Sentient - Theme and character arc - Part Two - Important Questionnaire

Sentient – Theme and character arc – Part Two – Important Questionnaire



Reviews of ‘Sentient’ – Draft Four of the Pilot,  were critical of our failure to address the issues of theme and character arc. 

This post 

This post will ask your opinion via two poll questions. 

Poll One is about Theme. Poll Two is the Series Logline. 

Your answers will lay the foundation for DRAFT FIVE of the Pilot.

Get the Pilot right and we get the Series right. 

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You can vote anonymously by selecting an option. 

We suggest you log-in to vote and add a comment at the bottom of the post so we know you have voted. 

When you VOTE AND COMMENT (both), we award you points in the ownership of the work. 

Not a member? Email a photo, simple bio and your preferred email address and we’ll set up a profile for you. 

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Series Theme 

Theme is the story’s Sherpa guide. 

It can be expressed as a short, sharp provocative statement or question. 

It is meant to provoke response and to create sides. 

The following is our proposed theme. 

‘Humanity is flawed and due for replacement.’

Asked as a dramatic question…

If humanity is flawed beyond redemption, does a Creator have the right to abandon and replace us with something better?

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Character Arc

Theme is explored throughout the story by the protagonist and their conflict with other characters. 

Our protagonist is Lt. Commander Michael Dowd, a Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver.

We needed to add a foundation to this character’s core to glue him to the theme.

It would also serve as the starting point for his character arc.

The foundation I have chosen is faith.

Dowd will be a deeply reverent man, a man of quiet faith.

He finds himself fighting against a lifeform sent by his own God to destroy humanity.

A man of God is forced to fight against his own God. That’s ironic and irony is good. 

Those of you who have read Sentient – Australia – Draft Four, know Dowd is a man of action. He is a highly focused character. That won’t change. The new foundation does not transform him into an evangelical. It does give him a starting point for his character arc that will see him explore the theme through conflict. 

Poll One – Vote here. Don’t forget to log in and add a comment at the bottom of the post

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High stakes – It’s personal for Dowd

The death of Dowd’s son Tobias – To increase the stakes for our protagonist in Season One, Dowd’s teenage son Tobias, who is enduring leukaemia and chemotherapy, survives the holocaust and is approached by the lifeforms. They consider him special. They seek to heal him. Dowd realises this and seeks them out to heal the boy however Dowd’s former wife, Commodore Katheryn Freisler, rails against any possibility their son will be treated by these lifeforms and forces Tobias back into chemotherapy, eventually resulting in the boy’s death. 

The killing of Kayla – Dowd is then ordered to hunt down and kill the lifeforms and proceeds to do so when he discovers his current partner, Kayla, has survived the holocaust but has now become one the lifeforms, an Alpha version, a siren. Dowd and Kayla meet one night and a child is conceived of their union.

Upon hearing that Dowd and others have been meeting with these Sirens, the authorities, those who have seized control of the Commonwealth including Dowd’s Commander, his former wife Commodore Katheryn Freisler, press hard for the kill or capture of all the lifeforms. Dowd finds himself hunting his own partner finally cornering her on a clifftop. Kayla jumps to avoid capture and is presumed dead. Dowd is driven to despair and contemplates taking his own life. The only thing dissuading him is the attention of Heidi, a young American woman stranded by the holocaust, who has pursued Dowd from their first meeting. 

The captured lifeforms are radicalised The effect of the capture, deprivation and torture of the lifeforms alters them, radicalising them, taking them away from their focus on their mission and introducing them to the human emotion of hate and the notion of revenge. The condition spreads through the Sentient like a virus corrupting their purpose turning them into something very frightening and very dangerous. 

Dowd witnesses the terrible choices made by the leadership. He realises if this continues, all will be lost. He resolves a new course of action. 

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The Series Logline may change

The Series Logline describes the entire series.

Now that you read about the proposed theme, we seek your view on changes to the Series logline. 

Poll Two – Vote here. Don’t forget to log in and add a comment at the bottom of the post

Title – Tagline – Series Message revealed

About the Title – ‘Sentient’ Life may be abundant in the universe but the chance of Sentient life, capable of realizing space travel, mastering DNA and creating life, is near impossible.

Humanity is perhaps it.

Even if we are not, we may be a special project, but humanity’s desire to build a new, ‘Tower of Babel’ has angered the creator.

Perhaps it feels there’s only room for one God in this universe, one truly Sentient lifeform.

TaglineThere’s a new plan for earth. Humanity’s not part of it.

Message – The message we seek to reveal by the end of the series is demonstrated by a Cain and Abel event, where one of the HyperSapien children born of the union between human and Nephilim, (the lifeforms), kills his sibling leading Scientist Dr Amon Teicher to conclude, A vain and vengeful God will only create creatures filled with that same vanity and rage. The cycle is without end.’

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Compare your vote and review to Industrial Script’s review 

Industrial Scripts represent an Industry leader in script review services.  Compare your vote and comments to theirs. Attached our original brief to IS and the IS review. 

Presence Brief to IS
Presence Brief to IS

IS report 

IS report

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Thanks so much for taking the time to contribute to the development of Sentient. Don’t forget to log in to add your comments at the bottom of this post. Points value minimum of 500. If the comment is helpful to the work, you may earn up to another 2000 points. 

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21 Responses

  1. That’s great Dave.
    Sure, the firefighter work is underway, sourcing for investors/eps/funds.



  3. I like the new changes but prefer the original logline without doubt. I think its stronger. I look forward to filiming this monster (pardon the pun!!!).

  4. DANG! Apparently, the POLL service auto disables after 250 views.
    Comments only folks. Sorry.

  5. I like the original logline-let the fact his faith plays such a part unfold with the story.

    I love the proposed theme ‘Humanity is flawed and due for replacement.’ (I mean we all know this is true right? 😉) But does the Creator have the right to upgrade?
    I wasn’t sold on the foundation of faith at first maybe because in the forces you may see and do some things while ‘Serving Australia with Pride’ that would contradict your beliefs or certainly cause great internal conflict (so perhaps it’s something Dowd has always struggled with) but I can see how it will fit with the proposed storylines, death, love, power, leadership and of course the ego…is mankind really the superior species?
    And the tag line I would not say God I’d just say
    ‘There’s a new plan for earth.
    Humanity’s not part of it.’

  6. a variation of your first theme option works better for me.

    God’s natural law relates to the evolution of consciousness. if people-kind continue its materialistic denial of synchronicity (our psychic connection with all forms of life), it’s only natural we become the author of its own extinction event.

    “People-kind is flawed and responsible for its own replacement.”

    you guys are approaching this issue of faith from a shallow point of view. I don’t see Dowd’s conflict having anything to do with his faith in God.

    I see “Dowd” as an Ozzie mixed-blood, part Aboriginal / part Brit, who has firmly embraced his “Indigenous soul” since a child. this means he has deep faith in his connection to the collective consciousness (God / Great Spirit) and therefore is open to what can be learned from dreams, higher life forms and alternative spiritual healing strategies. however, his neo-colonial / imperialistic wife, “Commodore Katheryn Freisler”, has drunk the materialistic Kool-Aid and only has faith in “modern” pharmaceutical drugs and surgical procedures, like the questionable chemotherapy the doctors encourage them to treat the Leukaemia threatened Tobias.

    when their beloved son dies horribly, this causes Dowd deep grief, anger and resentment of his wife, modern doctors and his materialistic culture. being a proud and skilled warrior from his years as a Navy diver, he at first is willing to do his part against the “evil” aliens. Dowd then begins to question his government’s paranoia, however apparently justified. this would better explain his being conflicted with Katheryn, the ultimate breakdown in their relationship and his eventual attraction to the Siren Kayla.

    logline options: I would stick with the “original” logline. your alternative proposals smack of a fundamentalist religious theme, rather than a “spiritual transformation”.

    as an aboriginal person, I have a problem with your “Old Testament” notion of an angry God. most of the planet’s population do not share this Abrahamic notion of God. as mentioned above:

    God’s natural law relates to the evolution of consciousness. if people-kind continue its materialistic denial of synchronicity (our psychic connection with all forms of life), it’s only natural we become the author of its own extinction event.

  7. I am for the original version and showing how contagious the ugly side of humanity can be once your cornered even if you are not human.

  8. Ray Sinclair says:

    I like the proposal , but the twist could be that his creator , was actually acting for the good of humanity in the final analysis🤔

  9. Ray Sinclair says:

    A man of God, would fight for his godly principles , not against them. Might be cliched by ie good against evil works because the battle is a old as recoded time 🤔👍

    • “good against evil” is a relatively recent patriarchal notion over the past 5000 years. this ultimately encourages embracing the divine half of the universe and the demonizing the other half.

      the original matriarchal culture from the dawn of time saw the universal duality as “light against darkness”. the path of transcendence, like in Taoism or the Toltec philosophy, is found by embracing the totality, including both the light and darkness.

      a man of knowledge recognizes our eternal psychic connection with the “Indigenous Soul” / “Great Spirit” / the “Sea of Spirit”, that we all swim in, as we evolve our awareness, the true “meaning of life”.


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