“The Originals” is “The Vampire Diaries” rebellious older brother. Premiering Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9/8c, the spin-off of the CW’s highest-rated show finds break out character Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his Original Vampire siblings Elijah (Daniel Gilles) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) relocating to New Orleans, where Klaus’s old friend Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) rules over the supernatural community with an iron fist. Another “Vampire Diaries” transplant, werewolf Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), is pregnant with Klaus’s child. “We like to think of it as our audience has matured along with us for four seasons. They’re ready for a story that’s more deeply ingrained and more adult themed and circumstances. It’s kind of a darker feel,” showrunner Jullie Plec told xfinityTV.
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Here are five things you need to know about “The Originals”:
1. The First Episode is All About Elijah. If you’re one of the legions of Elijah fans, you’ll be pleased to know that the sensitive, moral Original is at the center of the premiere. Says Morgan, “I think it’s common knowledge now as well that the first episode is going to be a retelling of the back door pilot [episode of TVD last season], only from Elijah’s point of view. So we’re going to see all the little bits in between, the bits we missed, only it’s going to continue a little further on in the story towards the end of it. So we really get to see what he’s about from the beginning and what his motives are.” Adds Plec, “His goal, as a man of honor and as the eldest remaining brother of this very, very deeply fractured family, is to try to bring them together and try to find redemption for [Klaus]. And he’s driven by that need and sees, in the baby, that redemption. And so he is driven from a place of emotion and the power of family. Klaus is driven from a place of power. So there’s going to be a little conflict.”
2. Klaus and Marcel Have the Ultimate Frenemy Bromance. The complex relationship between Klaus and Marcel creates much of the tension and conflict in the series. Klaus sired Marcel, but now is subordinate to him, a big change for a character who was nearly omnipotent on TVD. Plec explains, “Marcel has built was Klaus always wanted which is a home and a community. They kind of rule the city. It’s not like they’re walking around with a sign that says, “I am a vampire.” On their heads but they have made arrangements with humans. They have the freedom to come and go as they please and so it’s a vampire free for all in a world where that’s not very easy to come by.” Morgan adds, “We’re used to Klaus kind of coming in with the”bull in the China shop mentality and, dominating like a one‑man army, but Marcel has an army of vampires… I know that he has control of all the magic in the city, and he has all of his inner circle of day‑walkers, of vampires, and all of these night‑walkers who are trying to earn their rings to become day‑walkers. So that in itself is a challenge for Klaus. And I think he’s going to have to employ a little bit more of his kind of manipulative backstabbing methods to get where he wants to be to take back the throne rather than charging in there and being torn limb from limb by a thousand vampires.” Says Davis, “You get to see a different side of Klaus. That’s the great thing, They have this father-son sire relationship than they’ve got a brotherly relationship and they think brothers like Marcel is like a shiny toy Klaus wants. So he’s going to fight to get it. Sometimes brothers they actually physically fight so there will be some of that but still love underneath. So it’s a mixed bag. A lot of layers, like an onion. We’re going to peel it.”
3. Klaus Has No Desire to Be a Dad. When Klaus learned that he was going to be a father, he told Hayley that he didn’t care about the baby. He isn’t going to turn into a doting father any time soon. “The first season, the pregnancy will remain sort of front and center as a problem or an issue for certainly a good portion of the season,” says Plec, adding, “If anything it will just show the duality of the personality, a complicated side of him and that he doesn’t want to care about anything because caring exposes his vulnerabilities and yet ultimately the man has gone to the ends of an earth for his family to reunite them and try to bring them together.”When the baby arrives, Rebekah will be the one who bonds with it. “I think, over the course of the series, that there will be a connection there,” says Holt. “And Rebekah always wanted a family, and she wanted a child of her own, and it was a really strong theme in the last season of “The Vampire Diaries.” So I think that’s going to carry onto this show, and she’s going to really feel a bond with this wolf baby.”
4. Rebekah Gets Her Groove Back. Rebekah spent most of her time on TVD getting rejected. Her true love Stefan wanted nothing to do with her. Her attempts to be a typical teenager failed miserably. On “The Originals,” she’s no longer the loser. “Her first shot of the second episode after she leaves Mystic Falls, she, like, pulls up in a hot Alfa Romeo,” says Plec. Rebekah may find someone who loves her back in Marcel. “I wonder if there’s a history there, having shared all those years together in New Orleans,” teases Plec. “You can imagine Klaus is very understanding of this relationship, condoning of it all,” jokes Morgan. “No, he’s a little possessive of his sister.”
5. There May Be Crossovers With “The Vampire Diaries.” Unlike most spin-offs which only involve one character from the mothership show, so much of the cast comes from TVD that there has to be some continuity between the two shows. “What we would like to be able to do first is establish a show that works, as its own show, and then, as the story dictates creatively, to be able to have a little bit of a crossover element if we can work it out, simply because there are relationships and history there that we left behind that we don’t want to pretend like those relationships never existed.” Many fans wanted to see a romance between Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola). Says Plec, “The fan support of that relationship is so thrilling and so much fun we really want to try to service it if there’s an opportunity to service it. “The Vampire Diaries” needs Caroline. She’s a breath of fresh air. She’s a ray of sunshine for that show and could “The Originals” have her as well some day? You never know.”
“The Originals” premieres Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9/8c before moving to its regular time slot, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.