A NEW SOAP

 EPISODE NOUGHT:
PART ONE:

A long time ago in a corridor far far away...

BLUE TEXT = Special Edition scenes

INT - MR CHOPS - EARLY MORNING

Shot of an unassuming, cream-painted, tiled-floor corridor. It is dark.
To our right, a blue door, covered in various sheets of paper, opens:
STEW (Ewan McGregor) appears from his room.
Stew wears a decomposing cream-coloured jumper, a similarly decomposing long black cardigan, and jeans.
His hair is long and brown: a tangled mess of sheer wonder.  He is barefoot.
He walks round the corner and peers along the corridor. At the left edge is a bourbon suspended on a cord.
He goes throug a door into the kitchen...

INT - RAY - EARLY MORN.

...and straigth through a set of patio doors to the outside.

Cut to:

EXT - PATIO (by lake) - EARLY MORN.

Stew lounges on a deckchair... Establish the blissful peace. The morning sun bathes the place in an orange glow.
Shot of Stew, shoulders up. He is bathed in morning sunlight. Slowly his face falls into shadow.
From the corridor we hear strange noises and the sound of breaking biscuit.
Over the back of this we have Stew's POV of a goose (or geese) flying above, and causing the shadow.
Cut back to Stew as the biscuit noises end. Look of realisation and concern.
Stew leaps up and dashes inside.

INT - MR CHOPS - EARLY MORN.

Stew dashes through from the kitchen... runs towards camera which swings to follow him. He dashes round the corner.
Round the corner, the bourbon is shattered.
At this JIM (Christopher Eccleston) appears from a door nearby.
Jim wears blue-grey pyjamas, and bottle-bottom round-rimmed glasses.
He clutches a plastic tumbler with a Star Wars design painted on it. His hair is between mousey and ginger.

Stew
I've worked out who it is!!!

Jim
Who what is?

Stew
The Bourbon fiend!

Jim
Really?

Stew
Yup! It's the penguins!

Jim
I thought as much!

Stew
Yeah! I heard 'em from the patio!
I'm going to lay some traps!

Jim
You do that! I'm going to make a peanut butter ommlette.

Stew
Yeah.

Stew makes his way back along the corridor. On the door at the far end (in shadow) is a sign that reads "Strictly No Penguins".
Above the door is a sign that says "Please leave your stilts here".
Stew goes into his room:

INT - STEW'S ROOM - EARLY MORN.

His room-mate, BABYSHAM (Guy Pearce), is sound asleep...
He talks in his sleep:

BabyS
With a 3OOgiga-byte hard-drive?
Oh!!! Oh!!! Not without a floppy doopher!

Stew gets a pad, a pen and a knife and goes out.

Cut to:

INT- RAY

Jim is spreading liberal amounts of peanut butter inside a frying pan.
Stew enters and sits on his chair, scribling away.

Stew
Today I am made almost entirely out of the less
stickier pages of the ladies lingerie section of
the Autumn/Winter `87 Great Universal Catalogue.

Jim
Yeah?

CHRIS (Christian Slater) enters, looking dazed and confused.
He wears a black velour jumper and black jeans. He also wears glasses.
He is carrying a copy of the script.

Jim
Alright.

Chris
I've just come up with a way of converting matter into
energy using only a small flip-flop and a lightbulb.

Jim
Really? How's that work then?

Chris
Well the particles are ionised and charged with the
bombardment of the light photons, and that produces energy.

Jim
But surely the energy is the result of the light?

Chris
No, because then you use the flip-flop to turn the light off.

Jim
But you haven't actually...

Stew
I don't like flip-flops... they chaffe too much between the toes.

As he says this, he gesticulates with his fingers which are intertwined with the holes in his sleeves.

Enter ALEX (Vincent Perez), from a door to the outside...
He is whistling and bobbing his head which hangs three feet below his shoulders like a large goose's would.
He wears a grandad shirt and round-rimmed mirrored sunglasses. His hair is dark and floppy.
He carries a black rucksack.

Chris
Alex.

Alex
Yaroh..

Stew
Don't you agree?

Alex
Hmm?

Stew
Chaffing from your flip-flops. The sand...

Alex
Gurrh... Wierdness...

Chris
As I was saying...

Stew
Chris?

Chris
What?

Stew
Shut up.

Chris gets upset and sulks.

Chris
I'll send you that bloody email bomb I told you about.

Stew
That'd be nice.

LEON (Jean Reno) walks in from the corridor. He is tall, with dark quiffy hair and glasses.
He wears a checked shirt and corduroy trousers. He carries several books.

Chris
Jesus H. Christ! Leon's up before 12 o'clock.

Leon
(sitting at the table)
Every time's before twelve o'clock.

Alex
It's cyclic.

Stew
Chris's got one o' them. Tyres keep goin' down.

Leon
I'll hit you in a minute.

Stew
Someone had to do it.

In the bg., Alex makes a line on a tally table on a pinboard, in a column marked "Stew".
Stew has most ticks. Chris is close behind. Other members of the corridor have a small hanful.

Leon
(opening three books)
Hmm.

TOMY (Robbie Coltraine) enters from the corridor.
Leon hits his head against the books and stirs a cup of coffee that has materialised on the table beside him.

Tomy is a stocky character, with an ear-ring and short hair.
He wears a black and white horizontally banded jumper, and a blue fleece jacket.

Tomy
Where's BabySham?

Stew
He's in bed.

Tomy
In bed, really?

Stew
No. I was deliberately wasting your time.
He's bought a timeshare in Rhyll and has set up
home there with a tribe of young hawaiian hula girls.

Tomy
Eh?

Stew
Nuthin'. Yes, he's in bed.

Tomy
Idle bastard! In't 'e up yet?

Stew
No.

Tomy
Idle bastard. Fuckin' 'ell.

Tomy finds a carton of frozen milk in the freezer and puts it in the microwave.

Chris
(to Jim)
You finished with that Linux book?

Tomy goes to unlock his cupboard which is surrounded by reinforced steel.

Jim
Ant's got it. He said he'd
bring it round this afternoon.

Inside Tomy's cupboard is half a tin of baked beans.

Tomy
Oh, fuck this. Some fucker's nicked me bread. Fascists!

Stew
(to Leon)
Such ready wit.

Tomy
Jimns, Jimns!

Jim
Yes.

Tomy
Jimns, can I borrow some bread?

Jim
Go on then.

Tomy
Great. Thankyou Jimns. He's great Jimns.

The microwave pings and Tomy takes the defrosted milk through to:

INT - STEW'S ROOM

BabySham still sleeps.

Tomy
Ere, BabySham! Catch this.

Tomy sloshes out the milk covering BabySham from head to toe.

Cut to:

INT- RAY

...where Leon is slashing his wrists.
Well he's trying to, but the wobbly table isn't making it easy.
Chris looks around for a chair to sit on.

Chris
We low on chairs?

Stew
Have next door stolen them?

Chris looks through a window in a door that opens onto an adjoining kitchen.
In that kitchen, a TALL MAN WITH GLASSES sits at a table, making notes from a portable radio.
He has something that looks like one of those calendar pads you get on things kids make at play-school.  Occasionally, he rips a sheet off and eats it.
Also at the table is a HAIRY MAN with a baggy jumper, sawing his chair with a bread-knife.
A third figure (EWAN PRU) is also seated at the table. He is wearing mirrored sunglasses, and counting what look like top-trumps cards.
Stood up by the cooker is an AUBURN HAIRED MAN in a green sweatshirt,
and a further figure in a blue shirt and glasses (CRAIG (Tom Cruise)) approaches the camera (casually, and non-threateningly), and peers through the window back at Chris.
They both jump back, and retreat discretely from the door.
There was a large stack of chairs in there.

Chris
No. There's no chairs through there.

Leon is now at the kettle, trying to get it to boil. We never saw him move there.
He presumably made the journey while we were looking through the window.

Stew
What are they doing?

Chris
Dunno. All looks weird.

Stew
Maybe they've sacrificed the chairs to their god or something.

Alex
No. A god wouldn't accept chairs.

Stew
Maybe this is a special chair obsessed god.

Jim
And on the sixth day he created Ikea.

Alex
That's MY god, and he only accepts live offerings.

Stew
What sort of live offerings?

Alex
Babies are the best, but they're trickier to get hold of.

Jim
Get a chair from your room, Chris.

Chris
Good idea.

He leaves for the corridor.

Stew
So what do you use if you can't get babies?

Alex
You.

Stew
Oh. Right.

The kettle is refusing to boil.

Leon
(kindly. coaxing)
Come on... You can do it... That's it...

Suddenly he whacks the kettle round the handle, visciously. Perhaps a bit of the plastic cracks away.
He whacks again. A light comes on on the kettle.

Leon
Good girl!

Chris returns.

Chris
Shit. I've lost my keys.

Stew
Stupid twat.

Jim
Have you locked them in your room?

Chris
Yeah. I think so.

Stew
You checked the fridge?

Chris
What?

Stew
I knew a fella once kept his keys in the fridge.

Jim
You've known a lot of odd people in your time.

Stew
Yes.

Leon is watching the kettle heat up. The light flickers a little and expires.

Leon
Noooo! Bad Rowenta.

He whacks it again. He hugs it a little. Then whacks it again.
Chris passes in front of him. He exits through the door Alex used.

EXT- GOODRICKE SQUARE - DAY

He passes under a flyover, and into:

INT - PORTER'S LODGE - DAY

It is empty but for ECONOMICS (Phil Daniels).
He has mad curly hair and looks slightly odd and shifty.
He talks in that Australian quizical inflection thing.

Econ.
Yes, Chris, and what can I do for you?

Chris
I've locked my keys in my room.

Econ.
You've locked your keys in your room?! Go'h!
What are you? Thick or somethin'?
You should keep 'em in the fridge. Tuh!

He plucks a key from a board behind his desk.

Econ.
Here you are. Don't do it again.

Chris
Could you take a look at our sink, too?

Econ.
Well I don't know. I'm absolutely run off my feet at the moment(?)

He isn't.

Stew walks past, carrying a Sheffield Wednesday mug, a pad, and a pen. We follow him to a simple violin piece.

EXT - GOODRICKE BEACH / PHYSICS BUILDING - CONT.

Stew is wearing green canvas trainers, which have holes in the backs making them look a bit like slingbacks.
We notice his feet because we watch him crossing a series of stepping stones from this building to the Physics department. As he enters the Physics building, we track along the side, over the lake, keeping pace with the unseen Stew. There is much in the way of water-fowl here, but not in the way of human life. Throughout, we here the squeaking of Stew's footwear, echoing across the universe.
We track past the end of the building just as Stew exits it, and continue to track with him as far as the lake allows. Stew then begins to walk off into the distance, beyond the bridge that bars our way, but as he does, another character, ANT (Ben Kingsley), walks across this near bridge (L to R), obscuring Stew. We follow Ant as he walks towards the Physics building, but do not track with him.

Ant is wearing a blue anorakish jacket and carrying a small rucksack. His main distinguishing feature is a not insubstantial nose.

Rather than entering the building, he walks along this near side, and a quarter of the way along he stops to tie his shoelace, utilising a bench. The camera angle is now such that we see straight along the bank from Ant to Goodricke. Coming from back there is Chris.

Cut to a shot of the Physics building from the top of Goodricke A-Block. The shot is made to look like a view through a telescopic gun-sight. We see Chris approaching Ant. Both are either side of the crosshair.

ANT
(MW radio quality or lower)
Where's the other two?

CHRIS
They've overslept.
Can't hold their cider.

The two are now at the centre of the shot.

Cut to the pair shot from through the window of the Physics building, but with normal exterior sound. It shouldn't really be obvious that it's shot through the window - it's just that we're pressed for space.

ANT
Not a problem for a tee-totaller like you.

CHRIS
Quite.

Cut to over-shoulder shots.

CHRIS
Not entirely sure how they managed
to oversleep though, to be honest.
What with Barnie banging about the place...

ANT
Your cleaner?

CHRIS
A-huh. First thing in the morning...
making all kinds of row...

ANT
It's their job to make that sort of noise.

CHRIS
I'm not sure it is you know.

ANT
I've got your book by the way.

He passes Chris a thick textbook from his bag.

CHRIS
Ah right. Ta.
I trust you're fully prepared.

ANT
A-huh. You?

CHRIS
I got it done weeks ago.

ANT
Of course.

Back to assassin POV.

ANT
Are we waiting for them?

CHRIS
No. Jim said they'd see us there.

ANT
Righto.

The two move out of shot, left. Then the shot goes black and the violin music ends (unabruptly).

Cut to:

EXT - GOODRICKE A-BLOCK ROOF - CONT.

A shot of Leon laid out on the roof, closing the lid on a violin case next to him. We don't see what he might've put in it because of the tight angle.
Crane back as Leon gets up and walks out of shot, right. In the background, the time on the Biology clock-tower is 8:13.
A goose flies past, obscuring the clock face for a moment, and through the magic of television, the time now reads 2:40, which should be a simple hand-reversal, and as such, barely perceptible.

Cut to:

EXT - LANGWITH WEIR - AFTERNOON

A shot of the weir crossing near Langwith. The water splashes down and we move up, showing the path, and the feet of Stew. But we don't fully reveal it is him. Instead we gradually zoom onto the fancy hump-backed bridge along the lake. At the centre, looking at where Stew probably is, is a tall, stubbly, balding fellow who we shall call JIM2 (Kevin Spacey), because he is the second Jim in this story. He eats a Flake rather than smoking a cigarette, but manages to do so in similar character.

After a few bites, Stew enters shot to the left. As he approaches the bridge, Jim2 walks off to the right, finishing his chocolate (pouring the crumbs into his open gullet) and binning the wrapper. As the camera pans right to cover this, Stew falls back out of shot, as he's staying on his side of the lake.

Jim2 also leaves shot (right) and we zoom across the lake to Vanbrugh Quays. The university is now somewhat busier with humanity. There are signs advertising a CD sale, and we notice a queue for the cash machine.

Cut to:

EXT - VANBRUGH QUAY / GOODRICKE BRIDGE / GOODRICKE SQUARE - CONT.

A closer shot, looking past the queue and up the rubber path to the library. Here we see Ant, Jim and Chris walking towards us. All except Chris are carrying small rucksacks.
Jim is wearing a green sweat-shirt with small semaphore flag emblems. The flags should spell out "POG". He also wears trousers and shoes. He isn't wearing glasses any more though.

JIM
And what did he mean
"Chosen Ones are never
any good with oscilloscopes"?

ANT
You know Fisher...
speaks in riddles just to confuse you.

JIM
But why would he call me a Chosen One?
Do I look particularly chosen to you?

CHRIS
I guess he thinks you're special.

JIM
Well I am special. But I don't
know as I've ever been chosen exactly.

CHRIS
Not even in PE?

JIM
Especcially not in PE.

ANT
Maybe he wants you to do
a special project or something...

JIM
Oh yeah. Trust me to get a
"special project" or something.
Of all the things to be chosen in...

CHRIS
It's true. Fisher's special projects
are notoriously evil...

ANT
Saddam had to write a beard-sorting
program last month. Nearly killed him.

JIM
Great(!)

CHRIS
Well I'd rest easy if I were you...
Babysham's likely to be getting
the brunt of his wrath this week.

ANT
I hear he vomitted on the printer terminal.

JIM
Yeah. It was... I'll be printing off
in Langwith from now on, I think.

CHRIS
Still... I expected him to
at least show up today.

ANT
Given we were being assessed and all, yeah.

JIM
Well it does take the heat off me rather.
If Babysham's getting the "special project",
I guess I'm in the clear for now.

CHRIS
There's always next month.

JIM
Yees.

Shot from these three (at the water's edge) to Goodricke Bridge, where we can see that Leon is crossing towards Vanbrugh. He wears a long black leather coat and carries a violin case. He looks a little shifty.

CHRIS
Looks like Leon's off on another job.

JIM
A-huh.

CHRIS
Alright, Leon!

Leon looks around nervously, noticably trying to screen his torso with the pillars and passers by. He sees Chris et al, and sheepishly / reluctantly waves. He looks around himself again, and scutters on out of shot.

There are temporary traffic-lights installed on the bridge.

The camera follows Ant, Chris and Jim.

ANT
(re traffic-lights)
Are these your doing?

JIM
I sincerely doubt that.

CHRIS
I don't remember them, certainly.

The lights are at red, and the camera stops tracking, allowing the three to move a distance away.

JIM
How's the dungeon coming along?

ANT
We're um... the... not bad.
I'm having trouble with one of the walls...
...it keeps going transparent.

CHRIS
A-huh. Well you've probably
not defined your texture properly.

ANT
Hmm.

The light turns green and the camera continues its tracking. The lights themselves should be as un-noticable as possible mind...

ANT
You still on with your little project, Chris?

CHRIS
It's on hold for now.

JIM
How come?

CHRIS
The world isn't ready for it yet.

ANT
God help us when it is.

Beat.

JIM
(to Ant)
You coming in Ray?

ANT
Nah, I've got to...
do something else.

CHRIS
Oh, right?

ANT
Yeah. I'll catch you tomorrow, probably.
Ada doesn't type itself...

JIM
Oh god... yeah. You got
labs tomorrow morning?

ANT
Er...

Ant flips out a wallet from his pocket which contains (in the driving licence window) an elaborately coloured chart.

ANT
It would appear so.

CHRIS
Most people have pictures of their
girlfriends in their wallets, but
not Ant...

ANT
Computer Science is my girlfriend.

JIM
Yours too?

CHRIS
The filthy, two-timing bitch.

ANT
But I love her for it.

JIM
See you tomorrow then.

ANT
A-huh.

Jim and Chris head to Goodricke A-Block, while Ant heads to a bridge in the background. We follow him but track and pan across to catch a glimpse of Stew who comes out of the Porter's lodge and walks straight into:

INT - GOODRICKE TERMINAL ROOM - CONT.

Stew sits at a computer and types:

The bees are making cheese.
There's no money in honey.
They've cornered the market for christmas.

Melt to:

INT - ALEX'S ROOM, YORK UNI - AFTERNOON

Alex waking up, screaming.
He is in a coffin, surrounded by candles. There is a jug of ash on a desk.
A pentangle is drawn onto the floor.
Alex gets out of his coffin, and slips on a banana skin.

INT - MR CHOPS - AFTERNOON

Jim and Chris enter the corridor from the bottom end, shortly followed by a muffled cry from a room to our right:

MUFFLED CRY (ALEX)
Oof. Fuck!

CHRIS
You alright, Alex?

ALEX (OFF)
Fuck off!

Tomy appears from an alcove, left.

TOMY
Hiya, Jimns.

JIM
Tomy. Have you been
on my computer?

TOMY
Yeah. That's alright, isn't it?

JIM
Not really, no.

TOMY
Good.

JIM
Is it still in one piece?

TOMY
Yeah. What do you take me for?

JIM
You've not defragged it again?

TOMY
No.

JIM
Good.

TOMY
I'm going to go and laugh
at some sociology students.
Wanna come?

JIM
No thanks.

TOMY
Chris?

CHRIS
Maybe some other time.

Tomy wanders off. Jim goes to check his computer.

INT - JIM'S ROOM - CONT.

CHRIS
Does he know what sociology is?

JIM
Dunno. I expect he's
reformatted my hard drive.

CHRIS
You see you said yes to him once...
That's it. It's like... you're his owner now.
He's a faithful puppy... You show a bit of interest
and you're stuck with him forever. You're too nice to him.

JIM
He's bigger than me.

CHRIS
True. Is it ok?

JIM
Seems to be. He's got his Wing Commander
fix for the week now, at any rate...

CHRIS
A-huh. Not left you any lewd wallpaper?
Only if he as, I'm happy for a copy...

JIM
Nope. I think that sort of thing is beyond him.

CHRIS
What's he studying?

JIM
Maths.

CHRIS
I see. I wonder if they've fixed the sink yet...

JIM
Go and have a look.

CHRIS
I shall.

Chris heads back out into:

INT - MR CHOPS - CONT

...the corridor and nearly walks into Alex, who is pacing deliberately in the direction of the kitchen.

ALEX
Garh..

CHRIS
Sorry.

The two sort of stagger together into:

INT - RAY - CONT.

CHRIS
Is the sink still blocked, do you know?

ALEX
Marrow...

CHRIS
Oh. Right.

Chris does something indistinct around the sink, while Alex pokes in the fridge. We then follow Chris out of the door and into:

EXT - GOODRICKE SQUARE - CONT.

He crosses the square, towards the Porter's Lodge, passing the Terminal Room. We rest there, and rejoin Stew.

INT - TERMINAL ROOM - CONT.

Stew ratters into the keyboard:

Fade to Black, closing titles.
At this point, Stew looks up from his UNIX terminal monitor and
cracks his knuckles.
The room is empty but for five others:
Three are extras.
One is KAREN (Helen Atkinson-Wood),
and another is ALAN (Hugh Hopper).
Alan walks over, grinning.

Alan
Yeah, you know what that's all about don't you.

Stew
What?

Alan
I got wet just for that.

Stew
Eh?

Alan is a bespectacled fellow with wiry hair.

Alan
So it's just half an hour of some guy talking on a tape?

Stew
 Well twenty minutes. You're on about the lecture?

Alan
Yeah.

Stew
Thank god for that. For a minute there
I thought I'd gone stark-raving mad.

Alan leaves.
A message flashes on the e-mail. It is from Leon.
It reads:
I knew there'd be a bloody CD sale in Vanbrugh. I don't know whether I dreamt it. Shit as usual I suppose.

Stew presses D, then flushes his Inbox.
He logs out and leaves the terminal room.

EXT - GOODRICKE SQUARE - CONT.

Stew crosses towards A-Block. Ewan Pru walks the other way.

STEW
Alright?

Ewan Pru fails to respond, and continues round the back of the college to C-Block. Stew shrugs as he enters:

INT - RAY - EARLY EVENING

Alex is assembling some items from the fridge. Jim is assembling some items from his cupboard.

STEW
Just saw your anti-matter twin, Alex.

JIM
What... Ewan Pru?

STEW
A-huh. Narrow miss, that.
I nearly walked into him.

JIM
It's only a problem if Alex walks into him.

STEW
Then...?

JIM
Kaboom.

STEW
Lovely. So don't be doing that, Alex.

ALEX
Mm.

Leon comes in, slamming the door. This really needs fake wind and snow... it's that sort of entry.
He looks kind of nervous.

STEW
You alreyt, Leon?

LEON
Hmm? Yes... Yes... Fine... Hmm.

He nods a little over enthusiastically.

Jim is assembling a peanut butter sandwich.
Alex has produced a jar of gurkins and a rather large knife.
Stew has sat himself down.
Leon also sits but will occasionally get up and nervously look through the window.

STEW
I've been planning a pub crawl.

Alex groans.

JIM
I'm still recovering from last night, actually.
And us compscis have an assessment on the go.
Maybe after that. About a fortnight...

STEW
Sounds good to me.

JIM
Right-oh. This sink's still
not working, I see...

ALEX
Mm.

Leon gets up again.

JIM
What're you doing, Leon?

LEON
Me? Nothing... Nothing of any note.
Just... exercising...

JIM
Good. Good.

Jim leaves for the corridor. Stew picks up the kettle and begins to cuddle it.
Alex is sat at the table, slicing gurkins with a large knife.

MIDGE (Mel Giedroyc) enters from the outside. She wears a maize coloured shirt, and a long red skirt with a stylised floral print.
She has mousey blonde curly hair and wears glasses.

Leon and Stew
Hello! Hello!

Midge
Urgh! They're being weird again!

Alex
Hurruh urruh. Muh..

Stew
Yeah. Sausage rolls.




Midge stands behind Alex and toys with him discretely.

Econ and Chris enter from outside.

Chris
Here, you see. It's not draining properly.

Econ. examines the sink.

Econ.
Ah, there's your problem(?)
Cos like you can't have the sink totally clear(?)

Econ. scrapes down the sink a large amount of vegetable waste.

Jim re-enters the kitchen

Jim
Er, woah. There's a dead body in the lift...

Stew
What?

Jim
Er... looks like Barnie...

Everyone looks at each other. Dramatic music...
Fade out.

To Episode 0, Part 2