Lots: Extract I

This is an extract from a longlost then recently found script that I have been going on about. Please read posts from Lots: Episode 1 onwards to get the backstory.

The scene containing my favourite line arises moments after the detectives Jean Pool and Max Cope, with their client Anna Domino, arrive in Australia in the middle of the night. The have flown there in order to locate Mister Cook, whose name has been found at the top of a chain letter circulated to, amongst others, Anna.

Anna has engaged the services of Max and Jean in order to locate Peter, with whom she is in love. Peter has disappeared but is mentioned in the chain letter and Anna is convinced he may be its instigator. Mister Cook may know his whereabouts.


In keeping with the inflexible idiom of this television play, needs and desires are not left unfulfilled overlong.

AUSTRALIA.
A DARK, FLAT, HOT PLACE.
ANNA What do we do?
MAX We have to locate Mister Jimmy Cook. He lives about three hundred miles away.
JEAN What direction?
MAX North.
ANNA We’ll go by the stars.
JEAN It’s a shame there’s no railway here.
ANNA And no road.
MAX When the ground is flat you don’t need roads. They’re not essential.
JEAN We need a car.
A FIGURE APPROACHES THROUGH THE GLOOM.
ANNA Look!
JEAN Where’s that?
ANNA Mister Cook?
NONE OF THE CHARACTERS ENCOUNTERED IN AUSTRALIA HAS AN AUSTRALIAN ACCENT.
TOM I’m Tom.
MAX Are you Australian?
TOM Who isn’t?
MAX Us.
ANNA We wish we had a car.
JEAN I’m Jean.
TOM I was just going to say.
MAX What?
TOM I’m tired of my car.
JEAN Is it robust?
TOM They have to be. There are no roads here.
ANNA We were discussing this only a moment ago.
JEAN Well then, Tom.
TOM Well.
MAX Will you be alright without the car?
TOM I know my way around.
ANNA Of course you do.
MAX How much would you like for it?
TOM Money is no object.
MAX Up to a point. Then it is.
TOM I’d like to give it to you.
JEAN Why?
TOM When I was ten a group of men and women took me to a department store and showed me small turtles in a tank. Then we went to the tulip fields and they stood me on the luggage rack so that I could see as far as possible. All day they were making jokes and doing imitations of wellknown figures. It was a wonderful occasion. The man looked like you.
MAX Max.
TOM And one of the women, his companion, looked like you, Jean.
JEAN Yes.
TOM And the third person, their close friend, looked like you.
ANNA Anna.
TOM In fact, their names were Mac, Joan and Emma, so you can understand.
MAX Where is the motor, actually?
TOM It’s thirty paces to the North.
ANNA Where is North, if you don’t mind me asking?
TOM There.
TOM POINTS INTO THE NIGHT.
JEAN The keys are in, are they?
TOM Yes.
MAX Thank you very much, Tom.
ANNA Yes, thank you.
JEAN Yes.


A couple of pages later…

IN THE CAR.
GOING ALONG IN THE NIGHT.
MUSIC FROM THE RADIO.
…then halfway through the scene…
JEAN TURNS THE RADIO TO A MUSIC CHANNEL.
SUDDENLY IT IS DAY.
WE SEE THAT THE CAR IS DRIVING THROUGH A VAST, ARID PLAIN.
MAX (referring to the daylight) Good. They have it here.
ANNA It’s quite bare, isn’t it?
JEAN The car is red.
ANNA I love red.
JEAN I’d love to stop somewhere and rest.


…the scene continues


Next Extract: those without siblings are given them

02.03.2008