| The subject of this article is non-canonical.|
While created as part of licensed material, it has not been confirmed as part of the "real" Buffyverse continuity.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot is a thirty-minute production never intended to air, but used by 20th Century Fox to sell the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show to a network in 1996. It was written and directed by Joss Whedon.
A tough guy breaks a window and sneaks into a high school at night, leading by the hand a timid, pretty blonde girl. He takes her to the darkened, secluded auditorium in Berryman High School. The girl seems nervous, with the guy reassuring her. They start to make out, until the girl becomes frightened and seeks aid from the guy, who assures her that they're alone. He approaches her, almost menacingly, but then she morphs into a vampire and bites his neck.
Buffy assures Flutie that there won't be any problems like at her old school and she is "Here to have fun. But I mean learning, fun with learning." Flutie tells Buffy not to worry, he thinks she will fit in just fine. Meanwhile, Xander and Willow) talk, and he asks her to help him with his homework; Willow agrees after being promised the reward of a shiny nickel. A jock asks Cordelia out to the Bronze and she declines him. Her companion, Harmony, confirms that they're still going. Cordelia asks who is playing that night and Harmony tells her it's Dingoes Ate My Baby. Cordelia surveys the group of her fellow students and mocks them one by one, until Xander interrupts. Cordelia ridicules him and leave, just as Buffy, looking through her bag and not paying attention to where she is going, bumps into Xander, causing her to drop her things. She gathers what she has dropped as Xander apologizes, and she asks him where the library is. He helps her out but when she leaves, he discovers she has forgotten the sharpened wooden stake she'd been carrying. The library is deserted and Buffy attempts to leave, but bumps into Giles. She starts to ask him for some school books she needs, but Giles cuts her short and says he has what's she is looking for, and places a large book in front of her entitled Vampyr. Disturbed, Buffy tells Giles that's not whats she's looking for and hurries out, leaving a confused Giles behind.
Buffy goes to class, but instead of paying attention, seems troubled by what had happened in the Library. The bell rings and Willow introduces herself to Buffy, offering, by request of Mr. Barns, that she help Buffy get caught up. Willow is a bit unsure of herself when talking to Buffy but Buffy accepts her offer. While walking with Willow, Buffy asks about Giles. Willow tells her that he started a couple weeks ago, but before she can get too into detail about him, Cordelia, Harmony and a Cordette appear before them. Cordelia introduces herself as the welcoming committee and maneuvers Buffy away from Willow to join Cordy and her friends. The scene then shifts to Aphrodesia and Aura talking about Buffy in the girls' locker room. As Aphrodesia rants on about how Buffy got kicked out of her old school due to some kind of delinquent behavior, the body of the boy Darla killed at the beginning falls out of her locker onto Aphrodesia, making her go into a screaming fit.
Meanwhile, Xander returns Buffy's stake and gives her a tour of the school and the cliques in it. Willow finds them and tells them about the dead boy, causing Buffy to run off and find Principal Flutie. The rattled principal apologies for such events on her first day of school and asks if there's anything he can do. Buffy asks to see the body and when she sees two holes in the neck, she heads for the library. Giles is not surprised by the news, but he is surprised that Buffy wants nothing to do with being a Slayer. She explains that being the Slayer is why she lost everything she valued. Xander overhears the conversation.
That night, Buffy meets Xander outside the Bronze and he tells her that Willow isn't there because she's at school with a new boyfriend. Buffy is suspicious and asks a lot of questions about this new boyfriend's appearance and when Xander mentions that he has a long-out-of-style "Lionel Richie" look, she runs off and Xander follows. Meanwhile, Willow is shyly hanging out with a blond guy. She tells him that she is still a little troubled about the dead guy, but he says that he got what he deserved for being alone in a secluded place with someone he barely knew. Willow is disturbed as that is the exact situation she is in, and she turns to see that the blond guy has transformed himself and is actually a vampire. He grabs her and bites her neck. Meanwhile, Buffy and Xander have arrived at the school and they follow Willow's screams.
Buffy gives Xander her purse, saying he might need it, and then she charges in and tells the blond vampire biting Willow to get away from her. Buffy looks untroubled by the prospect of defeating the vampire, but then a bunch of other vampires appear, and Buffy gets nervous. She begins her attack, telling Xander and Willow to escape. Instead, Xander throws Buffy a broom that she can use as a wooden stake, and then he rushes to help Willow. He is grabbed by the blonde woman vampire from the first scene, and she starts biting him. Willow opens Buffy's purse and finds a large cross, which she uses to burn the vampire, seemingly killing her. Buffy dispatches the vampires, but when she announces she is the Slayer, one vampire runs away, though Buffy does kill the blond vampire who had attacked Willow.
The next morning, Giles is unimpressed by Buffy's fighting and that she allowed others to find out her secret identity, but Xander and Willow defend her and Buffy is rather unperturbed. "Don't sweat it. The world's in beauty hands. Trust me," she says and she throws a stake into the heart of a Nosferatu poster nearby.
- The school is called Berryman High School. In the series, it was renamed Sunnydale High. The school's team is the Bulls, not the Razorbacks like in the series.
- Harmony mentions that Dingoes Ate My Baby are playing. The band (including guitarist Oz) would not make an appearance until the second season ("Inca Mummy Girl").
- Buffy appears as a brunette, but she is consistently blonde in the series.
- The library demonstrates the largest alteration in scenery between the unaired pilot and the show.
- Angel (Only in deleted scene)
- Mr. Barnes (Only mentioned)
- Blue (Only mentioned)
- Chris Boal
- Cordelia Chase
- Robert Flutie
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Harmony Kendall
- Jonathan Levinson
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Mr. Worth (Only mentioned)
- Unidentified Cordette
Organizations and titles
- Werewolf (Only mentioned)
- Zombie (Only mentioned)
- Ghoul (Only mentioned)
- Incubus (Only mentioned)
- Succubus (Only mentioned)
- Los Angeles (Only mentioned)
- Hemery High School (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
Behind the scenes
- The pilot is without an opening theme and simply renders the title in a different font.
- The way in which the vampires dusted differ with the canonical series in terms of effects.
- Actors Riff Regan and Stephen Tobolowsky were replaced by Alyson Hannigan and Ken Lerner in the series, in their respective roles as Willow and Flutie.
- Joss Whedon was asked by IGN in 2003 about the unaired pilot:
- IGN: Is the presentation ever going to make it to DVD?
- Whedon: Not while there is strength in these bones.
- IGN: Well, I mean, it's one of the most heavily bootlegged things on the Internet.
- Whedon: Yeah. It sucks on ass.
- IGN: Yeah, it does, but it's sort of that archival, historical perspective...
- Whedon: Yeah, I've got your historical perspective
- IGN: It would take it off the bootleg market...
- Whedon: Ah, I don't— What are you going to do?
- IGN: Put it on the DVD.
- Whedon: Not me.
- A scene with David Boreanaz was filmed for the pilot, but the scene was deleted and his name was not included in the credits. The scene is similar to the aired debut episode "Welcome to the Hellmouth":
- Angel: "Ah, heh. Is there a problem, ma'am?"
- Buffy: "Yeah, there's a problem. Why are you following me?"
- Angel: "I know what you're thinking. Don't worry, I don't bite."
- She backs off and lets him get up, but keeps her fighting stance.
- Angel: "Truth is, I thought you'd be taller, or bigger muscles and all that. You're pretty spry, though." (massages his neck)
- Buffy: "What do you want?"
- Angel: "The same thing you do."
- Buffy: (lets down her guard) "Okay. What do I want?"
- Angel: (steps toward her) "To kill them. To kill them all."
- Buffy: "Sorry, that's incorrect. But you do get this lovely watch and a year's supply of Turtle Wax. What I want is to be left alone!" (she starts a determined walk away)
- Angel: "Do you really think that's an option anymore? You're standing at the Mouth of Hell. And it's about to open."
- She stops, turns to him and looks at him with a wide-eyed gaze. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a small box.
- Angel: "Don't turn your back on this." (tosses her the box) "You've gotta be ready."
- Buffy: "What for?"
- Angel: "For the Harvest."
- Buffy: "Who are you?"
- Angel: "Let's just say… I'm a friend." (starts to leave)
- Buffy: "Yeah, well, maybe I don't want a friend."
- Angel: (turns back) "I didn't say I was yours."
Pop culture references
- When Principal Flutie confuse named Buffy several times he makes several external references, like: Bugs Bunny, the Barbie doll, the deer Bambi, and The Flintstones (Betty and Wilma).
- Cordelia makes a comment about the Sears store and the fashion of flannel cloth.
- Buffy and Willow commented about celebrities such as Laura Ashley, Home Depot Guy, and Martha Stewart. Later on the library, Buffy talk with Giles about Cindy Lou.
- When they speak of gangs and tribes, Buffy and Xander comment about the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan.
- Xander compares a vampire with singer Lionel Ritchie.
- Buffy and Giles talk about a promotion from Time-Life series.
- The staff of Cineclub is exposing a poster of the Nosferatu movie, to which Buffy later reaches with a stake.
- Clips from the pilot were included in History of the Slayer.
- Mercedes McNab appears in the unaired pilot as Harmony, and is the only cast member from it who would also appear in the series finale of Angel making her the longest serving character in the Buffyverse, introduced prior to Angel, and continuing to appear on screen after Buffy Summers.
- The background music used when Buffy is shown the Vampyr book for the first time by Giles is never used again in the series, but was used in the season premier of the fourth season of Charmed as well as several episodes of its fifth season.