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Franchise Potential

This Land is conceived as a multi-generational family saga told across 5 seasons of 8 episodes and inspired by the real history of the Pacific Northwest of what is now the USA.

Each Season of This Land, will stand alone as a limited series in it’s own right and much like in The Crown, different actors may play a character across different seasons as the characters age.

And much as in True Detective each season may tell the story of a different character with different leading actors.

This Land, shares the historic and structural ambition of Edgar Reitz’s Heimat, the multi-generational ‘chronicle’ of German history which covers the 160 years from the 1840s to 2000. 


This award-winning drama tells the story of German history through the eyes of different generations of several families from the same village in the Rhineland, with the villagers personal and domestic life set against the backdrop of wider social and political events.


Heimat, was originally released in cinemas in feature length ‘episodes’ but gained its worldwide exposure on television, across 26 countries. The combined length of the 32 episodes – is 59 hours and 32 minutes. 

The series is regarded by many as a precursor of the 'cinematic experience’ that is now so much a part of the expectations of episodic drama on cable and streamers.


In 1805 the tribes of the Columbia Plateau West of the Rockies had not had any direct contact with white Euro-Americans. Only seventy years later the Nez Perce surrendered at Bear’s Paw and their life as autonomous rulers of their own land was over. It is this condensing of 400 years of history into 70 years that makes the history of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest so compelling for the telling of this story.

The story concentrates on three families that roughly represent the Treaty, Non-Treaty and Neutral bands of the Coyote.

Roughly ten years of story time passes between each Season and across the five Seasons we will see characters from these three families be born, grow up, grow old and die.

As one generation grows old and dies it is their children who pick up the story baton. Only two characters from Season One, Many Faces and They Are Afraid of Her, will be alive at the end of Season Five.



Season One: The Coming of the Dogmen 1805-1810


At the start of Season One, the Stony River Band of the Coyote are decimated by smallpox. Only the Medicine woman, Burning Sky, survives. Her Grandson, Tangled Head, is fasting on a mountain top as part of his vision quest, when he has an encounter with some strange, hairy-faced, men whose language he cannot understand. After not eating for three days he is hallucinating and to him these new bearded men appear to have the heads of dogs.


The rest of the tribe are gathering at Coho Falls for the Autumn salmon run and are visited by Native American traders from East of the Towering Mountains from whom they acquire three muskets - the first guns the tribe have ever owned. The Irok-wa traders warn the Coyote of the dangers of the new men coming from the East.


A group of young men are planning a raid on the tribes traditional enemies the Huks, and a young woman, Shining Eyes insists she joins them. Both Running Wolf and White Horse are young men trying to woo Shining eyes and see the trip as an opportunity to impress her.

Tangled Head escapes from his encounter with the ‘Dogmen’ and hooks up with his Grandma, Burning Sky, who tells him she has had a vision of the same Dogmen. They decide to warn the rest of the tribe. When they get to the Coyote Camp at Coho Falls, they are appalled to discover that a party of the Dogmen have already arrived. This is an advance party of the Ellis & Clay expedition and Burning Sky tells Tangled Head that these seven Dogmen must be killed.

On the raid into Huk territory the Coyote raiders have to run from a war party of Blackhearts that have crossed the Towering Mountains.

Many Faces warns Lieutenant Clay of Burning Sky’s plot to assassinate him and his men and they take measures to defend themselves… but the plot is actually thwarted when Hed warns Standing Bear of Burning Sky’s plans and the plot is foiled before blood is shed.

Running Wolf’s raiding party escape the Blackhearts by hiding in a cave in the Dead Lands. They find the Huk’s but after initially appearing to be a success, the raiding party is ultimately a failure due to the Huk’s superior firepower. Only Smiles is shot to death and Running Wolf seriously wounded and the raiding party is forced to abandon the herd of stolen horses and run for home.

Captain Meredith Ellis and the 40 plus Dogmen making up the rest of the expedition, arrive at Coho Falls and Many Faces becomes the main Coyote spokesman and negotiator.

Burning Sky has lost credibility by defying a Fire Council and when Many Faces convinces the Coyote Fire Council to help Ellis & Clay build canoes for the Dogmen’s planned trip down the Big River, Burning Sky ‘decides to die’ and over the next three weeks as the Dogmen become increasingly popular amongst the Coyote, she becomes weaker and weaker. Her dying wish is that Hed continues her ministry and continues to carry her message to the tribes of the Big River Plateau.

Despite Shining Eyes attempts to save him Running Wolf is close to death until Many Faces persuades Captain Ellis to use the Dogmen’s ‘magic' and Running Wolf is saved.

The Coyote help the Ellis & Clay expedition build canoes to take them down the Big River to the ocean. During the several weeks this takes place several Coyote women have intimate affairs with members of the expedition.

Many Faces forms a relationship with a French boatman from the expedition, Private Franck Dutoit. Dutoit is an experienced boatman and Indian trader. He also speaks English, French, and several Indian languages, including sign language and is more able to make himself understood than most of the expedition. But more importantly for Many Faces, Dutoit is a Catholic and Many Faces is fascinated with the paraphernalia and ritual of this new religion.

When the canoes are ready, the Coyote agree to look after the expedition’s horses over the coming winter and Broken Hand and Leaping Fish agree to act as guides for the expedition down the Big River to Deep Falls. 

The salmon run is now over, so once Ellis & Clay have left the rest of the Coyote’s separate into bands and retire to the longhouses of their winter camps to devote themselves to traditional crafts and to the winter season of spiritual dances and ceremonies.

Over the Winter, Hed travels and proselytizes the preachings of Burning Sky amongst the the Coyote tribal neighbors the Walking People and the Narrow River People. On his travels he rescues a young black slave woman from a French-Canadian trapper. This girl will eventually become a Coyote female warrior known as They-are-Afraid-of-Her and Hed will marry her.

Hed starts to earn a reputation as a prophet and visionary in his own right when through a dream he is inspired to create a new Stick Game song and he and his associates become unbeatable at the gambling game. Shining Eyes starts to train herself in the marshal skills of a Coyote fighter. When her training regime is discovered, Running Wolf mocks her but White Horse starts to help her.

The next spring the Ellis & Clay party return from the mouth of the Big River. They-are-Afraid-of-Her, hides from the white men, terrified she will be re-enslaved and Hed starts to learn more of the Dogmen’s unequal culture from her. Many Faces reacquaints himself with Franck Dutoit and learns from him various catholic rituals including the taking of communion. 

Lieutenant Clay’s black slave Samuel, discovers the presence of They-are-Afraid-of-Her but does not expose her presence to his ‘owner’ Lieutenant Clay, or to the expedition’s leader, Captain Meredith Ellis. Samuel’s loyalties have been compromised partly because on his return to Coho Falls, he has discovered that Yellow Flower is pregnant with his child.

But after a month Ellis & Clay have gone - never to be seen again. What they have left behind is several pregnant women, some killer diseases and real evidence that the 'new men' the Coyote prophets have been predicting for some years are finally on their way.

The Coyote carry on much as they have for millennia - fishing, hunting, gathering, trading, raiding, dancing, singing, loving, living and dying.

The love triangle involving Running Wolf, White Horse and Shining Eyes, continues to play out and Tangled Head continues to fight the tribal ‘establishment’ of Broken Hand, Leaping Fish and Standing Bear, insisting that to survive the coming onslaught of Dogmen the Coyote must at all costs maintain their traditional spiritual beliefs. Conversely, Many Faces is already proselytising for the new religion he has picked up from Dutoit. It is during this period that Tangled Head becomes the bitter enemy of Many Faces.

Eventually, White Horse marries Shining Eyes and with a broken-heart, Running Wolf leads a buffalo hunt onto the plains East of the Rockies. The hunting party link up with a group of French-Canadian ‘voyageurs’ from the Canadian, North Western Trading Company, led by Scotsman, Frazer McConnel. Running Wolf invites the white-men into Coyote territory to open a trading post. 

However, the traders of the American Trading Company from east of the Towering Mountains, who are allies of the Blackhearts on the plains, have no intention of letting the Canadians set up a trading post West of the Rockies. Running Wolf and all the Canadian trappers are killed by the Blackhearts at the urging of John Jack Boiseway, leader of the ATC.

Season Two: No Man’s Land. 1824.


It is 15 years later than Season One. Many Faces, White Horse, Tangled Head and Shining Eyes are now all in their thirties and have children of their own.

In those 15 years contact their lifestyle has not been under and serious threat and their contact with white men has been only occasion.

But everything is about to change as one hundred fur trappers, led by Angus Fraser, of the American Trading Company, arrive at Coho Falls and build Fort Washington as a center for their fur trading activities.

However, this apparently permanent presence of the white men in Coyote country with this fortress like trading post, further splinters the unity of the Coyote People as some - like Broken Hand now 75, and his Three Rivers Band - see the white man’s trading posts as another ‘opportunity’, whereas Standing Bear, now 60, and his son White Horse, now 40, see the activities of the hunters as an intrusion and as a threat to their autonomy and lifestyle.

A white fur trader, Kip Tobin, marries Yellow Flower’s daughter Black Feather, who is the offspring of her mother’s affair with the black slave, Samuel, from the Ellis & Clay expedition. 

Through the influence of Kip Tobin, Many Faces becomes further obsessed with Christianity and he leads a small party on a quest across the plains to St Louis to find the Christian ‘Book of Heaven’. 

Meanwhile, leader of the fur trappers Angus Fraser, persuades Broken Hand and head of the Roaring Falls Band, Leaping Fish, now 56, that trade will be enhanced if the Coyote can bring about peace with the Hookmouths. 

Leaping Fish agrees to travel south with Angus Fraser to try to arrange a peace with the Hookmouth. Secretly, Leaping Fish has his own agenda which is to try to spiritually unify the tribes of the Big River Plateau under the Speaking Drums Native religion, led by his son Tangled Head.

But the Hookmouth under Black Claw, now 70, and his son Bloody Knife, now 45, refuse to listen to either Angus Fraser or Leaping Fish and all of the peace makers party are disemboweled and beheaded. The dismembered head of Leaping Fish is carried back to his band by the terrified and defeated Fraser the only survivor of the peace party.

White Horse enrols his son Thunder Cloud (15) and Leaping Fish’s daughter-in-law, the African-American girl, They-are-afraid-of-Her (36), into his Red Shield warrior society and they lead the revenge attack on the Hookmouth in which Black Claw and Bloody Knife are killed.


Season Three: Death Stalks the Land. 1846.

Broken Hand and Standing Bear are now dead, White Horse is now sixty and his son Thunder Cloud, now thirty-five, is Coyote War Chief.


Partly as a result of Many Faces’ quest to St Louis, both catholic and protestant missionaries are moving into Coyote territory and are competing for the souls of the Indians.

Protestant Missionary Maddox Whitehead and his wife Nyssa, open a mission at Coho Falls to convert and educate the Coyote.

However, as the months go-by many of the Coyote begin to feel that Christianity is not what they had been led to believe. Thunder Cloud’s wife, Little Turtle, is charmed by Nyssa Whitehead and intrigued by Christianity and much to the dismay of her husband, she converts. But when a fatal outbreak of measles decimates the Coyote, Little Turtle dies of the disease as does Many Faces’ mother, Four Shawls, his wife Morning Owl and their son, along with Standing Bear and his wife, Snow-on-Her.

Thunder Cloud, is distraught and when Whitehead refuses to allow Little Turtle a Christian burial, the Red Shield warrior society slaughter Whitehead, his wife and their servants. 

Outraged by the murder of missionaries, Oregon Governor, Galton Adderley, calls for "immediate and prompt action," and the vigilante, settler ‘Oregon Rifles’, are quickly formed and set out to capture Whitehead’s murderer. 

This leads to a brutal Indian war as the vigilante’s brutalize women and children in order to try to force the Coyote to ‘give up’ Thunder Cloud and his warriors. 

To prevent the capture of his son, White Horse, gives himself up to the Oregon Rifles and although innocent, is brutally tortured and lynched by a white mob.