SCENE #1 – EXT – SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE – NIGHT – JULY 1797
On the 22nd of July 1797, the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife takes place. Battle occurs as the Royal Navy have begun their invasion on the Spanish port city. Gunshots from firearms and cannons echo as the invasion fleet converges. A blazing inferno occurs; screams from women and children echo and naval soldiers against Spanish men fight each other.
Far away on the outskirts of Santa Cruz De Tenerife, a little Spanish boy runs on the beach. He pants and puffs as he runs whilst terribly afraid. His feet pad through the sand, as he makes for the sea. The boy then trips over and falls to the ground. The boy splutters sand out of his mouth, as he weeps and cries. This lasts for about eight seconds, before he moves forward on his hands and knees. He then stops again, having another good cry.
(cries) “Mama!” (shrieks) “Mama!”
The Spanish boy sobs further.
(sobs) “Quiero que mi mama!”
The boy eventually crawls forward as he gets up to his feet from the ground. Slowly he walks forward, before his feet are immersed in sea water. Just as the boy walks deeper into the water, a sudden blinding light appears. The boy is startled and terrified as the light blinds him. He shields his eyes from the light.
(startled) “Qué es esto?”
Eventually the boy becomes curious as he realizes there is something in the light. Soft whispering echoes from within the light. The boy listens to what is being said. After a while, he speaks in a hypnotised voice, without any hint of mourning for his mother.
(slowly) “Sí. Me dé un paso hacia adelante! Yo paso adelante que ahora!”
The Spanish boy walks forward through the water and enters into the light. The boy then disappears before the bright light fades away. The Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife still goes on in the background.
SCENE #2 – EXT – MIDFORD ROAD, BATH – NIGHT – NOVEMBER 1797
Still in 1797, outside the Cross Keys pub in Bath, a man called Thorpe-Willoughby is thrown out into the streets. He ends up in a puddle of dirty water. People laugh at him, whilst the landlord of the Cross Keys steps out of the pub and looks down at him. He is volatile and unsympathetic to Thorpe-Willoughby.
CROSS KEYS LANDLORD
(shouts) “If you show yourself in my establishment again without paying, I shall call for the beadle and you’ll be sorry for it!”
Thorpe-Willoughby rises to his feet in a drunk state, as he tries to get back into the pub.
“Oh come on, my dear good man. At least one more snifter to finish the day…”
CROSS KEY LANDLORD
“Not one drop! You’ve gambled too much in your enterprise and you have not paid for a single pint in this household! You certainly aren’t welcome here!”
“Now see here…”
CROSS KEY LANDLORD
“Good night to you, sir! Though I surely doubt it!”
Before Thorpe-Willoughby can get his foot in the door, the door slams shut by the landlord. Everyone else in the street laughs at him. Thorpe-Willoughby turns to see everyone mocking him.
(upset) “Yes! Go on; laugh at me! I used to be a fine gentleman of wealthy proportion before my family disowned me and my fortune! See how pitiless and wretched I am?!”
Nobody takes notice, as they keep on laughing at him.
(fumes; cries) “Fiends! Fiends, all of you!”
Thorpe-Willoughby storms off down the street, still drunk. He stumbles forward, causing everyone to laugh even more. Thorpe-Willoughby disappears into the darkness, as the people’s laughter dies down. Everybody continues on their way through the streets.
SCENE #3 – EXT – MIDFORD ROAD, BATH – NIGHT – NOVEMBER 1797
Far away from the Cross Keys pub on Midford Road, Thorpe-Willoughby walks alone. He receives no sympathy from anyone. He bumps into someone accidentally. The person reacts irritably.
(disorderly) “Sorry. Sorry.”
Despite this, Thorpe-Willoughby continues to trudge on through the cold and the dark. A moment of silence ensues as he walks on. Eventually, Thorpe-Willoughby stops in his tracks. A deep cold voice speaks to him. The voice has a strong Spanish accent.
Thorpe-Willoughby is startled. He looks around to ascertain who the voice belongs to.
“Thorpe-Willoughby?” (Pause) “Thorpe-Willoughby?” (Pause) “Can you see me?”
Thorpe-Willoughby stumbles as he becomes uncertain as to where the voice is coming from.
(puzzled) “Who’s there? What do you want?”
“Small insignificant man. Can you see my face?! Can you see me?!”
“How can I see you sir, with it being so moonless and dark. Show yourself I beg you!”
“You cannot command me, sir. For I give commands.”
Moment of silence.
“What do you want from me? Money?” (Pause) “I can give you none!”
“It is a sin to give false testimony. You a man who attended the church should know that. For you were given the chance to persevere in it, by your father. Yet you chose not to take that path.”
Moment of silence.
“How do you know so much about me – whoever you are?” (Pause) “I implore you, show yourself!”
“I have always been with you, little man. For you are to be my servant. My first disciple!”
The man with the dark cold Spanish voice then steps out from the dark and reveals himself to Thorpe-Willoughby. Thorpe-Willoughby shudders at the sight of the man.
“I am…your saviour, Thorpe Willoughby!” (Pause) “I am your saviour!”
Roll original 1982 Peter Davison opening credits
© Tim Bradley, 2017
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