Ever considered how a choice you made in your youth continues to affect you in your adult life? What if that choice caused you to become a hunted man, running for your life, desperately searching for a way to turn that “choice” around?
That is what our hero is up against - on the run, wondering what he might have done different, hoping against all hope that he’ll survive.
A desperate man, hiding in the shadows in the dystopian world of 2029, hunted by sadistic mercenaries, reflects on his idyllic teenage years when he inherits mystical glasses that give him the power to read minds and bend time. Too young to fully wield the powers, he falls victim to those who want the glasses for themselves and is forced on a quest to find "The Teacher", the one person who can train him to defeat the mercenaries.
THE BISHOP PROJECT is a 30 episodes, sci-fi/action TV series that blends the crumbling, near-future world of BLADE RUNNER or CHILDREN OF MEN with the summer nostalgia and coming of age represented in STAND BY ME and STRANGER THINGS.
Weaving the past, present and future, THE BISHOP PROJECT tells two stories of Bert “Robby” Malone - one as a 24-year old man in 2030, hiding in the dystopian shadow of society, hunted by sadistic bounty hunters, and the other as Robby, an innocent teenager in 2020 who inherits a pair of mystical goggles that allows him to read minds and bend time and upends his life - for decades to come.
Starting at the beginning…
Ireland. 13th Century. A feud erupts between two cousins; the evil King bent on amassing as much wealth and land as he possibly can and the Bishop, a gentleman that some claimed had to the power to slow time and look into the hearts and minds of those around him. As the feud reached its peak, the King blockaded the Bishop inside his stained-glass cathedral and burned it to the ground. As the cathedral lay in charred ruins, the Bishop’s devoted followers search for his remains, only to find a pulsating, heart-shaped glass orb in his study. It was rumored that the orb possessed the same powers of the Bishop, the ability to see into the souls of those around him and to glimpse into their future, and soon, the King, acting on the rumors sent men to take the orb for his own. But the Bishop Keepers fled and for the next century, the King’s followers searched in vain for the orb and the Keepers. Over the years, shaved pieces taken from the orb were made into goggles and those worthy could use the goggles and their powers. But that too passed into legend until...
WHAT MAKES THE BISHOP PROJECT UNIQUE
We believe the blending of two primary stories, each with their own journey and drama, character, tone, pace, and storytelling techniques create a unique and appealing canvas for presenting white-knuckle action, edgy tension, and compelling character development as the 30 episode series progresses. In addition, the elements of the hyperreal VR game, the animated graphic novel, gritty flashbacks to WWII, the 1960s and 13th century Ireland all add flavor and interest in the story’s telling.
WHAT REVIEWERS SAY
2030. Bert Malone
Bert Malone lives on the edge of a pre-dystopian society filled with the desperate and forgotten Americans all affected by the ravages of climate change and economic upheaval. Hunted for a decade by a pair of ruthless, sadistic bounty hunters who are obsessed with getting their hands on Bert’s most valuable possession - the Bishop Goggles. But his goggles are fading fast and Bert’s only hope is a set of cryptic clues found in a pair of Blind Bishop graphic novels. In a desperate race against time, Bert follows the clues in the hopes that they will lead him to the one person who can restore the glasses powers before they fade out completely -- and before the bounty hunters kill him.
Bert’s journey takes him through:
Streets of smoke-infused Denver, Colorado and the rambling tent city (population 100,000) just outside the city
The island of water-soaked San Francisco whose inhabitants crowd the city night and day and sleep in abandoned warehouses and office buildings, the apartments delineated with tape outlines on the floor, to topsy-turvy
Sun-baked Phoenix where people sleep by day during the oppressive 120 degrees weather and work by night when is only 100 degrees
Dome-encased Las Vegas strip where the elite play in comfort and workers are allowed in only if they have a work visa embedded under their skin.
Alligator-infested swamps of the Mississippi Delta.
2019. Robby Malone
It’s the Summer of 2020, an idyllic world of sunshine and fun. Young Bert, known then as Robby, after winning the hyper-real, VR gamer “The Bishop” receives a pair of ancient goggles claiming to have the powers of the Bishop. At first, he believes it to be a joke, but while wearing them he bumps into a sadistic, low-level thumb breaker enforcer and suddenly the glasses flare on. Instantly, Robby sees all the nefarious deeds the criminal has made and is planning to make and in that instant, Robby is thrown into a life of a crimefighter that he is both mentally and physically ill-equipped for.
Robby's journey grows darker and darker as he goes from a bumbling kid to a young man of courage and strength as he faces down a slew of nefarious foes, to the protector of his friends and family but ultimately the evil he faces is too powerful for a kid and before all collapses around him, Robby heads off to fend for himself and find the one person in the world that can save his life.
THE SCRIPT COVERAGE CO.
:Blend the spirit of "Stranger Things" with a post-apocalyptic future, then throw in the massively popular gamer culture, and you've got "The Bishop Project". A broadly appealing concept, the pilot's pacing, and style are consistently strong. It's at its best when it lets its teenage characters riff back and forth, owning their VR worlds and delving deeper into a mystery none of them understand.
There's an absolutely killer premise within this script, and I think the writers are on the right track. This narrative ties together superheroes, shifting timelines, futurism, and retro-futurism, wrapped around a technical yet grounded coming-of-age story, and I love every part of that sentence.
“The Bishop Project" is a very original and entertaining premise, and the script does a nice job juxtaposing the two stories in a way that allows them both to develop naturally. These two stories dance around each other nicely until the reveal at the pilot’s end of how they are connected, which sets up a lot of intrigue for future episodes.
LOS ANGELES CINEFEST
Winner BEST TV PILOT.
BISHOP PROJECT CHARACTERS
Although Robby is “the chosen one” in this epic tale, he will need to be convinced that he can shoulder the burden placed upon him. Physically slight, he’s a lightning-fast runner, a slippery wrestler, a logical thinker and loyal to the core. Robby faces the call of his ancestral legacy and obligations with great reservation, but with his friends support, encouragement and gadgetry he gains confidence. And when the stakes are raised and his friends’ lives hang in the balance, he rises to the challenge, acting like a superhero - as much as a 14-year old boy can manage anyway.
Bert Maloney has “Leave Me The Fuck Alone” written all over him. A loner by necessity, he moves in the shadows of a teetering society. The world he lives in has been ravaged by climate change. Technological advances serve the privileged and torment the forgotten underclass. Although he mostly avoids contact with others, when pushed, Bert will strike with the full force of his abilities. Clever, strategic and focused on his mission, he navigates through daily obstacles in his pursuit to unravel the mysteries of the past and exacting revenge on those who have tortured his family through the ages.
A master chess player and a bit of a nerd, Tyler is the group’s cheerleader and chief ball breaker. Being the only boy with four sisters has made him hyperactive and always looking for attention. Chronically asthmatic, he is physically the weakest but with Robby and Trunk as his bodyguards, he talks a big game and a lot of smacks. With a family as big as his, he sometimes feels invisible - which comes in real handy when he needs to sneak out of the house.
Trunk is the muscle. He is the skeptic and cautious one in the group but a true companion and fiercely loyal friend when the going gets tough. Living alone with this former military dad he's not the easiest person to get close to. And while he might not share his feelings easily, he’ll always share his lunch. He’s not only the strength of the team, but he’s also an agile thinker, with an inventor's mind and a keen ability to talk his way out of difficult situations. He is almost always on his bike.
Liv is the calm yin to her twin brother Tyler’s hyper yang. Strong and silent, she usually knows more than she says and typically thinks three steps ahead of the boys. Where Tyler uses his chess skills to win games of chess Liv uses her mastery of the game to win in life. When the boys come to their senses and finally “accept” her into the crew, her contribution is immediate and invaluable. Oh, and she may have a crush on Robby - although she’d never admitted it.
Nana & Pappy MALONEY
Robby’s being raised by his grandparents Nana Kate and Pappy. They are salt-of-the-earth, honest, down-home people. Everything in their house looks like it was bought new in the ’40s and ’50s. Pappy is a retired accountant and Nanna was an elementary school teacher who now spends lots of time volunteering around town. She’s so sweet that no one would ever suspect the dark and tormented burden she carries inside. Her persistent cough is starting to give away the cancerous secret she’s been keeping and forcing her to prepare her grandson to be the bearer of the family legacy.
Originally from New Orleans, Sheriff Adrien LeDoux is an enigma in the community. Seldom speaks, avoids others, but he’s always there, watching, taking everything in. It’s as if he stepping into the water a toe at a time just to make sure it’s not too cold. And he has a special interest in the gang.
A self-proclaimed mystic, she’s viewed by most as eccentric. No one knows her real name, but she’s called Rice Lady because she carries around a large jar of rice she uses to ward off the evil spirits. Hard to trust because she’s so intense and because she spouses conflicting statements, she nevertheless, has Robby’s best interest in heart. Maybe.
Robby’s mentor and guide into adulthood. Luc "The Cajun" is what his name implies, a swamp rat who lives a solitary life deep in the Louisiana Bayou. An expert in many martial arts, a yoga guru and meditation master, he’s a demanding teacher and a compassionate friend, all at the same time.
Ms. (Rita) Rogers came to live with her uncle, Mr. Devlin when she was five years old. having been scolded for skating the house, Rita retaliated by burning the house and everyone in it, down. Living with her uncle, her narcissistic, mean-spirited nature flourished and by the time she was an adult, her deeds and accomplishments were both cruel and deadly. She’s no relation to Mr. Rogers. “It’s just a coincidence.”
Mr. Rogers (Cabdi) was a child-soldier in Somalia. At the age of eight, he was found by missionaries from Minnesota who brought him back to the states for rehabilitation in a caring and loving home. By the time he was 10, the missionaries were dead, their dog was dead and their goldfish flushed down the toilet. Living on the street, plying his “trade”, he came under the tutelage of Mr. Devlin at 18 and has been his loyal servant ever since.
The quintessential puppet master. Devlin is filthy rich, has a piece of the Bishop’s glass, and an insatiable quest for power; a power that he’ll go to great extremes in order to gain more. The boss of The Rogers, the killer of Robby’s mom, and the arch-enemy of Nana that has been generations in the making.
We all have ambition. Snake has it in spades, as well as being incompetent and mentally deranged. Specializing in the torture of those who can’t protect themselves and bullying those weaker than him. Favorite torture technique? Tying up his victims and throwing darts at them until they cave. Current career - thumb-breaker for the mob boss.
Wanna be mob-boss, Tony Pfeiffer has the tenacity and lack of conscious to fulfill his dream. He just isn’t as smart as he thinks he. Delights it killing, maiming and throwing his weight around, Pfeifer believes he's invincible and as a result, he’d rather shoot you than work things out. Because you’re wrong.
SONS of ARD-RI
A motorcycle gang that is the Intel / Muscle arm of The Rogers’ army. Also has “partners” in law enforcement whenever a head needs to be turned, evidence needs to be lost, or eyes need to be on the street.
THE BISHOP PROJECT - TIMELINE
13th Century - Ireland
After the martyrdom of the Bishop by his cousin the King, the Bishop’s followers find a pulsating, heart-shaped stained-glass orb in the charred cathedral. It’s soon discovered that the orb has the same powers the Bishop possessed to see into men’s souls and slow time. For three centuries, the faithful Keepers of the Bishop’s Heart eluded the descendants of the King, hellbent to take the “heart” for their own.
1944 - Castelluccio, Italy
World War II, Royce Maloney, a wounded English soldier stumbled into a small dilapidated church in a small Italian village of Castelluccio and discovers a highly-polished, ornate box containing a pair of 18th-century goggles whose lenses glowed and pulsated like a beating heart.
1956 - Belle Meade, Kentucky
8-year-old Devlin McConnell watches his politician father use his “magic monocle” to reduce a man to tears as he hisses out the man’s humiliating secrets. At that point in time, Devlin sets in motion his plan to have that power for himself one day.
1959 - Tyler, Texas
Royce uses the power of the goggles to manipulate his enemies and friends and amasses a huge fortune. He’s murdered by a man claiming Royce used the goggles to blackmail him. In the courtroom, his 15-year old daughter, Ruth, is shocked as she hears the murderer’s confession. Not by his words, but by his description of how he felt when Royce used his goggles on him. It was exactly as she felt when her father used them on her.
1963 - The Suicide of Bufford Devlin
18-year old Devlin McConnell steals the monocle from his father’s desk and drives his father mad, forcing him to hang himself from the banister in the foyer.
1964 - Europe
Ruth exhaustively researches the goggles, the Bishop’s murder, the Keepers efforts to hide the Bishop’s Heart, the rumors of the goggles appearing in historical events throughout Europe, her father’s discovery and how only descendants of the Bishop or King can use the goggles’ powers.
1975 - Africa
At age 11, when he was “rescued” by Anne and John Rogers, missionaries from Minnesota, Cabdi Abdi had already been a 5-year veteran, ruthless and efficient Child Soldier in war-torn Somalia.
1977 - Minnesota
By the time Cabdi is 13, Anne and John were dead, their dog was dead and their goldfish flushed down the toilet and Cabdi was nowhere to be found.
1981 - Belle Meade, Kentucky
At 5-years old child, Shiloh Rogers is scolded by her father for skating in the mansion. Unrepentant, she accepts her father’s punishment of taking her skates away. But that night, with skates in hand, she sets fire to the mansion and kills her parents. That night, her uncle, Devlin McConnell takes her to raise as his own.
1997 - Belle Meade, Kentucky
Living on the street, plying his “trade”, Cabdi, now named Mr. Rogers, is recruited by Mr. Devlin to do his bidding and becomes a loyal and devoted servant.
2001 - Las Vegas, Nevada
The Blind Bishop graphic novel is published. It tells the story a blind cleric who is given a pair of glasses that allows him to see auras and his falling into fighting crime. The graphic novel was conceived by Ruth with the hope of finding someone who would relate to the story and come forward so Ruth could find the rightful heir to the goggles and become the next Bishop.
2005 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Soon after The Blind Bishop is published, Ruth’s plan comes to fruition when a young pregnant woman, Miriam Hannigan, arrives telling the story of her uncle owning a pair of glasses like those in the graphic novel. Months later, a 90-year old Irish monk arrives giving Ruth the “Bishop’s Heart”.
2006 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Months after her arrival Miriam gives birth to a son, Robby. Two months after that Devlin McConnell arrives. Realizing that Devlin is there for nefarious reasons and will kill anyone who stands in his way, Ruth hatches a risking and daring escape plan where she helps Miriam and her husband fake their death in a fiery car explosion while Ruth takes Robby to raise as her grandson - and groom him to become The Bishop Apprentice.
2019 - Worldwide
The hyperreal VR Game, “The Bishop” is launched. It becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
2020 Spring - Nevada City, California
Robby Maloney wins “The Bishop” VR Game and is awarded the goggles. Soon, he’s fallen into the reluctant and ill-prepared crime fighter and despite having the support of his friends (and the behind the scene guidance by Ruth) Robby’s life becomes more and more dangerous and he battles the underworld - which eventually climaxes with Mr. Devlin and his killers, Mr. and Ms. Rogers - and is forced to go on the run in order to save his friends.
2022 - Coubeaux, Louisiana
Armed with two, graphic novels his grandmother had given just before she is murdered, Robby is on the run, trying to figure out the clues his grandmother had hidden in them, clues to guide Robby as he grows. Following the first clue, he finds himself deep inside the Louisiana bayou, training with his new mentor “The Cajun”. Soon, The Cajun is teaching Robby how to fight, how to use the glasses, and preparing him for his next clue-filled journey - to find the Master Keeper.
2023 - Belle Meade, Kentucky
Ms. Rogers, in a temper tantrum, demands the monocle and its power from an aging Mr. Devlin. With a laugh, he obeys and hands the glasses over...and confesses that the monocle lost its power long ago. His laughing at her, costs him his life.
2030 - United States
Robby, now taking the name Bert, hides in the shadows of society, hunted by The Rogers, as he pursues a desperate search to find “Fred.” Clues found inside the last Graphic Novel his grandmother had given him, send him from one crumbling city to the next, avoiding police, bounty hunters, and Mr. and Ms. Rogers all in a search for “Fred and his Lost Manuscript.”
2030 - Las Vegas
Bert finds Fred in an abandoned warehouse on the skirts of Las Vegas. But Fred, who’s mentally unhinged, no longer has the “Lost Manuscript” and can’t remember where it is. But just as The Rogers show up and the final attack commences, he remembers - he gave it to an old nemesis of Bert’s - The Rice Lady.
2031 - San Francisco
Wading through flooded San Francisco, Bert tracks down The Rice Lady and demands she turn over the “Lost Manuscript”. Unable to crack the code, she quickly relents with hopes of finding the secrets it holds. She and Bert follow the clues found in the “Lost Manuscript” until they find themselves at the home of the Keeper of The Bishop’s Heart - his mother. She takes Bert to the glassmaker and using pieces from the Heart, the glasses’ powers are restored and Bert seeks vengeance on the Rogers. Devlin is already dead, killed by Ms. Rogers when she finds out the glasses won’t work for her, she’s adopted and not a true descendant from the King.
In an epic showdown, Bert vanquishes The Rogers and finds the peace he’s been longing for.