Armageddon arrives with No Warning
Bill Taylor gives the lowdown on sci-fi video project No Warning. Click Play Video to watch the first episode, and Play Audio to hear the podcast
Something sinister happened in Northern Ireland during the summer of 2007. Strange lights were seen in the skies. People started to disappear. Everything was not as it seemed.
In the present day, footage of the missing individuals has been uncovered and released on the internet, arriving just as mysteriously as the disappearances themselves. A new telecommunications and software corporation, Nexcorp, promises great services and products. Yet their origin and motives remain shrouded in mystery.
Through the fog of uncertainty a beacon of hope begins to shine: an emissary named Gabriel claims to know the answers, but cannot deliver his message directly. Dark forces are watching his every move, and Gabriel knows he must stay one step ahead if the truth is to be told.
For now, only questions remain. Where have the missing people gone? Will they ever return? Who will help Gabriel overcome his series of cryptic clues? And what, or who, is Nexcorp really after?
The brainchild of Belfast writer and filmmaker Bill Taylor, No Warning is an internet-based video series that invites viewers to solve puzzles, decipher strange barcodes and discover hidden links in their quest to overcome the forces of darkness.
'For viewers to follow the story and gain access to the all important video episodes, they must first solve cryptic puzzles,' Taylor explains.
'To help people delve deeper into the story a forum has been set up (www.nexcorp.co.uk/forum) to encourage a community-based culture where people can discuss all aspects of what they have seen, possible story arcs, and the puzzles themselves.'
For those with a penchant for Pratchett or a lust for Lost, No Warning is an enticing prospect. An online sci-fi drama devised and produced in Northern Ireland, with Northern Irish characters, accents and locations to relate to. It's this regionalism that Taylor cites as No Warning's strongest attribute.
'The project uses a small number of actors and a wide range of digital effects, as well as some dynamic and creative filmmaking to help bring its unique story to life. I'm proud that everything is produced here in Northern Ireland. I hope too that people outside of the country will connect with the plight of our characters.'
Spoilt for choice in the digital age, sci-fi fans are a difficult bunch to please. No Warning, it's safe to assume, will not come to be known for its CGI mega-monsters. There is, however, enough suspense injected into the first episode (and its hidden partner clip, in which Gabriel enters the story) to keep this ball rolling for some time to come.
'It's not just for sci-fi geeks,' says Taylor. 'By now there have been a few similar online projects that have failed to take off, outside of a select group of fans. But I hope that No Warning will be the exception to the rule. If the forum is anything to go by, people are already starting to get hooked.'
To see episode one of No Warning click Play Audio at the top of this article. A link to the forum has also been provided. 'I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you,' jokes Taylor. 'The rest you'll have to discover for yourself.'