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Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Three Doctors




The Three Doctors


With:


Doctor Kenneth TUPPER
Doctor Sidney MANGE
Doctor Reginald ROUGHROD
Two or three EXTRAS


TITLES:

GRAMS:
Some sort of cheap, upbeat brass combo, dripping 1970s, (a la ‘Terry and June’ or ‘On the Buses’) with plenty of mouth trumpet and badly tuned trombone. Swanee whistle to underline comic beats essential. If composer unavailable then cut and paste some ‘Carry On’ themes from the internet in a random fashion. For added impact get one of those cheap hip hop beat box artist that are ten a penny on high streets adding ‘oh yeah’, ‘baby’, ‘ugh ugh’ and coughing up fart noises.


GRAPHICS:
A mixture of live action, freeze frame and title cards with cartoon drawings. Use a series of freeze frames depicting actors costumed in scrubs, pointing at medical implements, wobbling jellies or fruits that resemble sexual organs in mock outrage / concern / horror – delete as appropriate. Captions could include: ‘that’s a big one’, ‘chase me’, ‘You don't get anything for a pair, not in this game’, ‘didn’t he do well’, ‘well, what a pair of wobbling melons’.

CUT TO:

  INT.  OPERATING THEATRE. DAY. 1972    


Establishing shot of a calendar denoting the 1970s and an operating theatre of some description.  TUPPER and MANGE are unpacking their doctor’s bags, scrubbing up and so forth. MANGE pulls out what is obviously a lunch box with ‘lunch box’ written on it in felt tip pen, empty save for a large ordinary looking aubergine. Which he holds up to the light. It has a post-it note stuck to it.


TUPPER:
Oh, goodness gracious me. What have you got there, Sid?

            MANGE:
Cor, blimey. It’s a rude vegetable that Mrs Mange put in my lunchbox, Kenneth.

            TUPPER:
                        Oh, I say. What sort of vegetable?

            MANGE:
A gigantic aubergine in the shape of a stool bucket that’s recently been used by an incontinent patient caught short.


TUPPER:
Oo, what a lark! I like a rude vegetable, I do. I say, how do you know?

            MANGE:
                        Know what?

            TUPPER:
                        That it’s a stool bucket.

MANGE:
It’s written on the note here. ‘Dear Mange. I thought if you found this rude vegetable shaped like a used stool bucket in your lunch box, it might cheer you up. Signed, Mrs Mange.’

            TUPPER:
                        What a card that woman is.
           
            MANGE:
She’d be even more of a card if I ever found some lunch in my box. A har har.

           
The door to the surgery is flung open. And we hear an EXTRA. Two postcards are flung on the operating table.


            EXTRA (O.S):
                        Newspapers!

            MANGE:
                        (tapping watch and shouting after him)
Half an hour late! Cor, blimey, these aren’t even newspapers.
           
            TUPPER:
                        Oh…what are they, Sid?

            MANGE:
                        Cards.

            TUPPER:
                        Did Mrs Mange send them?

MANGE:
Yak, yak, yak. No.  They’re saucy seaside postcards, from the seaside. From Doctor Hopperby. He’s on holiday. By the seaside. Lucky bleeder.

TUPPER:
Is he? Ooooo. Holiday, eh? Get away.

MANGE:
Yes, that’s right. A ha ha harr.

TUPPER:
(To camera, raising a glass of champagne)
                        And a merry Christmas to all you at home.



MANGE holds the saucy postcard to camera so it is clearly visible. It depicts a humorous scene of a junior doctor with forceps. He has removed the sleeping patient’s penis by accident and is being shouted at by his senior colleague.
           
           
            TUPPER:
                        Ooo! What does it say, Sid?

MANGE:
Cor, blimey. I don’t get it, Kenneth, I just don’t get it. Even I just don’t get it.

            TUPPER:
Oooo. Don’t get it? Neither do I.

            MANGE:
Yak yak yak. No, no that, this. I mean what’s it all about? Look.  A brightly coloured mock-up of an operating theatre…

            TUPPER
Oooo yes, just like the one we work in, us being fully qualified surgeons that perform…operations…on certain parts of the male body…

MANGE:
Why do you keep interrupting me by stating the bleeding obvious, Kenneth?

            TUPPER:
                        Bleeding? But we haven’t even started yet.

            MANGE:
Yak, yak, yak. Now see here Kenneth, these three surgeons…standing…

            TUPPER:
                        Like us…

            MANGE:
Shut yer trap, Kenneth. Listen. This senior surgeon looks cross and is shouting at the junior surgeon, who is sweating and holding his forceps above the patient’s dongler. ‘The caption reads: ‘You blithering idiot, I ordered you to remove his spectacles.’ What’s saucy about that? Has he got it in for spectacles?

            TUPPER:
                        Snort. Get it in. Saucy.

            MANGE:
                        What does yours say?

            TUPPER:
Er...‘She’s got acute angina. Blimey. She hasn't got a bad pair of boobs either.’. I don’t get it either, Sid.

MANGE:
            Get away.
(tosses postcard aside)
What a bleeding tosser. Yak, yak, yak.


TUPPER:
                        Oh, I say!
(To camera, raising a glass of champagne)
                        And a merry Christmas to all you at home.



The door to the operating theatre is now flung open and Reginald ROUGHROD abruptly enters.
He is not in the best of moods, being late for the impending operation.
He chucks a stethoscope at a hat stand where it misses and catches TUPPER in the eye.




ROUGHROD:
11 minutes late. Defective hip hop artist at Effingham Junction.

MANGE:
Great.

            TUPPER:
Super.

            ROUGHROD:
It was neither great nor super. The hip hop artist was doing some improvised beatboxing - breakdancing on a large piece of cardboard which he’d nailed to the tracks in front of a crowd of rush hour commuters on their way to the January Sales, blocking the points at Shagingham Halt. There was a great deal of beatingham and 12 rounds of boxingham by the time they caught him.

            MANGE:      
                        Too good for him, I say. Yak, yak, yak.
           
           
Whilst the conversation continues, the three DOCTORS are scrubbing up, putting on plastic gloves and the like, as they do…
           
           
TUPPER:
Oh, I say. But wasn’t it National Hip Hop Day?
           
            ROUGHROD:
Well, possibly. As they tossed him in front of the locomotive, he kept shouting, ‘I’m Lance, I’m Lance! Remember the X Factor? I could be the next Susan Boyle.’

            MANGE:
Yak, yak, yak. Shame. There just aren’t enough boils to lance these days.

TUPPER:
Oo yes. Here, Sid,  have you noticed it’s always National Something Day, these days? National Dolphin Day, National Sprouts Day, National Bin Bag Day…

MANGE:
Well, he couldn’t any expect special consideration, just because somebody who makes greetings cards decided it was Hip Hop Day…yak, yak, yak.
           
            ROUGHROD:
Quite so. It was International Overlook Your Fork Day yesterday. I put one on my chair, overlooked it, sat down and bang – there was my fork, straight, smack, plumb up my arse.

            MANGE:
Get away. Forking painful. You won’t fork-get that in a hurry. A ha ha ha.

TUPPER:
Oh, Fork day, was it? Oh, I say. No wonder I had trouble with road junctions yesterday. And I thought it was Check All Testicles for Lumps day, you see? There I was, out and about, putting my fingers up the trousers of the queue outside Boots, passing out cough drops willy nilly….

            MANGE:
                        Ding Dong.

            TUPPER:
                        Precisely.

            ROUGHROD:
Shut up the pair of you. You sound like a couple of bad actors auditioning for Carry On Willies….

TUPPER:
                        Oh, I say!
(To camera, raising a glass of champagne)
                        And a merry Christmas to all you at home.
           
            ROUGHROD:
(phone rings)

Excuse me, I’d better take this…

(answers)

Yes CJ…certainly CJ… no I know you didn’t get where you are today by walking around with a fork up your arse CJ…yes I know that neither Mrs CJ or you have ever stuck forks up your arses, CJ…Yes, I know it’s no way to pay tribute to the People’s Princess, CJ… certainly CJ…afternoon would suit me best…

(finishes call)

Seeing CJ, 11.30 this morning.

MANGE:
Great.

            TUPPER:
Super.

            ROUGHROD:
                        Never mind all that. Where’s the patient?

           
The door to the theatre bursts open loudly and two EXTRAS enter carrying a corpse under a sheet. One is tall and dressed like a hotel manager, the other is smaller and could be Spanish. They are panting, covered in sweat / in panic mode. They dump the corpse on the operating table, The FIRST grabs the ear of the SECOND and thrusts the second’s face towards the operating table.



            EXTRA 1:
This hotel bedroom. This hotel bed. This smack on head.

            EXTRA 2:
                        I no want to work here anymore.
(They leave the way they entered.)
           
            ROUGHROD:
                        (consulting a clipboard)
Excellent. This must be the patient. Says here that he is due for penile surgery. Or, as we Doctors call it, penile surgery.  Now, has anybody got medical records?

            TUPPER:
Er…When You’re in love with a Beautiful Woman by Doctor Hook?

            MANGE:
                        A har har har.

            ROUGHROD:
                        Disgraceful.
(pulling back the sheet, checking for a pulse)
Strange. Seems to be dead. Why would a dead man want his penis removed?

            MANGE:
Perhaps he was feeling stiff. Yak. Yak. Yak.

            ROUGHROD:
                        Even worse.

(He notices something sticking out of the corpse’s jumper and extracts it. A kipper. He now holds this up.)

What’s the meaning of this? A mouldy kipper shoved up his jumper. And please…nobody say anything along the lines of ‘that’s a bit fishy’…



The door is flung open again and the two EXTRAS enter, seize the corpse and drag it out, banging the door behind them.
The door reopens, EXTRA 1 rushes in, snatches the kipper from ROUGHROD and pauses at the door.


            EXTRA:
                        Er…Kipper’s off. Sorry.
(He slams the door.)

            MANGE:
                        I could’ve told him that. Yak, yak, yak
           
            TUPPER:
Oh yes, the whole place whiffs of fish now. Reminds me of something. I just can’t put my finger on it…

MANGE:
You keep your filthy finger out of Mrs Mange’s knickers, Kenneth. Yak, yak, yak.

TUPPER:
                        Oh, I say!
(To camera, raising a glass of champagne)
                        And a merry Christmas to all you at home.

            ROUGHROD:
                        Why does he keep saying that, Mange?

            MANGE:
Gawd knows. Here, Kenneth, why do you keep saying that when it isn’t even bleeding Christmas, you twerp? Have you been sticking your balls up prematurely, again?

            ROUGHROD:
                        Baubles, Mange, baubles.

            MANGE:
                        And the same to you. A har har.

            TUPPER:
Oh, I say. Here, stop it. Who are we going to operate on now?


The door to the theatre opens yet again, this time more slowly and reveals an EXTRA, a short man with a flat cap in a camel hair coat with his back the DOCTORS.


            EXTRA:
                        (Speaking to someone unseen)
Easy does it Trigger, play it nice and cool, son, nice and cool, know what I mean?



The EXTRA falls through the door landing at the feet of the three DOCTORS. Before he can get up, the DOCTORS wrestle him to the operating table. The EXTRA all the time struggling and protesting in cod French phrases as he is secured with straps.


EXTRA:
Boeuf a la mode, pot pourri, mon dieu, crème de menthe, etc

ROUGHROD:
Now then, now then, of course you’re worried, it’s a perfectly normal reaction during penis removal. You won’t feel a thing…don’t struggle…it’ll soon be over…
           

They anaesthetise the struggling EXTRA, who appears to go under, then sits upright before finally succumbing


            EXTRA:
Even the sonic screwdriver won’t get me out of this one.

Cutaway to close ups of the three DOCTORS who examine the EXTRA’S goolies critically, now masked in a sinister fashion and holding implements somewhat menacingly.


            MANGE:
                        Cor blimey. That’s a tiddler, isn’t it?

            TUPPER:
Oh, I don’t know. If my pussy saw that it would give him the willies.

            ROUGHROD:
Quiet, the pair of you. Tupper? Proceed with the operation.

            TUPPER:
                        Oh, I say…well if you insist…          


We have a montage of sweating brows, ticking clocks, medical instruments being passed between the DOCTORS with stereotypical orders along the lines of ‘scalpel’, ‘forceps’, ‘rude aubergine’; set to music connoting drama and danger.

Eventually, the operation is over. TUPPER mops his brow and smirks. The camera pulls back and we see the forceps he is holding up in triumph. ROUGHROD double takes and his face gradually convulses in anger. He points a shaking finger. The scene ends as close to the saucy postcard from the start as is possible. We see now that there is a pair of spectacles in the forceps that TUPPER is holding.

            TUPPER:
                        What?

            ROUGHROD:
You blithering idiot. I ordered you to remove his testicles!

MANGE:
            Yak, yak, yak

EXTRA:
                        (Waking up and looking at TUPPER)
                       Blimey. You haven't got a bad pair of boobs, either.

ALL and EXTRA:
            (raising glasses of champagne to camera)
            And a merry Christmas to all you at home.




CUT











Friday, 15 September 2017

Joyce

Joyce



There was fire drill today in the hot sun of Qatar.

So, all the kids chittered and lined up gamely

falling in year by year, the youngest at the front.

The Headteacher spoke to all assembled, timing the practice,

unfamiliar bird call cladding the playground

as the boys fell silent, listening.

It felt like a million years from London,

for a second. Then the children marched inside.




A million years from where a little girl’s hand

slipped from her Daddy’s grasp

and he had clutched it so terribly tightly.

Running together from choking smoke,

hopskotching the stairs, two at a time,

hacking up the drowning lungfuls,

toxic, carbon, persevering the lethal smog:

but progress was so very heavily disguised.



Chaos. And a little girl’s hand slipped.



And he said: Joyce. Yes, of course we should remember.

But calmly, rationally. Strong and stable, without

this community undermining my impartiality.

Weep, if you must, of anger and betrayal,

But life goes on, so sing as well.

There was fire drill today in the hot sun of Qatar.

It felt like a million years from London,

for a second. And the children marched inside.





Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Lines that Divide Us

The Lines that Divide Us


So we’re in the car.
Swimming pool together and then a Happy Meal.
One final time, for good behaviour. 
That was the deal.


There are confident calls from my back seat driver,
my five year old, constant, road safety advisor.
His opinions, his views, safely secured and strapped
while those blue bright eyes construct and subtract.


‘What are those lines in the road, Grandad, who put them there?
They go left. Is that left? Which side is right? 
Which road do we take?
Sometimes there are two lines together. That’s a pair.
But if you can’t cross those lines, 
then how can you overtake?
Those are the lines that stop cars from blowing up.
You know Catwoman? She killed me in that game, with her cat-mine,
she actually did, didn’t she? 
But I will be Batman when I grow up
and, you see, I’ll make up the rules to get to the finish line.
No, silly. 
Only girls can say beautiful, boys must say cool.
Are you there? How long until we get to the swimming pool?’


Tomorrow we’re left sucking hard-boiled sweets in contemplation
as he points out the right route to the railway station.
He frowns and considers a cheap, plastic gift he’s handling.

I glance, rear viewing, to scan for understanding.
Was this enough time to top up the compassion?
To refuel all the love given now that it’s a yearly ration?
Because, you see, 
those dashed lines that streak over the sky,
why they are there? 
They exist to divide us. Then we say goodbye.




Tuesday, 25 July 2017

SHAG ISLAND

“Dear Writer, I regret to inform you that…”
Unsolicited scripts and treatments that didn’t make the cut.


SHAG ISLAND: REALITY TV GAME SHOW



Dear BBC,

Please find enclosed a treatment for my exciting and original reality TV game show ‘Shag Island’ which I think you’ll find both humorous, exciting and full of entertaining ideas! It combines romance, sex and seabirds in a format that’s ideal for a primetime TV slot.

Take representative members of the public from all walks of life. Pick who you like but ensure they are everyday folk – hip hop and rap artists, graffiti scrawlers, those living statue street entertainers, failed talent show contestants or anyone who’s been on the Jeremy Kyle show (for example). See if Gareth Gates, Darius or Will Young are available.

Strand them off the coast of the UK on a remote island. Lundy would be ideal, but there are other possibilities: The Outer Hebrides, Ailsa Craig or Foula, perhaps.

Once there, they are deprived of all home comforts, undergo a series of challenges and compete to win the star prize: a boat back to the mainland!

I am confident that with such a distinctive hook it would be a Saturday teatime sure fire ratings winner and easily filmed on a small to medium budget.

Since the BBC is hardly strapped for cash, given what they pay their fourth rate presenters, I think asking price for this highly original idea of £500,000 is hardly exorbitant at which point I’ll sign the copyright over to your organisation.

I am, as ever, open to negotiations. But don’t wait too long before coming back to me. I have had several intriguing nibbles from your commercial competitors at ‘Dave’, ‘ITV2’ and ‘Sky Box Office’. Don’t ‘miss the boat’ to Shag Island!

Happy reading!

Yours truly,
Andrew Hack, (writer).





The Pitch

Shag Island! A place of promised luxury, sunshine, booze and limitless sex. The opportunity to ‘cop off’ with any other contestant and perhaps meet that dream partner!

A promise, however, with one drawback. It’s a complete lie.


Stranded with only several crates of sexual toys and bondage gear between them (The Fun Hampers) and the prospect of eating all the whelks and limpets they can find, the contestants take part in a series of fun and exciting timed copulation challenges for the entertainment of the viewing public and the chance to get voted off the island. 



The Games

Shag Pecker Dildos: Fun and frolics as contestants attempt copulating under timed conditions with one item from The Fun Hamper tied to their sexual organs in amongst several nests of irate seabirds protecting their young hatchlings.

Shagged Out: Contestants run a five mile obstacle course in the nude with a hot smoking pipe full of ready rubbed tobacco tied to their sexual organs and attempt to avoid dropping hot embers onto irate seabirds shielding their young. With timed copulation.

Where’s My Shag: Not really worked this one through to be honest but it combines pipe smoking, a seabird hunt and contestants undergoing timed copulating.

Shag and Chips: The old favourite. Starving contestants are offered steaming hot bags of chips or french fries but it’s a 100 metre dash to get to them before the seagulls do. Involves timed copulating.

That’s My Shag: A humorous bare knuckled boxing match between contestants over who gets to copulate with a guest celebrity star involving seabirds and timed copulating.

Spot the Shag: Contestants are issued with bird watching binoculars and roam the island, looking for a hidden celebrity guest star couple having sex. En route they undergo a series of timed copulating trials. Amusing variants might involve looking for seabirds or tobacco whilst copulating.

Shagger Puffs: Hungry contestants are ordered up the top of a remote plinth or viewing platform where they spy enviously on a celebrity guest star couple eating breakfast cereal whilst having sex. The winner is the one who accurately predicts how many shreddies are consumed prior to climax whilst simultaneously copulating under timed conditions.

Shag Piles: Contestants are informed that one member of a celebrity guest star couple has haemorrhoids and have to correctly predict which one whilst they have sex. Amusing variants might involve naked contestants with steaming hot chips or french fries attached to their sexual organs building a giant tower of seabirds and avoiding being attacked whilst copulating under timed conditions.





EPISODE1:  Welcome to Shag Island


TITLES:

GRAMS: suggest Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’ to invoke idyllic atmosphere mixed with sound of shrieking seagulls and the ripping and tearing of flesh.

If Fleetwood Mac are unavailable, dead or you are too miserly to commission them, then something cheap yet quirky, played on the Stylophone, (is Rolf Harris available?) to emphasise the competitive element – also include several toots on a swanee whistle to suggest comedy and fun.

You may use these lyrics and at no extra cost to yourselves:

‘Come to Shag Island, where seabirds and shags fly free,
And there are whelks and limpets for tea,
Sex aplenty, or drag on a quick fag,
Shag Island, Shag Island where there’s plenty of shag.’

GRAPHICS: I suggest several visual metaphors but, I stress this, nothing clichéd. Use images of a train entering a tunnel, a flag going up a pole, a cave opening and shutting rapidly. This should be jump cut and mixed with pictures of the contestants going about their everyday occupations – such as, let’s say, a visual of a hip hop artist beat boxing loudly on public transport then a jump cut to a seagull shitting on a rock – that sort of thing.

A game show like this will need careful consideration as to who hosts and presents.  The chosen presenters will need to be talented, personable and be imbued with bags of skill and tact. Therefore I would like to propose Ant and Dec, perhaps Noel Edmonds or, if they are busy, you could try David Van Day from 80s pop act Dollar and that blonde singer out of Bucks Fizz.



CUT TO:



SCENE 1.  WINDSWEPT ROCKY BEACH, LUNDY, NIGHT [1900]       



It is raining dog’s abuse on the sea which we see from above. Camera crash zooms towards a beach where we see:

In the far corner of a beach, getting pelters, a collection of tatty tents, pitched very close to a colony of vicious seagulls protecting nestlings – check correct time of year – these could be shags for added verisimilitude.

The tents are grouped around several crates (Fun Hampers) and a large Countdown style clock. Additional props could include a large supply of ready rubbed tobacco. Note: - this could be ‘shag’ for added visual impact.

The rain is turning the beach and campsite into a soggy mess of tatty material. Only fools would be out on a day like this.

Cut to our two presenters (or Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby).



DAVID:
(Excitedly)
Welcome to Shag Island. The reality TV show set on a beach which invites contestants to pair up and find romance! But the only one with - live shags!

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Wow. Yow. Whoop. Amazeballs etc. What have you got there David?

DAVID:
It’s a beef burger.

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Is it from your beef burger van?

DAVID:
Yes it is.



At this point show a beefburger van. There would be no need to have the van actually on location, however; a cut and paste job will be adequate as the viewing public will not notice the difference if it is pre-wettened prior to the shoot and SFX of the sea is added.



GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Cheeseburger, bacon supreme or a chicken fillet?

DAVID:
That’s right. And now I will offer it to those shags over there. Let’s see what happens to it.

       
       
Both laugh uproariously as if sharing a private joke. The laughter continues for several minutes.

Still shaking with laughter, David should chuck the meat sandwich at the nearest seabird nest. If all goes according to my calculations there should be hue and cry as voracious birds shred the food and attack each other. If this fails to happen, director should walk around kicking nests over until there is some commotion.



DAVID:
Well that certainly stirred things up.


GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Yes. It’s just like a holiday in Bridlington, isn’t it?
I say, David, a boat! Enjoying a cruise at sea, I expect.

DAVID:
Yes.

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Could you pass me another beef burger?

DAVID:
No because that was the last beefburger there was.


Both laugh uproariously as if sharing another private joke.

The laughter continues for several minutes.

David’s face becomes serious.


DAVID:
(Seriously)
Do you ever get tired of all this?

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
 (Completing the statement, equally seriously)
…tired? Tired of presenting never ending tide of shit TV game shows on location with talentless wannabe celebrities? Tired of watching twats show off by spray painting crap on walls, annoying shoppers with street mime, singing tunelessly or imitating American rappers? Tired of wondering how it came to this, where it all went wrong?

DAVID:
No. Tired of shagging?

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Course not. And look! Here comes the boat now! Covered in graffiti and crewed by men looking bored as one of the contestants mimes walking against a storm. Who’d have thought it?



            CUT TO:




Dear Mr Hack,

Thank you for your treatment and proposal, which we read with interest.

Unfortunately, we currently have no plans to commission a new game show like the one you have sent us. We find the public have no taste for bizarre and incredible situations such as those contained in your proposal.

Writing for television is a difficult skill.

But don’t give up! If you have any further ideas to submit, please do send them to our light entertainment department.

Yours sincerely,
The BBC.