Julie Plec, co-creator of The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff, The Originals, has created more horror for the CW network with Containment. And while Plec admits there is a fair amount of violence and gore, she says there’s much more to the show. Anyone who follows Julie’s other shows knows that the Containment showrunner has a knack for developing some truly great romances in the midst of carnage, misery, and death. Plec is doing it again with Containment and she wants fans of The Vampire Diaries to know this is right up their alley.
Containment Showrunner Julie Plec Creates Her Own Vision Of The Apocalypse
In talking about the themes of Containment, Julie Plec refers to the unlikeliest of stories, one of the most famous John Hughes teen angst films of the ’80s, as one inspiration for Containment. Ms. Plec says she thinks the two stories share a commonality in terms of finding a group of diverse strangers trapped together and forced to get along and bond in stressful situations.
“I call it The Breakfast Club philosophy,” Plec says. “There’s something about being trapped in a dire situation with a group of people that you would never normally be trapped with. The human element that comes out of that — who likes who, who hates who, what cathartic moments are had that you emotionally expose yourself to somebody that you just met that morning — I’ve always really loved that kind of storytelling.”
Julie says that Containment should appeal to fans of The Vampire Diaries, because both shows deal with the same themes, though the circumstances may be different. Instead of having to deal with the issues of love, family, friendship, and grief in terms of being in love with a vampire, Plec says those same issues come into play on Containment because maybe your girlfriend or husband is trapped in the quarantine zone. The Containment creator adds that the new series is more mature in some ways, but she also thinks that fans of her other two shows will stick around, once they decide to give it a chance.
“My hope is that people will check it out — and it’s pretty addictive so once they’ve checked it out, hopefully they’ll stick around.”
Julie Plec Gives A Glimpse Inside Containment‘s Quarantine Zone
Containment tells the story of what happens when an epidemic breaks out in Atlanta. The virus is deadly enough that the entire city is quarantined and those trapped within the city limits must fight for their lives. As people are forced to come together, Containment explores the devolution of humanity and the ways in which some unlikely heroes arise amidst the misery. Julie Plec describes the virus as a hemorrhagic issue in the sense that the victims bleed out copiously as they die, but, even before death, everyone is forced to live in a society where germs are everywhere and body fluids are not to be touched under any circumstances.
Adding complications to this situation, as only she can do, Plec places a pregnant girl in the midst of this catastrophe and casts her alone in a world of sickness and villains. Even before she gives birth, this pregnant girl must already begin to plan for the protection of her infant.
“Being pregnant, knowing that you’re not supposed to touch anybody, that body fluids are a big source of how this disease is communicable, that germs are everywhere and you’re just trying to survive on your own,” says Containment showrunner Julie Plec. “Then the idea of ‘if this doesn’t end by the time I give birth then I’m giving birth to a defenseless baby in a petri dish.’ That’s terrifying, and it’s a real-world terrifying problem.”
Creating the virus for Containment allows Plec to explore relationships in a unique way. Already in the first episode of Containment, viewers met Jake (Chris Wood) and Katie (Kristen Gutoskie), who are just beginning to come together as a couple. These two lovers will be faced with the new rules of a society in which touching another person or sharing body fluids means agonizing sickness and death.
“To me, TV relationships work at their best when there is a deep longing and feelings and interest and sexual attraction that is unrequitable,” says Plec, suggesting there will be romantic drama reminiscent of the love affair between Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Buffy and Angel. That alone should be enough to draw in the romantics eager for the emotional torture as only Julie Plec can deliver.
The next episode of Containment airs on Tuesday, April 26, on the CW network.
[Image by CW]