Season One of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on the WB Network from March 10th, 1997 to June 2nd, 1997, spanning a total of twelve episodes. The series was produced by Joss Whedon and his production company Mutant Enemy Productions and was a loose reinterpretation of the 1992 feature film of the same name starring Kristy Swanson. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a horror/comedy that centered around the titular hero Buffy Anne Summers, a high school student who also has the misfortune of being the Chosen One, the Slayer - "one girl in all the world... born with the strength and skill to fight the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers". Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar played the role of Buffy Summers and had a supporting cast of credited regulars which include Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head. A recurring supporting cast member in season one is David Boreanaz who played the vampire in search of redemption, Angel. The role of Angel would become much more prominent in future seasons and even lead to his own spin-off series, Angel. A common formula used throughout the show was the introduction of a central antagonist per each season; colloquially referred to as the "Big Bad". In season one, the Big Bad was an ancient vampire known only as the Master.
Angel was a tormented vampire cursed with a soul. As such, he was forced to endure the unmeasurable guilt of his past crimes. Seeking to atone, he aids Buffy in her battle against evil and the two eventually fall in love. Angel is corrupted by his darker side however and wreaks untold havoc against Buffy and her peers. He eventually recovers from this and goes on to become a dark warrior seeking redemption. Angel relocates to Los Angeles where he establishes Angel Investigations and brings on Cordelia Chase and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce as his own personal "Scoobies".
Buffy Summers is the Chosen One - the Slayer. Relocating to Sunnydale from Los Angeles, she continues her ongoing battle against the vampires at Sunnydale High School which sits atop a Hellmouth. She befriends fellow students Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg and Cordelia Chase while also entering into an intimate relationship with a vampire named Angel.
Willow Rosenberg was a nerdy high school student and the best friend of Buffy Summers. She began practicing witchcraft and became an invaluable part of the Scoobies. She dated a werewolf named Daniel Osbourne and later turned towards homosexuality, entering into a relationship with a girl named Tara Maclay. Willow briefly turned evil, but returned to normal with the help of her friend Xander Harris.
Xander Harris is the good-hearted, yet nerdy friend of Buffy Summers who, although lacking in any supernatural powers or applicable skills, devotes himself towards aiding Buffy in her fight against the forces of evil. After a spell temporarily bequeathed him military combat skills, Xander became a more effective ally and managed to retain some of his combat skills even after the effect wore off.
Rupert Giles is a Watcher who worked as a librarian at Sunnydale High School and later took over ownership of a magic shop. He devotes his time training Buffy (and later, Buffy's replacement slayer, Faith) in how to fight up against the vampires and the other forces of darkness that have been loosed upon the world. Though he tended to stay out of the direct battles, Giles was not unwilling to get dirty and assisted the Scoobies on more than one occasion.
Cordelia Chase was the "popular" girl at Sunndyale High. A respected member of the high school cheerleading team, she and her followers, the Cordettes, made sure that the unpopular kids knew their place. Cordelia became a foil to new student Buffy Summers and eventually learned that Buffy was the Slayer. Although the two never became close, they settled many of their differences following the Homecoming dance. Following graduation, Cordy ventured out to Los Angeles, California, where she eventually teamed up with Angel and became a valued member of Angel Investigations.
Daniel "Oz" Osbourne was an introverted musician and lead guitarist for the band Dingoes Ate My Baby. He also happened to be a werewolf. He began dating Willow Rosenberg and became a member of the Scooby Gang. When a group called the Initiative learned about Oz's lycanthropy, he was taken prisoner by them and experimented upon.
Darla is a vampire and a progeny of the Master, having been turned during the 17th century. She is the progenitor of Angel and a former member of the Order of Aurelius. Darla was killed by Angel in the modern-era, but was resurrected several years later. Much like Angel, she was now cursed with a soul. Before meeting her final reward, Darla gave birth to Angel's son, Connor.
The Master was a vampire elder said to be more than six-hundred years old. The Master was in command of a vampire cult known as the Order of Aurelius. It was the Master's goal to bring back the glory of the Old Ones and through the Order, they would flourish and dominate the world.