"Bitten" premiered this week on Syfy, and while there are already several shows featuring werewolves on TV, it's one worth checking out, and on Tuesday, Jan. 14, series star Greyston Holt (Clayton) and executive producer JB Sugar spoke to reporters about what's to come and what makes their show different from the others.
On Monday nights alone, there's already "Being Human" and "Teen Wolf" for your werewolf fix, so why should you add "Bitten" to your schedule? "We take pride in the fact that, despite the supernatural premise of "Bitten," it's really a story about the themes that resonate for fans of any kind of genre," the executive producer explained. "[These are] characters that have real dimension, that are grounded in a real world despite their supernatural abilities to shape, shift into werewolves. And at its heart it’s a real character drama and with themes that deal with identity and family and kind of quelling the beast that’s inside of all of us, quite literally and figuratively." Also, remember, Kelley Armstrong wrote her book back before these other shows, and the EP later revealed that the first season "follows very closely to the plot of the first novel," with "some surprises and Easter eggs and new elements introduced."
While, like Sugar said, the show is something fans of all genres can enjoy, there is no forgetting that it is a show about werewolves, and bringing the characters in wolf form to the screen was "one of the biggest production challenges," the EP admitted. "As they are in Kelley Armstrong’s novels, they’re photo real wolves. They look like very large yet very real wolves that you would see in the wild." That left them with a decision to make, and in the end, they went full CGI. Something you will notice when it comes to the wolf form of the characters is the "wolf vision," which was something they discussed early on. "The intention and spirit of - and design of those shots really are inspired by the canine color palette and that the way that canines see the world and have a bit of an enhanced ability to see at night," he explained. "And contrary to popular belief, canines are not colorblind. …They really don’t see any reds and browns. So we really kind of isolated the blues and yellows and had that inform how our wolves would see when we go into their point of view."
How much will the show be switching between Toronto and Stonehaven? According to Sugar, "Some episodes, as you saw like Episode 1, the pilot, is probably about I’d say 70/30 Toronto to Stonehaven. Whereas Episode 2 kind of reverses that ratio. Episode 3 pretty much stays within that 70/30 Stonehaven to Toronto. Episode 4, kind of the same. Episode 5 still keeps that balance. And then later in the season through Episode 6 we’re actually flipping that again and we’re in Toronto a little more. And then towards the end of the season, you know, the two worlds really do collide. So there’s a healthy balance and ebb and flow of Toronto and Stonehaven."
Diane (Philip's sister) will be back throughout the season, as Philip's family is one area that is a departure from the book, as they've worked hard to develop Elena's human world to "highlight this push and pull that Elena undergoes throughout the first season," the EP explained. "Despite her love and affection for Clayton, she also has this desire for normalcy."
Sugar called episode 5 one of his favorites, and be prepared for flashbacks. "One of my favorite scenes is the scene that actually takes us to the moment where Elena is bitten into the pack and the circumstances that led to it," he teased.
Finally, what can we expect from Clayton? According to Holt, "He's not a bad person. He just does bad things to bad people." You will see an inner conflict between his loyalty to Jeremy and his love for Elena, which "comes to the forefront as the series progresses," the actor said. "My agenda is to protect the pack and be loyal to the pack, and then Elena, she's my love. But ultimately my loyalty lies with Jeremy. He's our pack alpha. But, you know, as the season goes on you'll see that loyalty tested for many reasons. For, you know, mutts and for my love for Elena and then Jeremy."
"Bitten" season 1 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Syfy.