Time and Again

Time and Again


First draft complete

Based on the musical, this screenplay is designed as a low budget showcase for students: eight principal characters playing 19 characters, in one location (a public school) in two time zones…

Contact James for a look at the completed first draft.

First five pages in PDF format, click here

Time and Again – Treatment

James Collins

Email: gosling@otenet.gr


WGA registration: 1522315

Logline: Through a twist of time, two 18 year old schoolboys meet and fall in love 60 years before one of them is born. One boy is destined to die, the other one knows when, and during an endless summer of youth they realise the truth: neither can cheat death.


Key characters:

James Allen: 18 year old catalyst hero; questioning, fit, handsome, confident and determined in his cause to discover the truth. Middle class background, clever, educated, yet modest.


Luke Preston: 18 year old, lost and lonely young man with few friends, knows he is gay, knows that’s a problem in 1936. Suffering abuse both physical and sexual by Wiley.


Anthony Wiley: School headboy and top bully in 1936; powerful, sexual deviant, from a high class, powerful family with a secure life ahead of him.


Perfidia Nightshade: 18 year old kitchen girl with an eye to marry a rich boy, murder him and then inherit his money. A tart with a heart of silver.


Brief synopsis:

Act one: On his penultimate day at boarding school 18 year old James Allen is desperate to know why Luke Preston committed suicide back in 1936. Was it bullying, or abuse? James is obsessed with the story but although the headmaster, Wiley, knows the truth, he will not tell him. When James inexplicably finds himself back in 1936, he realises that here is his chance to discover that truth. But:


Act two: James meets the introverted Luke and looks for clues as to why he will kill himself. Thus James begins a chain reaction that will eventually reach right into his own future. He helps an ambitious school servant, Perfidia, pair up with Wiley, the abusive head boy and future headmaster. He helps Peter, a doomed boy from a landed family, realise that love can cross social barriers. He mentors closeted Gerald about being gay over the coming sixty years. And, as the tranquil, seemingly timeless, summer draws on, James and Luke fall in love. But:


When Peter survives a fire that, in an unaltered past, killed him, James realises that his presence has changed history. But has he also saved Luke from his fate? Wiley, Luke’s long-time abuser, makes it harder for James to find the answer to his nagging question. The ripples he has caused with his presence start to spread, and the hour of Luke’s death draws closer. But James can still see no reason for the suicide. It makes no sense. He and Luke are in love. But then it falls into place: There is nothing James can do to stop Luke’s death because he wasn’t/won’t be there at that moment in 1936. And their love is so strong, that Luke would rather be dead than live without James. It’s all crashing down around James when:


Act three: He is back in the present day, and his future is not what it was. Somehow, thanks to what just happened, Luke lived, Peter became headmaster, the school has changed and is a better place to be. Other storylines tie up, but Luke did die, naturally, recently, and James realises that he helped give Luke a life, but it was a life that James could never have shared. The truth is that some things are constant; love and death. But with the help of old Peter and old Gerald, Luke’s great-nephew arrives to tell James the story of Luke’s life. James and his friends head out of the school gates, towards their future.


Originally a sell-out musical (by James Collins), the main cast of eight characters play roles in 1996, and 1936, with some appearing as ‘old’ versions of themselves too. The action takes place completely in one location, a public school. The project is aimed at young actors and film makers.