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We've got quite a few.
1) Markus is going to fast-track through the ranks. In episode #1, he's recruited. Starting with episode two, he'll spend about a third of the season (@ seven episodes) working in Inquiry as an Investigator. At some point he'll get in trouble. He'll get busted off Inquiry and will spend an episode as a lowly Prison Guard in Surplus. He'll foil a prison break and be rewarded by being put in Command of a Research Cell: the lone layman assigned to making sure the scientists stay focused. That'll last for two or three shows. Then he'll be drafted to join Delivery for another seven or so episodes, before he rebels against the Alliance for about three shows. Then in our 22nd episode, he'll rejoin the devastated Alliance, help them struggle out of the ashes in time to save the day. He'll end the season by being named the organization's third Night Officer.
2) Who is Siobhan Barrow? She's not your typical nineteen year old girl. We'll learn that in our pilot. She's an alien of the Sidhe race. Eventually we'll discover that she's not your typical nineteen year old Sidhe. She's the daughter of the Bhan Sidhe. We'll wonder where her loyalties lie. And just when we're sure we know, we'll turn the tables by having her kill Markus (or attempt to, anyway). And then when we're sure we know why she did that, we'll twist things 180° and make her even more sympathetic than she was before.
3) Markus and Siobhan are going to fall in love. They meet in our pilot as adversaries, but they quickly make a connection. It's a connection that both of them are going to deny for a time, but ultimately they'll admit their feelings for one another, just in time for Siobhan to betray the Alliance and attempt to kill Markus. Markus'll be hating Siobhan for a few episodes, until he learns why she did what she did. At that point, he'll join her against the Alliance, until the final episode, when they'll both be there -- a strong couple, the stronger for what they've been through both separately and together -- to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new and better Alliance.
4) The Agenda is picking up speed, and it's operating on multiple fronts. It's forming new partnerships. Startling partnerships. It's infiltrating the Alliance itself. One of our characters we'll be replaced by a Vampyr. One will turn out to be a Lycanth. One will betray everything the Alliance stands for. Etc. Early episodes that seem to be one-shots will be revealed in hindsight to have actually been part of the overall Agenda.
5) The Skray will be revealed slowly, and the Alliance will learn the startling truth that since the Skray control the oceans, they already control 3/4 of the planet. Eventually, the Skray will join the Agenda.
6) Have the Nosferatu discovered the secret of faster than light space travel? Is there an armada on the way?
7) We'll learn the answers behind some long-held Alliance mysteries. What happened to Joseph's father? What happened to Artie's uncle and brother? Who killed Alex's parents? What turned Will's wife against the Alliance?
8) We'll explore the dramatic ramifications of the Alliance's fascistic Mission Statement. When does an organization become too much of a good thing?
9) Over time, we'll probably get to know a surprising number of characters in depth. We'll watch them change. We'll see them reveal where they stand.
10) Ultimately, we're going to find out that the same individuals who are pulling the strings on the Agenda's string-pullers, are also the Puppet-Masters behind the Alliance itself. These uber-villains are the true menace that Markus and Siobhan will ultimately be fighting against.
11) And etc.
1. The Pilot - Skip Tracer Markus is sent after Bail Jumping Siobhan, who's being pursued by Sidhe Warriors and by the Alliance. Both Markus and Siobhan acquit themselves impressively and are recruited.
2. Markus is partnered with Tri and sent to Japan on his first Inquiry mission. People are vanishing amid reports of werewolves. The menace turns out to be a Lycanth Pack, abducting humans to work as slaves on other worlds. Delivery's called in to battle the Pack.
3. In Paris, Tri and Markus investigate reports that stone statues are coming to life. It's the noble Vinae, here to recover their honored dead. Can the misunderstanding be worked out before the populace learns these "monsters" exist?
4. In Venice, Markus and Tri are on the trail of a shape-shifter. Meanwhile, Alex and Clea go undercover inside a cult that claims to grant immortality to its members. The two cases converge, and the Alliance finds itself caught in the middle of a minor war between the Vampyru and the Nosferatu.
5. Closer to home, Markus investigates crop circles in Iowa. This leads him into an investigation of the original Roswell Incident. Through flashback, we get the whole story -- focusing on the tragic love story between Captain Will Hawking and reporter Trish Ainsley. The kicker to all this is that none of it's true. And Markus is finally introduced to Artie's boss: Night Officer William T. Hawking.
6. On a routine sea-monster mission in Sydney, Tri spots Artie's missing twin Apollo. The Skray are finally revealed, and it turns out Apollo's working with them. Delivery is sent underwater to take down the Skray. Ten-Samsons and company are able to deal with the immediate threat, but are overwhelmed when they attempt to delve further into the Skray's underwater territory. A strategic retreat is called, and Research is assigned the task of figuring out how to deal with the long-term threat posed by these amphibious aliens.
7. A Rogue Chasta-Yeti has been spotted in British Columbia. Convinced that this is the animal that killed both his parents, Alex drags his sister Gisela up to Canada to track the monster down. Complications ensue as the Chasta is under the protection of the local Sidhe Clan. In addition, Markus isn't sure that Alex has the correct Chasta in his sights. Clea, Tuk and Siobhan all get involved. Everyone's taking sides, but will mercy win out or will Alex start a full scale war?
8. Reports of Flying Saucers bring Tri and Markus to Berlin, where they're immediately ambushed and captured. This is our first solid Agenda episode, but it also serves to reveal (in flashback) the true history of the Cadre, the Alliance and the Roswell Conspiracies.
9. Markus is having a hard time recovering emotionally from his experience in the previous episode. He goes AWOL, obsessed with tracking down the one perp who ever skipped his trace when he was working for Dom. Using Alliance resources in a very public way, he comes very close to single-handedly revealing the Alliance to the world. Dom and Siobhan are able to talk him down off his emotional ledge. He returns to the Bunker, where he gets busted down out of Inquiry and into Surplus. He's a prison guard.
10. Research is conducting experiments on captured Skray inside the Surplus Prison. A dangerous and multi-racial group of inmates take advantage of the situation and attempt to bust out. The only guy who stands in their way is neophyte prison guard, Tony Markus. He succeeds. Patricia wants to promote him. Artie wants him back. But Hawking has finally taken notice of Markus. He assigns him... to Research?
11. Hawking isn't happy with how Research has been operating since Michael Tyler died. Tyler was a scientist, but he was also a pragmatist. Cabral and company seem to allow the pursuit of knowledge to get in the way of the Alliance's best interests. Markus is put in charge of Alpha Cell in order to make sure that the next time the brain-trust is sent into the field, they keep their eyes on the prize. This puts Markus in the unenviable position of being under the authority of Research Section Chief Cabral, while simultaneously being the good doctor's boss while on Alpha's next mission to prevent a radioactive Pharaoh from poisoning Peru.
12. And etc.
FORMAT / STYLE / TONE
We're writing hour-long teleplays here. Single cohesive stories -- that just happen to have a huge cliffhanger dead in the middle which allows the hour to be broken up into two tidy halves.
Tentatively, the plan is to open the first half hour with a teaser before the Main Titles. The Titles will be followed by three acts, each ending with a cliffhanger (the third one a doozy).
Part Two will open with a recap of Part One before the Main Titles. Then the Titles will be followed by Act Four, another cliff-hanger, Act Five, a last cliffhanger and then finally Act Six, which will include whatever Tag is required without an additional commercial break. All pretty straight forward.
The Point of View character is obviously Markus. He enters the Alliance knowing nothing about aliens or conspiracies. We'll learn the ropes with him. This is not to say that he has to appear in every scene, but Markus does define our basic angle on almost any given episode.
The structure of a typical Alliance mission begins with an Inquiry investigation. Research is brought in to solve some specific problem. And then as things inevitably hemorrhage out of control, Delivery is brought in for a big battle to clean up the mess.
Toward the beginning of the season, when Markus is still in Inquiry, we'll focus more on the mystery and investigation. What's going on? What is this creature? How do we stop it? Etc. We'll watch Delivery from a distance, or we'll see it through Siobhan.
Naturally, as more and more secrets get revealed, and as Markus moves up through the ranks, later episodes will spend less time on Inquiry and more time on the other sections, especially Delivery. Things'll be grimmer by that time, and the action will be more intense anyway.
This isn't a horror series. And we're not doing the ultra-violence thang. But it should be scary. We're going for suspense and intrigue: a what's-lurking-behind-that-door main course, with a side of who-can-you-trust.
Play the fear. But also play the romance between Markus and Siobhan. The real heart and caring between all our various characters. Many of them are related, which should provide great fodder. Many of them have tragic histories and/or things they need to overcome. Use Gisela's spirituality, Alex's smiling cynicism, etc. Use humor as counterpoint. Don't hunt down the joke, but don't shy away from it either. And do NOT be afraid of using SILENCE. It's a very powerful tool. (By the way, I apologize in advance if all this seems way too obvious. I figure it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of the basics on occasion.)
Everyone should rent "THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE". That's the model for our series. We're gonna put it through our own sci-fi/monster/toy-company prism, but underneath it all is a tale of intrigue -- a long-simmering pot about to boil over in a devastating way. That's ROSWELL. That's our show.