Please note that this sketch contains numerous references to
things that happened in the Science Fiction Sketch.
Newsvendor's Voice: Read all about it! Read all about it!
Man turns into Scotsman!
(Mix through to Potter's front gate. His with is being
interviewed by obvious plainclothes man.)
Inspector: Mrs. Potter - you knew Harold Potter quite well
Wife: Oh yes quite well.
Wife: He was my husband.
Inspector: Yes. And, er, he never showed any inclination
towards being a Scotsman before this happened?
Wife: (shocked) No, no, not at all. He was not that
sort of person...
Inspector: He didn't wear a kilt or play the bagpipes?
Wife: No, no.
Inspector: He never got drunk at night or bought home
Wife: No, no. Not at all.
Inspector: He didn't have an inadequate brain capacity?
Wife: No, no, not at all.
Inspector: I see. So by your account Harold Potter was a
perfectly ordinary Englishman without any tendency towards being a
Wife: Absolutely, yes. (suddenly remembering) Mind
you he did always watch Dr Finlay on television.
Inspector: Ah-hah! ... Well that's it, you see. That's how
Wife: I beg your pardon?
Inspector: Well you see Scottishness staffs with little
things like that, and works up. You see, people don't just turn into
a Scotsman for no reason at all... (goes rigid with Scots
accent.) No further questions!
(The words are hardly out of his mouth when he turns into a
Scotsman and spins round and disappears up road in fast motion. Pan
with him. Cut to bus queue: man in a city suit and bowler hat
suddenly changes into a Scotsman with beard, twizzles round and
speeds out of shot. Cut to street.' policeman pointing way for woman
with a pram. Suddenly he changes into a Scotsman and scuffles out of
shot. She looks aghast for a moment and then she too changes into a
Scotsman and hurtles off after him. The baby suddenly develops a
beard and the pram follows her. Single shot of black jazz musician
in cellar blowing a blue sax solo. He changes and whizzes off. Squad
of soldiers being drilled. Suddenly they all change into bearded
Scotsmen and race off in unison. Pan with them past sign: 'Welsh
(Quick animated shot of flying saucer disappearing over city
skyline. Cut to big close-up of passionate kiss. It goes on for some
moments. Foggy lens... romantic music. Keep on big close-up as they
talk. She is none too intelligent.)
Charles: Darling, darling...
She: Charles... there's something I've got to tell you...
Charles: What is it darling?
She: It's daddy ... he's turned into a Scotsman...
Charles: What! Mr. Llewellyn?
She: Yes, Charles. Help me, please help me.
Charles: But what can I do?
She: Surely, Charles, you're the Chief Scientist at the
Anthropological Research Institute, at Butley Down - an expert in
what makes people change from one nationality to another.
Charles: So I am! (pull out to reveal they are in a
laboratory; he is in a white coat, she is in something absurdly
sexy) This is fight up my street!
She: Oh good.
Charles: Now first of all, why would anyone turn into a
She: (tentatively) Em, for business reasons?
Charles: No, no! Only because he has no control over his
own destiny! Look I'll show you...
(He presses a button on a control board and a laboratory TV
screen lights up with the words 'only because they have no control
over their own destinies '.)
She: I see.
Charles: Yes! So this means that some person or persons
unknown is turning all these people into Scotsmen...
She: Oh, what kind of heartless fiend could do that to a
Charles: I don't know ... I don't know ... all I know is
that these people are streaming north of the border at the rate of
thousands every hour. If we don't act fast, Scotland will be choked
(Zoom in on her face. Cut to as many bearded Scotsmen as
possible, hurtling through wood in fast motion. Follow than, ending
up with skyline shot as per 'Seventh Seal'. They all still have the
arm outstretched in front of them and as always they are accompanied
by bagpipe music. Shot of border with large notice: 'Scotland
American Voice: Soon Scotland was full of Scotsmen. The
over-crowding was pitiful.
(They all dash across harder and then stop abruptly once
they're ever. They stand around looking lost.)
American Voice: Three men to a caber.
(Cut to three Scotsmen tossing one caber. Cut to Scots wife in
bed with bearded husband. Pull back to reveal five other Scotsmen in
the bed. Short but brilliant piece of animation from T. Gilliam to
show England emptying of people and Scotland filling up, ending with
a till sound and a till sign coming up out of England reading:
'Empty'. Track into England. Film of a deserted street. Wind, a dog
sniffing, newspaper blowing along street. Close-up sign on shop doom
'Gone to lunch' ( lunch is actually crossed out) Scotland'. Close-up
another sign on a shop door.' 'McClosed'. Shop sign: McWoolworths &
American Voice: For the few who remained, life was
(Man suddenly folds up newspaper and runs round comer.
Re-emerges driving bus. Drives it halfway to stop and then leaps out
with bus still moving. Runs to stop, and puts out hand. Bus stops.
He leaps on, rings bell, runs round to front and drives the bus off
again. As bus drives out of. flame we just see a couple of Scotsmen
flashing past camera with arms outstretched. Pan slowly round empty
football stadium. Eventually we pick up a solitary spectator,
halfway up and halfway along in stand opposite where the players
come out. He suddenly leaps to his feet cheering. Cut to players'
tunnel and one player emerging and a referee with ball. They kick
off. Player goes straight down field and scores.
A quick shot of flying saucer again.
Studio. the laboratory again. Charles is looking through microscope,
when the door flies open and she bursts in.)
She: Charles! Thank goodness I've found you! It's mummy!
Charles: Hello mummy.
She: No, no, mummy's turned into a Scotsman...
Charles: Oh how horrible... Will they stop at nothing?
She: I don't know - do you think they will?
Charles: I meant that rhetorically.
She: What does rhetorically mean?
Charles: It means, I didn't expect an answer.
She: Oh I see. Oh, you're so clever, Charles.
Charles: Did mummy say anything as she changed?
She: (with an air of tremendous revelation) Yes!
she did, now you come to mention it
(A long pause as he waits expectantly.)
Charles: Well, what was it?
She: Oh, she said ... 'Them!' (thrilling chord of
jangling music and quick zoom into her face) Is there someone at
Charles: No ... It's just the incidental music for this
She: Oh I see...
Charles: 'Them' ... Wait a minute!
She: A whole minute?
Charles: No, I meant that metaphorically ... 'Them' ...
'Them' ... She was obviously referring to the people who turned her
into a Scotsman. If only we knew who 'They' were ... And why 'They'
were doing it... Who are 'Them'?
(Crashing chord... cut to a small still of a Scottish
crofter's cottage on a lonely moor. Slow zoom in on the cottage.)
American Voice: Then suddenly a clue turned up in
Scotland. Mr. Angus Podgorny, owner of a Dunbar menswear shop,
received an order for 48,000,000 'kilts from the planet Skyron in
the Galaxy of Andromeda.
(Mix to interior of highland menswear shop. An elderly
Scottish couple are poring over a letter which they have on the
counter. Oil lamps etc.)
Mrs. Podgorny: Angus how are y'going to get 48,000,000
kilts into the van?
Angus: I'll have t'do it in two goes.
Mrs. Podgorny: D'you not ken that the Galaxy of Andromeda
is two million, two hundred thousand light years away?
Angus: Is that so?
Mrs. Podgorny: Aye ... and you've never been further than
Angus: Aye ... but think o' the money dear ... £18.10.0d a
kilt ...that's ... (calculates with abacus) £900,000,000 -
and that's without sporrans!
Mrs. Podgorny: Aye ... I think you ought not to go, Angus.
Angus: (with visionary look in his eyes) Aye ...
we'd be able to afford writing paper with our names on it... We'd be
able to buy that extension to the toilet...
Mrs. Podgorny: Aye . . but he hasn't signed the order yet,
Mrs. Podgorny: Ach ... the man from Andromeda.
Angus: Och ... well ... he wasna really a man, d'you ken
(Creepy music starts to edge in.)
Mrs. Podgorny: (narrowing eyes) Not really a man?
Angus: (sweating as the music rises) He was as
strange a thing as ever I saw, or ever I hope to see, God willing.
He was a strange unearthly creature - a quivering, glistening
Mrs. Podgorny: Angus Podgorny, what do y'mean?
Angus: He wasna so much a man as... a blancmange!
(Police station: a police sergeant is talking ova the counter
to a girl dressed in a short frilly tennis dress. She holds a
racquet and tennis balls.)
Sergeant: A blancmange, eh?
Girl: Yes, that's fight. I was just having a game of
doubles with Sandra and Jocasta, Alec and David...
Sergeant: Hang on!
Sergeant: There's five.
Sergeant: Five people . . . how do you play doubles with
Girl: Ah, well ... we were...
Sergeant: Sounds a bit funny if you ask me ... playing
doubles with five people...
Girl: Well we often play like that... Jocasta plays on the
side receiving service...
Sergeant: Oh yes?
Girl: Yes. It helps to speed the game up and make it a lot
faster, and it means Jocasta isn't left out.
Sergeant: Look, are you asking me to believe that the five
of you was playing doubles, when on the very next court there was a
blancmange playing by itself?.
Girl: That's right, yes.
Sergeant: Well answer me this then - why didn't Jocasta
play the blancmange at singles, while you and Sandra and Alec and
David had a proper game of doubles with four people?
Girl: Because Jocasta always plays with us. She's a friend
Sergeant: Call that friendship? Messing up a perfectly
good game of doubles?
Girl: It's not messing it up, officer, we like to play
Sergeant: Look it's your affair if you want to play with
five people ... but don't go calling it doubles. Look at Wimbledon,
fight? If Fred Stolle and Tony Roche played Charlie Pasarell and
Cliff Drysdale and Peaches Bartcowitz... they wouldn't go calling it
Girl: But what about the blancmange?
Sergeant: That could play Ann Haydon-Jones and her husband
(Cut back to Podgorny's shop. He and his wife are frozen in
the positions in which we left them. They pick up the conversation
as if nothing had happened.)
Mrs. Podgorny: Oh, a blancmange gave you an order for
Mrs. Podgorny: And you believed it?
Angus: Aye, I did.
Mrs. Podgorny: Och, you're a stupid man, Angus Podgorny.
Angus: (getting a little angry) Oh look woman, how
many kilts did we sell last year? Nine and a half, that's all. So
when I get an order for 48,000,000, I believe it - you bet I believe
Mrs. Podgorny: Even if it's from a blancmange?
Angus: Och, woman, if a blancmange is prepared to come
2,200,000 light years to purchase a kilt, they must be fairly keen
on kilts. So cease yer prattling woman and get sewing. This could be
the biggest breakthrough in kilts since the Provost of Edinburgh sat
on a spike. Mary, we'll be rich! We'll be rich!
Mrs. Podgorny: Oh, but Angus... he hasna given you an
earnest of his good faith!
Angus: Ah mebbe not but he has gi' me this... (brings
out piece of folded paper from sporran)
Mrs. Podgorny: What is it now?
Angus: An entry form for the British Open Tennis
Championships at Wimbledon Toon ... signed and seconded.
Mrs. Podgorny: Och, but Angus:, ye ken full well
that Scots folk dinna know how to play the tennis to save their
Angus: Aye, but I must go though dear, I dinna want to
Mrs. Podgorny: Ach! Angus, I wilna let you make a fool
Angus: But I must.
Mrs. Podgorny: Och, no you'll not ...
( Close-up on Angus.)
Angus: Oh, Mary... (suddenly we hear a strange creaking
and a slurping noise; a look of horror comes into his eyes) Oh,
oh, Mary! Look out! Look out!
(Big close-up of Mrs. Podgorny's eyes starting out from head.)
Mrs. Podgorny: Urrgh. It's the blancmange. (Blur focus.
Cut to a desk for police spokesman. A peaked-capped policeman sits
there, reading 'The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire' by Googie
Withers. He lowers book and talks chattily to camera.)
Policeman: Oh, now this is where Mr. Podgorny could have
saved his wife's life. If he'd gone to the police and told them that
he'd been approached by unearthly beings from the Galaxy of
Andromeda, we'd have sent a man round to investigate. As it was he
did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife. So if
you're going out, or going on holiday, or anything strange happens
involving other galaxies, just nip round to your local police
station, and tell the sergeant on duty - or his wife - of your
suspicions. And the same goes for dogs. So I'm sorry to have
interrupted your exciting science fiction story ... but, then,
crime's our business you know. So carry on viewing, and my thanks to
the BBC for allowing me to have this little chat with you.
Goodnight. God bless, look after yourselves.
(He is hit on the head by knight in suit of armor with raw,
chicken. Cut to CID office: a plainclothes detective is sitting in
his office. Podgorny is sobbing.)
Detective: (softly and understandingly) Do sit
down, Mr. Podgorny... I... I ... think what's happened is ...
terribly ... terribly... funny .... tragic. But you must understand
that we have to catch the creature that ate your wife, and if you
could help us answer a few questions, we may be able to help save a
few lives. I know this is the way your wife would have wanted it.
(He is sitting on the desk next to Podgomy. Podgomy with
superhuman control makes a great effort to stop sobbing.)
Angus: Aye ... I'll ... do ... my best, sergeant.
Detective: (slapping Podgorny) Detective Inspector!
Angus: Er, detective inspector.
Detective: (getting up and talking sharply and fast)
Now then. The facts are these. You received an order for 48,000,000
kilts from a blancmange from the planet Skyron in the Galaxy of
Andromeda ... you'd just shown your wife an entry form for
Wimbledon, which you'd filled in... when you turned round and saw
her legs disappearing into a blancmange. Is that correct?
Angus: Yes, sir.
Detective: Are you mad?
Angus: No, sir.
Detective: Well that's a relief. 'Cos if you were, your
story would be less plausible. (detective brings out photograph
of blancmange) Now then, do you recognize this?
Angus: (with a squeak of fear) Oh yes. That's the
one that ate my Mary!
Detective: Good. His name's Riley... Jack Riley... He's
that most rare of criminals ... a blancmange impersonator and
Angus: But what about the 48,000,000 kilts and the Galaxy
Detective: I'm afraid that's just one of his stories. You
must understand that a blancmange impersonator and cannibal has to
use some pretty clever stories to allay suspicion.
Angus: Then you mean...
Detective: I'm afraid so.
Detective: Who knows?
Angus: Do you think?
Detective: Could be.
Detective: I know.
Angus: She was...
(Suddenly, we hear a strange noise. Angus looks frightened.
Detective narrows his eyes and walks over to the door.)
Detective: Good lord what's that? (he opens the door
and we get a close-up of his staring .eyes) Ah, Riley! Come to
give yourself up have you, Riley? (with sudden fear) Eh
Riley? Riley! Riley! It's not Riley!
(Eating noises. He is dragged out of camera shot. Refocus on
Angus ... he averts his ryes as we hear the detective inspector
Detective: It's an extra-terrestrial being! Agggh!
(Jarring chord: Angus shuts his eyes. Cut back to laboratory:
she is sitting suggestively on a stool. He is pacing up and down
Charles: So, everyone in England is being turned into
Charles: Now, which is the wont tennis-playing nation in
She: Er ... Australia.
Charles: No. Try again.
Charles: (testily) No... try again but say a
She: Oh, I thought you meant I'd said it badly.
Charles: No, course you didn't say it badly. Now hurry.
She: Er, Czechoslovakia.
Charles: No! Scotland!
She: Of course.
Charles: Now ... now these blancmanges, apart from the one
Mrs. Podgorny: have all appeared in which London suburb?
Charles: No. Wimbledon ... Now do you begin to see the
pattern? With what sport is Wimbledon commonly associated?
(She is thinking really hard.)
Norman Hackforth: (off-screen) For viewers at home,
the answer is coming up on your screens. Those of you who wish to
play it the hard way, stand upside down with your head in a bucket
of piranha fish. Here is the question once again.
Charles: With what sport is Wimbledon commonly associated?
(SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: 'TENNIS')
Charles: No. Wimbledon is most commonly associated with
She: Of course! Now I see!
Charles: Yes, it all falls into place!
She: 'The blancmanges are really Australians trying to get
the rights of the pelote rules from the Czech publishers!
Charles: (heavily) No ... not quite ... but, er,
just look in here.
(He indicates microscope. As she eagerly bends to look into it
he picks up a sock filled with sand and without looking strikes her
casually over the head with it. She collapses out of sight under
desk. He continues to think out loud.)
Charles: Yes. So these blancmanges, blancmange-shaped
creatures come from the planet Skyron in the Galaxy of Andromeda.
They order 48,000,000 kilts from a Scottish menswear shop ... turn
the population of England into Scotsmen (well known as the worst
tennis-playing nation on Earth) thus leaving England empty during
Wimbledon fortnight! Empty during Wimbledon fortnight ... what's
more the papers are full of reports of blancmanges appearing on
tennis courts up and down the country - practicing. This can only
mean one thing!
(Flash up caption quickly:)
Voice Over: and caption on screen : 'THEY MEAN TO WIN
Charles: They mean to win Wimbledon. Jarring chord.