Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Originals – season 1 – review

Director: various

First aired: 2013/2014

Contains spoilers

A spin off from teen vampire series The Vampire Diaries, indeed the pilot episode was part of season 4 of the original show, the Originals follows the trials and tribulations of the original vampires – in the form of the siblings Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies, True Blood) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) – although we should note that Klaus is a vampire/werewolf hybrid.

The Vampire Diaries is an odd old show. The first season was awful for the first four episodes and then pulled itself up to a competent level of watchability. However as the seasons have gone on the show became lost, to the point that at season 4 I felt that the creators had plumb run out of ideas.

Daniel Gillies as Elijah
With that in mind I hoped that the originals would give it back a spark of creativity and, with the focus on adult (looking) characters, set in bars rather than high school, we might get a level of maturity setting in. After all the Mikaelson siblings are all interesting characters and, should they get decent storylines built into the series, there would be much they could do with it. Sadly that didn’t happen.

Marcel and Klaus
Having moved back to New Orleans, Klaus discovers that Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire he created, holds the French Quarter in a powerful grip. He has prevented the witches from using magic, cleared the place of werewolves and has an understanding with the human authorities. Klaus wants to know his secret and wants control of the town. Meanwhile the witches have lured Klaus to town by using Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) – a werewolf who has become pregnant with Klaus’ child (a baby that will be born a hybrid like the father) – to try and illicit the original's help.

Claire Holt as Rebekah
This then leads to plenty of double dealing and this is also where the show fell on its backside, for me anyway. Every single episode saw allegiances change and/or a new plot strand revealed. Rather than build a solid story the writers fell back on twisted allegiances as a – quite frankly – lazy plot device. The entire season twisted and turned like a twisty turny thing so that the viewer just patiently awaited the next episode-by-episode reveal, and nothing the narrative threw at you was shocking as a result.

occasional blood cannot save us
There is no more lore to explain beyond that which was already revealed through the Vampire Diaries and whilst the idea of a more adult version of the show still appeals, and whilst the three core characters are still all very interesting, the season was distinctly average, indeed dipping below average with its incessant soap-opera-like loyalty switches. 4.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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