|'Welcome to the Hellmouth'
Story Code '4V01'
by Joss Whedon
Having just moved to Sunnydale with her mother, an anxious Buffy Summers begins her first day attending Sunnydale High. Here she makes friends with computer geek Willow Rosenberg, and her best friend, Xander Harris; Willow has had a crush on Xander for years, but sadly he remains oblivious to her affections. However, Buffy’s befriending of Willow and Xander inadvertently causes her to make an enemy of Cordelia Chase, the school's head cheerleader and social queen, who believes the two of them to be the lowest of the low. While visiting the library Buffy encounters the school librarian, Rupert Giles, an English gentleman who is also her new Watcher following the death of Buffy’s previous master after previous events back in Los Angeles. When a corpse is discovered hidden in a locker, Buffy realises that a vampire was responsible for the murder; but when she tries to avoid her responsibilities as the Slayer she comes into conflict with Giles, who tells her that it is her destiny to stop evil by any means necessary, despite the fact that she was expelled from Hemry High in L.A. when she burned down the gymnasium in order to kill the vampires that were in it at the time; however, unknown to both of them, an astonished Xander has overheard their conversation… Later, while on her way to ‘The Bronze’, the only nightclub in Sunnydale, Buffy encounters a mysterious enigmatic stranger who warns her that she is “living at the mouth of Hell”; he gives her a silver crucifix, informing her that something called “the Harvest” is coming. At the cemetery, Willow is attacked by a female vampire named Darla, who brings her and Xander's friend Jesse as an offering to the Master, one of the oldest vampires alive; this ancient and evil creature has been trapped under Sunnydale for hundreds of years inside a dimensional portal, and when freed, plans to wreak havoc on the world. Buffy and Xander attempt a rescue and manage to overcome Darla; but then Luke, one of the Master’s henchmen, arrives and overpowers Buffy, leaving her and her friends at the mercy of the undead creatures...
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Mark Metcalf (the Master), David Boreanaz (Angel), Ken Lerner (Principal Flutie), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Julie Benz (Darla), Brian Thompson (Luke), Eric Balfour (Jesse), J. Patrick Lawlor (Thomas ), Natalie Strauss (Teacher in ), Carmine D. Giovinazzo (Boy), Amy Chance (Aphrodesia in "Welcome to the Hellmouth"), Tupelo Jereme (Girl #2), Persia White (Girl), Mercedes McNab (Harmony in "The Harvest"), Teddy Lane, Jr. (Bouncer in "The Harvest"), Jeffrey Steven Smith (Guy in computer class in "The Harvest"), Deborah Brown (Girl in "The Harvest")
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
TX (US): 10th March 1997
TX (UK - Sky One): 3rd January 1998
TX (UK - BBC 2): 30th December 1998
*Introducing Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Cordelia and Angel
*This episode also features the first appearence of Darla, and the Master
*Parts one and two ('Welcome To The Hellmouth' and 'The Harvest') were joined together to make a feature length episode for some showings