1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some TV show idea. (Science fiction show, medical drama, criminal procedure, etc...)
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them.
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.
I hadn't commented on anyone's post, but it eventually occurred to me I wanted to do so, so I asked Twitter to help... before realising that miss_s_b had already gvien me a prompt back in June, when she said I should write Lesbian Vampire Killers the way it ought to be done - with lesbians who kill vampires.
THE PROMPT: Lesbians who are vampire killers.
TYPE: BBC series of a two hour pilot and six hour-long episodes per season.
RATING: 18, for horror elements and rampant gayness.
OPENING THEME: Not a Pretty Girl – Ani DiFranco
CLOSING THEME: Wuthering Heights – China Drum
SYNOPSIS: Kit and Nadia are a perfectly ordinary young couple who aren't quite sure what they want in life. They've been together a few years and there have been ups and downs along the way, and recently it's been mostly downs – there's a big elephant in that room but neither of them talk about what happened two months ago, to anyone.
Then, one day, Nadia meets a man who nearly steers her away, and in the course of getting back together, the two girls find a new purpose in life they'd never dreamed of.
Similarities to a certain successful American TV show are entirely deliberate. Shivers, however, has a British feel and plays around with the mythology of British horror: haunted houses, black dogs, and Christopher Lee in a dress.
1.00: (2 hour pilot) A Weekend in Whitby
1:01: Haunted Houses for Dummies
1:02: Nothing but a Hound Dog
1:03: Sixteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest
1:04: East of Whitechapel without a Revolver
1:05: The Wicker Man
1:06: (season finale) Knights of the Round Table
Christine 'Kit' Arthur (Rochelle Gadd)
Woo hoo! I'm the cavalry in a dress and it's bloody brilliant!Kit is one of those women who manages to enjoy her life no matter what she does. Or maybe it's her determination to enjoy herself that drives her life. She fell in love with Nadia at first sight and ingratiated herself into her life. After university, she went from job to job every time she got bored (and now, conveniently for plot, as a good few skills under her belt). Charismatic and charming, Kit loves being in control and manages that by force of personality alone. She sometimes gets a little frustrated by Nadia's passivity, but is hopelessly oblivious when she gets her way over Nadia – she's not actively controlling or manipulative, just sometimes a little blind to anything in her peripheral vision.
Kit has always always known she's a lesbian and is absolutely comfortable in her sexuality – although some straight people find her difficult to read because she's conventionally 'girly' in dress and attitude. She wears skirts and nice shoes, and at the beginning of the pilot she looks immaculate and urban, but as the season goes on her look gets a little more practical: skirts get longer and less restrictive, shoes become flatter and she runs out of the time and resources to relax her hair. By 1:06 her hair is in cornrows and her boots are comfortable and sensible, but she still looks stylish; having merely switched to a more practical look without compromising aesthetic.
Kit is the one who talks to people: she's up front and personable and brave. It's an illusion, however, to think that she's in charge of the operation.
Spoiler: Kit is the reincarnation of Arthur Pendragon, something she doesn't find out until the season finale, and which she thinks is frankly ridiculous. She doesn't rebel against the idea, though, because she just happens to like this 'defending the people' lark.
Disclaimer: I have not seen a single episode of Hollyoaks, but I had a look and an attitude for Kit in mind, and I think Rochelle comes closest.
Nadia Morgan (Sinead Keenan)
When I realised I was queer – which was admittedly after I'd been dating Kit for six months – I kind of figured that would be it, y'know? Congratulations, you're a lesbian. That's the most important thing you could find out about yourself. What the bloody hell did I know?Ten years ago, Nadia had very definite plan; by the time she reached twenty five, she'd be married, comfortable in her medical career and hopefully pregnant with her first baby. She didn't even notice this plan going off course until she woke up one day and realised she was a zoology graduate in a lesbian relationship who was now effectively managing the lab in which she'd taken a temporary job after graduating.
Nadia is bisexual, and has the more masculine style of the two girls. Her hair is short, her clothes are tomboyish and she really likes stomping around in big boots. She doesn't say much around strangers; most of her dialogue is with Kit or other regular characters, but she's still bold and forthright and joking with them. She's a reactionary sort of person – letting people lead her around a lot including sometimes Kit, who can be annoyed when it's someone else doing the leading but oblivious when it's her.
Despite feeling like she's been led most of her life, Nadia really takes to the monster hunting life. It is she who makes the first kill of the couple – using a wooden knitting needle – and she finds most of their jobs. After finding the life, she takes control of her own destiny and begins to flourish.
Spoiler: In the pilot, Michael makes a reference to 'something special' about Nadia, which is shown in a couple of throwaway moments in the first two episodes. In 1:03 part of the plot is driven by a sudden inexplicable moment of ESP and by the season finale comments by Joanna and the Lady lay down very heavily that Nadia may have magical ability linked in some way to Morgan Le Fey.
Leo (Adrian Lester)
Do you want to rush in and get yourselves killed, or you do want to sit down, have a cup of tea and let me tell you how to avoid that?A monster hunter for fifteen years and counting, Leo's attempts to track down the vampire leads to his path crossing that of the two girls, and he instantly takes an interest in Kit because of the way she goes after her girlfriend without an ounce of hesitation or fear. Well-connected and practically minded, he doesn't have any time for people who don't believe in ghosts because as far as he's concerned, it's obvious they're around (it'd like not believing in the milkman).
He's not an action man any more – although occasionally we see him fight and it's clear that he's very good at it – instead, he collects and analyses data and tries to solve problems without working up a sweat. That includes manipulating younger, brasher hunters to go in for him. It's not certain at first whether he's profiting from the hints he sends Kit and Nadia, or if he has some other motivation.
Spoiler: Near the end of the season, it becomes evident that he and Joanna were trying to train the girls in the job without scaring them away. Leo's motivations are simply that he thinks the girls are very good at it - not because he wants Kit to follow her Very Special Destiny. He sees no reason to trust Destiny to be a benevolent force, and prefers to support free will.
(Adrian Lester was going to be Alex (see below), but Mickey Bricks decided he wasn't having that and I coudn't drop him and I needed an Obi-Wan character, so here he is.)
Joanna (Stephanie Cole)
Oh no, don't feel you have to listen to me. I'm old. Obviously it never occurred to you that I got to this age by staying alive.The hunter who found and trained Leo, Joanna is now confined to a wheelchair thanks to ongoing osteoarthritis and a habit of breaking her bones long into her sixties. Opinionated and grouchy, she complains vociferously that she wishes he'd take more of a hands-on approach and actually get his hands dirty, and he points out that doing too much action and not enough thinking is why she's in the chair. They are clearly very very fond of each other.
Joanna is a technophile and keeps a laptop with her at all times – which Leo approves of. What he doesn't approve of is her habit these days of using divination methods, of which he is deeply suspicious. It is the Tarot that tells Joanna that Kit is someone special, with a Very Important Destiny: this is another reason why Leo tries to deny it.
Stephanie is gay – and outs herself to Leo halfway through the season. He thinks she's crazy, on account of how he's always known.
I had no intention whatsoever of this character even existing, but I realised Leo was too young to be a proper Dumbledore character, and I wanted someone to hit people over the head with her walking stick. Yes, Joanna is permanently in a wheelchair. Yes, she still has a walking stick. She hits Leo with it. (Also, short interior distances. Mostly hitting Leo)
Alex (Aidan Turner)
Nadia's oldest friend, Alex was at university with her when she started medicine, and is now a GP. She phones him up when she's worried or stressed and he has a way of persuading her to do what she already knew was the right thing. Kit is mildly jealous of their friendship but she's accepted it by now. He doesn't show up in person until 1.05, when he calls the girls because 'something weird is happening'. Nadia never told him about the girls' new life but he claims he figured it out.
Spoiler: Alex is an angel who considers looking over Nadia to be his job. This is not mentioned at all in season one. In fact, the entire character was created for Nny, so blame her.
The Lady (Anna Madeley)
She is never named on screen, even in credits – it's only in TV listings that you'll find 'The Lady' as her title. At first, she's just someone who chats to Kit for a minor scene in the pilot, but she keeps turning up, occasionally with a useful bit of exposition but not always, and arouses more and more suspicion. Especially as it begins to transpire that only Kit and Nadia notice her.
Spoiler: she is the Lady of the Lake – something that is not even suggested when she gives Kit a sword (yes, that sword) in episode 4. It's only on revelaing that Kit = Arthur in episode 6 that this is implied.
Michael, A Vampire
The pilot of the show is basically The Snow Queen, but with a vampire. Nadia and Kit are having issues which their holiday in Whitby isn't solving. So Nadia goes to get some alone time in the pub, where she draws the attention of a vampire.
When she doesn't return, Kit goes through Hell and high water to find her and bring her back. It's Nadia that finally kills him, though.
Nick (Marc Warren)
“No, I'm not Jack. I did know him though. Brilliant work, if I say so myself.In episode 4, Kit and Nadia find themselves in the East End of London, investigating a series of slasher killings. Kit is sceptical at first – surely serial killers can be handles by the police, but they soon find themselves up against not the man who is carrying out the killings, but the first man for the police to arrest, then release when they had no evidence other than an uncanny proximity to each murder.
This is Nick – presumably not his real name but how he introduces himself. There's photographic evidence to suggest he's at least a hundred years old and has lived in a number of places: Soham, . He's smarmy and cocky and calls himself a 'muse', but the hunters have other words for him.
After Kit kills him, Leo says that he'll probably be back.