Truth or Lion?

Created by Tom Cozens, The Pitch 2019

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The story will follow the comedically tragic downfall of three cabinet ministers and the party whip (our satraps/ advisers etc.) as they try and dethrone the cabinet education minister Daniella Stone who has in their opinion become too close to the Prime Minister Rebecca. After a couple of backfired attempts at fabricating evidence, press leaking and making Daniella late for a press meeting, by using laxatives, the whip forms a cunning plan to use a school protest around religious language in schools, and in particular the word truth to challenge Daniella’s principle of freedom of language. A cabinet member convinces the PM to become a champion of public interest to boost her popularity, by creating a bill against “extremist language in schools”, and Daniella then finds herself in a compromised position of either having to defend a bill that she disagrees with on principle, or getting consumed by the press (our lions). The tragic conclusion sees the Cabinet ministers exposed as unable to hold to the bill themselves consequently being consumed by a bunch of protesting school children with badly written placards “Stop these turds stealing our words” and the press.

Biblical Connection

Similar to the thick of it, Parks and Rec and W1A, Truth or Lion? is a 20 minute long comedic political satire, set in a world five minutes from our own, based on the story of Daniel in the Lions den. What interests me in Daniel, is the same thing that interests me in Shawshank: observing characters react to an immovable force: Andy Dufresne. However, instead of following the hero’s journey of Daniel (Daniella), I felt it far more inkeeping with millennial perceptions of the political landscape, to follow the tragic downfall of the Satraps (cabinet members and the party whip). For many today, politics takes on an almost comedic quality of bickering and backstabbing, which when juxtaposed with my character Daniella might reveal what we hope for in a leader. The political catalyst in Daniel is a form of enforced, state controlled religion, promoting state (Darius) as God. I satirise the slightly dystopian/Orwellian control of language we see in politics today, by having the PM promote themselves as a “Champion” of public opinion, restricting use of the word “truth”. The enforcers of control in Daniel are the Lions, which have strong links to the press in my story.