(6 x 60 minutes Supernatural Comedy Drama for ITV 9 PM)
Every body has secrets! What’s yours?
By Ana Rita Letras Alves
Treatment for Pilot Episode……………………………………………………….5
Outlines of Further Episodes………………………………………………………7
"HIDE AND SEEK" is a drama series about a woman with thirty-six years of age who seems to have the perfect suburban life, much like the women in Desperate Housewives. Set in the present day, in the respectful suburbs of Virginia Water, the series is about Carol Sinfield, a pacific woman, most of the time. She has the attentive husband, Justin Sinfield, helpful children, Luke and Sarah Sinfield, the reliable best friend, Martha Fagan, the lenient supervisor, Amanda Voltoure, and friendly neighbors. However, not everything is as it seems.
Carol learns this the hard way. Her neighbor Mrs. Gale, a woman in her sixties, invites her over, saying that a serious talk between the two has been long overdue. A visit to her neighbor’s house develops into a car accident, and Carol does not survive.
Our protagonist is not ready to cross the gates of paradise, as she cannot yet let go of her Earthly life. Instead, she wants to cross the Return Gate, that which takes her back home.
“On the other side”, that is Purgatory, she meets another restless spirit, Coral, who tries to help her in her goal. She finds out that to do so she must provide ‘The Council’ with proof that she is needed and that she can be of help to others back on Earth. She must also show that she has what it takes to survive the turbulent return trip. Without these conditions, the Gate can never be crossed.
In each episode she ‘F.A.I.N.Ts’ and is able to follow other characters around. This involves using her emotions as energy to supply her ‘Fainter’. She lies on it, and travels to a time, place or person by picturing them. This means she must know them. This allows her to discover secrets kept from her. However, her energy is not enough to stay away for long, which means that at any moment she can be dragged back to Purgatory before secrets are revealed.
Each secret that is revealed feeds her hunger to live again and also gives the council reason to let her go back. On the other hand, she must train to exercise her power on Earth to build her strength for her return.
A stranger with a scorched face will incessantly try to stop her, occasionally going so far as to weaken the protagonist.
Coral tries to teach her the ways of this land between the living and the dead, while another friend, Robert, helps and flirts.
Another important factor of the series is how the secrets of each character affect Carol. Her reaction and attempt to deal with each secret will help with her training and move the plot along.
Slowly, Carol will not only find out truths about her past, but also about herself and who she is. These truths will define the way she reacts to the final and most destructive secret of all.
The story is told through Carol’s Point-of-View, which means that she must be in every scene.
Born in Surrey, thirty-six, controlling, wants order in her life. She will not be able to sleep if her shoes are not in the position they ought to be in. She has no memories from her childhood. She currently works as a shop assistant. Carol is normally pacific unless something is out of her control, then she explodes in a rage, which is why she has not been able to hold a job for longer than a year or two. She is occasionally too motherly – she still cuts the crusts off her son’s sandwiches. She has a burn on her arm.
Born in Surrey, thirty-eight, handsome, independent, he does not like to be controlled. He met Carol at the age of twenty, and married her at her request as soon as she fell pregnant. He is very good at keeping a secret, but when he feels guilty he usually becomes more attentive. He is a hypocrite: when he finds out that his son is doing drugs he grounds him, confiscates his weed, and smokes it in secret. He is also weak. If he is accused of something he will deny it unless he is caught in the act. He cannot make decisions or assume his own responsibilities.
Born in Surrey, eighteen, she is the byproduct of what was supposed to be a one-night stand. She is studying archaeology. She is determined and stubborn, but rational. She does nothing without first thinking about it. She has a complicated relationship with her mother. Despite Sarah behaving responsibly, Carol does not trust her to make her own decisions. Also despite her parents’ marriage, Sarah is driven by romantic ideals, when it comes to romantic relationships she is sometimes impulsive.
He was born in Virginia Water and is sixteen. As a young man he is easily influenced and also weak, although not quite as much as his father. Throughout the series he is seen to fall in with the wrong crowd. On the other hand, he is somewhat obsessed with his studies and getting good grades, but does his best to hide this from his friends. He is studying sciences.
Mrs. Gale/Serena Lancaster
She is a sixty-year-old neighbor, who later turns out to be Carol’s mother. She is friendly but accident-prone. She is the typical crazy cat lady, who borrows pans and forgets to return them. She is also nosy, but tries to help. Her cats are continuously ‘escaping’ into Carol’s garden, thus she has to go there to get them.
Coral’s last name is not revealed throughout the series. She is the spirit of Carol’s dead sister, who got caught by accident in the fire caused by Carol. She is one of the characters whom Carol meets in Purgatory. She helps Carol by teaching her how to use her emotions as energy supply to interact with humans and objects.
It later becomes ambiguous whether she is real or an illusion of Carol’s imagination.
TREATMENT FOR PILOT EPISODE
Episode 1: Engage and Drive
At the Sinfield house every one is getting ready to leave in the morning. Sarah leaves in a hurry, so that her room is a mess. She leaves behind a class test that has been given a low grade. Carol leaves for work and runs into Mrs. Gale who is letting her cats out for a walk.
Later she returns home to find Sarah on the sofa, making out with her “no-good” boyfriend, Jason. Carol tells Jason to get lost, but Sarah will not allow her mother to kick him out until her father gets home. When Justin arrives Jason and Sarah announce their engagement (INCITING INCIDENT).
Carol tells Jason to leave, so that she, Sarah and Justin can talk. Justin supports Carol in her opinion that Sarah is too young to be engaged, and after their daughter’s disrespectful reaction they both agree to ground her and confiscate her phone. Carol sends a text to Jason from her daughter’s phone.
Two days later Carol finds out from her son that Jason has not spoken to Sarah since the day they announced their engagement (THINGS GO WELL). She talks to Sarah about it. The young girl seems distraught but dedicates more time to her studies and begins to help her mother around the house.
Still at home, Carol is telling Martha she sent a text from Sarah to Jason, breaking up with him, when Sarah overhears their conversation and leaves the house. (MID-POINT REVERSAL)
Shortly after Justin arrives, Mrs. Gale calls to invite Carol for tea and biscuits, as she has something important to tell her. The woman is so persistent that Carol accepts. On her way across the street Carol gets run over by a car (THINGS GET WORSE).
In Purgatory, Coral helps her realize where she is. In the meantime, Carol uses fresh energy from the accident to ‘F.A.I.N.T.’ and hears voices around her. She wakes up at home and in a dreamlike state watches as Justin, Sarah, Jason and Luke sit at home. To appease the suffering, Justin gives Sarah and Jason his blessing, saying Carol would want her to be happy, but before she can do anything Carol is dragged back to Purgatory (LOWEST POINT).
Coral takes the protagonist to see ‘The Council’ and they tell her that if she wants to return to Earth, first she must provide evidence that her situation calls for the return by showing she is needed and useful on Earth, and she must also become powerful enough to survive the trip.
Robert, another spirit, overhears her conference and offers to help. Using his energy supply Carol is able to ‘F.A.I.N.T.’ and use her son’s computer to doctor a photo of Jason kissing another girl. She sends an email, from ‘Unknown’, to Sarah with the picture (RESOLUTION). She watches as her daughter breaks up with Jason.
Meanwhile, someone is seen to approach ‘The Council’, claiming that Carol Sinfield must never return to Earth.
OUTLINES OF FURTHER EPISODES
Episode 2: The Bad Influence
Carol is following her son around, looking for justification to return. She sees him meet up with a group of hooligans and together they bully kids, destroy properties and do drugs.
Coral and Robert teach Carol how to ‘F.A.I.N.T.’ on her own.
Carol moves the drugs into view, so Justin will find them. He grounds Luke, but smokes them himself. Amanda visits, but Carol is dragged back to Purgatory before she can find out why.
When she reports to ‘The Council’, they disapprove of her negative influence on her own husband. They also show her that her son ran away.
Episode 3: Some Like it Hot
Martha visits Carol’s family. She has an intimate conversation with Justin, about relationships and desires, when Sarah arrives. Sarah tells Martha, in confidence that she has broken up with Jason. Martha makes a move on Sarah, who is unstable and reciprocates. Carol remedies the situation by reuniting Sarah and Jason.
Back in Purgatory, Carol and Robert sleep together and go out. He shows her the Return Gate. She gets too close and has a vision of a figure on fire.
The same person from the end of the first episode reappears, simply watching on as Carol walks away with Robert.
Episode 4: Whodunit
Carol is now able to ‘F.A.I.N.T.’ back in time, to her accident. She sees Amanda running her over, staring straight ahead, determined.
Furious, Carol tries to go through the Return Gate. Visions of a house burning become more intense. She hears people screaming and sees herself standing outside watching as the house burns.
In pain, she pulls back and gets arrested. The unknown spirit from previous episodes pays her a visit in prison and drains her by ‘sucking’ her energy, making her weak.
Robert and Coral manage to get her out of prison, but she is weak and a fugitive.
Episode 5: The Neighbor Giveth and the Neighbor Taketh Away
Carol’s energy returns and she goes back to avenge her accident. She watches as Amanda visits Justin and the two have sex.
She risks going to ‘The Council’ for help. They supply her with energy for two last trips. She must make her case or she will be arrested and possibly sent to hell.
She manipulates Mrs. Gale’s mind while the old woman sleeps, making her believe she witnessed the accident. She goes over to tell Justin, but forgets all about it. Justin and Amanda announce their relationship to the neighbor.
On another ‘Fainter’, the unknown evil man wakes up.
Episode 6: The Last Journey
Carol finds out the man who has been making her death difficult is her father.
She confronts him and he reveals Mrs. Gale’s memory lapse was his doing. She is Carol’s mother.
Using her last trip, she visits her past. She sees her father cheating and herself setting fire to the house. She pulls her sister, Coral, out of the fire, burning her own arm.
‘The Council’ allow her to go through the Gate. There are doctors around her. She has just woken up from a comma.
Now that she is back and knows who she is and all secrets, Carol has the potential to become an antagonist. However, how much of what she saw is true, if any of it?
New issues might be introduced, for example, Sarah becomes pregnant.
Hide and Seek is a supernatural comedy returning drama, to be aired on ITV 1 at 9pm. The series’ themes are relationships, secrecy, and the inability to run from one’s past.
It attracts mainly a female audience due, not only to its female lead, but also because it deals with situations which the everyday wife or mother is sometimes confronted with. Thus the audience’s age range might be between 30s and 50s.
On the other hand, it also deals, albeit briefly, with other issues, such as drugs, homosexuality and affairs. Due to these subjects, the range of characters and its supernatural factor it might appeal to a younger audience, between 18-30, as well as both genders. Although not violent, it does “plunge to very dark areas of human behavior.” Hence, it would fit in well on ITV 1.
Furthermore, it appeals to the same audience of shows such as Mr. Selfridge and Downton Abbey, that is women between the ages of 30-50, while still bringing in audience members from shows like Broadchurch and Agatha Christie’s Marple.
There could be a commercial spin-off series or film based on the supernatural realm Carol landed on, and how it came to be, or a film prequel that focuses on Carol’s own past.
Olivia Colman, from Broadchurch is a potential candidate for the role of the main character. Despite her comedy background, she is also recognized for the Doctor Who series, appealing to fans of the supernatural, and her participation in films such as The Iron Lady and Hyde Park on Hudson brings in the female audience.
Author Unknown, ‘Drama-Commissioning-ITV’,
< http://www.itv.com/commissioning/drama/> [Last accessed 9 May 2013]
SC.1 (INT) SINFIELD’S KITCHEN (MORNING) 7:00AM
CAROL, JUSTIN and LUKE are sitting at the table having breakfast.
Got an exam next week.
Carol gets up to attend to the toaster and picks up Luke’s used plate. She lays two toasts on the plate and proceeds to cut the crusts. She butters the toasts. A thumping is heard off-screen and, through the open door, SARAH is seen passing by.
Oh, no you don't!
Carol lays the plate of toast back in front of Luke, picks up one of the toasts and hastens out of the room.
SC.2 (INT) SARAH’S BEDROOM (MORNING) 7:30AM
Carol walks into the bedroom with a basket of dirty clothes. The room is messy. Carol sets the basket down on the bed and begins to pick up the clothes from the bed. She drops a sock, bends down to pick it up and sees, under the bed, a test graded F.
SC.3 (EXT) SINFIELD’S DRIVEWAY (MORNING) 8:15AM
Carol walks out of her house and sees MRS. GALE - her neighbor from across the street - open her door to let her cats out. They wave at each other and Carol proceeds to get into her car and drive away, before Mrs. Gale can cross the street and talk to her.
SC.4 (INT) PEACOCKS SHOP (MORNING) 11:30AM
Carol is tidying up a pile of clothes. When she moves on to the next pile a lady comes in and begins to mess up the last pile.
SC.5 (INT) AMANDA'S OFFICE (AFTERNOON) 12:00PM
AMANDA is reclining on her chair, behind her desk, with her fingers interlocked. Carol is standing, face red and her fists clenched.
Client comes first. I don't care if she did slap you.
You're suspended. (Cutting Carol's speech) That's all.
SC.6 (INT) SINFIELD’S FRONT HALLWAY (AFTERNOON) 13:30PM
Carol walks into her home and hears giggles coming from the next room, as well as the intro song from Loose Women. She throws her bag and coat in the corner and walks in.
SC.7 (INT) SINFIELD’S LIVING ROOM (AFTERNOON) 13:31PM
Sarah and JASON are lying on the sofa, making out. They both have their tops off. Andrea McLean is on the TV, in the background, talking about whether or not single people are as happy as people in good relationships.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?
Jason jumps up and throws his T-shirt on. Sarah gets up after him, covers her top half with her shirt and holds his hand.
GET THE FUCK OUT!
Mom, it’s ok! We were celebrating!
The front door slams and Justin walks into the living room.
Sarah displays her diamond solitaire ring. Justin and Carol stare at the other two with their mouths half opened.
SC.8 (INT) SINFIELD’S LIVING ROOM (AFTERNOON) 13:45PM
Justin and Jason are sitting on the sofa, watching TV, while Carol is still arguing with Sarah.
YOU’RE EIGHTEEN! YOU DON’T-
(To Jason) HEY! YOU! OUT! FAMILY MATTER.
Jason stands up and begins to walk towards the living room door. Sarah grabs his arm.
HE IS FAMILY!
THROW HIM OUT, WILL YOU?
Justin gets up. The front door is heard again and Luke walks into the living room.
What’s goin’ on?
SC.9 (INT) SINFIELD’S KITCHEN (AFTERNOON) 14:30PM
Carol and Justin are at the table. Dinner is cooking on the stove. Sarah is standing up, her jaw clenched. Justin has his arms crossed on the table with his head laid on them, while Carol is sitting back with her arms crossed. Justin raises his head.
I agree with your mother.
(Cutting Sarah’s speech) You’re too young.
Carol straightens up in her seat with a triumphant look across her face. She gets up to stir the pan.
Oh, what a surprise! You agree with mum!
Doing what you love best? Stirring the pot.
Luke walks into the room watching a video on his I-Pad, with loud volume.
JUSTIN & CAROL
Luke jumps and looks up. He then proceeds to leave the room.
WHO do you think you’re talking to? Your mates?
(Cutting Sarah’s speech) YOU’RE GROUNDED!
Carol extends her arm out. Sarah takes her phone out of her pocket and throws it at her mother and then stomps off the room. Her footsteps can still be heard off-screen as she walks up the stairs.
SC.10 (INT) SINFIELD’S KITCHEN (AFTERNOON) 15:00PM
Carol is sitting at the table by herself, staring at Sarah’s phone. She finally picks it up and begins to text. After a minute or so of button pressing the screen shows: “Message Sent to Jason”
SC.11 (INT) SINFIELD’S KITCHEN (MORNING) 7:15AM
Luke and Carol are sitting at the table having breakfast. Carol is reading a book while she eats a piece of toast. Luke keeps alternating his stare between his food and his mother. Carol slams the book on the table and looks at Luke.
I’ve something to tell you.
Carol scours Luke’s face.
Only, I can’t tell you.
Carol resumes her book reading and bites into a piece of toast.
Sarah-hasn’t-been-attending-college-for-the-past-four-days. (Deep breath)
WHAT? (Chokes) WHY?
She had a fight with Jason and she doesn’t want to run into him.
Don’t you have an exam to go to?
Luke jumps up, picks up his bag from the floor and rushes out of the room. Carol gets up and takes the dirty dishes to the sink. The front door opens and slams shut.
SC.12 (INT) SINFIELD’S LIVING ROOM (AFTERNOON) 14:00PM
Carol is lying on the sofa having a nap when she hears the front door open.
Her daughter peaks into the room and Carol gestures for her to join her.
Can’t. Have college work to do.
Sarah walks off and we hear her rushing up the stairs.
SC.13 (INT) SARAH’S BEDROOM (AFTERNOON) 14:03PM
Carol walks into her daughter’s room to see her tidying up. A hint of a grin sweeps across her face. She walks over to Sarah’s desk where she had left her daughter’s test, and picks it up.
This is exactly what I want to talk to you about.
Don’t worry. I’m on it.
That’s not what I’ve heard.
That little snitch.
Carol gives Sarah a stern look.
It’s fine. I’m fine.
I’ll do better on the next one. Promise. (Beat)
(Rolls her eyes) And I won’t miss college again.
Carol nods and proceeds to pick up the pile of dirty clothes, laid out on the floor by her daughter.
I’m sorry about you and Justin.
Carol turns around and leaves the room, smiling.