Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the “Slayer”, one in a long line of young women chosen by fate to battle evil forces. This mystical calling endows her with powers that dramatically increase physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams. She has returned from death twice and is known as a reluctant hero who wants to live a normal life. However, she learns to embrace her destiny as the vampire slayer.
Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head). Giles, rarely referred to by his first name (it is later revealed that in his misspent younger days he went by “Ripper”), is a member of the Watchers’ Council, whose job is to train and guide the Slayers. Giles researches the supernatural creatures that Buffy must face, offers insights into their origins and advice on how to defeat them, and helps her stay in fighting form.
Buffy is also helped by friends she meets at Sunnydale High: Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon). Willow is originally a wallflower who excels at academics, providing a contrast to Buffy’s outgoing personality and less-than-stellar educational record. They share the social isolation that comes with being different, and especially from being exceptional young women. As the series progresses, Willow becomes a more assertive character and a powerful witch, and comes out as a lesbian. In contrast, Xander, with no supernatural skills but very athletic, provides comic relief and a grounded perspective. It is Xander who often provides the heart to the series, and in season six, becomes the hero in place of Buffy who defeats the “Big Bad.” Buffy and Willow are the only characters who appear in all 144 episodes; Xander is missing in only one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American supernatural drama television series based on the 1992 film of the same name. It is created by Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy Productions, with later co-executive producers being Jane Espenson, David Fury, David Greenwalt, Doug Petrie, Marti Noxon, and David Solomon.
The series premiered on March 10, 1997, on The WB and concluded on May 20, 2003, on UPN. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as “Vampire Slayers”, or simply “Slayers”. In the story, Slayers are “called” (chosen by fate) to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Being a young woman, Buffy wants to live a normal life, but as the series progresses, she learns to embrace her destiny. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches, and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the “Scooby Gang”.