Project 310 - Welcome to the Hellmouth

First off, what is Project 310?

Well, it’s simple really. It’s my plan to re-watch the first 4 seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” -- 1 episode a day, or so -- leading up to March 10th.

That day -- the anniversary of the first episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, I plan on watching every episode from Season 5 in its entirety -- a 15 hours, 55 minute, 46 second “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” marathon.

As I watch each episodes, I’ll share my thoughts on them, on this blog (which means is about to become significantly more “Buffy” heavy). So enjoy

Season 1, Episode 1 - “Welcome to the Hellmouth”
Original airdate: March 10, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Dec. 22, 2008

This is where it all began. Picking up where Joss Whedon’s original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” screenplay left off, we get re-introduced to Buffy (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) and introduced for the first time to Xander (Nicholas Brendon), Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head). This is the episode that sets up the basics for the next 7 seasons.

Right away, we learn this show is going to be a little different from things we’ve seen on TV before. After seeing it a few times, the first scene might seem trite, but but let's be honest. If you've never seen it before, it's a shock that the "scared little girl" turns out to be the vampire.

The episode does a good job of introducing us to the characters without beating us over the head with introductions (if that makes sense). Some of the concepts that carry over from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie -- including vampires themselves, the slayer and the watcher -- are quickly covered, in case you didn't see the movie.

There are two things that stand out for me in this episode

1) Charisma Carpenter looks amazing. She was 26 years old when this episode was filmed, probably too old to be realistically playing a 16-year-old (actually 15, as Cordelia Chase doesn't turn 16 until later in the season). Still, I agree with any casting choice that puts Charisma Carpenter's phenomenal breasts in my life.

2) The character of Darla doesn't mesh AT ALL with what she ends up becoming. Obviously, this isn't a problem when you first watch the episode, but once you've seen all of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel", you look back at this episode and wonder what they were thinking. Darla is at times very meek and completely scared of Buffy. The Darla we come to know isn’t scared of any fight.

Next episode: The Harvest (originally aired 3/10/1997)