Marcus Aurelius: Human Resources Counselor by Dave Schroeder | Script Revolution

Marcus Aurelius: Human Resources Counselor

Following an accident that rips a hole in the space-time continuum, Marcus Aurelius, 14th Emperor of Rome, struggles to adapt to modern life after he switches bodies with an office's human resources counselor.



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TV Pilot, Half-hour Comedy: “Marcus Aurelius: Human Resources Counselor”

The Office meets Outlander meets The Good Place.

In 175 A.D., Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius camps with his army in southern France. Two millennia later, in the exact same location, mild-mannered human resources counselor Ken Wiggins enjoys a bird-watching vacation. Underneath Ken, a power overload at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider causes a rip in the space-time continuum, scrambling Ken and Marcus’ consciousness and memories into each other’s bodies.

Marcus emerges in the present day and must adjust to modern life as a human resources counselor in an Atlanta tech firm. Between his Roman customs and a persistent stoic viewpoint that infuses his HR advice, Marcus’ shakes up an office dynamic where each employee represents a competing philosophy (hedonism, skepticism, nihilism, etc.). Complicating matters – everyone thinks he is Ken, operating under the delusion that he is Marcus. One employee, Cassie, heart-broken that her budding romance with a pre-accident Ken has been interrupted, nevertheless senses in Marcus a strange affection. For Marcus, as the realization sets in that his beloved wife Faustina has long been dead, a life with someone like Cassie seems increasingly in the realm of possibility.

Meanwhile, Ken finds himself as an Emperor in ancient Rome, where his HR homilies are generally misunderstood as cunning stratagems to fend off enemies and other political chicanery. As Ken and the Roman legions head back to Rome, he learns that Empress Faustina is conspiring, perhaps unwittingly, with an ambitious General to supplant the Emperor.

Subsequent episodes touch on the absurd resiliency of Marcus’ stoic advice in commonplace HR situations while presenting Marcus and his colleagues with familiar office conundrums where ancient wisdom and a modern practicality underlay both the conflict and the resolution. Likewise, in extended “tag” sequences, Ken’s milquetoast approach to solving his Empire’s challenges proves surprisingly effective.

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Submitted: February 27, 2023
Last Updated: February 27, 2023

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Dave Schroeder's picture

The Writer: Dave Schroeder

Dave Schroeder is a husband, a father of three boys, a former lawyer, and an armchair historian. Currently in his third decade as an expatriate diplomat, he tries to connect the dots between his small-town origins and a surreal world. His passion is writing. As an English literature major, a lawyer tasked with persuading judges on diverse and complex issues, and a diplomat charged with sensitive reporting and influencing national security policy, Dave’s attention to the craft of writing has grown steadily. He first tried his hand at screenwriting in 2021 and fell in love with the form. He has since written five features, a short, and two TV pilots – most of which are dark comedies exploring... Go to bio

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