There are some smart story choices including the personal connection between the terrorist and a former FBI agent. The agent is motivated to capture this man, who was responsible for the death of his father and the destruction of his marriage. The goal is clear and the stakes feel high. The dramatic tone is consistent.
While there are certainly strengths to the pilot and it’s clear what the series is about, the pilot would benefit from further development in the areas of structure, pace, tension, and character development.
First, the pilot opens with an intriguing teaser with the bomb. This captures one’s attention, however, as the script progresses, the structure begins to falter. The main concern about the pilot is the structure and the pace. In addition, scenes are too long and there’s too much dialogue dominating the scenes. For example, the sequence of Marcus at his mother’s elderly community home feels lengthy and there’s too much dialogue (page 29 is an example). In addition, the sequence isn’t a very engaging or exciting one. Around page 34, there’s too much dialogue (Nathaniel King). The scene with Glass also contains too much exposition.
There are other scenes that feel non-essential, like the flashback about Susan’s note (the note is long). It’s simply enough to know that Marcus’ marriage was destroyed by his obsession. Remember, flashbacks can hinder the pace.
Most importantly, the true hook of the pilot is the idea that King is alive and that he has hostages. It might have been more compelling to show the ...
... middle of paper ...
...n which Marcus is more proactive in trying to track down King and save the hostages. Right now, the tension isn’t very compelling. Enhance a sense of urgency. Maybe King kills a hostage, elevating the stakes.
The pilot is formatted into various acts. Make sure each one ends on strong tension and that the tension intensifies as the plot progresses. The formula for the series is clear. Marcus will track down King.
There are minor typos: the name Jasmine is used twice (a waitress and FBI agent Jasmine Li.) The word elderly is misspelled (scene 11). There’s no need for scene numbers if this is a spec script. Act one should actually begin on a separate page.
In summary, crime dramas are tried and true, however, to be more successful, create a more compelling and more proactive hero. The pilot would benefit from more excitement regarding the issue of the hostages.
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