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Aria Shahghasemi and Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (Credit: Jace Downs/The CW)

Legacies keeps The Vampire Diaries alive with a pilot premiere (and panel) at NYCC 2018

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Oct 6, 2018, 11:59 AM EDT

Why have just one spinoff of The Vampire Diaries when you can have two? We know you were thinking the same thing, and so was series creator Julie Plec. She's ready to unleash the latest installment in her Vampire saga (following The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) and it is aptly titled Legacies

The show will follow Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell, playing a vampire/werewolf/witch tri-brid) as she comes of age. It will also tell the story of all kinds of supernatural folk that teach/study at The Salvatore School for the Young and the Gifted. Matthew Davis reprises his role of Alaric Saltzman...he had plenty of time on The Vampire Diaries, but only 3 episodes on The Originals. He will have a big presence in Legacies, as Alaric is the school's headmaster. Lucky students!

Plec brought her merry band of collaborators to New York City Comic Con 2018 to premiere the pilot episode, and also have a bloody refreshing Q and A panel. In terms of the pilot itself, we couldn't give away any spoilers even if we wanted to, though we don't want to. To give you a general impression: if you're a fan of the first two shows in Plec's vamp canon, you'll be right at home here. It also feels like you can come into this show knowing nothing about the other shows and still enjoy it. The scholastic setting gives it a "Brakebills/Xavier's School" vibe, and if you enjoy The Magicians, you might consider giving this a try. All of that said, there were plenty of moments during the screening when history (and characters) from the other shows were mentioned. Every time this happened, there was a big reaction from the audience. 

Russell manages to display Hope's powers with elegance, and Davis' Alaric further grounds the show— he's in Rupert Giles/Dean Fogg mode here, and it serves him well. He also has...certain complications. Pop culture referencs fly fast and loose, but they don't detract from the proceedings. The show, if anything, is funnier and lighter in general than the other two. Despite all of the mythological laughs going on, it is the "human" element of these characters that shine through— if Plec's work has a legacy, it is that, and that particular legacy is alive and well. 

For all of you romantics out there, don't worry— the show is full of that. 

After the screening, the panel kicked off— guests included Plec and co-writer Brett Matthews, as well as series actors Russell, Davis, Jenny Boyd, Kaylee Bryant, Quincy Fouse, Aria Shahghasemi, and Peyton Alex Smith. 

What keeps drawing Plec back to Mystic Falls? "It's a world that keeps giving back, creatively," she said. This was the show that The Vampire Diaries was original intended to be, Plec wrote the premiere, and notes that the comedy of this new show will set it apart. They wanted to "embrace their inner Buffy." 

When Davis was asked what kind of headmaster he resembles, he said Alaric is somewhere "between Dumbledore and Professor X." Russell looks forward to her new discoveries, as well as "keeping her history alive." She's also looking forward to exploring more of her "tri-brid" powers, and said as much to Plec. 

Bryant and Boyd talked about how their characters are there for each other, but not necessarily all the time. Fouse (who plays the lovelorn vampire M.G.) played it quite smooth with the audience.

Going forward, Plec says that we'll be staying around the school for a while, and that the characters from The Vampire Diaries are townies now, and, as she said, "d**ks" of the "get off my lawn" variety. When asked about when the show actually takes place, Plec said there would be a "butterfly effect" occurance if she revealed the actual date— she said it takes place in the future of Mystic Falls, and that's al we need to know. 

If they could have anyone from the saga, dead or alive, back to teach at the school, who would it be? David was quick to say Catherine, and Plec said she's like "Parker to teach detention." 

Plec talked about how she read a lot of books as a kid, "every young adult series that existed," and that she loved "living with these characters forever." She loves that she is able to do that with her shows now, with characters evolving on and on, and then seeing their children grow up as well. 

Does Alaric have more pressure on him, now that he's headmaster? Absolutely— Davis says that it's "a perilous situation," and that the stakes are high. Not just because he's a headmaster, either— like we said, there's more going on with him than you may be expecting. It's in the lore, so we suppose we can say it— Alaric's twins are on the scene, and they played by Bryant and Boyd. As for the new actors joining the show, they agreed that it created pressure, but the new material was exciting— they used that pressure to motivate them and make the show the best it could be. 

Will we see any original original characters from the former shows? Plec says that there's every chance that we could see the children of legacy characters, nothing resembling a pun intended. It's not going to happen right away, but "the door is wide open." 

The audience made much of love triangles in this world, with one question saying they already sense a "Damon/Elena" vibe to a particular couple. Is that what they are trying to do? Plec notes that when it comes to Alaric's twins, it's less of a love triangle, and more of a personal, emotional plight. 

With that, the panel wrapped up— the audience was absolutely buzzing about what they'd seen and heard. 

Legacies will premiere on October 25th on the CW at 9:00 EST. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.