WATCH: Six times Buffy Summers slayed us all

The show first aired 20 years ago

WATCH: Six times Buffy Summers slayed us all

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers | Image: Facebook/Buffy The Vampire Slayer

It has been 20 years since a US network premiered an unknown show called 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.

It was based on a 1992 film of the same name that flopped at the box office.

But the TV series would go on to become one of the most beloved and revolutionary TV shows of all time.

It was nominated for several awards – including one nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in an episode that had very little dialogue.

The 1999 episode saw mysterious creatures, called ‘The Gentlemen’, steal the voices of the townspeople so no one could hear them scream.

It seems just as creepy today...

As much as it was about vampires and demons, the issues the characters faced resonated big with its audience – not least because it took its main demographic along for the ride.

When the central characters were in senior school, so were its fans – and then they moved on to college with them, too.

The show also ventured well outside its comfort zone, airing a purely musical episode in 2001.

The show was also packed with emotion – it saw Buffy forced to kill the man she loved to save the world in 1998.

Of course, in true Buffy fashion, the evil side of Angel’s character – played by David Boreanaz - disappears just moments before she had to send him to hell.

Buffy’s character also dealt with loss in 2001, when she came home to find her mother – played by Kristine Sutherland – had died.

This episode was unique in that it had no musical score, just dialogue.

Also in 2001, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s title character made the ultimate sacrifice – herself – in place of her sister Dawn to save the world.

Buffy told the story of an apparent outsider, who never seemed to fit in.

All the while she was saving people, without them even noticing.

But that was put to rest in 1999, when a touching scene saw Buffy’s classmates thank her at the prom.

Slaying, feminism, empowerment, diversity - whatever you think the show stood for, it drove a steak through the heart of countless fans.

Its stars have been paying tribute: