Legacies boss breaks down the premiere and that Landon mystery
Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the pilot of Legacies.
Legacies has officially welcomed viewers back to Mystic Falls. In the series’ premiere episode, viewers were introduced to the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted as the latest recruit Rafael got to know his new home. But if the Salvatore School is Rafael’s new home, what does that mean for Landon, Raf’s best friend? That was the biggest question of the hour, which ended with Landon stealing a knife from the school and the realization that Landon couldn’t be compelled. Translation: Landon is a supernatural creature, and now he’s on the run with a very mysterious (and dangerous) supernatural weapon.
EW spoke with Legacies showrunner Julie Plec about the opening hour and what comes next for Landon and company.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You all made a few changes to the Salvatore House, right? I’m not crazy?
JULIE PLEC: Yeah, it’s obviously been 10 years since the school opened and it’s grown over the decade, and so we went with the idea that the school itself has added on wings and buildings so that we really get a sense of this castle-like spectacle of the grounds.
Tell me about how you came up with Wickery.
This is why it’s fun to be a writer with a whole team of people because I literally wrote “Quidditch-like game” in the script and then Chris Grismer who is our director of the episode, sat down, really thought about it, and designed a rugby-esque game with vamp speed and levitation. And it grew from there.
You obviously ended the premiere with a massive Landon cliffhanger, so does the monster-of-the-week element come in as early as episode two?
Yeah, the pilot for me basically sets the table of the world and keys up the character conflict. The second episode really sets the stage for the episodic mythology. So the second episode is more in line with what the week-to-week series is going to feel like and ask: Where are these creatures coming from, what are they, how do we battle them, how do they tie into Landon, how do they connect to that knife and who’s the bad guy?
Obviously the monster-of-the-week format will bring in a lot of new creatures. But in terms of kind of our “good guys,” and the staple characters at the school, could we be adding any new creatures to that mix?
We have this goal to create a creature character that we fall in love with and who, instead of vanquishing them, they become a student at the school. We haven’t realized that goal yet but that is absolutely what we want to do. We want to end up with the equivalent of say the Lorne character from Angel just chilling at the Salvatore School and is completely different from anybody else.
And I realize when I say “good guys,” it’s not a guarantee that the kids at the school are good…
Right, the idea of the show is that every single one of these kids has it in them to both be really spectacular beings, compassionate beings and heroic beings, but all of them are plagued or cursed in some way with something that can also make them really dangerous to people. So the balance always is: How do I be my best self and how do I resist my worst impulses and then ultimately, just by definition of being supernatural, humans see us as the villain of their story, so how do we escape that?
How will Rafael’s presence affect the Saltzman twin dynamic?
That’s playing out more as emblematic of the co-dependent relationship that the girls have and how Josie feels the need to not rock Lizzie’s very delicate boat. It’s less a love triangle and more of a: Which sister wins in a situation where both girls want the same thing? I think that when you ask that question, like which sisters wins, you’ve got to look back into Vampire Diaries mythology and remember where these girls came from and what their family’s all about. Their history and the mythology of their coven is something that we will be exploring in the life of this series so for fans of the Geminis can kind of predict the road that we’re going to have to travel eventually with these twins.
Will that exploration be through flashbacks?
I wouldn’t say flashbacks as a general rule. We do have a desire to explore the so-called origin story of each of our heroes at some point along the way, whether that’s done in flashback or just revealing memories through character. For all of them, there’s the question of: How’d they come to this school? It’s a great opportunity for story.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.