Julie Plec on Syncing Up THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS, and Retelling THE ORIGINALS’ Backdoor Pilot
August 9, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
THE ORIGINALS may have made its debut as a backdoor pilot during last season of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, but if potential new viewers missed that, the CW series has a creative way of catching everyone up on what went down — the official first episode of THE ORIGINALS will be retelling what happened in “The Originals” episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES from Elijah’s point of view.
“It’s so cool, because it tells you everything that happens when we were watching Klaus do his thing, and meet up with Marcel, and try to get to the bottom of his own mystery [in the backdoor pilot],” THE ORIGINALS/THE VAMPIRE DIARIES executive producer Julie Plec told reporters after the Television Critics Association panel for her new series. “It’s the story of a brother coming into town to try and figure out what happened with his younger, black sheep brother. So he’s kind of playing detective a bit. We get to see scenes that existed in the [backdoor] pilot, but more from Elijah’s point of view. And he believes when he learns of [Hayley’s] pregnancy that it will be that easy to convince his brother to jump on board. So to watch Elijah jump on board and declare how simple it will be, and then to have Klaus reject the baby will be [Elijah’s] powerful moment, as opposed to the pilot where it was Klaus’ powerful moment…and by the last act, we’re moving past that night, and everything we see is new, and it tees up the series.”
Of course, since the plan was to sync up THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS’ timelines so the stories were being told simultaneously — and therefore creating the opportunity for crossovers — the recent shift in The CW’s premiere schedule has thrown a teeny, tiny wrench into things.
“We actually are doing a bit of a time jump [on THE ORIGINALS, too],” Plec noted. “Originally, we were going to air on our own night, so the bummer is now we’ll have college [on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ premiere] and then we’ll be going back in time for THE ORIGINALS premiere episode, which will be back to that night in the spring [when the backdoor pilot took place]. But after that, in episode two [of THE ORIGINALS], Rebekah shows up and she’s been to Europe and she’s done that whole thing. So then we can do things like aim for crossover opportunities.”
And while THE ORIGINALS may be jumping in time with its sister show, that doesn’t mean viewers should expect to see Hayley sporting a big bump when the show moves forward in episode 2.
“We’re fudging just a bit with the showing, with the ‘at what point does she start to show?’ [issue],” Plec allowed. “I think we’ll aim for a four-to-five month type of show, versus a three month. For a three month show, maybe we’ll just tell her to eat a couple of cheeseburgers the night before and see what happens.”
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES premieres Thursday, October 3rd at 8 PM on The CW. THE ORIGINALS premieres that night at 9 PM.