Teen Wolf (2011 TV series)
|Based on||Teen Wolf
by Jeph Loeb
|Developed by||Jeff Davis|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||62 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||40-43 minutes (per episode)|
|Original release||June 5, 2011– present|
Teen Wolf is an American television series developed by Jeff Davis for MTV. It is loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name, and stars Tyler Posey as a teenager named Scott, who is bitten by a werewolf and must cope with how it affects his life and the lives of those closest to him.
Teen Wolf premiered on June 5, 2011, following the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. On July 24, 2014, MTV renewed Teen Wolf for a fifth season of 20 episodes, which will be split into two parts, and premiered June 29, 2015. Dylan Sprayberry was also upgraded from a recurring cast member to a series regular for the upcoming fifth season, and Tyler Hoechlin was downgraded to a recurring character for the fifth season due to wanting to pursue more movies. The series has received a generally positive response from critics.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Episodes
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Development and production
- 5 Differences and similarities from films
- 6 Series werewolf mythology
- 7 Reception
- 8 Other media
- 9 Awards and nominations
- 10 Broadcast
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a high school student living in the town of Beacon Hills. Scott's life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf, becoming one himself. He must henceforth learn to balance his problematic new identity with his day-to-day teenage life. The following characters are instrumental to his struggle: Stiles, his human best friend; Allison, his first love interest who comes from a family of werewolf hunters; Lydia, a banshee and Allison's best friend; and Derek, a mysterious werewolf with a dark past. Along the way, he encounters characters who shape him into a stronger werewolf and better person: Jackson, a bully from his high school; Malia, a were-coyote and Derek's cousin; Kira, a Japanese fox spirit and Scott's second love interest; and Liam, Scott's beta and the first human he bites. Throughout the series, he strives to keep his loved ones safe while maintaining normal relationships with them.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||12||June 5, 2011||August 15, 2011|
|2||12||June 3, 2012||August 13, 2012|
|3||24||12||June 3, 2013||August 19, 2013|
|12||January 6, 2014||March 24, 2014|
|4||12||June 23, 2014||September 8, 2014|
|5||20||June 29, 2015||TBA|
Teen Wolf premiered on June 5, 2011, following the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. The second season premiered on June 3, 2012 after 2012 MTV Movie Awards. On July 12, 2012, Teen Wolf was renewed for a third season, which includes 24 episodes and the production location was moved to Los Angeles, California. The third season premiered on June 3, 2013 at 10 pm, giving the series a new high on ratings. A fourth season premiered on June 23, 2014. On July 24, 2014, MTV renewed Teen Wolf for a fifth season of 20 episodes, which will be split into two parts, and is premiered June 29, 2015.
Cast and characters
|Tyler Posey||Scott McCall||Main|
|Crystal Reed||Allison Argent||Main|
|Dylan O'Brien||Stiles Stilinski||Main|
|Tyler Hoechlin||Derek Hale||Main||Recurring|
|Holland Roden||Lydia Martin||Main|
|Colton Haynes||Jackson Whittemore||Main|
|Shelley Hennig||Malia Tate||Recurring||Main|
|Arden Cho||Kira Yukimura||Recurring||Main|
|Dylan Sprayberry||Liam Dunbar||Recurring||Main|
Development and production
MTV's Teen Wolf series was a re-imagining of the earlier Michael J. Fox comedy film, which was itself a reimagining of the classic 1957 AIP film, I Was a Teenage Werewolf. The film had been previously adapted for television, as an animated series aired on CBS in 1986–87.
For the MTV series, creator and executive producer, Jeff Davis, aimed to develop a darker, sexier and edgier version than the 1985 film. Davis' desire was to make a thriller with comedic overtones but in a tone more similar to that of the 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys. According to Davis, it all started with an idea to do a homage to Stand by Me, where in the beginning, the kids go out and search for a body in the woods and it's not quite what they expect. The look of the show was inspired in part by Guillermo del Toro's creatures in Pan's Labyrinth; the producers described the werewolves as beautiful, elegant and scary, at the same time.
Once the show was a go, Davis lined up Australian director Russell Mulcahy, who added the horror to the project. Mulcahy directed the pilot presentation and serves as executive producer and in-house director.
Casting announcements were all announced in December 2010, with the main cast being, Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden, and Colton Haynes. Posey was cast as the lead Scott McCall, a dorky high-school student who after being bitten by a werewolf, starts to notice changes in himself, Reed playing Allison Argent, a sweet new girl at school who is immediately attracted to Scott, Hoechlin playing Derek Hale, a handsome local boy who in fact is a vicious and predatory werewolf, and O'Brien playing Stiles, Scott's best friend. Roden playing Lydia Martin, Jackson Whittemore's popular and controlling girlfriend, and Haynes playing Jackson Whittemore, Scott's lacrosse teammate and rival.
Production on twelve episodes began in October 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. MTV released a sneak peek of the first eight minutes of the pilot on their website, on May 31, 2011. Teen Wolf episodes are composed by music composer Dino Meneghin. As of Season 2, the opening credits of the show changed dramatically to a longer format featuring the main characters appearing whilst performing an action (such as Colton Haynes performing a lacrosse throw), along with the respective names of the actors. The new opening credits also feature the show's new theme song. In June 2012, the series received conditional approval for a California film and TV tax credit. At Comic-Con 2012, the cast confirmed that the show had been renewed for a longer third season, comprising twenty-four episodes. In June 2013, the series was selected again for a California tax credit. Roughly halfway through each episode, the series has a segment with the song Row, Row, Row Your Boat, utilizing an alternative and much darker rendition of the song. This song sequence concludes, and is explained in Season 3 when Stiles is shown to be locked in a semi-conscious dream state along with Scott.
Differences and similarities from films
The original film is about a typical awkward team sports playing teenager named Scott dealing with high school and life as a werewolf. In both versions, Scott reaps the benefits of werewolf stardom, achieving confidence and acceptance from his peers with his newly discovered powers and has a close friend named Stiles.[not in citation given]
There are significant differences between the film and TV series. MTV's version is a drama/comedy with a darker tone while the 1985 film was simply a comedy. The humor in the new series is a darker humor but pays tribute to the original feel of the movie. In promos before airing, the producers said they were influenced by Joss Whedon's high school drama series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whedon's central premise was: "High school as a horror movie. And so the metaphor became the central concept behind Buffy, and that's how I sold it." The writers have confirmed they have no intention to include vampires but other creatures may be considered. There is also a surprising amount of violence and horrific images in the new series, this includes a dead body that has been torn in half, scenes of people being burned alive, as well as multiple fight scenes that result in deaths or grievous wounds and hallucinations of torture.
In this series, Scott plays lacrosse instead of basketball. In the original, Scott inherits the werewolf trait from his father Harold who hid his lycanthropy from his son in the hopes that it would skip a generation, while the Scott on MTV's show gets bitten by a werewolf in the woods. Both Scotts are raised by a single parent, in the film Scott is brought up by his father and his mother is said to have died whilst in the series Scott is brought up by his mother who is divorced from his father. The new Stiles wears T-shirts featuring the Beatles and the Royal Air Force roundel symbol, while the original Stiles favored shirts that included highly-offensive phrases. Another difference is that in the original everyone knew Scott was a wolf: in the modern update it remains a secret to the general population, with some of the plot exploring the resulting problems that arise from keeping his transformation hidden, in addition to Scott's inner conflict about being a werewolf.
There is one reference, in part 1 of the season 1 finale of the series, to which the character Peter Hale mocks lacrosse, and says in his day everyone played basketball.
The Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, is non-canon to the MTV series, as it involves the central characters (Jason Bateman as Todd Howard), and Stiles (Stuart Fratkin) in college. Teen Wolf Too was derided by critics, and never followed by another sequel.
Series werewolf mythology
||This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (August 2013)|
In the series, there is a hierarchy in place that designates various stations under which werewolves are classified. The highest of these types is an Alpha werewolf. So far, the only two known ways for a Beta (werewolves with a pack) or Omega (werewolves without a pack) to achieve Alpha ranking is by killing another Alpha or becoming a True Alpha werewolf, which is only achieved by strength of character or sheer willpower. Also the show hints that there is a natural line of succession within packs. When Laura's family is killed, and her uncle incapacitated, she assumed the role of the Alpha werewolf within the Hale Pack. Alphas are also the only type of werewolf that can transform humans into werewolves with their Bite, but the transformation is not always successful as humans could also die from the Bite. Alpha werewolves are able to transform to a greater degree than Beta and Omega werewolves, such that they can become hulking wolf-men or fully formed canine wolves depending on their experience or physiology. Alpha werewolves' eyes glow red when agitated or in their transformed state. Months after becoming an Alpha, a werewolf's fully shifted form starts to appear more bestial.
The Alpha werewolves are typically the leaders of a werewolf pack and are generally more powerful than all other werewolves. An Alpha werewolf needs a minimum of three Beta werewolves to form a basic pack. Due to a symbiotic relationship between pack members, the larger or more powerful the pack is, the greater an Alpha werewolf's strength, speed, and skill increases. They have the ability to force other werewolves (or other shape shifters) to transform, or restrain and change them back to human form, even when driven purely by werewolf instinct, as on an early full moon, with the Alpha's Roar. Some rare packs, as depicted in season 3, can be composed entirely of Alpha werewolves, with one dominant leader. These are called Alpha packs. If an Alpha werewolf kills one of their Beta werewolves from their own pack, they absorb their powers, becoming stronger, faster and more powerful. Alpha werewolves also have the ability to hide their scent. As Peter Hale inflicted upon Scott in season one, Alpha werewolves have limited telepathy and mental control over the werewolves that they create. If an Alpha werewolf directly wounds another werewolf, the wound will take longer to heal. Alpha werewolves can heal the extremely ill with their pain transference ability but they give up part of the "spark" that makes them an Alpha werewolf. This results in the loss of their Alpha status. The twins, Ethan and Aiden lost their Alpha status when their merged form's neck was snapped, but survived as individuals. According to Gerard Argent, the capacity to shape shift into actual wolves, is a rare ability among Alpha werewolves.
The second type of werewolf is a Beta werewolf. These are the most common form of werewolf. They are members of a pack of werewolves and are led by the Alpha werewolves. Although they have heightened senses and enhanced physical capabilities, they cannot change out of human form. Their transformation involves the growth of claws and some facial differences, such as the growth of facial hair (which is the case of males), elongated canines, a heavier brow and a widening of the nose, resembling that of the 1960s television character Eddie Munster. Beta werewolves have glowing blue or yellow eyes when agitated. A Beta werewolf's eyes change from a glowing yellow to a glowing blue when the werewolf takes an inocent life. A werewolf's blue eyes can revert to yellow if the werewolf were to be losing their power, as in the case of Derek Hale. Like Alpha werewolves, a Beta werewolf's power will increase if their pack increases in power or numbers.
The third type and lowest level of werewolf is an Omega werewolf. These are lone werewolves who do not have a position in a pack. Due to the symbiotic strength, speed, and skill werewolves receive from their pack-mates, the Omega werewolves are often considered the weakest of the werewolves and are often killed by werewolf hunters as easy prey. Like Beta werewolves, Omega werewolves cannot change out of their human form. There are a three specified ways for a Beta werewolf to become an Omega werewolf; if they leave their pack of their own free will, if they are thrown out of their pack, or if their entire pack is killed, and they are the survivors. Omega werewolves have the same physical appearance of Beta werewolves. Also, like Betas, Omega werewolves have yellow or blue eyes in their werewolf form. Their eyes turn from initially yellow to blue when they kill someone, but they can change back to yellow case if the werewolf were to be losing their power.
One can become a werewolf by one of two known methods; being Bitten by an Alpha werewolf such as Scott McCall and Isaac Lahey or being a werewolf by birth, having biological werewolf parents like Derek, Laura and Cora Hale. An Alpha werewolf's Bite is not always successful and some bitten humans reject the Bite and die from it rather than transform: this was the fate of Paige. In the case of Jackson Whittemore, because of his persona specifically the feeling that he lacks an identity, his body rejected the Bite and he became a mutation of the werewolf gene; the Kanima. If a banshee, like Lydia, is bitten, they will neither transform or die: they are immune, but after Derek killed him, Peter Hale, inexplicably, was able to remain alive through Lydia's hallucinations as a result of his Biting her. The Bite, if successful, not only transforms a human into a werewolf, but also cures previous medical conditions such as asthma, epilepsy, cancer and can even heal scars.
A werewolf's physical abilities are increased to an extremely high level. This allows them to do such things as: sense when a person is lying by listening to their heart rate, run incredibly fast by using a combination of both their hands and legs that allows them to outrun their opponents, see things over immense distances, track a person via their scent, maintain a high endurance level, heal from wounds very quickly, and enhanced strength that allows them to overpower their opponents, humans or most supernatural creatures. The show depicts that werewolves can develop a measure of control over their abilities, as at one point Scott's healing ability was shown to be faulty because of psychological reasons.
Werewolves can also absorb and alleviate physical pain from other beings. However, as Peter Hale mentioned, if they take away too much, the werewolf could possibly kill himself. Alpha werewolves can use this ability to cure the incredibly sick, but it costs them their Alpha status.
Werewolves can come back to life if their bodies are still intact only on the night of the new full moon, in March (also known as the Worm Moon). To come back to life, they need the light of the full moon shining on their bodies and drops of blood from an Alpha werewolf. If the werewolf resurrected was an Alpha werewolf, they revert to an Omega classification.
All Beta or Omega werewolves initially possess yellow eyes. Their eyes become permanently blue if they take a life. Derek and Peter Hale, Jackson Whittemore, and the twins Ethan and Aiden are known werewolves who possess blue eyes in their Beta/Omega forms, resulting from Derek killing his first love Paige, Peter for killing his niece Laura and those involved in the Hale House fire, Jackson from his time as the Kanima and the twins for killing their original Alpha and packmates.
Werewolves are highly allergic to wolfsbane. It affects them like kryptonite. A bullet laced with the form Nordic blue monkshood almost killed Derek Hale, but he burned the remains from another bullet and applied the ashes to the wound which cured him. Mistletoe is also poisonous to them. If a werewolf is physically unwell, they throw up a liquicious black substance as a known symptom of being poisoned by wolfsbane, mistletoe and their blood turns the same black color whenever their healing ability could be similarly ineffective. As depicted by Gerard Argent and Paige, people also eject the said black substance out of their bodies as a result of rejecting the Bite.
Like other supernatural creatures, werewolves are weakened by mountain ash. Werewolves are physically unable to cross into territories that have been surrounded by mountain ash, especially in its powdered state due to its potency. The appliance of extreme heat can override a werewolf's healing ability as shown when Derek applied the fire from a blowtorch to Scott's skin giving Scott a permanent tattoo. The steady application of low amperage electricity will at certain levels weaken werewolves, deprive them of their abilities and keep them in human form. Physical pain causes a werewolf to stop shifting and revert to its human form. Also, it is revealed that werewolves lose their powers under a lunar eclipse.
The new full moon brings about a natural wildness to werewolves, sometimes causing the werewolf to act out violently. New werewolves often restrain themselves during this period so they do not do harm to humans or draw attention to themselves. With practice for werewolves who are newly turned, this lunar side-effect can be mentally controlled. Genetic werewolves can gain control over their werewolf powers and abilities, and animal side, much faster than bitten werewolves, due to the fact they were born werewolves, and it is part of their nature.
Werewolves can also lose control if their natural cycle of full moon transformations is disrupted; Boyd and Derek's younger sister, Cora, were locked in a bank vault lined with hecatolite laced stone. The hecatolite refracted the moonlight keeping the full moon from reaching them. This kept them from shifting for three full moons diminishing their tolerance to it. Once the walls of the vault were breached and the light of the full moon reached them they lost all control and went completely feral, rabid and tried to kill their friends and family.
Symbols also have significance among werewolves. The spiral symbol represents an intent for revenge or a vendetta (both highly common amongst werewolves).
One way a werewolf can communicate is by lengthening their claws and having physical contact with someone resulting in a form of telepathy. Piercing another being with their claws can enable the werewolf to see the victim's memories; by driving the claws into the back of a being's neck, this process will either imprint a series of memories from the attacker to the victim, or remove memories from the victim's mind. As Peter has demonstrated, the process can work both ways as seen when he extracted Isaac's memories that had been removed from his mind. According to Peter, this skill is used exclusively by Alpha werewolves, or ones who have been Alpha werewolves, due to the high risk involved; if this is done by inexperienced werewolves, they could unintentionally paralyze or kill someone.
Peter and Cora Hale have hinted that werewolves age differently from humans. This phenomenon has not been explicitly explained.
Camera flashes and some video recording devices cause werewolves eyes to glow making them nearly impossible to photograph. They can apparently learn to control this effect.
The male identical twins, Ethan and Aiden, have exhibited the ability to merge into a single larger werewolf form, that can overwhelm most supernatural creatures. They had to be taught how to harness and control this technique, however. It is unknown if this ability is unique only to werewolves who are blood related, particularly relatives of the same gender but it is known that twins of the same gender may merge. Their merged werewolf form's neck was snapped and they appeared to be dead, but they survived as individuals with both their Alpha status and their ability to merge lost.
Peter and Derek utilized a ritual in season 3 where Peter had the werewolf claws of the deceased Talia Hale inserted underneath his own fingernails and he drove them into the back of Derek's neck akin to the manner of a werewolf's memory transference or memory-wiping. Derek had a vision where he could actually communicate with Talia's spirit in a form of channeling the dead.
The first season of the series has generated a generally positive response from professional critics, with some praising it as better quality when compared to other shows by MTV. According to Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the show holds an average score of 61 out of 100, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews", based on fourteen reviews. Metacritic also lists the show as the second-highest rated MTV series by professional critics behind Awkward.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 70% of 23 critics have given the first season a positive review. The site's consensus is: "Thanks to a charismatic lead in Tyler Posey and some dark, biting humor, Teen Wolf is a pleasant summer surprise, even if it does tread familiar ground." Linda Stasi, a writer from the New York Post, awarded the series' premiere a perfect score, stating, "Not only is it really well thought out, but the good-looking kids in the show can actually act." Verne Gay from Newsday also reserved high praise for the show, calling it a "winner and best of all, fun". David Hinckley of New York Daily News commented favorably on the series, ending his review with "Werewolves, pretty girls, dumb bullies and lacrosse. What more, really, could you ask of high school?" Film critic Rex Reed is a fan of the series, calling it "the sexiest show on television today."
Some critics had a less positive reaction toward the first episode. Troy Patterson from Slate gave it a mixed review, referring to it as "light and passably witty supernatural drama". James Poniewozik from Time magazine also had mixed feelings towards the show, saying, "The pilot isn't bad, exactly—it's well-paced if a little dour in spots and there's some decent CW-esque banter—but it's pretty much entirely what I would have expected from any supernatural teen drama". Following the first season finale in August 2011, Ian Grey of indieWire gave the series a positive review and Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity named it the third best new show of the summer. BuddyTV ranked Teen Wolf #4 on its list of 2011's best new TV shows.
The second season of the show received even more positive reviews than the first one, and Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of 5 critics have given it a positive review. The third season also received positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which reports that 100% of 11 critics gave it a positive review.
The series premiere attracted a total of 2.17 million viewers. After airing its third episode, Teen Wolf was reported to be heading into its fourth week with tremendous momentum following a 23% increase among persons 12–34, with a 1.6 in the demo. With double digit percentage gains among total viewers and key demos, Teen Wolf was the #1 show in its timeslot with women 12–34. The first season finale attained a series high in persons 12–34 (1.9) and 2.1 million viewers overall, as well as being first in its timeslot among teens and females 12–34.
|Season 1||Monday 10/9c||MTV||
In June 2012, MTV Books released the book On Fire, by Nancy Holder. The cover art features Tyler Posey with glowing yellow eyes, with a fire red background. The book tells the story of Scott McCall and the first season of Teen Wolf.
Awards and nominations
|2011||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Fantasy/Sci-Fi||Nominated|
|Choice Summer TV Show||Nominated|
|Breakout Star||Tyler Posey||Nominated|
|Choice Summer TV Star – Male||Nominated|
|Choice Summer TV Star – Female||Crystal Reed||Nominated|
|Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi||Nominated|
|2012||Saturn Awards||Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer TV Show||Won|
|Choice Summer TV Star – Male||Tyler Posey||Won|
|Choice Summer TV Star – Female||Crystal Reed||Nominated|
|Imagen Award||Best Actor/Television||Tyler Posey||Nominated|
|ALMA Award||Favorite TV Actor – Leading Role||Won|
|2013||Saturn Awards||Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television||Won|
|Young Hollywood Award||Best Ensemble||Tyler Posey
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Summer TV Show||Nominated|
|Choice Summer TV Star – Male||Tyler Posey||Won|
|2014||Saturn Awards||Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series||Nominated|
|Choice TV: Actor Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Tyler Posey||Nominated|
|Choice TV: Villain||Dylan O'Brien||Won|
|Choice Scene Stealer: Male||Tyler Hoechlin||Won|
|Young Hollywood Award||Bingeworthy TV Show||Nominated|
|2015||Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series||Tyler Posey||Nominated|
|Best Youth-Oriented Television Series||Nominated|
Teen Wolf is shown domestically in the USA on the pay TV channel MTV, Mondays at 10/9c. Canada's MuchMusic aired the series until 2014, when it was moved to the domestic version of MTV. In Quebec, the series airs on VRAK.TV.
The United Kingdom's BSkyB aired the first two seasons on pay TV channel Sky Living, Thursdays 8PM GMT. There are no plans to re-new the series for the third season. Australia's Foxtel airs the series on pay TV channel Fox8, Fridays at 9:30PM. The Seven Network's primary free-to-air channel aired the first season during late night.
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