Selected Writing and Whatnot

Proxima Centauri

The polluted, ravaged Earth may no longer be habitable, but Chiron, the closest planet to Proxima Centauri B, offers some hope for the future of the human race. A generation ship, on which the remnants of our race persist by a fragile thread, has finally arrived after two hundred years at its destination star. But humanity’s nature – our nobility, our determination, our ingenuity, yes, but also our greed and our terrible arrogance – jeopardize the success of the mission. When competing ideologues on board the Unity literally tear it apart before planetfall, the few thousand survivors who reach Chiron’s […]

The Angles

Outside of Norwich, in East Anglia, are the fens: rich silty wetland disposed to farming. The boundary between the city and the country is pronounced by accent, by politics, and by ancient history. Gemma Hardacre, 22, once crossed that boundary to get her sociology degree, and now she returns, a published but unemployable academic. On the way, she almost runs over a youth (a “chav”) on the road, who fixates on her. The chav follows her back to her parents’ farm and hires on as a hand. Gemma’s anxieties about returning home to her parents, about her role and her […]

Flint and Tinder

Hans Christian Andersen’s first fairy tale was the perfect inspiration for this little comic strip. It’s about a soldier who discovers a tinder box that, when struck, summons a supernatural dog to fetch him his heart’s desire. He uses it to steal gold, then the princess of a kingdom, and finally the crown. Thing is, this soldier, when you read between the lines, is kind of a psychopath. He chops off a witch’s head for not being straight with him, kidnaps girls, and later decides to murder an entire court to escape its justice. I was intrigued – what kind […]

The Lemon

Liz is 15 and her boyfriend Justin has just moved to Australia. Her working class friends and bankrupt mom team up to buy her a mobile phone so she can keep in touch with him. Liz doesn’t waste their good will. She’s always on the phone, but at the same time she starts to get sick: moods take her and she grows impatient with her best friend Alice, and suspicious of her boyfriend. As the series develops, we meet Elizabeth, the agent for a phone company called Millennial Telecom, who is tasked to watch Liz from afar. The company believes […]

Phantasmagoria ep1: Dark Heart

Quinzy crawls into his school backpack one day looking for some missing homework and emerges in a labyrinthine wonderland: the inside of his mind. There’s a library (his knowledge), a furnace (his temper), a game of chess in progress alone in an empty ballroom, and a locked door leading deeper. He spends more and more time there, learning about himself through the artifacts of his subconscious, and who can blame him? After all, he has to deal with getting good grades, a girl who won’t stop harassing him, a brother in the hospital, and parents who don’t know what they […]

Byron’s Darkness

1836. Harland Shiels is the owner of a company that produces pantomime in Newcastle’s new Grainger Town. He runs comedy half the week, has a devout wife, and two children away at boarding school in London. But he’s been having bad dreams… One night, tossing and turning, he hears the clatter of horses’ hooves, trumpets, then great fires burning, screams, the splutters of children with plague. Greta, his wife, wakes him to a day that will not break. Darkness has come to England. Greta fears the apocalypse, and is anxious to leave Newcastle immediately for London to be with their […]


One character. One location. Five minutes. Click is a short film about a university student who gets locked in a basement bathroom while trying to find his Psych class. When you read the ending you’ll agree that it could just have easily been called Twist. In Spring 2011 the script was produced as part of the Virgin Media Shorts competition by James Gorman (director) and Paul Cook (producer), with Matt Downton as the student. Watch it here.

Exile ep1: Crying Wolf

Exile is an epic fantasy about being outcast, and the part it plays in growing up. It’s about what people do when they’re taken from where they belong. It’s also a place, a land deep below the earth: a penal colony for the omnipotent Empire. This 13-part, 60-minute TV serial follows Erika (17) and Ferris (19) through a medieval world of swords, secrets, jealous wars and magic. Erika is a budding mage, an individual gifted with powers that seem to have a life and motive of their own. These powers drag her against her will from humble beginnings into the […]

Exile ep2: Shame and Sorcery

“Shame and Sorcery” is the second hour of Exile, an epic fantasy series in 13 parts about being outcast, and the part it plays in growing up. In the first episode, “Crying Wolf,” Erika is cast into the underworld for using magic to murder another, and Ferris returns to his family’s court at Tenet with Erika’s mageward. The ward begins to manipulate him, trying to reunite with its owner. The second episode begins with Ferris chafing against its influence and the equally oppressive influence of his mother, the Queen of Tenet, who has sent him on another clandestine mission to […]

The Journeyman Project

The Journeyman Project is about whether human beings can ever really improve, as individuals or as a people. At the beginning of the 23rd century, it appears that they may have. In one last, bloody world war, unified countries in the West annihilated those in the East with nuclear weapons. Sickened by the conditions of their victory, the borders between the remaining countries began to come down and a unified world government was formed, albeit a Western one. During the scientific renaissance that follows, human beings make their most dangerous discovery yet: the time machine. Realizing its potential to change […]

Sherlock Holmes and the Question of the Future

Sherlock Holmes (17) and James Moriarty (also 17) are best friends. They’re on the trail of a mysterious smuggler operating in the East India Company Docklands, a dangerous and forbidden part of London polluted by the refuse of the Victorian steampunk revolution. Together, nothing can stop Holmes and Moriarty, not even the fierce matron of their dormitory at Long Hall college, but when they’re apart, it’s a different story, and The Question of the Future is a very different story indeed. James’s estranged father returns to take care of his son after James’s mother is killed by a criminal in […]

Blue Movie

In under five minutes, seven year-old James goes on a quest to find Jesus, discovers who his father really is, and pinches a biscuit. A short film about growing up before you were meant to, as we all do.

On Valentine’s

God, Valentine’s Day is stressful, especially when you’re thirteen years old and being chased all the way to your house by a bully that you just can’t shake. This short film comes in at well under five minutes and has no dialogue, just like a good Valentine’s Day gift should.

The Last Explorer

Selection from a transposition of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle into modern Norfolk. One of the fun things about adaptation, especially of canonical literature or genre fiction, is reading all the criticism about a work. I picked up on one journal article’s thesis, which was that The Last Unicorn was about reasserting the idea of magic in modern fiction where it had lost parlance to cynical, nostalgic, scientific, and nihilistic narratives. Transposing it to Norfolk was about identifying “lost magic” in this part of England. I eventually settled on legends about explorers, an uncanny number of whom come […]

Jack of Diamonds

In May of 1889, U.S. Marshal W.K. Meade reported that “Major Wham Paymaster U.S. army was attacked on the eleventh about thirty miles north of Fort Grant,” where he and ten buffalo soldiers were pinned down by armed robbers. After the firefight, Meade was horrified to find eight soldiers wounded and $28,345 (over half a million dollars today) of the army’s payroll stolen. From his base in Tucson’s federal courthouse, Meade makes it his personal mission to bring the outlaws to justice. Meade has a reputation as the most relentless of lawmen, but his requests for more men, more time, […]

Judgement Day

This is a spec script for the critically-acclaimed Sci Fi television show Battlestar Galactica. It takes place in between episodes 14 and 15 in the second season of the show and ties up some loose ends in a fairly loose part of the season, to be honest. After review, I decided that I would make some specific changes to the script if I ended up returning to it, possibly to send out in a writing portfolio to some TV network or producer, or to whomever you’re supposed to send scripts (in the US, the answer to that seems to be […]

Serial ep2: Ambient Darkness

“Ambient Darkness” is the second episode of an hour-long television series Serial that I helped create, pitch, and flesh out in my final year of undergraduate school under the tutelage of Canadian screenwriter Frank Borg. I worked with a fairly unlikely and diverse team that included two Film Production students and a friend of mine who worked mainly with comedy. The premise of the show resembles that of an Agatha Christie novel, with guests converging at an old house for a special event, becoming trapped, and then gradually being killed off episode by episode. As the options for who the […]

Serial ep1: Pilot

You’re a bastard. You’ve never known your father. Then one day, to your surprise, you’re summoned to his funeral. You decide to go, and after a lengthy journey find yourself at a mansion in the Scottish highlands, miles away from civilization, in the dead of winter. The house staff lead you to an awkward service with an open casket and seven complete strangers. When the service is over, and your father’s corpse is in the ground, some shocking information makes this uncomfortable day take a turn for the worse: Those seven strangers are actually siblings that you’ve never known. Your […]