The starting point for The Vampire Diaries is the rivalry between two brothers, both vampires, as focused through a teenage girl. But that's only the starting point. Triangles, however vibrant, are two-dimensional; Vampire Diaries has survived in part by developing what lies behind this core relationship dynamic.
Joseph Morgan plays Klaus on The Vampire Diaries.
© Justin Stephens/The CW
One of the key axes of exploration has been the Original Vampires, whose virulent intrusion into the affairs of Elena Gilbert et al. was carefully built up across season 2, with Klaus, the most visible scion of this gore-drenched family, arriving in the flesh only in the 19th episode of season 2. Their ancient roots bring an element of potent and primal mythology that contrasts nicely with the thoroughly modernized lifestyles of the Salvatores.
So it's not surprising that the Originals have accrued attention in their own right and not merely as foils for our newly minted latecomers. Now comes word that The CW is putting the primeval vamps' viability to the test, with an April episode in which Klaus's conflicts with his own complicated history will also serve as a back-door pilot for an Originals series--the most viable solution to the network's longstanding yen for a VD spin-off now that its Plan A, to make a two-headed franchise with pseudo-sister-show The Secret Circle, has foundered.
The April 25 episode involves Klaus (played by British stripling Joseph Morgan, whom you may also have seen elsewhere) returning to "the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans—a town he helped build centuries ago"—and reuniting with his evil ex-protégé Marcel.
If it goes to series, it seems at this stage that The Originals would star Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin (who's been playing werewolf Hayley) and would be written and produced by Diaries executive producer/writer Julie Plec.
Does The CW have room for more supernatural on its schedule? The network, which has fewer slots for national programming than its three eldest brethren, has four such shows on the air right now and has been actively developing yet more. But while Arrow, Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural are shoo-ins for renewal, Beauty and the Beast is definitely on the bubble, and CW execs will almost certainly bet on expanding the solid success of the VD franchise--with a proven cast, crew, and concept--if hard choices have to be made.
|Tags: The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Julie Plec, Joseph Morgan|
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