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January 30, 2011 5:26 PM   Subscribe

This is by far the coolest collection of TV pilots, pitches, scripts, and supplementary documents I have ever seen.

Some highlights (all in pdf format): Batman writers' guidelines; Star Trek: The Original Series pitch; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine bible; The Crow bible; All of The Prisoner scripts; Doctor Who concept notes.


Previously
, and also, but never highlighting the variety or sheer volume.
posted by cthuljew (33 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is nice. I did a post once about a similar site, but it was less extensive (and now apparently dead). Interesting that they have some shows that didn't do so well; I can't imagine there's many people who want to read the Past Lives pilot.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:36 PM on January 30, 2011


Wow. I've seen the Batman Bible before, but there's just a ton of stuff there. There's even a pilot for a Buckaroo Banzai series that, upon reading the first couple pages makes me kind of glad it didn't happen.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:41 PM on January 30, 2011


This is a seriously cool collection.

Ooh, The Invisibles!
posted by Artw at 5:43 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


A frail old man lost in space and time. They give him this name because they don't know who he is. He seems not to remember where he has come from; he is suspicious and capable of sudden malignance; he seems to have some undefined enemy; he is searching for something as well as fleeing from something. He has a "machine" which enables them to travel together through time, through space, and through matter.
Awesome. So awesome.
posted by bicyclefish at 5:45 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. Just check out the folder marked Pilot Hell. A pilot for an ongoing Fargo series? Dear god, that's not right.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:45 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The number of times that the phrase "very female form" gets used in the TNG bible is beyond weird.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:59 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ghidorah: "Just check out the folder marked Pilot Hell."

For years, I've cultivated an idea in my head for a show about Supreme Court clerks with lots of youthful angst and sex and introspection in it. I was going to name it One First, after the address of the Supreme Court building. Now I've learned someone tried it, and called it Supreme Courtship. The pilot episode was to be called "A Suggestion of Mootness." In the teaser, two clerks from opposing offices have late night sex in what, I guess, is the Court memorial pool. We're told they both have ethnic accents they try desperately to cover up. In case you're not convinced how awful this is yet, here's an actual excerpt I'm not making up:
TONY: What bench memo are you working on?
AMBER: Millard v. Millard. The embryonic right-to-life case. The Chief Justice gave this one to Lynch because she was on the fence. I need to make sure she’s covered in Orals.
TONY: I’ll cover you in orals.
Apparently, this is a terrible idea and I'm a terrible person for having it.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:06 PM on January 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ooh, "The Wire" scripts. Cool.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:16 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife and I have always imagined the ultimate geek/mainstream crossover TV show: hospital doctors and nurses who lead alternate lives as crime fighting vigilantes with superpowers. And cops that both admire what the vigilantes are doing and trying to stop them. And of course there'd be personal dramas between all the characters in all possible configurations. Medical drama + crime procedural + superpowers + soap opera. Can't go wrong with that!
posted by kmz at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG, is that a remake of The Prisoner? 1986? The horror. http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Pilot_Hell/The_Prisoner_1x01_-_The_Edge_of_Within_(1986).pdf
posted by five fresh fish at 6:26 PM on January 30, 2011


TONY: I’ll cover you in orals.

THAT'S WHAT SHE FILED
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on January 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


THE COMING: Alien people in an alien society, but something disturbingly familiar about the quiet dignity of one who is being condemned to crucifixion.

All these years, I had no idea I should be so grateful that all this ever became was "don't you understand? It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the Son of God."
posted by mph at 6:28 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The number of times that the phrase "very female form" gets used in the TNG bible is beyond weird.

IIRC there were indeed a fair few very female forms in that series. Mrowr! Of course it was deliberate!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:29 PM on January 30, 2011


DU: "THAT'S WHAT SHE FILED"

After reading the whole thing, this one first episode also includes an abortion case, a pregnancy scare (parallelism?), the same clerk being proposed to by two different men, the death of the chief justice and a female justice seducing a male clerk. Melodrama much?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:41 PM on January 30, 2011


From the Doctor Who concept notes:

S.F. is deliberately unsexual; women are not really necessary to it. We must add feminine interest as a consequence of creating real characters.

derrrrrp
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG, is that a remake of The Prisoner? 1986? The horror. http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Pilot_Hell/The_Prisoner_1x01_-_The_Edge_of_Within_(1986).pdf

I thought the same thing, read a few pages and it really doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with it. But no worries, as the script of every Prisoner episode is on the site, including drafts and a few stories that didn't get made!

The series Bibles for the Star Trek series and Doctor Who are also up there, as is one for Quantum Leap.
posted by JHarris at 7:16 PM on January 30, 2011


After reading the whole thing, this one first episode also includes an abortion case, a pregnancy scare (parallelism?), the same clerk being proposed to by two different men, the death of the chief justice and a female justice seducing a male clerk. Melodrama much?

It's like an episode of Picket Fences. Maybe one was enough.
posted by rhizome at 7:44 PM on January 30, 2011


The number of times that the phrase "very female form" gets used in the TNG bible is beyond weird.

I like this part of the TNG bible very much:

The Script: What Doesn't Work

We have found that the following does not work for us:...

Stories in which the characters must do something stupid or dangerous, or in which our technology breaks down in oprder to create a jeopardy.


Had this been enforced, about a third of all TNG episodes would have been scrapped.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:56 PM on January 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was really hoping that Batman bible was going to be for old Adam west TV series
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:21 PM on January 30, 2011


In DARKNESS the sound of a meadowlark's song.

Twin Peaks!

They were going to call the Sheriff Dan Steadman! Josie was Italian! I am excite!
posted by grapesaresour at 8:55 PM on January 30, 2011


Moreover, Dr. Who has lost his
memory, so they have to learn to use it, by a process of trial and error,
keeping records of knobs pressed and results (This is the fuel for many a long
story).


And more than one memorable Paranoia adventure!
posted by JHarris at 8:56 PM on January 30, 2011


Money Sex Power Cake was my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers album ever!

Untitled Paul Reubens Show (1998)!!!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:57 PM on January 30, 2011


OHMYGOD there are season 2 Alien nation scripts here!

I am a happy Phoebe.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:20 PM on January 30, 2011


BTW, for anybody looking for Joss Whedon-related shooting scripts: (Shooting scripts often contain different content from the final episode.)

Buffyworld has shooting scripts for all 144 Buffy eps.

All Firefly shooting scripts. Lots of annoying ads, so I'd recommend downloading the zip. The Serenity movie script is included as an images PDF, there's an HTML version here.

There used to be a nice archive that had a lot of Angel shooting scripts, but it's no longer online. (And The Wayback Machine seems to have trouble with it.) At least the shooting script for Corrupt is still available. That's the episode that was supposed to be 1x02 but got scrapped entirely because the WB thought it was too dark. Very interesting read.

And finally a couple of versions of Joss's shooting script for Alien: Resurrection.
posted by kmz at 10:46 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


See, this is something that's on the web. And it's really the best. It's has bestness written all over it, and it's webality is undeniable. Hence, a perfect MetaFilter post. Win, cthuljew. Win indeed.
posted by tzikeh at 11:22 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


'a police box with flashing beacon travelling through interstellar space — what
claptrap!'

If by "claptrap", you mean "totally fucking awesome", you're absolutely right, British person from 1963.
posted by maqsarian at 11:41 PM on January 30, 2011


phobwan, kmz: you know damn well it's against the rules to have "season 2" and "firefly" in such close proximity.
posted by flaterik at 1:28 AM on January 31, 2011


kmz --The only way to improve your hospital+crime+superhero+soap drama is if it were set in space or another planet, at least one of the characters is an alien and there is time travel... Oh, and if viewers could vote characters out-the-airlock.
posted by autopilot at 4:23 AM on January 31, 2011


kmz: And cops that both admire what the vigilantes are doing and trying to stop them.

See: Dexter (related directory on FPP site), and a number of odd episodes where "unconventional" cops allow "street rules" to solve the problem (I recall an episode of The Closer like that, where a gang member confesses to a crime that he can't be convicted for, and is let out in front of his house, where betrayed gang members slowly circle on him as the police car rolls away).
posted by filthy light thief at 6:46 AM on January 31, 2011


In the Freaks and Geeks folder, I found the Freaks and Geeks Bible (PDF):
This is the bible I wrote for "Freaks and Geeks" before "Freaks and Geeks" was "Freaks and Geeks." Confusing? You bet! A series bible is what every respectable TV show creator writes up for his series, so that the writers you hire can get inside your head without you having to tell them everything. There are no rules for series bibles. In fact, when I decided to write one I tried to get bibles from other shows and nobody could find any to give me. So, I just put in anything and everything I thought of that could help all of us on the writing staff, as well as the production staff, make the series everything I wanted it to be at the time. As you look through the bible, you'll notice that lots of stuff changed, which means that we had such great people working on the show that many times they had better ideas about stuff than I did. And that's the way it's supposed to work. A TV show or a movie is a collaboration between many talented people who have their own areas of expertise. So, wade into the "Freaks and Geeks" bible if you dare and see our series' humble beginnings.

"FREAKS AND GEEKS"

The Series Bible

"Dawson's Creek."

"Party of Five."

"Beverly Hills 90210."

Did any of us really know people like that in high school?

Did any of us ever look like that in high school?

Did any of us ever have those problems in high school?

For most of us, high school was about trying to get through each day without getting beaten up or humiliated. It was about constantly being faced with evidence that contradicted the way our parents and churches told us the world was supposed to work. Life wasn't fair. People weren't that nice. Things didn't always work out for the best. And, unlike the kids on TV, we rarely if ever confided in our parents or came to them for help. We never even really bothered to confront them if we were mad at something they'd done. We just tried to get through life as best we could, usually in the face of overwhelming adult, parent and peer pressure.
Spoilers a-plenty if you haven't seen the show, or insight into the show, if you have seen it.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:51 AM on January 31, 2011


flt, I loved the Freaks and Greeks bible--particularly seeing how the love triangle between Lindsay, Daniel, and Nick was planned open-ended and allowed to develop organically.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:42 AM on January 31, 2011


I'm writing a Castle spec script for a TV writing class, so this site will definitely come in handy.
posted by Neilopolis at 11:14 AM on January 31, 2011


PAN follows a thermos mug of coffee from the girl’s lap up to
her mouth. We finally see the face of our heroine, VERONICA
MARS
. She is not cute. She is sexy. Tough. Prematurely jaded.
Angelina Jolie at 17.
So glad they did not cast Megan Fox for this role.
posted by AceRock at 12:25 PM on January 31, 2011


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