Thursday, September 10, 2009

WEST COUNTRY SPACE SHIP

Bah, I didn't get anything into the new series of Armstrong and Miller in the end, although they were good enough to commission me for a full five minutes, so I did get paid and everything, hurrah.

Looking back, I think the problem with most of my sketches is they tend to just peter out. I did quite like this one below, but it doesn't really go anywhere. I also feel a bit guilty about the oohing and ahhing in the dialogue, but worried it wouldn't come across West Country enough otherwise. Ah well.

INT. SPACESHIP BRIDGE

Bridge is laid out in the new, deliberately stripped-down way they do this sort of thing these days, on shows like Battlestar Galactica, rather than the slightly camp Star Trek/Blake’s Seven sort of thing. Everything looks at least semi-military – lots of grey fatigues, webbing. Walls have exposed pipes, that sort of thing. All quite serious.

BEN is sitting in the Captain’s chair, looking at a large view screen, where a severe looking WOMAN, also in grey fatigues, seems to be giving orders. BEN stands next to him, a number of crewmembers bent over various workstations.

WOMAN
(very crisp) Commander, we’ve received some worrying reports from the Gamma Sector – a number of mining ship making distress calls, then vanishing from radar. It seems unlike the colonial rebels could be responsible, after their recent setbacks, but the alternatives are worse.

BEN looks at XANDER, his number two. They exchange worried glances.

WOMAN (CONT’D)
So we’d like you to make a sweep of the area, search for survivors, but keeping an eye out for… anything unusual. Admiral Veema out.

The woman vanishes from the viewscreen, replaced by a view of stars, twinkling in the blackness.

BEN and XANDER continue to look at each other for a moment, clearly weighing the situation. Finally BEN comes to some kind of decision.

BEN
(to crewmenbers, in thick West Country accent)
All right my loves, you all heard the nice lady, let’s get on it dreckly, shall we? Get down that Gamma Sector.

Crewmembers all start tapping buttons. On the screen, the stars start to blur as the ship surges forward.

XANDER
(also thick West Country hair) So what do you think, the way she done her hair?

BEN
Tristan, be honest with you, Oi’m failing to take to it. Don’t know what she’s trying to achieve. (to crewmember) Tamsin Tresiddick, you be careful with them knobs, you’re not trying to win a stuffed monkey!

WOMAN CREWMEMBER
(also West Country accent) Yes, Captain Eddy, sorry Captain Eddy.

BEN
(to XANDER) Stuffed monkey, like down at the fair.

XANDER
Yarse, I thought, ‘what’s he on, he’s gone maaaad!, then oi thought, ‘oh yeah, stuffed monkey, like down at the fair’.

SFX: grinding noise – everyone jolts forwards, and the stars on the viewscreen suddenly stop moving.

BEN
(suspicious) Ello…

A technical type crewmember appears on the screen.

ENGINEER
Wozzon, Cap’n!

BEN
Wozzon Piran.

ENGINEER
Right, what happened was, right, that quantum relay, what done got a bit bashed when we met them raiders? Well it got slightly twonked, like. So me and the lads are patching it up with some bits we pulled out of the shuttle.

XANDER
(annoyed) You put them bits back when you’re done! (off BEN’s look) Oi bloody loves me that shuttle. Takes it everywhere.

ENGINEER
So, short version, like, we’m sitting here for a bit.

The screen goes off. Everyone looks at BEN.

WOMAN CREWMEMBER
‘Ere, Captain, we’m got incoming.

BEN
How many?

WOMAN CREWMEMBER
Two carriers, about twenty fighters, looks like them colonial rebels that nice lady was talking about before. Be here in about twenty minutes, I reckon.

BEN
Right, well, we do seem to be in a bit of a predicament.

He drums his fingers a momet.

XANDER
Pub?

BEN
Right on.

12 comments:

Danny Stack said...

A good example of 'write what you know' there! :0

Boz said...

This made me laugh.

"Cheers HypeDrive!"

Boz said...

That should be hyper.

Am idiot.

james henry said...

I never saw Hyperdrive. Well, I saw one.

Rob Self-Pierson said...

I liked. Could've got that in the dumbFUNDED show. Maybe. The judge was pretty harsh.

jonathan said...

Just lovely.

It is interesting what you say about sketches petering out as I always imagine the hardest part of writing them must be bringing them to a nice tidy finish. Often (and I can think of absolutely no examples at all here) I also think a really funny sketch is let down a bit by an over-forced punchline. In comparison to which when they peter out a bit like your one I don't really mind at all.

Oli said...

Inter-stellar travel. It's a bare ol trot.

Lorel Clayton said...

Wanted more, so here's an extra bit:


BEN
Open a channel.


Woman crewmember presses a button and nods.


BEN
Listen ‘ere, Rebels. This is what we call a peace mission—a friendly sit down. We want to talk things over.

REBEL COMMANDER (on speaker)
What’s there to talk about? You’re outnumbered.

BEN
Not in the big scheme of things, hear? We’ve got a whole Federation, Empire, whatever we call it—

XANDER
Empire.

BEN
Right. We got an empire, and you’re lucky they’re not here. We have ourselves what’s called an opportunity to talk things over…I mean, over a pint. Get me?

REBEL COMMANDER (on speaker)
Pub?

BEN
Right! You hear me. Now, seeing as you have all those ships and carriers, it seems only fair…

REBEL COMMANDER (on speaker)
What?

BEN
…You’re buying.

REBEL COMMANDER (on speaker)
(pause) Right on.

Boz said...

I didn't see HyperDrive either. I should really stave off boxsets for a while and watch real telly. I was pinning my hopes on west country people thanking the bus driver like Bristolians.

Paul Campbell said...

I'd have commissioned it!

Provincial Lady said...

"also thick West Country hair"? What an image! Lovely sketch.
On another note, thank you for the Lev Grossman tip, my copy arrived yesterday and I just finished it. I agree, very reminiscent of The Secret History, a sort of melancholy feel to the Narnian tales. I want a Cozy Horse!

Hannah said...

Well it would have made me laugh...

Maybe they thought it was too similar to the chav pilot sketches? Personally I think it's different enough to be entertaining but who knows? I guess at least you got paid for it!