Friday, January 17, 2014

If I Made It: Doctor Strange TV series

The Concept:  With a Doctor Strange all but cast (rumors point to Jon Hamm, which actually sounds pretty cool) I thought I would take a stab at a TV series, an hour long drama to be exact.  The idea is to make the show more of a medical procedural with supernatural elements as sort of House meets X-Files.
  So the confines are a 12 episode first season and I'll detail outline up to the mid season hiatus.

Outline:  Dr. Stephen Strange returns from a sabbatical at the same time as new guy, Dr. Jericho Drumm.  Drumm get's assigned to Strange's new department of "alternative medicine" much to the anger of Drumm's mentor and Strange's rival Dr. Mamu.

--Dr. Strange: The main protagonist.  He's nice, charming, slightly arrogant but warm.  He seems lost in thought or distracted most of the time.  He quotes and makes allusions to philosophical and mythological text frequently.  He has a good sense of humor and a good beside manner but can be very serious.  He performs diagnosis, treatment and surgery.

--Wong: Dr. Strange's assistant.  He performs administrative tasks, takes care of patients (when patients are present), administers anesthesia and assists Strange in surgery.  He has a biting acerbic, dry wit and acts above everybody.  He has respect for Strange but loathes Dr. Jericho Drumm often insulting or patronizing him or ignoring him completely.

--Dr. Jericho Drumm:  Recently employed by the hospital, he is not entirely new to the professional but he isn't greatly experienced.  He excels in diagnosis.  He originally thought he was there to join his mentor Dr. Mamu's team but the plans were changed by the administration.  He is stern and respectful, he seems humorless but does in fact have a very keen sense of humor.  His bedside manner is very direct and truthful and he tries to be direct whenever possible.  Hiding his investigation of Strange is very hard on him because he isn't able to confront Strange directly which causes him to withdraw from Strange.

--Dr. Drew Mamu:  Arrogant, cocky, mean and direct.  He is widely disliked by nearly everyone but is strangely nice and respectful to Drumm who he views as an mentee.  He despises those who work under him, openly mocking and condescending to nurses and lesser doctors.  He and Strange have a unique rivalry with each seemingly knowing more than they let on.  They mostly behave as if they can't do anything about each other, for the time being, but insult and offer veiled threats to each other.

-Pilot:  It's Dr. Jericho Drumm's first day at Miskatonic University Hospital a teaching hospital in Massachusetts.  He was brought on by his former teacher and mentor Dr. Drew Mamu.  Upon his arrival he's told by his mentor that Drumm won't be joining him but rather is assigned to the newly returned Dr. Stephen Strange then spends some time trash talking Dr. Strange as a hack and unstable.

  Dr. Strange has, with his own money, transformed the former mental asylum into a hospital and the source of his "alternative medicine" wing.  He kept much of the 1930's aesthetic while retro fitting it with state of the art medical equipment.  His office is one of the old operating theaters so it's huge and filled with books.

   Upon entering the new wing he's greeted by Strange's administrative assistant/male nurse/anesthesiologist Wong (Wong creates a totally isolated division, with Wong Dr. Strange has no reason to deal with anyone outside his department) who treats him like trash.  Wong and Drumm will continue to have tension through out the series.

  The episode ends with Drumm briefly witnessing Dr. Strange doing something mystical with a recovering patient when he walks in, unannounced, to the patients room.

-Episodes 2-5:
--This part of the season follows a series of near misses between Drumm and Strange.  Drumm nearly catches Strange but always just misses out on getting proof.  Drumm expresses his suspicions to his mentor Mamu as well as hospital administrator but with out proof nothing can be done.  Mamu tells Drumm that he knows something is up with Strange and the way Strange and Mamu interact hints at a shared history that isn't explicitly expressed.  But Strange and Mamu clearly don't like each other.  Drumm accidentally overhears Strange telling Mamu that while Strange can't do anything right now he will do something about him eventually.  Meanwhile every episode focus on a different, slightly supernatural, malady.

-Episode 6 (mid season finale)
-- Daniel Ketch shows up toting a near comatose person in the sidecar of his bike.  They talk about a person named Nightmare and despite Wong trying to keep out Drumm, Drumm ends up in the middle of a conflict between Strange and Nightmare.  Unable to confront Nightmare using his own mind (Strange confesses to not ever sleeping), Daniel's mind (because of his status as Ghost Rider) or Wong's (too many psychic defenses) he decides he needs to create a dreamscape that he can control inside Drumm's mind and invade Nightmare's realm using Drumm as a surrogate.  Drumm get's thrown into the mystical world of Dr. Strange and ends up with the proof needed to shut Strange down.  Strange confronts Drumm about the evidence and tells Drumm to do whatever it is he feels he needs to do.  The season breaks with Drumm deciding on whether or not he should shut down Strange.  Meanwhile Strange, Wong and Daniel Ketch discuss something they discovered in Nightmare's realm.  Something that hints at the summoning of Shuma-Gorath.

-Episode 7-11:
--  Drumm decides to hold onto the evidence and join up with Strange.  This changes the amount of detail involved in each case as this goes from a "something seems off" to a full on mystical medical procedural.  Drumm is now heavily involved in research of mystical problems and we go from slightly supernatural to pregnant werewolfs, vampires with AIDS and the return of Daniel Ketch who has Ghost Rider related problems.  In the background the return of Shuma-Gorath looms.

-Season Finale:
--Shuma Gorath nearly gets summoned right under Strange's nose, almost literally, from the basement of the old mental hospital when a patient comes in under the pretense of seeking help but turns out to sacrifice himself as the last piece of the summoning puzzle.  In the process of resealing the otherworldly beast Drumm shows some magical aptitude and demonstrates a few tricks which causes Strange to take Drumm under his wing and Drumm accepts him as a mentor.  Afterwards it's revealed that Dr. Mamu has some mystical power himself and maybe responsible for the attempted summoning of Shuma-Gorath.

-Going Forward:

--Season 2 would focus on Drumm becoming more distant from Dr. Mamu as the focus shifts from Drumm being an antagonist to Mamu.  Nightmare returns, Morbius makes an appearance, Daimon Hellstrom (who hangs around a few episodes and secretly teaches Drumm some more tricks), Daniel Ketch returns and Drumm starts to learn about his voodoo heritage.  Dr. Mamu reveals himself to be an Earthly incarnation of Dormamu (as if that wasn't obvious).

--Season 3 would focus on Strange becoming more focused on other things while Drumm comes more to the forefront which forces he and Wong to interact more.  Drumm gets very involved in his voodoo roots when he discovers his twin brother, Daniel, is a local houngan and he becomes a specialist in voodoo after a series of episodes taking place in Haiti with a focus on voodoo based problems (possessions, curses and zombies as some examples).  The season would involve Wong and Drumm going from two people who can barely stand each other to two people who have a mutual respect.  Nightmare is the big bad and Dr. Strange does something that strips him of his Sorcerer Supreme title.

--Season 4 would start with the search for the new Sorcerer Supreme, mid season finale is Drumm becoming Doctor Voodoo.  The season would have dual focus on Drumm taking over the alternative medicine wing and Strange being a down and out drunkard trying to find purpose in his life.  Strange returns when he learns that Baron Mordo is gunning for Sorcerer Supreme.

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