OUT OF THE WILD
8 x ’48 minutes
Created by Rebecca Fuller-Campbell
Being human is second nature.
Throughout history there have been over 100 extreme cases reported. Cases where children had adapted to the behaviour of the animals that had raised them, with more acute smell, sight, speed and agility, with the ability to hunt and survive in the wild. These children are the real Tarzan. What if there were many cases that were not reported? And what if these feral children could be reintroduced to society? What if those animal skills could be honed and adapted and heightened? Who do they become as adults and what did they learn from their wild past? What kind of humans would they become?
During a trip to the wilds of Bourneo in search of the truth behind a mythical tribe, anthropologist Dr Raymond Cooper discovered a small boy playing with wolves. The boy spoke no human language; he had become part of the pack. Concerned for his safety, Cooper and his team took the boy away- pursued by his wolf ‘family’. The only way to escape was violence, which saw deaths on both sides. But Cooper and the boy- now named Milo- came back to the UK for study. Cooper and a team of psychologists helped to rehabilitate Milo, and established a small Institute for Feral Children. Cooper recognised that
Milo’s skills from the wild were not to be overwritten; unusual strength, stamina, agility and highly focused senses and human intelligence have created a perfect hunter. Cooper used Milo to solve a high profile missing persons case and, since this infamy, has been developing a programme to find, rehabilitate and develop specialist agents to help solve the unsolvable cases that the usual authorities are unable to cope with. With the backing of the FBI, Cooper now has a team in place- the SCI.
But the Institute is not the only body interested in exploiting the incredible- almost superhuman- abilities of these elite few.
Out of the Wild follows the journey of Agent Nicole Sullivan as she enters the strange and fascinating world of Lu, Milo, Anais, Isabelle and Helene who walk between nature and man, and are bestowed with the blessings- and curses- of both.
Primarily set in a modern ‘global’ city, Out of the Wild will often digress back to the natural environments from which our heroes originate, to give contrast and context to their present.
It is something of a police procedural, but this is framed with occasional flashbacks to the wild for some characters, so it won’t always be a linear a to b timeline. There is also the mystery of the feral children (dog boy) to be unravelled as the series progresses.
When a long running missing persons case culminates in the discovery of a little boy in the basement of a seemingly abandoned house living amongst and behaving like dogs, the agent in charge, Nicole Sullivan, is referred to a controversial Institute for Feral Children, established by Dr Raymond Cooper.
In the mid to late eighties, Dr Raymond Cooper (anthropologist and psychologist) was tracking an apparently long lost tribe. He found no trace of the tribe, but what he did discover was a young boy- of western descent- playing with wolf cubs. The boy was approximately seven years of age, though it is hard to gauge exactly. Dr Cooper and his team took the boy (who resisted) to the nearest police station, in a small town miles from the heart of the jungle where the boy was found. Several of Cooper’s team claimed they were stalked by wolves- one guide has even suggested they were confronted and a wolf shot and killed in order to get away. The boy had no known family, but was not believed to be local to the area so was eventually taken to the UK where Dr Cooper worked with the boy in developing his language and social skills. He noticed that the boy had several animalistic tendencies. He appeared to have heightened senses- Cooper put this down to the boy having needed to focus them in his environment. Likewise, his posture and physical differences to a normal human are down to wolf-like behaviour and the environment (the long thick nails, callouses on areas where pressure was placed for movement, some bone abnormality due to movement like wolves).
Cooper began testing the boy, and found that he was incredibly adept to tracking people. While socially inept, Cooper saw that these skills could be put to good use. He founded the institute for studying and rehabilitating feral children.
During a missing persons case toward the end of the decade, Cooper made several attempts to get to police to let him try. They dismissed him. He managed to obtain something owned by the missing child, and the wolf boy- who he had named Hugo- managed to locate him. The police did not announce his involvement, though when they asked for his help in two further cases and found success the tabloid newspapers in the UK began to run rumours- some which suggested paranormal involvement. The government contacted Dr Cooper as the nineties began.
More children were discovered in the nineties, and as Hugo grew older he grew detached and regressed into animal behaviour. He became increasingly unstable. He helped to train several new additions as they were discovered- including Lu and Anais.
The institute exists as something of a hospice for affected children, but also houses this special team- away from the public view. They are lead by Warren Peterson, an apparently former FBI agent who still has strong links to the organisation. While Nicole may have come looking for a way to help the boy and his family and to unlock the secrets he hides, she may have found a more direct way to solve the case with the elite unit.