Entertainment Magazine

The Secret Circle 1x01: Pilot

Posted on the 13 September 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

The Secret Circle 1x01: Pilot

Original Air Date: 15 September 2011

Storyline: Cassie Blake's world is turned upside down after her mother dies in a mysterious accident, forcing her to move in with her grandmother in the small town of Chance Harbor, Washington. While trying to adjust to her new life, Cassie is quickly befriended by Diana Meade, a sweet-natured classmate who offers to show her around. Cassie also meets mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa and has a late night encounter with next door neighbor Nick. Things get complicated when she meets Adam, Diana's boyfriend, with whom she feels an instant and powerful connection. When strange and dangerous things begin to happen, Cassie's new friends are forced to tell her their secret - they are all witches and her arrival will complete the Circle.Trivia: The Secret Circle is based on the trilogy bearing the same name by American author L. J. Smith, who has also written "The Vampire Diaries" books.

The pilot episode was filmed during March 24, 2011 - April 5, 2011 and released on iTunes a few days before the premiere on The CW.
In the original pilot script, Doug is part of the seven-member coven of witches which the pilot focuses on. He's a football player who was bumped from third-string to starting quarterback thanks to the coven's powers. In January, The Vampire Diaries showrunner and executive producer Kevin Williamson was brought in to rewrite Andrew Miller's script and soon the project was picked up to pilot. Following this, Doug was no longer in the pilot script.
Melissa is a character that does not exist in the books.
Cassie's mother dying in the pilot never happened in the books, she plays a supporting role in the entire book series. Kevin Williamson explains at Comic Con that, "they had already decided to kill her," but that he came in and re-wrote how it happened to connect the story.

Best Quote:

Faye: Oh for God's sake, spit it out! You're a witch. You're a full-blooded, hundred percent witch. We all are. There, done.

Review: Thanks to iTunes, the pilot episode of new teen series The Secret Circle was released a few days before the premiere. For those of you who haven't watched it and don't want to have things spoiled, now is the time to stop reading and come back to this page in two days. 

The pilot introduces main character Cassie Blake, a teenager who moves in with her grandmother after her mother dies in a gruesome accident - a fire started by ways of magic by a man whom we later know as Charles Meade, father of one of Cassie's first friends in the new town - Diana. By the end of the episode, we find out that Cassie's arrival in Chance Harbor was planned by Meade and Dawn Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge) for reasons that we can only imagine as evil.
Cassie soon learns that she comes from a long line of witches and that her new acquaintances - Diana, her boyfriend Adam, her neighbor Nick, resident bad girl Faye and so far boring Melissa - are witches as well and that together they form a circle that intensifies all of their powers, but can also lead to disaster if these powers are not controlled. She also gets her first clues about her family and finds out that her father was not a very good man and that her family and Adam's are destined to unite. 
The pilot does a decent job in setting the characters and the story, without giving us too much too soon. I'm not yet sure if this will play out similarly to TVD in having the circle deal with one single threat or they will get into fighting different villains as the story unfolds. I'm not familiar with the books nor do I think I will be in the near future. For the moment, the plot stirred up my interest and I will patiently wait for Cassie's entire background to be revealed.
Life Unexpected's Brittany Robertson stars as Cassie Blake, the show's main character. Cassie comes off as a quiet self-sufficient teenager who seems to be quite mature for her age. Her refusal to be part of the circle even after her powers are revealed made her instantly likable to me - she's not an excitement chaser, but prefers rather to rebuild her life after her mother's death. Robertson had a decent performance in making Cassie a believable and rootable character and the pre-season trailers didn't do her justice, as I was prepared to dislike her on the spot. She just needs to stop humming that creepy tune, it's like expecting Chucky to pop up from behind the door at any moment.
Thomas Dekker, well-known to sci-fi geeks as John Connor from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and as Zach from Heroes, plays Adam Conant, prototype of the boy next door. As per his father, the Conant and Blake families are tied up together by destiny and Adam and Cassie belong together. Indeed, they feel an instant connection when they meet and the water floating spell was romantic and all, but Adam has a long time girlfriend in Diana, the leader of their coven, and is not ready to break that relationship. I like Adam as the male lead and possible romantic interest for Cassie, not to mention that Thomas Dekker is really cute.
Shelley Hennig plays Diana Meade, leader of the coven and partisan of using magic for good and controlling the power in order to prevent history from repeating itself. She clashes with Faye Chamberlain (Phoebe Tonkin), who has an unpredictable personality and has no interest in controlling her powers. So far, I don't really buy Tonkin as a bad girl, she comes off as spoiled but doesn't make the naughty act quite believable yet. The other two members of the coven, Nick and Melissa, weren't given much air time so there's really nothing to say about them so far.
Other characters are Jane Blake, Cassie's grandmother, played by Ashley Crow; Charles Meade (Gale Harold), the one who killed Cassie's mother and who we might assume was the leader of the last circle; Dawn Chamberlain (played by a bored Natasha Henstridge), Faye's mother and the school principal, who might be just as unpredictable as her daughter; and Ethan Conant (Queer as Folk and Dexter alum Adam Harrington), Adam's drunken dad, who keeps insisting that Adam and Cassie belong together and who used to be in love with Cassie's mother.
At first, I wasn't very excited about this show, but I put it down as one of my fall experiments out of curiosity. I must admit I liked the pilot quite a bit, although it doesn't excel and it is mainly a teen show. The story is interesting and the main character is endearing enough to make me keep watching for at least a while longer, so expect in-depth reviews of future episodes as well. What are your thoughts on this new show?
Back to Season 1

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog