katakokk: (Merlin [the hat makes me a fool])
[personal profile] katakokk
THE MEME:
1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some TV show idea. (Science fiction show, medical drama, criminal procedure, etc...)
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.

THE PROMPT: (once again from [livejournal.com profile] be_themoon) Hidden among the gangs of the cities, shapeshifters have their own agenda, their own hierarchy, and when they go out of line, their own justice.

THE PLACE: A city with a complex public transportation system (trains, subways, buses, fleets of taxis, the whole deal), somewhere in the US of A. Take your pick as to where it really is, but is most likely along the East Coast.

CHNG5

In the near future, the government is fully aware of the presence of shapeshifters, Changelings, as they are officially noted on federal papers, throughout America. They are putting more and more funding into a covert series of departments dedicated to their “normalization” through any means possible: underground schools (also known as propaganda centers) oriented towards young shapeshifters, high security prison centers with many dubious instruments, and even an elite crack team with a single purpose, elimination. The United States is also continually encouraging harsher laws against shapeshifters in other countries. And as if trying to survive as a shapeshifter (who, in America, tend to change into different breeds of dogs and cats) is hard enough, the government’s determination to eliminate them has caused huge amounts of intrigue and shifts in power in the shapeshifters’ own pseudo-government.


GEORGE HAMSTEAD (Christopher Lee), age 68

George Hamstead seems like nothing more than your retired businessman, contentedly living out the rest of his life on his savings. But in reality he has been the leader of three East Coast cities’ allied shapeshifter groups, the Director, for over twenty years. He lost his wife, Louisa Hamstead nee Franklin, three years before the beginning of Season 1, and is still recovering from the loss, but generally appears to be brusque and professional, old habits from his years as a business manager for the dominant East Coast seafood company, Trent Fisheries. George is killed in Episode 1 of the first season, by an undisclosed man, and is almost immediately replaced by Carlos Malowskey.
**SPOILER**
It is revealed later in Season 1 that George was not actually a shapeshifter, and possessed the most dormant form of the gene, CHNG1.

CARLOS MALOWSKEY (Matt Damon), age 35

Carlos is young, handsome, and powerful, and he knows it. His change is a tiger, and although he initially hates it for being too damn exotic for New England, he grows to accept it after becoming highly proficient in other forms of self-defense, namely Tai Kwon Do. His father worked for the CIA, and he had his heart set on following him as a child, but when he discovers his ability at the relatively late age of eighteen, he quickly sets his sights on deposing George, whose secret he knows. Other shapeshifters suspect him of murdering George, but there is also evidence that proves contrary, and no one really knows where Carlos came from following George’s death and how he managed to secure the support of the Heads, the individual city leaders, if he did at all, as he has no relation to either George or Louisa (positions of authority are traditionally passed down from father to child). Although there is generally publicized information about him (such as the fact that he is half Polish, half Argentinean, and is fluent in the language of the latter), little is known about the real Carlos Malowskey.

MARIA MALOWSKEY (Cassandra Sawtell), age 12

Maria is Carlos’ kid sister. She is not a shapeshifter, though she carries the gene, as she was among the first to receive a suppression injection from the United States government. It was given to her when her change first became active, at the surprisingly young age six. She is constantly informed by Carlos that her change would be a liger, because he remembers stripes, and tan fur, but not much else. Her deepest disappointment is not being able to be like her brother, without his ability to change. But despite this, he dotes on her, and she is cared for by him after their parents disappeared three weeks after she received the injection.
**SPOILER**
It is later revealed that her change may be overcoming the strength of the injection, as her hair becomes increasingly redder as the series progresses, and by the middle of Season 2, she is a legitimate redhead.

JULIANNE "JULIE" LAWSEN (Rosamund Pike), age 29

Julie is a reporter for The Morning Herald, the local newspaper, trying to hide the fact that she can change into a tabby cat. She is generally happy and free-spirited, and this rubs the wrong way with many members of her city’s shapeshifter group, ostentatiously named “the Force.” Her rather low-paying, low-end job, despite her intellectual sharpness and love of books, is due to her passion for Art History and her subsequent rather useless degree in it. She does not understand the details of the deposing of George Hamstead as Director and the uproar that surrounds it, and is generally opposed to change. She is romantically involved with the Head of the Force, Derek Moore. This pairing is generally accepted by fandom and is included in fanfiction that follows canon, but not particularly loved, and there is a more active following for Carlos/Julie (despite the fact that the two have never met), and Amelia/Julie.

DEREK MOORE (Laz Alonso), age 30

To the world, Derek is just another insurance company employee, lost in the sea of banal office business. However, he is the leader of the Force, a sizeable shapeshifting group in one of the cities that suddenly finds itself subject to the will of Carlos Malowskey. He is straightforward and very serious about the issues brought before him as Head. But in reality, he longs for a peaceful, anonymous life as an insurance worker with his longtime girlfriend, Julie, and only took the position as Head after his older sister, Amanda, was discovered by the government and, after refusing an injection and attempting to escape a high security prison in Maine, executed. His only motivation for remaining in a position of power is to ensure that no one ends up in the same position as his sister. His change is an undisclosed type of snake.

AMELIA CRAMMER-SMITH (Rachel McAdams), age 27

Amelia is a nurse at the city’s local hospital, with most of her time spent as a member of the emergency room staff. As a result of this, she is kept up at odd hours, but still manages to serve as the Force’s medic and a member of their informal “council,” a group of respected individuals who make decisions for the group. She, however, is not a particularly notable member of the “council,” because although she is her mother’s only child from a one-night stand, and illegitimacy among shapeshifters is highly frowned upon, despite its general acceptance by human society. As a result, she possesses a weaker form of the gene, CHNG4, and can only change under extreme emotional stress. When she does shapeshift, her change is, much to her embarrassment, a munchkin cat This does not happen very often because she was never easily stressed as a child and her work in the ER helped her get used to stressful situations. Despite this, she is rather aloof and not willing to open up to people. Her only real friend is Julie, and this has spawned an avid following in fandom for the Amelia/Julie pairing. Additionally, her last name is not a combination of her mother and father’s names (her mother never even knew her father’s first name), but just her mother’s.

LAMIS ABDULLAH (Ambika Jois), age 22

Lamis is not from the area, in fact, she is originally from Mississippi, but was discovered to be a shapeshifter a year before the events of Season 1 and fled north. She eventually ended up within the boundaries of the Force’s territory (the city that most of its members are from, and some of the outlying areas), and was taken in by them. She is rather quiet, and for a week after she was recovered by the Force, she refused to speak. She prefers to help Amelia with those injured in run-ins with the various gangs of the city, and has found her own niche in their makeshift infirmary. Although offered a home by different members of the Force, she opts to sleep in the old factory that serves as their headquarters. She is a proud Muslim, and her change is a black lab.
**SPOILER**
Lamis is shown having dinner with Amelia in the midseason finale for Season 1 after the factory is burned down, and presumably moves in with her.

JAMES "JAMIE" KENSINGTON (Jake Abel), age 18

James was a college freshman at Northwestern University, but dropped out when he discovered the Force, preferring to stick with his fellow shapeshifters rather than finish his education. This decision was also motivated by his lack of interest in formal schooling. He is brilliant in science, especially physics (and by extension, calculus), and has proved extremely valuable to the Force. His change is a cocker spaniel. He views Derek as his mentor and hero, and wants to succeed him as Head, despite his obvious lack of blood relation. He despises being called Jamie, and allows only Julie to do so. He is a bit of a loudmouth and doesn’t know when to shut up, dishing out sarcastic remarks at the slightest opportunity. His father was an alcoholic and beat him for opening his mouth to respond to anything. Thus, most of the members allow him to talk even when it irritates him slightly. He knows this, and sometimes deliberately irritates them, especially Amelia, who he thinks has no reason to be cold and aloof, because her mother loved her. The only person he does not deliberately irritate is Lamis, because he has a crush on her. He is best friends with Nicholas, and the two are very close, having known each other since the first grade. The James/Nicholas pairing is by far the most popular in fandom.
**SPOILER**
It is revealed in the beginning of Season 2 that James and Amelia are cousins through their fathers.

NICHOLAS DUNN (Skandar Keynes), age 17

I tried...but could not resist casting Skandar. *sheepish*
Nicholas skipped kindergarten, and has been in the same class as James since first grade. He was also accepted into Northwestern, but was deemed ineligible for financial aid, so instead he stayed home to help support his parents, a construction worker and a librarian, and younger brother. Because of his mother’s influence, he has a deep love of books and is rarely found without one. While James is the physics enthusiast, he is the literature geek, and can ramble for hours about the merits of various authors. He works at the smaller of the two Barnes & Noble’s in the city. He develops a love for coffee because of the Starbucks within his workplace, but avoids buying it as much as possible so that the majority of his paycheck goes to his family. He is the only member of his family to carry the CHNG5 gene, though he suspects that his brother may carry a more dormant form. He can also be sarcastic at times, but is generally much more sincere than his best friend. He is the one who introduces James to the Force, and makes an effort to help people understand that James is not as biting as he seems (especially to Lamis, whom he tries to set up with James on occassion). He is extremely popular in fandom, partially due to the fact that some of his dialogue can imply the existence of James/Nicholas as a romantic relationship. His change is a greyhound.

ANGELA LIN (Gong Li), age 39

Angela is a member of E10, the crack groups designed to hunt down and eliminate shapeshifters. She is an immigrant, having come to the United States from China when she was eight. Her parents remained extremely traditionalist, despite their exposure to Western culture, and in rebellion, Angela persistently remained a tomboy throughout her life, and enlisted in the army when she turned eighteen. Her parents subsequently disowned her, and she went on to become an excellent shot, so much so that she caught the interest of the E10. She was recruited after seven years of military service and now is a senior member of the organization. Unlike most of her female coworkers, she refuses to cut her long hair, and wears it in a bun constantly, so much that no one has ever seen her with her hair down, and there is speculation as to how long it actually is. She is brusque and efficient, and is highly valued by the shapeshifter normalization department. She and her squad are the primary antagonists of the series as a whole; though they only appear is two episodes of the first season, due to its focus on the political workings of the shapeshifters.

ANTON RENAVICI (Bradley Cooper), age 29

Anton is Derek’s coworker at the insurance company, and is promoted in episode 2, despite having been with the company for two years less than Derek. He is extremely anti-shapeshifter. His father, brother, and brother-in-law all work in the department devoted to shapeshifter elimination, his brother-in-law being Angela’s second-in-command.
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