by Roland Michel Tremblay
Idea for a sci-fi Film
This idea on the Net: www.themarginal.com/sevendials.htm
Download a doc version: www.themarginal.com/sevendials.doc
Short Synopsis of Seven Dials
Seven Dials is a monument located in the middle of a small intersection
in Covent Garden London where seven streets meet. In each direction
there is a different dial carefully designed to show the right
time throughout the day. On the corner there is a Café
called The Box where most of the story is happening. Raymond or
Ray is the anti-hero of this story and he accomplishes himself
in the universe of alcohol, clubs and theaters of London. He is
an American living in England but facing deportation.
The film is happening in seven days and each
morning Ray is waking up near the monument in front of a different
street to find his world completely different from the previous
day. The first day starts with him trying to offer a beer to that
old tramp woman who is always sitting on the monument but she
refuses categorically. Then he goes into the Café where
we learn that he has reached rock bottom: he is just a customer
of the Box Café with no place to live and a destroyed Renault
5 that we can see outside in the window. He has a criminal past
that he is not proud of, a friend Marlene who is working at the
Box and his best friend Paul who owns the Café. That first
day he meets with the people who could give him the money for
his new play to be produced in London but he fails to get it because
of his dodgy past.
The next day he wakes up in front of the second
street and there is that old woman standing beside him. She tells
him that today is a new day and that for the first time she will
accept a free beer from him. On entering the Café he realizes
to his amazement that he now owns the café, that his play
his going to be made in the theater on the Seven Dials, that his
flat is upstairs with a great view on the monument and that he
is married to Marlene and no longer facing deportation. He is
going to struggle understanding and adapting to his new reality.
On the third day he becomes very powerful as he
now owns 180 The Box Cafés across Europe and his successful
play has been translated in many languages and is being presented
worldwide. On the fourth day he is recognized for his greatness
and huge heart toward society and human kind. His different charities
have made millions to help everyone and he is perceived in certain
quarters as a saint. On the fifth day he is the first ever American
to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and is recognized
as the best politician there ever was. On the sixth day he is
going to the Moon, special invitation from the new British Space
Agency that he helped create. On the Moon he will have a spiritual
life changing event. On the seventh day everything gets back to
normal, he is the low life he was on the first day, but he is
a new man and he will change his destiny.
The problem is that as he climbs the social ladder
and becomes almost a saint, his bad personality or who he is has
not changed, he is still the same thug he ever was and needs to
adapt to his new reality as the days go by in order to keep it
all together without anyone realizing the fraud he is.
The old woman, a tramp, sitting at the monument
all day long appears to be the only constant element throughout
the seven days, and she sorts of become his conscience. Raymond
is finding himself in a situation where he can change his universe
but he will have to learn to change his own personality if he
wants to maintain together the different elements of his existence.
The movie is a sad demonstration of human limits,
but equally the creation of a modern boiling London. A generation
without future that lives without God, without pity, drunk to
full capacity for days without seeing the existence. The day of
the awakening is death. Until, at least, Raymond becomes schizophrenic
and alienated. That makes it possible for him to transpose his
mind to another corresponding life in a parallel universe, so
he thinks anyway.
This idea comes from a novel I am writing in French that is almost
finished, the title is The Box on the Seven Dials. The premises
are the same but a lot of the story has changed, and some more
ideas could be taken from the book.
Though the Café The Box exists at the Seven
Dials in London, this story is completely fictional. This movie
is about parallel universes but I don't think I would like to
jump into the science even if the topic will be discussed in the
movie. I feel that it could be the result of alienation and schizophrenia
on the part of Raymond. So to bring technology to justify the
changes in his life would not work well and would require extensive
changes to the present story. Extraordinary events like being
American and becoming Prime Minister in the UK, going to the Moon
or enjoying so much success would be acceptable if Ray was schizophrenic
and had hallucinations. It would not be plausible if he just found
himself in a parallel universe as even there these events would
look too fantastic.
The old woman could be the start of an explanation,
she might not be who she appears to be, she could have the power
to make the shifts happen and she would know what is happening
to Ray, even though it will never be clearly said. She will offer
guidance without being too explicit.
Sometimes the best sci-fi movies are the ones
that have these weird events happening without too much explanation
and perhaps this is what should be done here. I understand that
an eventual team might want to make it more sci-fi and I have
written a lot about the subject of parallel universes in my reports.
You can draw some inspiration from my main report on the subject
and I am ready to change the story accordingly to include a device
of some sort that could be applied to Raymond each night when
he falls asleep on the monument:
Parallel Universes: www.themarginal.com/paralleluniverses.htm
If going to the Moon in a rocket ship turns out
to be too expensive or time consuming, Ray could have his spiritual
vision anywhere else, like perhaps in Kew Gardens or the ruins
of King Arthur's castle in Cornwall. He could also go directly
from the monument to the Moon, transported somehow by the old
woman standing beside him without first being launched into a
This film should be modern and show the great
life of London. It can be a tremendous opportunity to get across
the screen for the first time what life in London can really be
about, why so many young people from all around the world end
up there for many years. I experienced that life first hand, I
worked in that Café at the Box for months until they sacked
me and it was the best time of my life.
Synopsis of Seven Dials
Day 1 - Ray the Miserable
This film starts with a view of London from the sky, moving towards
the Seven Dials where we can clearly see the seven streets meeting
at the monument. Perhaps we could see Raymond still sleeping on
the monument with the old tramp woman beside him.
Then we do a close up to Ray waking up. We can
see his exploded Renault 5 in front of the café The Box,
a theater on the other side and the nice apartment with big windows
directly above the Seven Dials.
Ray looks at the old woman and tells her that
she should find something to do instead of wasting her time sitting
in the Seven Dials all day. He tells her that for the first time
he will buy her a beer if she could just disappear for the rest
of the day. She reminds him that she does not want charity, she
just wishes to live peacefully in the area. Ray goes inside the
Inside the Café we meet Marlene the waitress
and Paul the owner, both best friends of Ray who remind him that
if he continues to sleep outside like that, he will die of a sickness
or something. Paul reminds him that his apartment upstairs is
always open and he should go and sleep there. Ray is too proud
even though he has nowhere to live and that he no longer has is
only possession, his Renault 5. They discuss who might have destroyed
his car and even though Ray has a good idea he does not want to
say. Marlene tells him that he has to stop living like that, next
time it will be his life that they will take. Paul finally concludes
that it was a good thing since Ray does not have a driving license
and was caught twice by the police driving illegally and under
the influence of alcohol, which does not help his status as an
American immigrant in the UK as he now faces deportation. Ray
tells them that today is the big day and might mark the end of
his criminal life. He is going to eat in a chic restaurant with
his future producers to get the money for his wonderful play that
he would like to direct in the West End, on the other side of
the Seven Dials in fact.
At the chic restaurant we see Ray explaining to
some important people what the play is about and how he sees it.
They are impressed and are very interested but they have heard
of his criminal links and they know his car exploded the day before.
It looks too much like a risk and they are not willing to fund
Ray goes back to the Box for a nice night out
with his friends in a packed Café where alcohol flows freely.
He falls asleep completely drunk on the monument in the middle
of the Seven Dials.
Day 2 - Ray the Successful
The next day he wakes up in front of the second street and there
is that old woman standing beside him. She tells him that today
is a new day and that for the first time she will accept a free
beer from him. So he invites her in hoping to get rid of her for
the rest of the day.
On entering the Café he realizes to his
amazement that he now owns the café, that his play his
going to be made in the theater on the Seven Dials, that his apartment
is upstairs with a great view on the monument and that he is married
to Marlene and no longer face deportation. His car outside that
we can see by the window is the latest Mercedes model and Paul
is now an employee of the Box.
Ray is struggling to understand and adapt to his
new reality and does not believe it until he sees the cover of
Time Out and the Evening Standard. They both praise his new play
and we can see a photo of him with his wife Marlene at the premiere.
They go outside to see the sign in front of the theater, there
is no two ways about it, it is his play, his friends are not lying.
They also show him his new Mercedes parked in front of the Box.
How did he get the money? People were rushing to invest in the
play, everyone knew it was going to be a success. His criminal
past does not appear to exist anymore and it looks like he is
no longer an alcoholic as everyone is surprised when he asks for
his first pint of the day. He decides to go and visit his apartment
upstairs, leaving the old woman with her beer in the middle of
the Seven Dials.
His apartment does not look as nice as it will
on Day 3 but it is enough to impress Ray completely. He decides
to break some vase and glasses, turn everything upside down so
it looks more like what he used to be in the past. After he destroyed
half of the apartment, he says that now it reflects his own taste
He then gets a phone call, they need him at the
theater next door to sort out the last details for tonight's presentation.
The Queen will be there and many important journalists from the
worldwide press. Ray has changed into something very classy and
as he crosses the Seven Dials to get to the theater, the old woman
with her beer in her hand looks at him with a big smile. He feels
unease about this and finally meets the cast.
This is his dream come true and he looks at everything
in wonder, barking orders at everyone who are surprised by this
burst of authority. Marlene appears and tells him that something
must be wrong as usually he is very nice with everyone. After
that he tries to be nicer with everyone. He looks at the alcohol
available at the bar and resists the temptation to get a drink.
He is trying to be the nice person that everyone believe him to
The audience arrives and the journalists are coming
right to him for interviews before the curtain goes up. He is
a bit embarrassed as he does not know much about how everything
happened and the journalists appear to know more about it than
After the presentation it is the big party where
Champagne is distributed around as they get the early edition
of the newspapers that tell how great the play is and how satisfied
the Queen has been. Then it fades to Ray waking up on the monument
on Day 3.
Day 3 - Ray the Powerful, owner
of a chain of cafés
On the third day Ray wakes up in a panic, perhaps it was all a
dream? Perhaps he has lost everything and he is still facing deportation?
The old woman comes to comfort him and she says: don't worry,
look, your Mercedes is still there, intact.
He rushes in the café to find out that
he now owns a chain of 180 The Box Cafés throughout Europe.
He learns that his play has been translated in 26 different languages
and is produced worldwide. When he rushes to his apartment, everything
looks much nicer than the previous day. He finds his bank account
and tries to understand how much money the long number of his
balance equals to. He cannot believe this amounts to million of
Every newspapers talk about him, he is even on
TV on the news. He decides that this is a great day and as Marlene
enters the apartment, he invites her to the most expensive restaurant
in town. When they arrive there they are treated as celebrities,
they are quickly moved to the VIP lounge where they receive a
first class service. Ray and Marlene are living a dream that suddenly
evaporates into Ray waking up again for his fourth day.
Day 4 - Ray the Saint meeting
On the fourth day the old woman tells Ray that today is the day
of reckoning. She asks him if he is ready to become a martyr.
Ray does not like that, he suddenly wonders if everything has
come to an end or perhaps has taken a turn for the worse.
As Paul and Marlene are coming toward him, Ray
feels sick. He is rushed to his apartment by Paul who tells him
to get ready for the press conference and for his departure for
Rome. What? Ray is trying to find out what happened, why is he
suddenly a martyr? Paul looks puzzled, he tells him that he is
more like a Saint than a martyr, his numerous charities have broken
the roof, he has made millions and helped millions. He is recognized
for his greatness and huge heart toward society and human kind.
The Pope wants to meet with him later today in reconnaissance
for all his hard work for the different communities in the world,
especially in Africa. Ray cannot understand as he never cared
for dying Africans or charities.
At the press conference he is making a lot of
mistakes, his true nature is fighting to get back on the surface.
We can almost hear in his speech and answers to journalists' questions
that charities is the last thing on his mind and that people should
help themselves as he did. But he quickly changes his tone and
words after a moment of panic amongst the crowd. At the end he
says to Marlene that this was the most difficult thing he ever
did, saying all these things that he does not believe in. Marlene
brushes it aside, telling him to stop fooling around, they have
a plane to catch.
While waiting to catch the plane, Ray is going
berserk. He remembers the press conference and he does not wish
to find himself in a situation where he would have to lie to the
Pope. Even though he says that he has no morale or ethic values,
lying to the Pope will certainly bring him straight to hell. He
decides that he does not wish to speak to the Pope, he gets off
the plane before it goes off. He says that it does not matter
anyway as tomorrow all this will no longer exist.
He decides to go on an alcohol binge and we can
see him later in Kew Gardens with Paul, discussing what is happening
to him, if he can carry on pretending to be someone he is not.
He also discusses how it is possible for him to find himself in
what looks like parallel lives in parallel universes. Paul suggests
that perhaps he is just schizophrenic and it is all in his mind.
At which point Ray drinks some more.
Day 5 - Ray the best Politician
there ever was
On the fifth day Ray does not want to open his eyes. He is facing
yet another street on his fifth day and he does not want to start
the craziness that his life has become. The old woman is nowhere
to be found and he sees a big black car where his Mercedes used
to be. He says: now what?
As he is struggling to get into the Café,
he cannot find anyone in it. He looks at the newspapers and he
appears on the first page. He reads aloud: The first ever American
to be Prime Minister in this country, made possible by a change
in the law because of his popularity. Since Ray has come to power,
the United Kingdom has taking its right place as the most powerful
nation in the world, succeeding where America failed in bringing
peace to the Middle East and the world. Then he goes on reading
a list of his latest accomplishments: The country has never been
so rich, taxes have been virtually eliminated, the unemployment
rate has never been so low and the new structure of the National
Health Services is a success. The rest of Europe is copying the
UK and their efforts are met with the same degree of success.
Ray cannot believe his eyes and is not impressed.
When his chauffeur comes in to bring him to the Parliament, Ray's
first reaction is to refuse. Then he appears to have an idea,
he will have fun today. His chauffeur asks him if he would first
like to change as he is wearing jeans and a T-Shirt, to which
Ray refuses. He wants to be noticed on his way in to the parliament.
When they arrive at Westminster, he is refused
access because no one recognizes him. When he starts shouting
that he is the Prime Minister, their savior and whatever, the
security guards recognize him and apologize for the mistake. Then
we see a batch of journalists rushing to interview him and as
the security guards are pushing him in so he can avoid the journalists,
he tells them to let them come, he has a series of announcements
His speech goes along those lines: I have decided
that people in this country have it too easy. From now on everyone
will give half of their salary to the government, the National
Health Services will get back to the poor conditions it was in
before I came to power, it should give the patients a great lesson
about life, we will cut jobs in every government agencies and
we will build a greater army that will take back England's old
colonies and conquer the rest of Europe.
When the journalists start to laugh as they think
this is a good joke in order to show how bad things were before
he came to power, he explodes and hit a journalist after destroying
her camera. He takes the gun of a security guard and starts shooting
the journalists. We see the bars of his cells closing as he sobs
in despair in prison.
Day 6 - Ray is going to the
On the sixth day Ray is pleased with his accomplishment of the
previous day, he is still laughing. The old woman comes to him
and asks what he is doing with his life. Who is he, really, and
as he ever wondered? She wants to know how his life could have
been and was not, because he was a simple criminal with no desire
to live whatsoever. He tries to defend himself, he says that he
wanted to direct his play, he could have become someone and do
great things if only they had given him his chance. She tells
him that today he is going to have a life changing experience.
A spiritual adventure. He should get ready.
A car stops right in front of them, he is invited
to come in. They are going to the launch pad of a rocket that
is going around the Moon and back to test the new British Space
Agency technology. Because of all his help in creating the agency,
he is going to the Moon as an observer. Ray stops for a second
to consider all this, and answers: well, this is worth living.
So they install him in the rocket, it is launched
without problems and it goes around the Moon. On the other side
of the Moon Ray finds himself no longer on the rocket but walking
on the Moon without a space suit, but he can breathe with ease.
He looks around in wonder, looks at the Earth, and the old woman
appears beside him. She transforms into a young and beautiful
angel, saying that she is the Virgin Mary. Ray starts to cry as
Mary starts to speak softly. She tells him that this could be
his reality, if he wants it. That he can do whatever he wants
with his life. You can dream and you can make your dreams come
true. She disappears and Ray finds himself on board the rocket,
still crying, and they go back toward the Earth.
Day 7 - Ray the New Man
On the seventh day everything gets back to normal. Ray is once
again the low life he was on the first day, we can see his destroyed
Renault 5 in front of the Box. The sign in front of the theater
is no longer his play. He quickly walks inside the Café.
When he enters he finds Marlene with a tray in
her hands and Paul at the back of the bar, he appears to be the
owner. Ray asks if anyone saw the old woman today, nobody did.
He is happy and when Paul asks him if he wants a pint of beer,
he answers that this a new day, he wants a cup of coffee. Today
is the day and he will get the money for his play. Marlene is
very excited. Ray asks her if she wants to come and she agrees.
He asks her if she wants to marry him, and she accepts with tears
in her eyes. Everyone is happy, this is the end of the film.
Roland Michel Tremblay
44E The Grove, Isleworth, Middlesex, London, TW7 4JF, United Kingdom
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