Sunday, 30 September 2012



Creating a drama

The idea for Branches was born out of my fascination for television shows and proving that not only do middle-class people have problems, but so do higher-class people, the rich people.  The fascination, along with a photo of a movie-related party, gave me the idea for A Way of Life, which followed the lives of three very rich families and portrayed how they have problems.  In the first episode, titled ...And So Here We Are, shows the relationships between these people and overdramatises many elements of real life. 

Over the next few episodes, 13 episodes...
  • Looking Down the Barrel
  • Blink of an Eye
  • Shooting Up the Heroine
  • Flirting with Heartbreak
  • Realisations
  • Positive Tests
  • Sordid Confessions
  • Fearing the Connection
  • Truth, Death or Blackmail?
  • Family Affairs
  • Kissing Cousins
  • Coincidences
...many events happen including a hostage, a cancer diagnosis, a shock discovery, a positive pregnancy test, a sordid affair that all lead up to a tragic car accident involving Laura Hainsworth, who suffers 3rd degree burns to 12% of her body.

This car crash dug up the idea of a spin off and how I could portray Laura's recovery while focusing on a group of middle-class people in a small, suburban town that dealt with the ups and downs of life.  This was the idea that bore, Branches.

Developing the idea

Originally titled Time After Time, my idea grew and within a week, I had developed my characters.  The show would follow the Chamberlain family, Granny Flick, two of her children, Daniel and Sheila, Daniel's wife and three of his children and Sheila's daughter.  The family tree is as follows.

Bold, black writing indicates people who are alive and main characters on Branches.
Bold, blue writing indicates people who are alive and recurring characters on Branches.
Bold, red writing indicates people who are alive but are not on Branches.
Italicised, pink writing indicates people who are alive but are characters on A Way of Life.
Normal writing indicates people who are deceased.

People with no visible last name are Chamberlains.

m. = married
d. = divorced
a. = affair
e. = engaged
r. = relationship
c. = child

  • Charles
  • m.  Rose
    • c. Joseph
    • c. John
    • c. Charlie
    • c. Orson
      • m. Felicia "Granny Flick"
        • c. Daniel
          • m. Sharon Bartel
            • c. Austin
            • c. Edna
            • c. Miles
            • c. Harry
              • r. Amelia Jackson
          • a. Bronwyn Bartel
            • c. Danny (stillborn)
        • c. Yvonne
        • c. Macintosh
          • m. Sylvia de Porta
            • c. Colby
            • c. Forrest
            • c. Perry
            • c. Bree
        • c. Nicholas
        • c. Sheila
          • m. Kim Scott
            • c. Jenna-Lee Scott
            • c. Emma Scott
            • c. Charlie Scott
              • e. Keith Markham
        • c. Lynette
          • m. Doug Brady
            • c. Denise Brady 
Once the main family was finished, I had to develop people that would fraternise with these people and Keith was a good place for me to start.  I developed a family for him.

His mother, Camilla, fit right into the Tomlinson family, whose two other daughters, Katherine and Emily are characters on A Way of Life.  I then manoeuvred these characters a bit and soon had five children for Camilla.  Kevin, Kendall, Krystle, Kenny and Keith.  Krystle is currently a main character on A Way of Life, with her aunt Katherine.

With a little bit of tweaking, Kevin is now married to Annette, who is Sharon and Bronwyn's sister.

Writing it

Writing Time After Time was a challenge.  I had to try and balance out the drama with comedy.  Originally titled, The Koincidence, the episode proved a challenge.

After writing the first couple of scenes I noticed that I hadn't written a lot for the Markham family and decided that the episode title wouldn't suffice.  I then found an episode title that had been used on another show that I loved, but when I googled it, it was a movie.  I scrapped that name and decided on Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing.

I decided to change the name from Time After Time to Branches after I had written half of the pilot script and realised that the show sort of has two or three major storylines that branch out into little ones and affect everyone, hence the name.

What to expect?

In episode one, Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing, we are introduced to the Chamberlain family and the Markham family.  The first scene portrays a death two years ago.  The second scene jumps into real time and shows the funeral of a loved one.

As the episode progresses, so do the characters and storylines.  Daniel is married to Sharon, but is having an affair with her sister, Bronwyn, who reveals that she is pregnant to him.  She later suffers a fall and ends up in hospital.  The baby is revealed to have died.  However the extent of the accident and outcome pushes Bronwyn to breaking point, she becomes agitated, begins showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and she later tries to commit suicide.

Miles reveals to his brother Austin and cousin Colby that he is in love with Amelia, the woman who is dating his fraternal twin, Harry.  While keeping this a secret from Harry, he decides that time is the only thing holding the truth from Amelia, so he decides to tell her, however Harry finds out.  After Miles writes Harry a letter containing his true feelings for his brother's girlfriend, Amelia finds it and decides to break up with Harry because she feels Miles has ruined their relationship.  A fight then breaks out and Harry and Miles go through a glass window on the second storey, but only one brother survives...or so it seems.  By the end of the episode, Amelia will make a discovery that will shock her and one of the brother's to their core.

Camilla gets the shock of her life when her daughter Kendall comes home and tells her that Kenny, her son that was killed at the start of the episode is actually alive.  Then Camilla is taken hostage by a woman named Kayla who turned up earlier.  She then makes claims that Kenny is very much alive.  Camilla doesn't realise until Kayla blatantly says to her, "Open your eyes, old woman.  I'm your beloved son!".

This show is sure to shock people, but the biggest surprise of all hasn't even hit yet!

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