Back when New Orleans was a French Colony and the city was just beginning, there were three vampires who arrived and staked their claim. They called themselves the Originals and their names were Elijah, Klaus and Rebekah. Fast forward to the present and the Originals have been asked to return by the local witches because of a new threat. Marcel is Klaus’ protégé and vampire as well, but he runs with feral vampires who act more on instinct than common sense. Lines have been drawn in the sand and sides are being chosen. Things are going to get ugly before they get pretty so the Originals can get their city back.
THE ORIGINALS is a television series on The CW created by Julie Plec who also created the series THE VAMPIRE DIARIES — which THE ORIGINALS is spun-off from. Having her working on it is ideal because she has an idea of how things in that world should work out. The show takes a lot of folklore and stories from that region of the country and builds up from there. Also, New Orleans is a great fit due to the murder rate of that city.
The Mikaelsons are an interesting group of characters. The three are very different from each other in the way they see the world, which is very realistic for siblings. The one thing that is a constant is that most of the “lead” characters have a sense of entitlement. This, in turn, makes the vampires on this show a little cartoon-y. Almost like Bond villains with forced intensity.
Joseph Morgan as Niklaus Mikaelson
Daniel Gillies as Elijah Mikaelson
Claire Holt as Rebekah Mikaelson
Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley Marshall
Charles Michael Davis as Marcellus Gerard
Daniella Pineda as Sophie Deveraux
Leah Pipes as Camille O’Connell
Danielle Campbell as Davina Claire
The video transfer is a 1080p AVC and it is par with Warner’s other Blu-ray releases. The details are sharp with no EE that I could spot. With a lot of the buildings being run down and old, you can see the dust floating in the rooms. As you can imagine, there are a considerable amount of darker rooms that have great, deep blacks. The only problem is that there is a little light crushing and slight pixilation, but you have to be very close to see it. There is a light grain, but it doesn’t look like noise; rather something that the editor/cinematographer/director intended. The skin tones are also natural and warm where they need to be. Another impressive part of the transfer is the contrasting. With the blacks seeming like endless voids, it creates a lot of good contrasting in any lighting.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix has some teeth (no pun intended). There is a cinema quality to the audio with the sound very front oriented. There are, at times, some ambient sounds of New Orleans and in some of the scenes in the swamps. Then again, there is a lot of dialogue, so the center channel is what does the majority of the work throughout the season. The highs are clean and have smooth LFEs when it’s used, but the bass is sporadic at best.
The bonus features on the release give a lot of good background info on the show and its inception.
-The Originals: Origins: The featurette is with creator Julie Plec as she talks about when they created the pilot.
-The Original Vampires: A Bite-Sized Backstory: This goes over the Mikaelson family history.
-The Originals: Re-Mixing History: This featurette is with the writers and how they combined the show’s story and actual history.
-The Originals panel at PaleyFest: This is the show’s panel at the 2014 PaleyFest.
1. Always and Forever
2. House of the Rising Son
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Girl in New Orleans
5. Sinners and Saints
Comic Con Panel – this is a clip of the 2014 SDCC panel for the show.
6. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
8. The River in Reverse
9. Reigning Pain in New Orleans
10. The Casket Girls
11. Après Moi, Le Déluge
12. Dance Back From the Grave
13. Crescent City
14. Long Way Back From Hell
15. Le Grand Guignol
16. Farewell to Storyville
17. Moon Over Bourbon Street
18. The Big Uneasy
19. An Unblinking Death
20. A Closer Walk with Thee
21. The Battle of New Orleans
22. From a Cradle to a Grave
Nine-disc set including 4 BDs and 5 DVDs
UltraViolet digital copy
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
THE ORIGINALS is a show that is aimed at the same target audience as THE VAMPIRE DIARIES because this show is a spin-off of it. That being said, they are very similar in format and tone. The release itself is Warner Bros doing an excellent job of transferring from TV to Blu-ray. Both the audio and video look great. If you missed this season on TV and are in to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES or almost any vampire show, this is worth checking out.