‘The Space Hotel’, Part One, Chapter 2

chuckle brothers

2. Cooper and Hill

SCENE #12 – INT – CARGO BAY #4, LEVEL #81 – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
Electrics and sparks fly about as people help with sorting the rubble piled around the spaceship that has crashed in Cargo Bay #4. This ship happens to be a space freighter. There is a lot of hustle and bustle as the hotel staff and crewmen sort things out.


SCENE #13 – INT – LARRY’S FREIGHTER – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
In the cockpit of the freighter, two bumbling businessmen are inside. They have the reputation of being a future ‘Laurel and Hardy’. They’re called Larry Cooper and Bob Hill. Larry is very frustrated at having his own space freighter smashed through the hotel walls.

LARRY
“Well this is nice fine mess, isn’t it?! We’ve come here to spend a nice time in a hotel by the book, and we crash through a wall on our first day! I told you we should have listened to the docking instructions more carefully!” (Pause) “Bob? Bob, are you listening to me?”

BOB
“Oh dear. Bertie’s being told off by Spode!”

LARRY
“Never mind your ‘Code of the Woosters’ book, Bob! We’ve got plenty of time for that! What will the manager say?”

BOB
“Quite a lot I should imagine!”

LARRY
“I hope our business partner won’t have to wait long for us to get out of this!”

BOB
“Oh don’t worry Larry! I should imagine she’ll be having her fish and chips! I can smell them from the stratosphere of a two tonned comet!”

LARRY
“Fish and chips! Don’t you ever think of anything else, Bob?”

BOB
“Yes I do, Larry!”

LARRY
“Oh really what?”

BOB
“Pie and chips!”

LARRY
(sighs) “How’s our youngster in the back? Is he alright?”

BOB
“Yeah he’s fine, Larry! Bit green though!”

LARRY
“Well of course he’s green! He’s just been in space you idiot!” (Pause) “I hope the things we’ve got to show to our fine client haven’t been damaged! What did you do with the stuff, Bob?”

BOB
“Eh?”

LARRY
“What did you do with the stuff?”

BOB
“I put it in with your luggage?”

LARRY
“Oh I see!” (Pause; shocked) “What! Have I been carrying your luggage all the time then?”

BOB
(cheeringly) “Yes.”

LARRY
“No wonder it was a hard job at the stellar port! I’m not fat! Next time, take your stinking stuff in your own bags!”

BOB
“I can’t!”

LARRY
“Why not?”

BOB
“I left my bags at home when we left!”

LARRY
“Oh! What am I going to do with you?”

The passenger in the back suddenly wakes up as he come round from his sleep. The passenger happens to be a young man named Joel. Larry and Bob notice that he’s woken up.

BOB
“Oh look! Look Larry! He’s waking up!”

LARRY
“Ah!” (to Joel) “Hello lad! You alright?”

JOEL
“No I’m not! I’m dizzy and fed up! And not to mention this place stinks!”

BOB
“Ah! That was me! Sorry!”

LARRY
“Bob! Stop that!”

BOB
“I can’t help it! I’m not used to flying these crates!”

LARRY
“This is not a crate! Anyway it was my freighter! You had no right to fly it!”

Someone flies up from outside. Bob and Larry look to see someone on rockets looking at them from the window outside. It is Bruce the android.

BRUCE
“You had no right to fly in at all. It was rather stupid.”

BOB
“Larry! There’s a robot outside!”

BRUCE
“Android. Why does everybody keep confusing me with a robot? I’m an android for pity’s sake. Not that I’m bothered much with people mistaking me for one. I usually would prefer to be a robot than look like all you humans. Oh I’m so tired.”

LARRY
“Had bad nightmares then?”

BRUCE
(groans) “Oh if only I had! Are you booking a room here by any chance?”

BOB
“We had thought to. Before we crashed in here!”

BRUCE
“Well when you do? Could you swap my room with yours? My room’s so terrible! So, so, so, so, so, so…and so, so, so, so….what’s the word I’m looking for?”

BOB
(thinks) “Um? Terrible?”

BRUCE
“I was going to say that. Why do humans always finish what I’m going to say. I’m supposed to be superior in many ways, aren’t I?”

JOEL
(interrupts) “Cut the chat will you Bruce and get us out of this dump?”

BRUCE
“Yes Master Rotenhend!”

BOB
“Master?”

LARRY
“Are you in charge of this place, lad?”

JOEL
“Don’t call me, lad! And no I’m not!”

LARRY
“Ah well! Glad to meet you anyway! I’m Mr. Larry Cooper and this is my partner, Mr. Bob Hill! Say hello, Bob Hill!”

BOB
“Hello Bob Hill!”

LARRY
“Oh I can’t take you anywhere!”

JOEL
“If you two are thinking of staying at this place…you’d better watch out for my father! He can really shout your head off!”

BOB
“Like I said Larry! He’ll have quite a lot to say I imagine!”

Larry, Bob and Joel wait patiently, as Bruce the android and many others help sort out the rubble and mess in the space craft.


SCENE #14 – INT – CORRIDOR, LEVEL #26 – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
Meanwhile the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy walk down a corridor after leaving their room.

NYSSA
(curiously) “Where are you going, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“To the lobby! I want to find out from reception what caused that malfunction in our room!”

NYSSA
“Could this relate to how the TARDIS got here?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t think so. But it could be a link to what’s going on with the TARDIS. The littlest things are often the cause for the greatest disasters. And I definitely would like to see someone about my trousers after that tea spillage!” (to Billy) “And Billy, you’re just not listening to me. You’re just staring into space.”

NYSSA
“Billy?”

Billy is transfixed when he looks out of a hotel window.

DOCTOR
(shouts) “Billy!”

Billy is startled before he calms down.

BILLY
(startled) “Yes. Sorry Doctor. It’s…its just amazing. We’re in space. After all those space missions I saw on TV, they’ve finally managed to do it.” (Pause) “It’s wonderful!”

DOCTOR
“Yes. I really appreciate your enthusiasm Billy, but I really need to…

NYSSA
“It is wonderful. It’s easy to forget when you see wonderful things as this.”

DOCTOR
“Nyssa!”

NYSSA
“What?”

DOCTOR
“We haven’t got time for this! I need to see someone about my trousers! I hope to get compensation for this!”

NYSSA
“There’s no need to fuss over a pair of trousers, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
(shocked) “No need to fuss!”

A radio noise blares out as someone speaks on the tannoy. It is Gordon Rotenhead, who is irritated and annoyed.

GORDON (V’OVER)
(loudly) “Attention! Attention all, you bozos and nitwits! This is Mr. Rotenhend, manager of Rotenhend Hotel 360 speaking! So shut up and listen to me while I’m talking to you! Okay!”

BILLY
(startled) “What was that?”

NYSSA
“It sounds like Mr. Rotenhend, the hotel manager is about to make another announcement. Though he does shout a lot.”

DOCTOR
“Let’s hear what he has to say!”

The trio listen in as Gordon continues speaking on the tannoy.

GORDON (V’OVER)
“Now just to inform you, a space freighter flown by a couple of lunatics has just crashed into this finely established hotel at this very moment…unfortunately!” (Pause) “Welcome to those who have just crashed into my hotel wall in the cargo bay, whoever you are! Before I start I just want you to know that I’m not happy!” (raises voice) “I’ve worked hard getting this hotel running and I don’t see why new guests have to come here and keep on messing my life whilst I’ve got too much work to do! [I’m having a wasteful and very unhappy marriage at the moment! And I don’t see why everybody should be enjoying themselves all the time while I worry! Furthermore I don’t see why people expect me to be hospitable; helpful and charmingly friendly when I’m trying to run a hotel. All you do is stick your noses into every corner and looking for plenty of things to complain about, aren’t you?…]”

Whilst Gordon makes this unfriendly announcement, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy debate.

DOCTOR
“Well at least we know what happened when the tea spilled on me!”

NYSSA
“Do you still intend to go to the lobby, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes I do.”

NYSSA
“You won’t get much from the hotel staff. Especially not from that hotel manager!”

DOCTOR
“No I won’t. But at least I can get my curiosity sorted if I ask the properly considered questions in mind!”

BILLY
“And what questions are you going to ask then, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t know. I haven’t considered them properly yet.”

BILLY
“Well shall I arrange an outing or something in one of those fantasy make-believe rooms or something?”

NYSSA
“They’re called simi-suites, Billy.”

BILLY
“Alright simi-suites! I’ve still got my camera. We can go out and enjoy ourselves for a bit whist we’re still here at the hotel!”

DOCTOR
“This isn’t a holiday, Billy! We could be in serious danger for all we know if we stay here!”

NYSSA
“But we can try and blend in with what the other guests are doing Doctor. We can avoid being suspicious-looking to the naked eyes of other guests!”

DOCTOR
“Fair point!” (Pause) “Alright Billy. You and Nyssa sort out something in the simi-suite and I’ll join you as soon as I can! I’ll let you know of anything strange or suspicious.”

NYSSA
“Yes Doctor!”

BILLY
“That’s fine by me!”

DOCTOR
“Good.”

They listen in as Gordon finishes his announcement on the tannoy.

GORDON (V’OVER)
“[…Now as you are all aware, the Weerds are coming to visit my spectacularly amazing and five-star if not ten-star hotel.] So please do be nice and friendly to the Weerds when they arrive soon, who have less fun appeal as a Piratin’s ompsadaysy! Right I’ve finished. So you can get back to…whatever you want to do! Okay! And I’ll kill you if you found my announcement boring!”

Gordon finishes, cutting and switching off from the intercom.

BILLY
(sarcastically) “Pleasant fellow isn’t he!”

NYSSA
(wryly) “Very pleasant.”

DOCTOR
“Right! I’ll see you two later!”

NYSSA
“Take care Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“I will.”

The Doctor departs, as Billy and Nyssa are left together.

BILLY
“Right. Now how shall we arrange a visit to the…simi-suites?”

NYSSA
“We can try this interface on the wall! It can help with any queries through voice activation.”

BILLY
“Okay. I’ll see if I can switch it on!”

They go to the interface on the wall.

NYSSA
“Billy, wait! Perhaps I’d better do it! I might know how to operate that interface more effectively than you do!”

BILLY
(reassuringly) “No it’s alright. I’ll do it.”

NYSSA
“But Billy…”

Billy attends to the interface.

BILLY
“Now let’s see which button to press. Eeny meeny miny mo!”

Billy presses a button. A female computer voice speaks.

COMPUTER VOICE
“Room service.”

BILLY
(panics; to computer) “Oh no! No, no, no! I don’t want room service thank you!”

COMPUTER VOICE
“Room service.”

NYSSA
(to computer) “We wish to book a simi-suite!”

COMPUTER VOICE
“If you require room service, press ‘TALK BACK’ on your interface.”

BILLY
(baffled) “Talk back?” (to Nyssa) “Talk back, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“It’s that button there, Billy!”

BILLY
“Oh right.”

Billy presses the ‘talk back’ button on the interface.

BILLY
(to computer) “Uh hello. I’d like to arrange a booking for one of the…err…”

NYSSA
“Simi-suites!”

BILLY
(to computer) “Simi-suites, please!”

COMPUTER VOICE
“This is room service.”

BILLY
(agitated, to computer) “Yes I know that! You told us that already for goodness sake!”

NYSSA
(to Billy) “It’s a computer Billy. It won’t understand your agitation!” (to computer) “How do we book for one of the simi-suites?”

COMPUTER VOICE
“For simi-suite booking, please access simi-suite book on fifty-ninth level!”

BILLY
(to computer) “Thank you.” (confused) “Um, how do we access the simi-suite book?”

COMPUTER VOICE
“Access simu-suite interface on fifty-ninth level!”

BILLY
(to computer) “And where is the interface?”

COMPUTER VOICE
“On the fifty-ninth level!”

BILLY
(slightly annoyed, to computer) “And where is the fifty-ninth level?”

COMPUTER VOICE
“Seven levels down where you are!”

BILLY
(sighs, to computer) “Thanks very much! Signing off from here. Over and out”

Billy then switches off the ‘talk back’ button.

BILLY
(annoyed, to Nyssa) “Why couldn’t she say go down to the fifty-ninth floor! That would have been much easier to understand!”

NYSSA
“Voice-activated computers are precise and specific on what they say, Billy. They just state specific details.”

BILLY
“It’s more like reading from a textbook!”

NYSSA
“I think we’d better go to the fifty-ninth floor!”


SCENE #15 – INT – LOBBY, LEVEL #1 – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
Back at reception in the lobby on Level #1, Gordon is there fuming about the incident with the freighter crashing into his hotel. Elizabeth is with him at reception.

GORDON
“Builders.” (shouts) “Builders!”

ELIZABETH
“You get what you pay for, Gordon! If we’re going to have that hole fixed…”

GORDON
(shouts) “I don’t see why it’s got to be fixed! I’m not having builders in my hotel! They do their…things whenever they’re about!”

ELIZABETH
“The hotel was bound to get damaged anyway, Gordon!”

GORDON
“Woman! Have you ever considered the fact that builders might be expensive?”

Moment of silence.

ELIZABETH
“Not really, no!”

GORDON
(shouts loudly) “NO!!! And why not? Because you always go for Rothenberg! He’ll do a good job!”

ELIZABETH
“Well that’s what we want isn’t it? We don’t want a badly built hotel do we? Rothenberg’s a professional! Unlike that Spacey man!”

GORDON
“Spacey will do a good job as well!” (Pause) “And at a very low price!”

Enuji then enters carrying a tray.

ENUJI
“Voom service! Voom service!”

ELIZABETH
(to Enuji) “Err Enuji! Come here!”

Enuji approaches reception.

ENUJI
“Wee?”

ELIZABETH
“It’s room service!”

ENUJI
(thinks)“Vroom service!”

ELIZABETH
“No Enuji! Room, room! Rrr, rrr!”

ENUJI
“Room, room! Rrr, rrr!”

ELIZABETH
“Yes that’s it! That’s it!”

ENUJI
“Ah! Room servise!”

ELIZABETH
“Never mind!”

GORDON
“And girl!” (slowly) “There is too much ketchup in those hot dogs!”

ENUJI
“Coo?”

GORDON
“There is too much ketchup in those hot dogs!”

ENUJI
“Coo?”

GORDON
“There is too much…oh forget it!” (to Elizabeth) “You Elizabeth sort this brat out!”

There’s a loud ding-ding from the reception desk bell, that makes Gordon jump.

GORDON
(startled) “What’s that?!”

Gordon looks to see the Doctor at the reception desk as he’s just rung the bell.

DOCTOR
“Excuse me?”

GORDON
“What do you want?”

DOCTOR
“Are you sure this hotel’s meant to be here?”

GORDON
(angrily) “What?”

ELIZABETH
“What do you mean by that, sir?”

DOCTOR
“Oh just a stray thought! Now I wonder if you can help me with something. If that’s alright?”

GORDON
“A query?”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

GORDON
(raises voice) “You have a query!”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

GORDON
(angrily) “By the hounds of…”

ELIZABETH
(interrupts) “Uh what is it we can do for you, sir?”

DOCTOR
“Well, I was wondering…”

GORDON
(loudly) “Blah, blah, blah, blah! Blah, blah, blah, blah…”

ELIZABETH
(sharply) “Gordon! Will you stop being so rude!”

GORDON
(sardonically) “Duh! Sorry! I didn’t realise!”

ELIZABETH
(to Doctor) “My apologies, Mr…?”

DOCTOR
“Doctor.”

ELIZABETH
“Oh, Doctor. Sorry!”

GORDON
“Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

GORDON
(overly-politely) “Welcome to our hotel, Doctor! We’re very honoured to have you here!”

DOCTOR
(bemused) “Well thank you I…”

GORDON
“Anything you wish we will provide! Won’t we, Elizabeth dear?”

ELIZABETH
“Yes we will Gordon! Just you remember that, right?”

GORDON
“Of course! How could I not?” (to Doctor) “And is there anything we can do for you Doctor…?”

DOCTOR
“Well yes. As I was saying I was wondering if I could…”

Bruce the android then enters as he escorts Larry and Bob with Joel.

BRUCE
“Mr. Rotenhend.”

GORDON
“Not now Bruce.” (to Doctor) “Yes Doctor. Continue.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you. I wondered…”

BRUCE
“Mr. Rotenhend.”

GORDON
(shouts) “Go away, Bruce! Can’t you see I’m busy?”

BRUCE
“Mr. Rotenhend.”

GORDON
“Shut up!”

ELIZABETH
“What is it Bruce?”

BRUCE
“I brought the two men…”

GORDON
“Shut up!!” (Pause) “Now as I was saying…” (shouts, at Larry & Bob) “Shut up!!”

BOB
“I didn’t say anything.”

LARRY
“Bob, don’t talk.”

GORDON
“Shut up!”

ELIZABETH
“Stop it, Gordon.”

GORDON
“Shut up!”

DOCTOR
“Excuse me…”

GORDON
“Shut up!” (corrects himself) “Oh. OH! OH! I’m so sorry Doctor. I didn’t mean to…”

BRUCE
(interjects) “I’ve brought the two men from that crashed spaceship!”

ELIZABETH
“Ah. Thank you Bruce.”

BRUCE
“Can I go now. I want to lubricate myself!”

LARRY
(interjects) “Hiya! I’m Mr. Cooper and this is Mr. Hill!”

BOB
(cheerfully) “Hello!”

LARRY
“Sorry for smashing into your hotel like that! A slight mishap with the controls! Wasn’t it, Bob?”

BOB
“It was more than a slight mishap, Larry! We’re going to have to pay a lot for it!”

LARRY
“Yes! And I know who’ll do the paying!”

BOB
“Who will?”

LARRY
“You!”

BOB
“Me?!”

GORDON
(loudly) “Make up your mind which one of you is going to pay! That wall cost me parsecs of gold! I had to sacrifice my money’s worth of feeding Pedigree to my dog!” (sobs) “And he’s…he’s dead!”

DOCTOR
(interjects; coughs) “Can you get back to me? I still have a query…”

BRUCE
“I brought your son back as well!”

ELIZABETH
“What!”

BRUCE
“He was with the two men in the spaceship!”

ELIZABETH
“Joel? Are you alright dear?”

JOEL
“I’m fine mum! These two men rescued me.”

BOB
“Yeah! We saw him clinging to the side of the hotel in astro-suit and all! We thought he was going to die!”

LARRY
“That was when my friend Bob here crashed into your hotel!”

BOB
“But I saved him!”

LARRY
(protests) “You saved him? I brought him into the freighter!”

BOB
“And I was the one that spotted him first!”

ELIZABETH
(agitated; concerned) “What were you doing out there anyway Joel?”

GORDON
“Yeah what were you doing outside of my hotel when you should have been here at reception?! Come on, boy! I demand an explanation!”

JOEL
(fed up) “I couldn’t be bothered!”

GORDON
“That’s no answer!”

JOEL
“I’m going back to my room!”

GORDON
(shouts) “You will stay right where you are, son! Answer me straight! Stay where you are! I said stay where you are!”

But Joel has already gone.

GORDON
(shouts angrily) “Why doesn’t that boy ever do as his father tells him?”

ELIZABETH
“You were there when he was little, Gordon!”

GORDON
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

DOCTOR
(annoyed) “Excuse me?”

GORDON
(politely) “Sorry about this, Doctor. I’ll be with you in just one moment…” (shouts, to Elizabeth) “Elizabeth! What do you think you’re doing Elizabeth?”

ELIZABETH
“I’m giving these gentlemen the key to their room!” (to Larry) “Two singles, is it?”

LARRY
“Yes. Two singles, thanks!”

BOB
“Yes. Now and again! The wives keep coming back!”

GORDON
(shouts) “After all they’ve done…”

ELIZABETH
“Yes Gordon! Even after all they’ve done they get their rooms!”

Elizabeth hands Larry the keys.

ELIZABETH
“You’re in room 225!”

BOB
“What was that?”

ELIZABETH
“You’re in room 225! Hope you’ll enjoy your stay here gentlemen!”

LARRY
“Hope so. We booked for five days by the way!”

ELIZABETH
“Of course, Mr. Cooper; Mr. Hill. Five days!”

GORDON
(despairingly) “Just five?”

BOB
“Do we sign anything?”

ELIZABETH
“Of course. Just sign this form here please!”

LARRY
“Thank you!”

GORDON
“I feel like breaking my neck apart!”

Gordon turns his neck sharply which cracks. He lets out a pained cry before getting his neck back to normal.

GORDON
(in pain) “Ah! My neck!”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “Excuse me!”

GORDON
(overly-politely) “Yes, Doctor! Most delighted Doctor at our hotel! What can we do for you?”

DOCTOR
“Well I’m looking for information about any spatial anomalies! You see my ship came…”

BOB
(loudly) “I can’t read this form! It’s too complicated!”

ELIZABETH
“Oh I’m sorry.”

LARRY
“Hang on. Let me have a look!”

Larry has a look.

LARRY
“You’ve got it upside-down, you idiot!”

BOB
“Oh sorry! Sorry! My mistake, sorry!”

Bob turns the form up the right way.

GORDON
(shouts) “Can we have some silence?! I’m dealing with the Doctor?!” (to Doctor) “You were saying Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. My ship came here by accident, and I was wondering if anything unnatural…?” (Pause; astonished, to Larry) “That’s very unusual luggage, gentlemen! Those are holo-emitter stabilisers, aren’t they?”

LARRY
“Yes that’s right, sir. And Bob and I never go without them!” (to Bob) “Do we, Bob?”

BOB
(puzzled) “Do we?”

LARRY
“Yes we do.”

BOB
“Oh we do.”

LARRY
“If you like one I’m willing to sell err…Doctor, wasn’t it?”

DOCTOR
“Thank you. I’ll bear it in mind!”

BRUCE
(interrupts) “Can I go back to sleep now?”

ELIZABETH
(sharply) “No, Bruce! You’re to take these two gentlemen’s cases to their room! Room #225 it is!”

BRUCE
“I won’t enjoy it.”

GORDON
“Well don’t then! Who’s asking you to enjoy it! You’re a machine, for pity’s sake! Just a machine!”

BRUCE
“You’re right. Just a machine. A machine that doesn’t care. Why should I? Nobody cares for me.” (moans) “I’ll take these cases to their room.” (to Larry; Bob) “Come on gentlemen.”

LARRY
“Thanks robot!”

BRUCE
“Android. I told you before, I’m not a robot. I’m an android.”

BOB
“I think you’ve upset him, Larry.”

BRUCE
“Upset? I’m past upset.”

Mechanics whir away, as Bruce takes Larry and Bob to their rooms.

GORDON
“Daft robot!” (to Doctor) “You were saying Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(casually) “Thank you for helping me out so graciously Mr. Rotenhend. I really appreciate it.”

GORDON
“But you still have a query to make…”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “Room 225 those men were being taken to, wasn’t it?”

ELIZABETH
“Err yes. But I don’t see…”

DOCTOR
Thank you.”

The Doctor then leaves reception and heads off. Elizabeth is baffled whilst Gordon is enamoured.

ELIZABETH
“What a peculiar fellow! That Doctor! Did he book in last night Gordon?”

GORDON
(awed) “What a fine man! Such class!” (Pause) “And dressed for cricket! I should invite him to a match some time!”

ELIZABETH
(bemused) “I’ll go and find Joel. And remember Gordon. He’s your son.”

Elizabeth then leaves reception, whilst Gordon fantasizes to himself.

GORDON
“Yes! I’ll even invite him to dinner!” (chuckles) “This is a good day for me! Lady Mite. The Doctor.” (Pause; realises; shouts) “What! Where is everybody? And where’s that son of mine! I’ll sort him out!”

Gordon leaves the reception desk as he goes off to find Joel.


SCENE #16 – INT – ROOM #225, LEVEL #46 – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
In Room #225, Larry and Bob settle themselves in after being shown to their room by Bruce the android.

BOB
“Nice room this! Isn’t it, Larry?”

LARRY
“Yes. Pity I didn’t bring my teddy bear!”

BOB
“Yeah. I brought mine though.”

BRUCE
(glumly) “I might as well say this. Though I don’t know why I should bother.” (Pause) “Hope you two enjoy your stay at our hotel.”

LARRY
(gratified) “Well thank you, robot!”

BRUCE
(frustrated) “Android!”

LARRY
“Oh sorry. Android.”

BRUCE
“Dinner starts at seven-thirty. The hotel closes at ten-thirty in case you were thinking of going out which is highly un-recommended. If you wish room service just call on the interface. And if you want to…oh what’s the point. I’m leaving.”

BOB
(curious) “What was your name again?”

BRUCE
(gradually) “You ask my name?” (Pause) “Bruce. My name is Bruce.”

BOB
“Hello, Bruce! My name is Bob! I think I like you.”

BRUCE
“Like? You won’t say that when you see more of me.”

Bruce the android leaves glumly as the electronic doors shuts behind him. Larry and Bob are left alone.

BOB
“Nice chap isn’t he Larry?”

LARRY
“Never mind about that Bob. We’ve got things to deal with.”

BOB
Oh you mean with that client we’ve got.”

LARRY
“Yes. But first…”

BOB
“Yes?”

LARRY
“I’m going to have a bath?”

BOB
“Oh.”

LARRY
“And then we’ll have a snack sent up! I’m starving!”

BOB
“Yeah. So am I!”

LARRY
“Bob. Fetch me my towel and shampoo with conditioner will you?”

Bob sighs. Suddenly there’s a knock on the door. Both men are puzzled.

LARRY
“Who is it?”

BOB
(calls) “Come in!”

LARRY
(sharply, to Bob) “Don’t say ‘come in’ like that! We don’t even know who it is yet!”

The electronic door slides open as the Doctor enters, all casual and enthusiastic.

DOCTOR
“Hello gentlemen! I hope I’m not intruding. I can see that you’re settling in!”

LARRY
“Well, well! If it isn’t that Doctor we met at reception!”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Yes. Hello, you’re Mr. Cooper aren’t you!”

LARRY
“Just call me Larry.”

DOCTOR
“And you are…”

BOB
“Bob.”

DOCTOR
“Bob. Nice Bob. Very pleased to meet you.”

LARRY
“Well don’t just stand there Bob! We have a guest! Fetch the man a drink!”

BOB
“Yes Larry.”

LARRY
“And fetch me one while you’re at it!” (to Doctor) “Do please sit down Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Thank you!”

LARRY
“I haven’t tried these sofas before though Doctor. But I imagine they’re very comfortable.”

Both Larry and the Doctor slump into the sofas, whilst Bob goes over to fetch some drinks.

BOB
“I’ll use the replicator over here!”

Bob approaches replicator machine as he is about to make an order.

BOB
“What are you having, Larry?”

LARRY
“I’ll have a glass of fine malt please, Bob!”

BOB
“Same here!” (to Doctor) “And you, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Oh…lemonade with lots of ice please!”

BOB
(to replicator) “Hey! Machine! Two malts and one lemonade with lots of ice please!”

The replicator machine lights as it makes the drinks for the three in Room #225. The process is slow and the drinks take time to materialise.

BOB
(impatiently) “Work! Work! You stupid thing!”

Bob bangs on the replicator machine until eventually the drinks eventually fully materialise from the machine.

BOB
(pleased) “There we are! And on a tray too!”

Bob picks up the tray of drinks and brings them over to the Doctor and Larry.

DOCTOR
“They keep improving the functions of an ADC to perform and fulfill its tasks, but it’s never really right!”

LARRY
(bewildered) “ADC, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Analog-to-Digital Converter!”

LARRY
(confused) “Oh.”

BOB
“Here you are, Larry!”

Larry takes the drinks from Bob.

LARRY
“Ah! Thank you Bob! You didn’t have to get two malts for me, but very nice of you!”

BOB
“But…but…”

Larry slurps the whiskey from both glasses, letting out contended sighs as he does so.

LARRY
“Ah! This is the life.”

Bob, perturbed by what his friend’s just done, passes the tray for the Doctor to take his drink of lemonade from it.

BOB
“Here’s your drink, Doctor.”

The Doctor takes the glass from Bob.

DOCTOR
“Thank you Mr. Hill!”

BOB
“No problem.”

The Doctor sips his lemonade, whilst Larry slurps drinking at his whiskey and licking his lips.

DOCTOR
“So, you’ve managed to settle in well gentlemen!”

LARRY
“We certainly have.”

BOB
“Have you been at this hotel long, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“No. Arrived last night. Though I was here the previous year. And the service was quite satisfactory at the time.”

BOB
“Well…let’s hope the service will be good this year too.”

Moment of silence.

LARRY
“So? To what do we owe this pleasure Doctor? Why do you come to visit our castle as Bob and I might say!”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “I want to know about those holo-emitter stabilisers! I believe they might have diverted my ship to this hotel!”

LARRY
(anxiously) “Sorry. Can’t disclose that. Trade secret.”

DOCTOR
“Where did you get them?”

LARRY
(apprehensively) “This is our business and we only share it with our client.”

DOCTOR
“How did you get them? Why did you get them? And what are you using them for?”

LARRY
“I’m sorry Doctor, but Bob and I can’t help you? Can we Bob?”

BOB
(confused) “Oh. Can’t we?”

LARRY
“Of course we can’t!”

BOB
“Oh of course we can’t!”

DOCTOR
(insistently) “Who exactly is your client, gentlemen? I wish to know!”

Larry gets up from his sofa.

LARRY
“I’m sorry, Doctor! I’m afraid you have to go!”

DOCTOR
“What?”

LARRY
“If it’s money you want, we’re not interested! Now please leave us!”

The Doctor is pulled up from his chair by Larry and is escorted out of their room.

DOCTOR
“But I haven’t finished my lemonade yet!”

LARRY
“Well too bad! Have your lemonade somewhere else! Get one at the hotel bar!”

The electronic door slides open as the Doctor is almost halfway through the door with Larry and Bob pushing him out. But the Doctor soon leans his head through the doorway before it closes.

DOCTOR
“Alright, gentlemen. I’ll leave. And don’t worry about the lemonade. Though I don’t have any money so you two have to pay! See you again soon! Hopefully you’ll be more co-operative!”

The Doctor casually leaves as the electronic doors shut behind him. Larry and Bob sigh with relief.

LARRY
(relieved) “Thank goodness for that! That was a close one.”

BOB
“We shouldn’t have been so rude.”

LARRY
“I know Bob. But what can we do?” (Pause) “Anyway I’m going to have a bath! You Bob see if they can send a snack up, like…I don’t know…a few chicken sandwiches and a pot of tea. And you pay.”

Larry goes off to have his bath, whilst Bob remains completely bewildered.


SCENE #17 – EXT – CASTLE GROUNDS (SIMI-SUITE #3) – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
Meanwhile in one of the simi-suites at the hotel, Nyssa and Billy walk about on a green lawn next to a castle. The sun is shining with a cool breeze in the air and the birds are singing in the trees. It’s not just Nyssa and Billy though, as there are other people walking about the castle grounds too. A computer voice gives announcements in the background.

COMPUTER VOICE
“Welcome to simi-suite #3. The current simulation is old Earth castle park – Goodrich Castle. The other simulations currently taking place in other simu-suites are as follows. Suite 1 – the Roman empire. Suite 2 – Alton Towers. Suite 4 – Game Zero. Please attend these scenarios if you wish to change program…”

As the announcements go on, Nyssa and Billy walk in the grounds taking everything in.

BILLY
“These castle grounds are amazing! They look so real considering they aren’t!”

NYSSA
“Yes. I can see how well they attempt to recreate historical places like these by this time of Earth’s history. But Earth technology is still far too primitive for my liking! They can never get it really right!”

BILLY
“Well not everyone has a TARDIS. So I suppose these holographic simulations are the next best thing.” (Pause) “Have you ever been to one of these castles before Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Yes I have. We went to the 12th century and visited Stockbridge Castle. Though the Doctor and I did have trouble when we went.” (Pause) “I hope the Doctor’s alright. I wonder where he is.”

BILLY
“Perhaps he’s found something out already.”

NYSSA
“I hope so. It would be inconsiderate if he didn’t.”

Moment of silence.

BILLY
“Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Yes Billy.”

BILLY
(gradually) “As we can create anything we want in these things, why don’t we have that dance date we were going to have later on?” (Pause) “That is…if you’re interested.”
There is silence, as Nyssa thinks for a while.

NYSSA
“Yes. I’d like that.”

BILLY
“Really?”

NYSSA
“Yes.”

BILLY
“You really would like to go out with me again?”

NYSSA
“Of course Billy! I wanted to have that dance!” (Pause) “You arrange it!”

BILLY
(excited) “Great! Thanks Nyssa!” (Pause) “And we can have the music that I wanted to listen to. I’ll make sure Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Guy Lombardo, Ray Connif and all the greats are added in!”

NYSSA
“As long as you have the Charleston, Waltz and Foxtrot dances in the program, then I’ll be happy.”

BILLY
“That’s all I want to do, Nyssa. To see you happy!”

Tender silence between them for a moment.

BILLY
(changes subject) “Say Nyssa. Can I take a photo of you standing in front of the castle?”

NYSSA
“Yes. Of course.”

BILLY
“Thanks!”

They both position themselves, as Billy’s about to take Nyssa’s picture.

NYSSA
“Where do you want me to stand?”

BILLY
“Oh just stand a bit to the right. Then I should be able to get you in the frame.”

NYSSA
“Okay.”

Nyssa moves a bit to the right as Billy says.

BILLY
“Yes, that’s great. Now stand still.” (Pause) “And…smile!”

Nyssa smiles in front of the camera. Billy then clicks his camera and takes a picture. The print slides out from the camera.

BILLY
“Now let’s have a look!”

Billy then takes out the picture and has a look at it.

BILLY
(gradually) “Yeah. Looks great.”

NYSSA
“Let me see.”

Nyssa goes over to Billy as she takes a peak at what the photo looks like.

NYSSA
“You managed to get a bit of my head off the photo, Billy.”

BILLY
(embarrassed) “Yeah but…it’s still good, isn’t it?”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
“Shall we have a picture with you and me together?”

BILLY
“Yeah alright.”

NYSSA
(aloud) “Computer. Create tourist in the following castle program.”

There are a few beeping noises, as the computer creates a holographic simulation of a tourist out of thin air in the simu-suite.

BILLY
“That is amazing!”

NYSSA
(calls) “Excuse me?”

TOURIST
“Yes?”

NYSSA
“Do you mind taking a picture of my friend and me in front of the castle?”

TOURIST
“Yes of course.”

BILLY
“Here’s my camera.”

The tourist takes the camera from Billy.

TOURIST
“Okay if you just stand where you’d like to stand I’ll take it now!”

BILLY
“Thanks.”

NYSSA
“Yes thank you.”

The tourist operates the camera, whilst Nyssa and Billy stand in front of the castle for the camera.

BILLY
“Can I put my arm around you?”

NYSSA
“Yes of course.”

Billy puts his arm around Nyssa as they have their photo taken.

BILLY
“This feels a bit like my dream.”

NYSSA
“The one you had this morning?”

BILLY
(slightly embarrassed) “Err…yes.”

TOURIST
“Okay. Smile!”

Nyssa and Billy smile, as the tourist clicks the camera and takes the picture. The print slides out from the camera as the tourist takes it out and holds it up for Nyssa and Billy to see.

TOURIST
“There you are. One photo from the camera!”

Suddenly a woman lets out a loud, terrified scream from a distance. Both Nyssa and Billy are disturbed and startled when this happens.

BILLY
“What was that?”

NYSSA
“Billy, come on!”

BILLY
“Right behind you, Nyssa!”

Nyssa runs off to follow where the screaming came from. Billy follows after Nyssa before…

TOURIST
(calls) “Excuse me, sir. You forgot your photo and camera here!”

Billy runs back to take the photo and camera from the holographic tourist.

BILLY
“Thanks a lot, mate. See you, later.”

Billy runs off after Nyssa, leaving the tourist by himself whilst the screaming goes on from a distance.


SCENE #18 – INT – CASTLE (SIMU-SUITE #3) – 37TH CENTURY – MORNING
Somewhere in the castle itself, a few women tourists that are not holograms scream their heads off after witnessing a horrible sight. Mumbles and mutters from other tourists occurs, as Nyssa passes her way through the crowd.

NYSSA
(concerned) “What is it? What’s the matter?”

Nyssa looks to see what the women are screaming about. Nyssa becomes sickened and distraught once she sees the sight.

NYSSA
(shocked) “Oh no!” (Pause) “Who would do such a thing as this?!”

Billy then pushes his way through the crowd of tourists to get to Nyssa.

BILLY
“Excuse me! Excuse me! Coming through!”

Billy approaches Nyssa once he’s past the crowd. Billy looks to see what Nyssa’s seen.

BILLY
“What’s going on Nyssa?” (gasps; shocked) “Oh no! Oh my, how ghastly!”

BILLY
(shocked) “Oh no!”

NYSSA
“Yes! Something evil’s done this! Someone malicious has caused this awful monstrosity!” (Pause) “They’re just dangling from the castle walls!”

BILLY
“Yeah. Hanged as if they were the king’s criminals to be put on display!” (Pause) “And such a young couple!”

They watch in horror, as the young couple dangling in the air from the castle wall happen to be Joe and Jo, who were on the beach in the same simi-suite earlier.


© Tim Bradley, 2016

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‘Part One, Chapter 1’ of ‘The Space Hotel’

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‘Part One, Chapter 3’ of ‘The Space Hotel’

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5 Responses to ‘The Space Hotel’, Part One, Chapter 2

  1. IWishIHadATardis says:

    My goodness, the action is being set up now, isn’t it?

    Why has the Tardis been brought to the Hotel?
    What are Bob and Larry up to, and who are they meeting?
    Who has done this to Joe and Jo?
    Will the Doctor ever get compensation for his ruined trousers!

    I really like the idea of the simi-suites, with the variety of holographic scenarios that can be produced in them. Like the holo-decks in Star Trek, and I always thought those were a great idea.

    Great stuff, Tim, I’m looking forward to reading the next Chapter. I’m pacing myself so I don’t get too far ahead!

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley says:

    Thanks Leigh. Glad you’re enjoying the story having finished Chapter 2.

    Why the TARDIS has been brought to the Hotel? – That’ll be answered in ‘Part Three’.

    What are Bob and Larry up to and who are they meeting? – That will be developed later on in the story.
    Did you like the scene where Bob and Larry settle into their room with Bruce escorting them, and then the Doctor visits them before they eventually throw him out?

    Yes Jo and Joe. What has happened to them? That must have shocked you when you read that.

    Will the Doctor get compenstation for his ruined trousers? – Probably not with the constant interuptions at reception when he tries to get Gordon’s attention. Though the Doctor seems distracted by Larry and Bob at the moment?
    Did you like Gordon’s attitude to the Doctor from the way it changes so quickly to being rude to being polite?

    Yes, the simi-suites were inspired by the holo-decks in ‘Star Trek’ which I always enjoyed seeing whenever I watched ‘Star Trek’. I doubt we’ll get technology like that in ten years or even by the 24th century. But certainly by the 37th century, it’s possible. And I think with a luxurious hotel as Rotenhend Hotel 360, you’d want to have luxurious holographic simi-suites as them. They do get to be important later on in the context of the story’s progress.

    Did you like the scene where Billy has an argument with a computer to get the information he wants with Nyssa helping him?

    Glad you’re enjoying this episode, Leigh. Hope you’ll enjoy Chapters 3 and 4 in ‘Part One’. Look forward to hearing your feedback soon.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

  3. IWishIHadATardis says:

    Thanks for your replies to my earlier comments, Tim.

    Oh, I’m intrigued by what you have said about Gordon; he obviously has a few tricks still up his sleeve left to play!

    Ah, and Lady Mite, too!

    I’m really impressed with the way you pace your stories; characters are introduced, the scenes are set, and then they unfold well across the ongoing chapters of the story. Very difficult to do; do you do any storyboarding, or working out the storyline unfolding as you go, or play it a bit more by ear?

    I really liked the scene when the Doctor visited Bob and Larry, and how he got a free drink out of them, that was funny. Bruce is a miserable android, isn’t he, like the one in Hitchhiker’s Guide.

    It did shock me about Jo and Joe – I had been wondering what they had been doing in the interim, and to read that, was very shocking!

    Gordon is very Basil Fawlty-like in his subservience to anyone he thinks is above him in the social ladder, isn’t he? Even the Doctor, dressed in his cricketing gear, still gets Gordon’s best service.

    I agree, I think the simi-suites would definitely be something that would be technologically available by the 37th century, and that they would play a part in everyday life, for those who could afford them, and on luxurious holiday destinations. They would be great fun, but of course these things also have a way of being misused by those with bad intent, don’t they? As we have seen in Star Trek stories!

    The scene with the computer, where Billy can’t work out why it keeps giving him literal answers, is funny – you can imagine that definitely being the case for someone who’s not used to computers in their daily life!

    I’m off to read Chapter 3 now!

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim Bradley says:

    Thank you for being so kind about my stories so far. I greatly enjoy reading your insight and helpful feedback on my stories.

    The way I plan a story is to come up with a synopsis first before forming a plot and structure outline of the four episodes I’m writing. So I would have the four episodes divided into four chapters each that make up the sixteen chapters altogether. Then I would plan out the story progression in each chapter by providing eight points for each chapter; deciding whether it is to be one scene; two scenes interconnecting with each other or three or more scenes interconnecting with each other if it’s action-packed or requires more interchange between characters. It’s quite a complicated and ever-changing process, but it’s worthwhile and it’s how I handle structuring a story compared to other writers.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the scene with the Doctor; Larry and Bob in their room. What do you think of Larry and Bob as a double act then?

    Yes Bruce is miserable, not unlike some other android from another sci-fi comedy series that’s well-known to many by Douglas Adams. I enjoyed writing his lines, especially when he’s interacting with Gordon who’s always putting him down which was fun to write.

    Yes I thought it’d be funny to have Gordon as a Basil Fawlty-type to interact with the Doctor and see him as someone very higher class than him. It’s a chance to take advantage of Gordon’s snobbery and subservience when he meets the Doctor and seeing him as part of the professional hierarchy. The Doctor also takes advantage of Gordon’s subservience to get what he wants in order to find out what mystery’s going on aboard the space hotel, since he can see how awful Gordon is.

    I’m glad you like the scene Billy getting annoyed with the computer, as I thought that would be fun to write and true to his character as he’s unfamiliar to using computers like Nyssa is. Did you like Billy’s wonder of seeing out into space and the Doctor getting tetchy with him at that point.

    Yes the ‘Star Trek’ holodeck episodes were pretty good. I liked the ones with Data including the Sherlock Holmes episodes; ‘A Fistful of Datas’ and ‘Phantasms’ where his nightmares are re-lived in the holodeck.

    Thanks for your comments, Leigh. I’ll go and read your comments on Chapter 3 now. Tim. 🙂

    Like

  5. IWishIHadATardis says:

    Oh, it’s a pleasure to read these stories, Tim. They’re really well thought out, and I think you’re doing a great thing, putting them out there for people to read. Such good fan fiction is a real find, I think. I’m glad you find my feedback helpful.

    That’s very interesting, the way you plan your stories. I wondered about it, and of course as a writer, you need to think about the number of scenes, and whether they’re long or short, etc. Then you need to have the cliffhangers paced right, and the right amount of appearance and dialogue from each of the characters, as well as setting the scene, and moving the narrative along. It all seems very complicated, and I think your scheme for doing it is a very good one. It would be interesting to see how writers, particularly writers for audio, manage the process.

    I like Larry and Bob; they’re so hapless, that the Doctor can bounce off them, which makes for good comic interaction. And on their own, they’re a bit hopeless, aren’t they, so they are figures of fun, rather, for the audience.

    Bruce is funny, because he’s so miserable, which makes him even more funny, really.

    It’s good to see that the Doctor isn’t taken in for a moment by Gordon and his snobbery and bad attitude, and that he uses that to his advantage. The Doctor doesn’t miss a trick, and he’s not about to in this story, I can see!

    I think the way Billy’s character is written is very good for these type of stories – he’s in a situation which is very unfamiliar to him, yet he’s searching for that which is familiar so he can orient himself around it. The Doctor getting tetchy is the way the Fifth Doctor really is, isn’t it, and he does it to Billy and Nyssa, which I think is a sign that he is comfortable with someone, when he behaves like that, really.

    I always liked the Star Trek stories where Picard played the detective Dixon Hill. Mind you, all the holodeck episodes were good, weren’t they? And they were definitely a good place for Data to be able to find out more about what it was like to be ‘human’.

    You’re very welcome, Tim; it’s a pleasure to read your stories.

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

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