It has been 20 years since the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired, launching a genre-defying cult show that would inspire fans for seven series.

The perfect mix of sci-fi, horror, comedy and drama, the show followed the story of Buffy Summers – a high school student turned demon hunter – as she saved the world from forces of darkness, flanked by her "Scooby Gang".

The first episode, Welcome to the Hellmouth, aired on 10 March 1997 on the WB. After 144 episodes, the series ended on 20 May 2003.

Two decades on, Joss Whedon's hit show still has a huge fan base – including us at IB Times UK.

On the show's 20th anniversary, we gave our thoughts about how Buffy influenced us.

The cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer pose for a portrait Online USA/Getty