Julie Plec wrote CW’s Containment pilot after telling Warner Bros. execs of her enthusiasm for contagion. Well, maybe not so much contagion, but “the world” of contagion. Ebola, Plec said during the show’s TCA panel today, “wasn’t a cultural conversation when I started writing,” though by the time she’d finished her first draft the “outbreak happened, and it was exactly the conversation.”
Based on a Belgian format, Containment, an upcoming midseason series, also appealed to Plec’s preference for “grounded but simple, honest stories with the deep theme of love and family and friendship” within chaotic, terrifying environments.
Warner Bros. owns the Belgian format, and some changes were made in the adaptation. While the original series’ Patient Zero was from Afghanistan, “I thought that with Syria bubbling in the news, and ISIS, it felt like a more topical show” to reflect current events.
Asked if she was ready for controversy, Plec insisted, “I don’t think it’s controversial. It’s a mystery, and more about how we, as Americans, are quick to jump to conclusions, and prey on fear, without having information.”
The American series’ particular contagion is a 48-hour killer, and Season 1’s 13 episodes encompass the story’s 19 days. Containment chronicles the mysterious fatal outbreak in Atlanta, which prompts a large-scale quarantine while local and federal officials desperately search for a cure.