Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Unforgotten Few #3 - Foreign Devils & Camper: Space Alien

Another entry in my series of posts surrounding ideas or scripts that were dropped before completion.

#1 - Doctor Who & Sarah Jane Smith
#2 - Peter Pea & Friends

This time:

Foreign Devils & Camper: Space Alien

Foreign Devils

A prose series I wrote between 2003 and 2009. Originally it span out of the Peter In The USA series I wrote, which centred around a British 20-something called Peter Hail moving to and living in America. It featured his friends, and on/off girlfriend Chloe Mansfield.

Peter and Chloe ultimately broke up for good, and Chloe departed America, to help out in an African region called Mucano. The area had recently been hit by an earthquake and she formed part of a relief team trying to put the area back together again.

The series lasted for 5 seasons, each of growing confidence and complexity. It ended prematurely, as I originally had planned a good 10 seasons worth of stories - but then I started writing scripts, and the idea of two page prose stories seemed so small, and distant.

At the height of writing this series, it was in my head all the time. Literally. I remember sitting down on the toilet, thinking to myself "Well if we do x storyline in season 7, we can pay that off in season 10..." I liked to plan ahead! It was the closest I ever came to feeling like a genuine showrunner on one of these fancy US shows. If only!

Ultimately though, I don't think much good would have come out of seasons 6-10. The formula was already starting to repeat itself; although I had planned to introduce new characters, and - in a very soapy turn of events - even bring one character back from the 'dead'. Oh yessss.

What would have happened? The African government would have been corrupted, and the man named new President would have then done some pretty bad things. Our heroes would have gotten involved, and eventually brought him down.

As it stands, the series ended on a deliberate cliffhanger. The President still ended up corrupt; but we as readers only witnessed the beginning of this. Our heroes are attacked, and begin to fight back... at which point, it's the end of the story.

Every now and then I get a niggle to go back and revisit the series. Maybe not creating a sixth season, but by writing the odd special. Most recently, six months ago, I had the idea of beginning the new story some time later - the new President having been brought down, and the story being about what happens next. I like that. It avoids the cliffhanger ending, and starts afresh.

We'll see. Maybe it will happen one day.

2. Camper: Space Alien

The story of an alien living on Earth, doing his best (or perhaps that should be worst) to disguise himself in to the general population of the Texan town he now called home.

My first attempt at writing something funny, and it didn't pan out like I'd hoped. Early storylines about Camper getting drunk off of battery acid were overly surreal, but not very amusing. I have to admit, at the time I was very embarrassed by my own writing of the series.

Season 2 was a little better, perhaps because I was a older, and able to focus on the characters more. I introduced new concepts, and situations, and you know it got to the point where it was a decent series - but never anything more.

That was it's main problem. Ultimately, I axed the series 2 seasons in to a proposed 5 season run. Camper was supposed to see many more adventures - involving conspiring government agencies, alien invasions, and fatherhood. But I stopped the story in its tracks, before it got too silly for even itself.

I don't think the plans for seasons 3-5 still exist. If they did, I'd take them pretty much as 'canon'. By that, I mean that what's written on them probably did still happen to the characters - it's just that we're not around to read about it! (And that's not me being lazy I don't think, but rather me knowing when something isn't working, and pulling the plug at the right time!)

NEXT TIME... Assassin Volumes 4 and 5!
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