Logline: Set against the backdrop of 1981, London, a young woman – LOLA – lives her modest life; working hard, keeping to her small social circle down the pub, walking her dog. All the while, unaware of the violent murderous beast which exists inside her, growing more and more keen to release itself on the populous.
Premise: A supernatural thriller, and obvious bipolar analogy, in the vein of The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mister Hyde, with a Life On Mars -esque reference to the real-word events of the period. Serial killers, race-riots, corruption, Docklands redevelopment, Thatcher, Falklands, etc
The first season follows Lola as she discovers the inner beast. Indeed, straight off the bat, the audience witness her coolly eviscerate both a sexual predator on her drunken way home from the local, along with a group of up-to-no-good skinheads. She, herself, has no recollection of the event the following day – just a hangover. A new player enters the stage, just arrived in the city – Jarrod. They meet in Book Nook; the shop Lola runs, below the flat she rents. There’s an attraction, but the audience know something he does not. They know about the beast, and that Lola is bad news. Jarrod’s interest is keen, however.
It transpires this is all something of a ruse, aimed to sucker the audience in early episodes. As it happens, that was Lola’s first kill in known times. Nevertheless, bodies do start to mount up. Police investigate. Most of them without much enthusiasm, just going through the motions. But not Dalton, recently transferred in from Yorkshire. The others typically tease him, “we’ve caught The Yorkshire Ripper now, fella”.
The first season sees Lola becoming aware of her alter-ego, then fearful of it and what she might do. Particularly what she might to do Jarrod. Her relationship with him, blossoms, wilts, blossoms again as she attempts to juggle both this creeping revelation, and dating him amid the events of the summer; Charles and Diana, Brixton riots, etc. The audience are torn between following the path of love, and hollering at the screen for Jarrod to flee whilst his insides are still on the inside.
All the while, each episode, Dalton gets closer and closer to discovering Lola. He makes dogged progress, distracted and called away to deal with events of day, mocked by his peers. But he does make progress, closing in on her, on her MO, episode by episode … except… it’s actually Jarrod who’s the culprit. He, too, is a monster. He has deliberately and callously mauled all the subsequent murder victims. Jarrod reveals to Lola he came to London specifically to seek her out as his mate.
Though Lola has no recollection of it, she is known to Jarrod from a previous time; both being supernatural – potentially immortal – beasts, after all. They have history together. When ultimately confronted by all this in the series finale, Lola chooses *not* to give in to the beast. So Jarrod turns on her instead.
Things are left open to future seasons, though, given Lola’s potentially immortal nature. This allows future seasons to be set in different periods / locations of historical interest, or interesting social commentary. Periods where Lola has gained a measure of control of her own urges, but hunts down Jarrod for revenge. Or, even an origin story – where they first meet and it’s revealed Jarrod made her this way. Her memory loss can also be explored. Lots of fun ways to keep the franchise energised and engaging whilst remaining true to its core characters and themes.