . fight scenes, vamp dusting) are poorly executed, and the casting was disappointing (no joyce? fake willow?). I'm glad they changed it before airing, because Buffy deserves a proper start.moreless
  • Great Good Gods

    This pilot had a couple things that would have been nice to incorporate in the actual first run of the show, like more banter with heavier references between the characters and the larger library. It also had a lot of things that thank the gods above were left out. It was a very cheesy pilot, but it does get the general idea across, which is the point of such an episode. It's wonderful to see where something that ended up successful started.moreless
  • Moderately interesting, but what can you expect from a pilot.

    Most all of the greats had, shall we say, unsatisfactory beginnings, so this was no surprise. But anyone so interested in the show that they would take the time to read this review already knows it's all up hill from here. The story line is alright. It opens up the door to the season's major arch. Not to mention, the introduction of Darla. Willow is simply adorable. How on Earth did she get her hair so flat? I ask you, is it magic? I have a general love for Xander's character. Its good to see him back before he becomes the somewhat useless part of the group. It wasn't as bad as some make it out to be. Still, it wasn't my cup of tea.moreless
Riff Regan

Riff Regan


Guest Star

Stephen Tobolowsky

Stephen Tobolowsky

Principal Flutie

Guest Star

Persia White

Persia White


Guest Star

Julie Benz

Julie Benz


Recurring Role

Mercedes McNab

Mercedes McNab


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 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".

  • 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!

    • Xander: Ah... the Dirty Girls.
      Buffy: Why do you call them... (sniffs) Oh, wow.
      Xander: They have views on hygiene. It's pretty intense.
      Buffy: So which group are you affiliated with?
      Xander: Well, I've applied to a few, but doesn't look good. I haven't heard back from the Dirty Girls.

    • Buffy: I'm retired.
      Giles: But your work is not finished.
      Buffy: My work? I'm sixteen! I don't have work. I have homework.

    • Buffy: So what is it with vampires and clothes? You always think the march of fashion stopped dead the day you did. It really is such a giveaway.

    • Buffy: You know, you really shouldn't be here. A vampire, all alone at night. It just isn't safe.
      Vampire: You've got me wrong.
      Buffy: Oh, my bad. You're not a vampire?
      Vampire: I'm not alone.

    • Cordette: Hey, look at them.
      Cordelia: Well, it seems Buffy's found her own level.
      Harmony: I can't believe we were almost nice to her.
      Cordette: I know!

    • Buffy: Principal Flutie...
      Principal Flutie: Betty?
      Buffy: I just want you to... Buffy. To know that I'm not going to cause trouble. There's not going to be any incidents like at my old school.
      Principal Flutie: Well, I certainly hope not.
      Buffy: No. I'm here to have fun. But, I mean... learning. Fun with learning.

    • Cordelia: Has any girl ever spoken to you of her own free will? I don't think so.
      Xander: You know I've often wondered why that is.
      Cordelia: Got a mirror?
      (Cordy walks away)
      Xander: Check back tomorrow, I'll have that devastating comeback ready.

    • Giles: I´m not saying you didn´t do well... Wait, now I am. You didn´t do well. You stunk up the place.

    • Willow: (running in with a cross in her hands) Freeze! I know how to use this... I think.

    • Willow: Mr. Worth says you never pay attention.
      Xander: I pay attention... just not to him.

    • Buffy: I don't suppose you'd be sweeties and attack me one at a time?
      Vampire: You watch too many movies.
      Buffy: You can never watch too many movies.

    • Principal Flutie: I don't think you'll have any problem adjusting, Bunny.
      Buffy: Buffy.
      Principal Flutie: Just remember our personal rules. No gang colors, no fur. No hanging from the rafters in the cafeteria screaming "Meat is murder!" on Sloppy Joe day. That became very popular last month, had to put my foot down.

    • Buffy: Ow... that was my favorite spine.

    • Darla: I heard a noise.
      Boy: It's nothing.
      Darla: Maybe it's something.
      Boy: Or maybe it's some thing.
      Darla: That's not funny.

    • Principal Flutie: We very seldom... we almost never have dead kids stuffed in a locker. I have a very strict policy about that.
      Buffy: So it's true?
      Principal Flutie: I know it's hard. Certainly not the welcome I would have planned for you. I know you're upset, confused... You've probably go that thing like when you burp and you've got that vomity taste in your mouth… I just want you to know that we're all here for you. If there's anything that you need...
      Buffy: Can I look at the body?

    • Willow: Do you think he was killed?
      Cordelia: No, I'm sure it was natural causes. He crawled up into a locker and died of old age.

    • Aphrodesia: What kind of weird name is Buffy?

  • 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.

    • Since this was just a demo for the network, they did not obtain the rights to play any music, so there was no background music during any of the fight scenes.

    • This episode is 25 minutes and 36 seconds long.


    • 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.