Sarah Michelle Gellar says 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' was a 'privilege'

Buffy found an equal yet opposite in the form of bad-girl slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku), who found redemption later on - just like "Angel" (1999-2004), the titular spin-off with Boreanaz's brooding vampire heartthrob residing in the city that is flawless for him: Los Angeles, a city of lost souls that are in need of saving ... even for a vampire with a soul who helps the helpless and hopeless as a private investigator/dark knight-for-hire. Xander became a real soldier, Buffy's an 18th century noble woman incapable of fighting, and Willow becomes an actual ghost forced to step up and use her newfound ability to walk through walls to help save the day.

As even the trailer makes clear, this Buffy took a very different, and far campier tone than the slick teen horror of the later TV show.

All of this is of course is down to the show's creator Joss Whedon, who has made no secret of the success he wanted the show to be: "I always intended for this to be a cultural phenomenon". The next thing I noticed was how much Buffy's mom looked like my mom.

In this highly memorable episode, our hero faced two contrasting adversaries - a soul-incinerating blue demon and Buffy's psychotically altered boyfriend Angel. "So many people at the time sent us letters saying, 'I'm only getting through high school because of Buffy, ' " says Buffy writer and producer Jane Espenson. The so-called "Whedonverse" started with Buffy, expanded to Sunnydale spin-off Angel and the short-lived space western Firefly, before finally graduating to film in the form of the Avengers movies. I soon learned that Buffy was crying because her mother, Joyce (Kristine Sutherland), had a brain tumor. As the demon world begins to slowly invade Earth, Buffy's newly appointed sister Dawn Summer's blood is what can stop the process. Buffy finds herself in the desert, confronting the First Slayer (Sharon Ferguson) with her friend Tara (Amber Benson) acting as an intermediary.

Even now, 18 years after my mom's death, I can make it feel like it was yesterday by watching those episodes-that's how powerful they are.

This whole episode deserves it's own article, Okay Buffy couldn't sing.

And yet despite how familiar certain aspects of the show have now become, Buffy still stands above them - after all, part of the reason why it was so influential was because of just how good it is. Perhaps most significantly, Buffy opened up "cult" television and made it universal - Buffy was for everyone. Ever. On a show that barely won a primetime Emmy, this achievement is quite unexpected but equally remarkable.

Buffy delivered some exceptional Halloween episodes during its run, but none more iconic than its first one, where everyone turned into their enchanted costumes. I immediately connected to dish-washing Buffy.

  • Joanne Flowers