Hiero has been assigned a (sym)pathetic bunch of bewildered borderline cases
who find themselves just the wrong side of the line through stupidity,
mischance or cowardice rather than malice.

'Orders' is the ex-sergeant who never questioned a superior
no matter how questionable the orders. He may yet find redemption.
His deserving captain should be up to his neck in it, upside down, in a deeper, hotter circle of Hell.
'Shell-Shock' and 'Feather' are condemned because of their failure to follow orders.

Here you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't

Scene - high in the cave roof

Track or pan across sleeping imps, hanging upside down in the manner of bats amongst the stalagtites. Sound effect of snoring, which crossfades to the sound of a hacksaw working through the chain which holds one end of Hiero's hammock...

Hiero, falling, remembers wings, ta da!... too late, crumpled wings hang pathetically outside mining narrowgauge truck, which is now launched down the mine tunnel as camera tracks back to wide shot revealing evil imps descending slides and fireman's poles of varying designs, some spring like and some double helix. Dizzy imps then weave and one blanches, brings up into its cheeks then swallows. Others swoop down using their wings.

Hiero can only hold on as the truck hurtles through the tunnels past other evil imps - in on the plot - who grin and switch the points to send cart towards its doom, twisting and turning all the while...

The underworld of the imps is a cosmopolitan place filled with the dead of history, eternity embracing all peoples and cultures.

Before the world was round the Egyptians explained how the sun set in the West yet got back to the East in time for dawn: after crossing the sky Ra would travel back through the underworld on a barge each night. It became a funeral rite to make model boats in the hope that the dead would join Ra in his boat. The Egyptian mythology is full of interesting animal-headed gods such as Horus which would fit well with the imps. Some bear uncanny resemblance to demons featured in Hieronymus Bosch paintings. Hiero and his souls dress as Egyptians and attempt to escape on the boat into a 'real' countryside. There is a wonderfully photogenic river meander in Cheshire between Congleton and Warrington which could be used as an establishing shot.

The ferryman of souls we think of now is Charon, who bore the classical dead across the river Acheron (rather than the more famous river Styx). Quick to comment that 'If I had a penny for every body I've carried across' Charon is of course very rich since it was Roman custom to place coins on both eyes of the deceased to pay the ferryman, while the Greek custom had been to place a coin under the tongue. Imps! will investigate the various zones and circles of this Greek and Roman Hades. The Inca, Mayan, Japanese and Norse cultures also have much which could be brought into the project.

A star twinkling through a narrow shaft brings hope that they can escape.

Imps dislike sunlight so once above ground travel mostly at night. Some evil ones follow wearing shades.

investigate countryside and raft down stream (cue guitar composition 'spanish c') perhaps to a town, mixing clay with reality.

Hiero - a small bullied imp who wants to escape Hell every bit as much as his charges, a group of the 'damned'. His role is as a translator between the sign language used by the demons and the newly arrived souls. May become their guardian angel if they can escape and earn redemption; Tenderfoot - sympathetic to Hiero, hops from foot to foot ; Bully, Flinch, Dismay & Dismal, Yargg, Chub the gaoler, Flesh & Bone, Malice & Grimace, The Boss.

Orders, Feather, Shell-Shock, Dash, Terry Fried

Greeks & Romans:
Charon the ferryman

Ra the sun god; Horus (hawk-headed); Anubis; Nut, protectoress of the dead, mother of Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys; Thoth (ibis-headed); The Great Devourer (crocodile-headed); the 'Backwards-Looker' ferryman, a rival to Charon.

Nick Harper - Vampire Song & The Wanderer and His Shadow (Blood Songs);
Peter Gabriel - I Grieve (on soundtrack City of Angels)

Imps! homepage

imps.tv © 2003, 2004