The Unfilmable Pilot

From Fragments of the King

The Editor

Editorial@film-junk.com

I found this post under Ryan’s account. It’s the last thing he was working on before he left the site. I’m not too sure what to make of it but it’s a pretty interesting read. Before you start writing in about the page count discrepancy, I noticed it too. Ryan mentions eight pages but there are nine attached to the post. Really, I’m not sure how much of this script he found is even real. All of the e-mails he lists give bounce backs now and I can’t find anyone who heard about Ryan’s work. Regardless. The post below is unaltered. I know a lot of you were big fans of his investigations so I didn’t want to tamper with his style. Enjoy.

Are you ready for this, Junkies? We get submissions all the time but this one was something special. Don’t take it from me though, check out this super creepy message that brought this particular entry to my attention.

Neil Tennyson

n.tennyson85@smail.com

To: Film Script Junkies <submissions@film-junk.com>
From: n.tennyson85@smail.com
Date: Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 7:06 AM
Subject: Horror Anthology Pilot (Circa 1987)

Last weekend my uncle passed away and I found a bunch of old scripts in his attic. Most of them were trash but one struck me as different. It was at the very bottom of it’s box and most of it badly burnt. I read over the few pages that survived and I think your site would be interested in the contents. I can mail you the remains of the script if you like.

- Neil Tennyson

A burnt manuscript? Someone didn’t want this getting out! I, obviously, told Mr. Tennyson that we were very interested and true to his words he sent me the six almost illegible, unordered, pages filled with some of the most pedestrian writing I’d seen.

Not only was the content boring but nothing about it screamed “Horror Anthology Pilot” to me. It read like a bad Game of Thrones knock off. If it wasn’t for the fact that most of the script was missing I would have thrown it away right then.

Instead, I scanned the page. I shot them over to our Senior Junkies to see if any of them wanted to take up the story. One of our British friends, Chatto, responded in minutes. What he wrote… Well, it was almost as good as Mr. Tennyson’s message.

Chatto

chatto@film-junk.com

To: Junkie Ryan <RyDude@film-junk.com>
From: chatto@film-junk.com
Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 1:13 AM
Subject: Re: Check it out...

Burn it.

I tried to get Chatto to explain but he’s stopped responding to my messages. Luckily, a few others filled in the blanks for me and explained why Chatto was so offended.

It turns out this script came from one of the major premium cable networks. I’ll let you guess which one. In 1987 they started looking to expand their original content lineup. Dozens of scripts came in and by 1989 they started production of a pretty memorable and iconic series. The script I had, didn’t even make it to pilot.

It seemed that the meager burnt pages I have are all that remains of a rejected idea. From what I saw, I understood why. I put the whole thing aside for a couple of days but it kept popping into my head. Six burnt pages. Content so offensive the studio ordered the only script destroyed. I just couldn’t put this aside. Questions demanded answers.

It was at this point that I reached out to the studio to see if any of the execs from that time were still around and remembered reading the rest of the script. It took a few days, but eventually I got a response.

Alan Windsor

a.windsor@bho.com

To: Junkie Ryan <RyDude@film-junk.com>
From: a.windsor@bho.com
Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 4:59 PM
Subject: Re: Horror Pilot from ‘87

I remember Mr. Scott’s script. How could I ever forget it? It’s been nearly thirty years and I still have nightmares about it. The first act was banal but that only helped hammer home the awful effect of the rest of the story. I do not know how many pages you received but if you have anything past the unmasking I suggest you get rid of it. The world never needs to know the horrible things that lurked in Mr. Scott’s mind.

The unmasking was, in fact, on the last page I had. If nothing else, this further piqued my curiosity. I set out to uncover what I could of its writer, Jack Scott. My hope was that he had a second copy he could forward me. Except I couldn’t find any work attributed to the man outside of this one manuscript. I was just starting to believe that it was a pen name when I got the next interesting e-mail.

Jack Scott

jack.scott@smail.com

To: Contact Us! <mail@film-junk.com>
From: jack.scott@smail.com
Date: Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:26 AM
Subject: <No Subject>

It came to my attention that you have the remains of my screenplay. I would greatly appreciate if you would publish my work so the world can finally see. I have two more salvaged pages. I have sent them to you.

An e-mail from a guy that no one has heard from since 1987? My gut said this was a fake e-mail from Mr. Tennyson trying to convince me to post his uncle’s burnt garbage. Except… Why didn’t he send me the final two pages to begin with? Then, in a couple of days, a package with no return address arrived on my desk.

Inside there were two more pages, as burnt as the others. I sent it off to our state of the art forensic lab and confirmed that it looked a lot like the other pages.While the writing wasn’t much better, the content seemed promising. I finally understood what made this a horror show, albeit it one with a really slow open.

I’m still not convinced of the script’s merit but there is something about it that lingers in my mind. I’ve decided to make Mr. Tennyson happy and publish what he sent me. Despite it’s flaws I can’t help feel that there once was something great here. Something terrible, so terrible that it was destroyed. But still, something great. Hopefully someone out there has the rest of the script and the world can finally see.

Want to read the surviving pages of The Unfilmable Pilot?

All nine pages can be found inside Fragments of the King!
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