How to Make Draco Malfoy Blush – “Origin” Premiere Review & Event Report
While the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiere was taking place in Paris, MuggleNet was also at another world premiere (this one in London) catching up with some longer-standing friends from the wizarding world. Origin is a new YouTube Originals sci-fi thriller starring Tom Felton and Natalia Tena!
As exciting as it was to see the man who portrayed Draco Malfoy arrive at Vue Leicester Square, Tena (his Potter cousin Tonks) won the red carpet by bringing a canine friend with her! “Mimosa” came a close second to “everyone I love” for Tena when asked what she’d miss about Earth at the Q&A after the screening (“general Earthiness” was also on the list).
Origin takes place in the not-too-distant future and follows a small group of strangers who all choose to leave Earth to become early colonizers of a planet called Thea. It’s billed as a chance for them to start new lives and have all records of their previous ones destroyed. The journey – inevitably – does not go smoothly, and instead of waking up on Thea as promised, the main characters leave stasis to find themselves still in deep space, alone on a ship called the Origin (there’s a lot of handy in-world promotion of the show’s logo).
Not only has the crew vanished suddenly – leaving half-eaten meals, wet clothes, and unfinished vlogs – but there are also lots of missing passengers. (At the end of the red carpet, a passenger cryochamber made an unusual photobooth that guests were having lots of fun with – even Tom Felton had a go!)
It soon becomes clear that something has got onto the ship, something not friendly, something that can take over people’s bodies. Yes, this sounds very Alien, but the truth is that though Origin has gory moments definitely not suitable for younger viewers, it is a far more psychological thriller. The fact that all anyone knows about each other is that they chose to leave Earth is played to great effect, with the show taking a very sedate approach to revealing backstories – cleverly letting the audience form opinions about the characters on the ship before they get to discover the shadows in their past through flashbacks. In the two episodes we watched, they delved into the backstories of Yakuza member Shun (incredible newcomer Sen Mitsuji) and Tena’s character Lana, an ex-soldier turned bodyguard for whom Tena took on an intense training regime, including regular hours of Krav Maga.
Felton continues to defend his character, Logan, from assumptions he’ll play someone evil – going so far as to say that “he is a sweetheart!”
The show’s writer, Mika Watkins, said she came up with the idea for the show because she “knew [she] wanted to write something in space” but not a “space adventure” and with “no Jar-Jar Binks.” It was at this point in the Q&A that Tom Felton made the shocking admission that he’s never seen Star Wars.
As a 20-something, half-Japanese woman who six years ago was only just starting as an intern for Left Bank Pictures, Watkins certainly defies expectations for the showrunner of a ten-part sci-fi series with a multimillion-dollar budget. Felton himself fell foul of his assumptions when he met her and presumed she was a cast member – an encounter that ended with him casually asking what sorts of thing she wrote and receiving “Well, I wrote this” in reply. Watkins laughed at the recounted anecdote, saying, “If you ever want to see Draco Malfoy blush…” Felton conceded that it had given her “a full license to use any Harry Potter material against me for the rest of the shoot.”
Origin is a brilliant thriller, replete with jump scares and suspecting everybody. It’s got a diverse cast of characters waiting to be discovered and it looks gorgeous.
The full series will be released on YouTube Premium on November 14 – go here to subscribe or take advantage of its 30-day free trial.
Plus, Tom Felton can’t wait for you to watch it:
I’m so excited for [Potter fans] to see it. […] As Nat will agree, we’ve all been flooded with lovely people.