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Friday, September 16, 2011

Storytime

Warning: This post will have randomly placed, unmarked spoilers for Series 6 of Doctor Who in it. If you haven't seen Series 6 and you want to go into it unspoiled, then you'll probably want to skip this post for now.

For everyone else, random spoiler encounters from here on out.

So, what do we know about this incarnation of The Doctor? 

The last Doctor, the Tenth Doctor, he was light-hearted sort of chap with a real wide-eyed amazement about the world... but there was also this dark side to him; there was an edge.  It took a lot to piss him off, but if you'd managed that feat, oh did he ever make you pay for it.

But this Doctor... he's... well, he's smug.  He's a ton of other things as well -- he's a live-wire, he's quick-witted, he's weird... but also: smug.  That said, he's also a strangely positive sort of person; always trying to keep attitudes up even when things look their bleakest.  He's self-aware but completely unafraid to get a tad grandiose in just 'who' he is (and how amazing he is).

Smug.

It's an interesting thing to keep in mind as I start to gather the threads of the story I'll be telling.

Of course, this Doctor would be nothing without his Companions, the married couple Amy and Rory.

Amy's a brave woman, bold, a bit reckless. She's also (thanks to the help of some alien tech) a new mother. Her baby was taken from her by an alien religious cult called 'The Silence' who plan to raise the baby into an assassin capable of killing the Doctor once and for all. Needless to say, she is not happy about this development. She knows that her daughter grows up well, as it's eventually revealed that River Song is Amy's daughter (all grown up), but she still longs for her baby back, to not miss all those wonderful years of being with her child. The Doctor has promised to find her baby and return it but even he suspects it's a promise that he won't be able to keep.

Rory started off as a timid sort of guy, but he loves his wife dearly and has performed many brave and heroic acts to try and help or save her. He used to be jealous of the relationship Amy shared with the Doctor, but now he's calmed down a tad and has come out of his shell more. He also recently punched out Hitler.

Caught up?

So where are we so far, storywise?

Well, right now we've got:

A Title: The Dragons of Iowa
A Location: Iowa, USA
A Time Period: The Great Depression - The Dustbowl Era - 1936
A Big Bad: Urmungstandstra - The imprisoned 'Devil God' of the Silurian Race.
A Tone: Horror

Okay. Good. It's a start.

So, Plot. What happens? This's the part that, well, is likely to change significantly over time - especially prior to a first draft.

For me, when I plot, I like to plot already thinking in TV structure. What's my Teaser look like? What am I building towards? What's the big Act Out look like?

So let's start with a theoretical Teaser. What would that look like?

Well, the first decision is: Are we starting with The Doctor and company, or are we starting with someone else?

Okay, no, that's not really the first decision. Where does it fall in the span of Series 6? What's our story about?

The story that, right now, I feel that I want to tell... it's about children. About quite possibly the biggest fear any parent has: losing their child.

In Series 6, this is highly relevant because it's already happened to Amy. And I want this story to start not long after the baby's been taken, so I'd probably slot this in between episode 8 ("Let's Kill Hitler") and episode 9 ("Night Terrors"). Interestingly enough, 'Night Terrors' deals with fear and children as well, but from the other end of the spectrum (a child afraid that he's going to lose his parents).

So, Teaser:

Let's start it on the TARDIS.

Backstory to this episode:
"Let's Killer Hitler" is only a few week's back, the Doctor, Amy and Rory have just left their adult, formerly brainwashed daughter -- River Song -- in the hospital (and to her fate) after she killed the Doctor and then brought him back.

It turns out that River turned was able to regenerate like the Doctor but ended up sacrificing this ability (gave it to the Doctor) in order to undo his death.

Plotting it out:
In light of these events, Amy hasn't been the same since. She's more determined than ever to get her daughter back and knowing that she's far out of reach has left Amy depressed.

Rory and the Doctor try to cheer her up, want to distract her, show her some sun and sand, some of the best beaches in the galaxy. The Doctor takes off in a blur, determined to make her feel better.

The TARDIS lands, everyone exits, dressed for the beach but step out into a desolate farmer's field, withered plants covered in blowing dust. In the distance, a run-down old shack. The ground beneath them rumbles, shakes... something's wrong.

The Doctor orders them back onto the TARDIS, closing the door as the ground gives way. Inside, everyone is bounced around as the TARDIS crashes to the ground.

Everyone's fine. The Doctor still dressed for the beach (meaning dressed as per usual but with a Sun visor?... maybe a stripe of Zinc on his nose...?) steps out of the TARDIS into a pool of... goo. He pulls his foot back to see that it's covered in yolk. He looks around to see a massive underground cavern... full of huge eggs (think triple the size of an Ostrich egg).

Off of this, we go to Titles.

Now... okay, not the best start but, let's be objective: what works here? Not everything -- there's not much here about the time period or how it will play into things, there's no 'other' people for them to interact with yet. But we may not need them yet -- who's story is this?

So far it's Amy's story (which should be okay, seeing as she's one of the main characters, thus not breaking the Second Rule).

But there's more setup needed here, more groundwork to lay before we can start this tale off proper.

Back to the drawing board... for now.

Have a great weekend, folks! See you Monday.

Cheers,
Brandon

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