(Cut to a documentary producer standing in forested
First Producer: Was Sir Walter Scott a loony, or was he
the greatest flowering of the early nineteenth-century romantic
tradition? The most underestimated novelist of the nineteenth
century... (another introducer of documentaries comes into shot
and walks up to the first) . . . or merely a disillusioned and
embittered man ...
Second Producer: Excuse me ... (pointing at the
microphone) can I borrow that, please.
First Producer: ... yes.
Second Producer: Thank you. (he immediately starts on
his own documentary) These trees behind me now were planted over
forty years ago, as part of a policy by the then Crown Woods, who
became the Forestry Commission in I924. (he starts to walk
towards the forest) The Forestry Commission systematically
replanted this entire area...
(The first producer follows behind.)
First Producer: Excuse me.
Second Producer: Sh! That's forty thousand acres of virgin
forest. By I980 this will have risen to two hundred thousand acres
of soft woods. In commercial terms, a coniferous cornucopia... an
evergreen E1 Dorado... (the first producer runs and makes a
feeble grab for the mike)... a tree-lined treasure trove ... No
... a fat fir-coned future for the financiers ... but what of the
First Producer: It's mine!
Second Producer: (tofirst producer) Go away ... in human
terms? Who are the casualties?
(The first producer makes a lunge and grabs the mike. He stops
and the camera stops with him.)
First Producer: For this was Sir Walter Scott's country.
Many of his finest romances, such as 'Guy Mannering' and
Second Producer: Give that back!
First Producer: No. (they grapple a bit. The first
producer just manages to keep hold of it as he goes down onto the
ground) Scott showed himself to be not only a fine...
(The second producer manages to grab the mike and runs off
leaving the first producer on the ground. The camera follows the
Second Producer: (running) The spruces and flowers
of this forest will be used to create a whole new industry here
The first producer brings him down with a diving rugger tackle
and grabs the mike.)
First Producer: ... also a writer of humour and...
(They are both fighting and rolling around on the ground.)
Second Producer: Britain's timber resources are being used
up at a rate of...
(The first producer hits him, and grabs the mike.)
First Producer: One man who knew Scott was Angus Tinker.
(A sunlit university quad with classical pillars. Gentle
classical music. Tinker is standing next to one of the pillars. He
is a tweed-suited academic.)
CAPTION: 'ANGUS TINKER'
Tinker: Much of Scott's greatest work, and I'm thinking
here particularly of 'Heart of Midlothian' and 'Old Mortality' for
example, was concerned with... (at this point a hand appears from
behind the pillar and starts to go slowly but surely for the mike)
preserving the life and conditions of a... (the mike is grabbed
away from him)
Voice: Forestry research here has shown that the wholly
synthetic soft timber fibre can be created... (Tinker looks
behind the pillar to discover a forestry expert in tweeds crouched)
... leaving the harder trees, the oaks, the beeches and the
larches... (Tinker chases him out into.the quad) and the
pines, and even some of the deciduous hardwoods.
CAPTION: 'A FORESTRY EXPERT'
Forestry Expert: This new soft-timber fibre would totally
replace the plywoods, hardboards and chipboards at present
(A Morris Minor speeds up round the quad and passes straight
in front of the expert and the firstt producer's hand comes out and
grabs the mike. Cut to interior of the Morris Minor as it speeds out
of quad and out into country. The first producer keeps glancing
nervously over shoulder.)
First Producer: In the Waverley novels... Scott was
constantly concerned to protect a way of life...
(He ducks as we hear the sound of a bullet ricochet from the
car. Cut to shot through the back window. The second producer is
chasing in a huge open American 1930's gangster car driven by a
chauffeur in a thirties kit. He is shooting.)
First Producer: ....safeguarding nationalist traditions
and aspiration, within the necessary limitations of the gothic
(More bullets. The American car draws level. The second
producer leans over trying to grab the mike. Still attempting to say
their lines, both of them scramble for the microphone as the cars
race along. Eventually the cars disappear round a corner and we hear
(Cut to Toogood, surrounded by people, holding the book very
close to his face and peering closely at the print. MacDonald lies
on the floor in front of them.)
Toogood: Then... then... the... the end! The End. (looks