TCA: The CW Continues the "Legacies" of "Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals"

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Cover image for  article: TCA: The CW Continues the "Legacies" of "Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals"

Last week when The CW’s The Originals came to an end it left a massive hole in The Vampire Diaries universe and the network’s programming line-up.  But series co-creator and executive producer Julie Plec (pictured top right) is filling the void with Legacies, another spinoff in the franchise.  Set at the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, the series follows the story of seventeen-year-old Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell, pictured below), the daughter of vampire Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall, as she navigates high school and a monster of the week.  Joining Hope at the school are the Saltzman twins, Lizzie and Josie -- daughters of school principal Alaric -- along with a host of teen vampires, witches and werewolves. "Legacies is absolutely born out of my continued love for what I'm now calling the TVDU[The Vampire Diairies Universe] and the world of Mystic Falls,” Plec told reporters during an informal panel at the Summer 2018 Television Critics Association tour.  

“At the end of The Vampire Diaries, Alaric Saltzman started a boarding school for his young twin daughters who were born from a very dark and psychopathic laden witch coven,” she continued.  “When he started seeing signs in his three-year-olds that they might not be able to control the power they had inside of them, he decided that they needed a home and they needed a place for people like them.”

Matt Davis (pictured top left), who plays Alaric and is no stranger to both TVD and The Originals, has had quite the journey to becoming the school’sheadmaster.  Alaric has been a vampire hunter, and an original vampire, dead and reborn, making him an authority on all things supernatural.  “Yeah, I'm the man,” joked Davis of his character.

Davis is aware that Alaric’s current mortal form may constantly be in question.  “That's been one of the key pieces I've been working on,” he said.  “How vulnerable he really is there and how he has alliances within the school, and how he has to protect those and maintain his authority because he really is vulnerable as the headmaster.

“When I read the first episode, I was so excited,” he continued.  “You have this whole new cast of characters and all these young kids and it's super fresh and super-angsty and super-new-Millennial wave.  It's really, truly exciting.”

“I think the show is very youthful and fun,” Russell added.  “In The Vampire Diaries Stefan and Damon were over, what, a century old? The Originals was extremely mature, all about these thousand-year-old vampires.  So Legacies, for the first time in this entire universe, takes on this new innocence in a way and this new naive kind of perspective from these kids.

“Hope was a 15-year-old girl in The Originals and I played her as very kind of messy and emotional, a bad decision-making girl because she's not experienced in any of this,” she continued.  “I think that's what gives Legacies a new kind of supernatural edge that The Vampire Diaries and The Originals never explored.”

According to Davis, one need not have watched either of the previous series to delve into the new world of Legacies.  While familiar inhabitants of Mystic Falls will make appearances, new viewers of show won’t feel left out.  “I almost think if you're coming to this show for the first time, you're almost blessed because you're not coming with any preconceived ideas,” he said of the series.  “So if you don't know, it's almost better because then you'll discover Legacies.”

“We are very deliberately setting out for it to be the easiest thing in the world in that most of what we're drawing off of in terms of the past is in the form of Easter eggs and nostalgia placements,” concurred Plec.  “We'd like to do the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant and have a shout out to Founders Day.  But for the most part, the mythology is a new mythology.

“A lot of the supernatural beings that we'll be opening our doors to are things that you would never have seen on The Vampire Diaries,” she added.  “You don't need to know anything other than kind of just have a love for teen soap and/or creatures of the night, you know, and then you're pretty golden.”

Legacies will premiere October 25 on The CW.

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