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8 6 Characters
by Gulo
Episodes: Earth to Planet chronology
A main story that spans an Earth to planet chronology, by possible episode: 1. Missionary learns of colony, is only one to know of it at first. What if time is today? This raises interesting plot explorations like, when did colony start? If recent, a secret government project not made public? If ancient, was colony sent from Earth’s advanced civilization prior to the Flood? Are these Jesus’ “other sheep have I that are not of this fold” (John 10:16). How does colony reveal itself to missionary? Do they send a child back? Is it through a vision? A cryptic message that must be decoded? 2. Missionary must convince people colony is real; forms a TEAM of protagonists, more story opportunities following each, Focus each episode on the perspective of a different character (like Lost). One is former stripper with sleazy backstory. One is a struggling Christian; one is a wise strong Christian mentor; one is a woman who feels call to serve it but has doubts about mission, taking (or leaving) children, etc. 3. The missionary (team) struggles to decide to go there. The stress and emotion of leaving for a one way trip, never to come back (much like mission work 200 years ago) Series title: “One Way Colony” 4. Missionary team finds the means to travel there; what means might that be? 5. Their departure from loved ones. Public or secret? 6. Many episodes during transit (not much said about this in video discussion) 7. Arrival and reception on planet. Depends on nature of planet – see other Forum.
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Distant Planet: colony struggling
• Colony is in difficulty: supplies low, something broken, resources scarce. Struggle over a rare resource (unobtainium?) • Primitive, sod houses or caves (can’t bring Earth building materials) (metaphor: missionary going to dark, cold place to bring warmth, light) – but there long enough to have developed own peculiar culture, rituals – • Like catacombs, bleak, this life terrible (post-Christian), missionary brings hope
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Distant Planet: penal colony
It’s a penal colony, a “Guantanamo Bay.” Residents there as punishment, makes possible redemption story – missionary chooses to go with prisoners to support them. Missionary in prison, set an execution date to create story arc – start a suspense clock ticking – he’s narrating his story from the cell.
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Distant Planet: hunted missionary
• Missionary is hunted – experiences fear, daring, risk. What is “terrorism” in distant colony? Is missionary a suspect (he’s “fundamentalist”)? Previous missionaries have been executed. How does missionary dispel distrust? Separate himself from those Christians that ARE terrorists? Some members of the community start to support him. Temptation (missionary has strong feelings for a woman, who is head of security, her duty to prosecute him, tempted to let him go, he’s tempted to assume she will). Moral atmosphere and sensitivities differ on distant planet. • “Bad things happen (to good people)” – missionary arrives at colony, that day a horrible cave-in, his arrival is blamed. Message: there are no “good people,” nobody lives up to God’s code except Christ who did it for us.
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Distant Planet: pages or pieces
• There are no books in colony, but individual Bible pages turn up, arouse curiosity, prompt a search for answers, origin traced to Earth so colonists seek answers through contact with Earth. • Over generations, couriers brought pieces of corpus of Christ on cross, nobody knows what it is or means, the final (key) piece brought by “last courier” (kid) that triggers resolution • Missionary is a child. The only way to get the message into the colony is to smuggle them in sewn into kid’s clothing, but kid doesn’t fully understand the mission. • Each “piece” episode incorporates a Bible history incident/ reference
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Distant Planet: doomed planet
• The entire planet is doomed to extermination – missionary goes knowing he too will be killed – metaphor for Earth itself – missionary has terminal disease, wants to make remaining days meaningful – planet is rationing air, every day by lottery a housing unit is chosen to be cut off, everyone knows they could die any night if their unit is chosen.
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The journey to surprise
The journey to the distant planet is a long one. Like the Israelites led out of Egypt by Moses, the entire generation that leaves Earth dies on the way, and only those born on the journey reach their goal. When they arrive, they discover those who died on the way, waiting to greet them. It’s Heaven.
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Making it Christian
• How to work into each story line (a) entertainment value (interest/ excitement/ conflict/ emotion) and (b) the Gospel (meaning/ insight/ God’s plan of salvation). • The presence of the Triune God is strong in every episode. • Episodes generated by list of obstacles to people receiving the Gospel (consider Paustian’s book on apologetics), or by list of the major sins of this age. • Episodes that show “it matters what you believe” • How to make the story “Christian”? The message doesn’t have to be obvious (“on the nose”) since today’s audience can pick up subtleties – maybe they only FEEL them. You have to entertain first, and the Christian writer’s values will show through. But modeling good behavior alone risks giving the impression that Christianity is about good behavior. It’s not. Christianity is about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. So to fulfill the potential of a “Christian series,” we have to be talking about Jesus.
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