The Secret Circle Show vs. the Books: What Are the Real Differences?

Clarissa September 14, 2011 9

The Secret CircleOn September 15, executive producer Kevin Williamson will help introduce CW watchers to another book series by L.J. Smith that has been adapted into a television show: The Secret Circle. The Secret Circle will join The Vampire Diaries (the CW’s highest rated show) on Thursday nights. In some respects, the two shows are alike, which isn’t surprising since the source material came from the same author. They’re both about high school kids, there’s a young girl in the lead role, there’s forbidden love and there’s witches. Of course, the similarities between the two shows aren’t endless and they are actually meant to inhabit separate universes (which, according to Williamson at Comic-Con, isn’t really likely to lead to a cross-over).

But the real question that Secret Circle fans might be asking themselves is how the 2011 television differs from the original book series, first released in 1992. Here’s the truth: there are some big differences in terms of overall plot and characters. At the same time, however, there are similarities. This is also how The Vampire Diaries played out. But for those of you who are looking for some mild spoilers before tomorrow night’s premiere, I’ve put together a little primer outlining both the differences and similarities between the television show and the books.

Click the arrows above to learn exactly how different show is from the books. Of course, let’s keep in mind that I’ve only watched the pilot episode at this point, so I can’t really guess about any future differences or similarities. But there are enough of both right now to let fans know how everything starts to play out.

Don’t miss the premiere of The Secret Circle on Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 p.m. on The CW. You can read Mark’s advance review of the show here and watch a cool new promo here.

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  • Max

    You pretty much nailed it, although there are things to add:

    1. The kids in the show doesn't seem to be feared by the other students at school – they try to keep being witches a secret.

    2. they cut the circle members from 12 to 6 because of the budget too I assume not only because it would simply be to much for one show

    3. they said at comic con that they changed the name to Chance Harbor for the same exact reason that I mentioned in point one. It would be too obvious. They want to keep being magical a secret.

    • http://Www.twitter.com/clarissa373 Clarissa

      Thanks for the update, Max. I missed point #3 at Comic-con. As for #2, it was probably the combination of both money and a huge cast. Either way, having 12 main characters is a big undertaking. It's akin to something like LOST.

  • Melody

    Thanks to iTunes (the pilot is right now available for free) I've been able to see the premiere and I will say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. Like most book adaptations, you have to try and put the book out of your mind. It's always hard, but it has to be an attempted goal, otherwise you spend the entire time running down a list of comparisons. The only real change that even remotely bothered me was Adam and Cassie's meeting. I'm glad he got to rescue her, and that amps up their connection, but I liked that in the books it was she who rescued him, it was a nice dynamic for the start of their relationship. He thought she was normal and yet was very drawn to her and he being the powerful witch had to be saved by a mere mortal. Although it bothered me, I trust in the creative team to find ways to amp up their connection.

    Oh, and the change with the generation of parents is awesome. I'm going to love to see what that crew is up too this season.

    • Melody

      Oh, and there is one other change I think is worth mentioning. At the beginning of the books Cassie isn't very self-assured or nor does she appear as very strong. She's got the potential inside, but she's so shy and self deprecating that it takes time for her to grow into that self-possessed role. In the pilot she's a much more confident character than her written counterpart. This was a necessary change for TV, because the audience doesn't want to watch a much less assertive main character. If she spent the whole first season just getting pushed around, we'd be really annoyed. In the book it worked, we could go through that journey with her, but for film it would come off as much more annoying.

  • http://m.tvovermind.com/thecw/the-secret-circle/secret-circle-show-versus-books-what-are-the-differe Equusanie

    Oh, and there is one other change I think is worth mentioning. At the beginning of the books Cassie isn’t very self-assured or nor does she appear as very strong. She’s got the potential inside, but she’s so shy and self deprecating that it takes time for her to grow into that self-possessed role. In the pilot she’s a much more confident character than her written counterpart. This was a necessary change for TV, because the audience doesn’t want to watch a much less assertive main character. If she spent the whole first season just getting pushed around, we’d be really annoyed. In the book it worked, we could go through that journey with her, but for film it would come off as much more annoying.

    The generation is way different because of the cellphones.

  • Miranda

    IDK. I'm extremely iffy on the show. I LOVED the twins and the dyamic that Cassie was only a back-up member for the twin's little sister. They just changed too much and the characters? Adam was a copper-haired prince-like character (actually a lot like book-Edward from Twilight.) but they just made him look like he was looking for the audition for vampire extra #7 for Vampire Diaries but got lost. It's like they are making up for plot-important details (like Sean, who played a major role in book 2) by adding in lesser-more cliche things.

  • WickedChris

    I love the show, I love the cast, I love the character development, but I have to admit, I'm disappointed.. I mean, they should have at least followed from the book about the romance between Cassie and Adam, how they first met, and their "bond" (you book lovers, u know what I mean. ^_^).. Also, Nick in the series is acting like a "hustler" or something.. They should have at least kept Nick being apathetic about the circle, and has this "clashing tendencies" when he and Adam met each others' eyes (or ideas).. With the 12 characters, I think the MAIN would be Cassie, Adam, Diana, Faye, and Nick.. They should have at least left Melanie, Suzie, Deborah, Laurel, Sean, Doug, and Chris untouched.. It can be a big cast, but like what they're doing in Glee, they put lesser attention to such supporting characters.. Well, we have to give the series a break and see.. maybe, in their own ways, they can astound us like the book did.. :-D

  • Annoyed

    Changing it from 12 to 6 characters is too much of a plot change and is ridiculous. I understand that there will be differences but this makes it a different story altogether and the whole point of a complete coven is 12 members. Having said that, perhaps they will bring in other members as the series progresses. I can understand adding Jeremy in Vampire Diaries instead of Elena having a little baby sister but this change is too drastic.

  • Done.

    This is too much change for me. I think what made me love the books so much is that they just seem to be from another time. One that isn't as complicated as today's world. There were no computers, cell phones, internet, etc. At least not as readily availiable as it is today. These shows are barely inspired by the books; they are just too modern. The Secret Circle and The Vampire Diaries are two of my favorite book series. That said, I can't stand to watch either tv show. They have both lost what has made the books so incredible: Simplicity and fantastic characters.