Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TV Show Idea

What follows is nothing more than a bit of a wish-list. Something I'd like to see, and which at least gives a flavor of what I think would make a good t.v. show. Play along with me for a bit? I give you...Deadline.
Quite simply, this is an idea for a television series set in Vancouver, British Columbia. So many shows are filmed there already -- and it is such an interesting city in its own right -- why not simply set the show there, eh?

The heart of the show is a freelance investigative reporter named Amanda (which means "Worthy of Love"). She is also a vampire, and a very important one amidst the city's undead. Her position as a reporter means that she is supposed to make sure that "The Secret" stays that way. In my mind's eye, she is played by Gina Torres. She was turned into a vampire in 1725, which gives her some status apart from her position. But she is also part of a growing (albeit still small) faction among the undead that consider themselves part of humanity, rather than its secret masters. They call themselves the "Cousins." In direct opposition to them is another (still minority) faction known as "Monarchs" who think that vampires should simply take over and treat humans as cattle, or (at best) pets. Amanda's personal conflict arises because she takes both her jobs seriously, and strives to reconcile. No easy task.

A word or two about the vampires in Deadline. They are not immortal but age very very slowly, perhaps a year every century. They need to drink blood regularly, but at least in theory not to kill (animal blood is almost useless). They have excellent eyesight, including the infrared, but find sunlight blinding and ultraviolet rays painful. Victims of a vampire find the bite intoxicating. Generally, the older a vampire the more powerful -- stronger, faster, with ever-increasing powers like animal-control or clairvoyance. Truly ancient vampires don't even look human anymore (think Nosferatu). Yes, they have fangs. No, they don't have to sleep in coffins (although some do). No, they cannot fly or change into beasts. Killing them requires burning, decapitation or destroying the heart. Legends says they can be poisoned. Individuals with true and abiding faith can repell them. Yes, they have reflections.

Amanda has an "offspring" named Chloe, a girl she had an affair with after moving to Vancouver years ago. She was dying of cancer and Amanda saved her by making her a vampire. Played by Elizabeth Harnois, Chloe has undergone a personality change suffering from increasingly feral moods. Although they still care for each other, Chloe and Amanda are estranged -- and the former keeps getting into trouble as she drifts into the influence of the Monarch Faction.

Leader of the local Monarchs is a charming former friend of Amanda's named Flavius (played by Jonathan Rhys Myers) who had the same Creator as Amanda. Despite the Roman name, he is only a little bit older than she, a slick and handsome figure who sees himself as a freedom fighter for his kind.

Making things trickier for Amanda are three other recurring or regular characters.

She has a rival, another reporter who tends to investigate the more extreme and outlandish events in Vancouver -- stories that as often as not involve one of the several dozen vampires who call that city home. This rival is named Esther, and between the two she is the more famous and better established. Played by Neve Campbell, Esther is actually fond of Amanda (and vice versa). But unfortunately, Esther has begun to suspect some semblance of the truth of what goes on after dark. Amanda needs to scoop her, not only to protect The Secret but also to preserve Esther's life. But Esther doesn't know that. Up until now, Esther has managed to retain some sense of perportion with her job, but events surrounding Amanda as well as other mysteries are driving her into paranoia.

Nor does it help that both Esther and Amanda are falling for the same girl -- Camille Tsing (played by Grace Park), a lab technician with the Vancouver PD forensics department. Both met her during the course of their jobs and each has frankly fallen a bit for her. She has a fierce worth ethic, a wicked sense of humor and a way of seeming to always have a way of keeping others guessing.

What neither realize is that Camille is a recovering alcoholic who has found another addiction -- she allows vampires to feed from her, including none other than Chloe! There is a whole subculture of "Supplicants" (the ruder term is "Sheep") who haunt various clubs and meeting places, hoping to be chosen by a vampire. Such rarely loose more than half a pint in one feeding -- but there is a danger of vampires with little or no control. Yet Camille is careful, successfully exploring a dark side of reality few suspect even exists.

Still more problematical for Amanda is Mercy (played by Alicia Witt), heiress to a large fortune who has a very troubled past (including child abuse) who has fallen in love/lust/obsession with Amanda and become her personal Donor. Mercy has little to do with her own (prominent) family and is very much the jealous type -- although she tries to hide it. What she's wealthy enough to do is to pay some not-very-scrupulous doctors to give her regular blood transfusions. They don't know why she wants this, however. Amanda, meanwhile, feels very protective of Mercy who in turn counts Flavius among her "friends" in the social elite of Vancouver. Interestingly, she and Esther had a fling some years ago and are still friendly.

Anyone thinking I'm basically combining Forever Knight with The L Word -- give yourself a prize! And if you're a t.v. producer or writer looking for an idea to pitch someone -- I give you an absolute permission to use this idea! No compensation nor credit required.

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