The Alternate by Jonathan Sieff | Script Revolution

The Alternate

A journalist ventures into the woods for a major scoop, but awakens in an alternate Britain and must find a way home, and take on a new life along with the pitfalls it entails.

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55pp

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Missing girl, Adelaide Jones, is the biggest news story in Britain right now, and local journalist CASPER BUTCHER is outside Scotland Yard with numerous others awaiting the address from the head of the Met Police who declares that the case is closed. Casper heads to Epping Forest, her supposed whereabouts, to try and find out the truth. He breaks into a hut and discovers Adelaide’s corpse in an underground basement. Casper backs away, terrified, only to fall through some rotting floorboards, and end up in the middle of a business park.

Casper quickly learns that he is somewhere else when his mentioning of Margaret Thatcher leaves locals bewildered. Travelling back to London, worried that he has been gone for too long, he encounters MARSHALL ROBSON, also from Casper’s reality, who tells him to embrace this new world as a fresh start. Casper arrives to find a military building where The London Chronicle he works for should be, and, learns that he is part of a team responsible for the logging and transferring of weapons and equipment for field testing and front line use. Team leader RACHEL COLLINS is no-nonsense when it comes to work but takes full advantage of relaxing in-between.

Casper is thrown right into the fold with a bioweapon on its way from France that will aide troops clearing out Sudan to allow for Egyptian expansion into the region. The weapon is hijacked by Sudanese freedom fighters amid its arrival, who plan to use it to destroy Britain in retaliation for their efforts in Sudan’s destruction, and Casper learns the hard truth about the lives of those under the thumb of modern-day imperialism.

SIOBHAN GREENFIELD is also trapped in this world, and has been searching for a way out, as well as working out how the portals work. Siobhan warns Casper to stay away from his friends and family, fearing what consequences it may lead to, as she longs to return to her family. She’s met her daughter and husband in this new world but they don’t even recognise her. Casper pays his family a visit to discover that despite his parents having separated, his life is much better here, which makes Casper reconsider returning home should the opportunity arise.

Newly appointed divisional head, KIMBERLY CHOI makes sure that any weapons are logged and transferred, however, occasionally things are stolen or go missing, and resurface in the oddest of places, so it’s the team's responsibility to get them back, or in a worst case scenario, destroy them outright. The team often find themselves in dangerous situations, from preventing war because someone dangerous got their hands on something deadly, to rogue soldiers using the specially designed weapons and equipment to make easy money following a dishonourable discharge. The Digital Administration team are the middle-ground between order and chaos.

Siobhan works out that the portals between the worlds match the locations of train stations that exist in one world but not the other, opening in or around these locations, and travels across the country searching for the next portal home. However, wherever she goes, Marshall is hot on her heels to ensure that he remains in this world and avoids the consequences of his actions back home, as Adelaide’s killer, which Casper learns when he and Siobhan are captured by Marshall, who lured them by faking the opening of a portal, however, even he is no match for the determined Rachel Collins and Kimberly Choi, who have the British army’s equipment and tactics, at their disposal.

All this comes to a crossroads for Casper when Siobhan uncovers the location of the next portal, and with Marshall no longer in their way, a safe return is guaranteed, and they arrive just as it opens, but this new reality has just started to grow on Casper.

Submitted: August 18, 2020
Last Updated: January 15, 2021

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Jonathan Sieff's picture

The Writer: Jonathan Sieff

Jonathan is a writer, reader and consultant with Screen Talent and also provides book and script coverage independently. He graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2016 with a 2:1 in Media Production: Scriptwriting. Whilst at university, he continued to develop an already keen interest in screenwriting and film theory, picking up a fondness for Spaghetti Westerns and Film Noir, and had his script, Tattoo produced by a production company in Newcastle. Jonathan is an avid reader, with a preference for non-fiction, however, he is also a huge comic book and pulp fiction fan. If you read a script and are interested in making it, feel free to get in touch. Scripts produced: Tattoo (... Go to bio

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