24: Legacy Pilot Episode Script

24 appears to have nine lives. There’s just no stopping the 24 hour intensity format. After 8 original seasons/days, 1 tweaked continuation called 24: Live Another Day, the show will be resurrected a third time under the name 24: Legacy.

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Season 1(0)
Attached to the project, are Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) and Miranda Otto (Homeland, The Lord of the Rings). Presumably, Otto will be running CTU, while Hawkins plays a military hero, assisting her to stop a terrorist attack. The first season, or should say tenth, will probably – just like 24: LAD – consist of 12 episodes. That’s still 6 times longer than a movie, but for all you binge watchers out there, it might be a disappointment. There’s nothing like a 24 hour day, full of action, surprise twists and that famous CTU ringtone.

That’s Nice And All, But You’ve Got The Script?
It’s still a year away, assuming 24: Legacy will premiere in January 2017. The script is probably not even finished yet. So in order to ease the anticipation, I wrote it myself. Yes, the title might be a bit misleading, but there is a script. It is completely 24. And I believe it would, if I say so myself, be a perfect way to start off the new season. There’s a threat, things blow up, people keep secrets, there’s a bad guy, an even badder guy, bad guys turning on each other, there’s a hilarious character with a dog, CTU is a mess, planes are going down, i.e. the whole Bauer Shebang, just without any of the Bauers involved.

The Script
As being a fan of the show myself, I think other fans will love it. Check out the script below:

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The day starts, just like the very first season, at midnight. Maureen Kingsley makes a cameo, and there are a few other references to the Bauer Era. But the story stands on its own. To make the who’s who easier, I’ve named Hawkins and Otto’s characters Corey and Miranda. Enjoy.

Update

I’m sorry to inform you that the legal team of FOX got wind of my script and I had to take it down. Even though I clearly stated that it was a spec script, a script written by a fan of the show with no ties to the official producers and not affiliated with FOX in any way, lawyers be lawyers, I suppose.

Spec scripts are fairly common in Hollywood. It’s one way for showrunners and the like to find writing talent. Obviously, these ‘speculation scripts’ use characters and story arcs already established. No, the lawyers knocking on my door said, you can’t use any copyrighted property. So there you go.

Harlan Hobbits vs Big Coal

WGN just cancelled Manhattan after 2 seasons, but is far from pulling out of the serious drama game. Outsiders, their homemade brew of Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Max and The Shire, however, is not going to win them any awards. The pilot episode ‘Farrell Wine’ is mildly entertaining and even a bit pretentious.

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Big & Little
No quality drama series without a big name at the heart of it. House of Cards got Kevin Spacey, The Man in the High Castle Rufus Sewell, Bosch Titus Welliver, Hand of God Ron Perlman, True Detective Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Fargo Kirstin Dunst and Ted Danson, Game of Thrones Sean Bean, American Crime Story John Travolta. To name only a few, of course. Outsiders got David Morse (Treme, House MD, The Green Mile) and fan favorite Ryan Hurst (Opie on Sons of Anarchy). Their characters, Big Foster and Little Foster, are part of the Farrells. Mountain folk. Cut off from the rest of the world, brewing their own moonshine, marrying their own cousins. And believing in ‘the prophecy’.

The Rule
The only contact they have with the outside world, is when they do so-called ‘runs’. Either by car (they do have a car) or by quad (yes, they have those, too), they drive into the nearest town, grab what they need and off they go again. People just let it happen. It doesn’t happen too often, besides, these Hobbits from Hell are dangerous. Even the local police are scared of them. Officer Wade Houghton (Thomas M. Wright, The Bridge) has a yet undisclosed history with the Farrells, and even covers up whatever crimes he can, just to avoid going up the mountain to ask them some questions. The rule is: they don’t come down, we don’t come up. Seems to me that the first part is not quite respected as well as the last part.

Relocation
Believe it or not, this has been going on for years and everybody’s okay with it. But times have changed and Big Coal has laid its eyes on the mountain. There’s money to be made, jobs to be created, so the Farrell Clan has to go. ‘Relocate’. Step 1 is bringing them an eviction notice, stapled on a tree; it’s easier to arrange a sitdown with Hillary Clinton than to talk face to face with these dirty, smelly tree huggers. They’re not likeable people. You’d assume the show would take their side, but about everything we see them do, is despicable. David Morse definitely doesn’t play the hero in this story. Big Foster’s a man who can’t wait to be in control. Lead. It’s only a matter of time before Lady Ray Farrell (Phyllis Somerville, The Big C) steps down from her wooden throne and he can do what he wants, basically.

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Predictable
Unfortunately for him, Lady Ray sees signs of the Prophecy coming true. It’s not time for her to hand over the crown just yet. In a somewhat predictable turn of events, Big Foster kills her. By hand. Like, holding his hand over her nose and mouth, which apparently does the trick. Because of the eviction notice, they’re going to need to defend themselves. In other words: they need guns. They know a guy who knows a guy who told them about somebody with a large gun collection. Big Foster makes another ‘run’ downhill, with his buddies and his young boy, who – another predictable plot twist – hides in the back of their pickup truck. Things go wrong. The neighbors come out with guns blazing. They escape, but Big’s son is shot dead.

The Hero
This seems like a bunch of unsympathetic neanderthals are causing trouble in a small town, and yes, that is in a nutshell what the series Outsiders is. In order to root for the mountain folk in spite of everything, a hero character’s put into place: Asa (Joe Anderson, Hannibal, The River). A Farrell Clan deserter, if you will, who got a taste of the outside world, but came back. Big Foster has already tried to shoot him, so we know this is the guy we should be identifying with. It’s all a bit too much on the nose, and the premise isn’t quite exciting, so I’m afraid WGN has to go look for a new quality drama script (and big movie star) to invest in.

Beowulf, Return to the Shieldlands: Pilot

‘Beowulf’ is an Old English story – a poem, actually – about a man called Beowulf, slaying terrifying creatures known as ‘Grendels’, until he’s killed by a dragon. It doesn’t really matter what happens to the title character, though, because you should see the poem for what it is; a poem, and like many poems, it’s not about what’s on the page, but what lies between the lines. That’s not my assessment, but that of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, who wrote a paper on it in 1936 (a year before the release of ‘The Hobbit’). Nevertheless, the story has been an inspiration for many movies, novels, theatre plays, video games and comic books. Its newest adaptation comes from ITV.

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Motion Capture
The best known adaptation of ‘Beowulf’ probably is the 2007 movie. Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, The Walk) tried to fill the void left by the enormous success of the Lord of the Rings movies, but failed miserably. Motion capture wasn’t ready yet. Beowulf was an expensive exercise in filming great performances by the likes of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich, and turning them into wooden animated figures. A partnership with James Cameron would’ve been clever, because it was only 2 years later that Avatar hit (yes, it’s already been 6 years since ‘unobtanium’ was found) – and the rest is history.

Wild Things
Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands brings the poem back to life on the small screen, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. It starts off strong, with a man and his son on a horse, chased by big scary creatures (Grendels, probably). The animation of these Where The Wild Things Are-like beasts is, well, undoubtedly animation, but good enough. And the special effects only get better as the show moves on.

The Body of Hrothgar
The man gets slapped, lands with his head on a rock and dies, but the son bravely kills the last Grendel standing. The boy’s name: Beowulf. Flash forward to the present, where the kid’s grown up (now played by Kieran Bew, Crusoe, Da Vinci’s Demons) and is travelling with Breca (Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) to the village where he’s been banished from. He’s come to see Hrothgar (William Hurt). The man who took him in after his father died, who taught him to (sword)fight and, as a surprising plot point, in fact was his father, but for some reason no one could ever know. Beowulf’s come too late, though. Hrothgar’s dead.

Bae
When Beowulf (‘Bae’ for friends and family – too bad he has neither) and Breca ride into the village/settlement, they’re getting ugly looks from everybody. Of course, there’s a young woman as well, watching them arrive, and you know what that means: Bae’s Future Love Interest is present. Also present: a Grendel, working as a slave. Quite similar to the trolls that used to operate the Black Gate to Mordor, actually. I guess borrowing from Tolkien is currently completely justified, since Peter Jackson has run the franchise into the ground with the third Hobbit movie.

Feisty Nurse
Beowulf steps into the palace, demanding to see Hrothgar, but he’s not allowed to see him. There’s a lot of exposition that’ll make more sense once you get to know the characters better. The only important thing to know for now is, Slean (Edward Speelers, Eragon, Wolf Hall, Downton Abbey) is the Joffrey Baratheon of the show, and he’s in love with Elvina (Laura Donnelly, The Fall, Outlander), the feisty nurse Beowulf’s got his eye on.

My Precious
Then, a Gollum-like character appears on the scene, and kills Beowulf’s old training partner and frenemy Bayen (Nigel Cooke). Or did it? Anyway, Beowulf gets the blame for it, is sentenced to death, but escapes. If only to save Elvina, who’s being chased by the larger, hairier and more illiterate relative of Gollum’s, called a ‘Mudborn’. When she’s saved and brought back to the village, everything seems to be okay again. Everybody agrees Beowulf is one of the good guys. He still has to leave, though.

Biggest Budgeted
This series reportedly cost £17 million and is ITV’s biggest budgeted drama ever made. And it shows. In terms of special effects and scope, it certainly gives Syfy a run for its money, and it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if Jaime Lannister and Bronn were to decide to pay a visit. They’d fit right in. The production’s very well done, but I have one question. Even though Beowulf takes place in a different universe and all, I can’t help wondering what’s up with all those perfectly clean-cut 21st century haircuts? If that’s the only distracting thing, I can live with it, I suppose.

The X-Files: Tooms

The X-Files loves open endings. Many times this first season, the final shot shows ‘something has survived’. Whether it’s Neanderthal offspring (‘The Jersey Devil’) or an artificial intelligence app (‘Ghost in the Machine’), creator Chris Carter doesn’t seem to wish Mulder the joy of actually closing a case. The show hasn’t revisited its loose threads, until now. Eugene Tooms, the slippery ventilation system enthusiast, who first appeared in ‘Squeeze’, is back – or should we say released.

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Fan Favorite
Despite being a yellow-eyed killer, Tooms (Doug Hutchison) is a bit of a fan favorite. Maybe it’s his boyish looks, and the fact that he appears to be involuntarily controlled by his squeezy talents, instead of just being a mean man, that makes him almost likeable. That might be precisely the reason Carter brought him back; it’s not like his abilities are that special in the world of supernatural fiction.

How Do You Plead, Spooky Mulder?
Since Tooms was only put behind lock and key because of attacking Scully – he was accused of a number of crimes, but Mulder could never prove it – he’s being released. Despite Mulder’s efforts to convince the judge Tooms is in fact (about) a hundred years old, he’s set free. The so-called evidence is too circumstantial – and just too weird, obviously, but hey, Mulder was asked to tell the truth, so that’s what he did.

Paper Mache Nest
Mulder’s determined to catch Tooms in the act, because Stretchy Boy only needs one more liver. How? Why? Does he still have the other livers stashed away some place? It’s not further explained. Tooms will build himself another paper mache nest, somewhere underground, nibble on the liver and hibernate for another thirty years. He’s constantly watched by Mulder, which pisses him off. Tooms tries to frame him, but fails.

Sméagol
Meanwhile, Scully pays a visit to the old detective who was on the Tooms case thirty years ago. As if struck by lightning, he remembers another victim. A victim that was never found, but strangely enough, the detective knows exactly where Tooms buried him. Yes, this sounds way too easy, but I’m not making it up. Anyway, Scully digs up the skeleton, and it is wearing a ring. The One Ring. Ah, yes. Tooms is actually a descendant from Sméagol; who didn’t see that one coming? But no. The ring is of no relevance, apparently. The teeth marks on the skeleton’s ribs are, though.

Skinner
Again, it proves everything to Mulder and Scully, but it doesn’t prove anything in a court of law. So stakeout outside of Tooms’ house it is. Much against assistant director Skinner’s clear instructions. That’s right: ‘Tooms’ is the first episode to feature Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi, Sons of Anarchy, Day Break, Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy), with the Cigarette-Smoking Man standing right behind him (who actually has dialogue this time). At some point during the stakeout, Scully takes over, while Mulder goes home to rest. Right before he falls asleep, he’s watching the movie The Fly.

Ending
Eventually, Mulder tracks down Eugene Tooms to his underground lair and then has the escalator eat him alive. Or something like that. All ridiculousness aside, ‘Tooms’ is a welcome addition to ‘Squeeze’. There’s not really anything new, we don’t learn more about Eugene at all, but the story finally has a closed ending. Which is nice, for a change.

The X-Files: Darkness Falls

Yes. Foggy forests. Double yes: green little – no, not men – bugs. Fireflies with an anger management problem? Tiny glowing aliens? Anyway, a bunch of eco-terrorists, who call themselves ‘monkey-wrenchers’, vanish right after dark. Mulder wants to check it out, because everyone else has dismissed the case and, as he says to Scully: ‘It’ll be a nice trip to the forest.’

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Shelob
It’s X-File number 20 and maybe, just maybe – to please Scully – a case about Bigfoot. But no such luck. Bigfoot doesn’t embalm its victims, does it? Hang up cocoons all over the place? That sounds more like something Shelob would do – ask Frodo – but unfortunately, the real perpetrator has already been spoiled. It’s the bugs of some (third) kind. Chris Carter could’ve cranked up the suspense, if the audience had no idea what to expect, or was indeed expecting a giant spider crawling about. I know it’s in the DNA of The X-Files to start with the crime and the monster, but it does take away a lot of the tension.
That said, and even though nothing really happens in ‘Darkness Falls’, it’s one of the best episodes of The X-Files – of all time.

Isolation
Why? It’s hard to put your finger on. Mulder and Scully, together with three guest stars, walk around, look at trees and tree rings, spend the night in a cabin, hang up lightbulbs, check the generator, watch tiny green insects coming through the wall, see the generator fail, get saved by the sunrise. That’s about it. Is it the writing, direction, or just the minimum of characters, which makes it easy to feel just as isolated as they are? A little bit of everything, I suppose. If only everybody carried a cell phone back then, although there probably wouldn’t have been any reception.

TV Stars
Two of those guest stars, by the way, would become big TV stars. Titus Welliver plays one of the monkey-wrenchers, but you probably know him better as Harry Bosch (Bosch), Dominic Barone (Suits), Thorwald (The Last Ship), Glenn Childs (The Good Wife), Jimmy O’Phelan (Sons of Anarchy), Silas Adams (Deadwood) or the mysterious man in black AKA the Smoke Monster (LOST). The other one is Jason Beghe, known for Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Hope, Last Resort, Cane, Melrose Place, Everwood and (flamboyant novelist) Richard Bates on Californication.

Remote Location
Because of high production costs, The X-Files has a couple of ‘small’ episodes each season. Usually there’s only one location and just a couple of actors to save money. Frequently, these ‘bottle episodes’ as they’re called, might look cheap on paper, but during shooting get plagued so much, their price-tags are eventually just as high, if not higher than an action-packed episode with a lot of extras and special effects. As was the case with ‘Darkness Falls’. The location didn’t just look remote, it was. On top of a lot of driving back and forth, the production was halted many times by heavy rain, and the crew – just like the story – had to rely a great deal on generators. It’s no surprise the shooting took way longer than anticipated, not counting a dozen reshoots and pick-up shots.

Strange Show
But it all worked out in the end. ‘Darkness Falls’ is one of my most favorite X-Files episodes – maybe because of its claustrophobic nature. I can just imagine people seeing it on April 15, 1994 and realizing this strange little show about aliens is actually pretty damn good.

Back to the Documentary

It’s been Back to the Future Week this week, with the space-time continuum finally catching up to the future of Back to the Future II, on October 21, 2015. The trilogy became a huge hit yet again, on the first film’s 30th anniversary. Toyota brought Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd back together in a diner, and the real Marty McFly and Doc Brown party crashed Jimmy Kimmel Live. For anyone who can’t get enough: I recommend the newest nostalgia documentary, Back in Time.

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Fun
During the eighties, Robert Zemeckis knew serious predictions would almost certainly miss the mark by a landslide, so he decided to make the future of Marty McFly, above all else, fun. And got a lot of things right, as it turns out. Fingerprint technology, drones, and even hoverboards are theoretically possible. The question is whether they’re ever going to be mass-produced. The only thing that hasn’t been invented yet is the most important of all: time travel, obviously.

Drawer Time
The documentary Back in Time focuses not so much on 2015 (neither the real nor made up one), but mostly the first movie and how it all came about. In fact, it almost didn’t. Studios were reluctant to touch it. Most of all Disney, whose suits were appalled by that time travel (something audiences weren’t interested in, as was the common consensus) script about incest. So it disappeared into a drawer, until Zemeckis and the people who wrote and/or loved it had made a name for themselves in Hollywood and dusted it off.

Eric Stoltz
They wanted Michael J. Fox, but Family Ties didn’t want to let him go, even for a short while. So they cast Eric Stoltz. After a few weeks of shooting, against better judgment but with a deadline of the studio breathing down his neck, Zemeckis made the tough call to fire him. They weren’t getting the laughs. It just wasn’t working.
For about six weeks, Stoltz had been playing Marty, but my guess is Zemeckis was mostly busy softening up the people over at Family Ties during that time, because young and coming Michael J. Fox wasn’t on top of his list, he was the list. And then he got the go-ahead. Fox would still be obligated to do his sitcom during business hours, but was allowed to do the movie in his spare time. In other words, for a number of weeks he was acting around the clock.

Nightmare McFly
We all know the story, but the Stoltz footage still hasn’t been released. That wouldn’t just be the absolute ‘definitive’ DVD/Bluray collection, it would also be very confusing. Like a deja vu gone horribly wrong. Nightmare-ish. In Back in Time, there are a few new bread crumbs. We see Stoltz in action, but we don’t hear him speak. The images seem to be recorded from a deteriorating VHS tape as well, but it sure is better than nothing. Someday, his take on the McFly saga will be for the whole world to see, but I guess that’s something for the 40- or 50-year old anniversary of Back to the Future. There always has to be something left to milk.

Flux Capacitors
The documentary takes a lot of side steps, too. The movies are so rich – especially the first two – that it’d take twice the length of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to address everything, have everybody reflect on every single detail. It definitely would be worth it, though, but I understand the time limits of movies and documentaries in particular. Back in Time has most key players (no Crispin Glover, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson or Elisabeth Shue, though, but o my, does anybody really care when you’ve got Claudia Wells, who still looks amazing), but it’s as much about the movies themselves as it is about the influence they’ve had on popular culture. There are many people driving DeLoreans, for instance. Including flux capacitors. There’s a park, modelled after the set of Hill Valley, where people reenact famous scenes. There’s even a tribute band. And exclusive Back to the Future midget golf tournaments. And much, much more lunacy, but as Michael J. Fox put it, good lunacy.

Homeland: Separation Anxiety

Another year, another attempt at trying to make people forget about Brody. Also, as a bonus, the writers will come up with new ways to push Carrie so far, her craziness will become painful to watch. And what is, not Carrie’s, but the audience’s breaking point? Homeland, the show that gave us a great first, an utterly brilliant second, a mixed third and a completely underwhelming fourth season, is back.

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New Formula
It started out as a religious mystery thriller about two people falling for each other. Their attraction was impossible. Their motives unclear. Their plans ever-changing. During the third season, Homeland morphed into something else, something less captivating. Last season, it’d become a pretty straight forward spy thriller, and it looks like season number 5 has no intention of changing its new formula.

The Foundation
We meet up with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in Germany, where she’s working for something called ‘The Foundation’. Out of the CIA, she’s started a new life. New boyfriend. From the looks of it, a healthy relationship with her daughter. And regular trips to church. That boyfriend, Jonas (Alexander Fehling) is also her colleague, and they’re working for a guy called Otto, played by world-famous-in-Germany actor Sebastian Koch (Bridge of Spies, Black Book, The Lives of Others). What The Foundation actually does and why they’d need an ex-CIA operative, remains vague, but we do know Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) doesn’t have one nice thing to say about it.

Current Events
Homeland is tackling current events like never before, putting Syria at the heart of the story. The Foundation wants to help the refugees, by raising a lot of money. There’s one condition, though. The men with deep pockets want Otto to go to the Middle East, before donating anything, for some reason. Otto needs Carrie, organizing his security detail, and Carrie needs her sources at the CIA, to make that happen. Easier said than done. She hits a roadblock, when asking old friend Allison (Miranda Otto, Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings) for help. Allison wants information about The Foundation in return. Information Carrie doesn’t have – or doesn’t want to share.

Safe Passage
After an awkward run-in with Saul, Carrie is left to her own devices and tries to make a deal with the enemy, Al Amin (George Georgiou, The Americans, The Honourable Woman). She needs safe passage when they travel to the Syria-Lebanon border, and she gets it. Don’t ask me how, but apparently she was quite convincing.

Slang
In the meantime, the CIA’s been hacked. It seems like they were hacking somebody, who wanted to prank a terrorist recruitment website, but got hacked themselves. Something about a cable that was missed during a system reorganisation, or something. It would’ve been more convincing if the CIA tech guy came up with a more believable explanation – no matter if it were only cryptic tech slang – but I guess the writers couldn’t think of anything. So ‘cable’ it is, then.
The documents that were leaked, involve another current event scandal; the secret taps the USA keeps on the German government. Journalist/blogger Laura (Sarah Sokolovic) – who also has some sort of connection to The Foundation – comes into possession of the information and despite Carrie and Jonas’ advice, posts it online.

Hitman
And then there’s hitman 47, Quinn (Rupert Friend), doing his hitman thing. Just back from the Middle East, he’s getting names from Saul to assassinate people. No questions asked. In other words, a lot going on, but that’s all that’s going on. Just games playing out on the surface, when I expect Homeland, more than any other show, to go deeper than that.