Written by: Timothy Kestrel
Type: TV PILOT
Genre: History, Thriller, Drama
Logline: After his attempts to escape from the American colonies fail, a young orphan woodsman Finn finds himself trapped in a remote frontier fort surrounded by troubled people with dark secrets during the French & Indian War.
Synopsis: “Finn Morton, reminiscing from extreme old age, narrates his adventures as a young man in the early, gritty days of the fledgling country. His eyewitness account unfolds behind-the-scenes workings that shaped an empire in the making. His memories bring forth the depths of love, freedom, greed, and loyalty, and offer a rare vantage point of crucial times in this country’s coming of age. His stories are at once thrilling, illuminating, and heartbreaking.
The RANGERS – Progenitors of Freedom is a story about people trying to make a living on a lawless frontier against the backdrop of a major conflict. The show follows the lives of young people who have to learn self-reliance on their own in a deadly chase for elusive freedom. All they understand is that the future is unknowable, and the end is always near.
This is an American saga covering the lives of many generations, particular geographic locales and incorporates solid history. The story packs in all the elements of a vast American frontier folklore in a new, compelling way that resonates with modern audiences.
The story differs from many current television dramas in that it is exciting and dangerous, yet the themes and plot are relevant to modern audiences. Evocative use of historical figures provides a classic patina to the show.
There are five major combatants in the story, a melting pot world of America in a melting pot war: Great Britain and New England (New York); France and New France (Quebec); and dithering in between all of them is the Iroquois nation. The first war of the world between the combatants provides the grand background conflict. Also, each fraction is plagued with its own internal strife and clashes. However, the actual conflicts we are drawn to are the internal struggles the people face.
An ensemble of 100 characters fraught with their everyday problems in a war-torn frontier provides compelling character stories for several seasons. They all have personal, individual emotional situations and dark secrets. Times are changing fast for everyone-some of them have to face cruelties at war, some of them face scheming and hardships on the home front-they all are affected by the war.
In fact, the people don’t even realize who the real enemy is-themselves. Nevertheless, they have to make tough moral choices in difficult situations with no clear right or wrong. They cannot be sure that the choices they make are the right ones. They try to balance between love, regret, loneliness, debauchery, and moral values.
The story is about complex characters that are conceited, vulnerable, bitter, and in some cases hate women while simultaneously being utterly honest and upstanding. The relationships in the story line are valid and authentic full of emotion, sex, passion, hard times, and complexity. The story leads toward a dark place, but a place of historical authenticity and visual style, street value and real aspects of what it feels like as if the viewers were actually present.
The people struggle with the meaning of religion, with definitions of family, with the corruption of politics, with friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and ultimately, survival. The story fits in the significant use of symbolism and metaphorical imagery and shocking scenes of violence, which are balanced by genuinely touching themes of love, honor, and respect for the family. The story is about class society; aristocrats talk about honor and sacrifice but stick it to commoners. There is binge drinking, slavery, sexism, feminism, adultery, homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism, alienation, ruthlessness, and personal crises: abortions, premarital pregnancies, interracial affairs, and alcoholism and drug addiction.
Against the grand backdrop, RANGERS – Progenitors of Freedom (seasons 1-3) provide an alternative point of view on historical events and people in a dramatic way. The great transcendent theme of the show is about re-evaluating the ethos of American Dream.
When the French & Indian War finally comes to an end as all wars eventually do, there is a smooth transition to RANGERS – Grand Awakening (seasons 4-6) which is then followed by RANGERS – Manifest Destiny (seasons 7-9); each tied to a crucial time period in US history.”
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