I have been toying around with the idea of pitching a new science fiction tv series that has a big environmental/socio/political/spiritual angle. The basic premise for the show goes something like this:
Representatives of an alien civilization arrive in a big ship and land on our planet. They are humanoid, they look and sound similar to us, but they are also very different. For the purposes of the pitch, let’s say they are very calm, serene, beautiful and imposing, and they have green skin. They arrive claiming they are escaping persecution and are seeking freedom and the opportunity to live life according to their principles, morals, laws and religious beliefs. Unbeknownst to us, they are secretly claiming our entire planet as their new home, to do with as their home world governments and religious leaders see fit. They arrive with some supplies and technology from their home world and two things are abundantly clear; they possess knowledge and technology that far, far surpasses our own, and they are also initially woefully unprepared for existing long term on our planet. The reaction to their arrival is predictable, most of us are completely in a state of shock and awe, many are suspicious, many are fearful of what this arrival means for us, how we will be affected. Some brave people engage with them, trying to ascertain their intentions, trying to learn their language, their ways and customs, trying to make friends and peace with these new arrivals as they clearly have technology that could greatly benefit us, or wipe us all out. They help them acclimate to life here, they welcome them, educate them on how we have lived and existed here. Over time, although there are some misunderstandings and a few violent skirmishes, we grant them permission to stay and to begin to make a new life for themselves here. On an individual and one-on-one basis, they are basically the same us and they seem to value the same things as we do. Although their religion and gods have some very strange rules and different rituals that we don’t understand, we appreciate the differences between us and allow them to practice them in peace. Many of them believe that they are wiser than us, that they have a better understanding of the ways and workings of the universe, because of their past experience, because they come from a far more advanced race. We become familiar with their language, accustomed to using some of their wondrous new technology and are even tentatively embracing some of their ways. Then, without warning, more of them arrive on earth, a great deal more of them. They begin to march across the globe and set up new colonies for themselves, clearly without respecting or even understanding our governments, our territories, our values, morals, laws or religious beliefs. With their superior technologies they quickly begin to spread out and assert dominance, and make claims for more and more land and resources in the name of their species, their gods and their ideas of progress.
What happens next is also predictable. A group of us see that we need to begin to resist them, and that if we don’t begin to push back against them there is a rising green tide that will engulf our entire world. Talks and negotiations with them bring frustration, very little progress and some empty promises. Although some of them are attempting to integrate with us, adopting and understanding our ways and trying to peacefully coexist, there is a very powerful group of them who now view us as a threat to their plans… they now view our entire planet as their own for the taking, all in the name of their governments and their gods. As they view themselves as morally and mentally superior to us, they believe that they need to educate us and bring us all in line with their own way of life. Our young men and women get very angry and begin to resist this invasion and instead of going to school, they begin to study war and to take up arms to fight against this tyranny. So, battles are fought which all end quickly and brutally, as we are completely outgunned and outsmarted, and our young people are slaughtered in numbers. Their military arrives with even greater force and more weapons of destruction. More of their settlers arrive and push even further out into our land, now protected and emboldened by their military, by police and martial law. They take over completely, imposing upon us their own laws, morals and religious beliefs, and massive amounts or our planets resources and wealth are now being harvested and taken to the alien home world. We are no match for their technology or for their brutality. Retaliation for our resistance is swift and cruel, entire cities and towns are simply wiped out, families, races and cultures are eradicated. They purposefully introduce new diseases into our population and millions of us die in epidemics. New highly addictive drugs are introduced that pacify us and offer us some temporary escape, but the side effects are crippling and many of us are lost to the cycle of addiction. They offer antidotes and cures to their new diseases and drugs, but only if we subscribe to their version of health care. The crops and animals that we rely on for our food supply are burned out and destroyed; our systems of government, agriculture, education, justice, commerce and socialization are completely outlawed. All of this is justified, all of this is moral and legal. We are, for the most part, simply unable to compete with them, unable to fight them. We are weakened, decimated…we are beaten. They begin to round up our children, tearing them away from our homes and placing them in their own schools run exclusively by members of their religious order. Our children are taught to dress, to walk, talk, eat, think and worship just like the aliens, and are told that their parents and their old ways of life are inherently evil. We are told this is being done to help us, that this is for our benefit… that it is in everyone’s best interests. We are forced to agree to terms, our leaders sign papers we don’t understand and we are rounded up and placed in small areas and told that this area is our new home. We are told that we are free to do with these areas of land as we wish, we are free to worship and exists within them, and within the confines of the new world that the aliens have created for themselves. We no longer recognize our planet. Our cities, our countries, our territories, our possessions, our laws and culture and our way of life is completely gone. Our children are lost to us, the future we thought we had created for them has been destroyed. We are now unrecognizable, we have completely lost hope and pride in whatever it meant to be human and to live here on this planet.
I know this is a pretty far-fetched premise; I know that this scenario will sound absolutely ridiculous to most of us, but remember it is a fictional one. In an interesting plot twist I thought I’d write the series from the view point of the green-skinned aliens, and it will document their struggles with the local savages as they bravely fight for Freedom and Progress in the name of Gods, and for King and for Country.
What do you think? Good story?
Once the initial story arc is complete, I think I’ll pitch another one, where it’s 50-100 years in the future, and the aliens now say they need the resources from the lands that they originally gave us to exist on, so they start to try to change the laws that they originally wrote and come into our little reservations with police and the military and start the process all over again.