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Buffy the Vampire Slayer - IMHO the best TV show ever. A fantastic basic premise - cute teenage girl come vampire-slaying super-hero - enhanced by great storylines, truly three-dimensional characters and snappy dialogue. It manages to combine tragedy, humour and comic-book violence together almost seamlessly, making you genuinely care about the characters involved, without ever taking them too seriously. The program deals with many everyday teenage and grown-up issues - school, relationships, illness, loss - against a spiralling backdrop of vampires and demons and things that go bump in the night.

The Characters

Buffy Summers

Buffy is a 16-year-old high-school student by day, but at night she battles the forces of darkness - she is the Vampire Slayer. One girl in every generation is granted the strength and skill to protect the world against vampires. Buffy is constantly struggling to balance the two aspects of her life - part of her longs to be a normal teenage girl, with everyday problems, but she has accepted a sacred duty and is determined to carry it through, despite the many sacrifices she has to make along the way. Although she describes herself as "mentally challenged", Buffy is self-assured, and has an unerring instinct for the truth, which often makes up for her more limited academic ability.

Willow Rosenberg

Shy, bookish Willow is Buffy's best friend. A self-proclaimed computer nerd, her knack for breaking into computer systems ranging from school records to the local coroner's office is an invaluable part of the Slayer's arsenal. Willow is intelligent, and although outwardly lacking in confidence, she is strong-willed, and steadfast when she knows she is right. Engagingly naive and innocent at times, Willow is fiercely loyal to her friends, and will face danger without a second thought if they are in trouble.

Xander Harris

Xander is a childhood friend of Willow's, and was the first to discover Buffy's secret identity after her arrival in Sunnydale. Sometimes seen as the odd-one-out among the Slayer's cohorts, as he has no obvious special powers or abilities, Xander's wise-cracking exterior hides a loyal and courageous heart. Although he doesn't always choose the most appropriate times for his jokes, his almost unfailing humour lightens many of their darkest moments. He cares deeply for his friends, and always comes through when they need him most.

Rupert Giles

Under the guise of the Sunnydale high-school librarian, Giles has been sent from England as a mentor for Buffy. A member of the Watcher's Council, his job is to train her and to supplement her physical abilities with his knowledge and experience. Giles is highly-educated, an authority on demonology and the occult, and well-versed in languages and ancient history. His maturity and English mannerisms provide a nice contrast to the young and trendy Slayer and her other companions, and although he is held in great affection by them all, he often forms the butt of jokes about stuffiness, and, for some reason, scones.

Cordelia Chase

Although not strictly a member of the "Scooby-Gang" until the second series, Cordelia is often caught up in their conflicts. High in the popularity stakes, cheerleader Cordy is outwardly shallow, self-centered and image-conscious, but as the series progresses she begins to show the occasional glimpse of hidden depths. Although tact is not her strong suit, and thoughts tend to convert directly into speech without the unnecessary hassle of involving the brain, she generally ends up doing the right thing, and becomes a useful member of the team - although often just as wheel-man!

Joyce Summers

Being the mother of the Vampire Slayer cannot be a particularly comfortable experience, especially when you have no idea that that is what you are! Joyce is a caring and supportive parent to Buffy, but is constantly frustrated and disappointed by the trouble her daughter inevitably ends up in. Unaware of the noble reasons for the fights and the class-cutting, Joyce only sees the end result, and struggles to understand and deal with Buffy's problematic lifestyle. Despite these difficulties, she never wavers in her loving and good-humoured endeavours to connect with her daughter, and is an example to parents everywhere.


If you're interested in individual episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the following links take you to the relevant pages of A Watcher's Diary, an episode guide with synopses, quotes and more.

Season 1:

Welcome to the Hellmouth, The Harvest, Witch, Teacher's Pet, Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, The Pack, Angel, I Robot...You Jane, The Puppet Show, Nightmares, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, Prophecy Girl

Season 2:

When She Was Bad, Some Assembly Required, School Hard, Inca Mummy Girl