Private Project

Darkest Kelly

In 1761, Ireland. Dorcas Stuart Kelly is accused of Witchcraft and executed. Her life was never told, until now...

Dorcas, an obstinate and unlovable young woman who lives like a nun in an abbey, is lured into paganism while dealing with traumatic events that lead to a town threatened by political instability, superstition, broken prophecies and mysterious deaths.

Quote: "I wish God were a woman" - Dorcas. (page 4)

  • Catarina César
    Writer
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Number of Pages:
    75
  • Country of Origin:
    Portugal
  • Language:
    English, Irish
  • First-time Screenwriter:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Writer Biography - Catarina César

Catarina César (or C.S. César) is a filmmaker born in a small village in the south of Portugal. She is known for her work as a PA, and Script supervisor in the TV series "Serramoura". She has a Master's in Film/TV Production and is constantly travelling around the world.

She aims to inspire others with her words, especially those who come from geographically disadvantaged countries and small villages, or whose English is not their first language. She plans to raise awareness against modern slavery, nepotism and discrimination towards immigrants.

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Writer Statement

This a period drama based on true events. The main character Dorcas Stuart Kelly died in 1761 and left no heirs or relatives. The information used is from public record, and this is NOT an adaptation.

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This shall be a piece of the darkest truth, a mystic dream from the past, and a gift to all women and men who were tortured and killed by their beliefs.

This TV Pilot is an XVIII century tale of witchcraft based on Irish folklore, for an audience who is tired of those mainstream supernatural series full of CGI, and colourful magic that doesn't fulfil the emptiness of our hearts and the thirst for a more mature and realistic approach.

I wrote this pilot because I needed something different. I needed to believe in magic again.

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Adults need mature "magic" and young girls need characters who learn to think with their own minds, like our main character Dorcas did, even when everything is taken from her.

I start writing this story when I came back from my trip to Ireland, in 2018, after falling in love with its culture and history. Here, the reality is mixed with Irish mythology. Some of the dialogues, spells, rituals and religious beliefs were obtained from historical records (journals and court records).

Darkest Kelly is not historical horror, although it includes dark and surrealistic scenes. It is a period drama and thriller full of old superstition, and Celtic culture, based on the real execution of Dorcas Stuart Kelly, in 1761 Dublin, Ireland, which is only described in episode 9th. Everything about her past and childhood, however, was never registered, and was, therefore, fictionalized in 9 episodes. Everything you will read about her, apart from the way she died, is pure fiction and rumours.

Some words were written in English archaic, randomly in the dialogue to invoke time. The screenplay is not 100% archaic, and a few Irish words are repeated in the same line, in English, to facilitate the reading.

Paranormal events will increase gradually within the next episodes, as the murder mystery develops, and double-faced characters are revealed.

Characters:
- This is my perfect excuse to bring more female characters to the screen, including LGBT, each of them with different core wounds that teach us about the human condition and resilience while living in a time of silent wars, where women were second-class citizens and the high classes take over the underclass, torments and tear them apart. Just in case you have forgotten.

Cinematic and Visuals:
- Surrealism is found in the form of dreams, hallucinations, and psychological trauma, with scenes that allow a powerful and more experimental cinematography, outside of the usual Fantasy genre.

Plot:
- This period brings us to a stygian world where horror and death are commonplace. Emotional themes. Rebellions. Politics. Temptation, sexual freedom and, deep relationships meet in the house of sins. A portrait of medieval Ireland with a vibrant Celtic atmosphere, and the need for its National identity;
A balance between paranormal and psyche. Those in power abuse it. Survival is tough as any woman, at any time, could be accused of witchcraft and suffer a cruel death for crimes they did not commit. Imprisonment, persecution, torture, sexual harassment, and a very thin barrier between good and evil. The resurrection of forgotten old folklore, myths and prophecies of Gods, curses, ghosts and demons that lurk there, and perhaps in all of us… All of this with a transdimensional twist in the end.

How far will a person go for their beliefs? How much will they endure to resist?

When I wrote about Dorcas, I throw into the page an extension of myself. We both lived our lives “trapped” in a small town with small-minded people; felt powerless with few or non-existing opportunities to thrive; and share the same beliefs that are judged, misunderstood and taboo, even nowadays.

Darkest Kelly is the story I always wanted to write and the TV show that the audience currently needs.