Friday, October 17, 2014

My Dr. Who Spec Script (Part 1)


I was always a Dr. Who geek.  As a kid, I would watch Tom Baker (and the "other" Doctors) regularly defeat horrible monsters with great enjoyment.
  • When the show was cancelled, I was dismayed.  
  • When they tried to make an American version, I was dismayed.  
  • When they made the new version, I was dismayed.
A year ago, I tried watching the new version of Dr. Who again, and I liked it.  I watched all the way to the Peter Capaldi season (which isn't on Netflix yet).

If any both of you read the title of this post, you know I'm going.  I decided to write an episode.  The script below comprises the first quarter of it.  I've outlined the rest, but haven't finished.

My question to you: What do you think?  Should I finish it?  Will the BBC answer my emails?



               EXT. SPACE

               A giant SPACE BATTLESHIP with GLOWING ENGINES tears through
               space.  It rushes towards a small, blue world, bent on
               horrible destruction.  Dark, terrifying music plays.

               The engines flicker and with a sad BEEE-WOOP, go dark.  The
               battleship slows and the nose goes down as it loses attitude
               control.

               After a beat, the engines light up again with an ominous hum. 
               It rights itself and rushes forward towards the planet again.

               BEEE-WOOP.  The engines fail another time.  

               The TARDIS appears.  It's spinning in circles around the
               battleship's engines.  The engines re-ignite but are struck
               by a beam from the TARDIS and go out again.  The battleship
               and the TARDIS are stuck in a stalemate: technology vs.
               technology.



               INT. BRIDGE

               CAPTAIN MALANTHE, a sleek, angry woman sits in the center
               chair surrounded by lights and screens.  The bridge rocks
               around her, equipment sparks, but she ignores it all to stare
               furiously at her VIEWSCREEN, where THE DOCTOR stares back at
               her, leaning against the center console.  CLARA stands in the
               background, clutching a railing.

               Melanthe presses a button on the arm of her chair.

                                   MELANTHE
                         Re-ingite the primary engines.

                                   MECHANICAL VOICE
                             (O.O.V.)
                         Main engines online.

               The lights on the bridge brighten.

                                   DOCTOR
                             (to Clara)
                         Press the button again.

               Clara jumps forward and presses a single button.  The
               battleship bridge shakes and sparks fly from consoles again. 
               The muffled BEEE-WOOP can be heard as the engines shut down.

                                   MELANTHE
                         You can't win, Doctor!  That planet
                         will die, sooner or later.
                                                                     2.


                                   DOCTOR
                         It's going to be later.  Much, much
                         later.  Without your light drives,
                         it will take you about...  Hm.  

               Does math on his fingers.

                                   DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                         Carry the two... Fifty years to
                         reach Thalossa 3.  You'll be old
                         and grey by then.

                                   MELANTHE
                         So will you.

               The Doctor glances at his reflection on the console and
               subconsciously fixes his hair.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Some of us wear it well.  Who would
                         hire you to eradicate the
                         Thalossans?  They don't harm
                         anyone.  They're sympaths.  It
                         literally hurts them more than it
                         hurts you.

                                   MELANTHE
                         I don't ask why.  It's just my job.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Get a new job.  I hear accounting
                         is nice.

                                   MELANTHE
                         You can't stop me.

                                   DOCTOR
                             (flustered)
                         I am stopping you.  Didn't...
                         Didn't you just see that?  With
                         your engines going "beeeeeeoop" and
                         all?  You want me to do it again? 
                         Clara!  Button.

               Click.  Beeeeeoop.

                                   MELANTHE
                         Oh, you can slow me down, but
                         sooner or later that ugly,
                         crumbling, wreck of yours is going
                         to fail and I will win.
                                                                     3.




               INT. TARDIS

               The Doctor and Clara are watching Melanthe on a holographic
               screen near the central console.  He sputters with anger.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Did you just call...?  The TARDIS
                         is not a..!  How dare..!  It's not
                         crumbling!  Clara!

                                   CLARA
                         Push the button again?

                                   DOCTOR
                         No, pull the lever!

               She looks over the console for a beat.

                                   CLARA
                         Which one?

                                   DOCTOR
                         The BIG one.  The Big Red Lever.

               Clara pulls the lever.  A deep hum builds up.

                                   DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                         I was going to let you go.  I was
                         going to let you start over.  I
                         even signed you up for an
                         accounting class.  But nobody
                         insults the TARDIS.  Now you pay
                         the price.

               The hum reaches its crescendo.

                                                                CUT TO:



               EXT. SPACE

               The TARDIS unleashes a piercing beam of energy at the
               battleship.  Lightning rips across the surface of the ship
               and explosions blossom on the engines.



               INT. BRIDGE

               Melanthe is still smiling.

                                   MELANTHE
                         Thank you doctor.
                                                                     4.


               She reaches down and picks up a metal ball the size of a shot
               put with a small, paper note taped to it.  The Doctor puts on
               his glasses and leans forward.

                                   DOCTOR
                         What's that?

                                   MELANTHE
                         A gift from an old enemy of yours.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Who?  The Daleks?

                                   MELANTHE
                         No.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Cybermen?

                                   MELANTHE
                         No.

                                   DOCTOR
                         The Master?  The Silence?  The
                         Centaurans?  Animus?  Slitheen? 
                         Sil?  Megron?  The Faceless Ooze? 
                         Nomatron Seven?

               Melanthe continues to shake her head.

                                   CLARA
                         Now you're just making them up.

               Melanthe takes the note off the ball and reads it.

                                   MELANTHE
                         When The Doctor arrives, insult his
                         TARDIS.  When he gets mad enough to
                         expose the TARDIS's power core,
                         blow.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Blow?

               Melanthe blows gently on the sphere.  It flashes brightly,
               transforming into a BALL OF LIGHT which whizzes forward
               through the screen.



               EXT. SPACE

               The ball of light shoots out of the front of the battleship
               and flies straight for the TARDIS.
                                                                     5.




               INT. TARDIS

               The Doctor jumps to work the controls.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Hang on!

               Clara braces for impact.



               EXT. SPACE

               The TARDIS neatly avoids the ball of light.



               INT. TARDIS

               Crisis averted, the Doctor turns from the console and smiles
               at the image of Melanthe.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Crumbling?  Ha!  Wreck?  Ha!

                                   CLARA
                         Doctor.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Not now, Clara.  I'm gloating.

                                   CLARA
                         Doctor!

               He turns just in time to see the ball of light, now expanded
               to giant size, engulf the TARDIS main console.

               Sparks fly.  The lights go out.  The glowing ball of energy
               casts an eerie glow over everything.  The Doctor reaches out
               to it but, it's solid.

                                   DOCTOR
                         That's not good.

                                   CLARA
                         What?

                                   DOCTOR
                         It's a force field keeping me from
                         the controls.  I can't vent the
                         core pressure.  I can't even see
                         where we are.  Clara, be a dear and
                         open the door.

               Clara runs over to the door and opens it.  Wind blows in at
               her.  She gasps.  Outside, the PLANET looms large. 
                                                                     6.

               They're falling towards it.  The TARDIS is starting to heat
               up in the atmosphere.

               The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver on the force field.

                                   CLARA
                         What do we do?

                                   DOCTOR
                             (pointing at a hallway)
                         Go up there and open the third
                         closet from the left.

               Clara rushes off.  The Doctor keeps working while talking to
               her.  The hum of the TARDIS grows increasingly louder as if
               it's going to explode.

                                   DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                         You'll find a small metal chest at
                         the bottom.

               Clara drags out a small trunk for possessions like a soldier
               in WWII might have had.   

                                   DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                         Open it!  There's two metal
                         cannisters at the bottom marked
                         EVAC 1 and 2.

               She rummages through a pile of old socks before finding the
               cannisters.  They have high tech, weather-beaten look to
               them.  She runs back.  

               The Doctor gives up on the screwdriver and punches the force
               field with frustration.  The hum is dangerously loud.

                                   CLARA
                         I've got them!  What do I do?

               The Doctor takes one and twists it open.  A fish pops out,
               with tiny fins and eyestalks.

               Clara jumps back in surprise, dropping the second cannister,
               as the fish flops to the floor.  It swells, monstrously,
               until it's twice as big as Clara.

                                   CLARA (CONT'D)
                             (backing away as the fish
                              faces her)
                         Doctor!  What-

               With a giant gulp, it swallows her whole.  The Doctor isn't
               paying attention, he's on all fours chasing the other
               cannister as it rolls away over the deck.
                                                                     7.


               The fish pivots its eyestalks at the door and sees the blue
               world below.  It hops on its fins and tumbles, happily out
               into space.  The cannister rolls after it as the TARDIS is
               rocked by explosions.

               The Doctor watches from the console.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Good luck, Clara.

               There's another explosion.  Lights around the console flash
               and a sad noise plays.  The Doctor smiles makes a hushing
               noise.

                                   DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                         Hush.  I'm not leaving you.  I'd
                         never leave you. The Doctor is
                         nothing without his TARDIS.



               EXT. SPACE

               The TARDIS, spinning out of control, is close enough to the
               planet that its features are clear.  It's covered with giant,
               blue oceans and dotted with a few, green islands.  The TARDIS
               flies out into space as the giant fish floats by.  It "swims"
               as best it can towards the planet, a look of intense
               eagerness on its face.

               After a beat, the TARDIS explodes spectacularly into tiny
               fragments.

               OPENING CREDITS



               EXT. BEACH - DAY

               Clara's POV.  

               Darkness.  The sound of waves crashing on the beach.  The
               darkness clears to a fuzzy view of the sky.  A fireball is
               fading out.  The fuzziness clears.  Waves lap against the
               shore.  The giant fish, sitting in the sand, smiles, turns
               clumsily, and flops into the water. 

               The sound of footsteps.  Clara turns to see a man squatting
               before her.

               It's The Doctor.  

                                   DOCTOR
                         Are you all right, Clara?
                                                                     8.


               But it's not the Doctor.  It changes and now the man is an
               alien with a bluish cast to his skin and a fin on his domed
               head.  He wears primitive,  dark brown clothes and has a net
               in his belt.  He squats down near her.

                                   ALIEN
                         Are you all right, Clara?

               Her vision blurs again and all goes black.

                                                                CUT TO:



               INT. BRIDGE

               Melanthe smiles at the viewscreen.  The dust of the TARDIS is
               slowly pulled down to the planet.

                                   MELANTHE
                         Well, that was fun.

               She presses a button on her chair.

                                   MELANTHE (CONT'D)
                         Damage report.  How long until we
                         can be underway again?

                                   MECHANICAL VOICE
                             (O.O.V.)
                         Five weeks.

                                   MELANTHE
                         Take your time.  There's no hurry
                         anymore.

               She turns back to the viewscreen, which shows a pristine blue
               world, now undefended.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like it! I don't know whether they consider spec scripts, but to me that is a flavorful and clever take. Nice job!

Matthew Kagle said...

Thanks Anonymous.

No, I don't think they consider spec scripts, but it was fun to write.

Geneva said...

Hi. You certainly have the tone of the Doctor down pat! On the nit-picky side, there are two mistakes in the script (grammatical & typo): you say "small, blue word" near the beginning. Should be "world" i expect. The other one was the engines were struck "from a beam from the TARDIS", which probably should read "by a beam from the TARDIS." Keep going, good luck!

Matthew Kagle said...

Ah, shoot. No wonder the BBC hasn't called me back! Thanks, good catches.