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The Cycling Tour

Русский English Magyar

The cast:

Pither
Michael Palin
Proprietor
Eric Idle
Driver
John Cleese
Old Lady
Eric Idle
Doctor
Eric Idle
Girl
Carol Cleveland
Man
John Cleese
Gulliver
Terry Jones
Nurse
Graham Chapman
Second Doctor
John Cleese
M. Brun
John Cleese
Mme. Brun
Eric Idle
Genevieve
Graham Chapman
Military Man
Eric Idle
Desk Clerk
Terry Gilliam
Chinaman
Graham Chapman
Livingstone
John Cleese
Grip
Eric Idle
Bag
John Cleese
Wallet
Graham Chapman
Taxi
Carol Cleveland
General
John Cleese
Senior General
Graham Chapman
Officer
John Cleese
Messenger
Graham Chapman
Mother
Eric Idle
Compère
Eric Idle

Sketch:

Please note that this sketch is a combination of the 6 individual ones lisited in the TV Series Guide. Even though they are lisited seperately they are in effect one sketch

THURSDAY, 4TH MAY, 1972

(The green, lush Devon countryside. Theme music. There are trees in the background perhaps and the camera is tracking along the hedgerow along a road. We see a head whizzing along, sometimes just above the hedgerow and sometimes bobbing down out of sight….occasionally for long periods.

Title: THE CYCLING TOUR

(Mr. Pither, the cyclist, bobs up and down a few more times, then disappears from sight. There is a crash and clang of a bicycle in collision, mixed with the scream of a frightened hen, and stifled shout of alarm. We are still in long shot and see nothing. The music stops abruptly on the crash.)

Pither (Voice Over): August 18th. Fell off near Bovey Tracey. The pump caught in my trouser leg, and my sandwiches were badly crushed.

(Cut to interior of a transport cafe. A rather surly proprietor with fag in mouth is operating an Espresso coffee machine. Pither, a fussy bespectacled little man, in sweater, trousers, is leaning over the counter, talking chattily).

Pither: The pump caught in my trouser leg, and my sandwiches were badly crushed.

Prop: 35p. (He goes back to working the machine).

Pither: These sandwiches, however, were an excellent substitute.

(Enormous lorry driver comes up to counter)

Driver: Give us ten woods, Barney.

Pither: Hello!

(Lorry driver looks at him without interest, goes off with his cigarettes)

Pither: It's funny how one can go through life, as I have, disliking bananas and being indifferent to cheese, and then be able to eat, and enjoy, a banana and cheese sandwich like that.

Prop: 35p please. (A juke box starts up in the background)

Pither: Ah! I have only a 50. Do you have change?

Prop: (with heavy sarcasm) Well I'll have a look, but I may have to ring the bank.

Pither: I'm most awfully sorry.

(Prop gives him change)

Prop: 15p.

Pither: Oh, that was lucky. Well, all the very best. (Pither proffers his hand. Prop. ignores it) Thank you for the excellent banana and cheese sandwich.

(He exits busily. Prop. looks after him, shakes his head, and absent-mindedly opens a sandwich and flicks ash in, and closes it up again.)

(Cut to hedgerows. Theme music. Pither's head bobbing up and down. At the same point in the music…. it disappears and there is a crash mingled with grunting of pig.)

Pither (V.O.): August 23rd. Fell off near Budleigh Salterton.

(Cut to a woman gardening. Behind her we see Pither's head peering over the hedge.)

Pither: …and the pump caught in my trouser leg.

(She carries on digging, trying to ignore him)

Pither: And that's why they were damaged…(no reaction)…the eggs…you remember…the hard-boiled eggs I was telling you about…(he comes round to the gate and leans familiarly over the gate)…they were in a Tupperware container, reputedly self-sealing, which fell open on contact with the tarmacadam surface of the road. (He looks for a reaction. She goes on digging very butch)…the B409…(he looks again for a glimmer of interest)…the Dawlish road…(again no reaction) That shouldn't really happen to a self-sealing container, should it?

(Lady gardener goes back into house. Pither waits for a few moments)

Pither: (shouting) What do *you* keep your hard-boiled eggs in? (No reaction) I think in future I shall lash them to the handlebars with adhesive tape. That should obviate a recurrence of the same problem…well I can't stop here all day…must get on…I'm on a cycling tour of Cornwall.

(Cut to hedgerows again. Pither's head bowling along. Theme music. He dips out of sight. Crash and a cow moos.)

Pither (V.O.): Aug. 26th. Fell off near Ottery St. Mary. The pump caught in my trouser leg. Decide to wear short trousers from now on.

(Cut to another hedgerow. Pither's head bowling along. Short burst of music. Crash.)

Pither (V.O.): Fell off near Tiverton. Perhaps a shorter pump is the answer.

(Cut to a tiny village high street, deserted save for an old lady. Pither cycles into shot, carefully parks his bike by the kerb. He is in shorts, but still has his bicycle clips on. He takes them off and approaches the old lady.)

Pither: Excuse me, madam, can you tell me of a good bicycle shop in this village, where I could find either some means of adapting my present pump, or, failing that, purchase a replacement?

Old lady: There's only one shop here.

(She points with a shaking finger. Camera pans very slightly to one side to reveal a shop with a huge four foot high sign) "BICYCLE PUMP CENTRE. SPECIALISTS IN SHORTER BICYCLE PUMPS."

another sign: "SHORT PUMPS AVAILABLE HERE"

another sign: "WE SHORTEN PUMPS WHILE-U-WAIT"

(The camera shows the shop only for a couple of seconds and pans back to the old lady and Pither.)

Pither: What a stroke of luck. Now perhaps cycling will become less precarious.

(Cut to int. of doctor's surgery. A knock on the door).

Doctor: Yes?

Nurse: (sticking her head around the door): There's a Mr. Pither to see you, Doctor. His bicycle pump got caught in his sock.

Doctor: Alright, nurse, send him in.

(Nurse exits, Pither enters in shorts and sweater)

Doctor: Morning.

Pither: A very good morning to you too, Doctor

Doctor: I gather you had an accident?

Pither: Yes, my pump got…

Doctor: …caught in your sock.

Pither: Yes, and my fruit cake was damaged on one side.

Doctor: Well…

Pither: It's got grit all over it.

Doctor: Well now, are you in pain? (reaching round for his stethoscope and coming around desk)

Pither: Oh heavens no.

Doctor: Well where were you hurt?

Pither: I escaped without injury fortunately. (Pause)

Doctor: Well what is the trouble?

Pither: Could you tell me the way to Iddesley?

Doctor: I'm a doctor, you know.

Pither: Oh yes. Under normal circumstances I would have asked a policeman or a minister of the Church, but finding no one available, I thought it better to consult a man with some qualifications, rather than rely on the possibly confused testimony of a passer-by.

Doctor: Oh alright. (He scribbles something on a piece of paper and hands it to Pither) Take this to a chemist.

Pither: Thank you.

(Ching of door. Chemist comes out holding the paper and points up the street. Pither thanks him and mounts his bike.

Cut to the hedgerows again. Pither's head. Theme music…reaches the point where Pither normally falls off…his head disappears, the music cuts off… no crash…suddenly Pither's head reappears further on and the music starts up again)

Pither (V.O.): Sept 2nd. Did not fall off outside Iddesley.

(Cut to a small market town. Line of cars. Pither's head just above the roofs of cars. Theme music. He suddenly disappears, the music stops and there is a crash.)

Pither (V.O.): Fell off in Tavistock.

(Cut to a discreet corner of a Watney's pub. Carpet and soft music. A middle-aged businessman and a sexy secretary who obviously want to be alone are sitting huddled over a table. On the other side of the table is Pither, with half pint in front of him.)

Pither: My leg got caught in my trousers and that's how the bottle broke.

Girl: Tell her today, you could ring her.

Man: I can't. I can't.

Pither: I said you'd never guess.

Man: 16 years we've been together. I can't just ring her up.

Girl: If you can't do it now, you never will.

Pither: Do you like Tizer?

Man: (to Pither) What? No. No.

Girl: Do you want me or not? It's your decision, James.

Pither: I suppose it is still available in this area?

Girl: Do you want me or not, James?

Man: What?

Pither: Tizer.

Girl: Yes or no.

Pither: Is it still available in this area?

Man: (to Pither) I don't know.

Girl: In that case it's goodbye for ever, James.

Man: No! I mean yes!

Pither: Oh it is?

Man: (to Pither) No.

Girl: You never *could* make up your mind.

Man: I can…. I have….

Girl: (taking off ring) Goodbye James. (She runs out sobbing.)

Man: No wait, Lucille!

Pither: And does your lovely daughter like Tizer?

Man: Lucille!

Pither: I wouldn't mind buying her a bottle of Tizer…. if it's available in this area, that is.

Man: (turning on Pither) Would you like me to show you the door?

Pither: Well that's extremely thoughtful of you, but I saw it on the way in.

Man: You stupid, interfering little rat.

Pither: Oh! The very words of the garage mechanic in Bude!

(The man picks Pither up by the scruff of the neck and the seat of his pants. He carries him bodily towards the door.)

Pither: I had just fallen off…and my cheese tartlet had become embedded in the…

Man: Damn your cheese tartlet! And damn you, sir!

Pither: …dynamo hub… which was not at that time functioning…

(He is thrown out.)

(Cut to ext. of pub. Pither picks himself up. Sees girl outside sobbing.)

Pither: Just had a chat with your dad.

(Girl bursts into further tears. Whistling cheerfully, Pither gets on his bicycle and, happier than he has been for a long time, he cycles off down the road and round a corner. Sounds of car tyre screech and crash of Pither going straight into a car.)

(Cut to interior of car speeding along highway. Pither is sitting in the back seat with his bicycle. The driver, Mr Gulliver, is a bespectacled young man. He talks with a professional precision.)

Pither: Yes…my rubber instep caught on the rear mud-guard stanchion and…

Gulliver: Really? And what happened to your corned beef rolls?

Pither: They were squashed out of all recog… here just a minute. How did you know about the corned beef rolls?

Gulliver: I saw them - or what remained of them - on the road. I noticed also that the lemon curd tart had sustained some superficial damage.

Pither: The curd had become…

Gulliver: Detached from the pastry base.

Pither: (with some surprise) Yes…. that's absolutely right!

Gulliver: Otherwise the contents of the sandwich box were relatively unharmed, though I detected small particles of bitumen in the chocolate cup cakes.

Pither: But they were wrapped in foil!

Gulliver: Not the hard chocolate top, I'm afraid.

Pither: Oh dear, that's the bit I liked.

Gulliver: The ginger biscuit, the crisps and the sausage roll were unharmed.

Pither: How do you know so much about cycling?

Gulliver: I'm making a special study of accidents involving food.

Pither: Really?

Gulliver: Do you know that in our laboratories we have produced a cheese sandwich that can withstand an impact of 4,000 lbs per square inch?

Pither: Good heavens!

Gulliver: Amazing, isn't it? We have also developed a tomato which ejects itself when an accident is imminent.

Pither: Even if it's inside am egg and tomato roll?

Gulliver: Anywhere! Even if it's in your stomach, and it senses an accident it will come up your throat and out of the window. Do you realise what this means?

Pither: Safer food?

Gulliver: Exactly! No longer will food be damaged, crushed or squashed by the ignorance and stupidity of the driver! (Becoming slightly messianic) Whole picnics will be built to survive the most enormous forces! Snacks will be stronger than ever! An ordinary pot of salad cream, treated in our laboratories, has been subjected to the force of a 9,000 lb steam hammer every day for the last 6 years. And has it broken?

Pither: Er….

Gulliver: Yes, of course it has! But there are other things that haven't!…. the safety straps for sardines for instance.

(A tomato leaps up out of the glove compartment and hovers, then it ejects itself out of the car window)

Pither: That tomato just ejected itself.

Gulliver: Really?

Pither: Yes.

Gulliver: (embracing Pither) It works! It works!

(Crash and cut to black.)

(Fade up on country road. Pither is cycling along with Gulliver on the back of the bicycle. Gulliver has his head bandaged and his arm in a sling. Occasionally strains of 'Jack in a box' by Clodagh Rogers float towards us as Gulliver moves rhythmically.)

Pither (V.O.): What a strange turn this cycling tour has taken. Mr Gulliver appears to have lost his memory and far from being interested in safer food is now convinced that he is Clodagh Rogers the young girl singer. I am taking him for medical attention.

(Cut to Pither and Gulliver cycling into hospital. Sign: "North Cornwall District Hospital".)

(Cut to nurse receptionist at counter with glass window which lifts up and down. Above window small notice: "Casualty Admissions". Pither appears)

Pither: Good afternoon… is this the Casualty Department?

Nurse: Yes, that's right.

(Noise of splintering wood and crash out of view. Pither and nurse look up. Cut away to three benches under large 4 ft sign "Casualty". The front bench has collapsed in the middle and half a dozen or so patients sitting on it have slid into a heap in the middle. Some with scalded hands, bandages etc. some with bloody heads. A negro nurse is on her way to assist. Cut back to Pither and nurse.)

Nurse: What can I do for you?

(The window comes down on her fingers, she winces sharply in pain. She pushes it up again).

Pither: Well, I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and…

Nurse: Could I have your name please?

Pither: My name is Pither.

Nurse: Hm?

Pither: No… P I T H E R … as in Brotherhood, but with PI instead of the BRO and no HOOD.

Nurse: I see…

Pither: I had already visited Taunton…

(Terrific crash. Cut to trolley on its side, and a bandaged patient under a mound of hospital instruments and a nurse standing looking down)

Nurse: Sh!

Pither: …and was cycling north in…

Nurse: Where were you injured?

Pither: Just where the A397 Ilfracombe road meets the…

Nurse: No - on your body…

Pither: Ah no… it's not I who was injured, it's my friend.

(Nurse scowls, crumples up paper… and throws it away. The piece of paper hits a smallish cabinet of glass which topples forward.)

Nurse: Tut… Name?

Pither: Pither.

Nurse: (long sufferingly) Your *friend's* name.

Pither: Clodagh Rogers…

Nurse: Clodagh Rogers!

Pither: Well…since about 4:30….

Nurse: …well I think you ought to tell Doctor Wu… Doctor!

(Cut to doctor on top of step ladder, unloading whisky from a crate balanced on top of ladders into a medicine cupboard already stacked with whisky bottles. Doctor whips round knocking off the crate of whisky.)

Doctor: What? Damn!

(Cut to patient in a wheelchair being pushed. The wheelchair completely collapses and the nurse is left holding the handles. Quick cut to nurse as window comes down on her fingers again.)

Nurse: Aaaaaagh!

(Doctor comes across to pither, limping slightly, in some pain.)

Doctor: Now, what's the trouble?

Pither: I am on a cycling tour of…

Nurse: (nursing her fingers) He thinks he's had an accident.

Pither: Yes, I have friend who, as a result of his injuries, has become Clodagh Rogers.

Doctor: Don't be silly, man; people don't just become Clodagh Rogers.

Pither: So you may think, but what happened in this case was…(There is a terrifying crash)

(Cut to doors, which are flying open, knocking over a nurse with a tray of surgical instruments. Gulliver comes in…)

Gulliver: (rushing up to Pither) No time to lose - we must make for Moscow tonight. (Grabs Pither and pulls him out.)

(The window comes down on the doctor's fingers.)

Doctor: Aaaaagh!

(Gulliver and Pither rush out of doors of Casualty Dept. They slam the door. Casualty sign drops on the heads of the people on the third bench.)

(Cut to camp fire at midnight in a forest clearing. By the light of the fire, Pither is writing up his diary.)

Pither (V.O.): Sept 4th. Well I never. We are now in the Alpes Maritimes region of Southern France. Clodagh seems more intent on reaching Moscow than on rehearsing her new BBC1 series with Buddy Rich and the Younger Generation.

(Gulliver enters the scene. His head is still bandaged but he has a goatee beard.)

Pither: Hallo!

Gulliver: We cannot stay here. We must leave immediately. There is a ship at Marseilles.

Pither: I did enjoy your song for Europe, Clodagh.

Gulliver: I have seen an agent in the town. My life is in danger.

Pither: Danger, Clodagh?

Gulliver: Stalin has always hated me.

Pither: No one hates you, Clodagh.

Gulliver: I will not let myself fall into the hands of these scum.

Pither: I suggest you have a little lie down, my dear. There is a busy day of concerts and promotional visits tomorrow.

Gulliver: I. One of the founders of the greatest nation on earth. I! Who Lenin called his greatest friend.

(From the darkness we hear French voices.)

M. Brun: Taissez-vous. Taissez-vous.

Pither: Oh dear.

Gulliver: I! who have fought and suffered that our people should live.

(Pair of middle class froggies in their prix-unis pyjamas appear.)

M. Brun: Taissez-vous. Qu'est-ce que le bruit? C'est impossible.

Pither: Er… my name is Pither.

M. Brun: Oh… you are English?

Pither: Er yes. I'm on a cycling tour of North Cornwall, taking in Bude.

Gulliver: I will not be defeated. I will return to my land and continue the fight against this new tyranny.

Pither: This is Clodagh Rogers, the Irish-born girl singer.

Mme. Brun: Mais oui (sings) Jack-in-a-box, I know whenever love knocks (M. Brun joins in) Eh!! Genevieve, Gerard. C'est Clodagh Rogers la chanteuse Anglaise.

(Happy shouts from off as two small froggies in their teens appear in pyjamas with autograph books and run up to Gulliver. Gen. offers her book to Gulliver.)

Gulliver: They will never silence me. They will nev…

Gen.: Excusez-moi Mam'selle Clodagh. Ecrivez vous votre nom dans mon livre des celebrites. (Gulliver takes book.) S'il vous plait. La, au-dessous de Denis Compton. (Gulliver, having signed, hands the book back.) Merci… oh! Maman. Ce n'est pas la belle Clodagh.

Mme. Brun: Quoi?

Gen.: C'est Trotsky le revolutionaire.

M. Brun: Trotsky!

Mme. Brun: Trotsky ne chante pas.

M. Brun: Un peu.

Mme. Brun: Mais pas professionalement. Tu penses de Lenin.

M. Brun: Lenin!! Quel chanteur: 'If I ruled the world'.

(Cut to stock shot of famous Lenin-addressing-the-crowd scene doctored so that we can dub the words 'Every day would be the first day of spring' onto it.) (Cut back to clearing as before.)

Gulliver: Lenin. My friend. I come. (He dashes off into the forest possessed.)

Pither: (aux Bruns) Oh excuse me, she's not very well you know, pressure of work, laryngitis… (He gets on his bike and pedals off hurriedly after Gulliver into the forest.)

M. Brun: (still reminiscing) Et Kerensky avec le 'Little White Bull'.

Mme. Brun: Formidable.

(Cut to a few quick shots of Gulliver dashing through the trees and then of Pither making much slower progress due to his bike.)

(Cut to a shot possibly of two frogs in a signal box, but probably a mundane setting and it's not worth wasting too much time on, of Gulliver passing within sight of the two aforesaid frogs; Frog1 and Frog2.)

Frog1: (seeing Gulliver) Maurice! Regardez! C'est la chanteuse Anglaise Clodagh Rogers.

Frog2: Ah mais oui! (sings) Jacques dans la boite (he switches on a nearby horn gramophone and the song is heard throughout the forest)

(Cut to Russian street. Pither cycles along with Gulliver, looking like Trotsky, on the back.)

Pither (V.O.): After several days I succeeded in tracking down my friend Mr. Gulliver to the outskirts of Smolensk.

(Cut to military man in studio. He has a large map of Europe and Russia and a stick with which he raps at the places.)

Military Man: Smolensk. 200 miles west of Minsk. 200 north of Kursk. 1500 miles west of Omsk.

(Cut back to Pither.)

Pither: Thank you.

(They've stopped by a signpost that says: Smolensk Town Centre 1/2 Tavistock 1612 m. )

Pither (V.O.): Anyway, as we were so far from home, and as Mr. Gulliver, still believing himself to be Trotsky, was very tired from haranguing the masses all the way from Monte Carlo,

(Cut to military man who thumps the map again.)

Military Man: Monte Carlo. 100 miles south of Turin. 100 west of Pisa. 500 miles east of Bilbao.

(Cut back to Pither.)

Pither: Thank you. I decided to check…

Pither (V.O.): I decided to check…

Pither: No, you go on.

Pither (V.O.): I decided to check him into a hotel while I visited the British Embassy to ask for help in returning to Cornwall.

(By the end of this speech, they are leaving the bicycle on the kerb and entering a door with the sign "Y.M.A.C.A." over it, looking like a Y.M.C.A. sign. Over this…)

Pither (V.O.): And so we registered at the Smolensk Young Men's Anti-Christian Association.

(Cut to military man.)

Military Man: Y.M.C.A. Corner of Anti-semitic street and Pogrom square.

Pither: (by now standing at the reception desk with Gulliver) Go away. (To departing desk clerk). No not you. A single room for my friend please.

Desk clerk: Yes, sir. Bugged or unbugged?

Gulliver: (as Trotsky) I think I'd feel happier with a bugged one.

Desk Clerk: One bugged with bath.

(As Gulliver starts to sign the register, Pither starts to leave. He says…)

Pither: Have a nice lie down. I'm just off to the Embassy. (He goes.)

(Desk clerk looks at book.)

Desk clerk: Trotsky! My lack of God, it's Trotsky!

(A couple of people race in excitedly.)

Gulliver: Comrades. Socialism is not a national doctrine it… (Fade.)

(Mix through to sign: "British Consulate Smolensk" sign is on railings outside. Pither cycles up and parks his bike and goes in. Imperial music.)

(Mix through to interior… smoke and incense about. A picture of the queen is dimly visible on the back wall. A Chinaman approaches.)

Pither: Excuse me. Is this the British Consulate?

China Man: Yes yes… si si… That is correctment. Yes… Piccadilly Circus, mini-skirt… Joe Lyons.

Pither: I wish to see the Consul, please.

China Man: That's right. Speakee speakee… me Blitish consul.

Pither: Oh! (He examines his diary.) Are you… Rear Admiral Dudley de Vere Compton Bart then?

China Man: No. He died. He have heart attack and fell out of window onto exploding bomb, and was run over in shooting accident. Nasty business. I his susscussor… how you say… succsussor.

Pither: Successor.

China Man: Successor yes… I his successor, Mr. Atkinson.

Pither: Oh, I see.

Atkinson: You like have drinkee? Game bingo?

Pither: Well…. a *drink* would be extremely pleasant.

(Atkinson snaps fingers. Another chink bows obsequiously.)

Atkinson: Mr. Robinson. Go and get Saki.

Robinson: Yes, Boss. (goes)

Atkinson: How is Tunbridge Wells? How I long to see once again walls of Shakespeare-style theatre in Stratford-on-Avon.

Pither: I'm a West Country man myself, Mr. Atkinson.

Atkinson: Ho yes! Arizona -- Texas -- Kit Carson Super Scout.

Pither: No - West of England… Cornwall.

China Man: (with difficulty) Coron… worll…

Pither: Cornwall.

Atkinson: Coronworl… oh yes know Coronworl very well. Go to school there, Mother and Father live there, ah yes, have lots of friends there. Go for weekend parties and polo playing cards and bridge in evening. Oh yes belong to many clubs in Coronworld.

(Robinson reappears, with drink and plate of pastries. He puts them down.)

Atkinson: Ah, Mr. Rutherford, saki and bakewells tart.

(Hands glass of Saki to Pither.)

Atkinson: Well, old chap. Buttocks up!

Pither: Rather. (They drink.)

Atkinson: Now then Mr… er…

Pither: Pither.

Atkinson: Pither ah yes… fine old English name. My father he Pither, and mother she Pither… all flends Pither… Now we Blitish here in Smolensk velly intellested in playing clicket.

Pither: Cricket?

Atkinson: No… you not speak English velly wells. We like play *clicket* - not clicket - clicket…clicketty click…housey housey…Bingo.

Pither: Oh… Bingo…

Atkinson: Yes. Bingo.

Robinson: Bingo.

Atkinson: (trying to get a grip on himself) Bingo.

Robinson: Bingo! Bingo!

(Hammering on door.)

Chinese V.O.s: Bingo Bingo Bingo! (etc)

(Three Chinese throw themselves out of a cupboard and throw themselves at Pither's feet, imploringly.)

3 Chinese: Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

Atkinson: Contloll. Contloll selves!

Robinson: (beating floor with fist) Bingo.

Atkinson: Mr. Richardson! Contloll self!

3 Chinese: (under breath) Bingo….

Atkinson: Hsai! (turns to Pither) So solly. Boys get velly excited.

Robinson: (quietly) Bingo.

China Man: (close into Robinson's face) Shut face. (smiles at Pither) Perhaps you help us join Bingo Club back in jolly old Blighty.

Pither: Well it's not quite my line…

Atkinson: You put in good word, me and flends join really smart Bingo club in Coronwold…

Pither: Well…

Atkinson: We all velly quiet…sit at back…only shout "Housey! Housey!

(Obviously trying to control himself but it is too late.)

Robinson: Housey! Housey!

3 Chinese: (still on floor) Housey! Housey!

Atkinson: (with supreme effort of will) Contloll selves!!

(Hammering on doors and Chinese V.O.s sound of Chinese hordes from outside.)

Chinese (V.O.): Housey housey! Housey housey!

(Atkinson runs onto balcony. Shot of stock film of Chinese hordes.)

Chinese hordes: Housey housey! Housey housey!

Atkinson: Ni akawati nihi, keo t'sin feh t'sung, nihi *watai* bingo cards!

(There is a sudden silence from the invisible hordes below, except for slightly shocked muttering. Atkinson turns, and goes back inside. Cut back to interior. Atkinson stalks in looking grim.)

Robinson: Nihi *watai* bingo cards?

Atkinson: Nihi *watai*!

Robinson: Ah so… (he bows and falls back obediently.)

(Atkinson turns to Pither.)

Atkinson: Now then, Pither Mr, which do you think better, Hackney Star Bingo or St. Albans Top Rank Suite?

Pither: Well, Mr Atkinson, I was hoping that you could help me and my friend to get back to England as…

Robinson: (terribly quietly) Hackney Star Bingo. (Atkinson strikes Robinson hard.)

Pither: I'm actually cycling to…

(One of the other Chinese falls to the floor.)

Chinaman on floor: Star Bingo! (He cowers as Atkinson turns on him and strikes him.)

Atkinson: Controll selves!

2 other Chinamen: (with awed reverence) Top Rank Bingo…

Atkinson: Shut faces!

All: Bingo… Top Rank… ahhhh!

(As the word Bingo starts to swell again from all those present and from the hordes outside, Atkinson rushes around trying to silence them.) Pither: Well I think I'll be off…

Atkinson: Please not go yet… (he has grabbed Robinson by the throat.) Robinson (breathlessly) Wimbledon Granada Bingo.

Atkinson: Shut face. Please Mr. Bingo don't bingo yet… I mean bingo… BINGO!

(Pither escapes as all available Simian lungs cry out.)

All: Bingo etc. etc.

Chinese hordes: Bingo!

(Chinese are climbing over the balcony. Cut to stock film of Chinese hordes rioting.)

Hordes: Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

(Cut to worried Director reading script: 'I'm sorry, News, I'd like to do it, but…')

(Cut to Y.W.A.C.A. Lobby. Pither walks up to desk.)

Pither: Is Mr Trotsky in his room please?

Desk clerk: No. He has gone to Moscow.

(Cut to military man.) Military Man: Moscow. 1500 miles due East of…

Desk Clerk: Shut up!

Pither: Moscow!

(Pither is suddenly surrounded by four secret policemen dressed in heavy trenchcoats and pork pie hats.)

Grip: Come with us please.

Pither: Who're you?

Bag: Well we're not secret police anyway.

Wallet: That's for sure.

Grip: If anything we are ordinary Soviet systems with no particular interest in politics.

Bag: None at all. Come with us.

Pither: Where are you taking me?

(Secret police all move to confer.) Wallet: What do we tell him?

Grip: Don't tell him any secrets.

Bag: Agreed.

Grip: Tell him anything except that we are taking him to Moscow to be present as an Honoured Guest when Trotsky is reunited with the Central Committee.

Wallet: We're taking you to a Clam Bake.

Pither: Oh a Clam Bake. I've never been to one of them.

Grip: Right, let's go.

Bag: Who's giving the orders round here?

Grip: I am. I'm senior to you.

Bag: No, you're not. You're a greengrocer, I'm an insurance salesman.

Grip: Greengrocers are senior to insurance salesman.

Bag: No they're not!

Wallet: Cool it. I'm an ice-cream salesman and I am senior to both of you.

Bag: You're an ice-cream salesman? I thought you were a veterinarian.

Wallet: I got promoted. Let's go.

Bag: Taxi!

(Agirl enters dressed as a New York cabbie.)

Taxi: Yes.

Bag: Drive us to Moscow.

Taxi: I have no cab.

Wallet: Why not?

Taxi: I'm in the secret police. (they all snap into the salute)

(Cut to shot of train wheels in the night. The siren sounds. Superimposed names zoom into camera, as in a musical: Petrograd, Ottograd, Lewgrad, LeslieFad, Etceteragrad, Dukhovskoknabilebskohatsk, Moscva. Cut to the stage of a big Russian hall. A banner across the top of the stage reads 'Russian 42nd International Clambake'. At the back of the stage sits Pither with his biqcle. At one side of the stage, at an impressive table on a dais, are some very important Russian persons including generals. One of the generals addresses the audience.)

General: … Dostoievye useye tovarich trotsky borodina… (etc.)

SUBTITLE: THIS IS THE MAN WHO BROUGHT OUR BELOVED TROTSKY BACK TO US'

General: Belutanks dretsky mihai ovna isky Mr Reg Pither.

SUBTITLE: 'FIRST MAY I PRESENT MR PITHER FROM THE WEST OF ENGLAND'

(Pandemonium lasting for about ten seconds.)

General: Shi musks di seensand dravenka oblomov Engleska Solzhenitzhin.

SUBTITLE: 'FORGIVE ME IF I CONTINUE IN ENGLISH IN ORDER TO SAVE TIME'

General: And now, Comrades, the greatest moment of a great day, the moment when I ask you to welcome the return of one of Russia's greatest heroes, creator of the Red Army, Lenin's greatest friend, Lev Davidovich Trotsky!

(Gulliver appears looking as much like Trotsky as possible. He wears a uniform and has a beard and glasses. Pandemonium breaks out. He eventua1ly quietens them by raking his hands for silence.)

Gulliver: Comrades. Bolsheviks. Friends of the Revolution. I have returned. (renewed cheering) The bloodstained shadow of Stalinist repression is past. I bring you the new light of Permanent Revolution. (his movements are becoming a little camp anti slinky) Comrades, I may once have been ousted from power, I may have been expelled from the party in 1927, I may have. been deported in 1926, but (sings) I'm just an old-fashioned girl wire an old-fashioned mind. (a certain amount of confusion is spreadiing among the audience and particularly the generals on the podium) Comrades, I don't want to destroy in order to build, I don't want a state founded on hate and division. (sings again) I want an old-fashioned house with an old-fashioned fence, and an old-fashioned millionaire.

(From now on Gulliver continues exactly as Eartha Kitt. He has acquired a fur stole which he manipulates slinkily. The confusion is complete on the stage.)

Pither: (voice over) Our friend Mr Gulliver was clearly undergoing another change of personality.

(A senior general appears beside Pither with two guards.)

General: (to Pither) St You have duped us. You shall pay for this. Guards, seize him.

(The guards seize the startled Pither and drag him away. The senior general strides back across the stage avoiding Gulliver, towards the general who addressed the audience.)

General: Shall I seize him too?

Senior General: No, I think we'll have to keep him, he's going down well.

General: He's more fun than he used to be.

Senior General: He's loosened up a lot. This is an old Lenin number.

(Cut to Pither sitting in a cell.)

Pither: (voice over) April 226th. Thrown into Russian cell. Severely damaged my Mars bar. Shall I ever see Bude Bus Station again? (two Russian guards throw the cell door open) Oh excuse me… (they grab him and march him out of the cell)

(Cut to exterior of a door leading out into the prison yard. The door is thrown open and Pither is marched over and stood against a blank wall. There are lots of small holes in the wall.)

Pither: (voice over) What a pleasant exercise yard. How friendly they were all being.

Officer: Cigarettes?

Pither: Oh, no thank you I don't smoke.

(Pither facing a line of uniformed men with guns, obviously a firing squad.)

Pither: (voice over) After a few moments I perceived a line of gentlemen with rifles. They were looking in my direction… (cut to Pither against the wall looking behind him) I looked around but could not see the target.

Officer: Blindfold?

Pither: (very cheerful) No thank you, no.

Officer: (stepping clear) Slowotny! (the firing squad snaps to attention) Grydenka… (they raise their rifles) Verschnitzen.

(Drum roll. The firing squad takes aim. A messenger runs frantically up.)

Messenger: Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! (he hands the officer a paper)

Officer: A telegram? (examines it) From the Kremlin! The Central Committee! (reads) It says … 'Carry on with the execution'. Verschnitzen… (the squad raise their rifles)

Pither: (voice over) Now I was really for it.

(Cut to shot of the officer with his hand raised. The same as before, only without Pither in shot. Drum mils again. He brings his sword down. Volley of shots from the firing squad. The officer is looking in Pither's direction, Long pause.)

Officer: (to soldiers) How could you miss?

Soldier: He moved.

Officer: Shut up! Go and practise. (to Pither) I'm so sorry. Do you mind waiting in your cell?

(Pither is flung back into his cell by the guards, and the door slammed.)

Pither: (voice over) What a stroke of luck. My Crunchie was totally intact. I settled down to a quick intermeal snack…

(But he is bundled out again. Pause. Shots. He is bundled in. The officer appears at door.)

Officer: Next time, definitely! (to aide) Now then, how many have been injured? Oh God…

Pither: (voice over) As I lay down to the sound of the Russian gentlemen practising their shotling, I realized I was in a bit of a pickle. My heart sank as I realized that I should never see the Okehampton by-pass again…

(Mix to Pither 's sleeping face, waking up, shaking himself in disbelief at finding himelf in a beautiful garden, with the sun shining and the birds singing. He is in a deckchair, and hit mother, having poured him a jug of iced fruit juice, is gently nudging Pither to wake him.)

Mother: Come on, dear, wake up, dear.

Pither: Mother!

Mother: Come on, dear.

Pither: So, it was all a dream.

Mother: No dear, this is the dream, you're still in the cell.

(Mix to Pither waking up in the cell. The officer enters carrying a rifle.)

Officer: OK, we're going to have another try. I think we've got it now. My boys. have been looking down the wrong bit, you see.

Pither: Oh no, look, you've got to look down the bit there.

Officer: I thought you had to look down that bit.

Pither: No, no, you've got to look down that bit, or you won't hit anything.

Officer: All right,. we'll give it a whirl. Guards, seize him. (they take him out)

Officer: (as he leaves) Listen. You've got to look down this bit.

(As they leave, we can see on the wall of the cell a poster, saying.' 'Saturday Night at the Moscow Praesidium, starring Eartha Kite, with Burgess and Maclean. 'lq Song a Dance and a Piece of Treachery". Marshal Bulganin and "Charlie ", Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Leningrad has never laughed so much.'

Mix through to stock film of the Kremlin. Dubbed over laughter and applause. A cheerful band sing. Mix through to a stage where someone dressed as Marshal Bulganin, is standing with a little real ventriloquist's dummy. He gets up, takes his bow and walks off as the curtain swings down. Lots of applause and atmosphere. Terrible Russian compere comes on smiling an,. applauding.)

Compere: Osledi. Osledi.

(He tells a quick joke in Russian and roars with laughter. Laughter from the audience. He holds up his hands and then becomes very sincere, saying obviously deeply moving, wonderful things about the next guest, whom he finally introduces.)

Compere: Eartha Kitt!

(Gulliver comes on-stage in the full Eartha Kitt rig - white fur stole, slit skirt and jewellery. He mimes to the voice of Edward Heath.)

Heath's Voice: Trade Union leaders - I would say this - we've done our part. Now, on behalf of the community, we have a right to expect you, the Trade Union leaders, to do yours. (etc.)

(Unrest in the audience as they recognize him. They start shouting 'sing "Old-Fashioned Girl"' and throwing vegetables. Slow motion shot of a tomato hitting Gulliver. He is seen to be holding a turnip.)

Gulliver: That turnip's certainly not safe. (looking round and seeing where he is) Oh no! Mr Pither! Mr Pither!

(He runs off-stage, pursued by the guards. Cut to the stage-door of the hall. A sign on the door says 'Next week Clodagh Rogers '. Gulliver runs out, and then through the streets, hotly pursued by soldiers and secret service men, firing after him.)

Gulliver: (calling) Mr Pither! Mr Pither!

(He is seen running through a dockyard. Finally he stops by a high stone wall.)

Gulliver: Mr Pither!

Pither's Voice: Here!

(Gulliver looks round and then rapidly climbs up and over the wall. He drops down to find Pither standing on the other side.)

Pither: Gulliver.

Gulliver: Pither! What a stroke of luck.

Pither: Well yes and no.

(He indicates with his head. Cut to show that both of them are standing in front of a firing squad. The officer is there as before. The squad runs towards them with fixed bayonets.)

CAPTION: 'SCENE MISSING'

(Cut to a Cornish country lane. A road sign says 'Tavistock I2 miles'. Pither stands beneath with Gulliver and his bicycle.)

Pither: Phew, what an amazing escape. Well goodbye, Reginald.

Gulliver: Goodbye, Mr Pither, and good luck with, the tour!

(They shake hands. Gulliver strides off. Pither mounts his bike and rides off into the sunset. Music swells. Roll credits. Cut to afield with hedgerow behind. The first animated monster peeks over the hedge.)

First Monster: Hey, I think he's finally gone!

(Second monster appears.)

Second Monster: Ooh yes!

(They hop over the fence into the field.)

First Monster: Ready, Maurice?

Second Monster: Right-ho, Keyin. Let's go.

First Monster: All right, maestro, hit it!

(We hear Clodagh Rogers singing Jack in a Box'. The two monsters jump up and down enthusiastically if not gracefully. Fade out.)

 


* Until three (or so) years ago, Clodagh Rogers owned and ran her own bar in Paignton, Devon, UK.

Paignton is one of the three towns which make up Torbay - Torquay, Paignton, Brixham.

Torquay, of course, was the inspiration for, and where much of, Fawlty Towers - another John Cleese classic series - was filmed.