rowanberries: (Helium cat)
[personal profile] rowanberries

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.

THE PROMPT (via [ profile] mercuriazs):

An urban fantasy with a detective! Private investigator or working for the city, your call. (Why yes, I am still bitterly disappointed in the DF Syfy show.)

TYPE: Hour long episodes on BBC, thirteen episodes to a season, plus Christmas special.

SYNOPSIS: A bored young Scottish woman who watches too much CSI moves into her family town house in London, and joins a PI agency in search of a little excitement. Unfortunately, within a week she is foisted off on the oldest member of the team, who is a year away from retirement and barely takes anything seriously anymore; suffers a break-in on her first night back; and discovers the house is haunted by the ghost of her long-dead and highly eccentric great-grandmother, Matilda May Harcourt.

Soon, with the grudging help of her skeptical partner, and Matilda May's uncanny genius at problem-solving, Bryony is beginning to learn the ropes and claim a few successes. But a far trickier mystery to solve is one that took place nearly thirty years ago - who killed her great-grandmother and why?

FAN REACTION: Yet another BBC attempt to fill the Doctor Who Saturday night timeslot, it's silly but watchable, and improves loads when the main action moves to the house and out of the Agency - mainly because the secondary characters get more to do.


Bryony Allen ( Emily Macdonald ) Cross-cast as young Matilda May Harcourt in flashbacks.
Naive, lonely and with a craving for excitement; Bryony put herself through law enforcement training with a degree in Criminology and Forensic Science on the side due to extreme boredom with the lack of ambition at school and from her parents. She initially joined the Edinborough police, but soon moved to London and joined the biggest PI Agency that would hire her when living at home became stifling. Despite considering herself hard-bitten and capable, it's obvious to everyone else that she is incredibly sheltered in spite of impressive book-smarts.

SPOILER: In episode 7, the audience discovers she was only hired by the agency because somebody recognised her. As herself, or as her great-grandmother's family is left ambiguous.

FANDOM OPINION: Irritating canon Sue who improves immeasurably after the pilot, when everything stops going her way. Opinion becomes markedly more positive after the actress accidentally lets slip that she slashes the two boys in the flat next door as much as any of the fans.

Matilda May Harcourt ( Geraldine McEwan )
An eccentric reclusive genius who was shunned by her more conventional family in life, Matilda May died an old lady but with all of her mental ability intact. The only thing she couldn't manage to puzzle out was who killed her, and why, and that question keeps her restless spirit bound to the house where she died.

SPOILER: It is gradually revealed that her death may have had more to do with her research into the paranormal than the money, which had been the previously assumed motive.


Jake ( Luke Pasqualino )
Our initial POV character, Jake is a teenage boy who breaks into what he thinks is an empty house at the dead of night on a dare from his friends, and discovers in short order the ghost of a scary little old lady and a very solid young woman who handcuffs him to a doorhandle. Comes with a posse of posturing teenage boys who occasionally stop by to offer Sage Advice on cases and be fed roast dinners and cake by Bryony (at Matilda May's insistence.)

FANDOM OPINION: Okay, they need to stop pushing poor Jake's crush on Bryony, she's way too old for him.

Dr. Monty Harris ( Charles Dance )
The oldest PI in the Agency, is assigned Bryony as his trainee, mostly to get them both out of the way. Fatherly and seemingly gentle, he has a lifetime's worth of experience which comes in very handy when Matilda May's advice gets her into trouble. To the surprise of nobody in the fandom, turns out to be something of a BAMF towards the end of season one. To the surprise of everyone, he is most often the one who ends up kidnapped and needing rescue, not his young partner.

SPOILER: Turns out to be employed by a third party to keep an eye on Bryony and the old Harcourt house. For what purpose remains a mystery right up to the end of the show's run.

FANDOM OPINION: Why didn't they just cast Anthony Stewart Head?


Maura Henderson ( Noma Dumezweni )
Adinistrative head of the Agency in season one. She's a busy woman, and not much is seen of her, but she is instrumental in assigning Bryony to several incredibly dull routine cases, and in assigning Dr. Monty to keep an eye on her until he retires.

SPOILER: Flying in the face of all speculation, her mysteriousness turns out to simply be a busy woman doing her job as best she can, and trying to keep a ridiculouly naive new recuit from getting into anything too risky before she's learned a few lessons about reality first. Becomes a more regular character ironically after Bryony and Dr. Monty leave to start their own agency, and frequently calls to mock them both gently, and occasionally compare notes on cases.

The next-door neighbours:

Sajid ( Sendhil Ramamurthy )
One-third of the people living in the house next door, Sajid is the oldest, most successful and most mature. Has a secure job at an upmarket software firm, but is being paid to complete a business and marketing MSc. He isn't around as much as the other two, but occasionally refers to Mark as his 'toyboy' - nobody is quite sure if he's joking or not until Russell T Davies guest-writes a third season episode.

Mark ( Bradley James )
Young, laid-back and benignly bitchy to one and all, Mark - ostensibly a film studies student but rarely seen to do any work - became an instant fan favourite despite the lack of any further character development.

Lin ( Katie Leung )
The third tenant next door, an MSc computing student at UCL. Lin is quiet, thoughtful and geeky, but puts up with Mark's constant mockery with impressive cool.

SPOILER: She also turns out to have a hidden talent for things like lock-picking and talking her way past security guards - once she can be pried away from World of Warcraft. Officially employed by Bryony and Matilda at the beginning of season three.

FANDOM OPINION: Rages in an epic war between Sajid/Mark and OT3 shippers. The quieter het shippers of either Lin/Mark or Lin/Sajid try mostly and keep their heads down. Everyone is torn between delighted and disappointed when Lin develops an epic and unfortunate crush on Bryony's brother Seb.

Seb Allen ( David Tennant )
Bryony's ne'er-do-well older brother who turns up three times in the entire series - once to crash at the house and make a nuisance of himself, once in a scene that Tennant very literally phoned in towards the end of season three, and once in a two-parter that kicked off the main plot of season two.

FANDOM OPINION: Totally cast for a ratings stunt and to let David Tennant perform with his own accent - AND WE DON'T CARE. SEEEEB MARRY MEEEEEEE. (It works on all three occasions.)

SPOILER: At the very end of the series, after Matilda May's departure, Bryony finds out that Seb has died of a drug overdose. She stumbles, in shock, into the living room to tell Mark, Sajid and Lin -- and hears his voice from behind her, saying "Hey- that's not how I remember it..." just before the credits roll.

FAN REACTION: Explosive.


Posse of posturing teenage boys: All friends of Jake's who start turning up once they realise that a) the house is really haunted b) They can eavesdrop on detective cases and it is AWESOME and c) Bryony will feed them cake if they're nice.

Coworkers at the PI Agency: Mostly busy people, all with their own agenda and a handy dose of professional paranoia. In later seasons, many are resentful that Bryony and Dr. Monty are trying to take business away from them.

Mr. and Mrs. Allen: The kind of people who call their children Sebastien (with an e) and Bryony (with two ys). Vague, wealthy and completely uncomprehending of either of their children's lives, they sure do seem keen to keep any information about Matilda May from coming to light.
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July 2015


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