The Broken Kingdom by Mark Renshaw | Script Revolution

The Broken Kingdom

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Page Count: 
14pp

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Logline: 
In an alternate timeline in which Guy Fawkes overthrew the English monarchy. Half a century later, a French-American businessman is on the run with Scottish Freedom Fighters after he inadvertently commits an act of heresy.
Synopsis/Details: 

In 1605 Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the English Houses of Parliament. It was part of a larger plot by Protestants to overthrow the monarchy but he was caught and tortured until he gave up the names of all his co-conspirators. He leaped to his death just before he was hung, drawn and quartered. The King ordered the entire country to celebrate this failed coup with bonfires and thus, a national tradition was established - November the 5th, bonfire night, one that is still celebrated to this day.

But what if Guy Fawkes had succeeded? That was the premise I imagined and I created an alternate timeline which resulted in a very inward and isolated Britain in 2018, which was inspired by Brexit. The Broken Kingdom is a dark comedy, which mixes serious elements with funny, yet tragic situations.

The alternate timeline I imagined consists of:

With the Monarchy overthrown, the surviving relatives of the royal family escaped to Scotland. England became a Republic. The Royal Family in Scotland goes from strength to strength, which inspired the people to come together. This eventually lead to Scotland maintaining its independence. In 2018, England and Scotland are still technically at war, although there’s been no open hostilities for over a hundred years; a bit like North and South Korea.

As Protestantism became the dominant religion in England, the hostilities in Ireland never occurred and they became allies.

The industrial revolution and English (there’s no British in this timeline) Empire still happened but on a smaller scale and it collapsed sooner.

With its focus divided and resources squeezed, England allowed the Colonies to become independent by brokering a 99-year leasing agreement similar to what happened with Hong Kong. England gained some much-needed cash, America gained its independence without bloodshed, it just happened almost a hundred years later. France played a much larger role, establishing towns in both Canada and America. Eventually this lead to the first French American President.

England played a dominant role in World War 1, but at great cost, it crippled the economy and never truly recovers, so much so that they declared themselves neutral in World War 2. This isolates England from the world scene and their influence was reduced considerably.

By 2018, it is not a United Kingdom but a broken one. With resources dwindling and a tough religious regime in force to control the population. The short script is set there. It focuses on a French-American business man visiting England. It's his first trip outside of his own country and he truly feels like a stranger in a strange land. Matters take a turn for the worse when he accidentally utters a word that has recently been banned. Facing incarceration in the Tower, he is forced to go on the run with a couple of eccentric Scottish freedom fighters.

Submitted: February 20, 2018
Last Updated: April 5, 2018

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Mark Renshaw's picture

The Writer: Mark Renshaw

Mark has been escaping into his own personal version of reality he calls his Mindverse since he was a youngling. Sometimes these adventures escape into our dimension in the form of scripts and stories. At other times they just drool out of his mouth. Despite the drool, his scripts and short stories have won several awards. His sci-fi 'Nearscape' TV pilot script 'The Survivors' reached the semi-finals of the Page Awards and the 2nd round of the Austin Film Festival. He reached the top 4% of the BBC's Open Drama submission and has been added to their list of promising writers. He is also the innagural winner of the Inroads Screenwriting Competition for his short script 'Cyborn'. Mark has had... Go to bio

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