RAISING THE STAKES
The new season of The Vampire Diaries explores the past and the future of its supernatural characters, Guy Davis discovered.
Something strange happened to The
Vampire Diaries as the first season of the supernatural soapie progressed – the show got pretty good.
Out of the gate, the TV adaptation of author L. J. Smith’s series of young-adult novels by Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson had the feel of a Twilight knock-off, with small-town girl Elena ( Nina Dobrev) in the midst of a romantic rivalry between bloodsucking brothers Stefan ( Paul Wesley) and Damon ( Ian Somerhalder).
Their infatuation stemmed from Elena’s resemblance to Katherine, the vampiric vixen both had adored a century earlier.
As the story went along, it became evident that the town of Mystic Falls lived up its name, with a strange, supernatural history that continued to manifest itself into the present day. And Williamson’s knack for creating a compelling group of characters and placing them in sticky situations served The Vampire Diaries well as the show drew towards the conclusion of its first year.
With the second season of the drama fast-tracked from the US, the stakes of the story are raised as alliances are forged and broken, and Stefan, Damon and Elena must contend with the return of the long-absent Katherine.
“ Katherine being back in Mystic Falls is a bit of a game-changer for the show,” Williamson said. “ It’s hard to talk about it without giving anything away because it seems like everything is a surprise and everything is a twist. But Katherine comes back and pretty much says why she’s back, and it will be fun to watch that play out … because there’s always more than one reason why someone is there.”
With The Vampire Diaries gaining in popularity throughout the first season, Williamson admits he was feeling some pressure to ensure the following year was up to scratch.
“ It’s a very hard show to write, I’ve discovered, because there’s so much genre mixed with relationships and characters,” he said. “ I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be. But I do think we’ve found a rhythm to our show, which has these human relationships and a mythology that runs concurrently with it.”
Willamson, no stranger to complex character interactions and constantly evolving storylines with Dawson’s Creek and the Scream saga to his name, says that these new episodes of The Vampire Diaries will expand on events alluded to in the first season, especially as far as Katherine ( played by Dobrev, who has emerged as one of the show’s breakout stars) is concerned.
“ We’re going back to zero and telling a new story, but it’s the story that you already know half of. It’s the other half,” he said.
Hot-blooded high-schoolers: The cast of includes ( from left) Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Katerina Graham, Ian Somerhalder and Candice Accola.