Proposal 3, Page 8 (continued from Page 7)
Truth and Fiction
The world of the series is the real world of the mid nineteenth century as far as possible. It will look and feel like the Victorian era, the sets, dressing, and costumes will all aim to convince us we are in that period - so that when we see the Jules Verne machines they are all the more startling because of their context. We will take a photo realistic approach to the past.
We will not take undue liberties with the events of the time: historical events may be telescoped or simplified, but generally not simply made up and never falsifying the actual trend of events. In each episode, we will introduce historical figures wherever possible. They will be depicted accurately, though the circumstances in which they get involved with Jules Verne may involve a little historical stretching - but not too much.

Sometimes Jules will be at events which COULD be turning points in history were it not for his intervention: e.g. the threatened assassination of Lincoln BEFORE the Emancipation of the Slaves. 

At other times he may try to prevent some terrible disaster - like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo (after a brief visit in the Chronological Displacement Device to the Western Front), and despite his best efforts, fail.

When Jules Verne meets the young Thomas Edison in the midst of the American Civil War, Edison's genius has turned towards the creation of the world's first fighting tank: but as a result of Jules' intervention, Edison gives up his enthusiasm for armaments and turns his attention to electricity: a change for which the world should be forever grateful.

Jules will sometimes meet a great writer who encourages him in his ambition to become a novelist (the young Jules Verne, of course, is still a would-be novelist, gathering material for his oeuvre).

For example, he may meet Charles Dickens, who generously gives him the plot for "Around the World in 80 Days" - and in return, with the help of the Chronological Displacement Device, Jules provides Dickens with the idea for "A Christmas Carol".

Similarly, an encounter with Rudyard Kipling in India generates the concept for "The Jungle Book" and when the young Jules Verne rescues the young Conan Doyle from a gang of kidnappers amidst the pea-soupers of Old Edinburgh - we discover that the real inspiration for Sherlock Holmes was none other than - Phileas Fogg.

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Jules Verne, The Continuing Story

The richness and complexity of the world of Jules Verne will continue to develop as the series unfolds and segues into subsequent series. We will get to know our characters better, they will earn from their experiences, and the ramifications of their adventures will continue to unfold. The number of their enemies will increase, and we - and they - will learn more and more about them. The number of their friends and allies will also increase, and as time goes on they will have a network of people all over the world who they have helped who may either be able to help them or who may point them to new adventures.

The over-riding arc of series one is Jules' journey towards discovering his destiny as the father of science fiction: every adventure is giving him the raw material to which he will later apply his imaginative genius. Parallel with this is the maturity fostered by his relationship with Phileas Fogg, and as a result of Fogg's teaching his growing ability to function in the world as a mature person instead of a callow youth.

Yet another major strand in the first series is Jules' emotional development, stimulated by his falling in love with Rebecca Fogg and gradual realisation that though they can be the best of friends they will not be lovers, and his discovery of the chief love of his life, Laura Nemo, from whom circumstances keep him apart. And augmented by his emotional attachments to women who prove to be his enemies, and through whose false affections he must learn to see.

Another major strand of the first series is the establishment of the team of Phileas, Jules, Passepartout and Rebecca and their learning to trust each other and work together.

But perhaps the main thrust of the first group of episodes is sheer explosive enthusiasm for exploring the world in which they live - a world of immensely cunning, hideously tangled villainies, rampant megalomania, and incredible scientific developments with equally incredible risks.

During the first series we will explore the bottom of the sea, the heights of the Himalayas, the forests of Germany, the deserts of America, the caverns beneath the earth. It is a headlong celebration of all the wonders the earth has to offer. By the time we reach the series finale we will have created a universe in which people we care about and who care about each other are fully equipped to go out and take it on - and, in the case of Jules Verne - turn its ingredients into the dreams which will shape the century to come.

All this means that by the time we reach series two we will have an extraordinarily rich canvas on which to draw. We will have established in series one, for example, the tragedy and mystery of Erasmus Fogg: in series two Phileas will discover his brother's hitherto unknown son and engage in a desperate campaign to save him, and Rebecca will find herself confronted with apparently unanswerable evidence that her beloved father was a crook.

Jules will have to find a means of protecting his own family once the League of Darkness tracks them down to their apparently safe haven in Nantes - and will find that the only way to keep them safe is to journey into the heart of the League to find its weak spot.

Uncovering the tangled web of the League's past will be a continuing strand in subsequent series: sometimes the revelations will be in the present, but sometimes the time machine will take them back into eras when the League was changing the course of history - and would have done so even more drastically had it not been for the intervention of Jules and his friend

There will be an episode set during the French Revolution, for example, with Jules playing a Scarlet Pimpernel role; a "Name of the Rose" style adventure in which Jules and Fogg play detective in one of the great medieval monasteries; an episode set during the fall of the Roman Empire as the prototype for King Arthur tries to save civilisation from the oncoming tide of barbarism.

In subsequent series Jules and Fogg's pursuit of the League will take them to the god-haunted world of ancient Greece and allow them to save the men who invented democracy from the machinations of the Supreme Maste-r; and back further still to the mud-baked streets of Sumer and the very origins of civilisation. In an episode reminiscent of the opening sequence of "2001" they will find themselves at a pivotal moment in human evolution, when our species made its first fateful steps on the road we are following today.

But time travel will be restricted to no more than ten per cent of the episodes in any given series: the main emphasis will be on adventure in the "contemporary" world of Jules and his friends. A major location for these adventures will be the United States of America, and the stories planned for Julesí Wild West Experience include the following:

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: An adventure in which the Russians attempt to use a robot army to take over California before the United States can firmly establish itself there.

GOLDRUSH: An episode in which Jules and Fogg find the world's richest seam of gold in the Rocky Mountains - and conceal its existence to save a pioneering community from destruction.

THE IRON HORSE: How Jules Verne and Phileas Fogg made the rail link between East and West possible - and lose the Dirigible and everything they own.

THE WILD BUNCH: Jules and his companions are falsely branded as outlaws by the League of Darkness, and are pursued across the West by the Pinkertons.

SPEED THE PLOUGH: Phileas, Passepartout and Jules become homesteaders, apply their scientific genius to farming and have to use even more ingenuity to fight off a cattle baron and his henchmen. Steeley Joe, the steam-powered gunfighter, makes his second appearance.

FLYING BULL AND THE GENERAL: Jules and his friends recover the Dirigible and use it to help an Indian tribe escape extinction at the hands of George Armstrong Custer.

THE SIEGE OF FORT PHILEAS: Jules and his friends hold off the US Army when they are besieged by the vengeful Custer in a Western fort.

Just as the opening of the West in America provides a fertile field for Vernean adventures, so too does the opening up of Africa, the scramble by the European powers to take control of the continent, and the search for the source of the Nile.

In Europe stories will emerge from the extraordinary career of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and his campaign to create a united Germany; from Garibaldi's heroic quest to unify Italy, and from the tensions between Imperial Britain and her European neighbours.

And whenever possible the geographical and spiritual allure of the East will draw our heroes into ever more exotic locales from Constantinople to the Forbidden City itself.

The voyages of all the series from the first onwards will be both outwards into the wonders of the world, inwards into the developing personalities of our heroes, backwards into the pasts from which they and their foes emerge, and forwards into the future into which their imaginations take them - and the audiences who find their company and the lives they lead the most stimulating and entertaining hours television has to offer.

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