Captain: (over tannoy) This is your captain speaking.
There is no need for panic. Woman and children first. I repeat that,
women and children first.
(Cut to the ship's bridge. The captain and two or three
officers are seen scrambling into ladies' clothing or young
children's short trousers and school satchels and caps. The ship
pitches and rolls in the gale. The captain is still trying to speak
into the PA.)
Captain: Do not rush for the lifeboats - remember, women
and children first.
(A first officer is revealed in the comer of the bridge
putting a head-dress on a Red Indian outfit.)
First Officer: And Red Indians!
Captain: (putting his hand over the PA) What did
you have to get dressed up like that for?
First Officer: It was the only thing left.
Captain: Oh. All right. (into the PA) Women,
children and Red Indians...
(Cut to another officer in astronaut's kit.)
Second Officer: And spacemen!
Captain: Here is a revised list. Women, children, Red
Indians and spacemen, (hand over PA) what's that meant to be?
(Cut to third officer who is putting finishing touches to a
Third Officer: Well it's a sort of impression of what a
kind of Renaissance courtier artist might have looked like at the
court of one of the great families like the Medici or the Borgias...
Fourth Officer: No it's not, it's more Hemish than
Fifth Officer: Yes - that's a Flemish merchant of the
fifteenth or sixteenth centuries...
Third Officer: What! With these tassels...
Fourth Officer: Yes, yes. They had those fined doublets
going tapering down into the full hose you know - exactly like that.
Captain: (into the PA) One moment, please, don't
panic. (puts his hand over the PA) Now, what is it meant to
be? I've got to tell them something. .. is it a Flemish merchant?
Third Officer: No, it is not a Flemish merchant. It's more
a sort of idealized version of the complete Renaissance Man...
Captain: Oh, all right.
Fourth Officer: It's not...
Captain: All right! All right! (into the PA) this
is your captain speaking... do not rush for the lifeboats ... women,
children, Red Indians, spacemen (stock film of long shot of
sinking vessel, the voice over fading) and a sort of idealized
version of complete Renaissance Men first!
CAPTION: 'A FEW DAYS LATER'
(Cut to a police chief's office in an anonymous South American
police state. The chief of police at his desk. From outside we hear
footsteps approaching the office and voices.)
Third Officer's Voice: Flemish merchants did not wear
hand- embroidered chevrons. They did not!
(The door opens and two guards roughly, push in the captain in
drag, another officer half in drag, half in naval uniform, two
officers hastily dressed as children, a complete Renaissance Man, a
Red Indian and a spaceman. They stand there fir a moment. Then one
of the guards pushes his way forward and hands the police chief a
piece of paper.)
Police Chief: Yes, Gomez? (reads) Vee found zero
valking on zee beach, my Capitan. (the guard nods
enthusiastically) Gomez, why can't you say this? (the guard
mouths something) What? Oh, I see, we can't afford it. (to
camera) You see the BBC has to pay an actor twenty guineas if he
speaks and it makes a bit of a hole in the budget...
First Guard: Twenty-right guineas, sir! Ooh, sorry.
Police Chief: You fool Gomez - that's twenty-eight guineas
Second Guard: What about me, sir?
Police Chief: Are you supposed to speak?
Second Guard: No, sir.
Police Chief: But you've just spoken!
Second Guard: Oh, sorry, sir.
Police Chief: You fool, that's, that's fifty-six guineas
before we've even started; (a third guard suddenly rushes up to
the window and flashes through it; scream and breaking glass)
What did he do that for?
Second Guard: It's a stunt, sir, an extra twenty guineas.
Police Chief: (banging the desk) Look! We can't
afford it! The BBC are short of money as it is.