The Originals also originally launched as a backdoor pilot episode in The Vampire Diaries fourth season. For one hour, we ditched the inhabitants of Mystic Falls to play around in the French Quarter of New Orleans, with the story focused primarily on establishing Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Hayley's (Phoebe Tonkin) lives in their new show.
Rumors about a similar backdoor pilot for Legacies have been brewing ever since executive producer Julie Plec first proposed the idea for the spin-off, but in actuality, you shouldn't expect the same treatment The Originals got.
"It's less of a backdoor pilot and more of a preview of [Legacies]," consulting producer Jeffrey Lieber says. "We stay very much in the world of The Originals and of the people who are on our show, but it happens to sort of wander into the world that the new series will inhabit. When The Originals started it was a true backdoor pilot. It sort of opened up an entirely new world for people. This is more a new corner in this very large tapestry of shows, so we're able to take our show and move it over into that location, but it's not a straight backdoor pilot."
The corner of this tapestry we'll be playing around in happens to be at Caroline Forbes' (Candice King) school for magical children in Mystic Falls, The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted. You won't get a totally clear sense of what life at the school is like — you'll have to watch Legacies for that — but fans will get to revisit some staples of Mystic Falls and see how the town has changed since Elena Gilbert's (Nina Dobrev) doppelganger days.
According to Danielle Rose Russell, the biggest backdoor pilot element you should be on the lookout for is the introduction of new characters that will be popping up on Legacies.
"Throughout the season you've seen the writers sort of dabble in the magical boarding school, so in the backdoor pilot episode you do see a lot of that," Russell says. "You see a lot of focus on Mystic Falls as opposed to New Orleans. You see a lot of the people that [Hope] will come in contact with, a few in particular, so it's a good episode that kind of teases what's to come."
The Originals airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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