SC EXT NIGHT CITY STREET
STUART and MARA, a young couple, are walking from a tube
station to a party. Fairly quiet city street. Ominous sound,
a bit like thunder, O.S.
Who's going to be at this party
Was that thunder? Lucky we're
She gives Stuart a rather worried look.
PAUSE. CLOSER THUNDER.
Well, a few of Sal's fellow
teachers from her college I
Oh great - that patronising,
wimpish, Guardian reading, P.C
Oh - and Sal told me Hari Dhaliwal
is coming. He's been doing a
writer's workshop there.
A jump-on-the-bandwagon churner out
of multicultural novels - isn't
that something to look forward to?.
I enjoyed his last book. Maybe you
would if you got round to reading
it. I'm looking forward to meeting
Please don't encourage him! I don't
want to listen to a multicultural,
self-congratulatory sermon at a
party. Drinking, dancing, letting
go a bit - that's what I need -
then bed and sex.
Louder sound like thunder O.S.
Ah,! You primitive hulk! Don't let
go too completely tonight -
remember the last party!
STUART looks moody as they arrive and MARA rings the
doorbell. Before the door opens she turns quickly to STUART
and puts her hand on his arm.
Come on. Let's just enjoy the
The door is opened by SAL,hugs between Sal and Mara,quicks
peck on the cheek for Stuart. Sounds of party within. They
SC INT NIGHT THE PARTY
Montage of party.
Large crowded main party room with doors out to other rooms
to suggest the party is spread over more than just the main
room where dancing happens - e.g.people coming in and out of
dance room. Bar area should be in main room but out of way
of dance area.
Party in full swing, noisy, music, dancing, including MARA
and STUART dancing. Different groups chatting, drinking
around edges at bar etc.
LATER. ONE SIDE OF MAIN ROOM
HARI is the center of al group including STUART and MARA.
So what interests me is the way the
modern experience is essentially
fractured and conflicted; to be
modern means to have competing
cultural influences inextricably
grafted into one's being. For
example, to be both Moslem and
British, to have working class
loyalties but professional duties,
to have elements of both male and
female psyches fighting for
expression within one.
HARI stops. Mara and some others are rapt but there arel
signs of irritation and boredom from others in the circle,
especially from STUART.
Circle begins to break up. STUART starts to go but stays
reluctantly when MARA continues conversation with HARI
That's what I so enjoyed about
"Fragments" - the characters
searching for identity while
struggling with conflicting social
Ah, nicely put - that's exactly
what I was aiming for. I'm so
pleased it worked for you.
I need a top up - Mara?
MARA ignores him, listening closely to HARI
I'm sure you noticed how Nathan and
Satwant settled for an illusion of
stability in my parody of a happy
Oh yes, so ironic and yet so true
to life and I loved the way
Surinder, my favourite character by
the way, continued to do whatever
she felt like, the only honest one
Exactly, selfishness - the only
honest solution possible today.
HARI PAUSES AND SMILES WINNINGLY AT MARA
You know, it's most rewarding for
an author, I'm sorry that must have
sounded rather conceited and
We follow STUART as he walks off to the bar. He fills a
tumbler with red wine. HARI's voice fades behind him as he
STUART looks disgusted at what he hears. He drinks.
(quietly to himself)
Rather conceited and pompous?
Massively, mind-boggingly conceited
and pompous - and boring!
Montage of the party continuing.
MARA and HARI dancing together in the throng. HARI is
attempting a rather close encounter with MARA; she is trying
reasonably hard to keep a respectable distance between them.
STUART and MARA dancing.
'Male and female psyches fighting
for expression". Yuk! I don't even
think he's much of a writer. His
books are as pretentious as his
You haven't actually read any of
I read 3 pages of 'Fragments' and
that was enough to make me queasy.
Stuart, he's an honest writer,
tells it the way it is. You're just
jealous. He deserves the
And you're just dazzled by the
success, the star status - such as
MARA stops dancing - it has been uncommitted for some time.
You looked dazzled to me - and to
everyone else I'm sure - adoring
fan Mara, ready to drop her
knickers at the slightest sign of
Look, just fuck off Stuart, will
MARA walks rapidly away, leaving STUART very obviously alone
in the middle of the now not crowded dance floor
Oh bugger! I think I'll have a
Stuart walks off towards the bar.
Montage of party continuing.
MARA dancing with HARI again on crowded dance floor.
STUART, drinking at the bar, notices them dancing.
Group of STUART, SUE and MARTIN at side of room
I mean the whole gender debate can
be so false. OK, I grant there's
still a pay gap and stuff, but now
women want the freedom to behave as
badly as men, or worse, and then
they go all feminine and helpless
when there's a dirty job to do.
Behind STUART at the far end of the main room we see HARI
saying goodbye to SAL, BASIL and others
Oh for God's sake, Stu - women
won't do dirty jobs? - you mean
like nursing, caring for the
elderly and disabled, not to
mention babies and giving birth?
You wouldn't know which end of a
baby to put a nappy on!
I didn't say they don't do
difficult jobs - just that they
like to get back to their little
woman protected role when it suits
We're all a bit like that, aren't
Shot of MARA through party crowd, not visible to Stuart, at
the far door with her coat over her arm, slipping out of
door with nobody looking.
But men don't manipulate it the way
Oh you poor dears! What about the
way men are mysteriously
unavailable when it comes to
keeping the support and social
networks going, sending the
Christmas cards, remembering the
birthdays, keeping in touch?
Now look what you've started,
Stuart. What brought all that on?
I hope he's upset about something
Mara has done - acted like an
independent human being, for
Oh dear, I think I'll take Sue onto
the dance floor before she bites
MARTIN leads a slightly reluctant SUE onto the dance area,
leaving STUART alone at the bar.
Montage of PARTY. Still crowded, noisy though not wild.
Groups talking and drinking. some inert figures on chairs
and a sofa. One couple dancing. Party well past full swing.
STUART and BASIL drinking at bar.
(quietly, a bit
embarrassed to ask)
Have you seen Mara?
(too loud, a little
No, haven't seen her for ages.
BASIL turns to call over his shoulder
Sal, have you seen the Mara?
SAL in group of three talking. She is deep in conversation
with someone, mouths a 'shhhh' at him, over her shoulder,
quickly so that STUART can't see. She turns back to her
(not giving up)
Sal you usually know where Mara is
SAL turns to speak to BASIL over her shoulder
Hang on a sec, Basil
SAL turns back to her group to continue her conversation
FADE TO SAL rejoining STUART and BASIL at the bar
Mara? I think she must have gone.
Are you sure?
Well I haven't seen her for quite a
Our multicultural celeb Hari didn't
stay long either.
I'm not going to grieve over the
As STUART turns to get yet another drink he realizes what
Basil is implying.
LATER corner of room. Party in late stages.
STUART is half lying on a sofa with his head close to BEA's
shoulder, drinking beer from a can. BEA is a little older
than Mara and Stuart, a bit eccentric in dress. She
tolerates STUART because she likes MARA. She makes sure she
isn't touching him.
I might have been a bit of an
asshole but I didn't think she'd go
off with that pretentious little
shit. Just because he's got one
half-baked book published - it only
got published because it's crammed
full of PC multicultural
Stu, baby, you're drunk and
thoroughly offensive with it. Hari
may be a bit up himself, but he can
write - and I wouldn't go round
accusing Mara of running off with
him - she'll be livid if she hears
Oh God, more feminist sermonizing.
I've had it with this middle of the
(there are pauses in the
rant as he searches for
weak-minded, nanny state. We're
spineless - half-in, half-out of
Europe - pathetic, going nowhere.
(Stuart has become
What happened to conviction
politics, direction, national
destiny? I don't care what
extremes we go to, Left or Right,
we must have the guts to get things
Very loud thunder O.S. The lights flicker and come back up.
STUART and BEA look at each other for a moment startled,
then STUART makes a sudden drunken attempt to kiss BEA from
his awkward position on the sofa. BEA recoils, gets up
hastily. STUART falls off the sofa onto the floor. He sits
up on floor, looking very foolish.
You drunken oaf, Stuart. You need
to go home before someone thumps
BEA walks away. STUART gets up and falls back on the sofa,
still with a beer can in one hand. He groans.
SC INT NIGHT LATE NIGHT TUBE HOME
MONTAGE to establish STUART's late night tube journey.
STUART sitting in tube, still rather drunk & sleepy.
Impressions from his point of view of tunnel walls racing
by, train noises, light variations, other passengers etc.
train seems rattle through some almost empty stations
STUART hovers between sleep and waking.
From STUART's point of view the train slows and stops next
to a train headed the other way. STUART wakes and looks
through the blurry, reflective window into the opposite
train. The layout and the passengers appear identical but
facing the other way. There is a woman carrying a small dog.
Stuart looks at his his own carriage and sees the identical
woman and dog! She puts it down on the floor; STUART looks
at opposite train again. The identical woman has just
finished putting down the same dog. STUART looks back and
forth in disbelief. Then he recognises himself, STUART 2,
sleepy, red-eyed, dishevelled, in the other train on the
opposite platfom going the other way. They recognise each
other with identical expressions of confusion and disbelief.
(to himself, slurred)
That's me! Weird - no, silly, must
be a reflection.
Everything freezes for a second. Through the train window
STUART1 sees the other train start carrying STUART2 away in
the opposite direction, making it clear it can't be a
There is a lurching change of point of view to STUART2 and
his view of STUART1 in the original train still waiting in
the station. STUART2 sees the other train start to move just
before his own enters the tunnel. We stay with STUART2 as
his train continues through the tunnel.
What's going on? Train's going the
other way. I can't be in the
reflection. Must have been
dreaming. Hope I'm on the right
SC EXT NIGHT
CITY STREETS WALKING HOME
Montage of STUART walking home in the dark, down deserted,
rainy city streets; he sees a number of CCTV cameras
swivelling to follow his movements.
A police car slows down almost to a stop. A small camera on
the car swivels round to inspect him. He sees there is no
driver inside but hears police radio communication. There is
a loudspeaker on the top of the car and what looks like a
Mr. Gilmore, your presence in
Brunswick Street at 1.28 am has
been recorded under the Public
Safety Act. You may be asked to
explain your presence here at a
The car speeds up and away.
What is going on? Driverless police
cars with guns? And do I really
look that dodgy?
STUART turns down a narrow alleyway. A CCTV camera at the
entrance to the alley swivels towards him. He walks deeper
into the gloom of the alley.
From the far end a very ancient looking individual in a
rather military style but shabby raincoat is coming towards
him. Behind him are more very elderly, very seedy
individuals, similarly dressed, of varying race and gender.
STUART nervously but politely makes way for the ancients as
The first OLD MAN moves past, turns towards STUART with his
back to the distant alley way entrance and the CCTV, takes
out a very large hand gun and holds it against STUART's
head. The others form a menacing ring around him.
Be so good as to hand over the
wallet with your right hand. Left
hand behind your head.
What? Oh God - I don't think I've
got much cash.
Don't chatter. Just hand it over.
STUART hesitates. OLD MAN strikes STUART casually across the
cheekbone with the gun. STUART staggers back, blood flowing
from a gash. Trembling, STUART hands over the wallet with
his right hand, struggling to free it from his inside
pocket, still rather clumsy from drink.
The OLD MAN tries to remove non-existent cash one handed
and, still holding the gun, scatters the rest of the
contents cards etc. on the floor, throws the wallet down on
top of it and starts rooting quickly through it.
(To the others)
No cash again fuck it!
The OLD MAN throws down the last cards, waves the gun
threateningly and they all run off into the darkness of the
alley from which they came - at remarkable speed for their
Jesus wept! What's going on? What's
wrong with everything? Geriatric
thugs, armed and dangerous
STUART is on hands and knees retrieving stuff. He gets up
and makes his way unsteadily back towards the lights of the
main road, wiping away the flow of blood from his forehead.
He disappears shakily round the corner of the alleyway into
the main road.
SC EXT. DAY CENTRAL CITY STREET MORNING. GOING TO WORK
Series of shots - getting the bus
STUART is waiting wearily and hungover at a crowded bus
stop. He is wearing a suit but the plaster on his forehead
and a general untidiness gives him a disreputable air. CCTV
camera following movements. At length a bus approaches at
speed. A minor riot takes place as STUART struggles, shoved
and shouldered, into the very crowded interior. The bus
leaps into dense but fast moving traffic.
Series of shots - walking to work
STUART walking through crowded and extremely competitive
rush hour street. Series of CCTV cameras following
movement.There are occasional police with prominent sidearms
and dark glasses. After several near collisions he is
violently shouldered aside by a conservatively dressed city
gent wearing a pollution mask.
This is repeated - aggressive behaviour by repectable
looking pedestrians, many wearing pollution masks.
STUART is visibly shaken. He approaches his office building.
THE IT OFFICE
An office lined with metal shelving, piled with laptops,
server cages, cabling, spare parts etc. Some winking lights
etc. office phone. His co-worker, JOSEPH, who is of African
descent, is already there. He is dressed in a sharp suit and
statement tie. Stuart enters, looking decidedly the worse
for wear with the plaster on his forhead. A CCTV camera in
the corridor follows his movement.
Hi young Stu. We have a dangerously
bad day already, system broken,
half the stations can't log on,
chaos and despair.
JOSEPH stops and looks at STUART, takes in his general
Mm, you look a bit unlogged on
yourself. Tell me later. Go round
to big bad boss's office and use
your vast professional expertise
to see what's up - or rather down.
Try to get his station working
somehow. Don't upset him. He is
easily upset, as you know, and
already very cross - with us,
Have you told him I'm coming?
Just go, will you, O dishevelled
guru of the crappy system!
STUART parks his coat on a shelf, puts his case down, sees
JOSEPH looking positively threatening and hurries off. As he
goes a CCTV camera above the door swivels to follow his
movement. He goes into corridor.
SC. INT DAY
OUTSIDE AND INSIDE BOSS'S OFFICE
Stuart knocks on imposing office door
(in powerful deep voice
through closed door)
Stuart reacts with shock at the voice and enters nervously -
swiveling CCTV camera somewhere behind him. Interior of
office - huge desk, imposing figure of BOSS seated at desk,
well fed, expensive suit, heavy set of face etc. STUART
stops and stares, then finally approaches and stands
nervously in front of desk.
(with dangerous smile)
At last someone who might know what
they're doing - I hope you do, I
sincerely hope you do.
BOSS rises and strides out of the office still talking
I'm going to leave you to it. Fix
it, Stuart, before I return!
STUART moves warily round the desk to tackle the desktop
computer system. Over STUART's shoulder as he sits behind
the desk a row of small screens can be seen set into a panel
showing various offices and their occupants.
For a moment he sees the IT office in one screen with JOSEPH
rising from his chair as the BOSS enters; he can just be
One hour! Final warning! Last
Then all the screens go dark. Stuart, very puzzled, examines
the row of mini screens.
CCTV camera, unseen by Stuart, above the door focuses on
Stuart examining the mini screens.
What's the matter with everything?
Is it me? Or has the whole world
Stuart leaves his amazed examination of the mini screens and
tries to focus.
Ok, focus! Check the system!
He begins diagnostics of desktop system on top of desk. CCTV
camera follows hiS every small movement. He works away at
STUART still in boss's office, beavering away at system.
BOSS enters briskly.
BOSS moves to take possession of desk. STUART gets up from
Er - not exactly all - but it's
usable for now.
BOSS sits down massively at desk. As he does so, the mini
screens come to life showing different offices and
corridors. Voices can be very faintly heard.
On one little screen JOSEPH is on a pair of steps adjusting
a CCTV camera on a corridor wall.
(watching Joseph on
You have access to your local files
and internet access - and access to
the archived files from before this
month. I've had to log you on to
the backup server.
There's something weird going on
with the main server - could be the
password file is corrupted. It's
still refusing to log you on. There
may be wiring problems too, the
system's old and it ....
It's a robust British engineered
system. How long will it take to
Not long if it's the password file.
There are backups. Longer if it's
I need transaction data from
yesterday and Tuesday. I need it
today, now preferably. Go and fix
Is Joseph working on it now?
He's busy at the moment. You can
manage without him, can't you?
That's what we pay you for. Fix it,
I'll do my best - sir
Let's hope that's good enough - for
both our sakes. And sharpen up your
appearance - you look disreputable.
STUART leaves. His movement is followed by the CCTV camera
above the door; this time he notices it.
SC INT DAY
IN THE IT OFFICE
JOSEPH is getting out wiring diagrams from a drawer or
cupboard. STUART stands next to him to look at the diagrams.
I don't know how long we can go on
patching up this senile system -
our all-British, home produced
components have reached
unprecedented heights of
unreliability. Most of the Chinese
originals - and even the American
compatibles - are unavailable -
import restrictions .
JOSEPH looks round nervously as if afraid of being
But we've got to fix this meltdown
quickly or we'll both be out on our
ear by the end of the day. He's in
a really dangerous mood. 'Last
chance' were his words to me.
Come on! He can't just fire us.
What do you mean?
Well, you know, er - contract,
terms of notice, reasonable grounds
JOSEPH turns and stares at him.
On a temps contract? No notice,
paid to the end of the day.
But we're not temps. We've both
been here ages.
Are you feeling ok? You know they
only give permanent contracts to
senior execs. This could be very
bad for you and even worse for me -
I could lose my skilled status and
be sent 'back' to Chad - via an
internment camp. I've never been
near Chad and from what I hear it's
not a good time to visit.
Let's get started. You try to
locate the fault in the wiring
diagrams, largely fantasy fiction
though they be, and I'll go and do
a quick physical check round the
Series of shots. JOSEPH places the diagrams on the desk and
leaves the office. STUART peers at the diagrams trying to
make sense of them.
Close up of bewilderingly complex and repetitive wiring
diagram in red and blue and black. STUART uses his
forefinger to follow the connections but repeatedly loses
his way as the lines loop round in impossible complexity. He
tries again and again with the same result. The diagram
lines seem to start to move slightly at the edge of his
Nightmare! Are these the only
The telephone on the desk rings. STUART picks up but is
looking at diagram preoccupied.
Split screen of STUART1 and STUART2 on phone to each other.
STUART2 has no injury to forehead and is dressed in plain,
more casual 'work' clothes. The STUART2 office has minor
differences - poster on wall "FORWARD TOGETHER" with a
clasped hands logo, wiring diagram in black only, dingier
paintwork, dimmer ambient light, different positions of
phone, diagrams, chair and it is less cluttered with
What? Who is this?
Stuart Gilmore, IT.
Both Stuarts pause, confused - they know the voice.
Yes, this is Stuart Gilmore, IT -
Are you trying to be.....
(interrupting into phone)
Who is this? Stop fooling around.
They have both now recognised their own voice and stop
STUART1 AND STUART2
They both put the phone down precisely together.
END OF SPLIT SCREEN
Everything freezes for a moment. The STUART1 split screen
fades and dissolves as the STUART2 split screen grows and
consumes the other, so we are left with only STUART2 in
STUART2 office. He stares into space, in shock.
Jesus, not again.
Stuart puts his head in his hands. After a while he
Talking to yourself is never a good
sign but you don't usually get into
Series of shots - STUART finding the problem on the diagram
Stuart catches sight of the wiring diagram on the desk; it's
now black and white and less complex. He stares at it in
confusion, picks it up and looks again, turns it over (it's
blank) and puts it down as it was again. He's visibly
He looks around the office, noticing the differences. He
looks down at the diagram and becomes interested again.
Close up of diagram. The camera tracks his forefinger
following a line but this time it is a simple enough path to
a clear destination.
JOSEPH comes into the office, carrying a small toolkit. His
clothing is also plain, workmanlike.
Have we got another set of circuit
Why? What's the matter with this
No, nothing. I just thought I was
looking at another one - colour
Only set I know of. So you haven't
What? Oh well, maybe. If the
diagram is right, I think all the
stations unable to log on are on
the third left or fifth middle
branch off the vertical spine.
Let's have a look. Yes, you could
be right. Hope we don't have to
rewire that spaghetti mess.
Probably not. We'll have to start
by isolating a section at a time, I
suppose. If only we could switch to
a wifi system, instead of this
EdemSoc crap, which is about as
quick as a Party endorsed tax
STUART gives a puzzled, wary look at JOSEPH, not
understanding Edemsoc or Party.
Those wiring problems don't explain
why some people can't log on
Enter behind JOSEPH a severe looking woman wearing a 'Works
(not noticing the new
That's probably just the usual dumb
punter stuff - confusing logging on
to their own computer with logging
on to the server, forgetting their
passwords and other idiocy.
(in an official, warning
The punters, as you refer to them,
are your comrades and co-workers,
engaged like you in the great march
forward. You should remember that,
comrade, and show respect. Have you
found the problem?
JOSEPH is too taken aback to reply.
Could be an intermittent fault at
some stations or on some cabling,
plus something with the password
He looks rather nervously at JOSEPH
By the way,Joseph, I left the boss
logged on to the backup server. He
was very impatient about some data
The team leader's concerns are
important but that doesn't give him
the right to bully fellow workers.
You can only do your best.
We'll have to go and check all the
cabling and routing on the third
floor and that section of the
spine. That may fix it.
That's the spirit, comrades. Onward
together. And give a little thought
to correct attitudes.
They all exit to the corridor. The wall above the door has
the same poster 'Forward Together' with the clasped hands
logo and no CCTV camera.
SC INT DAY CORRIDOR BY THE LIFTS
STUART and JOSEPH are waiting for the lift. When the lift
doors open the BOSS is revealed. He looks less imposing,
more utilitarian dress, less arrogant, no cigar.
Ah, the elusive IT department. Was
the Coordinator here?
Yes, you just missed her.
Oh dear! How's it going? Found the
Just off to check the cabling. We
think we know where to look now.
Good - of course the coordinator is
aware of all the extra work you're
putting in. We will all be
grateful, I'm sure, once it's back
BOSS takes in STUART too with a nod in his direction
Shouldn't be too long now. It is
mainly a question of knowing where
Excellent. Let me know if there's
anything you need.
BOSS hurries off to find the Coordinator
With any luck we should be able to
sort this out in an hour or two and
bugger off home early with the
The lift arrives and JOSEPH goes in first.
That would be great. I could have a
nice lie down before the men come
and take me away.
STUART goes into lift and the doors close
SC 11 INT NIGHT
IN STUART'S FLAT
MARA is hanging up her coat with her back to STUART and
carefully composing her expression of displeasure before
turning back to him. She is very sensibly, unglamorously
dressed, with minimal makeup and shortish hair. She has a
large sensible hold-all type bag. She keeps her distance
I think there's something you need
to say to me.
I'm really happy you're here.
That's not what I meant.
You mean the party - I know I was
an idiot and I'd had too much to
drink. I did notice you and Hari
had gone - I presumed together.
Are you surprised? You were so
unpleasant - rude, possessive and
jealous - not to mention primitive,
regressive, bourgeois and
Ok, I admit I was out of order,
badly out of order, but there's no
need for the string of communist
jargon. What happened between you
That's none of your business. You
forfeited your citizen's rights by
behaving like an ape.
Ok, I admit to a period of primate
behavior - but did you have to go
off with him - of all people?
I was just a tiny bit angry about
being slagged off in public by my
I really am sorry - but it wasn't
that public. I don't think anyone
heard - and it did look as if you
were deliberately flirting with him
in front of me.
I wasn't performing for your
benefit. I was just enjoying the
privilege of discussing the book
face to face with a state
recognized author and a thoroughly
civilized, socially aware citizen.
So where did you go to have your
meeting of mind and spirit - his
place or yours?
If you're going to be all hurt,
sarcastic and possessive, I shall
leave. I am free to make my own
Free to sleep with whoever you like
Stuart, I've always been free to do
that - but actually I left early
and went home.
You didn't stay the night?
No. Hari lives with his mother and
he spent a lot of time worrying she
would hear us - and even more time
talking about his agent's failings.
It was rather sad.
MARA comes closer. STUART looks happy and relieved. He puts
his arm round MARA and she allows him to lead her to the
sofa; they sit down together rather awkwardly.
Things have been so weird recently
- I'm not sure I know what's real
and what's not.
You don't think I'm a figment of
your imaginationI hope.
No, of course not - but I saw a
double of myself on the train.
I saw a sort of reflected double of
myself going home last night.
That is bad luck - two Stuarts -
quite enough to upset anyone.
Very funny, but that's not what I
meant. My reflection moved off in
the opposite direction from me.
That's what I would I have done,
too - coming across you at that
time of night and in that kind of a
Oh ha ha ha.
(rather more gently and
Just tension and too much alcohol I
Well something's very weird - if
it's not the world, it must be me.
MARA puts a hand on Stuart's knee.
What you need is some normal,
healthy, relaxing activity. Come
Mara stands up and heads towards the bedroom door. Stuart is
clearly surprised by this directness but follows.
SC INT NIGHT STUART'S BEDROOM AND EN SUITE BATHROOM
STUART and MARA in bed, looking much more relaxed.
Do you want to use the bathroom
Series of shots
MARA gets out of bed, dressed in very little, if anything.
She gets her bag, takes out pajamas and wash things and goes
into bathroom, leaving door partly open. STUART stays
sitting up in bed.
Anyway that's what they looked like
to me - armed octogenarians with
I don't understand - pensioners go
into the state shelters.
Believe me I was the one who needed
MARA returns from the bathroom in sensible pyjamas.
STUART goes into bathroom, leaving door partly open.
IN THE BATHROOM
STUART brushing his teeth. MARA still talking as STUART
looks in mirror, examines his forehead, puzzled by lack of
injury. From STUART'S point of view the mirror also shows us
part of MARA on the bed through the open bathroom door.
series of shots
Again from the point of view of STUART looking into it, the
mirror shows the bedroom behind STUART with MARA on bed but
no reflection of STUART. Everything freezes for a moment.
The lighting changes to harder and glossier.
STUART waves a hand in front of the mirror but there is no
reflection. He pushes his hand onto the mirror but it passes
straight through and he falls forward through the dissolving
mirror into the reflected bathroom, stumbling.
(muttering to himself)
Oh Christ not again. What's happening to me?
STUART turns to face the mirror and basin in the reflected
bathroom. He has a normal reflection. He screws up his eyes
then rubs them, shakes his head vigorously, splashes water
on his face, takes several deep breaths. An angry gash can
be seen on his forehead.
Are you coming out of there one
day? I'm getting lonely.
What? No - just momentary brain
failure. Sorry - on my way.
STUART takes a deep breath and gets ready to re-enter the
From STUART'S point of view approaching from the bathroom we
see MARA in bed. This version of Mara is wearing a short
nightdress and plenty of makeup, displaying more of herself,
her hair is more expensively done. Stuart stops for a moment
in surprise to take in the change. MARA appears gratified by
I was beginning to wonder if you'd
lost interest. Just because I came
back doesn't mean you can take me
for granted, you know.
I don't, Mara, really I don't. I'm
just a bit weirded out.
Just teasing. Come to bed!
I'll just turn off the light.
SERIES OF SHOTS
STUART crosses the room to turn off the light. On the way he
sees something through a gap in the curtains. A CCTV camera,
lit by a street light, is swivelling towards him as he parts
the curtains. He makes a face at it, closes the curtains
completely and then switches off the main bedroom light,
leaving blackout that is gradually brought up to a very dim
light. STUART hits his shin on something on his way back to
The bed's over here - and so am I!
(rubbing his shin)
(under his breath)
Whoever you are.
STUART climbs into bed.
SC INT DAY WORK IT OFFICE
STUART and JOSEPH are celebrating their success repairing
the network with a cup of coffee and a biscuit. The coloured
version of the bewildering network wiring diagram is open on
the desk. Joseph is examining it.
So can you show me where
the fault was on this?
I just couldn't follow it - lost
in the maze - so I used a simpler
version -er- sort of in my head.
Joseph looks at him in some amazement.
We need a better diagram - that one
doees my head in.
Mine too. Well, it's all working
now. Should keep us in our jobs a
The office phone rings and Joseph picks it up.
Joseph grabs pen and paper and repeats a number as he writes
Yes, I'll tell him.
Yes sir, I know personal phone
calls are forbidden. I'm sure he
realises that, sir. Yes, sir, I'll
Yes sir, I'll tell him that too.
He'll be very grateful.
Yes sir, I'll try to make sure it
doesn't happen again.
What was all that about?
I'm afraid your mother's been taken
ill. She's in hospital.
What happened? How serious is it?
Sorry. I've only been given the
hospital phone number. That's all I
JOSEPH hands STUART the piece of paper
OK- I'll phone them and get over
there straight away.
That'll be OK - the boss said you
could have the rest of the
afternoon off - he must be in a
good mood because we've fixed the
So good-hearted of him.
(a little surprised)
Well he could have made you wait
until clocking off time, normally
would've. There's no time off for
family illness - you only get half
a day unpaid leave for death of
close family, including the
funeral. He said to make sure it
doesn't happen again.
What? Well, I'll tell her not to be
taken ill again, shall I? Anyway
STUART leaves the office in a hurry, phoning as he goes.
SC INT DAY HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM
Small waiting room, off from hospital corridor, bright,
modern, potted plant or two. Stuart, anxious and bored, is
waiting on a plastic chair. An expensive looking TV screen
is displaying an advertisement for a family 'dignity in
death' insurance policy.
TV VOICE V.O.
...but costs have risen to levels
that can spell financial ruin.
Blessed Relief's rates are the best
in the industry and our spread
payment terms and no quibble
insurance are without challenge.
Prevent your dear ones suffering
needlessly in old age at a price
that doesn't put your own and your
children's future at risk. Let
Blessed Relief take care of you and
A suited and carefully groomed man enters briskly through
swing doors. He looks fit, wealthy and young middle aged.
Maybe a neat little beard.
Stuart Gilmore? Sorry to keep you
waiting. I'm Dr. Rysdale - I've
been assessing your mother - as you
Er - yes.
Stuart - I hope you don't mind my
calling you that - I feel first
names are best - call me Derek -
your mother has had a mini stroke
and a resultant fall, rsulting in a
blow to the temple. There are signs
of concussion with the possibility
of some internal hemorrhaging.
How bad is it? I mean what's the
We don't really know at this stage.
A scan and 24 hours close
observation would tell us more of
course. She is conscious but
considerably shaken and confused.
What kind of scan?
An MRI would be best but a CT scan
might tell us enough. An MRI is,
I'm afraid, VERY expensive these
Surely that's not an issue.
Ah, I take it she's well insured
then - in which case you might even
consider a move to Mount Vernon,
our sister hospital, state of the
art in every way. Of course
treatment decisions are entirely up
to you and your mother - though she
is, in my professional opinion, not
really in a state to make such
decisions, especially on her
I'm sorry but what's all this about
being 'well insured'? This is a
National Health hospital.
Certainly - but obviously current
guidelines only allow us to use
treatment appropriate to the age
weighted score on the quality
adjusted life years expectancy
profile of the patient, unless of
course treatment is funded
independently. Do you have her
insurance details to hand?
I don't think she has any private
health insurance - but, wait a
minute - I don't understand -
appropriate to the life expectancy
profile - do you mean she's in
danger - that she might die?
Well no, almost certainly not from
this incident and its immediate
health impact - but she is over 70
and so statistically at risk of
further vascular events. She's in
what we call the shrinking horizon
category I'm afraid. So nothing as
costly as an MRI on the public
purse, I'm afraid - nor a CAT scan
- as I'm sure you realize.
(confused but becoming
Shrinking horizon! So what can you
do "on the public purse"?
Just preliminary assessment - which
we've already done. I would
recommend the MRI if it's within
your means though.
And if it isn't "within our means"?
Well the CAT scan should give us a
pretty good idea of what's going
on. Of course if there are no funds
available or if it's not felt that
the expense is justified in view of
the uncertain life expectancy, then
there's nothing wrong with letting
nature take its course - the body
is remarkably resilient.
And if she dies, then that's
nature's decision not to waste any
more on her.
Mr. Gilmore, medicine will always
be a question of priorities and the
allocation of resources. We have to
follow guidelines; otherwise we
will end up unable to treat anyone.
These days, as you know, import
duties make most modern therapeutic
technologies and treatments
The doctor starts to leave.
Let me know your treatment
decisions as soon as possible. The
ward sister will have all
appropriate forms for you to sign -
to defray costs and so on,
including physical asset
assignment. There are of course
ongoing costs - the occupation of
a hospital bed and the care and
medication already administered -
in addition of course to my
consultation fee. Your mother is on
Pfizer ward - a nurse will direct
He walks off rapidly, leaving STUART looking shocked. He
starts looking for somwonw to ask the way.
SC 15 INT DAY
ON THE WARD
A busy, full ward but smart and bright. STUART is walking
towards his mother's bed in the middle of the ward. He
passes a very frail and ancient looking patient in the bed
next to her. He stops at his mother's bed and kisses her.
Hello Mum. How are you feeling?
(struggling a little with
Well if I said I was just fine you
wouldn't believe me.
No I wouldn't, you're right, but
are you feeling better?
Well, I think so. I'm having a bit
of a problem with my words, but I
feel much better about things, not
frightened any more. I was
frightened at first - when I lost
track of where I was, the time and
Mum, obviously you would feel
scared and upset. Who wouldn't? -
but you're being looked after now.
The doctor says you should have
some scans, rather expensive ones.
They don't seem to pay for anything
There's no point paying out for
expensive scans. The truth is I'm
just old - my body and mind are
That's nonsense. You've got years
and years in you yet. The scan will
tell us what treatment you need.
I don't have any insurance you
But this is a National Health
hospital, isn't it?
Yes, of course, but obviously they
can't provide expensive tests for
someone my age.
You need to have a scan. Tell that
doctor - what's his name - Rysdale
- that you want one.
Rysdale? I don't remember a doctor
Rather sleek and smarmy - medium
height - snappy dresser.
Oh you mean Derek, the Director of
Services - he's worried about my
bed and the money I'm costing - and
who can blame him?
The sooner you tell him you want
the tests the better - I'll pay for
them if I have to.
An alarm goes off at the bed next door and the patient is
seen to be unconscious, eyes staring, mouth open slackly. A
nurse comes hurriedly and closes the curtains round the bed.
Could you please wait outside for a
(to his mother)
Back in a while.
STUART goes out as a doctor and another nurse come in,
followed by a porter with a hospital trolley bed. They place
it next to the alarm bed and pull the curtains round it.
SC HOSPITAL CORRIDOR ANTEROOM (BETWEEN WARDS)
STUART enters through double doors with the usual small
glass panes. He is alone in a room which is little more than
an enlargement of a hospital corridor with 4 sets of double
doors, two opposing sets into the corridor, two opposing
sets into identical wards.
STUART looks through the doors into his mother's ward and
sees a patient being lifted from bed onto the trolley. He
walks up and down restlessly. He finds himself near the
opposite WARD doors. He looks casually into the opposite
ward through the window panelsin the doors.
To STUART's surprise the same scene is being enacted there
(in the ward opposite his mother's), a patient being wheeled
on a hospital gurney from the curtained bed. Beyond this
action is a figure in the next bed closely resembling his
mother. He stares through the glass but cannot make out
quite clearly what he is seeing. He continues to peer
through the glass. The gurney patient is wheeled off at
speed away from him towards far doors at the other end of
He crosses the small anteroom and looks through the opposite
window, into the ward he came out of - identical gurney and
doctor /nurses are disappearing/have just disappeared
through identical far doors. He is about to enter but the
rest of the ward now looks different and he can't see his
mother. He looks harder. The corresponding bed appears to
have a strange wild figure sitting up in it, grinning
ferociously at him. Everything freezes for a moment. Stuart
puts his hands over his face.
Oh God, not again.
After some hesitation he recrosses the anteroom, peers
through the glass again. There is a distant, unclear sight
of mother through glass. Stuart gives a despairing shrug and
gingerly enters this (opposite) ward.
IN THE OPPOSITE WARD
The ward seems dingier, darker, noisier and the beds are
more crowded together. His mother is looking anxiously for
him from the bed as he approaches.
(calling out slightly
Oh there you are, darling.
Hospitals can be so confusing,
(Quietly, to himself)
STUART arrives at his mother's bed.
Did you know him?
The man in the next bed - the one
they've taken away on a trolley.
He points to the next bed, which still has screens round it.
It's a woman next to me, dear, not
a man. I don't think she's very
well at all.
I saw them take someone out.
I really don't know, dear. I didn't
Never mind. So we need to make sure
you have the scan.
You know, the scan the doctors say
you should have but the NHS won't
I don't suppose it's going to make
much difference at my age. It's the
state homes for me soon.
(reacting late to what
Stuart has said)
Won't pay for them? What do you
mean? They told me I would probably
have a scan.
They told you..... what did they
say you were having?
I think the doctor said that I
might need to have a Cat scan.
Here comes a nurse. I'll ask her if
she knows when they're planning to
do any tests.
Let's not make a fuss, darling. I'm
sure they're very busy. They'll get
round to me when they can.
I'd just like to make sure they're
going to do that scan.
I'm sure they'll take the right
decision, dear. They know what
A severe looking nurse comes by at a brisk pace.
Excuse me, nurse. How can I find
out when my mother is scheduled for
That decision may not have been
taken yet, citizen. It's up to the
ward management committee.
Surely a doctor has to decide what
treatment is necessary.
(looks at him sharply)
Obviously the medical opinion of
the doctor will be taken into
account, citizen. The final
decision will be made by the
Which doctor is in charge?
If you mean the committee case
medical adviser that information is
not usually given out to family,
It will be in the notes on the end
The nurse starts to walk away. Stuart picks up clipboard
from the end of the bed
I can't read the name - Dr. Mungo?
The nurse comes back, takes notes from STUART, looks at name
and puts them back at end of bed
Dr. Morgan - she's not on at the
When is she next on duty?
I'm afraid I don't know. You could
ask the secretary.
The ward committee secretary.
Visiting time finished at five.
The nurse hurries off
You see, you're just going to upset
The ward secretary? Do you know who
No, dear. It could be anyone of
course - a porter, a nurse, anyone.
You'll only make trouble looking
I need to arrange to see that
doctor - either on the way out now
or the next time I come. You need
to have that scan. Anyway I'd
better go. I'll come and see you
tomorrow after work.
If I 'm still here, dear.
What do you mean?
Just that they may decide to send
me home - that there's nothing much
they can do - or to one of the
protected homes if they feel I am
not safe on my own.
They won't do anything like that
until they know it's safe.. I'll
see you tomorrow. At least you can
get a good rest.
Stuart kisses her goodbye and leaves the ward.
SC EXT DAY HOSPITAL BUS STOP IN CAR PARK
STUART is waiting for a bus. His mobile rings.
Oh hi, Mara. Where are you?
She doesn't seem too bad, shaken up
of course, but I need to make sure
the hospital does the necessary
tests.Thanks for asking.
No of course I won't. I just want
to make sure they're doing
everything they can.
You're still at school? This late?
Oh OK. Yes I suppose so. I can get
the 371. Where is this meeting?
Twenty minutes at least, depending
on the bus.
I should hope it would be over by
then. Room 48 next to the small
hall - see you soon.
Stuart hangs up.
SC. EXT DUSK SCHOOL APPROACH
STUART walks through the gates and then the doors
unchallenged. There is a tattered notice on one door. 'All
citizens visiting the school MUST report to the school
SC INT NIGHT SCHOOL SMALL VESTIBULE AND CORRIDORS
SERIES OF SHOTS
STUART looks around for the office but nobody is about. He
is unsure about direction.
CORRIDOR1 He starts down a long, dimly lit, shabby corridor.
There are posters on the walls, the already seen 'FORWARD
TOGETHER' with the clasped hands logo, 'PRACTICAL SKILLS
WILL BUILD A BETTER FUTURE' and 'HARD-WORKING STUDENTS ARE
THE HEROES OF TOMORROW' with pictures of wholesome , strong
youths of both genders in sensible working outfits. There is
also student art of a heroic and morally irreproachable
nature. STUART registers the notices and art, stops for a
moment to look at it.
Communist Propaganda for and by the
Stuart moves on, focused on finding his way to MARA and
room 48. The corridor is extremely long and Stuart seems to
go on walking down it for a very long time.
STUART turns into another equally long corridor. Everything
freezes for a moment, perhaps a transition sound. The scene
rapidly brightens, CCTV cameras are seen on the ceiling or
walls, following his movement.
The decor is modern and glossy, the walls are freshly
painted, potted plants appear, plenty of glass and chrome.
There are posters of a different style on the walls. 'YOUR
SUCCESS IS OUR BUSINESS. YOU ARE PART OF THE FAMILY AT
GLOBAL ENTERPRISES.' 'NEW AGE BIOMED INC. FINANCING YOUR
FUTURE - INVESTING IN YOUR SKILLS.' The accompanying images
are glamorous, glossy, sexualised, full of money.
There is also student art which is less poster-like, more
sensual and experimental, aiming for glamour and shock.
STUART walks on scarcely aware of the changes until he sees
a CCTV camera, almost at eye level, swivelling towards him.
Spy cameras again. I'm sure there
weren't any of those when I came
in. How long have I been walking -
it seems ages?
Stuart looks around and notices the change in atmosphere and
All change again. Where am I now?
This is ferociously glossy. Am I
in Mara'school? Where is the Small
Voices can be heard O.S. further along and they get louder
and resolve themselves into a male voice and MARA talking
STUART sees double doors on his left with a name plate
'Montanso Hall A gift from Montanso Global'
and finds room 48 just beyond. The door is slightly open and
part of MARA can be seen. Stuart stands and listens. He can
It's in the company's interest to
make sure you are fully trained in
the use of the materials and that
you cascade those skills down
through the school hierarchy. It's
a winwin scenario - for us, for you
and for your school.
I can't guarantee that the school
will adopt the scheme.
But you can explain the advantages
- both educational and financial.
The program has been approved by
the ministry and has a five star
rating from the ESA for its
national youth values. It's a key
segment in the British Excellence
in Learning strategy and AJOSEPH
Powerhouses Initiative. Once you
commit to the program, we start our
generous funding scheme - you
personally would be in line for
substantial negotiating fees. There
would be internships and some
permanent company positions on
offer, tailor-made for suitable
STUART coughs and knocks at the door, which swings further
open as a result of the knock, revealing MARA, in a business
suit with power lapels, and an absurdly smartly dressed
Oh sorry, I didn't mean to
Stuart, you managed to find us!
This is Lawrence Marsden from the
Royal Lion and Unicorn Trust.
MARA kisses STUART on the cheek. LAWRENCE vigorously shakes
We've nearly finished.
MARA turns back to LAWRENCE
But do the students have to wear
the device badges outside school?
They certainly do - visibly and we
hope with pride. It is not only a
sign of their commitment to the
learning program but it's how we
monitor their progress; it's an
arrangement that guarantees
I'm afraid some of my students will
find ways round that requirement.
Well, we would be aware of that
through the implants and would
exert pressure - in our own way.
Mara, you must realize, this is a
one-off opportunity and I need an
answer very soon. I'm not really
allowed to give you an extension to
consult with colleagues. Let me
know by tomorrow midday or it will
almost certainly go to another
Lawrence packs his paperwork away in a smart briefcase.
You have my contact details -you
can reach me at any time. I must
leave you - I have another
Lawrence picks up his briefcase and prepares to leave.
I've finished here myself. I can
see you out. Come along, Stuart.
No it's ok. I know my way. Be sure
to contact me tomorrow - a.m.
Goodbye for now. (To Stuart)
Pleased to meet you.
Lawrence shakes hands again with STUART and leaves in a
different direction along the corridor
That all sounded weird to me. What
are they doing - wiring the kids'
brains to the company machine?
They're just monitoring the time
and effort the kids put into the
learning tasks. It may sound
invasive but that's what
educational sponsors are doing
these days - and we need the
funding hey provide to compete with
Mara pauses, remembers and puts her hand on Stuart's
How is your mother?
She's not too bad considering - it
was a mini stroke after all. She's
a bit depressed - but she needs a
scan to check for further bleeding,
an MRI preferably.
An MRI! Jesus! Does she have that
level of insurance?
STUART's phone rings. He answers.
Yes, speaking. Who is this?
Yes, that's right. That's my
address. Who did you say you were?
Oh, the police!
To the station! What's this about?
No, I'm not being difficult. But I
just don't see what there could be
Well, if you say so.
Yes, that's possible I suppose.
Well, you may say I have nothing to
lose, but I don't see what I have
to gain either.
No, no, ok, I'll be there. 6
Not at all. Goodbye.
STUART looks at MARA and makes a gesture of disbelief
That was the police - central
security services they called
themselves! Apparently they want to
talk to me at the station. Surely
they don't have time for chatting
to the public. They are supposed to
be desperately short-staffed. What
can they have to say to me?
(looking a little uneasy)
Maybe it's about those oldies who
I haven't even reported that yet.
What can they want?
Who knows? Well, at least you can
report the mugging while you're
I suppose. Have you been involved
in crime recently - jewellery
heists, assassinations, anything
they might need my help with?
Come on Stuart, you know I wouldn't
do anything exciting like that
MARA looks away from him a little guiltily.
SC.16 INT NIGHT POLICE STATION ANTEROOM
STUART is standing alone in a small anteroom, waiting. There
is a door to the street behind him. There are police notices
on the walls and some kind of electronic device at head
level on one wall in front of him. CCTVs are watching him,
swivelling to follow him
COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
Welcome to Central Security
Services, Bradtown branch. Our
business is your safety. Please
approach the scanner on the left of
the counter and follow the
STUART, startled, looks around for the source of the voice
then spots the scanner which has a little light blinking. He
He examines the scanner device, an adjustable height double
eyepiece on the wall next to the counter with a notice that
"WHEN INSTRUCTED POSITION HEAD
AS IF LOOKING THROUGH EYEPIECES."
STUART places his head as instructed. There is a very bright
STUART staggers back clutching at his eyes.
COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
Temporary blindness may result from
the laser flash illuminating the
retinas. This should not last more
than 30 seconds, a few minutes at
COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
Your scan has been recognized.
Jesus! I can't see.
STUART tries to grope his way out by the street door
opposite the counter but there is no door handle. The street
can be dimly seen through the glass. He blunders about and
falls into a chair.
He waves one hand up and down in front of his eyes and
eventually is able to see it.
Thank God, thank God.
A noise of powerful, smooth door mechanism. A section of
wall opens. A uniformed policewoman in dark glasses stands
in the opening.
Mr Gilmore, good evening. Please
walk through with your hands behind
I had a message to come in to the
Yes sir, that's right, Please walk
through with your hands behind your
head. It's just a security
STUART gets up and walks through a heavily armoured opening.
SC INT NIGHT IN THE INTERVIEW ROOM
The usual table and chairs in a windowless, austere room.
Laptop on desk. A very large screen on one wall faces
STUART. Several surveillance cameras. STUART looks around,
POLICEWOMAN sits at desk and types on laptop. The wall
screen shows 'Informal interview with STUART GILMORE :
Sergeant Russel'; a transcript of the interview flows on
screen as it progresses.
Behind the table is an open door. Through this can be seen a
very large array of screens of live videos. From time to
time one of the screens flashes red and this coincides with
a mysterious sequence of numbers across the top of the big
screen, above the transript of the interview.
Please sit down, sir. This
shouldn't take long.
Stuart remains standing.
Why am I here? Have I broken any
This is just an informal chat, sir.
You must be making a mistake. I
can't think of anything the police
could possibly be interested in.
You'd be surprised, sir, what can
interest us these days. You are
aware I am sure of the British
Family Values and Moral Decency'
(Hesitates in confusion
Er, I'm afraid not.
Really, Mr. Gilmore? I find that
hard to believe. You have no idea
why we might want to talk to you?
That's what I as saying - no idea
Sit down Mr. Gilmore, please. This
might take a little longer than I
thought. You know a Miss Mara
Yes - how do you know that?
(ignoring the question)
Would you describe your
relationship as close?
though it's hard to be sure
Ah, that's a rather revealing
reply. Would you describe the
relationship as intimate?
You mean do we sleep together?
If you wish to put it that way.
Why? That's not against the law is
No, not in itself - but how long
have you and Miss Davis been sexual
What's that got to do with you?
Would you say you are a ouple - you
have a commitment to each other?
I like to think so - but I
certainly don't wish to discuss
this with the police.
The law is quite clear about our
responsibilities - we have a duty
to monitor sexual morality and to
intervene if there is evidence of
socially damaging or morally
What? 'Morally degenerate'? What on
earth are you talking about?
Well you're not married, nor
apparently planning to be - and
there are one or two other
circumstances that concern us.
But this is insane. We're just a
So you do see yourself and Miss
Davis as a couple - that's a good
Obviously - we are.
So you expect some loyalty from
Mara Davis as your partner.
I suppose so, yes. Why are you
And how would you react if she
spent the night with another man?
It's not a hypothetical question.
The policewoman taps on the laptop. The big screen clears
and then displays a rather grainy video clip of MARA and
HARI walking down a street together at night. Hari's arm
appears to be round Mara's shoulders. They go into HARI'S
flat together. Stuart watches. He sits down.
Tell me - do you have cameras in
our bedrooms too - monitoring our
There's no need for that kind of
suggestion. The public space
cameras are there to prevent crime
or other socially unacceptable
behavior. We're not peeping toms!
You are spying on people's private
behaviour, people who are doing
That depends on your definition of
wrong, Mr Gilmore. Miss Davies
spent last night in your flat, the
night before in Mr Pattaya's and
the one before that in yours again.
It seems a woman of previously good
character has started flitting
Flitting? She was just angry after
a bit of a row we had. I don't
think she'll be going back to
You don't think, Mr Gilmore? How
sure of her are you? Do you for
example know where she is now?
She can't stand people trying to
keep tabs on her. She'll be livid
when she hears you've been spying
on her with hidden cameras.
We have only done what the law
requires and the surveillance isn't
hidden - the cameras are in plain
We need to know your attitude to
your girlfiend's apparent
That's none of your business.
It is widely accepted that a woman
may be tempted to test the
commitment of a partner by real or
simulated acts of infidelity. She
is searching for the reassurance of
control. If her partner weakly
tolerates such acts - or responds
in kind - this can start a
downward spiral into promiscuity
and decadent, anti-social behavior.
That's a weird and highly sexist
way of looking at relationships.
We believe that Miss Davis would
respond well if you made it clear
that her loyalty is important to
you and that she must choose - not
flit - between partners. Your
weakness is probably just as much
to blame, just as destructive, as
her unfortunate lapse into - er -
I can't believe that the police are
- I mean - you sound like a
puritanical Victorian agony aunt.
Thst's offensive, Mr. Gilmore. I
have an M.A.in Counselling and
Moral Guidance, as it happens.
And you're saying it's my fault she
has been 'flitting' as you call it?
I'm just trying to avoid a
situation where we have to
intervene. I think a little
firmness from you will achieve
You're telling me - the police are
telling me - how to behave towards
Making a helpful suggestion -
asking you as a responsible citizen
to consider the best course of
action for all concerned - as part
of our brief to support community
Stuart looks at the policewoman, who is clearly angry and
determined, rolls his eyes and sighs.
OK, you've made the suggestion. Am
I free to go now?
You're free to end this informal
interview at any time. With the
right attitude there should be no
consequences for you.
Consequences? What consequences?
Well, conviction for a morality
offense can carry severe penalties,
even medical intervention.
Medical intervention? What do you
mean - drugs?
It's only considered in the most
extreme and stubborn cases.
But what do you mean by medical
Possibly pharmacological, to adjust
the sex drive, yes.
Good God! - you said possibly? What
I'm sure, Mr. Gilmore, you are
aware of the 'Safeguarding the
Future' section of this
legislation. When all other
measures fail, the court can order
sterilisation, either temporary or
Most agree it's better than the
birth of countless unwanted
children with no chance of a
stable, nurturing environment -
it's the same legislation that
protects society from the
uncontrolled transmission of
serious genetic defects. Of course
no prosecution is likely in a case
like this, though if this pattern
continues, your personal morality
rating will certainly drop and this
will affect your prospects.
Prospects? You mean promotion?
Promotion, even staying in
employment. Employers regularly
consult the ratings.
So I could lose my job because my
girlfriend is suspected of sleeping
That's an unfortunately loose way
of talking. If you agree to give
our advice serious consideration,
consequences are unlikely.
This is mad. OK! I give in! I'll
give your 'suggestion'
consideration. May I go now?
Very well, sir- please take this
unofficial chat to heart, though.
I'll let you out. Just follow the
procedure - hands clasped behind
STUART gets up, walks uncertainly towards the wall which
doesn't open until he clasps his hands behind his head. When
it does he is engulfed in total darkness for a time. He is
then dazzled by a brilliant flash of light. Everything
freezes for a moment. He stumbles through a door into a
slightly different anteroom with a small counter (empty) and
no sign of the scanner device. As he looks about, a rather
down at heel but military-style uniformed policeman appears
behind the counter.
Goodbye, citizen. Close the street
door behind you.
STUART opens the door, which is a normal heavy door with a
handle, but shabby. He leaves and closes it behind him.
SC 17 EXT EVENING CITY STREET OUTSIDE POLICE STATION
STUART emerges onto pavement, dazed.
(muttering to himself)
That was utterly insane. What a
STUART looks around. Sees an apparently normal busy city
Well, everything looks fairly
A woman in a wheelchair approaches at speed so that Stuart
staggers off the pavement into the road as if drunk. The
wheelchhair woman screeches to a stop and turns. She is
wearing a badge or decoration on her chest reading
REVOLUTIONARY HERO 2ND CLASS (SENIOR).
A huge articulated lorry thunders by within inches. The
driver shouts out of the window.
What was that?
(voice fading into the
Bourgeois social degenerate!
STUART lurches back onto the pavement, accidentally just
touching the back of the wheelchair as it speeds off again
so that it swerves slightly towards the edge of the
pavement. It slows down and the woman turns again.
Look where you're going, can't you?
You damage this chair and I'll
report you. It took me six months
and all my social credits to get
Wheelchair woman speeds off along the pavement.
'Social credits'? 'bourgeois
degenerate!' - not normal truck
driver language. Oh God, more
madness. I need a drink, several
STUART looks around, spots a pub across the road through the
traffic 'Brotherhood in Unity'. He heads for a pedestrian
crossing with traffic lights and push button mechanism. He
presses the button and a recorded voice speaks
VOICE FROM CROSSING MECHANISM V.O.
Scan your citizen's card to
activate this crossing. Please do
not abuse your citizen privileges
by interrupting the traffic flow
Oh Christ! What's the matter with
everything and everyone?
Stuart watches the traffic thundering past. A slightly
shabby man is observing him closely from a doorway. A woman
(JJ) in her fifties/sixties with shopping bags comes up
swiftly to the crossing, swipes a card and takes his left
arm in her right.
Ok, citizen, cross with me when I
After a brief pause the lights change, the thundering truck
traffic stops, there is loud beeping from the crossing
Now! Keep well to my right, out of
sight of the camera!
They cross together, JJ keeping STUART at arm's length away
from the mechanism with a firm grip on his elbow.
There - safe and sound.
His arm is still firmly gripped. STUART tries to release
himself.They are standing together on the pavement.
I'll be ok now.
Stuart manages to release himself. The man in the doorway
opposite is still watching.
Have you been inside? I don't want
to know really. No card obviously!
Look - thanks again. I'm just
heading for the pub and a quick
drink. I'll be fine.
You won't get a drink without your
What? Why not?
Where have you been? The health
Oh yes, of course!
(looks at him
You don't know what I'm talking
about, do you? Look, you'd better
let me fill you in on some stuff.
Tell you what, if you buy the
drinks you can have one on my card.
That's very kind of you but I.....
That's the only way you'll get your
drink - and if you go on wandering
about without a card you'll get
picked up by CS and questioned - at
the very least. Come on - you're
She leads STUART up the road and they disappear into the
Brotherhood in Unity.
SC. INT EVENING INSIDE THE PUB
A dingy and sterile atmosphere.A few rather depressed
looking drinkers scattered around. STUART and JJ are at the
bar getting their drinks. The BARMAN gives them a suspicious
look when JJ shows her card and STUART pays.
Your name, citizen?
STUART looks at JJ and she nods.
Thank you, citizen.
A huge television screen is showing brightly coloured
statistics. An officially enthusiastic voice is speaking
loudly over the stats. STUART and JJ make their way with
their drinks to a table away from the bar, the BARMAN and
the TV .
TV VOICE V.O.
...reaching a new record for
productivity in this sector. Let us
show our gratitude to the workers
and Party labour organisers for
this magnificent achievement,
citizens, - an inspiration that
will drive us on to new triumphs of
She raises her glass.
What is this stuff?
CBB - whAt you ordered.
I just asked for bitter. This
tastes awful - thin and sour - like
bad home brew with water in.
CBB - Citizen Best Bitter. You
won't get drunk on that. You'd know
about CBB if you're a beer drinker.
Er - I have been working abroad,
haven't been back for years. There
seem to have been a lot of changes.
Abroad? What made you come back? In
that case how come you don't have
a visitor's ID card and a minder? -
well, at least it's too lame a
story for you to be a P.I.
JJ sees his blank look.
Party eye - spy - you don't even
know that? Whoever you are,
whatever your story, you won't last
long here without a Citizen card!
I'm beginning to think I don't want
to be here, in this pub or in this
country. Thank you for helping but
I'd better get off home.
So you do at least have somewhere
Of course. I'm not homeless. I'd
better go - I can't drink this
You're in danger. You seem to know
nothing about our workers' paradise
and you desperately need a card. I
know people who could help with
that. Here's my number.
She hands him a slip of paper
My name is Jill Jones, JJ for your
purposes. My advice is to go home,
talk to no-one and ring me on your
mobile, the bathroom is usually
safest. Wait an hour, though. I
have to go now. Don't leave that
number lying around.
She knocks back her drink in one, pats STUART on the
shoulder, collects her bags and exits briskly.
She didn't seem your typical high
street shopper. PI? Phone from my
bathroom? JJ? Jesus!
He takes another sip of beer, makes a disgusted face, puts
the 2/3 full pint glass on the bar. The barman notices.
Thank you, citizen.
STUART leaves. The barman watches him go.
SC INT NIGHT BACK AT STUART'S FLAT
STUART enters his flat. The flat appears dingier, darker and
smaller. He looks around morosely, collapses into a chair.
He gets up, goes to the fridge, searches inside and takes
out a plastic beer bottle. A close-up of the bottle reveals
the label - Citizen Best Bitter. Stuart looks disgusted and
shaken, then shrugs. He gets a glass, opens the bottle,
pours and drinks.
(makes a face)
How could anyone drink this stuff?
The door bell rings.
Bugger! Who the hell..?
Stuar, thoroughly irritated, nervous, looks at glass of beer
in one hand, bottle in other, makes a decision, pours beer
down the sink, leaves glass and bottle by the sink, walks to
the door and opens it. MAURICE, a rather ordinary-looking,
small, middle-aged man carrying a large briefcase, is
standing there smiling confidently.
Hello fellow resident! Stuart,
isn't it? Delighted to meet you at
last. I'm Maurice Webb.
I'm the Association Chair, you
know. Thought I'd just drop in and
The Resident Citizens' Association.
Keeps me busy I can tell you.
MAURICE is standing resolutely in the doorway, clearly
expecting to be asked in.
Oh I see. How can I help?
Oh it's nothing in particular, you
know, but I just thought it might
be a good idea if we had a little
chat and got to know each other.
May I come in?
Of course. Come in.
STUART makes way for MAURICE who comes in and looks around.
Nice flat - plenty of space for one
Thank you. Can I offer you
something? I'm afraid I've finished
the beer but coffee, tea?
Maurice eyes the empty bottle by the sink.
No thank you. I see you don't mind
the bottled variety of CBB then.
Maurice gives a conspiratorial smile and wink.
Having just tried it, I don't think
the bottled version is any more
drinkable than the draft.
But at least you finished that one,
didn't leave a nearly full glass.
What? How could you possibly..? You
weren't in the pub, I'm sure.
No, no not my kind of place really,
But somehow you know I was there
and that I didn't finish my beer.
Walls have ears, you know. Are you
Surprised doesn't begin to cover
it. What's going on?
Well normally I don't think a
citizen making a rather public and
pointed display of his contempt for
CBB would have the barman do more
than make a mental note, but you
were buying drinks on someone
else's card, so he reported it to
local office and they got in touch
with me - just to check in and have
I thought he gave me a pretty dirty
look - didn't care for me much -
and I must say the feeling was
mutual - but reporting me - for
Oh come now, it was his duty to
report the suspected absence of a
citizen card. I imagine you had
just left the card at home or
(truth much too
Well, actually, I'm afraid I seem
to have lost it.
Oh dear - but you haven't reported
Not yet, I've only just realized
Oh I see - you must have realized
in the pub, I suppose. You'd
better report it and apply for a
replacement straight away - the
Party's very hot on missing cards -
terrorists, don't want anyone
getting the wrong idea, do we?
Actually as Residents' Chair I can
issue you a temporary card.
You can? I would be very grateful.
No problem. If you just give me
your details, I'll fill out the
paperwork here and now. Let's get
started - may I sit down here?
Maurice sits down at a table or desk and takes out a form
and pen from his briefcase.
MAURICE continues to take down STUART's details.
A LITTLE LATER
MAURICE hands over replacement card
That's valid for a month. I am
going out on a limb a bit, helping
out like this, you know. If you
could let me know of any future
developments, I'd be most grateful
- it would help to keep me in the
clear so to speak.
Oh, OK - certainly.
I'll call you so you have my
number. I must get on.
Maurice packs up his paperwork and gets up to go.
Thank you again. I'm most grateful.
MAURICE gives STUART a brief and moderately friendly smile,
shakes hands with him and leaves the flat.
STUART's mobile rings imediately
Stuart answers call wearily.
Oh hi Mara.
MARA's voice is audible but only tone and intonation - not
Well, not really - a bit of a weird
MARA's voice sounds worried,higher.
I seem to have lost my id -sorry,
citizen - card that's all.
MARA's voice rises further.
You could be a bit more supportive.
I'm having a few problems here.
MARA shouting urgent and angry questions
Anyway it's OK I think -I've got a
Very sharp brief question from MARA
From the Chair of the Residents'
Association, actually. Nice of him,
really - never met him before.
String of sharp questions from MARA
Well - he knew I'd not got a card -
I mean that I'd lost it. For some
reason the barman reported me
getting a drink on this woman's
Even sharper response from MARA
Just a stranger being helpful - I
was feeling rather confused. I'd
just got out of the police
interview and I needed a drink I
can tell you.
MARA now quite loud and the words "coming round" can be made
OK Mara, OK - how long will you be?
MARA sharp question
No I'm not thinking of going
No, I'll be here..
MARA hangs up. STUART looks at his mobile and sighs, there
is a message sound. Stuart looks and sees Maurice's number.
How did that man know my number?
This is giving me the creeps.
The door bell rings again.
Not again! Who now?
He quickly crumples up the paper and chucks it in the bin.
He opens the door. A conservatively dressed, quietly
authoritative figure is standing there.
Mr Gilmore - Stuart Gilmore? I am
Assistant District Coordinator
Glover of the Citizens' Support
Service. Your Residents' Chair
tells me that you are missing your
Yes, he's just issued me with a
May I see it?
He hands over the temporary card
Yes that seems to be in order. Of
course there are some limitations
with a temporary card.
10 km on travel and 350 Sterling
Credits on purchases , I'm afraid.
Heavens! How long will it be before
my card comes through?
Well, hard to know. Your records
seem to have gone astray. We can't
very well issue a new card to
someone who doesn't exist, can we?
Can you tell me how you came to
lose the card?
I'm afraid I don't remember
exactly. I missed it when I was
trying to cross the road outside
the police station yesterday
Police station - ah, you mean the
local Citizen Support Office.
Oh yes, sorry - very old-fashioned
Well, it's easy to slip back into
the old ways,isn't it? Let's hope
your card doesn't fall into the
wrong hands though. I'm told
someone, technically illegally, let
you buy a drink on her card. A
(adjusting the truth a
No, we both hppened to be at the
same crossing when I realized my
card was missing and she helped me
Another one of those little
regulation breaches. And after that
she let you - a complete stranger -
get a drink on her card?
She was just being friendly.
Are you still in contact with her?
No. It was just one of those chance
Apparently you had quite a
onversation - what did you talk
Just a casual chat with a chance
acquaintance. Why the interest? Are
we in some kind of police state?
Not an advisable way to speak of
our People's Republic, even in
jest. Your conversation may have
seemed quite innocent to you but we
believe this woman has links to a
terrorist organization. Could you
I don't remember her very well. Is
it really necessary?
If you don't mind.
Oh well, I'll do my best. She
looked very ordinary - a woman out
shopping. Getting on a bit, maybe
fifties, slightly overweight,
ordinary raincoat, hair tinted -
auburn, I think - big shopping
Remarkably unremarkable in fact.
Er - actually very clear, educated,
Somewhat unexpected, eh? - though
we shouldn't think in stereotypes,
should we? Thank you. It's not
much but it confirms what little we
Glover pauses deliberately, glances around the flat and
looks back at Stuart.
You realize that your position here
is a little uncertain.
Well, strictly speaking, without an
official identity you don't have a
right to this flat.
What do you mean? I pay rent - I
have a contract.
There are plenty of families who
would be delighted to have this
kind of space. Let's hope your
paperwork gets sorted out quickly -
though I fear supporting documents
and a formal interview may well be
required. Can't have a worker's
paradise without bureaucracy, now
Glover chuckles, pauses and then leans forward meaningfully.
It's important you let us know if
your new friend gets in touch. If
she does, I want you to go along
with things and keep us informed.
She's not my friend and I'm sure
she won't- but what do you mean by
'go along with things'?
Do what she suggests and tell us as
soon as possible. I will call you
later from my personal number.
Please use it if she contacts you.
How do you know my number?
That much is in our records I am
happy to say.
He gets up and STUART escorts him to the door.
So what will happen about my card?
We'll be in touch - 'in due course'
as they say.
GLOVER smiles at Stuart
Take care, Stuart!
He gives STUART a direct look and gets up to leave. As
STUART is about to open the door for him, MARA arrives,
letting herself in with a key.
Ah, this must be Mara. Delighted to
meet you. Well, goodbye Stuart -
for now at least.
He walks out and STUART closes the door.
Who was that for heaven's sake? How
did he know who I was?
He seems to know an awful lot.
But who is he? Why was he here?
He said he was Assistant District
Coordinator of something.
What ? Assistant District
Coordinator of what?
City Support I think he said.
Citizen Support? That was the
Assistant District Coordinator of
Citizen Support? You idiot, Stuart,
what have you been doing?
It's just about me losing my card -
and they've lost my file
It an't be just about you losing
your card - and they never lose
people's files. It doesn't make
sense. Who told you your file was
lost - and when?
The Commissioner - just now.
There must be something else going
Um - he did seem very interested in
this woman I met -the one who used
her card to get me a drink.
Why would he be interested?
Apparently she's known to security.
What? Oh - you mean she's a
suspected terrorist - you've been
having a drink with a
She didn't seem anything like a
terrorist to me.
You're so naïve, Stuart. She
wouldn't advertise the fact, would
she? I suppose she was young and
attractive with big doe eyes.
Not at all - more like droop-eyed
- typical middle-aged, worn-down
housewife, shopping bag and all.
So how did you get someone like
that to get you a drink?
I was trying to cross the road and
she helped me out with her card.
That's an offense too, I'm pretty
sure. So you've lost your card,
you've got yourself mixed up with a
terrorist and now questioned by a
very senior member of Party
Security . I'm surprised they've
let you have a temporary card, even
if it is the kind they give to
criminals just out of jail. That
reminds me, what did the police
Well, I couldn't believe it, but
they wanted to talk to me about
you, me and Hari.
What? What on earth do you mean?
They apparently thought I was
encouraging you to be immoral - by
being weak and unmanly.
Oh come on. That's not funny. Why
did they want to see you, really?
Honestly, that was it - this
policewoman said I was encouraging
you to 'flit between partners'.
That was the expression she used.
MARA stares at STUART in disbelief.
You're saying citizen security, the
police, questioned you about me and
Hari! Are you crazy?.
Honestly Mara, I'm not making it
up. It actually happened. I
couldn't believe what that
policewoman was saying to me and I
told her so - but I was in a
difficult position - they had CCTV
footage of you and Hari going into
his place. I couldn't deny that I
was unhappy about it.
Oh for fuck's sake Stuart! You
want me to believe Citizen Support
spied on me and Hari and asked you
to control me! This is madness -
obsessive, possessive, delusional,
and so reactionary! And now you're
probably under investigation for
links with a counter-revolutionary.
What's the matter with you? See
someone! Get help! Sort out your
life! You're frightening me. Start
living in the real world!
MARA storms out of the flat
Living in the real world would be
good - if I knew how to get back
STUART stands, dazed, for a moment then his phone buzzes in
his pocket. He takes it out.
Assistant District Coordinator
He pockets his phone again but feels something there. His
hand comes out of pocket with the piece of paper with JJ's
phone number. He stares at it.
Why not? I don't think I'm among
He takes out his mobile again and walks into the bathroom to
make the call. We hear him dialling and asking for 'JJ'.
A few minutes LATER Stuart comes out of the bathroom with
phone and paper, having finished the call.
Not a terrorist - a therapist?
Probably just what I need, though.
SC INT DAY A TEA/COFFEE CANTEEN
The canteen is very large and rather utiitarian; it is not
crowded. There is a counter with a manager behind it and
some other staff clearing tables et. MARA and HARI are
sitting at a secluded table opposite each other. MARA is
already speaking, quietly and intensely.
...and I just don't understand how
he could have got himself into
trouble with CS. He may have some
odd ideas but he isn't really
political and he just isn't the
kind to get involved with the
Stuart in league with terrorists?
Doesn't sound very likely I agree -
but you have to be so careful these
days. We are very isolated in the
world, the counter-revolutionary
threat is growing and there are
Party agents everywhere. You have
to think of your own safety first,
What - why?
Stuart has become a danger to you.
If he is arrested then you will be
questioned too - you know the kind
of thing. 'Did he ever express
revisionist or reactionary ideas to
you or in your hearing?'
Hari stops as a waiter comes by, appears to loiter near the
table and slowly moves on.
Or ' Did he meet with so and so,
who was discovered have possible
links with terrorists 7 years ago?'
If you say no, they suspect you of
lying and if you say yes they want
to know why you haven't reported
But he's just a bit of an idiot
ocasionally - nobody in their right
mind would suspect him of being a
Unseen by Mara or Hari, Maurie Webb enters the canteen, goes
up to the manager. They have a brief conversation and
Maurice sits at a table where he can see their table but not
be seen easily.
Sure - but he has broken the law in
the company of an enemy of the
people and has mysteriously lost
all evidence of his citizenship.
Your association with him is known
to Citizen Support. From what you
say about his present state of
mind, he is likely to do something
else really stupid fairly soon.
You make it all sound really
sinister. All he's done is lose his
card and accept some unfortunate
Citizen Support will take a darker
view. You must keep away - at least
until it all dies down. All that
stuff about being interviewed by
the police, by local Citizen
Support I mean - do you think he
suffered an actual hallucination or
was he inventing a story for you?
He really seemed to believe it - he
was accusing them of trying to
bully him into reactionary and
extremist sexist views and actions
- he was apologizing for them.
How transparent! Using a state
authority to excuse his deviant
possessive jealousy. Do you think
he might be violent?
Oh no, I don't think so, not
Stuart. He just seems rather
confused, a bit lost - he was
really hurt that we went off
You sound as if you're beginning to
feel sorry for him. He treated you
But maybe I overreacted. You were
the perfect citizen, giving me the
support I needed without asking for
anything in return - or at least
without insisting on it - but I
could have just waited for him to
sober up and calm down. I'm afraid
I've helped to get him into this
You didn't make him lose his card
or team up with a suspected
terrorist! And of course you were
right to leave him at the party -
he has to learn that actions have
consequences. Promise me you'll
stay away - at least till he seems
more stable and is no longer under
investigation. You have to think of
yourself, of your own safety.
HARI lays his hand on hers. MARA quickly extricates her
You're being very sweet about all
this, Hari, but I know how to take
care of myself. I'll get no closer
than the end of a phone till he
sorts himself out - and I'll make
sure he does. I just hope he
doesn't do anything to make Citizen
Support even more suspicious.
Anyway I must get back to work -
all right for some who have only
their publisher to worry about!
I'll walk with you. I do have work
to do too, you know.
They get up to leave.
SC.INT DAY THE THERAPIST'S OFFICE
STUART is sitting in a small consulting room opposite the
THERAPIST at a desk. There is a door behind the THERAPIST
and the entrance door behind STUART
So, Stuart, you arranged this
appointment yourself. Why do you
feel you need therapy?
Well, I feel rather lost - as if
I'm in a dream world.
And it was entirely your own
decision to come here?
Well, my girlfriend seemed to think
I needed it..
Oh dear, that must have been
upsetting for you. And who
recommended this clinic?
(remembering what to say)
Joan Johnson - she spoke very
highly of you.
Ah yes, dear Joan. Very well. I
think we could come to an agreement
about a few sessions. In which case
there are some preliminaries. Would
you go through the door behind me
and fill in a brief form about your
medical and family history, then
come back so we can draw up a
The THERAPIST gets up and opens the door behind him with a
key. STUART goes through and the therapist relocks the door
and then goes out of the other door, the entrance to the
SC INT DAY INNER ROOM - THE RESISTANCE
A larger, library type room, with another door opening at
the far end. An older man, rather scruffy in an academic
way, is sitting in an armchair facing STUART as he comes in.
He gestures towards another chair. STUART sits. The stranger
hands a small plastic wallet to him. Stuart takes it and
examines it briefly.
What is this? Who are you?
You can call me Barry, Barry Brown
- BB eh? Friend of JJ's? In answer
to your other question, that's your
I don't understand. You can't have
got hold of my card.
Of course not - but it will stand
up to very close scrutiny - unless
you subject it to the precise
frequency of radiation, when it
will display our ghostly little
emblem - in 3D I'm told. Quite high
But the authorities, the police, I
mean Citizen Support Services -
they know I've lost it.
So phone them up and tell them you
found it somewhere - in the lining
of your coat for example. What can
It can't be as simple as that. Is
it really good enough to fool them?
And what's in it for you - what do
you want from me - and how do you
know you can trust me?
Well, as for trusting you, we have
an insurance policy. What we want
from you is quite simple. I
understand you're an IT man and
pretty good at it. Isn't that
Possibly. Ok at it, anyway.
As you must be aware, all of us are
under surveillance, but some of us
are close to arrest and
interrogation. The signals chatter
from the surveillance and security
services would be an important clue
as to who's most at risk. You could
help us by keeping track of this.
You want me to hack into the
security services system and make
reports to you? You're out of your
None of us is safe these days. Any
'incorrect' behavior or opinions,
can lead to arrest and
interrogation - even disappearance.
Keeping company with people who are
on record, rightly or wrongly, as
critical of the Party, failing to
follow correct bureaucratic
procedure, belonging to a suspect
social or racial group - any of
these things can be enough. You
yourself are in a perilous
position. The fact that you have no
card - that you didn't immediately
report it lost - and now apparently
have no official history - would be
enough, even without your link to
JJ and your girlfriend's doubts
about you. Finding your card could
substantially lessen official
interest in you.
There's also my lost file.
Well, it may not really be lost -
more deliberately mislaid as a
security services method of
exerting pressure on you. We might
be able to find out - we have some
inside contacts - even arrange for
it to be 'found'. No promises,
I still think you're taking a
terrible risk trying to recruit
someone you know almost nothing
We do know a bit about you and I
think you're exaggerating the risk;
our little logo is our insurance.
Just tip off CS the frequency and
you would be found in possession of
a card forged by a terrorist
In that case I think I'll hand it
straight back thank you and take my
chances with Citizen Support - less
of a risk.
STUART starts to hand back the plastic walle. Barry
You can do that and you'll never
see us or hear from us again - but
we assume that Support are
intending to use the loss of your
card and mysteriously missing file
to pressure you into becoming an
informer, a Party Eye. If you find
your card, chances are they'll drop
that idea and miraculously locate
your file - and we're not asking
you to do very much really.
What exactly would you be asking me
We have a current top level login
for the Citizen Support internal IT
system. We want you to log in from
time to time. An important mailing
goes round every week with lists of
names. Obviously you'd have to
cover your tracks very carefully,
digitally and physically.
Why can't you get into the system
We think you'll be safer. You know
what you're doing and the fairly
large size of your organisation
would make it harder for CS to
identify you as the source. Also of
course if they did trace it to you
or your office it wouldn't
compromise our people.
How reassuring for me! Do you
really know enough about the system
for me to get access undetected?
Well that's partly up to you,
though our insider has a good
knowledge of the setup and would
brief you - and you would anyway be
signing in as a high level user.
Noone else will be using those
(PAUSE)Stuart is deep in thought.
Say I agree - where do I get the
sign in details? And how do I pass
any information on - assuming I get
into the system undetected and
actually find anything?
Your therapist will give you a
handout with a list of mental
health organisations at the end of
the session. He will recommend one.
It will lead, eventually, to
contact details - if you mention
BARRY leans forward and fixes STUART with a penetrating
Call CS and say you've found the
card! Will you help us?
LONG PAUSE as STUART struggles to decide what to do.
(muttering to himself)
Does it really matter? It's all a
STUART gives a faint nod.
Good man! Go back through now. Take
the form with you.
BARRY gets up and unlocks the door Stuart came through.
Sc. INT. Day The same canteen.
HARI is sitting at a table, waiting. Glover enters the
canteen, nods to the manager, looks around, sees Hari, comes
over and sits down.
Thank you, Hari, for agreeing to
this meeting. I am personally an
admirer of your work and I think I
can say that the Party is very
happy with your writing and its
unifying message. Literature is of
great value in society, don't you
Well of course, and I am extremely
conscious of the privileges I enjoy
as a writer recognized by the
A deferential waiter brings a coffee to Glover.
Thank you. We always show our
appreciation of serious, honest
work. Anyway, I asked for this
meeting because there is some
conern about the status of an
acquaintance of yours - or is he a
friend? - Stuart Gilmore, an IT
Oh dear - what seems to be the
problem? I mainly know him through
his girlfriend Mara.
Oh yes, a nice girl and we think a
good citizen. Well, the problem is
that we can't quite work out how
safe a citizen Stuart is. As an IT
specialist he has access to some
sensitive information. He is in
contact with a woman we now know
has links to
GLOVER pauses to drink his coffee.
We worry about his mysteriously
lost and found card - forged
citizen cards are a major problem
for us. Is he completely sound, do
I think so.
You think so? You're unsure of him?
Not really, but I've never spoken
to him about his political beliefs.
So you couldn't personally vouch
Well I suppose not 'vouch for him',
You realize of course that you have
a duty to inform us if you have
reason to believe he might be a
security risk. Concealing such
information would be aiding an
enemy of the revolution. I ask you
- is there anything you have
neglected to mention concerning
(after some hesitation)
Well perhaps he doesn't seem
entirely stable at the moment.
He appears to think the police -
that is Citizen Support Security -
have been pressuring him to assert
some kind of male dominance over
Good heavens, our own CSS! So he's
blaming the Support Service for his
own primitive ideas of sexual
ownership - is that what you're
Er - well - I suppose that is what
it amounts to - yes. He has become
obsessively jealous and this tale
of the police is obviously a
fabrication - or a delusion - but I
hope it's just a temporary problem.
This could make him vulnerable to
approaches from reactionary,
subversive elements. After all,
this bizarre delusion sounds like a
desire to return to a
Worrying that he seems to be in
counter-revolutionaries at such a
difficult time for him.
Yes, I suppose that is all rather
So you agree that he could pose a
threat to security?
Glover looks straight at Hari. Hari hesitates, clearly
uncomfortable, but gives in.
Yes, I agree.
Thank you for being such a model
citizen. It's reassuring to know
our artist comrades are good
friends of the revolution at heart.
Anyway I must be getting to my
meeting. I've made a mental note of
our conversation. Don't worry
Stuart with any of this - we'll
look after everything. And thank
you for the coffee.
GLOVER gets up, leans across the table and shakes hands with
HARI, doesn't smile, turns and goes.
Not at all.
As Glover goes out much obsequious respect is shown by the
manager behind the counter. HARI stays, sitting alone at the
SCENE INT DAY AT WORK THE IT OFFICE
Joseph is sitting at a terminal, checking something. Stuart
is standing near the door, not dong anything, restless.
I think I'll go and check on the
work stations on the first floor.
You can do that remotely from here.
No, some of them were reporting
mechanical problems - keys sticking
First I've heard of it -though it
wouldn't be a surprise considering
their crap build. You've done a lot
of walkabouts there recently - is
there someone special on the first
Ha ha! Would I be confiding in you
if there were?
I am deeply hurt. OK, off you go
but be careful. You know what they
say about fouling your nest.
Thanks for the fatherly advice.
Stuart leaves. Joseph looks a little puzzled, worried.
SC INT DAY A WORK CORRIDOR
Stuart is walking along a long corridor with office doors
on either side. Stuart slows down and listens outside a door
marked '207, Sarah Lakin, Finance officer'. Another door
opens along the corridor and a woman walks towards Stuart.
Stuart knocks at the door he is outside. The woman nods to
him as she passes.
Hi! Do you know if Sarah Lakin is
Haven't seen her. If she's not
answering I'd say not. Oh, no -
I've just remembered - she's at a
Citizens' Awareness conference.
Don't tell me there are more
problems with the system!
Just something with her hardware -
Oh thank goodness. Good luck with
The woman goes on down the corridor and Stuart goes into
Sarah Lakin's office.
SC INT DAY UNDER COVER IN ANOTHER OFFICE
SERIES OF SHOTS
Inside the office STUART is at a computer, his fingers
flying over the keyboard. He looks nervously at the door to
the corridor from time to time. It is closed. A close-up of
the screen in front of him shows this message
'The selected volume is level 1 restricted. Accessing it
remotely may compromise security. To continue re-enter your
staff id and password.'
There is a beep. STUART enters an id and a series of numbers
as the password. Another message appears on screen.
Stuart enters another code.
The large screen clears and shows a series of options
including 'Weekly briefing' and a date. Stuart selects this.
The screen displays a list of names and levels of
Those are the surveillance
STUART starts to write down the names on paper. The door
suddenly opens. A tough looking man, with a citizen
peacekeeper badge, a woman soldier with an automatic weapon
burst in. Behind them can be seen the WORKS COORDINATOR
hovering in the corridor. STUART desperately starts trying
to dispose of the paper and close the computer down but is
knocked to the floor by the butt of the soldier's weapon
before he can do anyt5hing.
We have evidence that you are
plotting a criminal, terrorist act
against the citizens and their
representatives. For the protection
of your fellow workers and the
people, you will accompany us to a
place of detention pending
preliminary examination by a
CITIZEN PEACEKEEPER takes out a small camera and photographs
the screens. The soldier places a canvas hood over a
terrified STUART. He is led away at gunpoint into the
corridor. JOSEPH watches from a safe distance down the
SC INT NIGHT INTERROGATION ROOM
A windowless office and desks, chairs. Stuart is standing,
still hooded, in front of one desk, a uniformed guard at his
side. Glover comes in quietly.
You can take the hood off him. I
don't know why we do this really
since everybody knows where we are
- disorientation I suppose.
The guard removes the hood. STUART stands blinking in the
(to the guard)
Thank you, comrade. Could you wait
outside in case I need you -
shouldn't be long.
The guard nods and leaves.
Stuart, despite my feeling that you
cut a rather ridiculous figure as a
terrorist spy, I have to take you
seiously. We are facing both
internal and external threats after
all and you have been caught
red-handed stealing classified
material. Perhaps you would be so
good as to explain how you were
recruited and what you thought you
(terrified and adlibbing
I didn't really know what I was
looking at or how I got into that
page. I was just worried that I was
under suspicion because of that
lost pass so...
So you accidentally logged on to a
top secret server without
triggering any security alerts and
chanced upon surveillance data only
available to top echelon service
officers. Don't waste my time -
re-education is a painful process
and leaves the citizen permanently
altered, - which is its main
purpose I suppose. We know where
you got the card, which would have
given you away eventually anyway,
and I assume your activities were a
quid pro quo.
No Latin? An exchange, favour for a
favour. Never mind. I have my own
proposal, one I rather think you
will want to accept. This way you
could leave here a free man, well,
relatively, go back to work, behave
as if nothing has happened and even
continue with your espionage
efforts. You won't have to report
back to us - but you mustn't let
your 'friends' know that we know
that they know what you know - I do
hate the way this business has me
saying such absurd things. I see
from your puzzled expression that
you're wondering how we can enforce
such a deal and that's where modern
technology is so useful - a little
implant that will monitor your
activities. Of course this is
invasive and therefore entirely
voluntary, though the alternative
is re-education, I'm afraid -
probably not worth considering.
So I have no choice.
Quite. We will be aware of all your
communications with your friends
and I must warn you that the device
has electrodes close to the heart,
rather like a pacemaker, and it can
be made to provide er - a
sufficient charge. Avoid doing
anything that might make us
suspicious. I'm glad to say that I
have never had to use that
STUART is too stunned to respond.
Stuart, I don't know how you got
mixed up in all this - as I said
before you don't seem very
convincing in the role of either
counter-revolutionary or spy - but
in the end I'm afraid I can't worry
my head about that. We may meet
again but, for now, goodbye.
GLOVER presses a button. The GUARD comes in and STUART is
escorted from the room.
SC THE OPERATION
A small operating theatre. A bored looking surgeon and a
nurse. Stuart is on the operating table under local
anaesthetic looking frightned and woozy. The surgeon makes
an incision in Stuart's chest. The nurse is holding a small
device with a thin wire attached, ready for insertion.
I think that's deep enough. You may
feel a tugging sensation now.
That's perfectly normal.
The surgeon inserts a clamp into the incision.
Nurse, could you place the implant
on the lip of the incision.
The nurse places the implant on Stuart's chest and the
surgeon inserts it manually.
There. Nurse, please check the
The nurse crosses to a computer screen. She nods to the
Now a small charge - just 200 volts
should be enough I think.
The nurse adjusts something and presses a button. Stuart's
back arches as he spasms.
Good. Then I can close.
The surgeon begins to close up the incision. The nurse
cleans around the wound. Stuart lies shoked and inert but
SC INT DAY RELEASE
A small treatment room with medical equipment. STUART is
sitting up on the couch with his chest bare. A nurse is just
finishing off attaching a dressing to the partly healed
incision on his chest. A guard is standing near the door.
No showers for a couple of days,
comrade. In 48 hours change the
dressing for one of the waterproof
adhesive ones I will give you.
After that you can shower and bathe
normally. Take the antibiotics
twice a day for five days.
She o~ist world to normal
STUART walks along the corridor, watched casually by the
GUARD, presses the first button, goes through the first door
into a brightly lit vestibule. The light grows blinding and
for a moment the screen is frozen. In the dazzling light
STUART gropes for the second release, the door opens and he
exits, still half blinded by the brightness. The door clicks
shut behind him.
SC EXT DAY
STUART stands dazzled on the pavement of the usual busy city
street. After a few moments he starts to walk up to a
crossing. Waiting at the lights, he searches in his pocket
for something but can't find it.
(to himself, muttering)
What's the point of letting me out
if they've taken my party card? And
where are the meds?
He notices something about the panel on the pedestrian
crossing and examines it more closely.
It's got no card reader.
The lights change and the familiar green symbol of a
pedestrian appears with a countdown.
It's a normal crossing!
STUART crosses the road. His phone goes. He manages to
answer while reaching the kerb and continues to walk slowly.
Oh hi, Mum. How are you feeling?
Oh, that's very good news!
Completely clear? I wasn't sure
they were going to do that scan
I thought they might be worried
about the cost.
No, I know it's the NHS.
No, no, I'm really pleased. I'll
come and pick you up in a taxi. I'm
just on my way home now.
Oh OK, but are you sure you want to
go by ambulance?
OK, I won't fuss if you insist.
Yes mum, OK, OK, I'm sure you are.
I'll come and see you tomorrow
then, when you're settled back in.
Well don't overdo it. Call me when
you're home. Bye.
He pockets phone and looks around to check where he is. The
High Street is busy with the usual traffic and pedestrians
She sounded back to normal. What
about the rest of the world? -
SC INT DAY STUART'S FLAT.
STUART's flat. It looks brighter and smarter - the lighting
Series of shots.
Stuart is lifting his shirt to examine his chest in the
mirror. Clearly puzzled he takes off his shirt to get a
better look. There is no dressing or incision scar. He
fingers the spot where the dressing used to be. He checks
his pockets again for the medical supplies. At that moment
there is the sound of a key in the lock. He turns towards
the door and MARA is standing there. She looks at the
What? Oh no, just checking a mark
on my chest.
Looks OK to me.
Yes, must have been imagining it.
Are you coming in?
I didn't just come to peek at your
chest and then go. So yes, if I am
Of course, sorry. Come in.
MARA comes in. STUART looks uncertain how to behave. He
starts forward as if to kiss her and hesitates. MARA puts
her arms around his neck and kisses him with determination.
She releases him.
So you're not still mad at me?
I thought we were over all that.
You were obnoxious drunk and my
reaction was a bit primitive too.
You had every right to be angry.
Seriously - let's forget it!
Just the thing.
STUART goes to the fridge and gets out a bottle of beer that
he examines carefully. It clearly isn't Citizen's Best
Beer? Only one here I'm afraid.
Fine. Let's share the bottle.
STUART brings the bottle over and they sit down together on
the sofa. Stuart opens it.
What shall we drink to?
How about 'Getting back to normal'?
(does a double take)
Yup. I'll drink to that. Getting
back to normal.
He raises the bottle and drinks.
Never mind. Your turn.
MARA takes the bottle, has a swig and then tips it up for
STUART to drink from, while still holding it. He drinks and
she then takes the bottle away from him and kisses him. She
puts the bottle down on the floor and swings her legs up
onto the sofa. Things progress a bit.
Are you staying the night?
I brought my pajamas!
FADE OUT as both become fully involved with each other.