After 16-year-old Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) had gotten into a bit of trouble at every
school she has ever gone to (most recently LA) for vampire hunting (she is a
Slayer, meaning a chosen one with supernatural powers that would decide her
fate to always hunt vampires [!]), she & her mother (Kristine Sutherland)
move to quiet suburban Sunnydale to get away from all the excitement.
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Everything seems to be going fine & dandy too, & Buffy soon makes
friends with Xander (Nicholas Brendon), who immediately falls for her (quite
literally, too), his loser friend Jesse (Eric Balfour), bitchy Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) & nerdy Willow
(Alyson Hannigan), but then a dead body is fond in the gym's locker room,
sucked dry of all blood. & not only that, the school's librarian Rupert
Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) notices her special powers (as he is a Watcher,
meaning a chosen one supposed to train a Slayer) & immediately wants to
send her on a vampire hunt - though she at first declines his request.
What neither he nor she do know though is that Sunnydale was built upon the
Hellmouth, meaning in the caves below the village a whole horde of vampires led
bay the evil Master (Mark Metcalf) has taken up residence - & they want
Sunnydale for harvesting - a fact that is only hinted at to Buffy by the
mysterious Angel (David Boreanaz).
Soon though, when Willow is abducted by a vampire, Buffy goes back to
staking vampires again, & fittingly, at a cemetery, too - but to what end, as at the end of this episode she is
found in a casket, with a vampire Luke (Brian Thompson) hovering above her to
suck her dry, & her friends Willow, Xander & Jesse in mortal danger ...
For a continuation, see the next episode, The
Before this series, Joss Whedon's idea had been turned into the 1992 movie Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, a movie amazingly bad even by Hollywood-standards
(& that's really bad) & a box-office failure despite the involvement of
- besides Kirsty Swanson in the title role - the then popular Luke Perry as
well as Rutger Hauer & Donald Sutherland. It was a small wonder that
anybody was ever allowed to mention the movie-title again, let alone turn it
into a tv-series, & it's bigger a wonder that the series became a
tremendous success ... & it's not even half bad either:
The series (not the movie) manages to successfully blend the vampire-
& the slasher-formula with elements of high-school-soaps & action
flicks, & - thanks to some snappy dialogue - never takes itself too
seriously. so even this first episode, despite having to set up several
characters & the concept of the Vampire Slayer itself, is entertaining
enough to keep the audience watching.