David J. Strong / Wanda Lepionka / Steve Barr
If greatness lies inside the jaws of a lion, So be it. Go snatch it from his jaws. Your lot shall be greatness, prestige, honor and glory. If all fails, face death like a man.
Hanzala of Badghis – 9th century poet
“Welcome to God’s ashtray” reads the sign that greets newly graduated Lieutenant James Lesley as he arrives at Forward Operating Base Tango at the base of The Lion’s Jaw, the longest valley in Afghanistan. On his first operation James and his team of four are ordered to journey up the valley to advise a powerful warlord, Azeem Asoud, that his millions of dollars in US aid funding is being cut.
It’s a simple messenger mission, but the further James goes, the more his idealism crashes into the harsh reality of Afghanistan. Over the season, he begins to break down – questioning his values, his identity, and the very ideals his nation represents – until, in an act of unrestrained violence, the traumatized young officer succumbs to the barbarism that rules this land.
Finally, in Azeem’s stronghold in the highest mountain of the Hindu-Kush, James must choose between civilized failure or barbaric success and face the terrible consequences of his choice.
The world of ‘The Lion’s Jaw’
The Lion’s Jaw will lead audiences into a world they have never seen – ancient Afghanistan at its rawest, the bloody crossroads of civilisation. A mountainous, dusty, hyper-surreal land, where the United States as the world’s policeman is withdrawing its military, political, and financial support – creating a power vacuum where Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIL are circling. A land of mineral riches exploited by corporate vultures and the opium trade mainlining millions into the arteries of warlords atop mountain strongholds. A land of human trafficking, child soldiers, aid agencies, spy agencies, international armies, private armies, and 2000 years of failed invasions.
The audience will discover a world without rules, out of control, where death is one random event away. A world where the cumulative impact of its people and environment creates near insurmountable challenges to James and his team.
Themes and structure
The Lion’s Jaw is not merely a war drama or action TV, it’s a vehicle for examining the American mission in the world. The grand themes are nothing short of the hollowness of civilisation, the absurdity of evil, the descent into barbarism, and the hypocrisy of modern imperialism. The irony is that the most brutal man in the valley – Azeem Asoud, the warlord – is also the most pure and honest in his intentions.
A 13 part drama series that melds deep character development with a strong contemporary geopolitical premise, epic cinematic scenery, multi-layered intrigue, and brutal action. It focuses on a single protagonist’s journey into the depths of evil for the most noble of purposes.
Five seasons, the first developed in detail, the later four in outline.