This is a television series proposal that I sent to the only studio at my disposal up here in Canada, and it got rejected because the project was too heavily serialized. A lot of time and research went into this proposal.
Then I thought that I could share the idea with you guys, and hopefully this could become a web series or something since there wouldn't be a need for heavy special effects and post production. So to all you other creators, writers and collaborators out there, here is my pitch. Let me know what you think of it.
The Greek gods awake powerless in today’s world.
Present day. In a lonely desert, a lightning bolt strikes from the sky, leaving in its wake what appears to be a naked man in the sand. Yet this is not a simple man, but the Greek god Hermes, powerless and suffering from selective amnesia. From what he can recall of what happened before, he can only recall this: he must find the other gods of the Greek pantheon. Therefore, in a much different world than the one he once knew, a world that has evolved, a world that has broken its link with the divine, he embarks on a quest to find his brethren.
When he finds the first of them, he learns a shocking truth: the gods traveled through time like him. They are powerless like him. But, for them, it has been this way for five years. Forced to live among the humans, these gods assimilated. They have taken contemporary names and have chosen different lifestyles and professions for themselves:
Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and sexuality, now named Catherine, is a popular supermodel. Ares, the god of war, now named Harry, is an extremely powerful CEO of a corporation specializing in weapons manufacturing and distribution. Artemis, goddess of the hunt, now named Natalie, is a corporate headhunter and spy for Ares. These three gods have found each other over time and now consult each other atop Ares’ corporation’s tower, their personal vestige of Mount Olympus. They are trying to recover their past glories as best they can while trying to discover what happened to them, why they are powerless and why their father and fellow gods have betrayed them.
The remaining four gods, believing that they deserve their ‘’punishment’’, do not wish to be found by the others and live separately and silently. Athena, goddess of wisdom and strategic battle, now named Sarah, has become a simple housewife living in the suburbs. She is happily married and has two children. Apollo, god of light, music and prophecy, now named Paul, lives on the road with his punk-rock band, disassociated with everything from his past life. Finally, Hephaestus, god of fire and the forges, now named Jeph, has become over time a troubled individual. He is a worker in a steel factory but has developed a dangerous murdering personality on the hunt for retribution.
Amidst all these developments, Hermes tries to find and reunite all of his brothers and sisters all the while trying to accommodate to his new world. But Athena doesn’t want anything to do with any of them, nobody can find Apollo or Hephaestus and Ares, Artemis and Aphrodite have their own agendas. His journey is not an easy one but he knows he must reunite them all because one thing he does remember is this: he is the only one who can save them.
Pantheon is a dramatic series which revolves around gods living among human beings. It aims to explore the present condition of humans and their belief systems through the eyes and the points of view of depowered gods living among them. It is a cultural exploration and a social critique played through the ordinary and extraordinary happenings of a dysfunctional family of gods searching for answers and understanding.
The series plays primarily as a family drama, because all of the characters belong to the same family. Most of them are siblings or half-siblings, and few are in a relationship with each other. They feel, all of them, betrayed and abandoned by their long lost father and the first generation of gods. Love, devotion, commitment, passion, betrayal and courage are emotions at the center of these character’s relationships and at the core of the series. The relationships are rich, deep and meaningful.
Yet the series is also an exploration of the gods living in a world that no longer worships them and that no longer believes in them. Themes of religion, devotion and belief are extremely important and function as a way to explore the loss of faith among humans and the importance of belief systems throughout the world and its civilizations.
Equally essential to the spirit of the series are the philosophical themes. In fact, some stories and character developments are closely or directly related to various philosophical theories from Plato’s to Socrates and Aristotle’s. Plato’s Theory of Good and Theory of Forms, The Socratic Method, Aristotle’s Four Causes and Nicomachean Ethics are all essential to the stories and constitute an important depth to the series which will be explored throughout the episodes and the characters as themes. For example, Hephaestus’ character issues revolve around Plato’s Theory of Good: Hephaestus has become, over his time among humans, schizophrenic. His normal self is a steel worker, yet he has become a serial killer. That condition is an allegory of Plato’s Theory of Good because the three parts of his soul are fractured: Wisdom and Temperance are at odds with each other, which is a result of his troubled personality. These relations and developments will be explored throughout his story arc.
Pantheon is accessible, multilayered, psychological and existential, while maintaining the bases of a dysfunctional family drama with a twist of mythology. It is also important to consider that Greek mythology is resurfacing as a major wave of entertainment. Therefore, Pantheon is a step ahead and ready to deliver.
Characters – Quick Shots
35 years old. He has selective amnesia but enough memories of his past to remember what he has to do. At first, decisive, his main objective is of finding his fellow gods. But as he will soon discover, this objective is more complicated than he had hoped for. This quest will eventually take second to place, leaving Hermes to prioritize his adjustment to his new world. He will have to learn new ways, find a job, a home, and maybe even hobbies.
37 years old. At the head of his company, he has become extremely successful in the business of the war industry. Viewing soldiers as expandable, his company specializes in weapons manufacturing. He is headstrong, controlling, intimidating and powerful, yet he has a softer side that he rarely shows. His relationship with Aphrodite, his wife, is a very complicated one. As a self-appointed leader of the time-traveling gods, Ares wishes to reclaim their birthrights and former glories amongst humans.
28 years old. She is an extremely popular supermodel. She mostly travels for fashion shows and parties, but when she isn’t, she spends her time with Ares, her husband, and Artemis, her half-sister. Though she is in a relationship with her husband Ares, she is rarely faithful. She is a temptress, has a dangerous temper and she’s manipulative, jealous and seemingly has her own agenda. Her relationship with Artemis is a difficult one, as they are opposites and rivals.
29 years old. She was the first goddess that Ares found. Living a difficult and lonely life, Ares rescued her, took her in and gave her a job in his company. He later tasked her with a very important job: using her skills in combat and hunting, she would have to find the remaining gods for Ares. Grateful and loyal to Ares, Artemis does whatever he asks of her, which can sometimes be difficult or illegal. Ares’ affection and trust for Artemis can sometimes lead to confrontations between Aphrodite and her. She is on a desperate hunt for her twin brother, Apollo.
31 years old. She has been married for two years to a single father and they also have a year old child together. While her husband is working, she stays at home, taking care of her children. She is simple, gentle, affectionate and a loving mother and wife. While she is a relatively new mother, she also happens to be a stepmother to her husband’s teenage son, which happens to be complicated. She also worries about her brother, Apollo, whom she rarely sees, but talk to as often as she can, trying to offer him help. Her husband is not fond of her brother and the attention his wife gives him.
29 years old. In his punk-rock band, he is the lead singer and back-up guitar. He lives on the road, in a bus with his band mates, travelling across the country to perform in small venues. The four band mates have a profound brotherly relationship and carry each other through their difficult lives. In a desperate attempt at forgetting his past life and how he failed his twin sister, Artemis, Apollo has developed an alcohol dependency problem which can sometimes lead to confrontations with his fellow musicians.
36 years old. He is a very lonely, very bitter man. He works in a steel factory, doesn’t have much friends and lives alone is a small house. Once the laughingstock of the gods, he bottled his emotions. Now, still feeling greatly underappreciated by the ones who abandonned him as well as the loss of the humans’ belief in the gods, he has developed an extremely dangerous personality resulting in the fracture of his soul. This dark incarnation is a serial killer on the hunt for retribution and vengeance against humans and their current living conditions.
Pantheon is a series with many story possibilities that can expand into many seasons. In fact, there are several big story arcs already planned as are smaller ones.
The first season is all about the second generation of gods, The Seven. The episodes revolve around three to four characters, presenting them in their positions among humans on present-day Earth. As The Seven have been among humans for six years now, they are deeply immersed in the day-to-day lives of humans and have assumed normal occupations.
As only Ares, Aphrodite and Artemis have found each other, the main story arcs in the first season revolve around Hermes’ quest to find the gods. Ares is on a similar hunt, but for very different reasons, as he is on a hunt for power. He is also funding a very secretive branch of research in his company, using it as a means to unlock their missing powers. Aphrodite, the supermodel, once married to Hephaestus, is in a very close relationship with Ares. Together, they make their big decisions and plans, yet both of them hide things from each other.
Artemis, for her part, is following Ares’ orders. He regularly sends her away on missions and assignments to either kill a rival, steal company secrets or find the other gods. She is extremely conflicted, because she does not enjoy her assignments, but she feels she has an obligation towards him since he rescued her. Her missions will not be without difficulties and challenges, as something sinister is also at work behind the curtain. Through her actions, she will discover more about herself.
Athena tries to live as normal a life as possible, with her husband and her two children. Once a fierce warrior goddess, she is now a stay-at-home mother, trying to raise a teenager and a baby with her new husband. Her brother, Hermes will be the first one to find her, but she will rapidly turn him down. Yet as tragedy strikes her heart, she will be forced to stand out of her suburban cocoon, rise up and face Ares, Artemis and Aphrodite head on to try and stop their attempts at control.
Apart from the other gods, Hephaestus lives a secluded, lonely life. His cruel murderous personality is on a hunt for retribution and recognition. He will eventually find himself on the hunt for Aphrodite, his former wife now married to Ares, which will eventually put him on Ares’ and Artemis’ radar.
Apollo’s story arc is very important to the large story. Though he is a tattooed alcoholic, lives on the road and plays punk rock music with his band mates, unbeknownst to him, some of the lyrics he composes for his songs are in fact hidden prophecies, as he was once the god of prophecy. Once Artemis finds Apollo and discovers the true meaning of his songs, she will deliver him to Ares who will use his secret research program to try and uncover the reason why Apollo has this gift left inside him. Carefully hidden amongst Apollo’s lyrics and tattoos are prophecies that predict, among many others, the return of the first generation of gods, the true key to unlocking the powers of the gods and the dreaded rise of Hades.
Though these gods think themselves alone, they will soon discover that many other Greek figures traveled through time with them. Characters like Persephone, Pandora as a troubled young woman, Argos the assassin, Dionysos as a club owner, Hades and others will also appear in the larger storyline.
While these are the big, main story arcs for the first season, it is important to consider that the stories between the gods remain character-centric, revolving around the beats of a dysfunctional family. Smaller, more intimate stories will take place on an episodic level. Stories of family, friendship, heart and relationships complete the larger tapestry of the series. The relationships between Athena and her family, Hermes and his wife, Ares and his workforce, Aphrodite and her popularity, Apollo and his bandmates, his new ‘’brothers’’, Hepheastus and his victims as well as the relationships between all the gods themselves are the heart of this series.
Plus, several episodes may feature flahsback storylines for the characters, depicting their arrival on present-day Earth, their initial reactions, how they came to be, how some of them found each other and their evolutions that lead them to the beginning of the series.
Further season storyarcs may revolve around the following:
- Ares joining the army and shipping out to war as a lesson of humility;
- Artemis taking an adolescent girl under her wing;
- Apollo and Aphrodite’s relationship after Ares’ departure;
- Apollo defeating his alcoholism and his heroic return;
- The existence of several other Greek gods and heroes in the world and the mystery surrounding their presence in the present;
- Herakles and his twelve works to obtain father’s role as head of criminal empire.
- The identity of the one who is hunting Artemis: Persephone and her ties to Hades;
- The arrival of the first generation of gods;
- The murder of Zeus and Pandora’s revenge;
- The dividing line between the gods and their oppositions;
- The arrival of Hades, god of the underworld;
- The coming of Cronos.
Created: Jul 18, 2010Document Media