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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth (1)

Vampire Slayer Buffy Summers hopes to start anew in the small town of Sunnydale. However, she soon finds that she can't outrun fate, as not only is her new home a fountain of supernatural activity, but her arrival coincides with the arising of a great evil. Now Buffy must embrace her responsibilities to help her new friends.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 4V01
Airdate: Monday March 10th, 1997
Network: WB


Guest Stars
Mark MetcalfMark Metcalf
As The Master
Brian ThompsonBrian Thompson
As Luke
David BoreanazDavid Boreanaz
As Angel
Ken LernerKen Lerner
As Principal Flutie
Kristine SutherlandKristine Sutherland
As Joyce Summers
Julie BenzJulie Benz
As Darla
Eric BalfourEric Balfour
As Jesse

Co-Guest Stars
Amy ChanceAmy Chance
As Girl #1
Persia WhitePersia White
As Girl #3
Natalie StraussNatalie Strauss
As Teacher
Carmine GiovinazzoCarmine Giovinazzo
As Boy (credited as Carmine D. Giovinazzo)
Tupelo JeremeTupelo Jereme
As Girl #2

Sprung MonkeySprung Monkey
As Themselves
Main Cast
Sarah Michelle GellarSarah Michelle Gellar
As Buffy Anne Summers
Nicholas BrendonNicholas Brendon
As Alexander "Xander" Harris
Alyson HanniganAlyson Hannigan
As Willow Rosenberg
Anthony Stewart HeadAnthony Stewart Head
As Rupert Giles
Charisma CarpenterCharisma Carpenter
As Cordelia Chase
Episode Notes
"Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest " originally aired as a 2 hour series premiere event on The WB in March of 1997.

The WB originally opted not to pick up Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the Fall 1996 TV season. They then changed their minds and aired it as a mid-season replacement in March of 1997.

This episode ranked 2nd out of 12 WB shows for the week.

Brian Thompson would return in the future, but to play an entirely different character.

This episode scored a 3.4 in the fast nationals.

Creator Joss Whedon stated on the DVD commentary that he had hoped to include actor Eric Balfour in the title credits to shock viewers when Jesse dies. Unfortunately, the show could not afford the extra set of title credits at the time. However, Whedon granted his own wish with Doyle in the spin-off series Angel, and Tara Maclay in season six's "Seeing Red".

Certain scenes, such as the argument between Giles and Buffy in the library, and Buffy's first meeting with Angel, were re-shot eight months after the first episode was recorded. Whedon says in the episode commentary that he decided to make Buffy less angry and more vulnerable.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
MindtribeLosing Ground 
Sprung MonkeySaturated 
Sprung MonkeyBelieve 
Sprung MonkeySwirl 
Sprung MonkeyThings Are Changing 
Sprung MonkeyRight My Wrong 

Episode Quotes
Xander: I kind of had a problem with the math.
Willow: Which part?
Xander: The math.

Principal Flutie: You burned down the gym.
Buffy: I did. I really did, but... but you're not seeing the big picture here. I mean, that gym was full of vampi... asbestos.

Xander: Well, uh, maybe I'll see you around. Maybe at school... since we... both... go there.
Buffy: Great! It was nice to meet you.
(Buffy leaves)
Xander: We both go to school. Very suave. Very not pathetic.

Cordelia: Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears.
Willow: Uh, oh, well, my mom picked it out.
Cordelia: No wonder you're such a guy magnet.

Cordelia: It's in the bad part of town.
Buffy: Where's that?
Cordelia: About half a block from the good part of town. We don't have a whole lot of town here.

Girl #1: The new kid? She seems kind of weird to me. What kind of name is Buffy?
Girl #2: Hey, Aphrodisia!
Girl #1: Oh, hey!

Buffy: Hi! Willow, right?
Willow: Why? 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.

Willow: Buffy, this is Jesse and that's Xander.
Xander: Oh, me and Buffy go way back, old friends, very close. Then there's that period of estrangement where I think we were both growing as people, but now here we are, like old times, I'm quite moved.
Jesse: Is it me, or are you turning into a bibbling idiot?
Xander: No, it's, uh, it's not you.

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.

Buffy: Oh, why can't you people just leave me alone?
Giles: Because you are the Slayer. Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the...
Both: ...strength and skill to hunt the vampires...
Buffy: ...to stop the spread of their evil blah, blah, blah. I've heard it, okay?

Buffy: First of all, I'm a Vampire Slayer. And secondly, I'm retired. Hey, I know! Why don't you kill them?
Giles: I'm a Watcher; I - I haven't the skill.
Buffy: Oh, come on. Stake through the heart, a little sunlight. It's like falling off a log.
Giles: A - A Slayer slays, a Watcher...
Buffy: Watches?
Giles: Yes. No! He - he trains her, he - he - he prepares her...
Buffy: Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Go ahead! Prepare me.

Giles: Something's coming, something, something... something is - is going to happen here. Soon!
Buffy: Gee, can you vague that up for me?

Joyce: Are you going out tonight?
Buffy: Yeah, I'm going to a club.
Joyce: Oh. Will there be boys there?
Buffy: No, Mom. It's a nun club.

Angel: Let's just say... I'm a friend.
Buffy: Yeah, well, maybe I don't want a friend.
Angel: I didn't say I was yours.

Willow: I thought Xander was gonna show up.
Buffy: Oh, are you guys going out?
Willow: No, we're just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up.
Buffy: How come?
Willow: He stole my Barbie. (Buffy gives her a strange look) Oh, we were five.

Willow: I don't actually date a whole lot... lately.
Buffy: Why not?
Willow: 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 can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away.
Buffy: It's not that bad.
Willow: No, it is. I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk.
Buffy: You really haven't been dating lately.

Buffy: The Harvest is coming. I know. Your friend told me.
Giles: What did you say?
Buffy: The Harvest. That mean something to you? Because I'm drawing a blank.
Giles: I'm not sure. Who - who told you this?
Buffy: This... guy. Dark, gorgeous in an annoying sort of way. Well, I figured you two were buds.
Giles: No. The Harvest. Did he say anything else?
Buffy: Something about the Mouth of Hell. I really didn't like him!

Giles: Will you be ready? There’s so much you don’t know about them, about your own powers. A vampire appears to be completely normal, until the feed is upon them. Only then do they reveal their true demonic visage.
Buffy: You’re like a textbook with arms. I know this.

Buffy: Now, we can do this the hard way, or... Well, actually, there's just the hard way.
Darla: That's fine with me.
Buffy: Are you sure? Now, this is not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content...

Episode Goofs
In the scene where Buffy goes to rescue Willow from the vampire at the Bronze, she breaks off a small stool leg to use as a weapon. However, in the next shot she is seen holding a regular wooden stake.

When Angel first meets Buffy, he tells her "I thought you'd be taller", which would imply that this is his first time seeing her. However, in the Season 2 episode, "Becoming (1)" we see a flashback of Angel watching Buffy from afar, meaning that he has seen her before.

Cultural References
Cordelia: Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears.

Cordelia is referring to Willow's lack of style in claiming she bought the outfit at Sears, a retailer which is not known for its great fashion sense. "Come see the softer side of Sears" was the company's catchy slogan at the time.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJoss Whedon
Executive ProducerSandy Gallin  |  Gail Berman  |  Fran Rubel Kuzui  |  Kaz Kuzui  |  Joss Whedon
Co-Executive ProducerDavid Greenwalt
ProducerGareth Davies
Co-ProducerJoseph M. Ellis  |  David Solomon
Production DesignerSteve Hardie
EditorGeoffrey Rowland
CastingMarcia Shulman
Unit Production ManagerJoseph M. Ellis
First Assistant DirectorDavid D'Ovidio
Second Assistant DirectorMark Hansson
Music EditorCelia Weiner
Costume DesignerSusanna Puisto
HairstylistJeri Baker Sadler
Key GripTom Keefer
Camera OperatorRuss McElhatton
Set DecoratorDavid A. Koneff
Location ManagerJordana Kronen
Transportation CoordinatorRobert Ellis (2)
Property MasterKen Wilson (2)
Construction CoordinatorDaniel Turk
Production Sound MixerDavid Kirschner (2)
Script SupervisorLesley King
Production CoordinatorSusan R. Ellis
Assistant EditorSkip MacDonald
Supervising Sound EditorIngeborg Larson
Re-Recording MixerKevin Burns (1)  |  Todd Orr  |  Jon Taylor (2)
LeadmanGustav Gustafson
Director of PhotographyMichael Gershman
Story EditorJoe Reinkemeyer  |  Rob des Hotel  |  Matt Kiene  |  Dean Batali
Stunt CoordinatorJeff Smolek
Art DirectorCarey Meyer
Assistant Production CoordinatorClaudia Alves
Post Production CoordinatorJahmani Perry
Costume SupervisorRita Salazar
Visual Effects SupervisorGlen Campbell (3)
Main Title DesignMontgomery/cobb
Chief Lighting TechnicianLarry Kaster
ScoreWalter Murphy
AssistantR.D. Price  |  Marc D. Alpert  |  George Snyder
Visual EffectsArea 51
Makeup ArtistTodd McIntosh
Special Effects Make-upOptic Nerve Studios  |  John Vulich
Theme ByNerf Herder
Production AuditorEdwin L. Perez
Supervising AnimatorScott Wheeler (2)
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