Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 1 Episode 1

Welcome to the Hellmouth (1)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 10, 1997 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews page 3 of 5

Write A Review
out of 10
1,206 votes
  • A great beginning to an amazing series!

    This was the perfect way to begin what may have been the best series to ever be on television. I have watched this episode so many times. When you think about what all of the characters become it is nice to go back and see the innocence they all had in the beginning. I love the moment when Buffy and Angel first meet. You can just see the chemistry right to begin with. I mean she kicks him over the head! The cross is a great mislead to the big angel reveal several epiodes later. Also when Xander first sees Buffy and flips under the stairs railing is such a wonderful moment!
  • In the beginning, there were Buffy, Willow, Giles and Xander with the occassional Cordelia run in...

    Buffy Summers, the chosen one, slayer of vampires and evil arrives in Sunnydale, California with her mother after being ejected from her previous school for burning down the high school gym. A great reference and beginning plot from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. Sarah Michelle Gellar makes a spectacular debut in this, using some old and some new tricks as she tries to adjust to life in this town.

    Anthony Stuart Head introduces himself as a Watcher to Buffy, by pulling out a Vampyr book, causing her to back away. Anthony plays a wonderful first role as a stuffy, overly bookish Watcher who goes strictly by the book, but being as they're on a mouth of hell and they don't know what could be walking through the doors at any given moment, he quickly adapts to Buffy's method of 'Attack it now, learn about it later'

    Nicholas Brendon plays as Xander Harris your all too average high school guy who inadvertently discovers Buffy's 'slayer' secret, along with his best friend Willow, played by Alyson Hannigan. The quiet, bookish girl who is fairly mousy, but knows how to stay out of trouble.

    Side characters are introduced such as Angel, and of course the Vampire Master, named simply "Master"

    A typical setup for a great series that will last seven years. You couldn't ask for a better beginning.
  • buffy the slayer

    i love buffy the vampire slayer i love the show they now got. well this episode continues fromt the movie. in this episode buffy summers moves to sunnydale and starts a new life with out the slayer thing. buffy meets new friens willow and xander. they are cool. buffy used to be popular. but not now. and her new watcher giles the schools new libraian. want to train buffy to be better at the slaying. but buffy says that she is retired. then vampires are being awakening and now buffy needs to stop the place that is called the hell mouth. i love this show.
  • buffy the slayer

    i love buffy the vampire slayer i love the show they now got. well this episode continues fromt the movie. in this episode buffy summers moves to sunnydale and starts a new life with out the slayer thing. buffy meets new friens willow and xander. they are cool. buffy used to be popular. but not now. and her new watcher giles the schools new libraian. want to train buffy to be better at the slaying. but buffy says that she is retired. then vampires are being awakening and now buffy needs to stop the place that is called the hell mouth. i love this show.
  • buffy the slayer

    i love buffy the vampire slayer i love the show they now got. well this episode continues fromt the movie. in this episode buffy summers moves to sunnydale and starts a new life with out the slayer thing. buffy meets new friens willow and xander. they are cool. buffy used to be popular. but not now. and her new watcher giles the schools new libraian. want to train buffy to be better at the slaying. but buffy says that she is retired. then vampires are being awakening and now buffy needs to stop the place that is called the hell mouth. i love this show.
  • New town, same problems.

    I absolutely loved this show from the get go. The first scene is of a girl and boy sneaking into a school to get into trouble. The girl is all hesitant to go, but the boy is playing it brave. Next thing you know, the girls vamps out and bites the guy. From the very beginning this show surprised me. We get introduced to Buffy Summers, a seemingly normal girl who has just moved to Sunnydale. We quickly find out she is anything but normal. She is the Chosen One, the Slayer. We are also introduced to Xander, Willow, Jessie, Cordelia (all students) and Mr Giles, Buffys new watcher and school librarian. Stay tuned!
  • Very different, and very new

    I liked this episode, a lot more than i actually thought i would. The storyline, the club, the teenager at high school. It's all very different, very original and very enticing. Why anybody could loathe and despise this episode, i dont know. It's the first episode ever of Buffy, and it gives a great opening to the next seven seasons. Of course, Buffy has previously slayed Vampires at her old school, and that's why she moved. Her attempt at a new life is, as always, a failed attempt, and her new friends, Willow and Xander, are already into the swing of va,pires by the end of the episode. The only bad part-the cliffhanger ending.

    Overall, and excellent open to a series.
  • A great start to the beginning of the Buffy era!

    A great episode which tells you all the basic vampire facts and all you need to know for the rest of the series. So what Buffy got kicked out of her last school? This one will be great!

    Xander and Willow are truly unique charcters and without them Buffy would not be the same person. I am glad she breaks the mould of conventional lonely Slayer/Watcher to be a sociable person.

    There is definitely more to come involving Angel, you don't just introduce a character like that and then leave it!

    It's a shame that Jessie died but he was annoying and they didn't really mourn him so I suppose its all for the best really!
  • Ok as a pilot episode but contributed very little to the Buffyverse.

    I think this episode was good as a pilot - it introduced us to the characters and gave us a snapshot of their personalites for example, Cordelia, who we could see straight away was a bit of a spoilt brat to say the least. Angel also appeared and the audience was pulled in by how mysterious he was. However, it is a very forgettable episode - there was very little story - it was mainly used to inform everyone of who Buffy was and some of her background. I saw this episode long after I had seen season 5 and 7 and it seemed to me like Buffy was going to be a very cheesy feminist tv show. If I had seen this episode first it would have been unlikely that I would have ever tuned in again. Basically, I just think this episode did not do the rest of the series justice and it developed into a tv show that was very different to this first impression.
  • Welcome to the Hellmouth. The start of a legend.

    Classic episode. Buffy Summers had just gotten expelled from her old school in LA for burning down the gym because it had vamp...abestos. She and her mom move to Sunnydale, CA hoping to start over. But, before she even gets done with the school day, there\'s something mystical following her. Stuffy British Watcher, Rupert Giles (or Giles for short)who tells her that she is the Slayer, the Chosen One, out of every generation, a girl is chosen, to fight the vampires, monsters, and the forces of darkness. This is the start of an iconic show that will last into the next century. I have grown to love the show and will love Buffy, Angel, and Spike forever.
  • i love this episode!!!!

    although its no known as one of the buffy fan favourites: i love it. it set everything up, introduces the core 4 characters (buffy, willow, xander and giles) show us the school where most of the show is set in the first three seasons and it's a two parter,so you have to go on and watch te next episode if you want to know whats happened. very clever and funny, plus, theres a potential main character (jesse, xanders friend) killed off in this two parter to really introduce the show!!! plus we get to meet cordy and angel, what more could you want from a first episode???
  • The show that started it all! Who will Buffy save!

    In the first episode, it is your basic end of the world delmma for the start of what will be known as the Scoobies. What do we get to face! Vampires...who would have thought?
    We meet a shy Williow, a Desperate Xander, and the new kid Buffy. It looks like our hero has been a bad child and is transfered to Sunnydale High, in her Sophomore year, but Buffy isn\'t just any person, she\'s the Vampire Slayer. Already you feel like Buffy just doesn\'t seem to ever get a break when you see the words \"To Be Continued...\"
  • the beginning of buffy

    the first buffy episode is interesting. a little slow and not entirely my kind of episode. but it is funny and the characters are all likeable. at first anyway.

    the episode is about some blond girl with super powers. she has to stop the vampires who want to take over. one of them is the mean old vampire the master who is quite wrinkled. the episode is interesting enough to get you through but some quality is still missing as the show had no money then.
  • Welcome to Sunnydale...

    Welcome to Sunnydale. A small California town with one high school and one place for the high school kids to hang out, the bronze. But what all these people who live here have no idea that they are sitting on the hell mouth – the largest concentration of evil anywhere. Enter Buffy, a girl who was kicked out of her former high school in Los Angeles for burning down the gym (nod to the movie). Buffy shows up in Sunnydale and meets Giles, the school librarian and her new watcher. We are also introduced to Cordelia (the popular girl), Angel (the vamp with a soul, but Buffy doesn’t know this yet), and Willow and Xander (who soon find her secret and are the start of the scoobies). Buffy arrives just in time for the harvest and realizes that slaying here is going to be full time.
  • The first episode to the great Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.

    Buffy and her mother move to their new town: SunnyDale in hopes to adapt to a new life. Buffy ended up getting kicked out of her old school because she ended up burning the gym because of......Vampires. That's right, Vampires and she meets Giles, her new watcher and learns that she cannot run away from her Slayer duty. This episode kicks start off the new series with a couple of kicks and punchs all from a chick who fights the forces of darkness.
  • The beginning of Buffy part 1

    This was an amazing beginning to one of the greatest shows ever. It started off a little bit creepy with Darla and the guy breaking into the high school and then Buffy's dreams about the master but it eventually became calm.

    It was cool how Buffy went from trying to blend in and get caught up with her school work to being the freak that goes looking for vampires and got booted from her old school. I enjoyed when Buffy was trying to convince Giles that she didn't care about the vamps and Xander hiding in the back and over hearing the vamp talk.

    The ending was very violent avery amazing beginning to a perfect show!
  • First episode is really good, especially counting that it aired 10 years ago.

    I'm rewatching Buffy so I started from the begining... Even dough my favorite sesones are later ones, I must say that the early episodes were also very well writen. And Buffy's hair were best in first episode. Later I started hating her, mostly cause of her hair. Sounds stupid, I know, but it's true.
    So, this episode is funny, it introduces us to Sunnydale society, hungry vampires and sexy Angel. I always tought that Sunnydale is kinda funny name. Sunnydale on top of Hellmouth... what an irony!
    When I see this episode I keep thinking that I would never guessed what will Willow become, and how'll Joyce end up... Everything seemed se sweet (and slightly dangerous) in this first episode...
  • The start of the series - classic Joss Whedon, still unlike anything else (bar Angel and Firefly - duh) i've seen yet.

    So as I said before, the very beginning of the series, and the opening segment is CLASSIC Joss. Unfortunately for me, I've only just started watching the show, having already thoroughly enjoyed the entire Firefly series (shows, comic book and movie) plus most of Angel, so I picked up on the "let's twist it so the innocent blonde is the vampire, not the rebel guy" vibe, but it didn't take too much enjoyment away!
    It didn't really stand out as much as some of the later episodes for me, probably just because it WAS made in 1997, so it's a wee bit dated, and many of the plot twists and flicks that were innovative back then are almost expected nowadays - the "poison bait" actually already being a vampire, Cordelia reverting to type after Buffy saves her life - but the old "look the other way then BAM! stake in the back" trick was great :D
    It's a good start to a great series, jumping straight into the action rather than drawing it out, but still managing to cover the basics for setting the scene on Buffy's new life.
  • Buffy and her mother Joyce move to Sunnydale unaware of the hellmouth living beneath town.

    Good begining. It establishes the pattern of the first season and beginning of the second season: a fun and entertaining show to watch.
    Since mid-season two it becomes disturbing and a must see.
    Notice the difference of attitude of this two pivotal characters: Angel and Darla.
    For those who have watched the seven seasons, we can tell that Angel is too smiley and relaxed for his normal self established later.
    Darla seems too dumb, kind of a moron when she is supposed to be clever and psychotic (the Darla we know shouldn\'t be afraid at Buffy).
    I\'ve noticed too that Joyce is less caring and more self-involved than she should be.
    It\'s understandable that being the first episode this three characters weren\'t fully characterized.
  • a brilliant opening

    This episode was fantastic because it really set the scene for what the rest of the series was going to be like. Buffy makes friends fairly quickly and you can tell how these characters are going to become important in future episodes. Buffy at first approaches slaying very cautiously and wants to give it up or pass it on to someone else, but by the end of the episode she becomes pretty good at what she does best. The funny thing is thought is that I find it fairly painful to watch this first episode because she's not half as ass kicking as she is by the end of the show. I mean it takes both her and xander to close a door against some vampires...in a later episode she would have whipped that door open and killed them all by herself..hehe so it's hard for me to watch her being quite weak when I've seen her in the future become so powerful.
  • Welcome to Buffyville, please ensure that you arms and legs are inside the vehicle at all times. Please enjoy your ride...it's going to last SEVEN years!

    I am sort of gutted that I never got to see this episode as my starting point in the Buffy series. My opinion of it will therefore always be that of an already established fan. No matter how hard I try.

    Firstly, with regards to this episodes special effects, I think it does a marvellous job, contrary to popular opinion. We must remember that in 96/97 we were still along wat off from television "doing a Lord of the Rings" eye-candy spectacular on us. Especially from a pilot television production that would have had far less money and technology to play about with then, than it would have today. I think it actually does a great job in creating dark, gothic sets that completely contrast with the "highschool" element. Setting the atmosphere and obviously, the metaphor, for the entire show. I think the vampire prosthetics are pretty good too and haven't changed *that* drastically, allowing for continuity, and supporting my point that the first "vamp" attempts were rather good.

    So, Welcome to the Hellmouth...

    It does a great job of introducing us to all of our core characters. Although this is not exactly a hard feat, they are all pretty standard exaggerations of high school personalities. The Mean Girl that is Cordy, the Geek with a Heart that is Willow, The Joke Guy that is Xander and the Stuffy English Teacher-Guy that is Giles. However, all of these personalities become much more than one-dimensional throughout the show, so this is not a criticism.

    I thought it a nice touch to make Principal Flutie other than a mean head teacher. This makes the scene where he rips-up, then sellotapes-back-together Buffy's report card very funny.

    Buffy herself starts off mysterious. It is obvious that she has some sort of secret, or completely knowledgable if you actually caught the Title! The Kirsty Swanson film, although terrible, is acknowledged within her characters back-story. Joss actually relies on it to cut plot corners. Quite a brave move considering how it was panned. In retrospect, this was a good decision with regards to Buffy-fans and trivia aspects. But at the time, would you really want your audience to "go back" to the 1992 film to gain plot information? We are not yet aware of the great television that this show is going to provide. Brave, brave Joss.

    The opening scene sets off the idea behind the show very well. Just when we think a young blonde is about to get killed in her innocence and naivety- BANG! The first of hundreds of misleads has been played. The blonde girl is the dominant one! Cool. It's also great that this one-off character, the person behind the shows first ever dialogue, eventually becomes an important part of the buffyverse (mainly in Angel).

    The script. Yes ladies and gentlemen. The script of BtVS is excellent from day one. A good indication that there is a great deal of intelligence behind this show with the goofy title. However, I must state that there is no point to having a great script if the actors can't deliver the lines well. And so we have another great aspect that is already apparent. The actors are great!

    Xander and Willow really shine in this episode. They get the best lines, in my opinion. I love Xanders's "Shiny nickle" response, to Willow's "What's in it for me?" when enquiring about her reward for helping him with his math (or maths, if like me you are from tea-bag central). This sets Xander up for having a very adult sense of humour, despite it being disguised by lots of self-admittance of "I'm really immature". He reminds me of Chandler of Friends fame. Although, funnier. Despite this shows, and his, constant viewpoint that he is "stupid" he actually has a very intelligent grasp of humour. Willow is how I like Willow in her first episode. She is shy, sweet and lacking in confidence. But she is also armoured, like Xander, with a great weapon. Her humour. And self-deprecation for that matter. When Buffy asks if she can hang with her AND Cordelia, we get typical Willow-response, "Not legally". We also see the great comment on why she doesn't date "Well, when I'm with a boy I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool, or, or witty, or at all. I-I can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away". Overall, we get enough Willow/Buffy Willow/Xander action to geninely, and already, care for her, making us worry when she is kid-napped.

    Buffy herself is great from the onset. Our heroine will not go underrated just because she is the title character. Not by me anyway.

    I think Sarah is a brilliant actress. She is sometimes very subtle, and can consequently go un-noticed. Take her little introduction to Cordelia, for example. Note the very brief "laugh" she does. She amazingly conveys so many feelings in this less-than-a-second reaction. 1) she is embarrassed 2) she is unsure of Cordy 3) she is nervous of Cordy 4) she thinks Cordy is abit insincere 5) she is not like Cordy. Watch it again to understand what I am talking about.

    It is also interesting that Buffy is very anti-slayer at the beginning. Not only does this make way for great complexities within her character, especially regarding it's growth, but it also unwillingly foreshadows the final episode, Chosen. In the end, Buffy just wants to be a normal girl, sharing her power with other potentials.

    Giles is "very English" in his debut. This serves well though, against Buffy's rebelling, and we are mistaken for thinking he is a typical American-view of what English people are like. He goes on to become much more. English fans also love the fact that that we are represented in the show. It was a great decision by Joss as Giles and Spike create lots of humour regarding their cultural differences to the Scoobies and also with each other. Yes, this *American* show actually consists of different types of English people! Yay! Overall, Wellcome to the Hellmouth is a great start to BtVS. It establishes itself as a well-written, witty, dramatic, horror-filled, action-packed show that goes on to become iconic television.

    Great start!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

    Buffy: Uh, Hi! Willow, right?
    Willow: Why? I-I mean, hi! Uh, did you want me to move?
    Buffy: Why don't we start with, 'Hi, I'm Buffy,' and, uh, then let's segue directly into me asking you for a favor. It doesn't involve moving, but it does involve hanging out with me for a while.
    Willow: But aren't you hanging out with Cordelia?
    Buffy: I can't do both?
    Willow: Not legally. Buffy: To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they're just gonna kill you.

    Seven Seasons of frantic vampire slaying, great characters and quick-fire dialogue begins in Welcome to the Hellmouth. Okay, watching it now, as with most of the episodes, the effects aren't the best, but then again, who cares? You don't need effects to tell a good story. You need good acting. And Buffy's got that. All the cast members rise to the challenge, and the regulars are especially great. Brilliant beginning.
  • Getting to know the Chars of the serie.

    I didn\'t see this on tv but I saw it on DVD for the first time. I think that it is a great episode where you get to know the cast right away. Sometimes it takes a while befor the char\'s of the Serie evolve into who they have to be and here you see them like they are.

    The whole Giles/Buffy thing... very funny. I love the buffy thing like: \"The worlds in danger? Like I care...\"
  • At least it grabbed my attention.

    The pilot at least grabbed my attention. I'll admit that it wasn't the best pilot I've ever seen but it made me interested in seeing the second part of the pilot. I had borrowed the first season DVD from my friend after she reccommended it so I sat down through the pilot and, in all honesty, I found it a little boring. I mean, the action scenes were pretty cool and the acting was good but a lot of the effects made me giggle. They just seemed really cheesy and low-budget but after this episode I really haven't found them an issue.

    As an introductory episode, it does the series justice. While saying this from watching only two and a half episodes so far, nothing's that confusing. It explained quite a bit about slayers and watchers and such but I really felt that the information should've been spread out among the whole two hours of the pilot.

    The episode certainly can't be the best, considering the very few Buffy episodes I've watched in reruns have been much better and that's really the thing that kept me sticking around. Without "The Harvest" following this, there would've been a good chance I wouldn't have watched the series again.

    However, I do have to give it credit. The acting and plot was good and it at least didn't have me dozing off throughout the episode. Can't wait to see the rest of the series. I'm looking foward to it. =)
  • In every generation there is a Chosen one...

    When I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer it already was in it's thirth season so I saw this episode some time later thus I already knew most things but that still doesn't mather.

    This episode is a great example how a first episode of a series should be, we get properly introduced with the main characters, you almost instantly know them. From the first moment I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer I was hooked on the show, if you haven't seen it yet start with this episode, because I can almost certainly say that you will love it.

    The Master is a great villian and we will see more Darla in the future. It's a pitty season one only has 12 episodes.
  • Let's appreciate the irony: Sunnydale?!?

    The first episode of Buffy the vampire slayer and a great introduction to the Buffyverse.

    (SPOILERS: This review is written after I've seen all episodes of the series, so I will include some information about upcoming episodes)

    This episode is all about fitting in.
    Buffy is new in Sunnydale, and the ongoing theme is that she just wanna make some friends and forget about the past. This isn't easy for anyone and especially not for someone who is a vampire slayer. And the interesting thing about Buffys choice of friends is that she does't pick the obvious Cordelia, but instead shy Willow. Why? I think it is because of the way Cordelia treated Willow, that Buffy got an instant symphaty for her. Also, it showed Cordelia as a selfish person who needs to pick on others to feel good about herself.

    The villains in this episode are vampires, and the first we meet is Darla, who we'll meet in many episodes after. But here she's kind of out of character, not to mention Angel. I guess the whole Angel-Darla-Spike-Dru stuff wasn't quite finished to say at least. Cause Angel is cocky and Darla is taking orders from Luke. The Master is funny for being as evil as he is, but when I think of it, all the "big bads" on Buffy have been funny to some extent.

    The love. Willow likes Xander. Xander likes Buffy. Jesse likes Cordelia. A lot of people liking someone they can't have.

    The victim in this episode is Willow. Poor girl. (Although she won't be the last one mistaking a vampire). Also, Jesse falls into the same trap. The episode is a two parter so it ends with Buffy who is about to get bitten by Luke and Xander and Willow facing a whole lot of vampires in the cementary.

    - Love the scene with Pincipal Flutie and Buffy. Especially when he tapes her file back together again.

    - Giles' enthusiasctic face when he shows Buffy the book "Vampyr".

    - Xanders babbling! He's so cute.

    - Cordelias hair looks terrible in the Bronze. I know it's 1996 but...

    Angel: Let's just say I'm a friend.
    Buffy: Well, maybe I don't want a friend.
    Angel: I didn't say I was yours.
  • Not a great episode, but the pieces for greatness are here.

    Of the many shows to be based off movies, this is one of, if not the only, instance where the TV show manages to outshine its source material. However, the film was critically panned and forgotten in many minds by the time the series premiered. The fact that this got on the air is more a testament to Joss Whedon's loyalty to his work than any market demand. He has never been one to let a project he loves die. A few years ago he fought to get a film adaptation of his short lived series Firefly made, a campaign that proved successful with the release of Serenity. Almost ten years earlier he showed the same dedication to "Buffy". While I've never seen the film, I've heard much about how it didn't mesh with what Joss envisioned and that it was a commercial and critical disaster. Nonetheless, he worked to get the idea resurrected in some form. Luckily for him, this coincided with the rise of a new network, one who was willing to take a risk on Whedon's idea.

    Joss wisely decides against rehashing the movie in this pilot. Instead, he uses the movie as a prologue. This makes this episode's slant more interesting. "Buffy" frequently uses supernatural elements as analogies for growing up. Buffy wanting to leave her slayer identity behind is very similar to how people hope for that fresh start when they relocate. However, the true second chance is rare, and when you're destined to be the one person to protect the world from evil, you can't escape that.

    Buffy is not much different than the average teenager. She wants to live a normal life and is struggling with her identity. This is essentially her problem throughout the series. While Giles hopes to teach and train her about hunting and killing demons, even he doesn't know some of the facts about slayerdom that we discover later in the series. This could apply to any teenager trying to figure out who they are, and even the parents and guides unable to help fully because they too don't know.

    One of the major things that inspired Whedon to create "Buffy" is the old archetype of the blonde in a horror film. Usually the life span of that teenage girl is around four to five minutes (if they're that lucky). Not only is Buffy defying that cliché, but Darla does as well in the prologue. We've seen the scared girl go with the bad boy to some make out place only to be killed countless times before, which makes the twist that Darla is the evil one a refreshing change. So the blonde could be both a menace and a hero.

    It is no surprise that Xander has an instant crush on Buffy. That outfit would make a lot of guys get into accidents. Thankfully, they scrapped the skateboard part of his character because it doesn't feel right for him. If they tried it as him trying something new to appear cool, then it would've made some sense.

    Jesse feels like a clone of Xander, only a bit more awkward and pathetic. He keeps coming on to Cordelia, who keeps on rejecting him. He has that teenage thing refuses to listen to reason, which could definitely be set off by someone as hot as Cordelia. At one point, he suggests he nibble on his shoulder, perhaps a little foreshadowing for later in the episode.

    Cordelia is what Buffy was before she was called upon for slayer duty. She's beautiful, vain and a little too much in love with herself. It does make sense that Buffy would initially draw to her, but while Cordelia teases Willow for her poor fashion sense, Buffy sees that isn't who she is anymore. Since the show is about outcasts, it makes sense to have a character represent what is alienating the heroes. However, there are hints of a change in Cordelia's character, which fits her arc.

    Along with Cordelia, Willow has experienced the most dramatic transformation in her character arc. While they didn't want a supermodel in glasses playing the nerdy best friend, Alyson Hannigan is another beautiful woman in the cast. However, they don't overcompensate with the geekiness. It's more in Hannigan's performance; she is very effective at playing this type of very self conscious, shy character.

    Giles rounds out the core group of four. As an Englishman, he could've been written as a stuffy stereotype or some absurd Monty Python wannabe. However, he's a lot more complex than that. Yes, he's knowledgeable, but he lacks social skills and awareness, like slamming the Vampyr book on an unassuming Buffy or going to the Bronze still wearing a suit and tie. There is also the male teacher/nubile teenage girl dynamic, which could be taken the wrong way. Luckily, they settled this to make Giles a father figure, but it isn't fully functional in this pilot.

    Angel, in his brief appearance, is a bit ambiguous. The clothes definitely set the stage for his brooding character. He could be spouting his own poetry at a coffeehouse's open mic night. For some reason, explained later, he has some interest in helping Buffy take care of the vampires, alluding to The Harvest, presumably a mass murder of humans by vampires.

    While those unfamiliar with the movie may be confused with some of the blanks left unfilled, there is a decent amount of background information given. Vampire mythology can vary, so it's important for Whedon to establish what his vampires do, how they kill, are killed, feed and are born. Although there isn't anything significantly different, such ground rules help the pilot.

    Also nicely covered is the history of demons and humans on earth. The Master is trapped below earth by some force field. Presumably, other demons are trapped in similar situations and The Harvest will free The Master and maybe "The Old Ones" Luke refers to. The concept of "The Old Ones" lasts through Angel's final season. Now that's some good foreshadowing!

    Although most of the subsequent big bads would be some type of demon or evil being, it makes sense to have the big bad early on be a vampire because of the title of the series. The Master's appearance draws some comparisons to Murnau's Nosferatu. Early on, they wanted to have vampires appear more demonic as they aged. Considering every other vampire looks the same when they vamp out, this concept was one that was quickly scrapped (with one exception early in season three). The Master serves as a type of transitional device, to lure in fans of old vampire stories while the leather jacket could be an update of the look.

    Considering that WB was going for a young demographic, there are a lot of things meant to appeal to younger viewers. For example, The Bronze would be the setting for numerous musical acts in the future. It feels a bit forced in this episode, but as the series progressed, they had better success integrating it. The difference between old school and new school horror is established in the opening title sequence. The organ intro drowned by a shredding guitar, while symbolically saying that Buffy isn't going to be the blonde in peril in need of rescue, also says that this is going to be different than standard vampire/slasher stories.

    Obviously, with that eye-catching title (that unfortunately turned off some people from watching it, including me initially), this wasn't going to be a show to take itself too seriously. It was also a merging of several genres. In that title, we have sci-fi/fantasy, action, comedy and drama. Merging genres also helped a show with a less humorous title, The X-Files, who along with Buffy became touchstones for the new generation of sci-fi fantasy.

    Having Sunnydale positioned right over a Hellmouth is a decent narrative device, even if it is an easy way out of explaining demonic activity. I'm sure everyone has felt that high school is hell at some point (and if you haven't you're a liar). For an analogy, it works perfectly. Although how did they manage to have the Summers move right in the Hellmouth's backyard is anyone's guess.

    Joyce's role, as unaware parent, isn't played as a typical dumb adult in many teen oriented shows. While that may be relatable to young people, Joss does a different angle and it still works. Buffy can't tell her mom her secret, so that works with the "parents don't understand" theme every teenager has felt at some point.

    One thing worth noting is how far the "dusting" technology came during the seven years from this episode to Angel's finale. In the early episodes like this one, a staked vamp explodes into dust. Over Buffy and Angel's run the disintegration became much more sophisticated. While it may not be the best for continuity, it's interesting to see in perspective.

    Also, the film quality is significantly lower than around season three forward. According to Whedon's commentary, they filmed on 16-millimeter stock, which is cheaper than 35 mm (I'll try not to bog this review down with a lot of techno babble). However, this does leave the picture a bit grainy. The lighting in this episode is much darker than later seasons (that could just be the film stock), which makes some of the scenes a bit hard to see.

    The dialogue is also very different, but it needs some fine tuning. The pop culture references didn't always blend in with the rest of the lines, but that becomes much easier as the writers discover what they want this show to be. Although it wasn't Whedon's true intention, I enjoyed seeing Aphrodesia and Aura's superficial conversation filled with buzzwords and slang abruptly stop when the guy fell out of the locker.

    While hardly amongst the Buffy classics, this is an effective opener. Our first taste of Whedon created TV shows potential, but it will take some time before they get to where Buffy is considered a classic.
  • This starting line for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    This is how the show started, this is what kicked it off, its the classic that made the show what it is today. So maybe the effects weren\'t up to scratch or the acting a little low, but that doesn\'t matter when its opening up a hole new world.

    'Welcome to the Hellmouth' is and will always be remembered for getting Buffy the Vampire Slayer started. A world of demons, heroes, magic and everyday life.

    This was not the first ever episode I watched of Buffy, and when I did I wasn\'t as exited as some of the others I watched, but I\'m glad I did in the end.
  • still one of my favorites

    these episodes were two of the best, they really helped me get hooked on the series. i do not see why everyone was scared the show would not get picked up. to see how much all the characters changed over the life of the series is probably the best thing about this show.
  • AMAZING! Highly original

    I gave this season premiere a high score because I thought that it was highly original. I mean its not every day you see a woman super hero fighting vampires and other forces of darkness. I love this show I was addicted from the very moment I started watching it and I have been addicted ever since. I love the use of dialog it is really cute and exstremly hilarious. I think this show has high hopes I mean it has great actors and actresses. I think Joss Whedon is a great writer and I hope that he rights other amazing shows like this one. A new girl moves to Sunnydale California turns out she is one of a kind. She is a slayer, a girl who slays vampires and demons and other forces of darkness. She meets three great new friends who stay with her till the show series ends.
1 2 3 4 5
No results found.
No results found.
No results found.