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The Original Pilot

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"Strange Love"
The Original Pilot
Season 1, Episode 1
Air date -
Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Alan Ball
Episode Guide

"The Original Pilot" refers to the unaired version of the first episode of Season 1 of the HBO original series True Blood. Shot in the summer of 2007, and virtually identical to the series' aired version, "Strange Love", the unaired episode's primary difference is the inclusion of American actress Brook Kerr in the role of Tara Thornton.

The pilot episode, shown to a test market which then decided whether or not the show was worth producing, was shown, with decent reception. The show was ordered by the HBO network for a 2008 premiere, and while Brook Kerr stars as the original incarnation of Tara Thornton, creative differences resulted in her being replaced by American actress Rutina Wesley when the series finally aired.


Two years after vampires have "come out of the coffin", the life of 25-year-old waitress Sookie Stackhouse is changed when 173-year-old Bill Compton walks into Merlotte's Bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Meanwhile, Sookie's friend Tara comes to work at Merlotte's while Sookie's tomcatting brother Jason finds himself on the wrong side of the law.


"Bill? I thought it might be Antoine, or Basil, or-or-or like Langford, maybe.
But, Bill? Vampire Bill?!"
― Sookie Stackhouse, to Bill Compton

The synopsis for the original pilot is identical to the synopsis for the series' aired version.

Differences between the original pilot and its aired counterpartEdit

  • The opening credits have been completely revamped.
  • Character wardrobes have been completely revamped.
  • Brook Kerr stars at the original incarnation of Tara Thornton.
  • Tara's choice of reading material.
  • An unidentified woman, later revealed to be Claudine Crane, is seen in the woods watching over the fight between Sookie and the Rattrays.


The trailer below was the trailer released for the aired version of the series' first episode, "Strange Love".

True Blood Trailer Episode 101:25

True Blood Trailer Episode 1



  • This episode currently hasn't received any awards.


  • This episode does not contain any allusions.

Bloopers and Continuity ErrorsEdit

  • There are no bloopers that occur in this episode.



  • There are no flashbacks that occur in this episode.


  • There were no miscredits that occur in this episode.


  • "Bad Things" - Jace Everett (True Blood opening credits theme)


  • The pilot was shot in the summer of 2007. Actress Brook Kerr originally played the role of Tara Thornton, but when the show was ordered to series she was replaced by Rutina Wesley.
  • An unidentified woman is seen in the woods watching over the fight between Sookie and the Rattrays. It is implied that the unidentified woman is responsible for the telekinetic choking of Mack. This is confirmed in Season 3: the woman is Claudine, Sookie's fairy godmother.
  • About 2.1 million viewers tuned into the premiere episode, with 1.4 million coming from the original 9pm broadcast and an additional 700,000 viewers from a 10:30pm rebroadcast.


  • The episode title and the song is probably a reference to the mysterious chemistry between Sookie and Bill the first time they look each other.


  • "Tru Blood" takes its name from the brand of synthetic blood that the Japanese have patented in Harris' novels. Vampires can actually drink it, thereby bypassing their need for human blood.
  • In the first scene featuring Sookie's grandmother Adele Stackhouse (Lois Smith), Gran is reading the novel Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris, creator of the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series of novels that inspired True Blood.
  • In the opening credits, there is a brief glimpse of an old Victorian house. It is actually the "Florentine", an over 100 year-old former club and home in Shreveport, Louisiana. Gas Light Players did a fall haunted house there in 1999, called "House of Terror".

Memorable QuotesEdit

Adele StackhouseEdit

Bill ComptonEdit

  • (to Sookie) "What are you?"
  • "Oh, but you have many other very juicy arteries. There's one in the groin that's a particular favorite of mine."
  • (to Sookie) "May I call on you sometime?"
  • "I can bring you back to life."

Dawn GreenEdit

  • "I'm sorry to break it to you, baby, but you are not my only source for a good time."

Good Old Boy VampireEdit

  • "Fuck me? I'll fuck you, boy. I'll fuck ya and then I'll eat ya."

Jason StackhouseEdit

  • "You know, I read in Hustler everybody should have sex with a vampire at least once before they die."

Lafayette ReynoldsEdit

  • "That boy is sex on a stick. I don't give a good damn how stuck up he is."
  • "They ain't scared of you, honey child. They're scared of what's between your legs."
  • "Shit. Sam must've lost his damn mind 'cause you should not be allowed to work in no situation where you actually gotta interact with people."
  • "I know every man, whether straight, gay or George mother-fucking Bush is terrified of the pussy."

Sam MerlotteEdit

  • "You willing to pass up all your favorite foods and spend the rest of your life drinking slim-fast?"

Sookie StackhouseEdit

  • (Seeing Bill Compton for the first time) "I've been waiting for this to happen ever since they came out of the coffin two years ago."
  • "I'm not so sure you even have another side; you no account backwoods trash!"
  • "Hey, you just shut your nasty mouth, mister! You might be a vampire, but when you talk to me, you will talk to me like the lady that I am!"
  • "No, it makes me sick that they're getting a thousand bucks to lay there and do nothing while I bust my ass for ten bucks an hour plus tips."

Tara ThorntonEdit

  • "Oh, this ain't rude. This is uppity. (slaps manager) That's for pattin' my ass too much!"

Memorable DialogueEdit

Sookie Stackhouse: "Oh, they’re just staring at me because my brother’s in some kind of trouble with the police. But Bill, did you know Maudette Pickens?"
Bill Compton: "I did not. They are staring at us, because I am a vampire, and you are mortal."

Lafayette Reynolds: "What are you doing here?"
Tara Thornton: "I work here."
Lafayette Reynolds: "Oh no the hell you don't!"
Tara Thornton: "Oh yes the hell I do too you ugly bitch. You need to make peace with that."





Guest starringEdit

Special guest starringEdit


  • Ken Kobus as Man at bar
  • Retson Ross as Riot boy


Opening Credits SequenceEdit

Merlotte's - Scene 001Edit

Merlotte's - Scene 002Edit

Super Save-A-Bunch - Scene 001Edit

Super Save-A-Bunch - Scene 002Edit


First actress to play Tara in True Blood02:11

First actress to play Tara in True Blood

Brook Kerr as "Tara Thornton" in the original Pilot Episode


True Blood Season 1
Season 2 >>Season 3 >>Season 4 >>
#01 "Strange Love"#07 "Burning House of Love"
#02 "The First Taste"#08 "The Fourth Man in the Fire"
#03 "Mine"#09 "Plaisir D'Amour"
#04 "Escape from Dragon House"#10 "I Don't Wanna Know"
#05 "Sparks Fly Out"#11 "To Love Is to Bury"
#06 "Cold Ground"#12 "You'll Be the Death of Me"

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