Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 1

Welcome to the Hellmouth (10 Mar. 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,767 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

Buffy Summers, a high school sophomore, faces her destiny as a slayer of the undead.

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, (uncredited)

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Title: Welcome to the Hellmouth (10 Mar 1997)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Thomas
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Teacher
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Boy (as Carmine D. Giovinazzo)
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Storyline

Buffy Summers just moved with her mom from L.A. (where she set fire to the school gym) to Sunnydale, which is alas experiencing a plague of vampirism. She meets nerd Willow Rosenberg, soft-cool skateboarder Xander Harris and his mate Jesse McNally, fashionable snooty Cordelia Chase and the somewhat creepy new, British librarian Rupert Giles. When a corpse with bite-marks is found in a locker, she realizes but refuses to acknowledge that her vampire-killing past is catching up with her and keeps Giles, her watcher (trainer), at arms-length, but is stalked by Angel who refers to the hell-mouth. Finally her destiny kicks in... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 March 1997 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first, and only, episode in which Xander rides a skateboard. He is seen holding it in other episodes, but he never actually rides it again. See more »

Goofs

In the first classroom scene when Buffy doesn't have her own textbook, she shares Cordelia's. The teacher asks them open to page 63, but Cordelia opens the book almost at the beginning. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Darla: Are you sure this is a good idea?
Darla's Victim: It's a great idea. Now come on.
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Connections

References The Wild Bunch (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe
(uncredited)
Performed by Sprung Monkey
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User Reviews

A Slayer is Born...
9 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Plot (From DVD Case): Buffy Summers, a high school sophomore, transfers to Sunnydale High. There she meets her new "Wather" and learns that she cannot escape her true destiny.

Review: In the summer of 1992, a film called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was released into theaters. Starring Kristi Swanson and Donald Sutherland, the campy horror spoof soon became one of the biggest bombs of the year, and landed itself among a seat in the crowd of bad movies. For five years, the idea of "Buffy" was a joke, until Joss Whedon, the original writer of the film, was called out of hiding to write for a television spin-off. The spin-off would take Whedon's original idea for "Buffy", which was a dark comedy, and turn it into a television show geared for teens. While the show hit its first season as a mid-season replacement, it was barely able to get its ratings up enough. Luckily "Buffy" barely survived her first season, and over the course of seven seasons "Buffy" became possibly the most recognized character in modern television, not to mention the most successful cult television series in recent memory.

The show starts off a little bumpy at first, not as bad as some premier episodes but not wonderful either. The episode is titled 'Welcome to the Hellmouth', and in it the four main characters of the series are introduced. First we meet Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who has just moved to a town of Sunnydale with her mother (Kristine Sutherland) after she was kicked out of her old high school. Upon arrival at Sunnydale High School, Buffy is greeted by the snobby, stuck up popular girl Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), who shows her how to insult fellow classmates while still being in the inn-crowd of Sunnydale. While Buffy recognizes that she was once like Cordelia, she no longer feels fit around her, and instead begins to drift towards the school outcasts; Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Jesse (Eric Balfour). While Buffy tries to fit into her new surroundings, she can't help but carry a dark secret on her shoulders- she is the Slayer, one girl in all the world who is chosen to fight vampires, monsters, and the forces of darkness. Her heroic deeds of the Slayer are what got her kicked out of her old school, and she doesn't plan to escape them. But when the school's new librarian, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), recognizes Buffy as the Slayer and names himself her 'Watcher', Buffy immediately realizes that she cannot escape destiny.

The acting in this episode is mediocre. Sarah Michelle Gellar captures Buffy's comical and witty side but forgets about the drama the character faces while being the slayer and a high school student. Nicholas Brendan doesn't seem fitted to his unlikable character Xander, who strangely transforms into one of the most beloved characters in the whole series later on. Anthony Stewart Head acts very well, but the character of Giles is written strangely in 'Hellmouth', making him seem almost creepy rather than heroic. Alyson Hannigan is the main character that really fits her role well, and there is no one else who could play Willow. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Charisma Carpenter, whose cruel Cordelia is actually likable and hateful at the same time. Julie Benz, who plays the villainous vampire Darla, steals her scenes with her sexy and cool attitude. David Boreanaz, Eric Balfour, Kristine Sutherland, Mercedes McNabb, Mark Metcalf, and Brian Thompson do wonderful jobs in their limited screen time. Boreanaz plays the mysterious Angel only for a minute or so, but he immediately lands the part. 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' is a must see episode simply because it is the first episode of the series. It is not perfect, and any premier episode is going to have its flaws.

'Hellmouth' works on some levels and doesn't on others. Giving the actors more time to work through their roles helps the later episodes, and the plot seems a little weak at points, but still interesting. But once you turn on 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' and have your first look at Sunnydale, you'll know that Buffy will slay anyone.


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