Santa Maria

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Producer: Scott Dorward System: Primetime Adventures

Santa Maria is set on the small, beautiful and thoroughly corrupt Caribbean island, which gives its name to the show. It follows the story of the Parsons brothers, who have moved from England to Santa Maria to run the Hope Bay Hotel, unwittingly putting themselves at the centre of the island's intrigue, financial misdeeds and drug trade.

The tone of the show is dark, concentrating on crime and corruption, and the human cost they carry. There will be moments of light relief, though.

Episode Guide

Cast

Paul Fricker as Calvin Parsons

Concept: Inept hotelier
Issue: Denial
Nemesis: The local police chief, Inspector Hopkins.
Edges: Naive; the Hope Bay Hotel
Connection: His wife, Kassandra
Personal set: His weekly phone call to his wife

Calvin has just sold up his business in the UK to move out to Santa Maria and run the hotel he fell in love with while on holiday three years ago. Unbeknownst to him, the hotel was largely destroyed earlier this year by Hurricane Angela. The seller of the hotel was a Mr. Henry Stephenson, who Calvin has never spoken to, having worked through his lawyer, Charles Mendoza.

Calvin has left his wife back in the UK to tie up a few loose ends before she comes out to join him in Santa Maria. He is doing everything he can to hide the full extent of his problems from her, right down to lying to himself.

Mark Dewhurst as Lou Parsons

Concept: Hard-nosed pragmatist
Issue: Atonement
Edges: Ex-paratrooper; his boat, the Miss Conception
Contacts: Sergeant Griffiths, from his old squad
Personal set: The Miss Conception

Lou is Calvin's older brother and is used to looking after him. He has just followed his brother to Santa Maria to help set up the hotel. This was partly motivated by a desire to get out of England - having just discovered that Calvin's wife Kassandra is pregnant with his child - and partly to try to help counter the guilt he feels for this by looking after his brother in this hour of need.

He is looking to make the hotel more attractive by offering boat tours of the area to hotel guests; the boat will also make a useful tool for more profitable, if less legal operations.


Neil Smith as Maxwell Clerk

Concept: Hotel worker and up-and-coming drug dealer
Issue: Self-destruction (was Temptation until spotlight episode)
Nemesis: The Columbian - Maxwell's supplier, who pushes him to maximise profits whatever the cost
Edge: Ruthless Gangster
Connections: James Clerk, brother and brutish henchman; Alfonse: Maxwell's pregnant girlfriend, also Charles Mendoza's PA.
Personal set: His shack on the beach

Maxwell is a local drug dealer, who has been using the Hope Bay Hotel as a front for his business for some time. He sees no reason why the change in management should stop this, and is in fact trying to make it work to his advantage.

Louisa McGuinness as Susan Thomas

Concept: Vengeful investigator
Issue: Guilt
Nemesis: Her grieving mother, Contessa Thomas
Edges: Journalist, tenacious
Contact: Fancisco Ortega, a local corrupt cop
Personal set: Her memory of the playground where her father took her when she was a child

Susan has returned to the island following the suicide of her father. She has already discovered that he was bankrupted in a crooked business deal with a man by the name of Henry Stephenson. She has also discovered that Mr. Stephenson, while reclusive, seems to have his finger in every pie on the island.

As Stephenson was the owner of the Hope Bay Hotel, she has taken a job there as receptionist in the hope of discovering more about him. The change of ownership has wrong-footed her slightly, and she is not convinced that Calvin is quite the innocent he seems to be.

Her return to the island is complicated by her mother, who is needy, prying and seems destitute despite the money Susan has been sending home.

Matt Sanderson as Charles Mendoza

Concept: Dodgy lawyer
Issue: Self-disgust
Nemesis: His sister, the straight-shooting lawyer he wishes he could be
Edges: Convincing; knows the man who can
Connection: The island magistrate
Personal set: The bar at the island casino

Charles Mendoza is maintaining the fiction of Henry Stephenson to hide his own dirty business dealings. He will do anything to make a buck and hates himself for it. This is coming to a head as more and more people are interested in having a word with Mr. Stephenson about deals gone bad.

Supporting Characters

Charlie and Herb

The sons of Inspector Hopkins. They are both police officers and, given the size of the island, double-up as customs and immigration officers. They are both as corrupt as they come, and are always on the lookout for an opportunity to make a little money.

Kassandra Parsons

Calvin's wife. She has been conducting an affair with Lou for a while now, made even easier when Calvin flew out to Santa Maria. This has gone sour now that she has become pregnant, believing the child to be Lou's.

She is too afraid to tell Calvin of the affair, and has demanded that Lou do so, also giving him a cassette tape with her side of the story to pass on to Calvin.

Alfonse

Maxwell's girlfriend, Charles' PA and Malcom's sometime lover. She is pregnant with a child that may be Maxwell's or Malcom's.

Contessa Thomas

Susan's recently widowed mother. She has many dark secrets, including a serious crack habit, and is looking to get as much out of her daughter as possible, using guilt as leverage.

Main Sets

The Hope Bay Hotel

Once the premier resort on Santa Maria. Hurricane Angela has all but demolished the hotel, though, and it is in need of serious repair. The reception, bar and some of the cabins are in a serviceable state at least.

The Miss Conception

Lou's boat (still unbought at the time of the pilot).

Santa Maria International Airport

Little more than a small runway and a wooden shack that acts as a terminal and customs office. Unmanned when no flights are expected.

The office of Charles Mendoza

The café across the road from Mendoza's office

A small shack with a couple of tables and a goat outside.

Maxwell's shack

The casino bar

The wine cellar in the hotel

The white sand beach of Hope Bay