Response Time

by Feb 9, 2021


Concept draft. Much more ideation needed. Proofing needed. Not ready for review or distribution. 

Response Time

Seconds are Critical and Planning is Everything

An elite special unit was formed out of necessity to combat an ever growing technically sophisticated enemy. The Next Specialist Unit (NSU) recruits from law enforcement, FBI, and the military. From the US, Britten, and Israel. NSU is brought in when neither local law enforcement nor the FBI can handle the case alone. Acting like a black ops unit they usually arrive on the scene abruptly. Because of this, the NSU is not well-accepted by the agencies on the ground.

Most crimes are already in progress and the NSU has to quickly assess, plan, setup, and execute while always under a very tight clock. These are not normal crimes by everyday criminals, these are mostly international criminals using zero day technology, cyber warfare and  some unique weapons tech obtained in a data breach. Some of these criminals represents governments, while others are hired by billionaires waging war on billionaires, still others are freelancers. Criminals are very high-tech, well trained, and have the very best gear money can buy. Not your typical smash and grab. These crimes are trying to change outcomes; like moving chess pieces to win at games no one else can see.

The show is about the team, their credentials, and how they solve crimes and the tech they use. It is working together even while conflicting opinions fight for dominance. Mike and Nick are always best mates, but most often have different methods. We get a look into the minds of criminals, enemy states, and the rapidly changing warfare of technology and psychology. Use the Character Schema for the below personalities. 

Mike Getz – Criminal Savant – UK
Anchor, Bigger than Life, Chance, Doubter

Has a PhD in criminal psychology. Mike has written several books with his latest “Getz Caught“ being a best seller. He is hyper-aware and has a near eidetic memory. He moves slowly and methodically, which drives the strike team crazy. Yet Mike will be the one to take chances if for nothing else but to flush out answers in some twisted game of 4D chess against criminals. He believes rules are a concept rather than a construct. Mike is more often about figuring out the nuances of the crime than brut forcing an outcome. At times these little details matter greatly, while at other times, it seems to slow down the process, adding anxiety.

Melissa – Communications 
Anchor, Moral Compass, Friend, Compassion

With a degree in communications, criminal and international law, and psychology, Melissa handles all communications with the agencies on site and keeps her team aligned with what they legally can and cannot do. Melissa gets her way with those outside her team more often than not using her psychology prowess and female charms to remove barriers. Often conflicting with Mike and Nick, who just wants to get the job done and always with Mike over the psychology. From the legal perspective Melissa directs the mission to keep the team out of trouble and is the moral compass. Melissa is often there with a ‘wait, did we consider this?’ that resets a usually fragile plan.

Nick Jones aka The Reaper – Tactical Leader – US
Anchor, Bigger than Life, Moral Compass, Friend, Romancer

Special forces sniper. Responsible for the tactical response of the team. Highly decorated, highly confident, and a social prowess second to none (at least he thinks so). Nick and Mike conflict a lot about what to do and when to do it. Coming at the same problem from completely different angles. Nick is the straight arrow, hardly even willing to bend rules. He likes to plan and execute, usually at the same time. With a fight IQ like Nick’s he can do both, usually with great success. The Reaper has been in many theaters across the globe and as such several of the crime elements they encounter Nick has personal knowledge on. Mostly shrouded in mystery that often has the team questioning if they really know Nick. At time this puts the team, especially Mike, at odds with Nick as he is unable to share everything he knows and is communicating in secret with Dennis on the inner agendas of the missions.

Anastasia (AKA TJ)- Tech Ops – Israeli
Anchor, Bigger than Life, Chance, Comedian

We’re never really sure if Anastasia was caught hacking and then forced to work for this team or what her true story is or how she got the name TJ. What we do know is that there is nobody that knows software and hardware better than her. PhD in EE at 16, PhD in Computer Science at 19. TJ is software engineer specializing in AI and data, with a “hobby” in hardware engineering focusing on microprocessor design and robotics. She utilizes her skills in both the act of solving these crimes and also in the development of the gear that they use. Noah is an AI that she is constantly trying to use in the field, sometimes with success and other times not so much. (Allowing for a little comical relief when needed). Eventually Noah gets an avatar and becomes part of the team, well sort of. Dennis is always having to fight off the political pressure of removing TJ from the team and using her to develop government technology, which often interferes with missions. Anastasia is based off the real tech genius Anastasia

K9 – Support Droid

If you want to take the next technology leap, then incorporate K9 from Anastasi’s lab. Model after K-2SO

Dennis Mancini aka Dennis the Menace
DIC (lessor roles of Doubter, Savior, Friend)

Director. The one who assigns the team their duties and runs block with the principals above him. Often called Dennis the Menace because he hamstrings the team due to political pressures. This makes the team have to rethink their strategies on the fly, sometimes when the operation is already in flight. Supports the team when they really need it. Keeps them safe from upward pressure. 

2-3 Operators – Different Countries
Friend/Enabler, Nemesis level 1, Doubter, Comedian, Bumbler

These teammates can either be static or come and go throughout the seasons to give variety in personality. They are pulled from special forces, FBI units, top-tier local law-enforcement and from other countries. Most of the time they have an indirect operational role as they are used for coms operator, tactical set-up, breach team. Grunts, allowing the main characters to focus on the plot. Sometimes they bring a unique perspective or skill to an assignment that allows them to solve it more quickly.

Story Considerations

PLEASE stay focused on the assignments and do not succumb to the temptation of adding some kind of romantic plot. They always fail in these stories as they seem forced. Unless the romance is outside of the team and is used for character building.

I see 22-25 tv episodes per year with one movie per year taking on their biggest case. These cases are more complex, deep, multi-state, and have a larger criminal element, and a lot more action. The movies pull the team further apart and bring them closer together.

The last episode of each season ends with a bunch of government officials at the office with Dennis calling the team together after they just got back from their last assignment. There’s a special assignment they have to be briefed on right now. Mike says “I thought this was last last one”. Dennis says “one more before we close it out”. One of the government officials starts to debrief “this is Operation Snow Plow” as they walk into the SCIF room. The door closes behind them. The advertisement for the movie ‘operation snow plow’ is shown.

It might be fun to also write books around each character. Just focusing on that character and their qualities. I see this for Mike and Nick, with a possible book for Melissa. These can allow for spin-offs into character shows. Could also be for the Operators. 

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