And so the task begins, as I start to turn the highly successful VIRO book series into a proposal for a TV series. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing insights and updates as to how this process is going. So let’s begin at the beginning.
VIRO – The TV Series Proposal
GENRE: Horror/Science Fiction – Post-Apocalypse
TAG LINE: Four Kids, One Apocalypse
LOG LINE: As a viral pandemic turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum.
VIRO tells the story of Jake, a boy born with special needs who wakes one morning to find that the world has been catastrophically overrun by a deadly virus and his mum has not come home after work. Determined but unused to being out on his own, Jake sets off to find her.
The book series is set in the south east of England and Season One takes place in Burton-on-Sea, a fictional seaside town modelled on Hastings. The time is somewhere in the 1970s.
There is no knowing exactly where the virus came from and the point of the series is that no-one will ever know. There is a lot of speculation but no definitive explanation. This makes VIRO darker and bleaker as we soon come to realise that the world will not be saved.
The story is not a race to find a cure but about finding a way to simply survive. Science, like God, and society, is broken now. It makes no difference, especially to a group of teenage friends who don’t really have time to try and make sense of what has happened. They just want to stay alive.
A fitting testament to a nation’s greed.
At night the wind laps the abandoned buildings like a poisoned tongue probing a mouth of broken teeth.
In a flat stripped and rotting. A broken television perched on a chair comes to life.
A new signal is available.
The First of TheFive.
At this point it is fair to say that the world has reached a dreadful juncture.
With the terrible truth now slowly pouring from beyond the NotBeSpeak are beginning.
No-one was able to see but a form began to materialise on the stage.
A form that coalesced in the light that the video cast upon the dark.
Indeterminate but concrete. Fleeting but arrived.
The first of the NotBeSpeak.
Inteachán inched carefully over towards the spanner. Being left-handed she held the ornate box in her right hand. In the hurry of her escape she hadn’t had time to think much about the box but now Inteachán noticed it wasn’t very heavy.
Inteachán stopped and carefully opened it. The box was empty! The Rock Star had tricked her. Inteachán looked down and to her horror she saw that the Horn was tucked into the Rock Star’s belt.
As she digested this dreadful news the Biggest Band in the World launched into their opening number.
Once in the gantry Inteachán could see various angry-looking men hunting for her behind the band who were just getting ready to begin.
Inteachán found herself above the giant wall of video screens and she set about scanning the wall for any weak spots.
‘No one would be foolish enough to have one giant switch that turned the whole thing on and off,’ she said to herself. ‘That would just make all of this far too easy.’
The first of the lights started to dim beside her. As they dimmed Inteachán noticed that a stagehand had left a bolt spanner attached to the bolt that held the chain that held the lights to the gantry.
‘Not quite but close,’ smiled Inteachán.
Inteachán had said very little while the Rock Star outlined his insane plan. She looked scared but this was only a ruse. Her hands were tightly bound behind her back and the chair she was sitting was getting more and more uncomfortable.
Inteachán realised that by gently moving her thumbs together in a clockwise rotation she was able to loosen the cable tie that bound her hands.
By now the Rock Star had really lost the run of himself and was bounding around the room in his Cuban heels muttering about centuries of indignities finally being tallied up and taken for.
He wasn’t paying any attention to Inteachán and she realised that this was her chance.
‘Why Croke Park?’ asked Inteachán. ‘Isn’t that rather a strange place for the Summoning to be started?’
‘Not at all’, replied Mac. ‘As you know, Croke Park stands in Ballybough and Ballybough is one of the darkest parts of Dublin.’
Mac looked at Inteachán.
‘There is an old cemetery in Ballybough where the City’s undesirables used to be buried. Thieves, robbers, highwaymen and suicide victims, hence the name, the Suicide Plot.’
‘The worst thing of all,’ continued Mac, ‘was that each corpse had a stake driven through its heart so that they couldn’t further bother the residents.’
It was growing dark outside. Inteachán pulled the curtains over the window. In the orange glow of the lamp Mac looked even more ancient than normal. Inteachán sat down on the small footstool in front of the fire.
‘What are the What-Be-Speak?’ she asked.
‘Not ‘What,” Mac replied, ‘but Why.’
He looked into the distance.
‘I have spent my whole adult life searching for an answer to that question. I am no closer to the answer now than I was when I started.’
He blew his nose vigorously.
‘In fact, I’m probably further away today than I have ever been.’