The outline's coming along well now - I think we can almost slot this thing into the 'win' column.
For now I'm mostly working on making this thing as interesting as possible, filling out spots where its a bit light, trimming things that are a bit long.
One change off the top is the idea of the locals having a missing child of their own - one that went down into the catacombs and hasn't returned. I'm hoping this'll give me the theme I'm looking for - a theme that's strongly starting to resemble 'coping with the loss of a child'.
Rather than this be an 'Amy and Rory are mad at each other' episode (like it seemed like it was becoming), I'm hoping that this event -- and seeing how the locals deal with it -- will bring them to the realization that they're not coping with it as well as they'd hoped; that, though Rory's better at rationalizing the loss of their child, they've never dealt with it; let alone had a serious conversation about it.
One of the things I worry about with this approach is that I end up with them having the same 'made for TV' argument that I've seen over and over; that, having never been through this myself, I might not have anything 'new' or 'original' to bring to it. And yet, as a new father, even the thought of going through an event like that fills my veins with ice-water.
The questions I need to answer for myself, as I get into forming scenes and writing dialogue is "What do they need to say about this traumatic event in their lives that they've just been unable to say?"... and "Why is it important that they say it now?".
Of course, that the dragon is helplessly watching her children be taken from her over and over while being trapped in an underground prison... I find myself concerned that I might be venturing into 'too dark' territory... I'm not sure. Certainly, these elements, on their own, suggest it might be too much -- but Doctor Who is a show that regularly mixes Horror and Drama into its frothy Sci-Fi mix.
My end rule, as it stands right now, pretty much goes like this:
Does the story work? Does it make for good TV?
So far I still think that these are both 'Yes'-es (and that, yes, I think about things entirely too much -- which is actually a sign of 'giving a shit'... so... yeah, maybe that's not entirely a bad thing. We over-think because we care. Right?)
Okay, that's enough of my neuroses for one night.
More to come, folks!