The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Thieves In The Temple

This weekend Big Finish are having a sale of their full-cast productions of Doctor Who’s ‘lost stories’ – that is, stories where the script got lost somewhere down the back of a filing cabinet in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, which is why they never got made (along with sundry other reasons).

Two of my stories are included in the sale; The Valley Of Death, a fourth Doctor and Leela story based on a story outline by Philip Hinchcliffe, and The Guardians Of Prophecy, based on a 20-page synopsis by Johnny Byrne.

I’ve blogged about The Valley Of Death here, and included deleted scenes here, and I’ve blogged about The Guardians Of Prophecy here and detailed the adaptation process here.

Please buy them. If you buy the fourth Doctor Who lost stories box set, you also get The Foe From The Future by John Dorney based on a synopsis by Robert Banks Stewart (and script-edited by me).


As a taster/incentive, here’s the first page of the script of The Valley Of Death, very Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

SCENE 1. EXT. RAINFOREST.

(TROPICAL RAINFOREST. RAIN, ANIMAL CALLS)

PERKINS: (NARRATION)
The first of May, 1873, day thirty-six of our quest into the interior of the Amazon rainforest. Progress has been slow due to constant rain and increasing insubordination amongst the natives...

NATIVE: (AD-LIB TRIBE LANGUAGE) Metaba fan nagada tolo! Retaga!

PERKINS:
Summersby! What’s the fellow say?

SUMMERSBY:
The bearers, Professor. We’ve lost two more of them. And our guides are insisting we must not advance any further.

PERKINS:
You would do well to remind them who’s in charge of this expedition! Who’s paying their wages!

SUMMERSBY:
I have tried, Professor. But they say - they say we are approaching a place they call the Valley of Death. They say that anyone who enters it will never return.

PERKINS:
Primitive superstitions, nothing more!

SUMMERSBY:
Maybe, but if we lose any more bearers, we’ll have no choice but to turn back.

PERKINS:
Turn back? When we are so close to our goal? We go on, Summersby. With or without them!

(THEY ADVANCE THROUGH JUNGLE, TO A STREAM)

PERKINS: (NARRATION)
And so we continued through the dark, steam-shrouded undergrowth, until at noon, I gave the order for us to pause at a stream to replenish our supplies, when suddenly -

(NATIVE GUIDE SCREAMS. OMINOUS, BOOMING CROAKING)


And here’s the first page of The Guardians Of Prophecy. “Let us have no more craven talk” – my little tribute to the genius of Eric Saward. I love that stuff!

SCENE 1. PALACE VAULT.

MURA, WORLD-WEARY CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, AND ESCALUS, A YOUNG, NAIVE GUARD. FX: ECHOEY, FLAGSTONE FLOOR, CRYPT-LIKE VAULT.

ESCALUS:
I’m still not sure about this, sir.

MURA:
This is no time for an attack of conscience, Escalus. I could have selected anyone from the ranks for this task, but I chose you. Was I mistaken in my choice?

ESCALUS:
No, sir, but if we get caught –

MURA:
We won’t get caught, Escalus. The palace guard have been commanded to keep watch elsewhere.

ESCALUS:
You’re sure about that, sir?

MURA:
Of course I’m sure. (BEAT) I gave the order myself.

ESCALUS:
If you say so, sir.

MURA:
You do trust me, don’t you, Escalus?

ESCALUS:
Yes, sir. With my life.

MURA:
Then let us have no more craven talk. We answer to no greater authority than the judgement of history.

FX: THEY PROCEED THROUGH A CLANGING GATE, DOWN STEPS.

ESCALUS:
But, sir, we can’t enter the vault, not without – (the)

MURA:
- The correct authorisation card?

FX: AUTHORISATION CARD BEING SLOTTED INTO READER. BLEEPS AFFIRMATIVELY. HEAVY DOOR GRINDS OPEN. THEY ENTER.

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