Right Hand Man

Created by Henry Steedman, The Pitch 2014

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We are in a modern, underground bunker, time and location unknown. A man is led down a corridor to a room behind a guarded door. Inside he is greeted warmly by a Superior. They are military men, with the un-ranked Superior referring to the other man as General. There is also a female guard in the room. We soon learn that an event has happened which has caused a power shift, meaning that control is now in their hands. The superior explains that he needs to be surrounded by men who he can trust completely. He thanks the General for his dedication so far, but now he has a more important role - promotion to a higher rank, as his right hand man at the dawn of a new civilisation. The General is flattered, and keen to accept. But the Superior needs proof of the General's allegiance. He asks for a sacrifice - a significant show of loyalty to him and to the cause. He commands him to cut off his right hand, his sword hand, as a sign of true and faithful dedication. He gives him 2 minutes to decide, then leaves to watch through a two-way mirror...

Biblical Connection

This story is taken from The Binding of Isaac, where God demands that Abraham sacrifice his only son Isaac as a sign of fealty. (There are many versions of this story, across many religions, though I am sticking more closely to the Christian account). Abraham agrees,and takes his son up a mountain where he binds Isaac and takes out a knife to kill him. Seeing this, and realising his dedication, God sends an angel to stop Abraham. He then sacrifices a Ram instead. This always struck me as a contentious story - as it feels unnecessarily harsh to command such fealty. Because of that, and the character and contextual dynamics of who would ask such a thing, and who would respond to such a request, it offers huge potential to rework it as a high stakes drama, and even a thriller. In doing so I would hope to explore themes of sacrifice, loyalty, leadership, obedience and faith.