THE RINGS OF ASHAAR - TV PILOT
1980s suburban Virginia collides with a dystopian desert kingdom when a high school boy passes through a hidden portal and encounters a hunted princess as well as the dark lord after her magical ring.
ARYANE (16) lives in ASHAAR, a fallen desert kingdom that was once lush and prosperous. When we meet her, she deftly guards her herd
from a pair of bandits. Shy 14-year old PETER BOWMAN lives in a Virginia suburb in 1988. Peter cherishes his final night as a homeschooler with his friends before the first day of public high school. Peter's world up until this point has been board games, nerf sword battles and Playmobil war campaigns with his smart-ass best friend JASON CHEN, the geeky but endearing NEWELL TWINS (Angie and Jamie), his sassy little sister BROOKE, and his younger brother MICHAEL — king of the video-gamers. Peter’s world is turned upside down when his deceased Father's MYSTERIOUS RING draws him down a hidden well in the forest. A portal within the well transports him to Ashaar where he meets the shepherd girl Aryane. When the corrupt LORD ASRAK comes to kill the lost Princess and to claim her magic ring, Aryane manages to hide while her homestead is burned down and her caretakers are killed and captured. During the raid, Peter retreats through the well back to his home on Earth. Amidst the anxieties of the first day of public school, Peter persuades his skeptical friends to go back through the portal with him. While Peter and his friends search for Aryane, a local videographer for NASA (who happens to be dating Peter’s widowed mother, Wendy) and his assistant follow a colleague into the woods, as they document an anomaly that leads them to the well.
Meanwhile, Brooke and Peter’s older adopted sister HOLLY embark on a hunt to find Peter. Back in Ashaar, Peter and company find things even bleaker than before. They discover Aryane in the burning rubble of her homestead. Peter notices that he and Aryane have similar magic rings and learns that Aryane can speak telepathically to him through the power of her ring. Her message: “We are in great danger.” Peter and his friends face a choice, continue to explore this dangerous and exciting new world or take Aryane back with them to assimilate her into the equally strange world of high school.
All Accolades & Coverage:
Stage 32 Annual TV Writing Contest 2018 - Finalist
Final Draft: Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2018 - Quarter Finalist (Top 3%)
Coverfly - The Red List 2018 - One Hour Fantasy Pilots
"Peter is a believable and endearing protagonist, and his curiosity, mixed with his innocence, is felt across the board in order to make him come out as a layered and powerful lead. The twins have some of the strongest dialogue work in the script. Their voices are raw and full of subtext and personality. This pilot is fast in pace, and the action blocking and choreography is efficient. The first time Peter goes to Ashaar is captivating, in plotting, dialogue and action. The death of Zilah is tragic, and getting to see the scenario go down through Peter's eyes is suspenseful for the audience. There are some very natural moments in the character relationships and dialogue in this pilot. One example of this would be when Wendy is freaking out about where Peter and the kids are, and Holly notices that Brooke knows the truth (and then makes her tell). Another place that reads as quite organic, and full of gritty and realistic conflict, is when Jud pulls the reversal on Holly about the walkman, versus the flirtation. This idea of Aryane and Peter being able to communicate through telepathy, in the end, is an exciting cliff hanger that adds to the rules of this world, and Peter's arc."