It’s In The Script
There are many different and interesting aspects to reading scripts. The most obvious is to detect differences between the original (or revised) concept and what was actually filmed. In the GUNSMOKE script, "Gunfighter, R.I.P." for instance, the most obvious difference is in the ending. Had it been filmed as written in the Final Draft, GUNSMOKE would have taken what was to become one of the most touching love stories ever filmed for the series and destroyed it in one short conversation between Doc and Kitty.
Another example of "What Might Have Been" is revealed in the excerpts deleated from the final, filmed version of NIGHT STALKER, "The Spanish Moss Mysteries." Ron Updyke in the military reserves?? See for yourself.
There are numerous examples of how a script was altered from the written page from the NIGHT STALKER series. Most notably to any Beatles fan was the ad-lib of Lieutenant Lamont’s, from "Sentry," when she remarked about the Mustang, "There’s Kolchak’s Yellow Submarine," a line not found in the script.
Other scripts are not changed so much in dialogue, as in interpretation. Read the dry lines from "A Christmas Story" (which will be included in a future update), then try to visualize how an actor would say them. There is probably no better way to appreciate the talent involved in bringing lines of dialogue to life than by reading the script, then watching the film. Is "A Christmas Story" a classic? Yes, but the genius is in the delivery of dialogue.
Also included in this first series of script excerpts are corrections from "Hanger 18." These changes are taken directly from Darren McGavin's script, and many are in his own handwriting.*************************
Excerpts from GUNSMOKE, "Gunfighter, R.I.P." Final Draft, July 22, 1966
1 EXT. JETMORE – MOVING SHOT – DAY
2 NEW ANGLE
It’s about time.
Now we can get goin’!
We’ll wait for him in the saloon.
4 ANGLE – JOE
DISS. THRU TO:
5 INT. BARBER SHOP - DAY
While his clothes are nowhere to be seen, Joe’s guns hang over the back of a chair. He luxuriates in a wood vat, filled with water. The BARBER hands him a mirror. A quick check of a shave and haircut; of his teeth – a GRUNT of satisfaction. Then a bottle of witch hazel is surrendered. Joe sloshes himself generously with this last.
That’ll cost y’extra.
They’ll be here d’rectly.
(ANGLE ADJUSTS as Joe stands and towels himself, and,)
Anything that makes this place worth its salt?
Passable grub at the café. Whiskey at Ben Tupper’s saloon. saloon. Clean bed at Widow Jenkins’. That’s about it.
Makes a man want to burrow in and stay awhile.
Dodge is a three-hour ride due east. You’ll getyour fill there.
(And CHING LEE ENTERS. She is in her early twenties. A frail, yet we will learn, capable, determined woman. She carries Joe’s cleaned, ironed clothes. The sight of Joe wrapped in the towel does not faze her – nor, her presence, him. Somewhat imperiously:)
Put them down over there.
Pay her. I’ll settle with you later.
(She follows the barber OUT and Joe begins to dress, and:)
As the door flies open and CHING FA, an elderly, wizened oldster, hurtles OUT – followed by a cascade of laundry – and BURT, a cowboy.
You shorted the boss’ laundry for the last time!
Ching Fa picks himself up from the muddy street, and:
No shorted laundry! Clean everything Mister Ryan bring me! Everything there.
(Burt smothers a half smile; winks at TWO OTHER COWBOYS, who follow him OUT of the laundry. Joining in the obvious hazing, they kick at, pick up, and throw the scattered laundry as Ching Fa tries to retrieve it, and:)
I give you fair warnin’ last time! There was three shirts he sent! You sent sent back only two!
(And he grabs Ching Fa’s queue and yanks him to his feet.)
Joe Bascome – clean-shaven; clean-clothed – steps OUT. He savors the good feeling of having peeled himself of grime and sweat. He starts down the boardwalk.
And the hazing of Ching Fa. The laundry is trampled in the mud by the two cowboys. Burt swings Ching Fa around and:
I can see you just gotta be learnt a lesson. I’m the man t’learn ya.
(And he pushes him against the building front as Joe moves up. A handful of people, INCLUDING Mark and Paul, have gathered to be amused by the goings-on. Joe does not react to any of this; merely tries to inch by without getting dirtied.)
Comes OUT from a building; looks off; reacts, and races off.
Ching Lee is seen hurrying forward in BG. Burt grabs Ching Fa, who is suddenly gasping for breath, clutching at his chest.
Maybe if I skin ya six ways from Sunday, you’ll get m’message.
(And he shoves the oldster away.)
FAVORING Joe, as Ching Fa falls into the street, slams into a puddle. Muddy water splashes onto Joe’s clean pants – and Ching Lee is there, and:
FAVORING Ching Lee and her father. Joe nearby YELLS angrily:
(overlapping) He’s dead!! My father is dead..!!
(The cowboys stop laughing. They stand not really knowing how they feel about this.)
You got names? (It takes a minute before the drovers know that he refers to them.)
I asked you if you got names.
You a friend of his?
No. But I thought you’d like a marker on your grave.
(The three men look at each other in astonishment.)
As they watch. Paul tries to take a step toward Joe: Mark stops him.
He’s crazy. What’s he doin’?
You got three guns against one. You gonna make your play, or are you gonna talk me
The three men look at one another. There is no way out, and they know it. It is a small movement, but Joe catches it, and before the first cowboy can even get his hand on his gun, Joe has his weapon in his hand and PULLS OFF a SHOT. He turns his gun on the next drover and KILLS HIM as well. The third drover is able to PULL OFF TWO SHOTS. The bullets slam into Joe’s right shoulder and thigh. His is slammed against a wall; FIRES, killing the remaining cowboy.
There goes our chance at getting’ Dillon.
As the stage comes into Dodge.
As the stage pulls up in front of the stage stop. Joe stands out in the street waiting.
As Doc and Kitty come out of the Longbranch to greet Matt.
As the stage door opens and the PASSENGER and Matt EXIT onto the street.
As Paul, Mark and Ching Lee watch the action below. Ching Lee is anxious. Her face reflects the fear in her heart.
As Joe quickly looks up to the hotel window. His face tightens, then he looks back to the stage as Matt takes a step towards Doc and Kitty.
JOE (calling out)
(Matt turns and faces Joe.)
What is it?
The name’s Joe Bascome. I’m callin’ you.
As he looks at Joe. He knows the name.
As they watch, horrified.
Paul is enjoying it. He licks his lips. Mark, his gun still held to Ching Lee’s head, drops his other hand from his shoulder as he reaches over to get a better view.
As the play between Joe and Matt is about to take place. An instant before either can reach for their gun, a HIGH PIERCING SCREAM can be HEARD. A second later, it is followed by a THUD.
Joe turns to look back to the hotel window. An amazed Mark and Paul look down to the street level which Ching Lee has fallen. Joe draws his gun and FIRES at the window, killing Paul immediately. Mark opens up but Matt draws his gun and SENDS A BULLET into his chest.
As Joe makes for the fallen Ching Lee. Matt is on his heels as Joe bends down to her.
Ching Lee…Ching Lee…
(A crowd has gathered around. Doc finally manages to work his way through.)
Watch out. Let me get a look at her.
Doc… Is she…
(Doc is making a quick examination of Ching Lee.)
No. (then, to the
(Matt bends down, lifts the girl in his arms and as he turns and starts for Doc’s office, followed by Joe)
As he looks down. His eyes are misty.
(Chinese salute) **
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal him rising from a fresh grave. It is Ching Lee’s. He stands for a moment, turns and mounts his horse. He guides the animal onto the road and slowly rides away.
As Doc’s buggy comes around the bend. Joe passes them. No words are exchanged. Doc stops his buggy, and he and Kitty turn back to look at him.
He hasn’t got much of a reason for living any more.
He might have had a chance with her.
I wonder if he even has a reason for killing now.
(Doc kicks his horse up. We can see Joe in BG, slowly riding away, as we:)
THE NIGHT STALKER
"The Spanish Moss Murders"
Written by: Al Friedman and David Chase
Production # 41806 - October 21, 1974 (F.R.)
Included in these excerpts are scenes which never made it to the filmed episode. For better or for worse?
INT. INS OFFICE – DAY
As Vincenzo exits his office, carrying a huge bag of garbage and junk. Catches sight of Ron, who’s doing nothing, stares angrily.
Why don’t you get off your Ivy League buckle and help some of the others?
I volunteered but they say I just get in the way. They won’t take any of my suggestions.
(Vincenzo irritably looks around for something Updyke can do. Finally, he just sets the garbage bag down.)
Then I suggest you empty this garbage.
(Ron unhappily rises, picks up the bag, exits with it. Vincenzo starts to re-enter his office, turns, hearing the sound of typing. Kolchak is busily at work on a story and at the same time taking bites of a piece of pound cake, dribbling crumbs all over his desk. Vincenzo crosses to him.)
Will you knock off the work? Aren’t you aware the efficiency expert is coming?
(Kolchak gives him a look that expresses the absurdity of the statement. Vincenzo picks up on it, gestures around the office.)
It’s just that Mr. Sunderland happens to feel that neatness and cleanliness are important to a well functioning organization. And so do I.
(only glancing up) Then wipe the mayonnaise off your tie.
(Vincenzo looks down, sees the offending blot, takes out his handkerchief and smears the stuff around.)
You have a few minutes before you go to the airport. You could do something…
Straighten a file, clean out a cabinet. (happens to notice Kolchak’s watch; alarmed)
You have three-thirty? My watch stopped. I’m an hour late!
The efficiency expert comes none too soon.
(looking around in panic; furiously winding watch stem)
His plane lands at four-forty five. Why aren’t you on your way to the airport?
(typing) Let him take a cab.
He happens to feel that cabs are inefficient…a waste of company money. And so do I.
Get another rickshaw boy. I’m working.
(nervously; looking around) Who? Miss Emily doesn’t drive. Updyke has accidents while he’s watching movies at the drive-in….
(Kolchak tries to ignore him, keeps pounding at the typewriter. Vincenzo eyes him anxiously, starts fussing, straightening papers.)
Carl, there’ll be delays at the airport because of construction….
(More typing as Vincenzo fusses.)
Rush hour traffic’ll start soon ---
(stands suddenly) Who can work in this squirrel cage anyway….
(Kolchak grabs his coat and hat, storms across the office. Vincenzo hastily clears the last crumbs, follows worriedly.)
Take Mr. Sunderland to his hotel first….
(Under this, Updyke has re-entered and is gabbing with Emily Cowles.)
It’s Colonel Sunderland, not Mister….
He’s not in the fried food business. He’s just retired Army….
(They move past Ron.)
I’m hoping he can pull strings and get me transferred out of my reserve unit.
(whirling) Don’t you dare ask him that!
(dreamily) I was engaged to a West Point man…(puzzled) He disappeared right about the time my father lost the last Congressional election….
(Vincenzo waves this all away, chases after Kolchak.)
Kolchak. Button your top button and straighten your tie….
(There’s no response from Kolchak who’s already bounding down the stairs. A worried Vincenzo moves back into the office.)
INT. INS OFFICE – NIGHT – SHOOTING DOWN THE STAIRS
Kolchak climbs to the first landing, deep in thought, ascends the last flight up to the office. As he reaches the corridor, he stops in his tracks, seeing:
OFFICE – HIS POINT OF VIEW
Vincenzo sweating, making unctuous apologetic gestures to Col. Matthew Sunderland, an erect, powerful, aggressive, but diminutive man, in tweed with leather elbow patches. Vincenzo seems to tower above Sunderland as they stand amid an extensive array of leather luggage.
Slaps his forehead, emits a groan at what he’s done, presses himself against the wall.
HIS POINT OF VIEW – VINCENZO AND SUNDERLAND
I’m – I’m terribly sorry. I sent someone out, and he’s very punctual…conscientious. (hopefully) Maybe his car broke down. You know, overheated or vapor locked in this heat….
(flat, crisp) It’s a little early to chalk the Snafu off to equipment failure, isn’t it?
Well, I…. (tries to smile) You didn’t have to take a cab, though. You should have phoned.
(Sunderland moves away, starts surveying the office unsmilingly, hands clasped behind his back.)
Your lines were jammed for an hour and twenty-three minutes.
I don’t know what to say. I’m very sorry this happened, Mr. Sunderland….
Colonel Sunderland…please. (tight smile)
(Vincenzo nods hopelessly.)
Winces in sympathy for Vincenzo. Hearing footsteps coming his way, he ducks into the men’s room.
INT. MEN’S ROOM – NIGHT
Kolchak enters, quietly closes the door. He doesn’t realize till after he’s part way in that Updyke is behind him, splashing water on his face.
(looking up) You’re really too much, you know that? Mr. Vincenzo was furious.
(guiltily) Yeah. I’ll straighten it out when things cool down. Have you met Sunderland?
Met him? I had to carry his bags up from the cab, thanks to you.
Seems like he’s all spit and polish. Mostly spit.
(wiping his face) Getting along with him just takes a little knowledgability of the military personality. I don’t think I’ll have any problem…
INT. INS DARKROOM/MEN’S ROOM – DAY
Kolchak takes a blow-up from the soup, flicks off the safe light, studies the photo.
Not completely satisfied. Suddenly the door bursts open and Vincenzo enters, just stares at Kolchak in silent rage.
(ashamed) Yeah. I’m sorry about the airport, Tony.
(boiling) If this is what you’re like now, Kolchak, what were you like in kindergarten? Did your teacher slit her wrist or hang herself?
I can explain it all ---
Not now, Carl. You and your excuses are the least of my problems. It’s Updyke. Sunderland’s got him working for him….
Ron does love efficiency….
Sunderland stays in my office going through the books. Updyke walks around on cat feet…taking notes…watching to see how long it takes to get a story out, how many minutes people spend on the phone, how long they’re in the bathroom….
(shows him beret and tin cup) Sure, Tony. But listen. See these? These belonged to a dwarf named Morris Shapiro. I was talking to him, I was right with him when he vanished.
Dwarf? Vanished? Kolchak, haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve been saying? (checks watch) Out. And start working.
(Vincenzo urges a frustrated Kolchak out of the room.)
INT. INS OFFICE – DAY
Emily Cowles is working at her desk with a large pasteup crossword puzzle. Updyke, at his desk, looks up as Kolchak and Vincenzo enter, notes down the time on a clipboard. He nods to Kolchak, then gets up, moves toward Vincenzo’s office and taps on the door. Sunderland is on the phone, signals for him to wait.
(sotto, to Vincenzo) Tony, this morning, very quietly at six A.M. the police released their suspect in the Piaget murder. Know why there was no fanfare?
(leading him to his desk) Carl. Please. I want you to finish the union graft story you were working on…finish’ something.
They’re keeping it hush-hush because they haven’t got another suspect. But I do. Look.
(He shoves the photo at him. Vincenzo is pained.)
(squints; moves it back and forth) What is this? Salvador Dali’s Bar Mitzvah picture?
ANGLE – UPDYKE
Jotting a note as Emily Cowles stops work for a donut and cup of tea. He then moves toward Vincenzo’s office, enters, talks MOS with Sunderland who looks out.
ANGLE – KOLCHAK AND VINCENZO
(points to photo) This is a guy named Paul Langois. Morris, this dwarf, told me all about him….
(He doesn’t see Sunderland come up behind him.)
Dwarf, Mister Kolchak?
Kolchak turns, tries to smile. Updyke has seated himself at his desk, pretending work. He sneaks glances.
The way I hear it, Mister Kolchak, you have an annoying tendency to operate counter to directives.
(Kolchak shrugs, casts a glance at Updyke who busies himself.)
Explain the foul up in transportation yesterday.
I’m sorry about that. I was ---
(He suddenly winces with severe pain, supports himself on the desk, favoring his leg.)
What’s the problem?
Are you in pain?
It’s just this pin in my leg. It acts up in hot weather. Took a piece of shrapnel at Anzio… Yesterday, on the way to the airport, it got so bad I blacked out. I’m sorry, Colonel.
(can’t help it) When were you at Anzio?
(snaps at Updyke) Back off, son. (conversationally) What was your unit, Kolchak?
Good outfit. But Kolchak… (tosses paper on desk) Where have you been the last forty-eight hours? Why haven’t you finished this union graft story?
I was trying to drink away this pain in my leg. Stupid of me. With your permission, sir, I’d like to go over to the VA. I’ll take the story with me…clean it up.
(Sunderland thinks a minute. Nods tentatively.)
Talk to Doc George Miles. He’s a friend of mine.
(Kolchak nods, gets his things, including the photo. He smiles feebly at Vincenzo, and at Updyke as he walks out, favoring his leg.)
Watches after Kolchak, looks down, picks up the tiny beret.
ANGLE – STAIRS
Kolchak limps down the first flight, then breaks into a run, exits.
ANGLE – UPDYKE
Watches Sunderland go back into Vincenzo’s office. He picks up his phone.
I want long distance. The Military Records Center in St. Louis….
INT. INS OFFICE – NIGHT
Kolchak starts typing again when he hears a sound, turns. Emily Cowles is entering the office.
Emily? What are you still doing here?
(bushed) Isn’t it sickening? That Colonel Sunderland kept a group of us here straight through. An hour ago, he said we should break for dinner and he’d treat. We went to Manny’s. We all had to stick to cold cuts. Even the hot roast beef sandwich was verboten…the stingy windbag.
The rest of them are still down at Manny’s?
(nods) I couldn’t stomach another minute. It was Ron. I’m surprised at him. Chattering about all his notes and figures. Telling on people. Cuddling up to that big cheese like a little titmouse.
Kolchak smiles, shakes his head. Noises are heard in the corridor and Sunderland and Updyke walk in, smiling, chatting. Vincenzo brings up the rear, in obvious mental pain.
He winces, spins around, starts typing buisily, very efficient.
Looks over, studies him…then moves toward him, a beat…then slaps Kolchak’s shoulder.
(curt, concern) How’s the leg, Kolchak?
(surprised) Oh…better, better. They gave me some diathermy and some pills.
I meant to call Doc Miles over there. Make sure you got A-1 treatment. Never got around to it….
Oh that’s okay. Really. I’m fine.
(Sunderland gives him a slap, moves off, opens a notebook.)
Okay…let’s take a look at the financial sector, get that out of the way. Mr. Updyke… May I see your output for the period July 7 to the present?
(Updyke peers at him in confusion. Sunderland looks up.)
July 7th is the day you came. I’ve been concentrating on helping you with the survey.
You’ve been letting your own work go by the boards?
Well, yes. Wasn’t that what you intended?
Negative. Your own mission should be of primary importance. Anything beyond that, while appreciated, is icing on the cake.
(angrily) In other words, these last couple of days Updyke, you haven’t even given us the cake. Just the icing.
(Updyke doesn’t know what to say. Under the above, Miss Cowles has been flitting around the periphery of the group holding a note, trying to break in. Now:)
(snaps) What is it, Miss Emily?
I’m sorry…it’s a message for, Ron. The man on the phone said it was urgent and I forgot all about it. (to Ron) He said that he couldn’t give you the information you wanted on the personnel of the 98th Infantry because the records were burned in a big fire.
He’s been privately enjoying all the above. Now he covers his mouth with his hand.
SUNDERLAND AND UPDYKE
Sunderland’s eyes narrow. He draws Updyke aside so Kolchak can’t hear.
You’re something of a troublemaker, aren’t you son? I don’t like to see that in an organization. Is that how you’ve been spending your time?
(Updyke is silent, frightened. Sunderland is calm but firm.)
Where were you during World War II? While he was out there ducking kraut bullets? Crying in your bib, that’s where you were. I think we’d better set you straight. I think I should have a talk with the commander of that reserve unit of yours.
(He takes Updyke into Vincenzo’s office, sits him down.)
Looking innocent as a baby as Vincenzo approaches, regards him with hands in pockets. Finally.
I remember, Carl. Very cute. You were in St. Louis when the records center burned. You filed the story.
(Kolchak shrugs, turns with a smug smile, resumes typing. He runs out of paper and his basket is empty. Opening a drawer, he reaches in without looking and suddenly screams with horror and disgust.)
ANGLE – DRAWER
Lying on the typewriter paper…soggy, putrid Spanish moss. (SEVERAL SCENES OMITTED, FOLLOWED BY THE FOLLOWING:)
ANGLE- VINCENZO’S OFFICE
Sunderland sees the commotion, rises, comes to the door and looks out. Updyke following.
He’s existing independent of Paul Langois. Back in the sleep lab…he heard me talk about the tupelo gum spear…he wants to kill me first….
Carl, sit down and explain this….
I can’t…I can’t stay here and be killed….
(He gets his things, staring in horror at the moss.)
…It killed Langois because we were going to wake him up….
(Panicked, Kolchak stumbles toward the door, looking around at everyone in terror.)
Where do you find a swamp creature? In Chicago? Where could he live?
(Of course they just stare at him. Breathlessly, he exits. A long beat of silence, then:)
Head wounds too? (shakes his head) Damn shame….
**************** (This was the last mention of Colonel Sunderland in the script)****************
The following script excerpts and changes are taken from Darren McGavin’s personal copy of the script. Where he has made hand-written corrections, we have added the changes in parenthesis after the typed version, or retyped the entire change under the original.
This text comes at the end of the movie, where the NASA staff has just discovered the alien spacecraft seeded earth, and were thus our "missing link." Darren’s character was named HARRY FORBES, the Flight Director for NASA.
Blue pages Revised - 2/6/80
Revised - 2/19/80
Forbes stands at the head of the table, a large stack of computer readouts in front of him.
The translation is very rough and incomplete. But, if what we can read is true – and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t – all the conventional wisdom about the origin of the human race is false.
FORBES (hand-corrected dialogue) The translation is very rough and incomplete, but if what we can read is true – and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t – all the conventional wisdom about the origin of man, of the human race, is false.
(Cameron, Bannister and Sarah look startled.)
It’s a theory we’ve heard before. Popular books have speculated about it. They titillated the public. But scientists laughed at them. The whole idea was preposterous. Fiction. Science fiction. There was no truth to it.
FORBES (hand-corrected dialogue)
This is a translation of an historical (report) document found aboard the spacecraft.
To what? (handwritten question mark)
(Forbes picks up the thick computer readout.)
This is a report of a previous visit of these men to earth. The dates are obscure, but it must’ve taken place tens of thousands of years ago.
That’s not clear. But the(ir) book mentions a great pyramid. The description fits the pyramid of Tetanapa.
They built it?
As a fortress, most likely. The spacemen were an army on the move. One gets the feeling (from this that) they were the Roman Legion of their time. But they didn’t come to conquer earth. There were no people – people in the sense that we use the word – capable of offering any resistance.
Then what did they want here?
Evidently they used it as a base.
And they were here – off and on (at different places on earth) – for several hundreds of years.
(indicates printout) This speaks of the capture, taming and use of ‘animals’ as slaves, both male and female. Slaves who worshipped them as gods.
Then what they referred to as ‘animals’ were prehumans.
And the report boasts (goes on to state) (a undecipherable word, followed by an exclamation point is SARAH Forbes’ dialogue) females considered it a high honor to live with these gods and to bear their off-spring.
(Yes, you see) It’s no coincidence that the spaceman are identical to us ( - Sara) It’s not a case of two species evolving independently of one another.
BANNISTER (scratched out)
Do you know what you’re saying? (scratched out)
(I’m telling you what I’ve read) (line scratched out) Those ancient spacemen changed the course of our evolution. They were the ‘missing link.’
(jumps to feet) Oh, come on!
(We/mankind…) The human race is its (are their) children.
I don’t believe it!
Do you believe that spaceship out there?
It’s not a fraud?
Or a mirage?
Then if you believe that, you have to believe this.
(Forbes jabs a finger at the computer readout. Bannister sinks back into the chair. He, Sarah and Cameron look around at one another, trying to absorb what they’ve heard.
CLOSE on door as it opens and Steve steps out cautiously. He carries a large pipe-wrench. He closes the door and the CAMERA PANS as he moves off slowly, keeping in the shadow of the building.
431 EXT. LEAR JET – NIGHT (handwritten is the word Where?)
432 INT. PLANE - NIGHT
Steve moves around the corner of a building in deep shadows and looks o.s.
It is, as usual, bathed in light. There are a half-dozen armed guards on duty in front of it.
He eyes the hanger calculatingly for a moment more, then moves off, disappearing into the darkness.
A man in coveralls closes the cabin door. The truck moves off. The two Men In Black start for the trailer.
It’s jammed with aeronautic instruments and controls. A ‘pilot’ sits in front of them. The two Men In Black enter, one gesturing that the jet is ready to go. The ‘pilot’ nods and flips a switch.
The engines whine to life.
The ‘pilot’ pushes buttons and flips more switches.
It starts to taxi.
In a soft glow of the instrument panel, we see that the cockpit is empty.
Cameron and Kelso move to the spacecraft.
What is it?
I’ve got some more translating for you to do.
It speeds down the runway for a take-off.
The ‘pilot’ flips another switch.
It lifts off and disappears into the night, only its running lights showing.
SCENES 447 AND 448 OMITTED
The ‘pilot’ watching the jet’s progress on the radar screen.
A technician plugs in the portable computer terminal. He goes. Kelso starts the film clips and goes to the terminal to enter the characters appearing on them.
Steve is moving along a building. Suddenly, he freezes.
POV – ALONG BUILDING
The beams of an AF jeep’s headlights and spotlights strike the corner of the building. The jeep starts to turn toward Steve.
BACK TO STEVE
He turns, starting back the way he came. He sees a door. He tries it. It’s unlocked. He enters.
It moves slowly along the building.
Steve is at the door, listening. He HEARS the jeep pause outside the door, then move on. He sags against the wall beside the door.
Kelso working at the terminal, entering the characters on the film clips.
Steve still stands against the wall, a hand to his injured head. He finally steels himself and turns to the door, but is stopped by:
TIGHT ON DOORKNOB
He flattens himself against the wall again, pulling the pipe-wrench from under his belt as the door opens slowly.
He steps into the hanger, nothing but a silhouette against the faint light entering from outside. The ANGLE WIDENS to include Steve. The man’s back is to him. He raises the pipe-wrench to clobber him. The man turns. Steve sees his face. He freezes.
Steve gapes at him stupidly, lowering the wrench.
What – what’re you doing here?
The base security office called.
(suspiciously) Base security?
They said I’d find you here.
I know. Come on.
Hanger 18… you’ll be safe there.
(Steve hesitates, still suspicious, then drops the wrench. Forbes takes his arm.)
CLOSE on Kelso, gaping at the computer terminal screen. It’s o.s. so we don’t know what he sees. But he’s stunned by it. He fumbles for a walkie-talkie on his belt.
Phil! Get up here! I’ve got something.
Cameron comes out of the conference room and hurries toward the spacecraft. Sarah and Bannister follow.
CLOSE on computer terminal screen. Numbers and letter codes are clicking in.
Wider to include Kelso, Cameron, Bannister, Sarah. They look at the terminal screen, then at the ship’s screen. Visuals of industrial complexes and defense installations appear.
I’ve managed to translate the symbols that appear on each of the visuals. Now watch.
(He begins typing codes into the computer terminal.)
They’re all designated landing zones.
(They look from the computer screen to the large spacecraft screen… concern showing on their faces).
What are the numbers? Are they dates…coordinates… what?
(shakes his head) Don’t know yet. I’ve had to run them back in on a cross reference.
This is a breakthrough… a big one. Harry should know about it.
Forbes hustles in, followed closely by Steve. Forbes heads for the red phone, intense. He picks it up.
As Cameron comes out, looking around the hanger.
(calls) Harry! (beat) Harry!!
It goes into a dive.
Morrison sits at his desk, staring at the ringing red phone, burdened by guilt.
Kelso is hurriedly punching in codes, staring at the computer terminal screen before him. Bannister and Sarah stand behind him.
(to Bannister) But why are they planning to land on earth? And why at these specific locations?
And if their intentions are friendly, why haven’t they tried to contact us?
(They look at each other with serious, almost frightened expressions as they consider the possibilities.)
CLOSE ON KELSO
The green light from the terminal screen reflects on his face as a series of digits clicks in. We don’t see the screen, but he does… and his expression is one of grave concern. His voice catches in his throat.
(hoarsely) Oh my God… They are dates.
(Sarah and Paul look and react with horror.)
Come on, we gotta find Harry.
Morrison finally picks up the ringing phone.
This is Morrison.
(We hear the filtered WHINE of a distant jet engine.)
Forbes and Steve are looking up, wondering what the whining sound is.
Cameron is walking toward the conference room. He stops, turns and looks back…listening. The WHINE grows louder and louder.
overlooking it shatter.
Morrison stares at the dead phone…horrified.
Forbes pats Kelso encouragingly on the back and starts out. Cameron follows him.
SCENES 449 THRU 459 REMAINED THE SAME
CLOSE on computer terminal screen. Numbers and letter codes are clicking in.
WIDER TO INCLUDE KELSO, CAMERON, BANNISTER, SARAH
They look at the terminal screen, then at the ship’s screen. Visuals of industrial complexes and defense installations appear.
I’ve managed to translate the symbols that appear on each of the visuals. Now watch.
He begins typing codes into the computer terminal. Cameron, Bannister and Sarah lean over him, watching tensely. Kelso looks up at them as words begin appearing on the computer terminal screen.
They’re all designated landing zones.
(They look from the computer screen to the large spacecraft screen…concern showing on their faces).
What are the numbers? Are they dates… coordinates…what?
Don’t know yet. I’ll have to run them back in on a cross reference.
This is a breakthrough…a big one. Harry should know about it.
(Cameron nods agreement and heads off to find Harry.)
As Cameron comes out, looking around the hanger.
Harry! (beat) Harry!! Steve!
Forbes and Steve follow Cameron into the ship.
It roars through the night sky gaining speed and altitude.