I have just completed polishing the pilot script for FRIENDLY DEMON, family fantasy TV drama series, originally written in 2009. Series synopsis below.
By Andrew Hawcroft
‘A FETISH FOR BACON FAT’
In the Sheffield borough of Bluegate, in a charming little semi-detached on Merrydale Street, it is a very special day in the lives of the Leader family.
Gladys and Gordon Leader, and, to a lesser extent, Crumpet, the unmotivated family mongrel dog,(sleeps on his back, legs apart) await the appearance of their eighteen year-old son for breakfast. Not only is it his first day at Bluegate College of Further Education (“The first college man in our family!”) but eighteen is traditionally the age when a Duman (human with Demon aspect) can first manifest his Demon side.
With great embarrassment, the pleasant and handsome John Leader does indeed Manifest for his family and the couldn’t-give-a-hoot-so-long-as-he’s-fed-and-walked Crumpet.
Proud Mum and Dad have waited a long time for this moment, for there has been doubt as to whether their son actually is a Duman, as Gladys herself is a one but Gordon is not. (Theirs was one of the first inter-species marriages in
but then that’s Gladys for you.)
Then it’s back to life as normal as Gladys heads off to her ‘Slice Of Paradise’ cake shop, and Gordon heads off to Consolidated Dairies, where he labours eternally in Sales, never quite getting that promotion.
John has been schooled in his unique heritage since he was seven, and knows how dumb most of the myths involving Demons are. Demons are no more good or bad than regular people, depending entirely as it does on the nature of the Duman himself. There are Friendly Demons ( a la The Leaders. Red skin with golden markings,golden Hellfire) and there are Unfriendly Demons (blue skin with green markings, green Hellfire.)
John has a dream that the day will come when the numerous Dumans of Sheffield (there’s quite a solid little community there,) along with Dumans of the world in general, can come out of the global closet and integrate fully into society.
John starts College as an Art Major, being a naturally gifted artist all his life. Although he is an outgoing and personable chap, his closest friend is a withdrawn Goth, Kelly Burton, who he has known since her family moved to Bluegate when they were both eleven. Her family are a world away from the loud-but-loving Leaders. The upper-class Burtons are an unhappy marriage, too afraid to separate and go it alone, and the near-silent and troubled Kelly is their only offspring. Introverted and rebellious, Kelly has dark purple hair, tattoos, piercings, industrial-strength eye-liner, and a preferance for wearing black. She projects a tough exterior but John knows she is anything but.
In fact, it is John’s friendship and the affection of his family for the painfully-thin Kelly that has probably saved her from numerous serious teenage afflictions. Certainly she gets no support or encouragement from her parents. Both work in banking. Both are rich. Both are cautionary tales in terms of parenting.
Kelly herself is studying Biology at
to pursue her quiet hope of
becoming a veterinary surgeon (and because John is going there.) Her love of
animals shines out through the black leather and make-up, and she has a part
time job at a local dog-kennels, where the adoring animals give her the
affection she doesn’t get at home. Bluegate College
This is good for John, as dogs are the favoured pet of Dumans. Cats on the other hand, seem to have a natural negative reaction to Friendly Demons, and are instead the preferred pet of Unfriendlys. Both cats and dogs can sense the Demon quality in any Duman by some primitive instinct.
Life begins to take a strange turn almost straightaway for John as he embarks on his new life as a ‘College Man’. A very becoming girl named Stephanie Stilton, who models for his Still Life art class, seems to be more than she appears. Her attempts to befriend John mask a deeper motive, one that will hint at a darker underbelly to the Duman culture itself.
John, mercifully protected from Unfriendly Demons all his life, is about to understand what growing into a man can really mean when, with a focus on the word ’Ignite’, the golden flames of a Friendly Demon’s Hellfire (which burns nothing that the Duman doesn’t want it to) flare into glorious golden being…