"MINDBENDER"

Teleplay by:
Tony Barwick

Directed by:
Ken Turner

Created by:
Gerry and Sylvia Anderson & Reg Hill

Producer:
Reg Hill

Executive Producer:
Gerry Anderson


EXTERIOR: SHADO MOONBASE
INTERIOR : MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE
NINA BARRY is acting Moonbase commander, seated at the central console. Seated at other consoles are MILLER and JOHNSON. On a video screen at the main console, COMMANDER STRAKER appears.

STRAKER
(on screen)
How long until lunar sunrise, Lieutenant?

BARRY
(to screen)
Four minutes.

STRAKER
(on screen)
Are the interceptors ready?

BARRY
(to screen)
Yes, sir. they've been on red alert since eighteen hundred hours.

EXTERIOR: LUNAR SURFACE.
Three Moonbase interceptors sit on their launch pads, ready to launch.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE

STRAKER
(on screen)
If we do lose contact, you'll have to play it by ear.

BARRY
(to screen)
Yes, sir.

JOHNSON
(to Barry)
Three minutes, Lieutenant.

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL
Straker stands with COLONEL VIRGINIA LAKE, watching the video monitors in the control room. The stations are manned by SHADO OPERATIVES.

STRAKER
(to Lake)
It's the feeling of helplessness I can't take.

LAKE
Sunspot activity's the perfect cover for Ufos. Do you think they'll try anything?

STRAKER
I think you can lay odds on it.

EXTERIOR : MOONBASE
INTERIOR : MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE

BARRY
(to Johnson)
Give me the surface scanner.

JOHNSON
Yes, Lieutenant.

Johnson flips a series of switches on her console. A scan of the lunar surface appears on one of Barry's monitors. Straker appears on the other.

MILLER
(watching screen on own console)
Fifty seconds.
(pause)
Interference levels increasing.

BARRY
(to video screen on console)
Interference levels rising to critical, Commander.

STRAKER
(on screen)
Right.

The picture on the screen becomes distorted and snowy.

STRAKER
(cont'd - on screen)
Well, it looks like we're going to have a communications black-out

MILLER
(to Barry)
Sound and picture breaking up.

STRAKER
(on screen)
We'll keep trying a test signal every sixty seconds.
(pause)
Good Luck.

BARRY
Thank you, sir.

Barry reaches out and turns off the snow covered video screen.

BARRY
(to Johnson)
Give me the surface.

The surface scan reappears on the video monitor at Barry's station. She picks a pair of binoculars off the console, walks over to the window and looks out, using the binoculars.

MILLER
Minus ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... zero.

Through the binoculars, Barry spots what may be a U.F.O. approaching in the glare of the sun rise.

JOHNSON
Radar trace bearing nine-eight-four
(pause)
Range, twenty miles.
(pause)
Area green.

BARRY
(urgent)
Launch the interceptors!

MILLER
(to console intercom)
Interceptors, immediate launch!
(pause)
Immediate launch!

LAUNCH BAY
The three interceptors launch.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE

JOHNSON
(reading from monitor)
Fifteen miles
(pause)
Nine miles.
(pause)
It's changing course!

EXTERIOR : LUNAR SURFACE
The three interceptors approach the U.F.O. The U.F.O. veers away from them and then explodes for no apparent reason.

INTERIOR: SHADO CONTROL
Straker stands with Lake in front of a video monitor. Barry's face appears on the screen.

STRAKER
(to screen)
Convey my congratulations to the interceptor pilots.

BARRY
(on screen)
They didn't get near it.

STRAKER
What?

BARRY
(on screen)
It disintegrated, no apparent reason.

STRAKER
(concerned)
Thank you, Lieutenant.

Straker turns off the screen, then turns to Lake.

STRAKER
Contact Paul Foster.
(pause)
And check on the next available lunar flight.

LAKE
(concerned)
You're going up to Moonbase?

STRAKER
Yes, I want to know why a Ufo gets within four miles of Moonbase and destroys itself.

EXTERIOR : LUNAR SURFACE
A Lunar-Mobile with a 2 on the side rolls along the rough surface.

INTERIOR : LUNAR MOBILE 2
Straker and PAUL FOSTER are seated inside the vehicle. Both men wear spacesuits with the helmet visors open. Foster is steering the Lunar Mobile. Straker holds the radio microphone in one hand.

STRAKER
(to microphone)
Mobile two to Control.

BARRY
(over radio)
Yes, Commander.

STRAKER
(to microphone)
We've completed the search in this area and can find no Ufo wreckage. How are Conroy and Dale making out?

BARRY
(over radio)
Well, they've found a possible crash location, but nothing positive.
(pause)
They're out on the surface now, taking a closer look.

STRAKER
(to microphone)
Roger, Control.
(pause)
Out.

Straker clicks off the radio and hangs the microphone up.

FOSTER
What are you hoping to find? It did disintegrate in flight. The debris would have produced a large number of small craters over a wide area.

STRAKER
Yes, and the Moon's surface has been pock-marked by millions of years of meteorites. Yes, I know that.
(pause)
But, the Ufo got within four miles of Moonbase, Paul. Perfect position to attack, then it explodes. Why?

FOSTER
Good question. Let's hope Mobile-one comes up with the answer.

EXTERIOR : LUNAR MOBILE-ONE
Two astronauts are seen in the distance, returning to the Mobile.
INTERIOR : LUNAR MOBILE-ONE
CONROY and DALE are seen settling into their seats inside the vehicle.

DALE
Well, what do you think?

CONROY
Well, it might be it.

DALE
Straker's gonna want to know.

CONROY
(amused)
You're in charge of this buggy, old timer.

DALE
(not amused)
Thank you.
(pause)
Maybe the instrument recordings will tell us more.
(pause)
Let's get back to base.

CONROY
Right.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE
Barry holds a radio microphone in her hand.

BARRY
(to microphone)
This is Control.

STRAKER
(over radio)
Go ahead, Control.

BARRY
(to microphone)
Mobile-one is about to dock.

INTERIOR : LUNAR MOBILE-TWO

STRAKER
(to microphone)
All right.
(pause)
We're on our way back, too. Out.

Straker clicks off the microphone and puts it back.

STRAKER
(to Foster)
Home, James, and don't spare the horses.

Foster is mildly amused.

EXTERIOR : LUNAR MOBILE-TWO.
The Mobile turns and heads back to Moonbase.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE LEISURE SPHERE
Dale is seated, eating a meal which includes tater tots. Conroy is standing nearby, playing with a crystalline rock.

DALE
(to Conroy)
What have you got there?

CONROY
Oh, just a piece of moonrock. Picked it up when we were out on the surface.
(pause, amused)
Hey, you remember Harrison? I thought he'd go crazy when he found one of these.
(laughing)
He thought he found a genuine Koh-i-noor diamond.

DALE
(less amused)
Yeah, I remember.

CONROY
And I'll never forget the look on his face when he found out it was worthless.

Conroy begins tossing the rock as he speaks.

CONROY
(cont'd, to self)
Yeah, this would make a nice paper weight.
(Pause)
Let's see... Stella?... Denise?
(pause)
Sylvia, Sylvia Baby.

Conroy places the rock on a shelf.

CONROY
(to Dale)
Well, I think I'll go down to control and see if they've finished those .
(confused pause)
Recordings...

Conroy reaches out to take a tater tot from Dale's plate. Dale mock threatens Conroy with a plastic knife. Conroy takes some potatoes and saunters away in a jovial, almost drunk, mood.

INTERIOR: MOONBASE CORRIDOR.
Conroy saunters down the corridor, towards the control sphere. He enters the:

INTERIOR: MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE
Barry turns to face the door as Conroy enters.

BARRY
(to Conroy)
Hi, Conroy.

CONROY'S POV:
Conroy sees THREE SCRUFFY BANDITOS, manning the Control sphere. They appear well armed, with bandoleers, old fashioned pistols and knifes. They appear to leer at him.

CONROY
(confused)
Hey, what's going on here?

Bandito one, seated at the central console, rises. Conroy lunges at him. The other two Banditos try to grab Conroy. He wrestles with them, throwing Bandito one to the floor.

NORMAL POV
Barry is seen hitting the floor. She reaches for a small radio transceiver on her belt and pulls it out.

CONROY'S POV
Conroy sees Bandito One reach for a pistol and point it at him. Conroy runs out of the control sphere.

NORMAL POV
Barry speaks into the transceiver in her hand.

BARRY
This is Control. Internal emergency. Internal emergency!

INTERIOR : LEISURE SPHERE:
Conroy runs in to the leisure sphere. He looks scared. Dale looks up, concerned.

DALE
What's going on?

CONROY'S POV
Conroy sees Dale as BANDITO FOUR. Conroy reaches for the tots on the plate in front of Bandito Four. His hand is crossed by a Bowie knife, wielded by Bandito Four. Conroy pulls his hand back.

CONROY
(panicked)
Who are you? What have you done with Dale?

NORMAL POV
Dale stands and backs away from Conroy. He is confused and worried.

DALE
Andy?
(pause)
Andy...

CONROY'S POV
Conroy sees Bandito Four prepare to throw the Bowie knife at him. Conroy pulls a gun from his belt and fires it at Bandito Four, three times.

NORMAL POV
Dale falls to the floor, bleeding and dying. Conroy runs out of the Leisure Sphere, into the:

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CORRIDOR

CONROY'S POV
BANDITO FIVE stands in the corridor. Conroy fires at him. Bandito five falls to the ground, dead. As Conroy walks down the corridor, Conroy becomes a Bandito, with knives, bandoleer and pistols.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CENTRAL PARK - NORMAL POV
Conroy(normal) enters Central Park as Straker and Foster enter via another door. Foster and Straker both still wear their spacesuits.

FOSTER
(to Conroy)
Conroy?

Conroy opens fire on Foster and Straker. They duck back through the door.

CONROY'S POV - OLD WESTERN TOWN
Conroy is a Mexican bandito in the main street of an Old West town. He is in a running gun battle with two men in Old West gear - Straker and Foster. Straker and Foster shoot at Conroy. After several shots are exchanged, Conroy is hit.

NORMAL POV - CENTRAL PARK
A MOONBASE SECURITY MAN is seen standing behind Conroy, holding a gun. Conroy collapses to the floor.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE LEISURE SPHERE
TWO MEDICAL ORDERLIES wheel a stretcher with a covered dead body on it out the door as Straker and Foster watch. As the Orderlies leave, Nina Barry enters the room past them. Straker and Foster are still in their spacesuits. Barry's face is scratched and her lower lip is bleeding.

STRAKER
(to Barry)
How are you, Nina?

Barry nods. Straker gestures her to a near-by chair as he sits. Foster also takes a seat.

STRAKER
Sit down.

BARRY
(to Straker)
It could have been worse. Nothing broken.

FOSTER
Do you mind talking about it?

BARRY
Well, sure.
(pause)
Conroy came into the control, he just stood there, staring. He looked bewildered, frightened, as if he didn't know where he was.

STRAKER
What happened then?

BARRY
Well, I asked him 'What's the matter?', 'What's wrong?', something like that.

STRAKER
Yes?

BARRY
Well, he struck out. The girls tried to grab him.
(pause)
Everything happened so fast. He was very strong. Out of his mind.
(pause)
I'm sure he didn't know.

FOSTER
Didn't know what?

BARRY
Who he was hitting. He just didn't know who we were.

INTERIOR : MOONBASE CENTRAL PARK
Straker is seated, reading though some papers as Foster enters. They are both in street clothes. Foster has a file in his hand.

FOSTER
Still at it, sir?

STRAKER
Yes, and it doesn't make any more sense now than it did four hours ago. Everyone who came into contact with Conroy reports more or less the same thing.

Straker picks up the papers and begins to read from them.

STRAKER
(reading)
'Berserk; out of his senses; didn't seem to recognize me; fired at me indiscriminately, with no reason at all'!

Foster holds up the file in his hand.

FOSTER
Conroy's medical report of three weeks ago.

STRAKER
Yes?

FOSTER
Full clearance.

STRAKER
What about his stress factor?

Foster opens the file and reads.

FOSTER
Ninety-eight percent. The near perfect astronaut.
(pause)
He'd been in a couple of tight situations over the years, always kept his head. Never came anywhere near cracking up.

STRAKER
(glum)
Until now.
(pause)
We leave for Earth at fourteen hundred hours, Paul. I think I know someone else who wants some answers.

EXTERIOR : HARLINGTON-STRAKER STUDIOS, MORNING
Straker's car drives onto the studio property. The car stops. Straker gets out and walks into the office building.

INTERIOR : OUTER OFFICE
MISS EALAND is seated at her desk as Straker enters.

EALAND
(warning)
General Henderson.

STRAKER
How long has he been waiting?

EALAND
Long enough to work up a lather.

STRAKER
Just what I need at eight-thirty in the morning.

Miss Ealand gets up and hands Straker a file.

STRAKER
Thank you.

INTERIOR : INNER OFFICE
Miss Ealand follows Straker into the inner office as they continue their conversation.

EALAND
I could always phone down with some excuse to get you off the hook.

STRAKER
(mildly amused)
Well, can you think of a good one that might do the trick?

EALAND
Fire in the studio?

STRAKER
No, it would take at least an earthquake to get one angry general off my back.

EALAND
(helpful)
Nuclear attack?

STRAKER
That might do it, if it was a big one.

Miss Ealand laughs as she leaves the inner office.

INTERIOR: OUTER OFFICE.
Miss Ealand takes her seat at her desk as the doors to the inner office close and the red light above the door comes on.

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL
Virginia Lake is working at a table set near the main entrance. She has a cup of coffee on the table. Lake looks up as Straker enters.

STRAKER
(To Lake)
Good Morning, Colonel.

LAKE
Good Morning.

Straker picks up her coffee and drinks from it.

STRAKER
Where is he?

Lake points in the general direction of Straker's office.

STRAKER
(worried)
Hmm. Thank you.

Lake turns to leave, but before she can, Straker grabs her by the elbow.

STRAKER
Uh, I need moral support.

Holding her upper arm, Straker leads Lake towards his office. They pass BEAVER JAMES, a uniformed operative with a limp.

LAKE
(to James)
Morning, Beaver.

JAMES
Morning, Colonel.

INTERIOR: STRAKER'S OFFICE
GENERAL HENDERSON is in the office, pacing the floor impatiently. He looks up as the doors open and Straker and Lake enter.

STRAKER
(pretending to be pleasantly surprised)
General Henderson.

HENDERSON
(angry)
Straker, I'm gonna' kick your a...

STRAKER
(interrupting)
You know Colonel Lake?
(pause)
Oh, yes, of course you do.

HENDERSON
Now, where's that report?

Straker places his briefcase on his desk and opens it, pulling out papers and placing them on the desk top.

STRAKER
I don't have it ready, yet.

HENDERSON
Straker, the committee meets in three days time. I need your report and all the figures.

STRAKER
I've been busy.

HENDERSON
Look, it takes money to run SHADO. A hell of a lot of money, and we're asking the committee for even more, this time.

STRAKER
Well, that's your bag, General. You get the money, I run the store.

HENDERSON
(angry)
Look, they are after blood. My job is on the line.
(pause)
Not that that's important, but if I go...
(warning)
You won't win any popularity polls up there.

STRAKER
(angry)
That sounds like a threat, General.

HENDERSON
Not from me.
(pause)
We could both walk out tomorrow. And don't think I haven't considered it. But you? You've got a monkey on your back: dedication.
(pause)
Think about it.

Lake and Straker watch as Henderson stalks out of the office. Lake turns to Straker after the doors close.

LAKE
Do you want me to reprogram the computer. Get out the finance figures.
(pause)
He's right, you know.

STRAKER
Yes, he's 'right-right'. Sometimes being 'wrong-right' is harder.
(pause)
No, let the computer run. I have to know what happened to Conroy.

INTERIOR: CORRIDOR IN SHADO H.Q.
JAMES is walking down the corridor, smoking a cigar and carrying a noteboard. He walks with a pronounced limp. COOPER walks past him, then stops.

COOPER
(to James)
Hi, Beaver

JAMES
(Surprised)
Oh, Hi.

Cooper begins to walk away from James, then stops and turns back to him.

COOPER
Oh, Beaver?

JAMES
Hmm?

COOPER
Have those supplies for section six arrived, yet?

James checks the papers on the noteboard.

JAMES
No, afraid not.

COOPER
They were due in yesterday.

JAMES
(shrugs)
Only one shipment arrived yesterday, stationary.

COOPER
Then, get it movin' hey, Beaver?

Cooper begins to walk down the hall, shaking his head. As he goes, James stares after him, dropping his cigar.

COOPER
(to self)
It's a joke, stationary!

James turns and tackles, Cooper, knocking him to the ground and hitting him hard across the face. James takes a gun from Cooper's pocket, runs to an alarm box set into the wall and presses the button on it.

INTERIOR: SHADO CONTROL, UPPER LEVEL
Foster stands by one of the large computer decks. Straker walks up to him.

STRAKER
How's it going, Paul?

FOSTER
Well, it looks like the area Dale and Conroy investigated was the Ufo crash location. But, uh, we're still waiting for the computer to confirm it.

An alarm sounds throughout the complex. Straker and Foster head out of the Control room, down a corridor where they are joined by SHADO GUARD 1.

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR.
James is running down the corridor. SHADO GUARD 2 surprises James, who seems extremely agitated and confused and is holding the gun.

GUARD2
(concerned)
What's wrong, Beaver?

James acts as if he does not hear Guard 2.

GUARD2
(very concerned)
Can you hear me? What's wrong? Beaver!

JAMES
Stay where you are, put down your gun.

Guard 2 comes close, tries to jump James and is shot. He falls to the floor as James limps away.

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR 1
Straker, Foster and Guard 1 find Guard 2 on the floor of the corridor.

STRAKER
(to Guard 2)
Who did this?

Guard 2
Beaver James. He's out of his mind. He pressed the alarm.

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR 2
James locates a wall mounted telephone and picks up the receiver.

JAMES
(to phone)
Control...

INTERIOR: SHADO CONTROL
LIEUTENANT SCOTT is seated at the main communications console. The phone on the side of the console buzzes and she picks up the receiver.

SCOTT
(to phone)
This is Control, go ahead...
(pause, waiting for response)
Go ahead.

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR 2

JAMES
(to phone - angry, anxious)
This is Captain James!

INTERIOR: SHADO CONTROL

SCOTT
(To phone)
Captain James, listen, listen carefully. I want you to stay where you are. Do you understand?

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR 2
James listens to the phone at his end and hears only static.

JAMES
(angry)
Oooh!

SCOTT
(over phone)
Can you hear me, Captain?

JAMES
What the hell are they doing?

INTERIOR : SHADO H.Q. CORRIDOR 3
Straker, Foster, Guard 1 and GUARD 3 stand near the wall of the corridor, looking at a map of SHADO Headquarters Straker holds against the wall.

STRAKER
Right.

Straker points out an area on the map.

STRAKER
We're here. He killed the guard here.

Straker points out a near-by area on the map, as OPERATIVE 4 approaches.

OPERATIVE 4
Commander, he just called up Control.

STRAKER
From where?

OPERATIVE 4
Corridor twelve.

STRAKER
(folding map)
Let's go.

INTERIOR: CORRIDOR 2
Straker, Foster and three Guards arrive in Corridor 3. The phone receiver is hanging from the wall-mount.

SCOTT
(over phone)
Captain James, can you hear me?
(pause)
Captain James?

Straker picks up the phone and speaks into it.

STRAKER
(to phone)
This is Straker. It looks like he's heading for the control room.

Straker turns to Guard 1

STRAKER
Give me the map.

Guard 1 hands Straker the map. Straker unfolds it against the wall.

STRAKER
(to phone)
I want you to station guards at the ends of corridors fourteen and six, and seal all exits.

Straker hangs up the phone and turns to the guards.

STRAKER
(pointing out two guards)
You two, take that corridor.

Guards 1 and 3 head off in the direction Straker indicated.

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL
Foster and Straker walk in and walk up to Scott.

STRAKER
(to Scott)
Lieutenant, have you sealed off the complex?

Scott
Yes, sir. He's just killed a guard near the medical center.

STRAKER
(to Foster)
Well, he must have doubled back.

FOSTER
Yes, and he's still heading this way.

STRAKER
(to Scott)
Tell everyone not to shoot unless absolutely necessary. I want to take him alive.

SCOTT
(to console microphone)
Control to personnel, do not open fire. Do not open fire!

Scott's voice is repeated on speakers throughout the complex.

INTERIOR : CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM
GUARD 3 spots James approaching and ducks for cover. He has a small radio transceiver in his hand and speaks into it.

GUARD 3
(to radio)
Control, He's right outside.

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL ROOM

SCOTT
(to Straker)
He's in the corridor, right outside Control.

Straker and Foster go up the stairs to the upper level, going to the entrance arch to the corridor beyond. They look around the arch to see James approaching.

INTERIOR : CORRIDOR
Straker steps into the corridor. James sees him, but does not appear to recognize Straker.

STRAKER
(harsh)
Captain James, give me the gun!
(pause)
Captain, I gave you an order!

James opens fire on Straker, just missing him. Straker ducks back around the arch, to where Foster waits.

FOSTER
(to Straker)
You want us to take him?

STRAKER
No, let's sit it out.

In the corridor, the sound of an elevator is heard. James goes to the elevator door as Guards 4 and 3 hide. Behind the arch, Straker and Foster look worried. In the corridor, the elevator door opens and Virginia Lake steps out. James grabs her, placing an arm around her neck. Guards 2 and 3 step out to intervene. James points his gun at them.

JAMES
All right, you aliens, I've got one of you. Stay back, all of you! I'm going into Control. Don't try to stop me! Hold it there!!.

Straker steps out and motions the two guards to stop as James drags Lake past him, into the Control room.

JAMES
(to Lake)
Now come, on, keep moving.
(pause)
Get Straker!
(pause, angry)
Well, come on, someone tell Straker!

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL
James walks past Straker and Foster into the Control room, dragging Lake with him.

JAMES POV
James sees the control room filled with space suited aliens.

JAMES
(to self)
Oh my God...

NORMAL POV

FOSTER
Beaver?

STRAKER
(to Foster)
It's no use, Paul. He can't hear us.
(to Lake)
Virginia, when I give the word, down.
(Pause - to Foster)
All right Paul.

Foster is worried and reluctant.

STRAKER
(to Foster)
We have no choice, he's already killed twice.
(pause, - to Foster)
Now!

Lake breaks away from James as Foster fires his gun twice, killing James.

INTERIOR : STRAKER'S OFFICE
Straker is seated at his desk, holding James's gun. Foster and Lake are standing opposite the desk.

STRAKER
(unhappy)
What a mess.
(pause)
If only I'd thought... waited. Maybe I...
(pause)
Oh, I don't know..

FOSTER
You didn't know. How could you?

STRAKER
Well, that doesn't make it any easier. Half a million miles of Navy jets before he was twenty-five. Ten years as a top astronaut.

FOSTER
He brought a space capsule down with a shattered hip, saved the crew. The best command pilot SHADO ever had.

STRAKER
And why does a man like that suddenly lose all sense of reality and start seeing aliens?

FOSTER
Same pattern as Conroy.

STRAKER
Are we any nearer to an answer there?

LAKE
Well, the autopsy found nothing. But, the computer confirms they had located the Ufo crash area.

STRAKER
Well, that's no help to us. Beaver hadn't been near a Ufo in almost two years.
(pause)
Too much of a coincidence. There must be a connection, a link.
(pause, as he stands)
I need some air.

Straker leaves the office, leaving Lake and Foster standing, looking worried

EXTERIOR : HARLINGTON-STRAKER STUDIOS
Straker walks around the grounds, nodding to various workmen. There are actors in costume taking breaks, wild props being hauled in on flat-bed trucks.

INTERIOR : STUDIO OUTER OFFICE
Miss Ealand sits at her desk as Straker walks in. She beckons to him. He steps closer, leaning over the desk to hear.

EALAND
(whispering)
Howard Byrnes is here to see you.

STRAKER
(whispering)
Howard Byrne?

EALAND
(whispering)
The star of that new T.V. series they're filming on five and six.

STRAKER
(remembering)
Oh, yes.
(pause)
Yes, well, he's picked a bad time.

EALAND
(whispering)
I'm sorry, but he insisted.

STRAKER
(aloud)
That's all right, Miss Ealand.

Straker enters the Inner Office.

INTERIOR : INNER OFFICE
HOWARD BYRNE is standing, waiting, as Straker enters.

BYRNE
Well, I finally get to see you. You're a hard man to pin down, Straker.

Straker goes to the far side of the office desk and sits.

STRAKER
(forced pleasantness)
Well, I've been pretty tied up just recently, Howard.
(gestures to chair)
Sit down, sit down.

Byrnes sits in the chair opposite the desk. He lounges back in it.

BYRNE
Yes, haven't we all?

Straker presses a switch on the desk top panel and the office doors close.

STRAKER
Ah, what's your problem?

BYRNE
You're the one with the problem.

STRAKER
Am I?

BYRNE
The series, you've seen it, of course.

STRAKER
Well, yes, but not as often as I would have liked.

BYRNE
Well, unless something's done, it's heading for big trouble. Fortunately though, I have a solution.

STRAKER
Oh?

BYRNE
I want script approval.

STRAKER
(laughs)
Now, Howard, you know we can't do that.

BYRNE
Mister Straker, the series is going to pot. The scripts are old and hackneyed and the entire production is lifeless and trite. I don't think it's doing anything for you. I know it's not doing anything for me.

STRAKER
All right, let's talk about it.

BYRNE
I didn't come here to bargain, Ed. I want script approval.

STRAKER
(Firm)
It's not in your contract.

BYRNE
Ah, well,
(starts to rub forehead)
Of course, you can hold me to my contract, but, you know, I've been getting these terrible bad headaches recently.

STRAKER
Headaches?
(pause, cynical)
Hmm, I wonder what could be causing that?

BYRNE
Oh, it could be eyestrain.
(pause)
From reading a lot of bad scripts? I mean, the kind of headaches that keep me off the floor a couple mornings a week. Understand?

STRAKER
Yes, I understand blackmail.

BYRNE
(feigning hurt)
Blackmail?
(pause)
I never said anything about blackmail. I'm talking about migraine headaches.

STRAKER
Well, why don't you leave it with me, Howard. I'm sure I understand.

BYRNE
I'm not sure you do. If you think I'm bluffing, try me.

STRAKER
All right, I'm calling. No script approval.
(pause)
You know, these headaches that you've been suffering from? They could be caused by a swelling, between the ears?
(pause)
Shouldn't you be in theater seven, looking at your rushes?

Byrne stands and starts to leave. Straker pushes the switch on the desk and the doors open.

BYRNE
(to Straker)
Have a look at those rushes tomorrow, Mister Straker.

Byrne leaves the office.

INTERIOR : SHADO CONTROL
Scott sits at the main communications console. Foster stands at her shoulder.

Scott
(to Console microphone)
Control to Sky-four, continue of present course.

In the background, Straker enters the Control room and walks over to Foster.

STRAKER
(to Foster)
What's happening, Paul?

FOSTER
Sky-four is closing. We should know any second.

EXTERIOR : SKY
Sky-1 is making a run. There is no sign of a U.F.O.

INTERIOR : SKY-4?
PILOT speaks into helmet microphone

PILOT (Waterman)
Control, I'm in the search area. U.F.O. sighting negative. Returning to base. E.T.A. Fourteen hundred hours.

SCOTT
(over speaker)
Thank you, Sky-one.

INTERIOR : STRAKER'S OFFICE
Straker is seated at his desk, looking over papers. The door opens and Foster enters, carrying a small case and a noteboard. Straker stands and goes around the desk as Foster places the case on the conference table at the far end of the room.

FOSTER
Conroy's personal effects.

Straker opens the case and looks inside.

STRAKER
Have they been checked?

FOSTER
One of the last things Beaver James did.
(pause, hands Straker the noteboard)
Oh, and here's a directive for you to sign.

Straker looks at the paper clipped to the noteboard.

STRAKER
Oh, a replacement interceptor for Moonbase.
(depressed as he signs the paper)
I wonder how much that's gonna' cost?

FOSTER
Talking of money, General Henderson's on his way to see you.

STRAKER
Yes, I'm sure he is.

Straker goes back to checking through Conroy's effects and finds the crystalline rock and a small notebook. He opens and skims though the notebook.

STRAKER
Oh, what's this? Notes for a story?

FOSTER
Oh, apparently Conroy used to write Westerns. I guess it helped him pass the time on Moonbase.

STRAKER
(thoughtful)
Cowboys?
(pause)
Beaver James thought he saw aliens.
(pause)
And the way Conroy fought, do you think that maybe, in his mind, he thought he saw...

The desk intercom buzzes, interrupting him. He goes to the desk and keys a button.

STRAKER
(to intercom)
Straker.

Scott
(over speaker)
General Henderson is here, sir.

STRAKER
(to intercom)
Thank you, send him in.

FOSTER
(anxious to be away)
I'll, ah, leave these things here?

STRAKER
(distracted)
Thank you.

The office doors open and Foster leaves. Henderson enters immediately after.

HENDERSON
(polite)
Commander.

STRAKER
General.

HENDERSON
Close the door.

Straker goes to his desk and flips the door switch. The office doors close.

HENDERSON
I read the report on Astronaut Conroy. It didn't make a lot of sense, but these thing happen. But, now I have one on Captain James that makes even less.

STRAKER
(short)
Well, if you're looking for an explanation, I don't know.

HENDERSON
The committee won't buy that, Straker. They're gonna' want some answers and you're sending me up there with nothing. What do expect me to do? Stand up and give them a couple choruses of 'Lover Come Back'?

STRAKER
(angry, distressed)
We need more time. If we had managed to take James alive...

HENDERSON
(suspicious)
What do you mean?

STRAKER
(upset)
I killed him.

HENDERSON
(disbelieving)
You what?

STRAKER
(holds up James's gun from desk)
This gun, the one he had on Colonel Lake? It was empty!

In a fit of anger, Straker throws the gun across the room. It crashes into the glassware shelf above the corner bar, breaking several glasses.

HENDERSON
(angry)
Oh, don't give me that 'Unkind to Straker' crud. If you can't stand the heat, you shouldn't be in the kitchen.

STRAKER
Are you making this personal?

HENDERSON
Any way you like.

STRAKER
(very upset)
All right, General 'Almighty' Henderson. Every man and woman in SHADO is my responsibility.

HENDERSON
My gums bleed for you.

STRAKER
They're highly trained, dedicated, often under tremendous stress.

HENDERSON
(mocking)
Oh stop it, stop it. You're making me cry!

STRAKER
(horrified)
Oh, my God. I'm really seeing you for the first time. You don't care, do you? You really don't care!

HENDERSON
Stress? We're all under stress.
(pause)
'Father Straker and his bleating flock.'

STRAKER
(warning)
Don't push me, Henderson.
(pause)
Somebody ought to throw...

HENDERSON
(interrupting)
You?, You haven't got the guts. Let's get back to realities. You're nothing but a bunch of spineless, gutless sheep, the whole lot of you!
(bleats)
Nyaah! Nyaah! Nyaah!

Straker raises his hand as if to strike Henderson. Henderson flinches away as:

DIRECTOR
Cut! Let's print that!

INTERIOR : FILM STUDIO.
The office, Control room, Moonbase, are all sets on a sound stage. The DIRECTOR walks up to Straker and Henderson.

DIRECTOR
(to Henderson)
That was, ah, very very nice. How was it for you?

As the Director speaks to Henderson, Straker turns to look around him, dazed and confused. He begins to move away from the office set.

HENDERSON
(to Director)
Well, okay, I guess. Felt all right, anyway. There's just one small point.
(pause)
You know when, ah, Howard says, ah,'You making this personal?', and I say, 'uh'..

DIRECTOR
(interrupting, to Straker)
Don't go away, Howard.

HENDERSON
(to Director)
You know, uh, 'Anyway you want!'?

DIRECTOR
(to Henderson)
Yeah?

HENDERSON
Well, I thought maybe I could make it a little bit stronger, you know?

DIRECTOR
Okay, uh...

As Straker wanders off the set, the actors on the set rehearse their lines. The sounds begin to distort into echoes. Straker leaves the soundstage.

EXTERIOR : LOTS
As Straker wanders past, there is a camera crew filming a miniature Mobile-one, crashing through some small brush. In the distance, Straker spots a vaguely familiar figure, a blond man in dark clothes. Straker gives chase, finally catching up to Howard Byrne, wearing a badly fitted blond wig. Byrne turns to face Straker after Straker grabs his arm.

BYRNE
(surprised)
I'm sorry, Mister Byrne.

STRAKER
(agitated)
Who are you?

BYRNE
(confused)
What?

STRAKER
Who are you?

BYRNE
(confused)
Joe.
(pause)
I'm your stand-in, Mister Byrne.

In horror, Straker backs away from Byrne, then starts running away. Byrne watches after him in amused confusion.

BYRNE
(echo, Voice over)
I've been getting these terrible bad headaches recently...

STRAKER
(voice over, echo)
You know, these headaches you've been suffering from? They could be caused by a swelling...

INTERIOR: OUTER OFFICE
Miss Ealand sits at her desk, the phone rings and she picks it up as Straker enters.

EALAND
(to phone)
Hello?
(places hand over receiver, looks up at Straker)
Yes, Mister Byrnes?

Straker simply looks at the office door and starts towards it. Miss Ealand flips the door switch on the desk and above the door, the 'do not enter' sign flashes on. Straker stops.

EALAND
I'm afraid Mister Straker is engaged.

STRAKER
I want to see him.

EALAND
(to phone)
I'll call you back.
(hangs up phone)
I'm afraid that's impossible.
(checks a desk calendar)
Shouldn't you be in theater seven, Mister Byrne? They're showing your rushes.

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN
A small theater. Straker enters the room and sits down in one of the seats. Through a small window in the back, a PROJECTIONIST can been seen working on a projector.

PROJECTIONIST
(over speaker)
We're ready to run, Mister Byrne.

STRAKER
(voice over, echo)
.... Loose all sense of reality?.... Cowboys, Beaver James thought he saw aliens.

PROJECTIONIST
(over speaker)
We'll have to start, sir. The complete rushes are due back at twelve.

The theater lights dim and a film begins on the screen at the front of the room.

VOICE
(voice over.)
Ten, thirty-nine, take three.

ON SCREEN: a Rolls Royce limousine drives down a English country road with a motorcycle escort.

CUT TO: Inside the Rolls, Henderson, in a general's uniform, sits with a British Cabinet MINISTER, opposite them is seat Straker, in a colonel's uniform. Straker has a leather briefcase handcuffed to his right wrist.

HENDERSON
(to Minister)
Minister, this is Colonel Straker.

STRAKER
(reaching out to shake Minister's hand)
How do you do, sir?

MINISTER
Shattering business, Colonel. The Prime Minister's already at Checkers. We'll be there in thirty minutes.
(pause)
We've been in constant communication with Paris, Moscow and Bonn during your visits. I think the British government's approval will be a formality.

HENDERSON
The evidence is absolutely conclusive.

MINISTER
(to Henderson, gesturing to the briefcase)
If I might?

HENDERSON
(to Minister)
Surely.
(to Straker)
Colonel?

At Henderson's behest, Straker disarms the destruct mechanism on the briefcase, opens the case just enough to grab a folder from it, then hands the folder to the Minister.

MINISTER
It may speed things up.

EXTERIOR : BRITISH ROAD
Above and behind the Rolls Royce, a U.F.O. can be seen pacing the car. The motorcycle escort pulls away slightly.

INTERIOR : ROLLS ROYCE, DRIVER'S COMPARTMENT
An AIDE sits next to the DRIVER.

AIDE
(to Driver)
Keep pace with the escort.

EXTERIOR : BRITISH ROAD
The Rolls pulls up to the escort, then is fired upon by the U.F.O. The Motorcycle escort skids off the road and is killed. Another blast takes out the Rolls's windshield, killing the driver. The car goes out of control, through a stone wall above a steep incline, catching fire. Straker is thrown clear of the car as or rolls down the hill.

VOICE
(o.s.)
Cut!

As the film runs, Straker becomes more and more distressed, throwing his arms in front of his face at the sight of the car going through the wall. In the background, Paul Foster enters, approaches Straker.

FOSTER
(to Straker)
Mind if I join you?

Foster sits down in the seat next to Straker.

STRAKER
(confused)
Paul...

FOSTER
(amused)
Oh, Mike's the name, remember? I've only been your co-star for two years.

On the screen, Straker and eight-year-old JOHN are seen on a studio lot. Straker is driving a rebuilt Model T Ford around the lot. They are laughing.

STRAKER
(distressed)
John...

FOSTER
(to Straker)
It'll make a great episode.
(noticing Straker's horrified reaction)
Are you all right?

STRAKER
That's me up there. That's my life, that was my son!

FOSTER
Oh, the juvenile? Nice little actor.
(pause)
As I was saying, I think it'll make a great episode.

VOICE
(o.s.)
Number seven, take four.

ON SCREEN:EXTERIOR ENGLISH COUNTRY ROAD
Straker's car is seen driving down the road. Inside are Straker and John.

ON SCREEN : INTERIOR, STRAKER'S CAR

STRAKER
How are you making out with that model boat I sent you?

JOHN
I finished it. You want to see it?

STRAKER
(distracted)
Hmm?

JOHN
The boat, Dad.

STRAKER
Oh, sure, you bet I do.

ON SCREEN : EXTERIOR STRAKER'S CAR
The car pulls into the driveway of a country house. MARY comes out of the house, down the front steps to stand in front. Straker lets John out of the car, then gets out himself as John runs inside the house.

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN
Straker watches the screen while Foster watches him.

STRAKER
(murmur)
Mary...

ON SCREEN : COUNTRY HOUSE
Straker stands several paces from Mary, next to the car.

STRAKER
Hello, Mary.

MARY
Hello, Ed. You're late.

STRAKER
(apologetic)
Yes, we were having such a great time, I thought an extra half hour...

MARY
(interrupting)
Could you make it a week later next month? Say, the eighteenth?

STRAKER
(quiet)
The eighteenth? Yes, that'll be fine.

RUTLAND
(off screen -from inside the house)
Mary?

RUTLAND comes to the door of the house, looking for Mary. Mary turns to join him inside.

STRAKER
Johnny wanted to show me something.

MARY
I think you'd better go. I'll explain to Johnny.

STRAKER
(disappointed)
Thanks.

Straker turns and opens the car door.

MARY
Good by, Ed.

Straker nods, gets into his car and starts the engine. From an upper window of the house, John sticks his head out.

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN
Straker watches the screen.

STRAKER
My God, what's happening?

ON SCREEN:
The car pulls out of the driveway, into the road. From the window, John watches.

JOHN
(shouting)
Dad!... Dad!

John runs out of the house, carrying a model boat, shouting after Straker's car.

JOHN
(shouting)
Dad!... Dad!

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN
As Straker watches the screen, he becomes more and more distressed. Foster watches, amused and amazed.

STRAKER
No, John.... John...
(pause)
No, look out, John... John!

Straker throws his arms across his face at the sound of a car horn honking and brakes squealing from the screen.

VOICE
(off screen)
Cut, print it.
(pause)
Scene nine, take two.

ON SCREEN: INTERIOR HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM
Straker is waiting as Max and Mary enter. Mary is crying hysterically.

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN
Straker watching screen.

STRAKER
Mary?

ON SCREEN:

STRAKER
Mary?

MARY
(crying - screams)
I never want to see you again!

INTERIOR : THEATER SEVEN

STRAKER
(near hysteria)
Stop it, stop it!
(pause)
Stop it!

Foster turns in his seat to look at the Projectionist.

FOSTER
(to projectionist)
All right, cut it.

The film stops and the house lights come up.

FOSTER
(annoyed, to Straker)
Well, I've heard of method acting, but you take the coconut.
(pause)
What's got into you?

STRAKER
(near tears)
You, you take my... my memories, my life, my soul, and stick it up on that screen!

FOSTER
What's this, the star bit? It's make-believe. We're all in the same business, pretty pictures for the masses, right?

STRAKER
Listen, Paul...

FOSTER
Mike.

STRAKER
Mike, whatever your name is, it doesn't matter. You're part of a nightmare, this nightmare!
(pause)
All this, everything I've seen, I know it's only in my mind.

FOSTER
(amazed)
What?

STRAKER
(desperate)
They're trying to make me crack, make me believe in the unreality.
(pause)
Conroy, Beaver James, they must have gone though the same thing. You've got to help me!

FOSTER
I don't know what you're talking about.

STRAKER
I'm talking about you and my nightmare. I have to get back. I need your help. I need Paul Foster's help.

Foster stares at Straker in dumbfounded disbelief.

FOSTER
You're crazy.

Foster voice repeats as a repeating echo. Straker slaps Foster hard across the face, then runs out of the theater. Foster sits back in his chair, a smile on his face as he rubs his cheek.

EXTERIOR : STUDIO LOT.
Straker crosses the lots, heading for the soundstage he started from. As he walks he hears echoing voices.

HENDERSON
(v.o. echo)
You're nothing but a bunch of spineless, gutless sheep, the lot of you!
(bleats)
Nyaah!, Nyaah!

FOSTER
(v.o. echo)
You're crazy.

HENDERSON
(v.o. echo-bleats)
Nyaah!!

FOSTER
(v.o. echo)
You're crazy.

HENDERSON
(v.o. echo- bleats)
Nyaah!!

FOSTER
(v.o. echo)
You're crazy... You're crazy...
(pause)
Crazy...Crazy.

Straker comes to the door of the soundstage. Above the door a red-light is flashing. A STUDIO GUARD looks up as Straker reaches for the door handle.

STUDIO GUARD
The red light's on, Mister Byrnes.

Straker simply looks at him, then opens the door and enters the soundstage.

INTERIOR : SOUNDSTAGE
Straker is back at the soundstage he started from. The SHADO office, control, Moonbase, are all sets with actors. In the background, Henderson is working with the Director. A SCRIPT GIRL sits just outside the office set.

DIRECTOR
(to Henderson)
So, let's have a nice, strong reaction when he throws the gun away, okay? And, ah, how about a little finger in the corners of the eyes, when you say 'You're making me cry.'?

HENDERSON
(laughing)
If you think I can handle it.

DIRECTOR
(laughs)
Okay, drop it.
(to others, leaving set)
All right, start it over. Mark it zero-four seven, take one.
(pause)
And action!

The Director stands next to the camera while Henderson plays his lines to the Script Girl.

SCRIPT GIRL
You making this personal?

HENDERSON
Anyway you want.

In the background, Straker is wandering around the sets, making noise, stumbling into things, knocking things over.

DIRECTOR
(angry)
Okay, cut it!
(pause, to FRANK)
Will you keep this set quiet, Frank?

FRANK
(to Straker)
All right, I want absolute quiet, Mister Byrnes. The red light's up!

DIRECTOR
(calmer, to others)
All right, let's take it from the top.

In the background, Henderson and the Script Girl resume their dialogue. Straker walks though the Moonbase set, then beyond, into the Control room set, hidden by the office set. After a moment, the sound of tearing paper and other sounds of destruction can be heard. The Director becomes very upset. Henderson and the Script Girl stop speaking.

DIRECTOR
(angry)
What in the hell's going on here?
(shouts)
Frank?!

FRANK
What can I do about it? The guy's crazy.

DIRECTOR
(to Stage Hand)
Get the production manager on the set.

Stage Hand leaves to make the call.

FRANK
(to Director)
How well are we keeping up with the schedule?

DIRECTOR
(disgusted)
We won't be off the set today at this rate.

Straker enters the office set through the door. He seems dazed, disoriented.

HENDERSON
(worried)
Howard?

STRAKER
(desperate)
If you're looking for explanations, I don't know.

HENDERSON
Howard, look...
(pause)
Come and sit down.

STRAKER
We need time!
(pause)
If we'd managed to take James alive...

HENDERSON
(confused, worried)
Howard, look, ah...

STRAKER
(interrupting)
I killed him!

HENDERSON
(very concerned)
Howard...

STRAKER
This gun, the one he had on Colonel Lake...

As Straker speaks, he motions as if throwing the gun at the bar.

STRAKER
It was empty!!

HENDERSON
(reluctant)
Don't give me that 'Unkind to Straker' crud. If you can't stand the heat, you shouldn't be in the kitchen.

STRAKER
You making this personal?

HENDERSON
(worried, reluctant)
Any way you like?

STRAKER
(anxious, angry)
All right, General 'Almighty' Henderson! Every man and woman in SHADO is my responsibility!

HENDERSON
(unconvincing)
My gums bleed for you.

Straker seems fevered, barely in control, keeping himself from a total break-down by sheer force of will. He has picked up the crystalline rock from the table. Along one side of the Moonbase set, the 'SHADO' actors have lined up, as at attention.

STRAKER
(to Henderson)
They're highly trained, dedicated, often under tremendous stress.

HENDERSON
Stop it, stop it!
(pause)
You're making me cry.

STRAKER
Oh, my God. I'm really seeing you for the first time. You don't care, do you? You really don't care.

HENDERSON
Stress? We're all under stress. 'Father Straker and his bleating flock.'

STRAKER
(warning)
Don't push me, Henderson!

HENDERSON
Sheep!

STRAKER
You know, somebody ought to take you...

HENDERSON
(interrupting, as written)
You? You haven't got the guts. Let's get back to realities. You're nothing but a bunch of spineless, gutless, sheep! the lot of you.
(bleating)
Nyaah! Nyaah! Nyaah!

Straker swings at Henderson. Henderson ducks the blow, losing his balance and falling to the floor. As Straker swings, he loses his grip on the rock and it smashes into the wall that should be there but isn't in the illusion. Abruptly, the room reassembles back into:

INTERIOR : STRAKER'S OFFICE.
Straker is obviously relieved and begins to calm down. He turns to Henderson, reaching out one hand to help Henderson up. Henderson flinches away, but, at Straker's worried look, permits Straker to help him to his feet.
Straker goes to the office door. It opens to reveal TWO SHADO GUARDS, carrying rifles pointed at the door. Straker stops, holding his hands where the guards can see them. Foster steps in front to the guards.

FOSTER
(to guards)
Hold it.

The Guards lower their weapons as Foster takes Straker's arm and accompanies Straker into the Control room. Henderson follows them. Foster leads Straker to a chair at one of the consoles and Straker sits, exhausted. In the background, the tapes on the computer decks on the upper level appear wrecked.

STRAKER
(uncertain)
Paul?

Foster nods and looks to Henderson.

HENDERSON
(to Foster)
Suddenly, he seemed to regain control
(pause)
I thought he was going to finish me.

LAKE
(to Straker)
How are you feeling?

STRAKER
Tired.
(pause, gestures to computer decks)
Did I cause all this?

FOSTER
(mildly amused)
Well, nothing too serious.

STRAKER
The link,
(pause)
The link was a rock. Conroy must have found it somewhere near that Ufo wreckage. It had some kind of hallucinatory powers. It bent the mind of whoever touched it.

FOSTER
Obviously alien.

STRAKER
Yes, planted in someway by that Ufo the crashed near Moonbase.

FOSTER
A booby-trap.

STRAKER
For the mind.

INTERIOR : STRAKER'S OFFICE
On the floor, near the far wall, the rock is in shattered pieces on the carpet.


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