Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters I like the X-Men, and there's so many characters, and so many rich stories, and so much ensemble action drama goodness that it's hard to not imagine them having their own TV show, where you don't have to have anemic characters like in the films so you can focus on one or two favorites, but everyone can be awesome in their own episode, and the whole team can really matter. Of course, as long as X-Men are with Fox, this isn't likely to happen at all, but it's nice to dream right? So Here's the Basic Outline of the Thread Pitch, Series Notes Character Sketches and Arcs Season 1 Outline, Episode Summaries Season 2 Outline, Episode Summaries Etc... Pitch Smallville meets Fringe in a tale about the dawn of a new species and how their arrival changes the world, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. Five Tortured High Schoolers with dark secrets and incredible powers are recruited by Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr, two visionary mutants to become a special task force to deal with the mutant boom. XIGY will be the title card, short for Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters, and pronounced 'Ziggy' for colloquialism. After the establishing pilot, each week the kids will encounter a new mutant problem or phenomenon which they will decipher the cause of and solution to using interpersonal skills, basic scientific abilities and judicious use of their superhuman abilities. Characters will be paired up in continually changing combinations, like any other procedural show, in order to further explore all of the supporting cast. As the show progresses, each character's backstory will become important for various reasons as they grow from very typical high school archetypes into three dimensional characters. Meanwhile, the teachers will be involved in a growing idealistic chasm, which will be taken on in a new way, more closely mimicking Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, in which our Malcolm X character often takes the antagonistic position in order to highlight Xavier's goodness. Xavier's own corruption and misuse of his powers will also keep that morality very grey between those two, and the students will be tossed back and forth with that for the first season. Series Notes Structure Every episode will have a case that takes up the majority of the episode, all character development will spring out of the case at hand. Overarcing plans of enemies will manifest themselves in cases, some of which would be redherrings, some of which would be out of the ordinary, ie rescue missions. It would have a shock-crazy intro, a theme song/title card, introduction of the problems the cast is having, then relating that, bringing that to the case of the week, from there, they would try to solve it using their various talents and combinations thereof until whoever has the focus of the episode makes the breakthrough to solve the problem. At which point, they would all go into action in their various roles, solve it, and somewhere in there, the ovearcing season story would manifest itself. Every season would be made up of arcs, usually 2, one pre-christmas, and one post. Some seasons could split into more. Each arc would deal with a major comic book villain. For instance, the first arc would be about the Friends of Humanity. The second arc, also in season 1, would deal with Magneto as a villain. The first arc in season 2 might deal with Sentinels, or the Brotherhood, and things would continue on like that. By season 5 the arc might deal with Dark Phoenix, or Bastion, or Mojo might have a three episode Arc, or Arcade might be a one-off arc. Arcs would be paced, so that there would be a heavy deep crazy arc, then a lighter one, then a more building cleansing arc, followed by a heavier one. Direction The core of the show will change each season, by increments. For instance, the core of the show during the first season will be entirely about Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr, and that storyline will be utterly exhausted over the course of 20 episodes. Second season, it would, for instance, center around Charles Xavier and Scott Summers, as their father-son-like relationship and how that grows and gets tested, torn, bent, broken, healed, reversed, subverted, and played straight. When that is exhausted, season 3 might revolve around Scott/Jean/Wolverine, while season 4 might center on Wolverine and... though in every case, the season is about much more than that relationship, but it forms the core of the main story arc, and is called upon emotionally to fulfill the climax of the season. Tone The series will generally play straight drama role, with powers used in a spectacle and horror sense rather than a levity giving sense. The characters' powers are regarded as a curse for good reason. They are difficult and often scary to use. The levity should come from a random fun-per-season episode and a selected comedic character, a role that changes from story arc to story arc, depending on who is going through maximum angst. Special Effects Part of the reason powers will be scary/spectacular is because they are expensive. Of the core characters from season 1 we have: Telepathy, Mastery of Magnetism, Telekinesis, Ice Control, Superhuman Attributes, Optic Blasts and Wings! That's a lot to call on, even once, per episode. Generally, telekinesis/Mastery of Magnetism, Telepathy and Superman Attributes are cheap and easy. Stringing stuff up and CGI-ing it to float, and doing mindscape visions or echoing thought-sounds is cheap. Even superhuman attributes can be done with styrofoam props and/or a good stuntman. Ice Control, limited to ice blasts that form ice objects is affordable, and perhaps some ice-armor prosthetics can be hooked up later if the show becomes more profitable and Iceman can evolve beyond 'snow man.' That snow form, by the way, is pretty affordable, no worries. Optic Blasts are easy to do... it's just the effects that are hard. That much destruction just can't be done. For that reason, you *dramatically* limit Cyclops' use of his powers, as in, something he never, ever wants to do, and when he does, it's a climactic, show/story-ending moment. Because it's just that big a deal. Make it something scary, that when he even reaches for it, it's a heart stopper. Wings... well, that's pretty much impossible. You can do moveable harness you can do a lot of folding things, you can string him up in the air, but at the end of the day, you just can't use Angel much, and that'll have to be reflected in the storyline relatively early. His feather wings won't make it past season 1 for instance. Beyond that, the freaks of the week are pretty straghtforward, a teleporter here, a super strong guy there... all stuff done before, and often, on a show like Smallville. The sets themselves would be enormously practical and largely on location. There would be a standing 'sub-basement' set for the danger/war/training/cerebro rooms and such, but beyond that... good times to be had by all.