BTVS Unaired Pilot on YouTube

I did a search and didn’t see a posting for this yet. Sorry if I missed it and this is a duplicate.

The original pilot for Buffy the Vampire Slayer is on YouTube. The show is only 25 minutes long (was it originally planned as a half hour show?) and there’s a different Willow. Interesting, and it makes you appreciate Alyson Hannigan all the more, if that’s possible. The video has been available since March so I’m sure many of you have seen it. I’m just curious about what you thought of it.

It may be just because i’m used to Alyson Hannigan, but the girl playing her there is really not good. Who is she, by the way? Anyone know?

Willow isn’t awful, but the look doesn’t work well at all. I am immensely grateful they found Hannigan and recast the role. Her readings of the lines are very similar to Hannigan, but the idea of her being frumpy and overweight just didn’t work. Nerdy and smart was a much better choice.

Other than that, it is interesting to see the groundwork that Wheadon was feeling out in the pilot, and how much of it blossomed eventually into the BTVS we all know and love.

Thanks for the link – great fun!

No idea on Willow’s identity.

I don’t particularly think that there is anything wrong with Willow mk. 1, but she just doesn’t exude the personality that the other major players do. Everyone’s acting got better between this pilot and the real pilot, but, even in this pre-pilot, Buffy, Xander, Cordelia and Giles had a shiny sparkle.

It seems to me like this pilot pushes the Buffy/Xander relationship pretty hard. Then again, I don’t really remember the pilot that aired.

[/url=“”]Riff Regan

There. Fixed it.

Ah, thanks. Quick browse through the listings, and I haven’t seen any of the shows she was in. Have to love the trivia for her though;

This may be the poor girl’s most famous fact.

I am very glad that this pilot remained unaired. That Willow was horrible, the title font was cheesy and the fighting was too slow as was the way the vamps dusted. I also didn’t like the fact that a cross could apparently melt (that’s the way it sounded) a vampire.

If that had aired instead of “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, I don’t think BtVS would have been as big or lasted as long.

I actually prefer Riff Regan to Alyson Hannigan. I mean, Willow is one of my favourite characters but I always thought that Alyson was too… attractive for the role. Especially in the later series when she got all glam. Willow’s not supposed to be hot.


This confuses me. The character Riff Regan is playing in the pilot is basically the exact same person we got on the show. The only differences are physical. I don’t see how this Willow isn’t “nerdy and smart” too.

The frumpy/overweight bit was additional baggage that held the character back from being all that Hannigan was able to make of it. Yes, this Willow is Nerdy, smart, overweight, and frumpy. Hannigan’s was nerdy, smart, and a little socially awkward – worked much better in the context of the show for me – YMMV.

It was never intended to be aired. It was just put together to demonstrate the concept to the network so that they’d (hopefully) pick it up as a series.

I don’t care much for this Willow. Riff Regan’s acting isn’t all that great (to be fair, the regular cast is pretty rough too) and, of course, she’s not nearly as adorable as Alyson Hannigan. :slight_smile:

Well, I am glad they picked it up after that.

The lines were the same–but the weight was different: “Glad to see you’ve seen the softer side of Sears”? Both pilots have the line, both pilots have a frumpy Willow.

Her weight meant they couldn’t just redress her and pass her off as sexy in classic teen movie style though.

I liked some aspects of the unaired pilot better–it had a lot of the same self-conscious camp of the movie with the dialogue and fighting. But some of it was just clunky and too self-conscious: I thought Willow was going to start singing something from A Chorus Line when she sat down in the spot on stage. So many high school theater references can’t help but give you an amateur taste in your mouth. (Speaking of tastes in the mouth, I really liked the other principal and his Bunny/Betty/Wilma? schtick and other lines. But I would have become too attached and been realy upset when they ate him later, so it’s all good.)

Also, that pilot was such a one-off, better to have more substance and setup, esp. when it’s kind of cheezy and schticky, you have more people saying, “yeah, it wasn’t that good, but let’s see what happens anyway. I hope that Cordelia chick gets her face ripped off.”

Not too shabby, really. I liked the idea of the frumpy Willow, but Hannagan was so good that it’s hard to argue.

Was that Adam Baldwin as the first vampire dusted?