Several years ago, after I had written my surreal adult comic Belly Up! (with William Barker) I decided I’d turn it into a teevee sketch show. Not thinking of budgets and suchlike practical matters I just put down on the paper what I’d like to see on the screen. Turns out that each episode would cost about a million quid dollars to get right (or perhaps half that as an animated series?). It’s totally ridiculous and I don’t know why I wrote it, so here’s episode 1, given away as it were. Any insane multi-millionaires with money to burn on such a thing, let me know.
"BELLY UP: Episode One" FADE IN: EXT. MOUNTAIN TOP - SUNRISE To the magnificent strains of Bach's B-Minor Mass (Gratias agimus tibi, Klemperer recording) TWO MEN pull themselves, with immense effort, onto the highest point of MOUNT EVEREST, the breathtaking Himalayas stretch from horizon to horizon. Before them, pristine, lies the grail they have sought; a TEASPOON. They reverently approach and, together, lift the spoon. It is evidently very, very heavy. With colossal effort, they raise it aloft. Music swells, sunlight strikes the teaspoon. BEGIN TITLES. TITLES: To the lunatic strains of the THEME FROM BELLY UP! Hundreds of people, animals, historical celebrities (Jesus Christ, Rasputin, Tutankhamun, etc), gods, aliens, robots etc pour out of suburban homes (London), make their way, striding in time to the rancid music, to TRAFALGAR SQUARE where a colossal WINGED CAT is waiting. Everyone ‘boards’ the cat and takes a seat on its back. The cat takes off, flies up into the clouds, out of the Earth's atmosphere, through space and collides with the sun which explodes with the triumphant end of the music. CUT TO: INT. STUDIO - DAY Pan back to reveal a modern news STUDIO. The large, wry anchorman, WILLIAM, sits at a DESK in front of a vast window / MONITOR displaying the credits. William watches the screen then turns to camera, with a slight satisfied smile and a welcoming nod. WILLIAM Okay then, here's what I've got for you. Take it or leave it. Screen displays image of thousands of tiny PRISONERS running around the top of a TABLE. Caption: ITTY BITTY BADDIES. WILLIAM The home secretary has announced that prison overcrowding can be solved by shrinking convicts and housing them in miniature cells INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICE - DAY Official enters room carrying a ‘PRISON DOLL HOUSE’, puts it on the table, and begins sweeping all the prisoners towards the entrance with his cupped hand and forearm. WILLIAM (v.o.) The home secretary unveiled plans yesterday for a nationwide network of very small prisons of 'radically reduced' offenders; each one around 3mm tall. EXT. GARDEN - DAY In a tidy middle-class home-counties garden, the HOME SECRETARY is cowering under a small bush. HOME SECRETARY (Bellowing) WE COULD EASILY PUT ALL THE WORLD'S TERRORISTS UNDER MY SINK! INT. STUDIO - DAY Screen displays SCIENTISTS in magnificent gothic-style LABORATORY running around three high-tech VATS (Music: Combustible Edison, Carnival of Souls). As William narrates, THREE NAKED PEOPLE arise from the vats, mesmerising fractal patterns swirling over their lightly glowing skins. WILLIAM Scientists at the University of Kent have reported pale mustard success, flecked with lilac, in their attempts to cross deaf people with cuttlefish, enabling them to communicate through opulent waves of colour. Morphic Flywelt has this report. MONTAGE: - A man with hot-red skin is trying to chat up a cool blue woman, most uninterested. - young children, playing with llamas giggle with irrepressible yellows and pinks blobbing around their faces and bodies. - an old guy, resting on his spade, look up at the sky and ripples with mmm, sympathetic glowing umbers. INT. LAB - DAY Morphic, a rather shabby and knackered-looking reporter, to camera: MORPHIC The cuttledeaf are already beginning to dispense with sign-language, communicating instead in pure colour. Professor Ron Gish, head of the project, said the department has also developed a device to allow non-deaf to see each other's moods. PROFESSOR RON GISH, seated on a high tech HOVERING THRONE wearing an elaborate HEADSET, floats into view. GISH (voice distorted) The problem is, if anything, our new OMNISCOPE shows a bit too much. We're worried that when people start using it, in the, er, field, they might get, erm, a bit depressed? MONTAGE (Music: Matt Elliot, The Guilty Party: plus subtle hollow fx, roaring in the background). Various scenes of ordinary life, mood coloured through the lens of the cuttle-viewer: - People working in typical offices; brown, grey, sick black. - MPs in parliament, braying with extremely forced laughter. Deep, diabolic blood red and smokey black. - People walking around LONDON, dark muddy colours. EXT. STREET - DAY Morphic, now coloured a rather wan blue, to camera: MORPHIC It's a post-dusk mud-purple world out here, halfway between midnight bludder and charred chickenrib. INT. BUS - DAY A typical LONDON BUS. Everyone's faces etched with pain and worry. All skins dirty, shitty grey. The bus winds through south London. A MAN (Joe), life-crushed, stares into space. The bus stops. A WOMAN gets up to leave. She walks down the aisle. She has an exceptionally beautiful, prominently displayed ARSE, two glorious orbs sliding around each other in a tight dress. The man glances at it, double takes, and looks again. The arse glows with sublime gold. Slow motion. Joe's eyes widen. Strafes of colour thrown out by the bum electrify his face. High, mighty chimey sounds. Light glows around the arse. Joe starts burning brighter and brighter. (Music: B-Minor Mass again, Dona nobis pacem, Klemperer recording). DISSOLVE TO: EXT. STREET - DAY The bus, seen from without, explodes, from within, in a hot white sunburst, which radiates out through the windows. Street stark and blinding, faces bathed in wondrous light, which slowly fades. Moment of hush. Joe gets off the bus, sprightly, and strolls down the street. He passes a GLOWING TREE surrounded by a little fence and stops to admire it, smilingly for a few moments, before heading into the JOB CENTRE. INT. JOB CENTRE LOBBY - DAY Joe walks into Job Centre. On a COUNTER in front of him (reading 'welcome') are two RABBITS. Behind them the sign 'I AM YOU'. A MAN IN A BEAR SUIT appears holding a clip-board; extremely cheerful. He bows, Japanese style, and gestures Joe through into the corridor behind him to: INT. CHANGING ROOM - DAY Joe gets undressed. INT. JOB CENTRE - DAY Joe enters main consultation area of the Job Centre. Same as a normal Job Centre, except everyone is naked. Also many rabbits on the floor, on people's laps, etc. A [naked] WOMAN greets him. WOMAN Welcome to Job Centre Plus! Man walks over to desk. Another [naked] WOMAN at the computer greets him. WOMAN Please, taken a seat. The MAN sits down and the woman gives him £3500 in CASH. WOMAN There you go. Now what kind of thing would you like to do this week? JOE Not really sure, what is there? WOMAN Well, we have vacancies for golden throated yawpers to design, paint and perform in their own peddle-powered buses, fish-monger double-bass origami master left-back witch-doctors and spirit-guides with excellent noses (she checks, nods briefly ر Joe does have a good nose) to convert the secret voice of nature into snowflakes of meaning for fatly scattering on the eyelashes of the ready-for-anything and, erm, bright-eyed banjo-loving milk-maids for astronomy and skids. JOE Hmm. Sounds good, but I fancy fannying around for a bit. WOMAN Oh, fannying around? JOE Yeah. WOMAN Are you qualified? JOE Not really, no. I've had a lot of spare time, but I've never really done nothing with it. I thought maybe it's time to take it to the next level? Joe indicates a lower level. WOMAN Well, you're in luck. We've got a fannying around course starting right now, if you're interested? JOE Great! DISSOLVE TO: INT. CLASSROOM - DAY Ten people sitting around, naked and 'paired-up', with an eleventh TUTOR standing in front of them at a white board upon which is written, in large clear letters, 'FANNYING AROUND AND SACKABILITY'. Joe is here, but the tutor is midway through explaining something to another man, JOHN. TUTOR Okay John, could you be even more vague? JOHN (turning to his partner) Erm, I'll come round about four and then maybe we could go and get a bite to eat? TUTOR I think you can do better than that John. JOHN Err, alright, okay, how about I come round at some point tomorrow and maybe we could do something? TUTOR More, John, more vague. Come on now, you can do it. JOHN Gosh, okay, okay. (Deep breath, gathers himself). Erm, how about, er, something happens, or maybe not, at, er, some point in the future? TUTOR Good. Good. That's much better. We're really making progress. Good. Okay, now, next week I'd like to focus on... He trails off, everyone hangs suspended. A look of reverie comes over the tutor's face. The class look around at each other, a bit confused, a bit awkward. TUTOR (con't.) ... briefly slipping into altered states; one of the corner stones of fannying around. Before we all go though, I'd just like to play a little video. He clicks a REMOTE CONTROL. INT. OFFICE - DAY CAPTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT, a beefy, but slightly shabby and unshaved superhero, is walking through an office, talking to the camera. He has a deep, mellow, reassuring Canadian accent. CAPTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT Need a few weeks off at work? Fancy a little 'you time'? Or maybe you just need some unearned cash? Well why not try Captain Unemployment's Self Sabotage Service. (MONTAGE: Range of workplace accidents)
Whether it's a slipped disc, broken collar bone, crushed hand or a good old fashioned bang on the head I'll provide the lot. I can discreetly unloosen bolts, dislodge roofing tiles, drop banana skins and wreck protective gear. Then my team of lawyers will screw the fuckers who employ you for every penny they've got. INT. BEDROOM - DAY Captain Unemployment is standing next to MR. OPPLE bandaged up in a hospital bed. CAPTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT (to camera) Call Today! Mr. Opple gives a cheery thumbs up. Slogan on screen: Captain Unemployment: Free Your Arse and Your Mind Will Follow. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Same room. MR OPPLE is dead, and MRS. OPPLE is weeping over his ashen body. MRS OPPLE Ohhhh... Ohhhh... did you have to take it so damn far? Is work really SO bad? (Shakes her fist, tear-bruised eyes search the sky) CURSE you Captain Unemployment! More weeping. She pulls the man out of the bed and drags him downstairs. EXT. GARDEN - NIGHT Mrs Opple is digging a grave. She drags her husband into the hole and starts filling it in. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. GARDEN - MAGIC HOUR Beautiful morning. PIGEON on the fence. Freshly dug grave, and from it a tiny tree, hanging with TINY NAKED MR OPPLES, all waking up with cute yawns. INTERCUT BETWEEN PIGEON AND TREE OF YAWNING OPPLES. Slow close up of Pigeon's eyes. PIGEON (v.o. with great awe) I... am... me. Zoom into Pigeon's eyeball. Brief but mindbending journey round pigeon-based universe taking in pigeon Kecak ceremonies, pigeon-ping pong, pigeon cathedrals of fire, exploding pigeon suns, millions of pigeon heads floating around Micheal Gove's head chanting 'I am Me' etc... finishing with Beethoven's 9th (Furtwangler) and WILLIAM riding the back of the Pigeon as it flies towards the OLYMPUS MONS on Mars. WILLIAM (Shouting over roaring red winds) You'd be forgiven for thinking this was just another pigeon. But you'd be wrong! Yesterday morning, at 8 a.m., this pigeon Plantagenet Pax, as he now wants to be known, became self aware. Plantagenet! How did it feel? PLANTAGENET Unfortunately William that's beyond my capacity to express directly! Only the most sublime art could possibly do justice to the experience! WILLIAM Right! I see what you mean! Beethoven's Ninth swells as Plantagenet swoops in towards a dusty red PLATEAU. They shoot into a CAVE (a rather well appointed one Soviet style, modernist, lots of brass and marble) where a full ORCHESTRA is reaching crescendo. They swoop down to the composer's podium. [Tiny] William dismounts and the pigeon lands on the music stand, picks up the baton and brings the ecstatic passage to a close. PLANTAGENET (to William) That's why I'm learning classical composition. WILLIAM (walking to camera) Plantagenet isn't the only animal to become self-aware. MONTAGE: Close ups of animals profoundly realising: A wallaby, a rhino, a cat. WILLIAM (v.o.) A wallaby in Southern Australia, a Rhino in Namibia, and a cat in north Wales all reported the shattering experience of knowing that they know, and all the newly conscious animals thus far have immediately turned to art to express their new meta awareness. The Wallaby, Samantha Soames, has decided to dedicate her life to opera, the Rhino, Ngazetungue Nangombe is writing the great African novel and the cat, Mr Neko, is... well it's hard to say what Mr Neko is up to. EXT. ROOF - DUSK Music — cool, late-fifties bass-heavy scat Jazz track (a rumbling version of 'The Pink Panther' perhaps, many fingerclicks). A CAT walks along a ROOF of terraced houses in a plush London suburb. It stops. A tight funky chorus half whispers half sings: CHORUS (hushed) Neko business. The cat, MR.NEKO hops down onto a balcony. Again the music stops and the chorus chants. CHORUS (hushed) Neko business. Mr Neko slinks into an open window. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Mr Neko pads past a WOMAN (HELEN), going to bed in a plush, comfortable, tasteful (just the right touch of kitsch) Middle Class bedroom. She lies down, and sleeps. Music fades out. DISSOLVE TO: INT. BEDROOM - DAY HELEN wakes up. She is in a completely different bedroom, much sparser and more rustic, bit dusty. She gets out of bed, brow furrowed in sleepy confusion. Her funky, ethical pyjamas are now a rather cheap gaudy nighty. She fingers the fabric, wanderingly. Still confused, but not excessively so, she takes the dressing gown from the back of the door and exits. INT. FARMHOUSE - DAY Silence. Helen walks around the FARMHOUSE, opening doors, looking in rooms. Evidence of being inhabited; unmade beds, fresh washing up, etc. She exits. EXT. FARM - DAY Helen walks outside into bright sunshine. A gaggle of GEESE waddle past her, squawking. She looks around, nose wrinkling. Before her a LIVESTOCK PADDOCK, and behind that, a FISHERY. She wanders around the empty farm رتalong row upon row of FISHERIES. She comes to a SMOKING BARN, hanging with thousands of TROUT. HELEN (whispering) A farm? She sees a MAN filling up a TANK with CO2, the FISH are slapping around helplessly. HELEN Excuse me? MARK (not looking round, still working) Yeah? (he has a broad Lancashire accent) HELEN Ergh... um... This... situation. It's a fish farm? MARK Trout. HELEN Well, er, do you think... I mean could you... I just... MARK (stops working) Look, seeing as you're here, why don't you give us a hand? HELEN Oh yes, of course. MARK Go back and get yourself dressed, have some breakfast. There are some overalls in the hall. HELEN Oh right, okay. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. FARM - DAY MONTAGE: - Mark leading Helen around the farm, showing her how to clean the fisheries, smoke the fish, etc, etc. HELEN tentative but kind of interested. - HELEN involved and mucking in. MARK watching, non-committal acceptance. - HELEN working on her own, confidently now. EXT. FARM - DAY MARK is in a barn tacking up a HORSE. HELEN approaches him. HELEN (nervously) Um, Mark, I was wondering if you'd given any thought to my leaving? Maybe going home, back to London? MARK You said you liked it here. HELEN Oh I do. I do. Erm. Mark looks at her. No threat, just stolid confusion. Helen also confused. Close up of HORSE'S eye, watching them. MARK And we've got to start processing 4,000 trout before the weekend. HELEN Yes, that's true. Okay, shall I bring the holding tanks in? They're done now. MARK Yeah, good. MONTAGE: - Mark and Helen living a normal life on a trout farm. INT. FARMHOUSE - DAY Mark and Helen are relaxing beside an open fire. Helen is reading. Mark is cleaning his ear with a piece of wood. He pulls a bit of wax out and shows Helen. She doesn't pay any attention. She scratches her crotch distractedly. MARK Don't scratch your fanny. HELEN Sorry darling. EXT. FISHERY - DAY Helen stands naked next to one of the fisheries. She has a trout in each hand. Mark, naked in front of her, nods with matter-of-fact acceptance. EXT. MOUND - DAY Helen is leaning back against a TREE, watching the sun set. Mark is struggling up a hill on which Helen sits. As soon as he arrives he opens a RING BOX and pulls out an ENGAGEMENT RING, which he puts on Helen's finger, then turns and tramps down the hill. Helen returns to watching the sun. DISSOLVE TO: INT. BEDROOM - DAWN Helen wakes up in bed with Mark. She carefully gets out of bed and goes downstairs. A beautiful wedding dress is on a tailor's dummy in the living room. She fingers it, confused, lost. Helen rapidly dresses and leaves the farmhouse, head down, lost in thought. EXT. FARM - DAWN Helen walks through the farm. She passes the HORSE painting an expressionist landscape, but is so lost in thought she doesn't notice it. EXT. VILLAGE - DAWN Helen walks rapidly down the country lane. She passes the TWO MEN from the pre-credits slowly, slowly, heaving the TEASPOON in the opposite direction, but she is still oblivious, wrapped up in thought. She turns into the CHURCHYARD. The CHURCH DOOR is open. INT. CHURCH - DAWN A small country church. Beautiful, simple and austere (original gothic). Wan morning light falls filtered in gold through the stained glass windows. An OLD MAN is kneeling at the alter. Helen hesitates. The old man very slowly gets to his feet and then, very, very slowly walks down the aisle. We see he is about as old as man can be (late nineties?). When he eventually reaches Helen he shakes his head in bitter confusion and jerks his head backwards and upwards, towards God. OLD MAN Wanker. He walks out. Helen walks to the alter and then kneels down. HELEN God? God? Are you there? (Silence). Dear God. I've never prayed to you before. I رتI don't even think I believe in you رتbut I just don't know where to turn, or what to do. So, if you're there, please answer me. A voice, clear, rather too clear, Norfolk accent, answers from above. GOD (kind of distracted sounding) Yeah? HELEN (stunned) God, is that you? GOD (pause) Er. Yeah. What do you want? HELEN Really? GOD (muffled, inaudible, as if to someone else with hand over a phone) Sorry? HELEN How do I know it's you? I do so want to believe. GOD Okay ask me a question. HELEN Who was the first boy I kissed? GOD (pause, sound of tapping on keyboard) John Mattingly. HELEN What's my worst nightmare? GOD (pause, sound of tapping on keyboard) Genghis Khan. Rice pudding. Dog suit. HELEN Are you looking these answers up on a computer? GOD (pause, tapping stops abruptly) No. HELEN It's just, I dunno. I didn't expect God to sound so... provincial. GOD Oh right! You want the other God. He's not here right now. HELEN The other God? GOD Yeah, the other one. I, well, I normally keep a lower profile, if you know what I mean. But it's chocka up here. Hold on. (More muffled inaudible speech, exasperated sounded, slightly impatient). Sorry, what is it you wanted, darling? HELEN Did you create the universe? GOD Yep. HELEN (Pause) Well, alright, erm, I'm not sure I... I'm getting married later today you see, and it's all been so fast. I'm just, I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I do love him, he's a lovely man, but... GOD Sorry, er, Helen? I'm a bit pushed for time here. HELEN Oh, sorry, erm, is he the one? GOD The one? HELEN Yes, you know, the one. GOD Probably not. HELEN Oh. GOD Does that matter? HELEN I don't know. Yes, I think so. GOD Does he love you? HELEN He does love me, but... GOD You gotta respect him too. HELEN ...yes, I do, but... GOD And do you fancy him, is the sex good? HELEN Yeah, it's really... yeah, it's just... GOD I dunno what you're worried about then. I know Mark Bowyar, he's a lovely bloke. Sister's nice too. Whole family is. Marry him! HELEN Well if you think so? GOD I do. Pause. Helen thinks to herself. HELEN Maybe you're right God. GOD Good, now is there anything else? Only it really is a bloody madhouse up here. HELEN No, that's all thank you, God. GOD Alright, bye then. INT. HEAVEN - DAY Heaven is a typical on-site PORTACABIN. GOD, a middle aged, friendly chap, slightly dishevelled, in a checked shirt, sits at a cheap desk behind a PC. Several phones on his desk are flashing red. GOD puts the phone down and picks up another one. GOD Christ, not you again. I told you, you cannot milk a cat. It's just not possible. He hangs up and picks up another phone, and then another: quick fire replies, trying to keep up. GOD No, you can't talk to Jesus, he's busy... yes, so is Isiah... (hangs up / picks up) No, she's not interested, she's never going to be interested... alright, send her a text, just don't come running... (looks at the phone - they hung up / picks up another) No, it makes you look fat. (sigh) ر no, I'm not saying you are fat... Well get the red one then. (hangs up / picks up) What?... Again? (sighs) Okay, open system preferences... Then network... Then advanced... While he is explaining how to reconfigure network proxies, an ANGEL comes in. She is pretty, but not at all glamorous. Wearing jeans, hair pinned back. She takes some KEYS which are on a noticeboard, and hangs around, waiting for God to finish his call. GOD (con't.) (with great patience) One drip at a time. He hangs up, disgusted. Turns to the ANGEL. GOD (con't.) Mayonnaise. Some people. They just don't seem to be able to understand that I've got a universe to run. ANGEL Two. GOD Yeah, two! Two universes to run. ANGEL Why don't we get one of those automated systems? GOD (philosophically) It makes sense. (Pause) But (he nods his head towards the door) He won't hear of it. ANGEL (sighs) He can be a right nob sometimes. (Pause). Mind if I knock off early today? I've got a dental appointment. GOD Yeah, go on. The Angel exits. God sighs and picks up a phone. EXT. SOUTH AMERICAN RAINFOREST - NIGHT A SHAMAN, painted all kinds of fantastic colours (like the OMO tribe) and with bits of what look like cotton wool tied all over his body, is dancing on a rock. Suddenly he stands perfectly still, as if hearing a distant voice, his eyes rolling back in his head. INT. HEAVEN - DAY God is singing into a phone. Extraordinarily weird multi-tone, double-voice, 'yma sumac' style scatting. EXT. FOREST - DAY The Shaman, held gripped by the rapture, suddenly breaks loose and starts running through the forest. He runs faster and faster until he reaches a huge mushroom, hits it full pelt and boings high, high up into the sky. He flys through the forest, landing on huge rubbery mushrooms, reaching enormous heights, almost to the moon, laughing in outrageous delight. A TAPIR watches the boinging shaman. We watch the tapir. Close up tapir's eyes. Close up of CAT-KIN. Tapir frowns in confusion. Cat kin again. CAPTION: BITS OF NATURE THAT LOOK LIKE BEARDS. MONTAGE: Various bits of nature that look like beards. SILKY NARRATOR (v.o.) Join us at 7 o'clock this evening for Bits of Nature that Look like Beards, an educational documentary on patches of grass, catkins, dead-birds and the like that, at a distance or if squinting, could be mistaken for a beard. CUT TO: INT. STUDIO - DAY PHILIP SCOFIELD is combing a large blue RABBIT with PETER HALL. CAPTION: GROOMING A BIG RABBIT WITH SILKY NARRATOR Then, at seven thirty, it's Grooming A Big Rabbit With... This week, presenter Phil Schofield grooms a big Austrian Blue with national theatre director Peter Hall. EXT. MEADOW - MAGIC HOUR We are in a meadow. In the distance is a TREE, which we slowly dolly towards. SILKY NARRATOR That's followed at 8 o'clock by tree racing. We reach the tree, which is covered in PEOPLE sitting on SADDLES, madly, joyously riding nowhere. (Music: You Made Me Warm, The Sharks). We fly through the branches for a bit before INT. PALLADIUM - NIGHT Thousands of people, packed into the London Palladium are crying pure tears of heartbreaking sorrow. Not wailing, but silent, profound, harrowing and tragic weeping (Music: Back to Schizo, Pascal Comelade). CAPTION: STAND UP TRAGEDY. SILKY NARRATOR Then, at 8:30 it's Stand up Tragedy. purifying weep-a-thon from the London Palladium, led by the most sorrowful stand-up tragics in the business. A deeply sombre man, with BULL'S HORNS, ruined face running with tears, explains his tragic tale (inaudible). DISSOLVE TO: INT. TRAIN - DAY (Sad music continues) Two superheroes, APPROPRIATE MAN and THE HUMAN BULL are quietly chatting in an empty train. APPROPRIATE MAN I've lost my way. HUMAN BULL I was thinking of a game of sudoku and then going to bed. APPROPRIATE MAN I never really wanted this job. HUMAN BULL Neither did I. APPROPRIATE MAN My wife pushed me into it. (pause) I was weak. (pause). My wife knows what she wants but I cannot find it in me. HUMAN BULL Do you love her? APPROPRIATE MAN Love is my super power, but my wife is a virago. She has drained my love beam dry. HUMAN BULL Does it hurt. APPROPRIATE MAN It hurts like hell. HUMAN BULL Well I have no-one. APPROPRIATE MAN Why? HUMAN BULL Because I have a bull's head. APPROPRIATE MAN But you have a lovely personality. You are very gentle. HUMAN BULL When I speak to women I go red and sound like a flid. APPROPRIATE MAN What does a flid sound like? HUMAN BULL Flurhh rrrrh ng ftth APPROPRIATE MAN I can't leave the room, and you can't get in. They look at each other in dejected silence. HUMAN BULL Oh for God's sake what are we going to do? APPROPRIATE MAN I am going to build something. A house maybe, or a bike. HUMAN BULL Yes, and I am going to become a hairdresser. They look at each other in silence رتnot quite so dejected. A WOMAN (KATIE) pushes through the carriage door, talking on the phone. Pays no attention to the superheroes. KATIE No I like him, that's the thing. He's enigmatic. Not like... Like, (sigh) I've just, you know what? I've, like, I've had enough of bastards and wimps? I'd reached a rubicon, yeah? And then... boom, Atawn. (pause) Atawn, that's his name. It's Welsh. (pause) God, is he... Haven't I shown you? She taps her phone. Brings up a picture of ATAWN, a good looking fellow, but something slightly awry about his posture, very square-on it looks, odd perspective. She clicks 'send'. She gets off the train. We follow her through the underground into WATERLOO station, still chatting. KATIE (con't) There... he's... you got it? I know, and, I dunno, there's, I know I've only messaged with him on the internet, but it's like there's something about him, some presence. (pause). He might be a weirdo though. EXT. SOUTH BANK - DAY Katie is walking along the SOUTH BANK. KATIE (con't) Well, he sent some really bizarre instructions for meeting him (pause). I've got to... look darlin' I'm almost there and I'm already late. I'll tell you all about it later. EXT. TATE MODERN - DAY Kate is outside the Tate Modern, looking around on the floor for something. Eventually she spots a yellow chalk ARROW, which she follows. It leads to a second arrow, pointing in a slightly different direction. She follows that to a third, until she is facing the TURBINE HALL of the Tate Modern, straight on. She walks forward, following a fourth arrow. INT. TURBINE HALL - DAY In front of Katie, at the stop of the wide gangway which leads down to the mail hall, stands ATAWN in exactly the same posture as the photo on the mobile phone. She walks up to him. KATIE Hello. Pause. Atawn closes his eyes, as if readying himself for something, then speaks رتor rather 64 voices simultaneously and in perfect harmony, sing: ATAWN Hello! Katie steps back, shocked, confused. She moves to look past Atawn, and as she does so 64 men crane their heads from behind Atawn and sing, again in beautiful harmony: ATAWN Don't be alarmed! The two of them talk. Katie in the normal manner, Atawn glorious in 64x harmony. KATIE That's easy for you to say. ATAWN I'm really sorry! KATIE What... who... I just... ATAWN (bashfully) That's why I asked... Oh God... I'm a 64 voice Welsh male choir!!! KATIE But how? ATAWN Please, don't ask me to explain. (as an overlapping round) This is just who I am (who I am, who I am, who I am...). Katie moves to see the other 64 men more clearly, but as she does so they all shift behind each other. KATIE (curious, delicate) Can I see you? ATAWN Really? You want to? KATIE Yes, I really do. ATAWN (whispering singing) I don't... don't I frighten you? KATIE No. The 64 men bashfully reveal themselves. ATAWN This. This is who I am. KATIE You're quite cute. ATAWN (bit awkward) Not bad yourself. KATIE So what do you want to do today then? ATAWN You're not ashamed? I mean, you don't mind being seen with me? KATIE Look, I found your confidence on the internet attractive. Don't ruin it now Atawn. ATAWN Right! Yes! KATIE So where we going? ATAWN (in a magnificent, super confident polyphony) Chinatown! MONTAGE: - (Music: Heart and Soul, Al Bowlly) Katie and Atawnx64 sharing Dim-Sum in a CHINESE RESTAURANT. - Katie and Atawnx64 walking hand-in-hand-in-hand-in-hand-in-hand in-hand... through HIGHGATE CEMETARY. - Katie and Atawn at a fair. Atawnx64 is standing on a MERRY-GO ROUND facing outwards and kissing Katie who stands as their heads fly past her one a multiple kiss wheel. - Katie and Atawnx64 at a JAZZ CLUB, watching a classic performance of Heart and Soul (mimed to the Bowlly version we've been listening to). - Katie in bed, 64 Atawns in various states of undress, dancing to Heart and Soul. - Atawns on their knees in NUNHEAD CEMETERY, proposing marriage. - Atawns and Katie getting married. - Atawns and Katie at home, packing for their honeymoon (bags, hawaiian shirts, etc). The MEN WITH THE SPOON labour past in the outside hallway. - Atawns and Katie boarding the long-haul 777. INT. PLANE CABIN - DAY Music fades into ominous high-pitched sound. The plane is airborne. Atawn and Katie are seated with four hundred other PASSENGERS. Everyone looks exhausted, unhealthy, uncomfortable and bored, eating shit food, watching films on their ipads and phones, trying to sleep, queuing for shitty toilet, etc. INT. PLANE COCKPIT - DAY Pilots, also bored, playing video games, grey, wan, sick, greenish light, utterly exhausted. A RED LIGHT begins flashing. Surprise, urgency and then panic ripples through the cockpit. INT. PLANE CABIN - DAY General scenes of frustration and malaise. Then a BING. Pan over faces intently listening. CAPTAIN Ladies and gentlemen, this... this is your captain speaking. I'm afraid we have a bit of a situation up here. In fact, I'll be honest with you, we're totally fucked. We've got a major malfunction of all engines. They're going to cut out in ooh, about three minutes? After that we'll, er (pause, checks) yeah, we'll all plummet to our deaths. (clears his throat). So, ahem, yeah, that's it I'm afraid. All over. (whispers) Bye. Ominous pause and then the cabin erupts in joy. Everyone cheering, delirious with joy, embracing, weeping, kissing. Various scenes of delight — games with children, intent affectionate conversation, love-making, partying. Song breaks out: What a Way to End it All, Deaf School (sung by pilot). Dance routine. Nuns in the cabin, monkeys on the wing, intercut with: MONTAGE: - People running joyously off of CLIFFS and plumetting happily to their deaths. - A DARK FOREST with scores of people hanging from TREES, singing. - A SAXOPHONIST walking into a lake. - Dolly past hundreds of people in a POSH RESTAURANT blowing their heads off. EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE - DAY At the end of the song the plane smashes into the side of a mountain, and explodes. EXT. MOUNTAIN - DAY A man (TOM) is washing a mountain. TOM (to camera) Have you ever washed a mountain? INT. STUDIO - DAY WILLIAM is in the studio. On the screen behind him is TOM washing the cliff. The image pans up and up: it's the same mountain where the plane crashed. Caption: MAN ATE HIMSELF TO STAY ALIVE. EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE - DAY A MAN is eating himself (amongst bits of plane wreckage) ر only a small part of his torso is left. We watch him continue to eat himself, but reach a point where he can't get one last mouthful in. He dies. WILLIAM (v.o.) Pierre Stott, A Bedfordshire man who had been missing in Northern Vancouver for three weeks after his plane crashed near Tugsaw Ridge, is dead, it was confirmed yesterday by Canadian police, after having consumed six sevenths of his own body. His head and some of his torso were all that remained after his terrifying ordeal. Forensic experts believe that he started eating himself after 10 days of starvation and only stopped when he could no longer reach his own head. INT. LAB - DAY Police pathologist, DAVID WILSON (caption) talking to camera. WILSON It was a brave attempt to stay alive but I guess he must have realised that there is only so far you can go when eating yourself. It just becomes counter-productive after a while. INT. STUDIO - DAY William at the desk in front of images of GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS are carrying people towards various objects. CAPTION: BLIND SPOTS. WILLIAM The government have announced plans to place short-sighted people nearer to things. EXT. STREET - DAY MONTAGE: - Various scenes of OFFICIALS scooting people around, lifting and placing them here and there. WILLIAM The department of health have trained and deployed thousands of officials into the field to optimally position short-sighted folk in better relation to things. The measure will save hundreds of thousands a year in spectacle production. INT. IKEA - DAY A MAN (JOHN) is being placed nearer to a CUPBOARD in Ikea. He scrutinises it, then shakes his head sadly. INT. BASEMENT WORKSHOP - DAY John is looking at himself morosely in the mirror. He turns to his WORKBENCH and begins sawing. DISSOLVE TO: INT. BASEMENT WORKSHOP - LATER John has built a CUPBOARD with a hole in the bottom which he slips over his head.
He goes over the MIRROR, opens the door, looks at himself, and then closes the door. He remains standing in front of the mirror. DISSOLVE TO: INT. LOUNGE - DAY John is watching TEEVEE. His wife (ELAINE) comes home and looks at John with a irritable 'what now?' sigh. John turns and timidly opens the cupboard door. INT. LOUNGE - DAY John and Elaine are arguing. Elaine slams John's cupboard door closed. INT. OFFICE - DAY John walks into the office. He peeps through his cupboard door. Everyone looks at him in smirky wonderment. Whispered asides. He closes the door in fear and shame. INT. MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY John has his cupboard door open, pleading to a horrified looking MANAGERESS. She gets up from behind her desk and slams his door. EXT. PARK - DAY John is walking sadly through the park. A little GIRL comes skippingly up to him. John bends down and opens his door. The girl laughs, John laughs. From nowhere the girl's MOTHER appears, furious, and slams John's door shut. (Music fades) DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BRIDGE - DAY John is standing on the edge of a high bridge, getting ready to end it all. Wind howls. People pass by, look at him, and hurry on. A WOMAN climbs over the railings and edges up to him, John turns to her. She gets her phone out and asks him a question. John nods sadly. She takes a selfie of them both and leaves. John, sitting down, now stands up. Could he be ready to end it all? He sees, a little further down, a WOMAN (FRANCESCA), also perched on the edge of the bridge. She is wearing a WARDROBE over her body. John opens his cupboard door a little (revealing a hint of eye). Francesca opens her wardrobe door a little (revealing a hint of breast). SLOW DISSOLVE TO: INT. BEDROOM - DAY John and Francesca are majestically fucking, all doors open. We pan to the bedroom door. The MEN WITH SPOON are heaving their load along the landing. The carry it into the kitchen over to the CUTLERY DRAWER. With profound effort they get the draw open, lift, heave it over and drop... (Music: Dies irae from Mozart's Requiem, Karajan, 1976) ...The spoon smashes through the drawer, smashes through the floor and smashes into the EARTH. We follow its hurtling progress deep into the EARTH'S CRUST. Sparks, mud, earth, metal roaring, plummeting. INT. EARTH'S CORE A vast, vast underground CHAMBER, vaulted with an immense dome of rock, arching over a colossal SEA OF FIRE. The spoon bursts through the roof and hurtles down to the flaming ocean where, reclining on a LIE-LOW with a CUP OF TEA in his hand, is William. The spoon rockets downward, straight into the cup. TINK! William stirs his tea, takes a sip and says... WILLIAM And that's what there is. CUT TO: CREDITS CUT TO: INT. TRAIN - DAY Normal train, normal COMMUTERS. Voice over رتdeep and authoritative; VOICE OVER Are you sure your train is not driven by a dog? Close ups of commuters. Now worried. Evidently they are not sure. VOICE OVER No. You are not. CUT TO: INT. DRIVERS CABIN - DAY A dog is driving the train. FADE OUT
I wrote this episode (one of six), as a low budget taster. After this, things get silly.