In her screenplay Under The November Sky, Jaclyn Dial creates a chilling dystopian world wherein members of the LGBTQ+ community have been singled out by a Movement which has hunted down those they can. The OPC, the company where the story takes place, is both a haven and a hellscape, with refugees forced into slave labor and Hunger Games-style Battle Royales for survival and status.
Jaclyn Cross, the protagonist of the piece, begins the story by meeting new refugee Elizabeth Scott, who was a former girlfriend of Jaclyn’s current boyfriend, weapons master Locke. Jaclyn, a transgender woman, has suffered a severe broken heart caused by a devastating virus, and exacerbated by personal loss.
As the plot develops, Dial keeps us moving through the plot with intrigue and mystery, giving the reader/viewer just enough information at a time to keep the page turning. Jaclyn is a character who seems at first to be stoic and firm, but her life experiences have created a marvelous tapestry of emotions and internal conflict for both the character and the audience to uncover.
This cast of characters is a lovable ragtag bunch reminiscent of the crew of the Serenity in the show Firefly. The character arcs are believable and emotionally satisfying, both for their highs and lows. While never overdone, the LGBTQ+ issues are at the forefront of much of the conflict both within the plot and in the backstories that reveal themselves throughout. The eloquence with which Dial addresses issues the LGBTQ+ community faces in modern society through this dystopian lens cannot be overstated- it hits just how you hope it will. The emotionally packed ending leaves you raw and wanting more, which, thankfully, Dial has promised with more to this story for her audience to devour.
NOTE: Under the November Sky is a completed but as-yet-unreleased screenplay which I was lucky to Beta read. Please keep an eye out for this when it releases- you won’t be sorry!