Human Spark

LOGLINE

The series takes place in tropical, post-apocalypse West Virginia, which has become one of the last habitable places on earth. When a Scientist and her techie best friend return to Post-apocalypse Earth with dreams of settling down, the village is occupied by alien oppressors and she becomes the leader of the rebellion to save the human race from extinction at the hands of their leader, the talent thief.

SYNOPSIS

Most of the human race is resting in virtual vacation sleep pods, waiting for the earth to recover from the Global Warming Apocalypse they created. Two military space stations run by the US and Eurasia, the last two countries, battle for future control of the planet.

Our heroine, Sheri Spark, and her best friend, Moody, (both in their late twenties) are sick to death of war and negotiate their release from the military to return home and settle down while doing their part to restore the earth’s eco-systems. Sheri is very much a Renaissance Woman; a scientist, an inventor, an engineer, a mathematician and a very gifted painter, with an IQ that is off the charts. She is also impulsive to the point of recklessness, self-absorbed and often pre-occupied. Since her cliff-top home is occupied by the aliens, they move into the secret fallout shelter below, where an ex-nun and a bunch of orphans have already taken up residence.   From there they operate the resistance movement against the talent thief and his minions.

The teaser begins with a hurricane. Cowering in a storm cellar for weeks on end, our family of four is desperate for the storm to pass. Low on water and out of food, a father does his best to comfort his two young children and his sick wife. Suddenly, the storm door blows open, and the wind and rain blow in. In silhouette, three, large, fat figures appear. The girl screams.

On the bridge of a bustling alien spaceship, we meet our villain as he perches in his captain’s chair as though on a throne. The aliens are reminiscent of an owl, larger than men, and hideous. Salai, however, has a different look from the others. His eyes are more human-shaped, and the thatch of curly blonde hair amidst the feathers on his head are the remains of his former, human. Several of Salai’s minions bring in John and Lisa, the mom and dad from the storm cellar. After a quick perusal of the man’s physique, Salai decides he will do as his next host-body, and the procedure is arranged. A female officer is gifted with the body of Lisa, the sickly mom. Twelve hours later, our aliens are sick from the transformation, but it was successful. Their alien bodies are now almost clones of John and Lisa, although traces of the owl species remain.

Act one opens five years later, on a military space station in the year 2045. Sheri, our lovely and talented heroine, and her best friend, Moody, work out with robots, although Sheri’s is at a much more advanced level than Moody’s. Everywhere on the space station are TV screens showing news and war footage, which drives Sheri crazy. We also have our first introduction to Sergeant Owen Rafferty, the hunky soldier who was the closest friend of Sheri’s ex-fiancé, who died in battle a couple of years prior.

Our first sight of Earth is a beautiful, dilapidated mansion that sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. In the master bedroom, a painting is signed Spark, and it depicts the mansion before the global warming apocalypse caused the seas to rise, when the West Virginia home was surrounded by green mountains, with a quaint town that has disappeared beneath the ocean.

Jasper Brady drives his red convertible hovercraft, the muscle car of its day. He is accompanied by his best friend, Tom Sullivan, the town’s only doctor, and everyone’s golden boy. Jasper’s reputation is that he’s a troublemaker, and he’s been branded with it since he was a kid, growing up with a model brother and a dad who was the town drunk. The three of them have, long since, been deserted by their mother.

Right now Tom and Jasper are on a mission to steal back some of the food the aliens have been taking from the villagers, who are starving, many of them elderly. They break into the old shack where the aliens lock up the stores and are interrupted by an alien guard as they load up the hovercraft with provisions. A fight ensues, and the two young men barely escape with the food when he is joined by other alien guards, who shoot at them with lasers. Jasper is hit in the foot and burned.

The next day, Jasper’s wound has been treated and he limps with Tom to distribute the food they stole. During the deliveries, Jasper is surprised and hurt by the venom the villagers still regard him with, since his bad behavior is years behind him. When, at house after house, he is scorned as a troublemaker and not allowed into people’s homes, while Tom is thanked and admired, he begins to question his allegiance. He feels like a fool for helping these people since they only appreciate Tom’s contribution and disregard Jasper’s. The act ends with Jasper approaching Salai, who now lives in the cliff-top mansion, for employment.

Back on the space station, Moody and Sheri have a meeting with Sheri’s uncle, who also happens to be the minister of defense. Although the communication center has been inoperable for years, the habitable portion of the US is monitored with satellite photos, some of which betray the existence of a strange shape in the sky that may have been a spaceship. Since they don’t know what it is, or what threat it may pose, the general announces that he’s sending Owen Rafferty with them for protection. Although Sheri doesn’t like it, the general doesn’t give her a choice. If she wants to leave the space station for Earth, which she does, the sergeant is going with them. Moody doesn’t want him along, either, for different reasons. Later, alone with her uncle, Sheri says her goodbyes.

Moody has his own way of saying goodbye and accosts a soldier in the ship’s corridor to make a date for later that evening. While flirting with the other man, Moody witnesses Owen sneaking into the general’s office in a way that suggests he’s up to no good. Moody rushes over to Sheri’s greenhouse, where she informs him she suspected something and bugged the general’s office. They listen in to part of the ominous conversation, which suggests that there is a bomb or weapon on earth, near their destination.

Later that night, Moody comes over to help Sheri pack and they discuss the best way to spy on Owen. Moody admires a painting of William, Sheri’s ex, and she gifts him with it. She tells Moody that they know he can hack into the systems, so if there’s evidence to be discovered, it must be on Owen’s person.

At the end of Act two, Sheri, Moody, and Owen are on a space-plane, prepared to parachute to earth, although Moody has strong reservations. As they drift to the ground, they are seen by some bandits in the desert.

Traveling by hovercraft, out three travelers are dismayed to see a woman, bleeding, flag them down. Moody and Owen argue against it, but Sheri decides to stop and help the woman. It’s a trap and they are ambushed by the three bandits, who intend to take the hover and their supplies and leave them in the desert. A fight ensues, and our travelers get away, leaving the bandits tied up in the desert.

On the last leg of the journey, Sheri, Owen, and Moody climb the mountain pass towards the cliff-top mansion that was Sheri’s childhood home and their current destination. The mid-point of the pilot, we are left on a cliffhanger as our travelers witness their first sign of alien occupation. Sheri’s home is being guarded and patrolled by the armed, hideous owl-species.

At the top of Act Four, our heroes are attempting to recover and make sense of what they have just seen. True to character, Sheri wants to go straight back and fight for her home, but Owen and Moody convince her it makes more sense to go into the village and get some information first. They discover the village is not the friendly town they were hoping to find, but a place of fear, deprivatio, and paranoia. They talk to a diner owner and get some information, then meet a boy of twelve, named Dylan, who collects cans for the orphans for playing his violin. Sheri takes out a harmonica, Moody drums with some sticks and they make beautiful music together. With a promise that they’ll meet again, Sheri lures the aliens away from Dylan so he can get home to the secret orphanage without being followed.

The aliens chase the travelers into the woods, where they hide, until Tom Sullivan, the town doctor, is captured and Jasper shows up. When he claims the land belongs to Salai, Sheri won’t stand for it and pops out of hiding to confront Jasper. After some banter and a few more threats, Jasper warns Sheri and Tom to stay off Salai’s radar and heads back to the house to tell Salai about the old friend who’s in town.

Tom and Sheri have an emotional reunion, and Moody and Owen soon deduce that there is a romantic history behind the two. They travel to the site of the Fallout Shelter in the mountains under the cliff-top estate, which was built by Sheri’s grandfather and improved by her dad and Uncle Richard. It is a vast military base with enough food and provisions to feed a battalion for years, if necessary.

After finding the hidden entrance, the travelers take the elevator down to the shelter, where the act ends with them all caught in a giant net.

Freed from the net, surrounded by teenagers, Tom re-introduces Sheri to Nina Monroe, a former nun and Sheri’s third-grade teacher. Nina has been running an orphanage out of the secret fallout shelter.

The next day, Jasper and Lisa collect tribute from the villagers as Sheri and Nina get re-acquainted and Moody works on the broken surveillance system, which will hopefully give them a look into Sheri’s house and a better idea of how many aliens occupy it. Later, we meet Jasper’s drunk dad in a confrontation over Bill Brady’s lack of tribute for Salai, and Sheri meets Dylan on his way home when she goes out to bathe in the falls and enjoy nature. As the boy spies on her, Jasper spies on him, and tears himself away from the sight of our beautiful, naked heroine to clap a hand over Dylan’s mouth and drag him away.

FORMAT

  • Each episode will run for one hour
  • The season is 12 – 15 episodes
  • Each of the episodes will encompass 3 to 4 story lines, connected thematically, and explore the backstory of one of the main characters, while our heroes fight to thwart the alien leader. Each episode will stand on its own, but the season is serialized.
  • The genre is Science Fiction
  • The show is meant for prime time viewing, once per week

AUDIENCE

  • Although the science fiction genre mainly attracts males in the age range of 14 to 34, the female hero and several handsome male leads, as well as romantic underpinnings and compelling stories will attract females and older viewers, capturing the 18 – 49 demographic
  • The series will appeal to the viewers of existing shows such as “Being Human” on SCYFY; “Revolution” on ABC; “Falling Skies on TNT; and “Da Vinci’s Demons” on STARZ.

SETTING

  • The series takes place in the near future, approximately thirty years from now. The action centers around the Cliff-Top Mansion, the Fallout Shelter and the village of Altura in what is now coastal West Virginia, due to the rise in sea level from the melted polar ice caps.
  • The feeling in the town is a cross between the future and the distant past, incorporating science fiction with the hardships of post-apocalypse life. There is a sense of feudal times.
  • For a few hundred miles outside the village, the world is a hot, barren desert, and beyond that, the air is unbreathable.
  • At times, the action will take us back to Florence, Italy in the time of Leonardo da Vinci, to whom Salai, our alien’s first host-body was apprenticed. From there Salai gets his desire for human talents as well as the punishments and oppression he practices in Altura

ALIENS – HISTORY AND PHYSIOLOGY

The extra-terrestrials in this series are an ancient race of people whose history of origins has been lost in the ether for millennia. Outside of their hosts, they are small, slug-like creatures who attach to the brain of a host body. They have powers of rejuvenation that allow them to “wear” a host for hundreds of years, and often do.

If a host body becomes sick or injured in one of the few ways that their medicine can’t prevent, the small creatures must find a new donor. Rather than abandon the old body, the alien absorbs the brain and spinal fluid of the donor, and from that creates a replication of the original body, transforming the host and killing the donor. It can take months for the body to accept the new DNA. It is a painful transition for the alien as the body gradually accepts the intruder and learns to communicate with and be controlled by its occupant. For that reason, the aliens tend to avoid new bodies and instead, make long-term use of the ones they have.

The first night after the procedure, a long period of sleep is needed. It is during that period that the slug-creature can fuse with the brain of the new host, awakening with the new consciousness of the alien, the mind of the original being evicted from consciousness. Many physical changes will take place that first night, including the aliens’ ability to live in the host’s atmosphere and to eat the same types of foods, although other food preferences from a former host may remain. Some of the physical characteristics of the former host will remain, such as human hair on a new non-human body.

The current hosts our aliens employ are a bird-species, larger than humans and reminiscent of owls. They are smart enough, but unimaginative and emotionally limited. This makes them cooperative followers, as they prefer to be told what to do and follow orders rather than think things through or question authority. The exception is the leader, Salai, who started out as a human and still retains many of the characteristics of our race. As the series unfolds and more of the aliens take on human hosts that changes, and the aliens become much more volatile and dangerous in the process.

THE APOCALYPSE

In the year 2000, the planet earth had already suffered severe damage due to greenhouse gases and climate change. It’s still a matter of debate whether the planet could have been saved by human intervention at that point. No one knows for sure. When it came right down to it, the weakness of man was so extreme, his reliance on his own comfort, combined with his addiction to oil and power contributed to a losing battle.

By 2020, it became clear that our days on Earth were numbered. The atmosphere had become so volatile that all over earth populations were being eradicated by natural disasters and lack of exhausted resources. The air quality was worsening, resulting in sicknesses and cancers that threatened to wipe us out entirely. That was when the space programs kicked into gear and commenced to search the vastness of space for a habitable planet. The search was a failure.

By 2030, the emphasis shifted. By now, the entire planet was being battered regularly by storms and natural disasters. The damage to the eco-systems accelerated and the power sources began to fail. The world economies buckled, one after another. Finally two countries remained in power; The USA and the USE, which stands for the United States of Eurasia. The search for an alternate planet was abandoned, as the entire focus of the wealthier countries became keeping the power on. The oil wells were exhausted and there was still no acceptable replacement. Cars were melted down to create weapons, the sleep pods, and to create the new Space Stations for the military. The two countries battled for control of the remaining resources available to support life on earth.

As a short-term solution, the President’s Council decided that the only viable course was to remove humans from Earth. Technology had been developed whereby humans with enough money could be placed into a cryogenic sleep. A euphoric dream state would take over, placing the sleeping human into a vacation adventure of his choice. At first it was only the wealthy who could utilize the technology and be freed from the hell the earth had become. Like most technologies, it became more affordable over time, and all but the poorest people were able to secure places in the pods.

By the time the storms died out, only a small portion of the globe was habitable. Most of the world became a hot desert in permanent drought. Cities that formerly housed millions of people and their governments were underwater. The military forces of the two world powers established space stations where the military could live and continue their wars. Since there was no territory or natural resources left to fight over, they took to fighting for custody of the sleep pods, which meant control of the future. The war that had raged on earth for so long had now moved into outer space, our planet all but destroyed.

Under the circumstances of hardship on Earth, people flocked to the pods, eager to escape the hell life had become. However, there were still those who chose to stay behind to face what was coming. Towns cropped up in the few habitable places left, which in the former US meant living on part of the New East Coast, where once there had been an inland mountain range, that was now a tropical coast, lined with towering cliffs above a rough sea. All but forgotten, there were a few small towns, impoverished and fighting for survival in a cruel, hot climate. The rest of the country had become a vast desert where the occasional bandits robbed the rare travelers. Once again, cut off from any government or leadership, the United States had become a new frontier.

Arc of Season One in Twelve Episodes: Notes –

  1. PILOT: Sheri and Moody arrive home to discover the mainly deserted Earth has been colonized by oppressive aliens. Immediately she helps the townspeople fight back, and establishes herself as Salai’s enemy. She reunites with her old flame, Tom, whose best friend, Jasper, has gone to work for Salai. Since the aliens have taken over her childhood home, the resisters take refuge in an old fallout shelter built by Sheri’s Uncle Richard, who raised her after her parent’s death.
  2. Tom and Moody put their heads together and steal back some of the food confiscated by the aliens. Meanwhile, Sheri employs the orphans to help her plant crops for long-term survival. Salai uses some lost notebooks of Leonardo’s to begin putting together a procedural for brain-harvest experiments and to discover what went wrong the first time. Sheri makes a potion from bee venom to use against the aliens.
  3. Get to know Salai and his history with Leonardo da Vinci. How that time shaped his future study of humans and targeting Earth, and how being a baby alien interfered with any talent he might have shown at the time. Meanwhile, under threat of severe food shortages, our refuges plan an excursion to an abandoned town to look for provisions. Unfortunately, it’s not as abandoned as they had hoped.
  4. When Jasper appears to offer himself as a double agent and report on Salai, Sheri doesn’t trust him but Tom pleads Jasper’s case. Jasper proves himself by orchestrating the theft of a warehouse filled with food that the aliens have confiscated from the town. Sheri and the rebels gain favor with the townsfolk by distributing the food, and Salai and Jasper have a good snicker over her falling right into their hands, while Jasper helps Salai catalog the talents of the villagers.
  5. Get to know Jasper. While he works as a double agent, we learn his history with Sheri and Tom and their love triangle, and why she dislikes and distrusts him so much. He walks a fine line between proving himself to the rebels to earn their trust and keeping Salai convinced he’s still loyal. For his catalog, Salai wonders at the nature of Jasper’s true talents, in the event that he becomes disloyal, and holds the possibility over Jasper’s head.
  6. Moody misses the days when it was him and Sheri, and feels unappreciated now that Sheri is surrounded by so many people who rely on her. When he goes on a supply run, Sheri is lost without him. We get to see how much she really depends on him, and by the time he returns, she’ll have a whole new appreciation of how much she has taken him for granted. During the time on the road, Moody and his new friend, Owen, grow closer.
  7. Salai turns the townsfolk against Sheri by creating harsh punishments for anyone who associates with her or withholds information about her whereabouts. Tom’s dad is imprisoned as a suspected supporter of the resistance, and Salai cuts his hand off. Sheri and Tom rescue him, but he is not able to continue running his restaurant and moves into the fallout shelter, where he strikes up a romance with the former Sister Nina.
  8. Salai learns in the pilot that Sheri designed the food creation systems for the space station – he will plot to force the humans to return to Earth through starving them in space, and need Sheri’s help to do it.
  9. Encouraged by the blossoming romance between his Dad and Nina, Tom attempts to get close to Sheri. Although she has feelings for him Sheri doesn’t want to put him in danger through his association with her. The ostracizing she receives from the townsfolk increases as Salai steps up his vengeance, but Sheri regains their favor by a public display by when she avoids Salai’s trap and rescues his latest victim before a huge crowd. Salai’s humiliation at her hands has him swearing revenge and threatening Jasper if he can’t catch her – and soon.
  10. Sheri and the orphans have worked hard to grow crops that will feed the people in the village, but a Global-Warming-type storm threatens to destroy the crops.
  11. Salai captures villagers and performs secret experiments on their brains, then frees them with no memory of what he did to them. With Jasper’s help, they send Moody in as bait to get inside information, but rescuing him turns out to be more difficult than Sheri expected. Salai deals with unwanted side-effects of his experiments.
  12. The crew finds out what Salai has been up to – stealing the talent from human subjects in the attempt to assimilate them himself. So far his experiments have been unsuccessful, but he’s getting close, and stepping up his search for the right human subjects. Meanwhile, Moody is still held hostage, and Salai plots to use him wisely in his fight against Sheri Spark.
  13. SEASON FINALE: As the season comes to a close, Sheri and the rebels fail to rescue Moody, who becomes Salai’s first real success in his quest for talent. Sheri takes a hard look at the future of the human race if their talents are stolen, and the picture is bleak. Salai has Moody fix the broken communications system to help him implement his plot to starve the pod-people, and Sheri gets a message to her uncle that help is needed.

Story Arc, Season two:

Sheri and the rebels wait for much-needed assistance from the military space station, while Moody attempts to live without talent and Dr. Tom and Sheri search for a way to get Moody’s talent back. They believe they can if they can retrieve a blood sample from Salai. Once they’ve achieved that goal, Moody will have to decide whether to live without talent or become a guinea pig for this desperately dangerous operation. As the season ends, Moody goes under the knife, and Uncle Richard arrives in Altura.

Season three:

Moody gradually recovers his abilities, after a rocky start, and the rebels seek to restore all the talents Salai has stolen from the villagers. Sheri regrets bringing in the troops under Uncle Richard. The military presence in Altura does more harm than good and attracts the attention of Salai’s superiors, who have only recently become aware of what Salai is up to on Earth. Realizing that war will most likely wipe out the remaining civilization on earth, the humans and aliens strike a peace treaty to leave Salai in charge of his colony on earth, but not to disturb the pod people. Salai, however, has his own secret plot and by the end of the season has begun the starvation of the pod people that will necessitate waking them up.

Season four:

The prematurely awakened pod people begin to return to earth, bringing with them the friends and enemies of our rebels, including Sheri’s mom, who’s a handful. Salai continues to catalog and collect talents, while the rebels fight him at every turn, and, more than ever, Salai becomes obsessed with claiming Sheri Spark’s talents for his own. As he gets more talented, Salai’s power and ability to conquer humans also grows. He now plots to take over the space stations and to conquer his own people. In a desperate attempt to stop him, Sheri reaches out to his superiors.

Season five:

Desperate to avoid war, Sheri’s rebellion has grown, but not nearly as large and dangerous as Salai’s dominion, since he now rules over millions of people with his martial law. Sheri hits the history books to study the leaders who used peaceful methods to fight their oppressors, and confers with the alien council to come up with imaginative ways to remove Salai from power, while other factions of rebels have grown up and threaten to start a war, garnering support from the military space station of Eurasia. Sheri becomes the president of a new republic and promises her people that the earth will be restored and that humans can learn to do things differently rather than destroy what they have. Now in Civil War, however, that promise becomes increasingly difficult to keep.