Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Today, and for the next few days, unless I have something else interesting to write about, I’ll be posting up things cut from Doctor Who stuff what I wrote. Like DVD deleted scenes. With my own fascinating, fascinating commentary. I feel your excitement.
So with no more ado, one of my most recent things, The Glorious Revolution. The following bits were cut for time/word count, all from the second half of the play (because it was much longer than the first half) and were chosen largely on the basis that they could be removed without anything being missing. All these cuts are from the first (12,000 word) draft – the final third draft being about 9,500.
First a little addition to the ‘kidnapping the King’ scene, referring back to the rumour Jamie has started about the arrival of an imminent Irish army.
The guards carried the basket for us all the way to the street outside. That done, they were about to return to the shelter of the palace, when one of them stopped and turned back as though he’d remembered something. ‘Wait!’
‘What is it?’ I asked, hoping he wouldn’t ask to check the basket...!
‘Tell everyone you know, we’re expecting a great army of Irishmen to turn up in London later tonight,’ confided the guard, tapping his nose. ‘But it’s supposed to be a secret. You got that? So you tell everyone you know!’
And shortly after that – having established that the Doctor had purloined the King’s Great Seal from his bedroom – a scene with an extra bit of historical colour but which doesn’t further the plot and might end up feeling irrelevant.
But I - (SEES SOMETHING) Wait... what’s that you’ve got?
The King had noticed what the Doctor was holding - the Great Seal of England. He tried to grab it, making the boat lurch to one side, almost causing us to topple over. The Doctor held the seal above his head, out of the King’s reach, like in a child’s game, so the King lunged at him - knocking the seal clean out of the Doctor’s fingers and into the murky depths of the Thames.
‘Whoops, butterfingers’, admonished the Doctor. ‘Now, I don’t think you wanted to do that, did you? People will think you did it deliberately...’
And finally a great big chunk from near the end – they’re on a boat to France.
“I used to believe in you, your majesty. I used to think you were worth fighting for. But now... you’re just a coward, aren’t you? A miserable coward!”
The King clutched his handkerchief to his face with a self-pitying groan. I decided to leave him to his misery and joined the Doctor and Zoe up on deck. We were gliding through a marshy estuary, a crisp wind filling the sails.
‘How’s the King?’ said the Doctor, gazing out at the endless grey water.
‘Ah, he’s a broken man, alright,’ I said. ‘He’s given up entirely.’
‘What?’ The Doctor turned to me in alarm. ‘Oh! We can’t have that...!’
‘Why not?’ I said. But then I knew the reason why. A sharp, wrenching sensation hit my stomach, just as before, followed by a whooshing in my ears. I tried to catch my breath, to steady myself, but I... I... what was I saying?
(AND WE’RE SUDDENLY BACK IN THE FRAMING NARRATIVE)
Of course. A second temporal fluctuation.
You’ve influenced your own past again. If King James doesn’t attempt to regain the throne, there will no be Jacobite rebellion, no Battle of Culloden. And you will never have met the Doctor.
I’ll never have met who? Who am I supposed to have met?
The King must be defeated - but determined to fight on -
Ach, like Robert the Bruce?
Yes. Just like Robert the Bruce.
(CELESTIAL DEVICE ACTIVATED.)
This time more drastic measures may be required. So - tell me. You were sailing out into the English channel. What happened next?
What happened next? We... I remember that as evening fell, the most terrible storm rose up out of nowhere. The heavens opened with a crash of thunder and hailstones the size of a man’s fist hammered onto the deck. A great wind threatened to tear down the sails, and immense, surging waves tossed and span the yacht like a wee toy. We sheltered downstairs, clutching onto the beams as the floor lurched, rose and fell. All the while, there was an ominous creaking, as though the boat itself was about to splinter apart.