Independent Study: An Exploration of Racial Diversity & British Television; Fragments – a spec script

FRAGMENTS (60%, graded 76/100)

A 68-page script for a science-fiction drama series, called Fragments, featuring leads from different ethnic backgrounds.

The first episode of a planned six-part sci-fi drama series follows the interconnected lives of four twenty-somethings: Bryony, Samuel, Leo and Olivia. Set in contemporary England, where aliens have been coming to earth and secretly living alongside us for close to a century, the gang are forced to come together when they discover a deadly enemy has returned to earth and the very people who should be protecting mankind are somehow behind it…

Episode One:  The connection between a young woman being stalked by a nightmarish creature from another world and a conspiracy concerning a secret, government organisation, leads to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse…

PROCESS ANALYSIS (40%, graded 80/100)

A 2000-word report that critically analysed the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of black and minority ethnic characters on British television, suggesting necessary solutions for more positive on-screen diversity.  This included drawings and concept artwork for Fragments.

The Immortal

(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 72/100)

I was struck by lightning a few days before my seventeenth birthday.  It killed me quite badly.  Scorch marks, a complete shutdown of my respiratory and cardiovascular systems and my favourite shirt was ruined.

It was the hottest day of the year and our dads decided to have a picnic at the local park with me, my younger brother and sister, and our surrogate mum.  On the scale of weirdness, the subsequent storm comes second to the picnic.  We were a family under an unspoken social stigma, lacking most social skills in a social environment, so you can imagine the awkwardness.  I guess it was Dad 1’s way of dealing with that.  “No wi-fi here,” he said as he set out the sandwiches.  The rest of us exchanged a look of horror – Dad 2 included, and we promptly turned on our mobile data.  It was a far more expensive day out than any of us could have anticipated.

About an hour in, the fluffy white clouds bled to dark grey.  They hesitated for a moment as if to say, “watch this”, then unleashed heavy raindrops that stung our skin.  Dad 1 scooped everything up in the picnic blanket and we raced back to the car for shelter.  I was two–maybe three–steps away when the first bolt of lightning struck me down.  In that moment, I smelt overcooked chicken, wet dog and piss.

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It’s melancholic and funny as hell

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 67/100.  This piece is semi-autobiographical.

When I woke up, it was the year 2000.

Now, that’s unusual for one simple reason.  I fell asleep in the year 2018.  And when I say fell asleep, I mean, got clipped by a bus at ten miles-per-hour and hit my head on a nearby car bonnet.  Let’s just say it was a very strange day I was having.

A wander through my ever-glib hometown of Burton-on-Trent, I went into Cooper’s Square shopping centre to find both Woolworths and the Early Learning Centre were still open.  I discovered the Blockbuster store—car park packed, queues out of the door—advertising the latest films on VHS.  It wasn’t until I saw the Safeway supermarket—yet to be replaced by Asda—that I realised what had happened.  I’d gone back in time.

As I entered the soon-to-be Asda carpark, I passed Trolley Ted.  A scruffy, elderly man who looked like Santa; he would return trollies left in the streets to their supermarket homes.  I remember the local papers publishing an article when he died about ten years back (from a present-day perspective, that is).

A car thumped out one of that era’s number one hits, Shanks & Bigfoots’ Sweet like Chocolate.  I loved that song as a kid.  And in that moment of nostalgia, I wondered.  Was I here, right now?  Younger me.  Had I crossed my own timeline?  I’d watched enough Doctor Who, which, my three-year-old self was yet to discover his love for, to know that meeting my past-self was a very bad idea.

But, surely, a peek wouldn’t hurt.

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Excalibur

Excalibur is a unfinished science-fiction thriller, originally released in three parts on YouTube between June-August 2010.  Mostly improvised, this episode was designed to act as a pilot for a 6-part series set to be released in 2012.  Unfortunately, problems with the production of the pilot ultimately led to the cancellation of the series.

The first part of the episode originally started out as a bit of fun; it was shot in an afternoon (9 May 2010 to be precise), we used our real names and had no basis for a plot. In fact, we did not intend to release it – at least not until we had finished the full episode.  But somewhat proud of our efforts at the time, we decided we would upload it in three parts onto YouTube, in hope of finishing the episode by the end of August.

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Superhero

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 68/100

For all we knew, the world was probably ending. Tensions between vampire gangs were at an all-time high, peace talks between world leaders and the newly-arrived extra-terrestrials had turned frosty and the anthropomorphic cats were now declaring war on anyone who had ever purchased repellent. If we weren’t living it, I can imagine how ridiculous that would sound. But that was all background noise right now. I was on my first date Melany.

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Stubborn Butterflies

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 63/100

If I’ve learned anything about time travel, it’s that no-one notices when the past changes. Let’s say I went back in time to stop Hitler coming into power, do you think World War Two would have happened? Of course, it would; another far-right lunatic would come to power, dick around in Europe and spark the war. Today, we might not know who Hitler is, but the war would still have happened and much of history would stay the same. Speculative – maybe, but time has a strange way of healing itself – if ‘healing’ is the right word for it, especially when it comes to the big, traumatic events.

Even as a time traveller, some things will always happen, no matter how you try to change that. Some things, we can’t control…

Like me and Noah getting pissed as the world ends around us. That’s inevitable.

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The Random: The Snake in the Beanie Hat and the Bomber Cats

He had finished work a little early, so Alan went into a charity shop, almost absentmindedly.  He looked around a bit, rummaged through oversized suits, admired some ornaments.  And then, something caught him eye.  A colourful hat.  A Rastafarian beanie.

Alan, being one of those people who carelessly appropriates other people’s cultures, (for example, while in China, he got a tattoo in Mandarin which he believes says ‘peace’, but really says ‘arsehole’), of course, brought the beanie.  It cost him four cans of Pepsi and a strip of bubble-gum flavoured chewing gum – because the manager was ‘hip’ like that.

On his way out of the shop, he squeezed his bald head into the beanie and felt something hard and leathery inside it.  He took off the hat and a snake slipped down from the top of his head, wrapping itself, non-threateningly, around his neck.

“Alright, me old mucker, me old pal,” said the snake.

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