Lord of the block
Young adult contemporary fantasy drama
8 episodes of 45’
A disaffected teenager is offered an amazing opportunity: the power to control his neighbours’ emotions. At first, he enjoys playing God, but when he realizes the sacrifice he must make in return, he launches a desperate struggle to regain control over his life.
A soulless metropolis in the present day. A dilapidated housing block in a run-down neighbourhood. A new resident: the geeky 18-year-old outcast, TOMMY, and the building’s elderly janitor: the mysterious ARTHUR. When the old man declares that he is the Lord of the Block and is able to control the residents’ feelings in the interests of maintaining their emotional balance, the boy is intrigued. But Arthur is very sick, his time is almost up. He needs to find an heir he can bequeath his secrets to.
Tommy jumps at the chance. The supernatural powers he is offered promise a means of escape from his dead-end life. And also, the key to seducing the girl next door: 17-year-old ANI, who is reluctantly caring for her little sister in the stead of their manic-depressive mother.
Tommy’s training to become the next Lord gets underway and before long he begins experimenting with his newfound abilities – and discovering ways to use them for his own ends. One time, however, he goes too far and as a result, one of his neighbours kills himself. Consumed with guilt and finally understanding the full responsibility of the role he has assumed, Tommy wants to get out. But it’s already too late – Arthur has no intention of letting him go. When they fight, the boy easily overpowers the feeble janitor and he ends up killing his mentor.
This turns out to have been the old man’s design all along. Whoever kills the Lord becomes possessed by his spirit and now Arthur can finally replace his frail aged body with a vigorous young one. Tommy’s psyche is meant to be lost forever. Yet every time the Lord falls asleep, the boy’s spirit finds a way to regain control over his body. While the block needs its Lord and the balance of energy must be maintained, Tommy refuses to renounce his own self to fulfil his destiny...
A contemplative, philosophical procedural embedded in a fun, fantasy thrill-ride, LORD OF THE BLOCK explores the dynamics of human relationships. We have all been given an almost supernatural power, one which comes with enormous responsibility: we influence one other; we affect how those around us feel.
Our tale follows the logic of classic superhero stories, only turning it on its head: after having answered the call, the protagonist begins his struggle to return to normality. His journey is a twisted coming-of-age tale: a teenager who dreams of being special slowly grows into a cynical, disillusioned adult.
In tandem with our hero’s ongoing narrative, each episode tells a self-contained story about one of the residents, exploring how people existing side by side can impact on one another’s lives. These episodic stories take up around half of the screen time.
In the first season, the events take place entirely inside the housing block, which also serves as a metaphor for the detached and impenetrable realities we all live in. In fact, the building is like a character itself: an autonomous creature animated by the humans inhabiting it.