ROCKETS OF THE DEAD, Third Draft, by Gavin Scott, December 31st, 1997
Continued from Page 2
47 INT. BANQUETING HALL - NIGHT:
Rimini places a magnificent necklace around Rebecca's neck.
It's beautiful, Angelo, thank you. . .
A mere bauble, my darling, compared to the jewels I shall shower you with when you sit beside me as queen of the world.
Queen of the World - how absurd! Anybody'd think you had the means to conquer it!
Ah, but the truth is, my dear - I truly do.
Really, Angelo? - How?
48 EXT. CASTLE WALL - NIGHT:
Hold me steady, Verne. Just one shot and I'll have the swine.
Fogg: be careful! How can you be sure you won't hit Rebecca?
But just as Phileas has Rimini in his sites - his view is blocked by a new arrival in the room below.
49 INT. BANQUETING HALL - NIGHT:
The CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD: black-uniformed, grim, efficient, salutes the Duke.
CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD:
The strangers from the inn, Duke. The Englishmen who were enquiring about you. It seems the landlord has let them get away.
Rebecca' s head snaps up at this news.
Has he now? He'll suffer for that. Turn out the guard; have the village searched. Double security here at the castle.
What do you think, my dear? The British Secret Service on your trail?
Almost certainly, Angelo. But I don't think I have anything to worry about, do you? The British Secret Service is no match for the Duke of Rimini.
And arm in arm with the Duke, with the Captain hovering protectively behind, she leaves the banqueting hall.
50 EXT. CASTLE WALL - NIGHT:
Phileas stares, horrified.
Come on Fogg - we've got to get away from here.
Without Rebecca? Are you mad?
We're no use to her if we're dead!
Ah - death, Verne. Would to God that death were all we had to fear!
51 EXT. MOUNTAIN MEADOW - NIGHT:
An exhausted Passepartout comes staggering wearily across the meadow towards the camouflaged Dirigible, with the flaming torches of the pursuing villagers bobbing through the darkness in his wake.
52 INT. GONDOLA - NIGHT:
Passepartout staggers inside in a state of collapse, trips -falls - and stuns himself.
As he opens his eyes - there are the vampire villagers looking down, at him, their torches held high.
53 EXT. CASTLE BATTLEMENTS - NIGHT:
Phileas and Jules are creeping along the battlements of the castle as Rimini's guards search the place, above and below them.
54 INT. GONDOLA - NIGHT:
Passepartout scrambles to his feet and backs away into the gondola as the vampire villagers advance.
He begins to back up the spiral staircase.
There's nothing to be afraid of, my friend.
And everything to look forward to ...
And then the air is filled with a sudden horrible squeaking and bats seem to rise from among^the villagers like an eruption.
Passepartout leaps from the staircase, does a double somersault through the villagers - and rolls right out the door, slamming it behind him.
55 EXT. MOUNTAIN MEADOW - NIGHT:
Passepartout races away into the darkness, his face a mask of fear.
56 INT. GONDOLA - NIGHT:
As the villagers, instead of pursuing him, suddenly begin to sit down all over the gondola. All the energy has gone out of them. The Landlord yawns.
Hmmmm... it's getting late. I'm suddenly feeling really sleepy.
He puts out a hand to support himself - on the lever which controls the inflation of the balloon.
57 EXT. MOUNTAIN MEADOW - SUNRISE
Passepartout looks back in horror as the Dirigible reinflates itself - and lurches into the air.
No, no, it cannot be!
And he turns on a dime and races back towards it, makes a spectacular leap, .and manages to grasp a landing skid as it rises.
As the first rays of sunlight appear over the edge of the valley, we see Passepartout silhouetted against the morning sky, clinging to the underside of the gondola.
58 EXT. MOUNTAIN PEAKS – SUNRISE:
The sun rising in all its glory over the mountain peaks.
59 EXT. CASTLE BATTLEMENTS - DAY:
And as Jules and Phileas look around them - the towers and walls that were thick with the silhouettes of their pursuers are now mysteriously empty.
My God: so it's true: they do vanish as the sun rises . That Rebecca should be condemned to such a life in death!
It may not have happened, Fogg. It may be -
You saw what I saw, Verne. That monster has her in his power. How did Passepartout say you kill them?
With a stake through the heart - as they lie sleeping in their coffins. But Fogg -
(Shaking him off)
I'm going to find Rimini, and if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to skewer him to the floor!
60 EXT. BENEATH THE GONDOLA - DAY
As the out of control Dirigible floats high above the ground Passepartout is trying to reach the trap door in the floor of the gondola from the skid to which he is clinging.It's -just out of reach - and with great daring, Passepartout swings himself across - grabs the handle, and hangs there, gasping for breath.
He looks down: they are passing over what looks like the deepest ravine in the world.
61 INT. BANQUETING HALL - DAY:
The hall, so glamorous the night before, is now hung with rotting tapestries and dominated by a great central staircase leading to the upper floors. Followed by Jules, Phileas strides across the room and up the staircase.
The rotting treads crack under his boots.
62 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY:
Phileas and Jules march down a long, dust-filled corridor, opening doors which creak on rusted hinges as they open. Nothing, nothing, nothing. And then:
No - don't look.
Phileas pushes him aside and looks into the room.
63 INT. REBECCA'S BEDROOM - DAY:
The room is dominated by a great black coffin. And lying in it is Rebecca, pale as death, her eyes closed..
Phileas stares at her in horror.
Not entirely, Phileas.
Jules and Fogg's eyes open wide. As do Rebecca's
Rebecca! You're not? He hasn't?
I am - unbitten.
(Showing her neck)
See? He wants me to give myself to him of my own free will.
He's a very attractive man.
Man! He's not a man - he's
(Pointing to grills in the wood panelling)
The walls have ears.
She climbs out of the coffin. The rest of the scene is in whispers.
Come on: we've got some investigating to do.
Investigating? Don't be ridiculous! We've come to rescue you!
Phileas: I've been entrusted with a job. I'm not going until it's done. You can either help me - quietly - or you can go home. It's up to you.
And she marches out of the room.
64 EXT. BENEATH THE GONDOLA - DAY
Passepartout has to twirl himself around in order to turn the handle of the trap door, and of course, when he finally manages it, the door hangs straight downwards - so he is farther below the entrance to the gondola than he was before.
Still looking down at the sickening drop beneath him, he begins to climb up again.
Just as his head comes level with the entrance, one of the sleeping vampire villagers slumps shockingly down through the hole, giving Passepartout such a scare that he almost loses his grip.
65 INT. BANQUETING HALL - DAY:
Watched by Phileas and Jules, Rebecca is tapping urgently on various sections of the wall beside the fireplace.
The night we arrived here - I saw someone disappearing into this wall.
It may have been supernatural.
And it may have been ...
Her hands close around the face of a carved devil - and Jules disappears into the panelling.
A hidden door.
66 INT. ROOM OF BUSTS - DAY
Jules swings round and comes face to face with the Duke of Rimini.
The face is black, the eyes lifeless - and as Phileas and Rebecca push through into the room after him they realise collectively that it is not the Duke at all: but his bust -the same bust that we saw in the foyer of the London theatre.
And the entire room is filled with them.
Not only is the man a vampire, he clearly is one of the world's leading narcissists.
(Examining the busts)
This is more than egomania, Phil: this is part of his plan - I know it.
Jules turns round, startled - and knocks one of the busts off its plinth. He catches it just before it reaches the ground.
His plan to do what?
As he puts the bust back on the plinth, a strange whirring sound starts to come from within. During the following conversation, the noise grows to a higher and higher pitch.
To convert the world to vampirism.
Every time a vampire feeds, he turns his victim into another vampire. Think about it - if the thing was done scientifically the whole world would soon be populated by the undead.
Vampires are treated rather badly now, according to him. Discrimination, oppression, that sort of thing. He wants to change all - ahhh!
Her scream comes because the window is suddenly darkened by hundreds of bats, clawing to get in.
(Looking at the bust)
It's a homing device.
For bats? But why?
I wonder if he might possibly -
Rebecca, backing away from the infested window, has pressed herself against a lever in the wall - and suddenly the far wall slides up in front of them.
67 INT. GONDOLA - DAY:
Passepartout finally manages to haul himself through the trapdoor and' looks around at his gondola full of sleeping vampire villagers. Then he glances through the windows.
The Dirigible is drifting straight into the side of a mountain!
He dives for the controls as the mountain wall surges towards him.
68 INT. CHAMBER OF THE ROCKET VAMPIRE - DAY:
The room is filled with chemistry equipment; phials, retorts, scales and hundreds of glass jars. In its centre is a table, and on the table is a body, shrouded in a grey sheet. They look at each other, doubtfully - and then Phileas, impatient to get this over with, strides to the table and pulls back the sheet.
Angels and Ministers of Grace preserve us.
For there, on the table, is the tall, sinister figure we saw in Whitehall at the beginning of the show - still dressed in his bullet-riddled evening wear and cloak, and with his top hat eerily in place. But someone has clearly been working on him - used rocket casings are scattered around the table, and new ones have been inserted in their place.
Filled with some kind of explosive mixture.
Rebecca teases out some of the powder in the one of the tubes and rolls it between finger and thumb.
Doubtless the explosive formula for which Lord Pontefract was killed.
Chatsworth said he hadn't told you about that.
You don't think I rely on his briefings do, you, Phi1?
I take the precaution of reading the newspapers before I come on a mission.
You know the eeriest thing about that murder? The fact that the killer raised his hat before he disappeared.
To think - this could be the very hat!
And he lifts it - exposing the wires that connect it to the rockets. There is a horrible growl in the creature's throat - and then the rockets ignite.
Jules! What have you done?
But it's all too clear what Jules has done: he's set off the Rocket Vampire. Still unconscious, the creature shoots up from the table, hits the wall, ricochets off, hits the ceiling, and begins to zoom around the room like a demented hornet, causing more and more destruction with every revolution.
And worse than destruction - creation: because as the chemical ingredients from the broken bottles mix together, the room fills with a suffocation gas - and one by one Jules, Phileas and Rebecca collapse unconscious amidst the wreckage.
(As he drifts off)
Oh, dear. I shouldn't have lifted the hat, should I?
69 INT. GONDOLA - DAY:
Passepartout, sweating profusely, guides the Dirigible over the top of the ridge into which it was about to crash.
Then, lashing the wheel, he sets about the formidable task of tying up all the sleeping vampires.
70 INT. CHAMBER OF THE ROCKET VAMPIRE - DAY:
The gas has cleared, and Rebecca's eyes flicker open - to see the face of the Rocket Vampire lying on top of her. She emits a startled squawk and thrusts it away before she realises it is still unconscious.
She looks at Jules and Phileas, still asleep, and gets up.
Then she sees a door at the far end of the room, opens it, and looks through.
Oh LORD! So THIS is how he's going to do
71 EXT. MOUNTAIN PEAKS - MAGIC:
As the sun slips down once more behind the peaks.
72 INT. VAULT OF THE VAMPIRE ARMY – NIGHT:
The great vaulted chamber into which she is looking seems to go on forever - and it is filled with tombs on which lie sleeping figures who look exactly like the rocket -powered vampire in the room next door.
He has an ARMY. He has a whole ARMY!
73 INT. CHAMBER OF THE ROCKET VAMPIRE - NIGHT:
Rimini has appeared at the door.
Of course I do, my dear. And I am going to show you just what I intend to do with it.
Tight on Rebecca's horrified face. Jules and Phileas stagger to their feet.
Are these the creatures who've been seeking you, Rebecca?
Yes, Count, they are.
And do you wish to go with them back to the land of tea and crumpets - or remain with me, as my consort?
I'm surprised you have to ask, Count. Neither of these gentlemen is offering to, make me Queen of the World.
Tight on Jules’ appalled face.
Ah, but you see, Englishman, I have so much more to offer her. With me, eternal life is just the beginning.
And he pulls a lever which opens the floor of the room. sending Jules and Phileas plunging into the depths.
Ah, Rimini: I've been wanting to do that to Phileas for years.
END OF ACT THREE
Continued on Page 4
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