Monday, 9 July 2012

A Series Of Skywatch 12: The Season Finale Begins

The Season Finale is upon us.

Building plots rear up, character connections reach crisis points, and the world (or the universe, or at least the city centre) is threatened. Can the team rise to the challenge?

Torchwood has them (indeed, the latter series are all build-up and finale) as does Primeval. Not The Sarah Jane Adventures, but it had its could-be-a-finale two-parters featuring the Trickster.

Much of the advice from the Doctor Who version (and its sequel) and the Buffy season equivalents apply here, as do general Big Two-Parter ideas, and a Secret Invasion wouldn’t feel inappropriate either.

So what about specifically Earthbound and low-key ones? Well, they can threaten everything, or just threaten everything the characters hold dear. And it would seem proper to really hit the idea of victory at a high price. Keep the tone about the level of the rest of the series, but if it’s been grim so far, may as well go that bit grimmer.

And tap existing connections of the more grounded show, too. Have friends and enemies turn up again - and enemies ready to help if the situation’s bad enough are often welcome. Call in the troops for the agency you’re sort of working for. Bring out some of that Illicit Alien Technology to go off like Chekhov’s Gun - ideally, the players should think of this themselves while spitballing possible solutions.

And the threat can be fairly quiet too. Keeping a lid on things might be part of the group’s brief, and equally, keeping the setting recognisably like modern Earth is important for a game set somewhere like modern Earth - unless you want to run a season set in a planet occupied by Daleks, they should clear off by the end of part two.

But it’s still enough to lead up to a big “oh no...” cliffhanger.

Example: Red Sky At Night

Mercenaries break into a Skywatch storage facility and stealing several pieces of Sodam technology - and others strike elsewhere, robbing and killing black market traders. The recurring friendly-enemy black marketeer manages to get a call through. “The Committee! They’re going to open the gate!”

... What gate?

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