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SRG Sites > NewTechReview > Reviews > The Originals: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)

The Originals: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)

Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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"This sexy and spellbinding new series centers on the Original vampire family and the dangerous vampire/werewolf hybrid, Niklaus "Klaus" Mikaelson, who, along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah, helped build New Orleans' French Quarter, only to be exiled a century ago. But a coven of witches desperate to reclaim its power lures the Mikaelsons back to their ancestral home, where the charismatic and diabolical vampire Marcel - Klaus' former protege - rules with his vampire army. The Originals bring along caskets full of revenge, unrequited love and not-so-secret plans to reclaim the heart and soul of this thriving city, and a long-smoldering war between vampires, witches, wolves and humans soon erupts. Blood ties are strong, but the lust for power - and revenge - may prove stronger. Watch all 22 thrilling episodes starring the most compelling creature of the all: The Originals!" That's the official description for Warner Bros. new TV series The Originals, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.

The Originals is actually a spin-off of another Warner Bros. show, The Vampire Diaries, which introduced The Originals' main characters in a previous episode (essentially a pilot for the new show). The Originals centers around three vampires who are supposed to be the original vampires, the ones who started it all. They are two brothers and one sister, the Mikaelson's. Elijah is the eldest, Rebekah is the youngest, and Klaus is the middle child who is actually only a half-brother. Klaus is also half-werewolf, which makes him the deadliest of all three (because the bite of a werewolf can kill a vampire).

The show takes place in New Orleans, where Klaus returns to reclaim his home in the French Quarter after learning he has fathered a child with a female werewolf named Hayley. At first, the story started off a bit shallow. The beginning episodes had a bit of mystery (but not enough) and too much drama. Things start off too slowly as well. But as the series progressed, the storyline got much better. The introduction of new characters, more mythology and lore, as well as more back story on Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah (in addition to other characters) made the show more interesting.

Regarding the technical aspects, The Originals provides the usual 1080p with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The visuals are dark, but detailed with plenty of blood and gore when appropriate. The high-definition shows off the great sets, the modern and vintage costumes, and the action scenes. For audio, the Blu-ray provides English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and Spanish and French Dolby Digital 2.0. The voice work is excellent with all the dialogue being clean and clear. The foley and soundtrack use surround to great effect and really add to visually detailed experience.

For bonus features, the Blu-ray provides:
* Pilot Commentary - Both the creator (Julie Plec) and director (Chris Grismer) discuss the show and how it came to be, along with the characters, the story, and how the show relates to The Vampire Diaries.
* The Originals: Origins A 13 minute featurette about the creation of the show, how it was put together, and how it was made to stand apart from The Vampire Diaries.
* Re-mixing History - A 10 minute featurette that talks about the blending of fact and fiction to create the show's storyline.
*PaleyFest 2014 Panel - 30 minutes of Q&A with the cast and crew at PaleyFest 2014.
* Comic-Con 2013 Panel - 29 more minutes of Q&A with the cast and crew, but this time at Comic-Con before the show was aired.
* Deleted Scenes - a large collection of deleted scenes from the following episodes: "Always and Forever," "House of the Rising Sun," "Girl in New Orleans," "Fruit of the Poisoned Tree," "Bloodletting," "The River in Reverse," "Dance Back from the Grave," "Long Way Back from Hell," "Farewell to Storyville," "The Big Uneasy," "A Closer Walk with Thee," "The Battle of New Orleans" and "From a Cradle to a Grave."
* The Original Vampires: A Bite-Sized Backstory - While only 6 minutes long, this is probably the best bonus feature, which provides the history for how the original vampires came to exist.

While off to a slow start, The Originals more than makes up for it in later episodes by providing new characters, interesting lore and mythology, as well as twists and turns that keeps things mysterious and interesting until the final episode. Dare I say that fans of The Vampire Diaries will enjoy The Originals even more. And folks who have never seen The Vampire Diaries are treated to a new show that definitely stands on its own.

For more information, visit The Originals: The Complete First Season from Warner Bros.
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