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SAN DIEGO — Though The Originals aired its backdoor pilot as an episode of The Vampire Diaries, executive producer Julie Plec was mindful of the fact that it would be months before viewers would be re-integrated into the world.
So how did they go about crafting the first episode that will debut in October? By retelling the April 25 episode — with a twist. “The first episode was incredibly difficult to figure out,” Plec admitted, before outlining the plan to tell the story from Elijah’s (Daniel Gillies) point of view as he goes to New Orleans to find out what his brother Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is up to.
As Plec told Comic-Con attendees at Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom, citing Rashomon as inspiration, some scenes that were shown during the previous airing will be used as a guide during the fall premiere — with new scenes added in to fill out the story.
With Elijah making his way to New Orleans in the first episode, Plec addressed how Rebekah (Claire Holt) enters the fray. (In the season finale of Vampire Diaries, she was seen making plans with Matt (Zach Roerig) for the summer.) Rebekah will be seen in Mystic Falls in the first episode of Vampire Diaries, Plec said, before she heads to The Originals.
Does this mean that there will be opportunities for Vampire Diaries-Originals crossovers? “Creatively we very much want to keep these relationships alive in the series,” Plec said of threads that have been pre-established in the mothership. “There is some unfinished business … [and we want to] play in that world.”
Though Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah were characters established on The Vampire Diaries, the stories that will be told on the new series will naturally go darker. The flagship series is a “coming-of-age story,” Plec explained, while “this show we get to tell the story of a dynasty.”
“We get to be bold and thrilling and sexy and dangerous,” she added, saying that when you get out of the teen world, it lends itself to more mature story telling.
Flashbacks will continue to be a significant part of The Originals, with Marcel’s back story explored further. Among the key moments: Klaus’ first meeting with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis).
As for how Hayley’s pregnancy will play into The Originals, Phoebe Tonkin said she believed the Hayley-Klaus one-night stand was just that — a one-time thing. “They don’t know each other very well,” she said, adding that she didn’t believe it will “be romantic.” Added Morgan: “A partnership will have to be formed.” Whether or not Klaus and Hayley’s baby will be a new breed is a question Plec wants to remain unanswered.
A sizzle reel of the April episode was screened in addition to extended footage not seen in the original broadcast, which featured the character of witch Davina (Danielle Campbell) in an attic. Plec promised that the mystery of Davina will be discussed throughout the series, including why she is in the attic and why Marcel has her there.
As for the Klaroline fans, Plec cited Buffy the Vampire Slayer in characterizing their romance: She is the Buffy “to his Angel.”
The Originals debuts Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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