A Tomb For The Superhero

Let’s get this out of the way first, I’m a terrible comic book fan. I don’t mean this as in I like terrible comics but more to do with the fact that I don’t read nearly as much of them as people think I do. Whilst I love Batman, Iron Man and X-Men I’ve only read the obvious titles that are out in bookshops. Human bookshops that everybody uses. Basically, I know people who are far more knowledgeable than me about the medium  I usually fall into reading various comics books because aforementioned friends have recommended it or the movie version is on at the cinema and I have no time to go and see it. In 2009, this happened with Watchmen. Without the free time to go the cinema and see it the next best thing was to buy the book instead. It was probably my introduction to Alan Moore who, up until this point, I’d only had a passing knowledge of (see, terrible comic book fan). In an interview about Watchmen he had said that he wanted the comic to be ‘a tomb for the superhero’ and before I read it I wouldn’t have known what he meant by that. It all becomes perfectly clear upon finishing it.

When boiled down and held up to the cold light of day most superhero stories are complete nonsense. If Bruce Wayne were real then witnessing both his Mother and Father gunned down in cold blood whilst he was a young boy would put him in years of therapy. He would not be rushing to dress up as a large flying rodent whilst spending his vast fortune on various technical gizmos. The Batman comics are basically a deranged revenge fantasy and as far as comics go there’s nothing wrong with that but Watchmen certainly benefits from making the vast majority of its characters somehow normal. The story is based on people who acted as vigilantes and dressed up in superhero outfits in the process. It might seem a little ridiculous as an idea (although not to some people as today’s news stated) but it means that most of the Watchmen have some strand of normality in their DNA. These people are not gods, they live amongst us. They’re also well past their prime as the entire group, once defenders of justice, have no been sidelined by the public and even banned.

It’s an alternate 1985, the shadow of nuclear warfare hangs over and Watchmen begins with a murder as The Comedian is killed in his own home. At first you’d expect that there would be a need to generate sympathy for his death in seeing him as an all round good guy but there isn’t a bit of it. The Comedian is vile as a character. He is racist, violent and at one point in the story he sexually assaults a female hero. The Comedian might have fought for America in Vietnam but his attitude is selfish and self serving. He may have been on the side of ‘good’ but there’s hardly any good in him.

The death of the Comedian isn’t the first of the Watchmen to die so an unofficial investigation is carried out in which group member Rorschach attempt to fill in the blanks. His story comes across in the style of a 1950’s detective novel, a fact that his overcoat and hat assist. Rorschach’s upbringing, his mother a prostitute and his father one of her clients, has understandably given him a dark view of life.

Initially, Rorschach is the only one who believes that the heroes of the past are being killed off and he spends the first part of the book attempting to gather together the former allies into some kind of unit to put up resistance. He approaches his old partner Night Owl who is probably the closest thing Watchmen has to a Batman figure in that he has vehicles and gadgets. Alas, he does not have the mansion nor the piles of money Bruce Wayne has so therefore must do with a town house with a large basement. Night Owl ends up trying to relive the old days with Silk Spectre who only gained her hero alter ego after taking over from her Mother. This fact alone gives her plenty of problems concerning living up to her Mother’s billing.

If I had to pick one favourite character though it would be Dr Manhattan. His story of being a normal scientist who is caught up in a reactor explosion is one of the standard comic book clichés but the brilliant part about him is how he reacts to being given these god like powers. He may have the ability to manipulate objects with his mind, to teleporting anywhere he pleases and to win entire conflicts by simply stomping across the battlefield but it has removed him from being anything like human. There’s a magical part of Watchmen is which Dr Manhattan goes into hiding on Mars and spends a few pages explaining how he sees time pass and how, rather than being separate things, he sees the past, present and future together as one. It’s a complex idea to get your head round but this section is so well written it all makes sense by the end.

Watchmen’s big strength is that all of  these characters are different and all are not typical heroes as we have come to imagine them. Watchmen gives us a small taste of what it would be like if real people started to dress up at night to go off fighting crime. In most cases it would lead to a rather lonely and paranoid existence which the book reflects. Alan Moore is also infamously against the 2009 movie version as he says it was designed to be a comic book and should be remembered as such. In a way he’s right, there’s just too much depth and too many interwoven strands of story in the book meaning any film adaptation was always going to be a cut down version of events. One character has written their memoirs which are glossed over quickly in the movie but in the book you are given full opportunity to read a few sample chapters. There’s a comic book within a comic in the book as one character reads a story based on piracy. It’s something the screen version simply cannot go into for fear of losing an audience. The film still works but there’s so much more to discover in the book.

I’m a rubbish comic book fan so I’ve probably just spent one thousand words preaching to the converted but if you come to this blog to read about amateur adventures in screen writing and haven’t discovered Watchmen’s brilliance then I suggest you pick it up.

The Removal

After a few days (actually weeks if I’m honest) of staring at it, twiddling about on the first few pages and then cutting and pasting a few bits here and there the second draft of The Unlocked Project is pretty much ready to go. The main obstacle was the complete removal of anything sleep related and instead going over to Tony’s agoraphobia. The next problem with this was the question as to why any research would be undertaken in making people scared to go outside. I’m still unsure as to if this question is actually answered.

Even after this, the ending still bugs me. I might have to sort that.

It’s around about this time, usually in the process, I’d be handing it out to people to read over and comment. You might as well have a go yourself if you want, comments thread is just below.

INT/ BEDROOM/ DAY

A clean bedroom, white linen bedcovers are undisturbed, metal bed frame and headboard.

Beside the bed is a small, pump operated bottle of alcohol based hand cleanser.

Every door handle in the flat is covered in what look like shower caps.

There’s a table in one corner covered in a clear plastic sheet.

Standing by the sink is a man in his late 20’s. He cleans his hands under the running tap, soaping up to his elbows and in between his fingers. It’s almost surgical. He switches off the tap with his elbows.

He walks over to the curtained window, he pulls and a pair of surgical gloves before pulling the curtains apart. It’s a bright morning, sunlight fills the room.

A knock at the door,

TONY

(Shouting)

Come in Andrea!

Andrea opens the door and walks in.

She takes off her shoes and places them in a small plastic bag next to the door.

She behind to walk forwards.

Tony motions her stop.

He throws her the pack of alcohol rub.

She uses it on her hands.

ANDREA

It’s a lovely morning.

TONY

The answer is no.

ANDREA

You’re not even sure of the question

TONY

I knew it was going to be something like “Let’s try and take a walk outside today Tony”.

ANDREA

And you’re not

She takes a bottle of water out of the bag and places it on a table.

flate,sdch
Accept-Language: enp>

You really should try y’know.

TONY

To much going on.

ANDREA

In here?

TONY

Out there. Cars, people, building, noise. Too much.

ANDREA

You have to get out sometime.

TONY

Not now though.

She takes out a small packet from the bag.

It rattles when she moves it.

ANDREA

(Pointing at the box)

Vitamins, new ones.

Tony picks up the box and looks at the back.

TONY

What was wrong with the old ones?

ANDREA

They don’t sell them anymore.

TONY

Why not?

ANDREA

I don’t know, things just move on. Tony, you don’t go outside so how would you know? It’s the same as the other ones. Probably a different coloured packet.

Tony takes out one of the pills, shoves it in his mouth and then gulps some water.

Andrea reaches into the bag again.

She produces a small booklet of puzzles.

ANDREA

I bought you this as well.

She flips it towards Tony.

Tony completely misses it and it lands on the floor.

He picks it up.

TONY

Another one?

ANDREA

Do you remember the last time you slept all night?

TONY

No.

ANDREA

Do you remember the last time you slept for an hour?

TONY

Combined?

ANDREA

No, just an hour straight.

TONY

In that case no.

ANDREA

You need to keep your mind occupied on something else other than the window. Do some puzzles to pass the time if you’re awake.

TONY

I’m trying to get to sleep and you’re asking me to do Sudoku?

ANDREA

I’m asking you not to stare at a wall all night. Where’s the other one I gave you?

TONY

I finished it.

ANDREA

Where is it?

TONY

It’s over on the table, why?

ANDREA

Not much good having a completed puzzle book and plus…

TONY

Plus?

ANDREA

Recycling.

Tony throws the book towards Andrea who catches it and places it back in her pocket.

ANDREA

Right, I’m going to get moving. Anything else you need?

TONY

Not that I can think of.

ANDREA

Okay, call me if you need me.

Andrea exits the room, leaving Tony flicking through a puzzle book.

  1. INT/ TONY’S BEDROOM/ NIGHT

Tony is in bed, not asleep, just resting.

There’s only the bare minimum of light.

He gets up, walks over to the window, pulls back the curtains.

He sees streets, city lights and cars moving.

He quickly closes the curtains again.

There is a knock at the door.

Tony looks shocked and stands perfectly still.

Another knock

Tony creeps towards the door, getting close to it.

TONY

Who’s there?

A male voice responds

VOICE

I’m here to tell you something.

TONY

Then tell me now.

VOICE

Open the door first.

TONY

Do you know what time this is?

VOICE

Yes, I have a watch.

Tony still pauses.

VOICE

Open the door.

Tony opens the door very slowly.

On the other side is a man wearing dark trouser, a shirt and tie. He wanders straight into the room, pushing past Tony.

VOICE

(Offering handshake)

The name’s Michael.

TONY

(Refusing handshake)

Tony

Michael puts his hand down.

TONY

I’m really sorry, it’s just that I have a thing about…

MICHAEL

About?

TONY

You’ve just come from outside.

MICHAEL

Yes.

TONY

Outside there.

MICHAEL

Yes.

Tony hands him the hand sanitizer.

TONY

Would you mind?

MICHAEL

I haven’t been handling raw sewage or anything y’know.

TONY

Doesn’t have to be that, just anything.

MICHAEL

Ah, it’s like that.

Michael uses the gel on his hands.

TONY

It’s 3am by the way.

MICHAEL

Were you asleep?

TONY

Well, not really.

MICHAEL

I knew that.

TONY

You seem to know a lot.

MICHAEL

I’ve been living opposite for the last few weeks and I started thinking about you.

TONY

Me?

MICHAEL

You never leave the house, you only get one visitor.

TONY

I’m just not that social.

MICHAEL

And that one visitor is a woman. She’s either your Mum who keeps up a good skincare regime or a hooker.

TONY

Excuse me?

MICHAEL

Well which is it?

TONY

Have you just come round here to offend me?

MICHAEL

No, this is a social visit. I am visiting you, I am greeting you in the warmest possible circumstances.

TONY

At 3am.

MICHAEL

At 3am.

TONY

The time means nothing to you does it?

MICHAEL

Does it mean anything to you? You’re never outside to enjoy daylight.

Michael picks up the box of pills.

MICHAEL

What are these?

TONY

My pills.

MICHAEL

It’s nothing contagious is it? Are you in quarantine?

TONY

No, just vitamins.

MICHAEL

Why?

TONY

Because I’m not exactly walking in sunshine right now.

MICHAEL

You don’t need these, seriously stop taking them. Just eat some food or something y’know.

TONY

Thanks for the great advice, shouldn’t you be going?

MICHAEL

Let me show you something.

TONY

What?

MICHAEL

Just follow me.

Michael moves towards the door.

He stands in the doorway gesturing to Tony

Tony eventually follows him.

They walks down the corridor together.

MICHAEL

Just so you know I live right over there.

He points towards a door.

TONY

Great, fantastic.

MICHAEL

Any time you need somebody to talk to, a shoulder, anything you come round right?

TONY

Why are you doing this?

MICHAEL

Doing what, reaching out to a friend?

TONY

I’m not your friend.

MICHAEL

I’m hurt, really hurt. You might not be now but you’ll soon be. Consider something for me?

TONY

What?

Michael opens the door to his flat.

MICHAEL

When was the last time you made it as far as the lifts?

Michael closes the door behind him leaving Tony in the corridor alone.

Tony stands looking around, shocked amazement.

He runs back to his own door, shutting it behind him.

Almost automatically he runs to the bathroom and starts to scrub his hands and arms with a nail brush.

  1. INT/ TONY’S FLAT/ DAY

Andrea and Tony sit drinking coffee.

ANDREA

You left your flat?

TONY

Yeah, there was this guy here.

ANDREA

Who?

TONY

Called himself Michael, lives down the hall apparently.

ANDREA

And he visited you when?

TONY

3am.

ANDREA

Who visits people at 3am?

TONY

He does it would seem.

ANDREA

Why did you open the door anyway?

TONY

I thought I was dreaming it.

ANDREA

And you had to open it to make sure.

TONY

Pretty much. He showed me where he lives.

ANDREA

What do you mean ‘showed you’?

TONY

We were out in the hall.

ANDREA

So you can make it out there then?

TONY

Don’t get too carried away.

ANDREA

Well ignore him, I don’t think anybody should be coming into other people’s homes when they might just be asleep.

TONY

I think he was just one of these crazy guys.

ANDREA

Thin line between crazy and idiot. Where does he live?

TONY

Out the door, turn right, last one before the lifts.

ANDREA

If he knocks again let me know, I’ll be knocking on his door when he’s trying to sleep, see how he likes that.

TONY

He sounds like he’d enjoy the company.

ANDREA

Have you taken your pill today?

TONY

Not yet, I’ll take it soon.

ANDREA

You’d better, you’ll look even worse if you don’t.

TONY

Thanks for the uplift in confidence.

Andrea gathers her things.

ANDREA

That’s what I’m here for.

She leaves the room.

  1. INT/ TONY’S ROOM/ NIGHT

Tony sits alone.

A knock at the door.

Tony goes straight over and opens it.

Michael wanders in again.

TONY

My friend isn’t happy with you

MICHAEL

Who? Your sister?

TONY

She’s not my sister.

MICHAEL

Then it’s okay for me to fancy her a little bit then.

TONY

You’re not here at your usual hour?

MICHAEL

I can go and come back if you want to?

TONY

No, it’s okay.

Michael looks on the table.

MICHAEL

38.

TONY

Sorry?

MICHAEL

38 pills left in that packet.

TONY

Really?

MICHAEL

38 yesterday too, you didn’t take one today did you.

TONY

I forgot.

MICHAEL

And yet you live, amazing isn’t it?

TONY

If you say so.

Michael tilts his ear towards the ground.

MICHAEL

Did you hear that?

TONY

(looking confused)

What?

MICHAEL

(points at the wall)

That!

There is no obvious noise.

TONY

No, there’s nothing.

MICHAEL

When I was a kid I always had a thing for being able to pick up high frequency sounds. You have this high pitched buzz coming from your wall.

TONY

Stop being a fool.

MICHAEL

Look I’m trying to help you here, no wonder you’re not sleeping if this is all your hearing. You might not be hearing it but I’m pretty sure your brain will be.

TONY

How is that even possible?

MICHAEL

Get me a spoon or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Just do it!

Tony searches around for an implement.

He finds a fork.

TONY

I’ve only got this.

Michael snatches it.

MICHAEL

It’ll do nicely.

TONY

What are you…

Michael starts jabbing part of the wall next to window.

TONY

(Shocked)

No, no ,no. You’re getting dust everywhere.

MICHAEL

It’ll just be a small hole, something’s making this noise.

TONY

I’m asking you to stop doing that please.

MICHAEL

It’s minor, a bit of plaster after this and you’ll be fine.

Michael continues jabbing the wall.

Plaster begins to fall down to the floor, gathering in a pile on the floor.

Tony is visibly cowering at this sight.

TONY

I’m going to ask you once more to stop doing that.

MICHAEL

What’s the problem? Am I wrecking your little nest here? Your perfect little room?

TONY

Actually, yes.

MICHAEL

So at no point do you want to know what this noise is?

Tony looks utterly freaked out by all this.

Suddenly Michael stops.

There’s a moment of silence

MICHAEL

There it is, I’m done now anyway.

TONY

There’s what?

MICHAEL

I give you the route of the problem.

TONY

Your problem.

MICHAEL

That’s in your flat, you perfect little flat.

Tony kneels down beside Michael.

Both stare at the wall.

There’s a thick cable running through it.

It connects to a socket.

TONY

You’ve come into my house and ruined a wall purely to reveal an electrical wire.

MICHAEL

It’s still buzzing.

TONY

Because it’s electric.

MICHAEL

What cable do you know in a house that’s this thick?

TONY

I don’t know, how fat is electricity Michael?

MICHAEL

That’s not the point.

He digs some more.

Tony pulls Michael away from the door.

TONY

That’s enough, stop this now.

MICHAEL

Okay fine but I’m coming back tomorrow and we’re finding out what that is.

TONY

It’s a cable, mystery over.

MICHAEL

That’s no cable.

Michael walks over to the sink and starts to clean the utensil.

MICHAEL

Move the bin over it or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Because we don’t want your friend knowing do we?

TONY

Did you not want to think about that beforehand?

MICHAEL

Not when the buzzing was around.

TONY

Was?

MICHAEL

Well, not really, it’s still here. You seriously can’t hear that?

TONY

No.

MICHAEL

Must be some kind of frequency buffering or something.

TONY

Frequency what?

MICHAEL

Never mind, just put the bin over it and we’ll be done until tomorrow.

Michael walks towards the door and opens it.

MICHAEL

Remember, if you need anything then just knock. I’ll be back later.

TONY

Thank you for just turning up to wreck the place.

MICHAEL

You’re welcome.

Michael closes the door behind him.

Tony walks over to his bed and sits on the end of it.

  1. INT/TONY’S FLAT/DAY

Tony is fast asleep on his bed.

He awakes slowly, getting to a vertical basis.

He walks over to the window and pulls the curtains back.

Light streams into the room.

Tony smiles.

He looks down at the bin in the corner, covering where the hole would be.

He walks over and moves the bin.

The hole is still there.

Tony suddenly looks very concerned.

He quickly places the bin back.

The door suddenly flings open.

Michael runs in.

He is clutching a large, plastic toolbox.

He places it down on the floor before shutting the door behind him.

It seems like he’s ran down the corridor.

MICHAEL

Does she know?

TONY

Who?

MICHAEL

Your friend.

TONY

Andrea?

MICHAEL

Is Andrea your friend?

TONY

Yes

MICHAEL

Then her then, does she know?

TONY

I haven’t seen her, I was asleep.

MICHAEL

You were asleep? Like a normal human. This is progress. Can you hear that sound yet?

TONY

I’m still hearing nothing.

MICHAEL

Truly? Well I’ve brought something.

He reaches into his tool kit and brings out a stethoscope.

He puts it in his ears and holds the other end to the wall.

MICHAEL

Certainly buzzing.

TONY

I seriously thought I’d dreamt this.

MICHAEL

No, you were awake, now let’s get digging.

Michael brings out a chisel and starts to hack at the wall.

He suddenly stops.

MICHAEL

You’re not freaking out.

TONY

No, I’m not.

MICHAEL

Definite progress.

Michael hacks away more carefully this time.

A whole piece of plaster falls off revealing a switch.

MICHAEL

I’m flicking it.

TONY

You don’t even know what it is.

MICHAEL

That’s why I’m flicking it

Michael flicks the switch.

The light that filled the room from the window suddenly stops.

The window is filled with static.

The words ‘No video feed’ move across the screen.

TONY

What the hell have you done?

MICHAEL

What was that? When was your window a TV screen?

TONY

It wasn’t.

MICHAEL

Well that’s not what I’m seeing now.

TONY

There were people, cars, lights, everything.

MICHAEL

Not any more. What else in this place is fake?

TONY

Nothing, it’s been here for as long as I have.

MICHAEL

That doesn’t make it real though does it. I knew I could hear something.

Michael starts to frantically look around the flat.

MICHAEL

Reckon we could take the screen out of there?

TONY

For what?

MICHAEL

Because there must be something beyond that.

TONY

I’m not helping you any further. You’ve torn apart enough.

MICHAEL

Scrap that idea, I’m going to mine.

TONY

Oh so now you’re running away?

MICHAEL

All these flats are the same, I want to check my window.

Michael goes storming off through the front door.

Tony flicks the switch again

The light comes back and fill the room.

The screen displays the street outside again.

Tony stares in wonder.

He then runs out of the flat.

  1. INT/ CORRIDOR/ DAY

Tony goes running down the corridor towards Michael’s door.

He knocks first.

TONY

Michael?

There is no answer.

Tony cautiously opens the door.

He is faced with a bare brick wall

Tony looks horrified.

He moves across the corridor to the door opposite Michael’s flat.

He opens this as well.

Again, a brick wall.

A door at the end of the corridor opens and Andrea stands in it.

ANDREA

Tony?

Tony doesn’t say a word.

ANDREA

I know this seems strange.

TONY

You could say that.

ANDREA

You didn’t take the pills did you?

TONY

Got told not to.

ANDREA

You don’t remember much about coming here do you?

TONY

Coming here?

ANDREA

We picked you.

TONY

Who’s we?

ANDREA

You were needed for research.

TONY

You’re trying to say I’m some kind of lab rat?

ANDREA

You’re hardly a rat Tony. We just needed to know.

TONY

Know what?

ANDREA

Can we convince somebody to fear anything?

TONY

Get me out of here.

ANDREA

That wouldn’t be a good idea.

Tony starts to stride down the corridor.

He breaks into a run

Straight past Andrea.

He ends up running straight into a field

Green grass and sunlight.

Tweeting birds

THE END

 

 

The Sharp End Of The Chisel

Friday’s seem to be the day for this, probably because I’m off work and my Son is in school. We’ve hit up a gear now…

Michael continues jabbing the wall.

Plaster begins to fall down to the floor, gathering in a pile on the floor.

TONY

You’ll be pissing off next door.

MICHAEL

Temporary noise.

TONY

That’s in your head.

MICHAEL

No it’s from the wall.

Tony looks utterly freaked out by all this.

Suddenly Michael stops.

There’s a moment of silence

MICHAEL

There it is.

TONY

There’s what?

MICHAEL

I give you the route of the problem.

TONY

Your problem.

MICHAEL

That’s in your flat.

Tony kneels down beside Michael.

Both stare at the wall.

There’s a thick cable running through it.

It connects to a socket.

TONY

You’ve come into my house and ruined a wall purely to reveal an electrical wire.

MICHAEL

It’s still buzzing.

TONY

Because it’s electric.

MICHAEL

What cable do you know in a house that’s this thick?

TONY

I don’t know, how fat is electricity Michael?

MICHAEL

That’s not the point.

He digs some more.

Tony pulls Michael away from the door.

TONY

That’s enough, you’ll be in next door if you don’t stop now.

MICHAEL

Okay fine but I’m coming back tomorrow and we’re finding out what that is.

TONY

It’s a cable, mystery over.

MICHAEL

That’s no cable.

Michael walks over to the sink and starts to clean the utensil.

MICHAEL

Move the bin over it or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Because we don’t want your friend knowing do we?

TONY

Did you not want to think about that beforehand?

MICHAEL

Not when the buzzing was around.

TONY

Was?

MICHAEL

Well, not really, it’s still here. You seriously can’t hear that?

TONY

No.

MICHAEL

Must be some kind of frequency buffering or something.

TONY

Frequency what?

MICHAEL

Never mind, just put the bin over it and we’ll be done until tomorrow.

Michael walks towards the door and opens it.

MICHAEL

Remember, if you need anything then just knock. I’ll be back later.

TONY

Thank you for just turning up to wreck the place.

MICHAEL

You’re welcome.

Michael closes the door behind him.

Tony walks over to his bed and sits on the end of it.

  1. INT/TONY’S FLAT/DAY

Tony is fast asleep on his bed, still fully clothed from the night before.

He awakes slowly, getting to a vertical basis.

He walks over to the window and pulls the curtains back.

Light streams into the room.

Tony smiles.

He looks down at the bin in the corner, covering where the hole would be.

He walks over and moves the bin.

The hole is still there.

Tony suddenly looks very concerned.

He quickly places the bin back.

The door suddenly flings open.

Michael runs in.

He is clutching a large, plastic toolbox.

He places it down on the floor before shutting the door behind him.

It seems like he’s ran down the corridor.

MICHAEL

Does she know?

TONY

Who?

MICHAEL

Your friend.

TONY

Andrea?

MICHAEL

Is Andrea your friend?

TONY

Yes

MICHAEL

Then her then, does she know?

TONY

I haven’t seen her, I was asleep.

MICHAEL

You were asleep? Like a normal homosapien.

TONY

Yes, I feel great.

MICHAEL

Excellent, you’re getting better already. This is progress. Can you hear that sound yet?

TONY

I’m still hearing nothing.

MICHAEL

Truly? Well I’ve brought something.

He reaches into his tool kit and brings out a stethoscope.

He puts it in his ears and holds the other end to the wall.

MICHAEL

Certainly buzzing.

TONY

I seriously thought I’d dreamt this.

MICHAEL

No, you were awake.

TONY

But I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months.

MICHAEL

Wonderful, now let’s get digging.

Michael brings out a chisel and starts to hack at the wall.

TONY

Don’t hit the bloody wire.

MICHAEL

Yeah, that would be bad wouldn’t it?

TONY

If it is electricity running through it then yeah.

Michael hacks away more carefully this time.

A whole piece of plaster falls off revealing a switch.

MICHAEL

I’m flicking it.

TONY

You don’t even know what it is.

MICHAEL

That’s why I’m flicking it

Michael flicks the switch.

The light that filled the room from the window suddenly stops.

The window is filled with static.

The words ‘No video feed’ move across the screen.

TONY

What the hell have you done?

MICHAEL

What was that? When was your window a TV screen?

TONY

It wasn’t.

MICHAEL

Well that’s not what I’m seeing now.

TONY

There were people, cars, lights, everything.

MICHAEL

Not any more. What else in this place is fake?

TONY

Nothing, it’s been here for as long as I have.

MICHAEL

That doesn’t make it real though does it. I knew I could hear something.

Still a bit too ‘talky’ though. I like the bit with Tony on his own waking up and moving the bin to see the hole still there. We’re essentially confirming that Michael is real with that action then so my next question would be how he’s got into a science lab and what he represents? I’m also wary of the entire thing turning into Andrea visiting him, then Michael, then Andrea, then Michael and repeat. It needs something to break it up a little bit more. At this current time Tony is just a zombie shell being led along, he needs more flesh.

But it’s going well on the whole, another charge should finish draft one.

Find Me A Spoon.

You were starting to think it had gone a bit quiet hadn’t you? It’s true to say I don’t write every night, in fact I don’t usually plan when I do and the early stages of a script are the hardest because you haven’t got a foothold yet and nothing is making sense. Luckily I’ve hit the turning point in this one and now have a ‘feel’ for it, it’s mainly due to a last minute plan of adding in another character all together. How exactly would Tony start to doubt his surroundings? Originally I had the TV reports start to talk to him personally but this somehow seemed old hat and a bit one sided. It would just be a screen telling Tony what to do. Enter ‘Michael’ a man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Or ‘gob shite’ as they call them from where I’m from.

We’re up to page 14 now and it it certainly has rough patches but this is all draft one stuff.

Tony throws the book towards Andrea who catches it and places it back in her pocket.

ANDREA

Right, I’m going to get moving. Anything else you need?

TONY

Not that I can think of.

ANDREA

Okay, call me if you need me then and try to get some sleep.

Andrea exits the room, leaving Tony flicking through a puzzle book.

  1. INT/ TONY’S BEDROOM/ NIGHT

Tony is in bed, not asleep, just resting.

There’s only the bare minimum of light.

He gets up, walks over to the window, pulls back the curtains.

He sees streets, city lights and cars moving.

He quickly closes the curtains again.

There is a knock at the door.

Tony looks shocked and stands perfectly still.

Another knock

Tony creeps towards the door, getting close to it.

TONY

Who’s there?

A male voice responds

VOICE

I’m here to tell you something.

TONY

Then tell me now.

VOICE

Open the door first.

TONY

Do you know what time this is?

VOICE

Yes, I have a watch.

Tony still pauses.

VOICE

Open the door.

Tony opens the door very slowly.

On the other side is a man wearing dark trouser, a shirt and tie. He wanders straight into the room, pushing past Tony.

VOICE

(Offering handshake)

The name’s Michael.

TONY

(Accepting handshake)

Tony

MICHAEL

Yeah I knew that.

TONY

It’s 3am by the way.

MICHAEL

Were you asleep?

TONY

Well, not really.

MICHAEL

I knew that.

TONY

You seem to know a lot.

MICHAEL

I’ve been living opposite for the last few weeks and I started thinking about you.

TONY

Me?

MICHAEL

You never leave the house, you only get one visitor.

TONY

I’m just not that social.

MICHAEL

And that one visitor is a woman. She’s either your Mum who keeps up a good skincare regime or newly qualified hooker.

TONY

Excuse me?

MICHAEL

Well which is it?

TONY

Have you just come round here to offend me?

MICHAEL

No, this is a social visit. I am visiting you, I am greeting you in the warmest possible circumstances.

TONY

At 3am.

MICHAEL

At 3am.

TONY

The time means nothing to you does it?

MICHAEL

Does it mean anything to you? You’re probably awake through most of it right?

TONY

How do you know?

MICHAEL

It’s a lucky guess, you’ve just confirmed it by agreeing.

Michael picks up the box of pills.

MICHAEL

What are these?

TONY

My pills.

MICHAEL

It’s nothing contagious is it? Are you in quarantine?

TONY

No, just vitamins.

MICHAEL

Why?

TONY

Because I’m not exactly walking in sunshine right now.

MICHAEL

You don’t need these, seriously stop taking them. Just eat some food or something y’know.

TONY

Thanks for the great advice, shouldn’t you be going?

MICHAEL

Let me show you something.

TONY

What?

MICHAEL

Just follow me.

Michael moves towards the door.

He stands in the doorway gesturing to Tony

Tony eventually follows him.

They walks down the corridor together.

MICHAEL

Just so you know I live right over there.

He points towards a door.

TONY

Great, fantastic.

MICHAEL

Any time you need somebody to talk to, a shoulder, anything you come round right?

TONY

Why are you doing this?

MICHAEL

Doing what, reaching out to a friend?

TONY

I’m not your friend.

MICHAEL

I’m hurt, really hurt. You might not be now but you’ll soon be. Consider something for me?

TONY

What?

Michael opens the door to his flat.

MICHAEL

When was the last time you made it as far as the lifts?

Michael closes the door behind him leaving Tony in the corridor alone.

Tony stands looking around, shocked amazement.

He runs back to his own door, shutting it behind him.

  1. INT/ TONY’S FLAT/ DAY

Andrea and Tony sit drinking coffee.

ANDREA

You left your flat?

TONY

Yeah, there was this guy here.

ANDREA

Who?

TONY

Called himself Michael, lives down the hall apparently.

ANDREA

And he visited you when?

TONY

3am.

ANDREA

Who visits people at 3am?

TONY

He does it would seem.

ANDREA

Why did you open the door anyway?

TONY

I thought I was dreaming it.

ANDREA

And you had to open it to make sure.

TONY

Pretty much. He showed me where he lives.

ANDREA

What do you mean ‘showed you’?

TONY

We were out in the hall.

ANDREA

What were you doing there? You haven’t went beyond that front door in months.

TONY

It just kinda happened.

ANDREA

Well ignore him, I don’t think anybody should be coming into other people’s homes when they might just be asleep.

TONY

I think he was just one of these crazy guys.

ANDREA

Thin line between crazy and idiot. Where does heE
<p align="CENTER"0D

TONY

Out the door, turn right, last one before the lifts.

ANDREA

If he knocks again let me know, I’ll be knocking on his door when he’s trying to sleep, see how he likes that.

TONY

He sounds like he’d enjoy the company.

ANDREA

Have you taken your pill today?

TONY

Not yet, I’ll take it soon.

ANDREA

You’d better, you’ll look even worse if you don’t.

TONY

Thanks for the uplift in confidence.

Andrea gathers her things.

ANDREA

That’s what I’m here for.

She leaves the room.

  1. INT/ TONY’S ROOM/ NIGHT

Tony sits alone.

A knock at the door.

Tony goes straight over and opens it.

Michael wanders in again.

TONY

My friend isn’t happy with you

MICHAEL

Who? Your sister?

TONY

She’s not my sister.

MICHAEL

Then it’s okay for me to fancy her a little bit then.

TONY

You’re not here at your usual hour?

MICHAEL

I can go and come back if you want to?

TONY

No, it’s okay.

Michael looks on the table.

MICHAEL

38.

TONY

Sorry?

MICHAEL

38 pills left in that packet.

TONY

Really?

MICHAEL

38 yesterday too, you didn’t take one today did you.

TONY

I forgot.

MICHAEL

And yet you live, amazing isn’t it?

TONY

If you say so.

Michael tilts his ear towards the ground.

MICHAEL

Did you hear that?

TONY

(looking confused)

What?

MICHAEL

(points at the wall)

That!

There is no obvious noise.

MICHAEL

No wonder you’re not sleeping with that.

TONY

What?

MICHAEL

You seriously can’t heard that?

TONY

No, there’s nothing.

MICHAEL

When I was a kid I always had a thing for being able to pick up high frequency sounds. You have this high pitched buzz coming from your wall.

TONY

Stop being a fool.

MICHAEL

Look I’m trying to help you here, no wonder you’re not sleeping if this is all your hearing. You might not be hearing it but I’m pretty sure your brain will be.

TONY

How is that even possible?

MICHAEL

Get me a spoon or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Just do it!

Tony searches around for an implement.

He finds a fork.

TONY

I’ve only got this.

Michael snatches it.

MICHAEL

It’ll do nicely.

TONY

What are you…

Michael starts jabbing part of the wall next to window.

TONY

(Shocked)

Have you gone mental? Why are you doing that?

MICHAEL

It’ll just be a small hole, something’s making this noise.

TONY

The only noise now is you gouging lumps out of my wall!

MICHAEL

It’s minor, a bit of plaster after this and you’ll be fine.

The Glare Of The Spotlight

A lot of script ideas and thoughts occur to me whilst I’m in the shower (I am actually showering at the time, I don’t just stand under it with a pad and pen because that would be crazy). This morning I was thinking about The Unlocked Project and the current problem of why this main character would be sleepless. A sudden lightening strike of a dream happens whilst I’m soaking my hair.

What if it’s a competition on TV? What if there’s a promise of a grand prize at the end for staying awake this long? Wouldn’t there be cameras all over the place filming this televised experiment? It might seem a bit Big Brother but it’s almost believable that some station somewhere would broadcast something like that. Although it does give an easy license to play about with what is fantasy and reality within the story I’m still trying to avoid the ‘it was a dream all along’ ending.

It was certainly an eye opener which is probably why I got shampoo in my eye.

I work in an opticians, arriving with a red eye ain’t a good look.

The Unlocked Project

At the moment I’m feeling a small sense of achievement about the progress I’ve made with writing this year. I’ve had a play performed on a very small scale, my full length theatre script is currently being read over by a couple of development teams and ‘Robotics For Morons’ is currently filming and should be ready at some point next year. Whilst I’ve sat and planned out a feature film in a basic way I’m thinking I want to write another short movie in order to keep the ball rolling whilst I hide myself away and write the larger script. If the shorter script is being read and I can get feedback from that whilst writing the feature then it should stave off those slightly isolated feelings.

But then I had a thought.

There’s always the problem of writers holding onto ideas, keeping a grip on them and never letting anybody else see them. They’ll be full of “Oh it’s about something with someone meeting somebody” in the vaguest possible way. They don’t want anybody to read their script for fear that they’ll steal this fantastic, revolutionary story and then make millions off it leaving the original writer sleeping under blank sheets of A4 paper in a street corner somewhere.

What if we did things a little bit differently? What if every step of the process, from idea to page, was put online for all to see? Why do we lock up script ideas when we should be getting feedback from others reading it through? What would happen if we detailed every tweak and rewrite right until the script is picked up?

I’m aiming to write a 20-30 minute movie from scratch soon, I’ll be putting up every step on here. I have no idea how this will turn out.

Dutch Courage

In late 2006, I wrote a script for a short film called ‘Robotics For Morons’. I entered it into a Scottish based competition organised by the Glasgow Media Access Centre (GMAC). It was read by two members of their reading team and gained two positives responses. It wasn’t picked as other projects were more viable at the time. I pressed on, forever rewriting the script.

It sat unused until 2010 when I put it on Shooting People’s Script Pitch Network. It gained a fair bit of interest with a few people asking for details. Eventually, a producer from Southern England took it on board. He even went as far as to get a shooting script together which seemed to remove all the humour from the original script and make it into a dark horror instead. I couldn’t really complain, if I wanted to make it as I saw it then I should have made it myself. Then, months went by with no word at all about the film. I had given him permission to use my script to make it and been greeted by complete radio silence.

I sent him an e-mail asking what was happening. The replied essentially admitted he’d ran out of money before he’d managed to cast it, that it would now take him ages to get more cash together and that I might as well take the script back and make it myself. This I agreed to do and our working relationship ended there. With more rewrites the script was re-listed on Shooting People in early 2012. Once again it gained a fair bit of interest. A Dutch film producer read the script, liked it and decided he wanted to make it.

Months went by and I heard little, instead finding myself doing the nervous writer thing of not wanting to get in the way by asking. The trouble with projects at this stage is the possibility that, much like my previous dealings with the film, it can all end in a moment. A couple of e-mails were exchanged months apart. They were finding locations on one occasion, casting the next, never quite building enough steam to get ahead. A project which, to me, still felt fragile. So fragile in fact that I didn’t feel like I could blog about it for fear of looking foolish when it failed.

Last week I received a message on Facebook from the producer. They’re moving ahead to film within the next two weeks. I received photos of the two main actors and the location where the story takes place. Just when I was imagining this script being returned to me it ends up being near to coming to life.

Alongside Henry Barstow being performed, Robotics For Morons being finished was one of the things I wanted in 2012. It’s part of the general motion to stop writing things in a vacuum, with no end result. Whilst I’m excited about the script being taken to film I’ll be even happier once I can see it in full and, even more, show it to you.

For The Next Half Hour

I’m giving serious thought to what script to do next and I wonder if it’s time to finally get down to doing a feature film. Whilst I have written scripts over the 90 minute mark before they mostly turned out to be failed experiments when I was fresh out of college. Not having the time or budget to film a 90 minute plus feature in art college you don’t tend to bother writing them. I could have done a feature script written intensively for my final project, maybe I should have done, but by then I was already part of a group who had a framework put together and to leave then would have felt selfish.

My last attempt was a good few years ago, it was set on an island on which ten people attempted to set up their own independent country. Having seen Castaway a few years before (the show that gave us such wonders as Ben Fogle) I wanted to do a much darker version of that. It didn’t really go anywhere and there were far too many characters however it did house the first version of Henry Barstow as a character, back in the days when he was a Europhobic MP rather than a deranged writer of rubbish scripts.

I do have a core idea to start it with. An event, something which rocks a small town and the aftermath but it needs a flavour before we get anything concrete written down. With that in mind, here’s a few things that I’m considering so far.

Not so much the more modern Twilight Zone but certainly the 1960 version, the ones filmed in black and white only. Taking something normal and everyday and adding some strange in to see what comes out. I’m a particular fan of the episode with William Shatner in which he keeps thinking there’s something outside the aircraft he’s a passenger on.

If I recall correctly The Outer Limits used to be on BBC2 on a Saturday evening (I’m sure somebody in the comments section will end up correcting me if not). In a very similar style to The Twilight Zone (in fact it was pretty much the same idea updated). One particular episode that sticks in my mind featured an entire 45 minute show in a prison cell on an alien ship. Two humans, one male and one female, attempt an escape but she keeps getting taken away and tortured. Upon each return to the cell she becomes more and more like the alien captors in appearance, gaining scales on her skin and claws on one hand.

In the final moments of the show, before she’s taken away again, he tells her not to worry because the human forces are about to launch a surprise attack in the next few hours. The fleet are hidden in the stars waiting to strike and there is hope for the human race yet. She smiles and turns towards the door before saying something like “John, they haven’t been turning me into one of them all this time, they’ve been turning me back”. With one simple line the whole story turns. Bear in mind we’ve never left the cell throughout the whole episode. I thought it was a fantastic piece of sci-fi done cheaply and a good example of a script packing a final punch.

Jeff Wayne’s World Of The Worlds isn’t here really for the story, HG Wells did it first and better, it’s more how I was first introduced to it.

A few years ago I was having guitar lessons from a fellow called Donald who worked for my Dad. Upon ending the lesson he’d give me a lift home and, without fail, this would be playing in his car. The journey was very short but during the winter months, in the dark, listening to it felt like the scariest thing ever. Due to this experience my parents bought me tickets for the live version one Christmas. I went along, saw the disembodied floating head of Richard Burton, but for some reason never truly made as much of a connection with it in that form.

The Wickerman was filmed not far from where I live actually, in fact they still have a music festival inspired by it, so whilst in the story it’s the very North of Scotland in reality it’s very much Dumfries and Galloway.

The Wickerman struck a chord with me because it’s a horror film without any blood or gore and extreme violence. There are no monsters lurking around the island at night eating the residents. The fear in Wickerman comes from the differences between an outsider and the islanders themselves. This religious tension is central to the structure of the whole film. I’d really love to replicate something like this in the script.

I know, I know. Up until now I’ve been mixing in cult movies and TV shows and yet I’m here throwing in a kid’s gameshow from the early 90’s. I was fascinated with Knightmare back in the day, I’d rush home from school to watch it every Friday. There’s a certain air of mystery and imagination in Knightmare that simply wasn’t present in other kid’s TV shows at the time. There was the constant thinking that you weren’t sure what dragon/knight/goblin was going to turn up in the next scene.

Normality turned on its head, a strange event, the combined power of people’s beliefs, group mentality,distrust of an outsider and the need to guide somebody through all this. Scratch these words into the wall, this is what I’m aiming for.

I want this to be a story spoken in a hushed tone, from a mistuned radio in the early hours of the morning.

It begins here.

 

Classic Hollywood Narrative

Back in the days when I was fresh faced and youthful and The Matrix had arrived on one of them new DVD disc things, I enrolled on a Film Studies A-Level. On the morning the class began the tutor noticed around 45 faces staring back at him in the room, all crammed into every corner, sitting on tables due to lack of space in the room.

“Who signed up for this class because they thought they’d be watching new movies every day?” he asked.

A vast percentage of the room stuck their hands in the air.

“Okay” he replied “We’re going to watch a film right now but here are the rules, the door will remain open through the screening for you to leave if you get bored but if you leave today then you can’t come back for the rest of this course. I don’t want to see you again in this room”.

There were some noises of derision in the room.

“The first film we’re going to watch is black and white”

Four people got up and left.

“It was made in 1942”

Another five headed for the exits, enough for those on tables to now find a seat.

“It’s an example of Classic Hollywood Narrative”.

Another two gone.

“It’s called Casablanca”.

With that he produced a VHS tape (yes, it was 1999) and let it roll. Within the first ten minutes another eight had gone back to the canteen never to be seen again. Two hours later we were engaged in a deep discussion on classic Hollywood narrative. It ended up being the first day of a very enjoyable two years of watching a vast variety of movies from far flung corners of the globe as well as others closer to home. There were periods during 2001-2002 when I’d be watching about three films a day and then attending student movie screenings at night. I usually wasn’t fussed what I saw at that time because I’d usually do the media student thing of sitting with a notepad taking notes whilst watching.

It’s the reason some friends are amazed that I’ve never seen some of the more mainstream movies in my time. I have never seen Robocop for example, it took me until a few weeks ago to watch the original Total Recall, the Rocky series of movies passed me by and *whisper it* I’ve never seen Return of the Jedi. By 2004, at the end of my degree course, I found myself burnt out with films in general. It’s only in recent years that I’ve gone back to some of my favourites and gone out looking for some new ones to add to the pile. I don’t think my passion for making films has quite come back, I had enough hassle with that back in college, but my desire for a good story is slowly coming back to me after a few years away. I’ve spent some time attempting to silence the inner critic that was so loud during the college days and just enjoy films again.

So he climbs some stairs and wins a boxing match yeah?

Just in time too.

Not Minding That It Hurts

The one film that has seen many a writer’s internet forum go crazy with rage this year is Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe. I’d read slight bits of it, never really wanting to spoil everything for me just in case I actually went to see it. Thankfully, this Thursday gone, I had a night free whilst my wife and son were visiting the in laws so I went to the cinema with a good friend of mine. To get it out my the way first, I enjoyed the movie as a whole which is just about the main thing you want when you’re paying the best part of £7 for the ticket (you can tell I don’t live near any of them big city cinemas can’t you?). It also become the second movie in which I’ve nearly passed out whilst watching in the cinema due to my inability to handle much gore. I did however, have some very big questions to ask about the script in the end.

-THE FOLLOWING SECTION WILL CONTAIN MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR PROMETHEUS, STOP READING NOW IF YOU’VE STILL TO SEE IT-

1) So we have a group of people on a project which involves deep space travel. This means they’ll be frozen in suspended animation for the best part of two and a half years. I accepted this up until the point when they are awoken upon arrival and told what they’ll be doing there. Just to make that clear, the vast majority of these characters seem to have signed up for this without actually knowing what the hell they’re there for. Surely, at some point during the interview process/job application, somebody would have asked exactly what they were going to do?

2) On top of this, the representative from Weyland Industries, Vickers has absolutely no hope that they’ll find what they’re looking for. She sees Holloway and Shaw’s theory that human life began on another planet as complete bunkum. This might be true but then why, once again, would you be willing to spend two years of your life frozen if you thought this journey would turn up nothing?

3) The crew land on this far flung planet and go about business straight away by taking a whole team of scientists across to some ruins. During this first expedition the cave system is mapped out by Fifield’s system of flying orbs. This builds up a 3D map of the caves back on board the main ship. Upon seeing the body of one of the natives Fifield and Milburn leave the rest of the group to try and get back to the ship. Whilst the rest of the team rush back to the ship to get away from the storm Fifield and Milburn are left wandering the caves after getting lost. Nobody can go back and get them as it’s far too dangerous. Firstly, why does the guy who brought this mapping system along with him become one of the first to get lost? Secondly, why would they have a mapping system that places the actual map a mile behind you in the ship and thirdly, why does nobody else aboard Prometheus itself deem it fit to at least guide the two to somewhere safer than the mystery room full of oozing black liquid?

It’s obvious that Fifield and Milburn will be the first to go but it’s a flimsy way to separate them from the rest of the group. Would it not have been easier to just have the door to the temple close on them and them only, having David unable (or secretly unwilling) to reopen it and having them stuck there until they could get back? At least that way we wouldn’t have the next sticking point either.

4) Okay, Vickers is an ice queen and seemingly incapable of anything bar steely gazes at the rest of the crew. There’s zero evidence that she’ll drop her knickers at the nearest hint of a man so it’s quite a strange moment when she ends up having sex with Captain Janek on a whim. No mention is made of a relationship between these two beforehand and it’s never referenced again afterwards.  It’s purely a method to get Janek away from the bridge so nobody is around to hear the screams of death over the comms system from Fifield and Milburn.  A hint of a past between Janek and Vickers would have made it slightly better, even just a one liner or knowing wink between the two. As it is he gets her into bed with the chat up line “Fancy getting laid?”. If only it were that easy.

5) I was told before seeing Prometheus that the main problem many people had with the film was it boiled down to ‘intelligent people doing the most stupid option open to them at any given time’. Whilst I don’t personally agree fully with that verdict I would say that actions of one character are the driving force behind most of the movie’s strangest moments. David, played by Michael Fassbender, is an android who is designed to look after the crew. We know this  in the opening montage as he goes about keeping the ship on course and making sure everybody is safe in their frozen states. He’s also seen learning languages that may be of use once they reach their destination (quite how they know exactly what language this far flung race would speak is another matter). David has been built by Weyland and is described by him as ‘the closest thing to a son I have’. So far, so Pinochio.

It seems that from the moment Prometheus lands on the planet David’s aim changes into wanting to screw up the mission as much as possible. For being an android with a preset list of objectives, he doesn’t half seen completely random at times. Firstly, he actives the switches in the temple which in turn plays out the holographic memory recordings which completely freak out the rest of the crew. He instills more doubt and fear as he opens the door to the main chamber. He then secretly collects one of the cylinders and brings it back for his own personal examination. Upon discovering the black oil coming out of the cylinders David makes his most bizarre choice yet in putting a droplet of it in Holloway’s drink, in effect poisoning him. It’s this that causes the mutation in Holloway’s body and the subsequent ‘pregnancy’ of Shaw.

“Die humans DIE!”

It could be argued that David is carrying out the wishes on Weyland himself but in order to subscribe to this theory you need to think that Weyland would want to come all the way across the galaxy only to start a science experiment on the two people who had the theory in the first place. Weyland, in order for him to literally ‘meet his maker’, needs both Shaw and Holloway alive surely? If he wants to see exactly what the oil does to humans then why not pick somebody on the ship who is entirely expendable in the grand scheme of things? David just seems to be the android equivalent of hitting ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ on Google which the sheer amount of strange snap decisions. Despite all this sabotage, he then helps Shaw to leave the planet at the end.

I have no problem with Michael Fassbender’s performance, he’s fantastic in the role, but I do have a problem with keeping every single event in the movie triggered by the actions of one character.

6) Vickers has her own section of the ship with a self contained life support system. When Holloway and Shaw visit her in her quarters near the start of the film Shaw finds the medical pod, a large piece of surgical machinery designed to perform any procedure on the user. She’s told by Vickers to ‘leave it alone’ as it’s ‘very expensive’. Fast forward through the story to the section when Shaw is in need of surgery to remove an alien beast from her womb. She requests a C-Section from the machine but is told that it’s not set up for female users so she instead has to go for a simple ‘removal of foreign object’ option. This results in a rather gore filled close up game of Operation (and me getting a little bit ‘hazy’ in the process)

This doesn’t quite explain why a ‘very expensive’ piece of high tech medical equipment would only be set up for one gender. When were talking about a machine you can own which would instantly give you any surgical procedure you require then it seems a bit of an Achilles Heel for it to turn around at the vital moment  and basically say “Hold on love, I don’t do vaginas”.

So if it’s only set up for males then why the hell does Vickers have it in her self contained life support room if it’s completely useless to her? Unless she’s hiding something from the entire crew? In which case surely Janek would have found out by this time?

I’ve heard plenty people say “Don’t be stupid Cam, the medical pod’s for Weyland”. Weyland, by his own admission, is by Death’s door so why would he need any kind of life saving surgery especially since he’s not even out and about until near the very end. Weyland’s main aim is to see the engineers, something which he achieves. He wouldn’t be betting on having a patch up job before he gets back to Earth.

7) So Weyland is alive and on the ship all along? Great stuff but why, if he’s frozen in a deep sleep in order so that his frail body can cope with the journey, is he still in a mental state to talk to David and pass comment on how events have transpired so far?

8) For just being the guy ‘who pilots the ship’ Janek seems all too willing to throw himself into a complete suicide mission to bring down the Engineer’s ship and prevent it from reaching Earth. It takes him five minutes to decide to risk his own life and that of two other members of his crew (who are so forgettable I’d have to look up their names on IMDB) in blowing a hole in the Engineer’s craft by ploughing Prometheus through it.

9) Vickers is Weyland’s daughter, an interesting twist it might be but it makes her behaviour towards the end more baffling. Surely, if the theory Shaw and Holloway had is proven to be correct and Vickers inherits the company after her Father’s death, she’d stand to be one of the most famous women on Earth? Her company may have spent millions but at least all that time and finance will have seen a return and shattered what the Human race thought was possible?

“This is the Engineer Flight 263 to Earth, the emergency exits are located on both side of the craft.”

10) In the end only Shaw survives alongside David (all be it in two parts). The planet isn’t a homeworld, it’s a weapon store so Shaw and David go looking for other planets the Engineers might have frequented also. It might be a topic covered in any kind of sequel but I’d truly love to see the moment David says “Remember when you’re boyfriend had sex with you and you had t go in that medical pod and hack yourself open so you could remove that baby alien thing and then your boyfriend got fried with a flamethrower because his veins started turning black?”

“Why yes I do David” Shaw would say.

“Well guess what, I might have started that”.

Then we’ll see how she gets along with her robot pal.