Thursday, 12 September 2013

Scriptics: AKA - A Foggy Day In London Town

Well, hello again. I've been having a jolly good rummage through the Pouch's back catalogue of late, fishing out a few never-before-seen (except by everyone who knows me but weren't able to run away fast enough) products of my imagination. Comic strips, nasty digs at gamers, satirical tarot cards and the like. As you do.

This seasonal harvest of creative goodies is in no way linked to my starting a new grown-up job on Monday, thus signalling the end of a fun but ultimately financially punitive year off / sabbatical / mid-life crisis / failed attempt to make a living out of making shit up. Oh no. Nothing to do with that. Not an eleventh minute of the eleventh hour, half-arsed display of what one might laughingly call a portfolio of written work in order to remind myself that while yes, I might be going back to the old nine-to-five and taking the Man's dollar (pound actually) once again, secretly I am still a writer of mildly entertaining things which the day job is just there to fund.

Speaking of mildly entertaining, remember those little TV script excerpts I splurted out a couple of years ago? Stuff like AKA: The Children of the FieldsDepartment X and the Iron MenagerieThe Man From 2000: The Year of the Monkey?

What do you mean, No? I'm wounded. Oh alright, I forgive you, like I always do.

Once more with the introduction then. These scriptics are one-page scripts for fictional British TV shows from the 60s and 70s, which I wrote for the splendid game 7TV. They range from Dr Who meets The Avengers to Time Tunnel meets Adam Adamant. Yeah - that wide a range. Hey, whaddaya want from me? It's an homage to cult British telly, or as I like to think of it, everything I watched between the ages of seven and thirty-two.

In the scriptic below we return once again to the supernatural adventures of that mod mage of swinging London, Adam Kismet, played (in my head) by sixties icon Simon Dee. Or more precisely in this case, we return to Adam's friend and companion (we'd have said assistant or Girl Friday back in the day) Eloise Pargeter (probably played by Paula Wilcox), as she falls afoul of sinister devil-worshipper Sir Humphrey Lomax (almost certainly played by legendary heavyweight villain actor Charles Gray).

Throughout these scenes, kindly assume a modest TV budget, low rent effects, scenery chewing character actors and a cracking Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack...

* * *

6.30 Black and White
starring Simon Lee

A Foggy Day In London Town

Ms Pargeter decides that the best way to keep an eye on the enigmatic Adam Kismet is to move into the house next door. But moving day is interrupted a dense fog that blankets the city. And then people begin to disappear.
Ms Pargeter ...................... PAULA WILCOCKS
Fortnum ............................. RONALD CORBET
Mason ...................................... JOHN CLEASE
Sir Humphrey Lomax/
Magister Malleus .................CHARLES GREY

* * *

A London alleyway, wreathed in thick fog. Ms PARGETER, dishevelled but struggling is dragged before Sir Humphrey LOMAX by two of his burly CULTISTS. His lackey HAMILTON stands behind Lomax and whispers into his ear.

EFFECT – Smoke machine.

We ought to kill her, Magister.

No, Hamilton, not yet… Bring her to my sanctum.

He turns toward the rear door of the club.

A richly appointed wood-panelled study, adorned with occult idols, paintings and books. A walnut desk with a leather top. A high-backed chair behind the desk. A flimsy stool before it. LOMAX is in the highbacked chair. He is wearing the full black and gold robes of a magister. Ms PARGETER is sat in the flimsy chair, bound at the wrists and ankles. HAMILTON stands by the door.

EFFECT: Darkly lit by a reading light on the desk.

It is useless to struggle, my dear. Those bonds are quite secure, I assure you. 

He reverently pats an old leather-bound book on the desk.

Do you like my inner sanctum? It was here, many months ago that I came across the Ritual of Apollyon, a ritual I intend to enact, tonight!

You’re mad!

LOMAX (Chuckles) 
Am I? Is it madness to question the nature of this world? To probe the fabric of reality? In another time, another place, I would have been hailed as a visionary, a sage!

You’d have been burnt as a witch, more like!

Really, Ms Pargeter, I had hoped you would understand my viewpoint. Appreciate the historic challenge I have undertaken – to make contact with Those Who Lie Beyond.

So that’s what you’re doing! Adam said only a fool would try something like that.

LOMAX (Splutters indignantly) 
It is Kismet who is the fool! Wasting his talents in the service of those sheep out there. With his arcane skill, his knowledge, he could have bent this world to his will long ago! But soon, with the power I will wrest from Beyond, he will bend to me, and acknowledge that Magister Malleus is his better.

She gulps.

He said it was impossible. Nobody would have the willpower to resist those… things you’re talking about. He said their minds are so huge, they’d overwhelm anyone who even looked at them!

Do you question my strength of will, Ms Pargeter? I can assure you I am more than capable of carrying out my plans. Did I not summon the choking fog that even now paralyses all of London? Is it not my will that maintains the endless corridor that your precious Adam Kismet is doomed to walk until he starves to death?

You lunatic! I demand you let him go!

LOMAX (Slowly shaking head) 
I hardly think so, not at this crucial juncture. But… I think you still require proof of my power, my dear. Perhaps a small demonstration will suffice to convince you. Hamilton – bring the body in!

HAMILTON opens the door. Two robed CULTISTS enter carrying the dead body of GEORGE the milkman between them. They place it on the floor by Ms PARGETER’s feet and leave. Hamilton closes the door again.

PARGETER (Tremulous) 
That’s, that’s the milkman! He’s dead!

She cannot take her eyes from the corpse of GEORGE.

Life, death, these are mutable states of being, dear girl.  Surely Kismet has told you that much? Now, behold the power of a true magister of the forbidden arts!

LOMAX fixes his gaze upon the corpse of GEORGE.

EFFECT: superimpose glowing eyes on LOMAX.

The corpse begins to twitch and slowly begins to rise to its feet. Ms PARGETER struggles to get out of the chair, but the bonds around her wrists and ankles are too secure. The corpse of GEORGE sways upright behind her.

MAKE UP: GEORGE the milkman. Corpse pallor, blacked out teeth, opaque contact lenses.

LOMAX smiles cruelly and he switches his gaze to Ms PARGETER. The corpse of GEORGE raises its arms to her neck. Ms PARGETER screams.

Roll Credits.

* * *

There will be many more of these, as I feel the burning need to expose my one-page wonders to you in their full majesty. Later efforts will, I assure you, feature lobster men, Nazis and Diana Dors.

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