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Encyclopedia > Welcome to the Hellmouth
"Welcome to the Hellmouth"
An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Episode № Season 1,
Episode 1
Guest star(s) Mark Metcalf
   (The Master)
David Boreanaz
   (Angel)
Ken Lerner
   (Principal Flutie)
Kristine Sutherland
   (Joyce Summers)
Julie Benz
   (Darla)
Writer(s) Joss Whedon
Director Charles Martin Smith
Production № 4V01
US airdate March 10, 1997
Episode chronology
none (series premier) Welcome to the Hellmouth The Harvest

Welcome to the Hellmouth ("Welcome" for short) is the very first episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. See also List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. An episode is to television and radio what a chapter is to a book: a part of a sequence of a body of work. ... Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is a U.S. television series based on the original script for the 1992 movie of the same name. ... Mark Metcalf (b. ... David Boreanaz as Angel. ... Ken Lerner is an American actor who, among other roles, played Principal Flutie in the first episodes of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Kristine Sutherland is an actress best known for her role as Joyce Summers on the television show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. ... Julie Benz (born May 1, 1972 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a American actress. ... Joseph Joss Whedon (b. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Charles Martin Smith (born October 30, 1953 in Van Nuys, California) is an American film actor and director. ... March 10 is the 69th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (70th in Leap years). ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Harvest is the continuation of the first episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is a U.S. television series based on the original script for the 1992 movie of the same name. ... The following is a list of episodes for the television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...

Contents


Plot synopsis

Episode 1 of season 1, "Welcome", starts with Buffy's troubled dreams before her first day of school in Sunnydale, the town in California where she and her single mother have moved to from Los Angeles. Though Principal Flutie at first tells Buffy she will start with a clean slate and actually rips up her record, he immediately tapes the pieces together again after reading that Buffy burned down the gym of her previous school. The Whedonverse is a name for the fictional universe which includes most of the collected works of Joss Whedon, including: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer Angel: the Series Fray Tales of the Vampires and other comics The Whedonverse is also known as the Buffyverse or the Slayerverse. ... Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is a U.S. television series based on the original script for the 1992 movie of the same name. ... Angel was the highly successful spin-off from the American television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... The cover Fray #1 Fray is an eight-issue comic book miniseries about Meleka Fray, a Slayer in the future, written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and drawn by Karl Moline (pencils) and Andy Owens (inks). ... Buffy The Vampire Slayer Buffy Anne Summers is the title character in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the television show of the same name (though it should be noted that, being different interpretations of an original concept, these are actually two seperate entities, as explained below). ... Sunnydale, California is the fictional suburban setting for the popular television drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... State nickname: The Golden State Other U.S. States Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) Barbara Boxer (D) Official languages English Area 410,000 km² (3rd)  - Land 404,298 km²  - Water 20,047 km² (4. ... The City of Los Angeles (from Spanish Los Ángeles , meaning the angels), also known as L.A., is the second-largest city in the United States in terms of population, as well as one of the worlds most important economic, cultural, and entertainment centers. ... Principal Robert (Bob) Flutie is a fictional character in the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Ken Lerner. ...


In the school hall, Buffy and Xander collide, spilling the contents of her handbag over the floor. Buffy picks up everything except a stake, which Xander pockets. During history lesson, Buffy meets Cordelia, who not only directs her to the library but tests her "coolness factor". Cordelia also introduces Buffy to Willow when she humiliates her at the drinking fountain. In the library, the school's new British librarian Giles recognizes Buffy and immediately puts a book on vampires in front of her. She insists that is not what she was looking for at all and runs from the library. Alexander (Xander) LaVelle Harris is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Cordelia Chase Cordelia Chase is a fictional character in the television shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. ... Willow Rosenberg is a fictional character in the popular television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Alyson Hannigan. ... Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles Rupert Giles is a character from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series played by actor Anthony Stewart Head. ...


Buffy, Willow, Jesse and Xander meet during a break, and Xander returns the stake, which Buffy claims is standard in Los Angeles for self-defence. Cordelia joins the group and tells them about a dead boy who was found in the locker. Buffy immediately asks about any marks on the body, freaking out Cordelia. Forcing her way into the locker room to examine the body, Buffy finds the characteristic puncture wounds of a vampire on the neck.


Buffy returns to the library and confronts Giles, who informs her that he is her Watcher. However, Buffy refuses her calling as a Slayer, saying that she is not going to do the job because she doesn't want to get kicked out of school again and become a social pariah. They continue the discussion in the hall, where he warns her that there will be a "mystical upheaval" soon. After they have left the library, Xander emerges from behind the shelves, having overheard the whole exchange but unable to make heads or tails of it. In the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a Watcher is a member of a secret organisation (the Watchers Council) devoted to tracking and combatting malevolent supernatural entities (and particularly vampires), primarily by locating and training individuals with the talents required to fight such beings and win. ...


That night, en route to her first visit to the Bronze, Buffy meets a mysterious, good-looking stranger — Angel — who claims he is there to help, tells her that she is living on a mouth of hell that is about to open and that "The Harvest" is coming. He also gives her a large silver cross. The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is an ethereal creature (meaning it is of the air), found in many mythologies, whose duties are to assist and serve God or the gods of many religious traditions. ... Medieval illustration of the Mouth of Hell Hell is, according to many religious beliefs, a place or a state of painful suffering. ...


In the Bronze, Buffy first meets Willow and then later Giles. Buffy tells him about Angel. During their discussion, Giles tells her she should be able to sense vampires anywhere, at any time. In fact, Buffy does notice a vampire who leaves the Bronze with Willow. She follows them, but is intercepted by Cordelia, whom she nearly stakes. Cordelia immediately calls her friends to tell them what a freak Buffy is. While Buffy is looking for Willow, Jesse chats up Darla at the Bronze. Buffy is stopped by Xander, who tells her he knows she is the Slayer, and joins her in her search for Willow. Darla Darla is a fictional character in the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, played by Julie Benz. ...


Meanwhile, under the streets of Sunnydale, The Master is being woken by lesser vampires from a long sleep in time for The Harvest that will give him the power to escape from a long confinement to rule the world. Mark Metcalf as The Master The Master is a fictional character in the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Mark Metcalf. ...


Willow's new acquaintance takes her to a crypt in the Sunnydale cemetery, where they are joined by Darla and Jesse, whom she has already bitten. Just when Willow is about to be next, Buffy and Xander arrive. Buffy kills Willow's vampire, but while she is fighting Darla, the powerful vampire Luke appears. Xander, Willow, and Jesse flee, but are stopped by a group of vampires in the grave yard. Luke overpowers Buffy and throws her in a stone casket.


The last shot of the episode shows Luke bending over the trapped Buffy, about to rip her throat out.


Arc significance

As the first episode, "Welcome" introduces us to the main characters (Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander) the setting (Sunnydale) and the background story (vampires, the role of the Slayer). Almost as important, it makes clear that the series will have little in common with the earlier movie of the same name. Buffy's dislike of her calling and the burdens it places on the rest of her life — a theme of the series that is only resolved in the last episode — are established, and the core Scooby Gang is formed. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 comedy movie about a valley girl cheerleader who discovers she is The Slayer -- a young woman born with special strength and skill and a destiny to fight vampires. ...


(Other aspects of "Welcome" are discussed in the entry for the second part, "The Harvest"). The Harvest is the continuation of the first episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...


Writing and acting

It has been remarked that Joss Whedon and his crew hit the ground running with Buffy, and the first episode supports this. Though the actors have obviously not settled into their roles, the writing itself is funny and manages to include the necessary background without putting the plot on hold. Just how good the writing is can be judged by the fact that even after the complete series is over, "Welcome", for all of its rough edges, is not painful to watch. In this respect, it compares favorably, for example, with "Encounter at Farpoint" from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Joseph Joss Whedon (b. ... Encounter at Farpoint was the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ...


Xander with his skate board and problems talking to girls, Willow the math nerd in clothes that were picked out by her mother, and Giles the bespectacled librarian in tweed are all deeply stereotyped at this point. This makes it easier for the viewer to grasp the story's structure and is arguably a necessary simplification because the main concept of a female teenage superhero — the Slayer — was considered radical at the time. Superman (left) and Batman, two of the most recognizable and influential superheroes. ...


Treating Jesse as a major character in the beginning but turning him into a vampire sets the tone of the whole series, which will never be afraid to kill or transform anybody except the core four Scoobies (though technically Buffy does die twice). The original Scooby Gang consists of four teenage sleuths named Fred, Daphne, Velma & Shaggy, who assisted the dog Scooby-Doo in the cartoon TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and its subsequent TV and movie sequels. ...


Buffy's ability to sense vampires fails her with Angel. Though this is never explained, one possible reason is his soul. Having his true nature revealed at this point would also ruin the mystery that will surround him for the next episodes.


In this and the next episode, Xander and especially Willow take the fact that the world is full of vampires and other monsters and a girl their age has superpowers with remarkably little comment. The question they most noticeably do not ask is where Buffy's power comes from and what its limits are, subjects that are not fully explored until the last season.


Quotes and trivia

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer#Welcome to the Hellmouth

"And what kind of name is Buffy?" — A student expressing everybody's thoughts at the beginning of the series Image File history File links i would like to see some quotations by or about goebbels. ...


"Hey, Aphrodisia!" — Another girl minutes later to the same student


"Look at that jacket. He has got the sleeves rolled up." — Buffy using her fashion sense to identify vampires


"Now, we can do this the hard way, or, well, actually, there's just the hard way" — Buffy explaining how the Slayer fights to Darla


As a response to Buffy's sarcastic question to Giles if he got the free phone with the Time-Life series on monsters, he responds "The calendar", possibly hinting at the teacher Ms. Calendar, who will later be his date.


Speaking to a vampire gaining on her. " Live in the now ok? you look like Debarge."


Cast and crew

Julie Benz (born May 1, 1972 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a American actress. ... Darla Darla is a fictional character in the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, played by Julie Benz. ... David Boreanaz as Angel. ... David Boreanaz as Angel Angel is a fictional character on the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel played by David Boreanaz. ... Nicholas Brendon (born April 12, 1971 as Nicholas Brendon Schultz), is an actor best known for playing the character Xander Harris in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Alexander (Xander) LaVelle Harris is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Sarah Michelle Gellar in 2004 Sarah Michelle Gellar (born April 14, 1977) is an American actress, best known for her role in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Buffy The Vampire Slayer Buffy Anne Summers is the title character in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the television show of the same name (though it should be noted that, being different interpretations of an original concept, these are actually two seperate entities, as explained below). ... Alyson Hannigan (born Allison Lee Hannigan March 24, 1974) is an American actress best known for playing Willow Rosenberg in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Willow Rosenberg is a fictional character in the popular television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Alyson Hannigan. ... Ken Lerner is an American actor who, among other roles, played Principal Flutie in the first episodes of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... Principal Robert (Bob) Flutie is a fictional character in the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Ken Lerner. ... Anthony Stewart Head (born February 20, 1954) is a British actor in theatre, television and films but most widely known for his role in the American television drama series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the role of Frank N Furter in the London revival of The Rocky Horror Show, and a... Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles Rupert Giles is a character from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series played by actor Anthony Stewart Head. ... Kristine Sutherland is an actress best known for her role as Joyce Summers on the television show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. ... Joyce Summers is a fictional character in the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Kristine Sutherland. ... Joseph Joss Whedon (b. ... Charles Martin Smith (born October 30, 1953 in Van Nuys, California) is an American film actor and director. ...

Other languages

German title: "Das Zentrum des Bösen" ("The Center of Evil")


External links

  • BBC episode guide to Welcome
  • Wikiquote

  Results from FactBites:
 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth | Plot | MTV Movies (719 words)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth
Originally aired on March 10, 1996, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" is part one of the show's two-part pilot episode.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth (1) - TV.com (1152 words)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth (1) - TV.com
But Sunnydale is on top of a Hellmouth - a center of mystical convergence that draws evil and demonic forces - and Buffy soon realizes that she will have to pick up her stakes and holy water in order to save her new friends.
All Welcome to the Hellmouth (1) Allusions »
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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