Treatment: “Proteus Rising”

We return to our horrific tale of fanboy obsession and computer keyboard intrigue.

This is the second or third draft of this posting.   It turned into a loud, bitter rant.   But this should be about the story, not the noise or the foolishness that distracted from it.   So let’s get back to that.

I went through a lot of wrangling to hammer out the basics of this new version.   And even in the scripting change, I’m still banging on it.

Writing isn’t about perfection.   Writing is about getting the ideas out.   Get it all out.   Out of your head.   Outta yer system.   Screw perfection.   Put it down on the page.   Do it now.  All the clean-up — the tightening of bolts, the caulking of plot holes, gritting your teeth, cutting out the stuff you love but doesn’t work or moves too slow — that’s editing.  Edits come later.  Write it down first.

I point this out because of the shaky nature of this treatment. A synopsis is a quick sketch, summarizing the overall plot.  An outline can be done several ways, sometimes as a list of key plot points, or a scene breakdown that narrates key events.  A treatment is usually more detailed than all the rest, written like a short story, spelling out the drama.

If you’ve been following this blog thread from the beginning, you already know about the distractions that brought me here.   This treatment was written under the pressure of those distractions, in the hope of stripping all the rathole ideas and audience pandering that was holding the story down.

And even with that, it’s still kinda messy.  Writing.  Getting the ideas out.  So I’m going to throw in commentary, the sort of stuff people say when their place is a mess and they weren’t expecting guests.

And again, this is a Doctor Who story.  BBC employees, writers, and producers of a nervous disposition should be mindful of this.  But knowing that, and if you’re still interested, follow the jump: Read more

Addendum: “Eternity Calling”

I was going to say, “Here’s a quick update.”  But this little addendum only brings you up to 2008.  And if you’ve been reading my posts, by now you’ve figured out that, for me, quick means a few thousand years — I mean, words.

“Eternity Calling” started in 2002.  Crashed and burned.  Everyone moved on to other things.  Six years later, Neil buzzed me about the old story.  About doing it again.

Apparently Jon Blum was going to be in Boston again, and Neil suggested re-recording the story.  More Seventh Doctor, only he wouldn’t get to say, “Aaaaaace!”  Apparently the fan who played the Seventh Doctor’s on-air companion Ace wasn’t available.

So they couldn’t ramrod a Time Rift reunion into the prison rape cluster[BLEEP] of my poor, battered ‘n’ beaten story idea that had to walk through the snow both ways before getting run over by a Good Humor truck.  Real frickin’ shame.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.  Phfft.  Hell.  Tap my leg like a maple tree and you’ll get a bucket of Angostura.

I tried not to make a big deal out of it, but it came through all the same.  Neil and Jon wanted to re-rewrite the script to use another Seventh Doctor companion, Benny Summerfield.  And I didn’t exactly dance a jig:

You guys do what you need to do.  All that’s really left is an idea that was once mine.  If I can help it along, I’d appreciate it if you could gimme a holler.

To be fair, Jon Blum was patient and thoughtful about it (something I’m not used to):

Go right ahead and give us your ideas on messing with it!  I’m not out to take over the project — I’m approaching it as basically being Neil’s (and your) baby…

BTW, I’m sorry about the rewrites at the time — the re-recording after the opening bit was wiped was an act of desperation based on which actors we could get back together!

See, he was trying to be nice about it.  But it was clear that, in their minds, I was only there for the ride.  This was a courtesy call.  They could’ve gone and done it without a word to me.  Again.

We exchanged ideas back and forth.  Some enthusiasm.  A few lame jokes, mostly mine.  Plot points and images were bandied about.

Then nothing.

At least for another two years.  Then we can honestly say we’re up to date.

1st Outline: “I, Proteus”

Right, back to the tangled roots of the Doctor Who audio project called something-Proteus-something.

You might remember the background.  Neil Marsh and I were working on a fan audiodrama where the Doctor was female.  Fanboy dickering drove the project into a ditch twice before.  A big popularity contest.  Sort of like high school, only shorter.  We moved on to Afterhell after that.

The worst of it faded into the background noise of the scriptwriting process.  Unfortunately that was an even bigger mess.

I started on a full outline of the whole storyline, cliffhangers and all.  Then Neil sent an e-mail, panicking.  Forget the outline, he said.  He could really use a script, something to show people.

I wrote the first few scripts based on what I had.  Then he grew concerned about the plotting.  Stop the scriptwriting.  He wanted the outline after all.

I went back to the outline, only to get more e-mails begging for scripts.

And so on and and so on.

Neil was always nervous.  Never satisfied.  Whatever I gave him, he needed more.  All this while writing Afterhell.  Yup, he had me writing two radio series at the same time.  And like an idiot, I went through this vicious cycle a few times, back and forth.  Recipe for burnout.

Anyway, after the jump,  this is the rough but completed outline for “I, Proteus.”

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